- Hello, I'm Bearnard (a.k.a. Bernie) B. Behr. I travel around the United States with my human Gary, who is a professional tour guide for California Sunriders motorcycle tours. We both come from Conifer, Colorado, a nice little town in the Rocky Mountains. We travel all over the country finding beautiful places and meeting all sorts of people from around the world. I keep Gary from getting in trouble and help him keep the guests on his tours happy, not an easy job! We have a lot of fun together and see a lot of really great places, and since Gary is a professional photographer too, we have some great pictures too (usually starring yours truly). Gary also likes to write a lot, (he's a little long-winded but tells a good story) so there's usually a lot to read. It's a good thing too, I can't type very well with these paws, so I'll have Gary do most of the writing. Keep coming back and enjoy the blog. Feel free to post a comment or make suggestions (like how to keep these crazy humans in line!) and we look forward to reading them. Sincerely, Bearnard B. Behr And Gary Fleshman
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Saligman, Angel and the Old West
A beautiful day for a ride through the desert. This morning we start with a nice breakfast in the hotel, go to our rooms and bring the bags to the van for loading. After loading we head off into the beautiful southwestern deserts. The morning begins with a ride down the Kaibab Plateau toward the first stop of the day, Saligman, Az.
This is the home of the world famous Snow Cap diner, one of the most popular stops along the entire route. To travel route 66 and not stop in the Snow-cap for some food or a drink should be considered a crime.
The Snow Cap diner has been in business since 1953, started by propritor Juan Delgadillo, and staffed by his family. Juan was world famous for his comic antics and eccentric menu (and behavior) including cheeseburgers with cheese, dead chicken sandwiches hamburgers without ham, hazzardous mustard and ketchup bottles, rubber chickens, “Straws” , napkins, and many others. When you go into the snow cap, be extremely careful of what and how you say things, as they are experts at having fun at your expense.
To the dismay of millions Juan Delgadillo passed away on June 2nd, 2004, and with him went a small piece of Route 66. However his children are still running the Snow-cap and doing an excellent job, keeping alive the memory and spirit (and sense of humor) of thier father. Juan kept the travelers of Route 66 well-fed and amused for 52 years, and his family will continue to do so for another 52 years, hopefully longer. As long as the Snow-cap still stands, Juan will be remembered and admired.
His brother Angel, is also a well known figure in town. Angel Delgadillo has been only a block away from the snow cap in his barber shop since he first started in 1950. He continued to be the town’s barber until he semi-retired in 1996. He still comes to his barber shop almost every day (usually by bicycle), not to work as a barber but to indulge in his other passion, the preservation of historic Route 66. He is considered the driving force behind keeping route 66 in Arizona alive and well. He’s considered Route 66’s “Guardian
Angel” for his devotion to the road he and his family have called home. He and his wife Vilma still run the Route 66 Gift shop, and greet travelers and tourists with a broad smile and hearty welcome. If you have the time, take a moment to sit and talk with Angel, you just may learn something. Angel was even nice to give me a quick trim (a bear’s gotta look his best you know!), thanks Angel! I was also able to takl him into giving Gary a shave, (he was starting to look a bit un-bearable) and badly needed to be cleaned up a bit. Angel did an excellent job, a true professional, he made even Gary look presentable.
After a rest-break in Saligman we continue on our way down the road through some beautiful scenery until
our next rest break in Hackberry. Here we stop for a break, and enjoy looking around another historic gas station and general store along the route.
This place has the best men’s room on the entire trip and is not to be missed. Covered with pin-ups of beautiful women mostly scantily clad or not wearing anything at all, true Americana.
The station in interesting enough, but the exterior is also just as appealing with it’s 1956 Corvette, loving restored, and other classic cars strewn about in various states of disrepair and decay. After we’re rested and watered up, we get back on the road.
We continue on into Kingman, where we stop at the local Harley-Davidson dealership for our final visit to a dealership. This our last opportunity to buy whatever Harley merchandise we want for the tour. Afterwards we gas up and go, heading off into the desert toward our next stop, Oatman. A true relic of the old west, Oatman was a former gold and silver mining town of the old west, even though the gold is still there it isn’t profitable to mine anymore. Now the town survives on it’s reputation and history alone. A tourist town which has kept alive the feel f the old west.
One of the many reasons it’s still around is because of it’s non-human residents, the wild burros which freely roam the town streets. These animals anr the decendants of the miner’s best friend and work animal. Once the mines stopped operating the miners just set thier burros free to roam the mountains. Just be careful, they do bite and kick though! They will also follow you around town looking for handouts from the tourists, and many of the local shops sell bags of carrots so you can feed them.
Another place of note is the Oatman hotel, or as we have come to call it, “The Million Dollar” hotel. Not because of it’s ammenities, but more because of its interior bar and resturaunt, where the walls are covered in dollar bills with peoples’ names and home countries stapled to every available surface. If you’re ever in town, just ask the bartender for the marker and staple gun and put a bill up yourself! After we stop for lunch we continue on to our hotel/casino, the Flamingo in Laughlin, Nevada. Only about 40 miles away it’s just across the Colorado river. Once we arrive we unload the bags and go into the hotel/casino to relax, and loose some money! After dinner in the hotel buffet it’s off to our rooms for some rest because tomorrow we ride through the extremely hot Mojave desert!