#139i Needles, CA

Fleeter Log #139i
Needles, CA

2009 April 30

Day 16 - Thursday
April 30, 2009
231 miles

Flagstaff, Arizona to Needles, California

By the end of the day, this morning's 58 degrees seem like a distant memory.

I get as far as Williams, AZ during the first 10 degree climb in temperature. Williams is an inviting tourist town without too much tacky tourist glitz. I wouldn't mind spending more time exploring what Williams has to offer next time I'm through this way. At least make a lunch stop here, if not an overnight stop. Williams is the terminus for the Grand Canyon Railway (www.TheTrain.com). You can board the Grand Canyon Railway for a scenic round trip ride to the Grand Canyon South Rim. There are also package deals available to include overnight at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel.

Williams embraces the fact that they are located along old Route 66 and you can see evidence of Route 66 lore throughout town.

Since it was a bit early for me to have lunch in Williams, I asked for a recommendation of a place to eat down the road from the guy washing windshields at the Conoco/Union 76 station. Yes, he was actually offering "full service" to cars fueling up. His suggested Lilo's down the road in Seligman, AZ.

Seligman is another town proud to be along old Route 66.

After eating at Westside Lilo's, I saw this group pull in as I swung back into the saddle. I pulled in next to them as I was ready to head west. They were just getting going on their trip eastward from California to Virginia. The Irony was noted since I left Virginia on my way westward. I gave them my email address, but when I finally heard from them. I scanned past the email thinking I'd return to it later when I was back home from the road. Well, I don't know what happened to the email, but I can't find it. So if you are in this photo, please email me again. Really. I would like to hear from you and I will do better if I get another chance.

By the time I reached Kingman AZ, the temperature was warming up to 83 degrees. But that will feel downright cool compared to what I find down the road.

Mural in Kingman, AZ.

This is where the weather takes a sharp turn up the temperature gauge.

Just like riding into a furnace.

By the time I reach Bullhead City, AZ the mercury was pushing up northward of 98 degrees! The stop and go traffic as I made my way through the city stoplights, took a toll on me. I stopped at a Walgreens and bought two bottles of Gatorade and I didn't save them for later. One was gone by the time I made it back to the GS. I took a couple bottles of water and poured the water over myself as I worked on the second Gatorade while standing next to the GS. Since there was no shade in the parking lot, I didn't dally much. I thought it would be cooler if I could just get out of town to an open roadway where I could get some speed up to help cool me down.

By the time I crossed the Colorado River into Needles, California it was 6pm. I couldn't resist taking a side trip down to the river.

Some neighborhood kids were finding some relief from the heat by taking a swim in the river. I was tempted, but didn't want to shock them by stripping down to my base layer for a dip.

So instead of taking a dip in the Colorado River, I take back to the gravel road to find my way to a motel in Needles.

Home for the night will be the Days Inn in Needles, CA. But before settling in for the evening, I decide to let it cool off a bit (a drop to 90 degrees at 7pm) then head out to find a sit down meal at The Wagon Wheel Restaurant on the north edge of town. I also decide to ride back into Arizona for a fuel fill up. Make note: Gasoline is MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE in California! I'll be in California for awhile and will have to pay the higher prices soon enough, but I think I'll put it off for one more tank. So on my way to supper, I slip back into Arizona to contribute to their economy.
Tomorrow: I go in search of Joshua Trees.

Copyright 2009 Fleeter Logs


  1. Grand Canyon Railway and my family loved it while doing some motor crossing challenge there.

  2. Haha, frankly, I think you should have cooled off in the river--give those guys a story they can talk about for a long time.;-)

    To hear that the temps cooled down to 90--whew! That's warm. I really have to experience that degree of desert heat as I still think there is no weather too hot to ride in. I've ridden in some very hot weather in the midwest, but midwest hot, humid may be different enough from AZ to make a real difference. But you got through ...