Flagstaff - Ash Fork
It's all downhill from here! Since Flagstaff was the last destination situated on an altitude of over 2000m it was kind of a major milestone on our route and we looked back with a smiling but at the same time sad face as we left it to head towards Ash Fork.
Smiling since we accomplished so much - from the miles we rode over the 5499km Wings For Life Project - that already raised more money then we expected. Sad since we can now see the end of our big adventure coming closer and closer.
The ride to Ash Fork was amazing. Once again the landscape of Arizona amazes us. Delicious smelling Pine Trees, wonderful sight and a smooth highway made the km just flying by. (the difference in altitude might also have helped). The only experience that clouded this daytrip was Lukas's rear tire. He also installed the heavy duty tube (which lasted 30km on Berni's bike) to minimize the risk of a punctuated tire. They kind of worked because it was not a punctuation that led to a flat tire. It was the simple manoveur of getting to a halt which resulted in a loud "pfffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff" and a flat rear tire. Turns out, Lukas's tube seems to have the same weak spot then mine had - the connection from the tube to the valve.
After exchanging the American tube with the European one we were once again on the road to Ash Fork.
Ash Fork itself is a perfect example on how the interstate system influenced the towns situated along Route 66 - it's close to a ghost town. In a restaurant we could see pictures of the golden times - with an impressive motel complex (The Escalante), a lot of shops at the main street and a lot of visitors. Comparing it to the modern times Ash Fork it's just sad. Hollywood even picked the town as an apocalyptic set for the movie Universal Soldier - and actually blew up buildings for it - i think that says everything about Ash Fork - sadly.
Nevertheless there was also some hidden germs there. For example the amazing breakfast place where we carbed up for the day or the original R66 motel which was a little bit dated but nicely maintained. We also had the chance to see the most American car so far - The Eagle Mobile. Just incredible!
B & L
PS.: Don't forget, we are supporting Wings For Life with our adventure. Every € or $ you donate is going directly into spinal cord injury research. Please donate here! Thank you!