October 6-9, 2023
Ride Chair: Victor Castaneda, Jr. (El Presidente)
WriteUp by: ElChinoloco and Contributors
It was the last over-night ride for the GoAZ 2023 Ride Series. The ride brought a lot of familiar faces and a bunch of new ones !! Always nice to see Big John from GoAZ Scottsdale and his lovely wife. Thanks to all for making it a GREAT trip !!. Before re-capping the trip it was also a special occasion as it was the last trip for El Presidente, Victor Casteneda,Jr. as President of the AZRatPack. We thank him for all he has done for the RatPack and making it certainly one of the most recognized motorcycle clubs in Arizona.
As always Victor planned out an entertaining route taking up through Wickenburg, Yarnell Hill, Skull Valley up to I-40 and then onto Rte 66. The temps were excellent and the riding was fun. The lunch stop for today was Seligman, AZ always a favorite Rte 66 stop. Riders stopped at the famous Snow Cap for some fun Dead Chicken (on their sign) and Westside Lilos (lotta food) to get a food coma. After a nice break it was onto Hackberry for some souvenir shopping and end the day at the Ramada hotel in Kingman, AZ.. Some went to take their pics at the Route 66 Arch just a little way further into town.
The Ramada hotel had a Rte 66 theme and was a nice stop for the night. The group met at the hotel restaurant and had a dinner celebration for El Presidente…
It was an early start the next day to Topock, AZ for breakfast. The route took us threw Oatman, for the first time early in the morning. It was a different contrast to the normally busy town full of tourist and of course mostly Donkeys. The road to Oatman, always entertaining started on ShinaRump Rd., then onto the twisty section over the mountain before town. The group rolled threw town, nothing to stop and see so early in the morning toward Topock. Topock while part of Rte66 is also a popular boating venue for the Colorado River and Lake Havasu. Topock was our breakfast stop, always a silly quirky place. Interesting to see they put a hotel up there. Guess you can continue to get the rte 66 experience, trains passing your room day and night.
From there it was west along I-40 (old rte66 parallels large sections of I-40 and then toward Amboy. Gas a was shocking 8.80$ a gal. How much of that do you need . Lunch was in Barstow. And then a run towards the mountains above San Bernardino. The road was beautiful and amazingly quiet for a SoCal weekend. Some of us were spread out by this time. On mini rides. The last jaunt was I-15 in San Bernardino where we would find our bed for the night at the Wigwam hotel.
The Wigwam hotel is one of the remaining 3 Wigwam hotels in the USA, one in HolBrook, AZ, one in Kentucky and our stop for today. At one time there were 9 WigWams throughout the country.
The property was amazing well kept and comfortable. They had a great variety of souvenirs in their hotel office.
After a long day in the seat many were tired and folks ordered fried chicken and pizza delivered to the pool area the Wigwam. Everyone pitched in and had some Fried Cheeeeeckin, it’s my favorite. It was a good time, additionally, Les Gullery and Candice Hartley from the Southern California Motorcycle Association joined us for a fun visit. Some tried the pool, Brrrr, the rest didn’t LOL. Candace brought YoYos and it turned into a poolside YoYo fest…
It was an early start home, most dreading riding I-10 home, while others headed towards Lake Arrowhead and went home though Twenty Nine Palms to Parker and the hwy 60 back to AZ. For the riders on the 10, the dreaded I-10 it was amazingly quiet and moving fast, right into the sun in your eyes (LOL). Going over Churiaco pass, CA (where?, I-10 outta Coachella, CA, the Patton Tank Museum, the place with god awfully expensive gas , only gas before Blythe, get it now) had opened their cafe, which serves nice food and break from the road. Now, having ha breakfast and the sun outta our eyes we proceeded home. It seem to pass quickly… A nice end to the Route 66 Tour.
Thanks again to Victor, El Presidente, It won’t be the same without El Presidente out front leading the group. Please come out and hangout with us when ya can !!
PS If you have more pics from this event send them to ElChinoLoco and we will add them, pic link at the end.
We hope to see you at future AZRatPack Events !
Nov 9 AZRatPack Bagdad Ride
Nov 18 Monthly Club Breakfast
Rider Comments —————————————————————
Mike P. AZRatPack
Not long after starting our day and heading North through Chino Valley, a bee flew inside Sebastian’s helmet, forcing him to abruptly pull over. Instinctually, I too pulled over, however, I was quickly reminded that an 800 lb Harley does not stop as easily as a 500 lb ADV or sport bike. A patch of gravel added to the excitement, taking away any semblance of control that resulted in a long skid that ended with being tossed onto the sidewalk. Thankfully, the engine crash bars protected both rider and machine and I was left only with the pain of embarrassment. This got me reflecting upon how, for those of us who own multiple bikes, go back and forth with our favorite ride-of-the-moment without considering the differences in handling and performance. I pondered this up to Interstate 40 where we picked up the “Mother Road,” Route 66. Many books claim Route 66 to be dead with only scant remains left, but you wouldn’t believe that riding the route in Arizona, which still has more than 200 miles available for nostalgic cruising.
By the time we reached Seligman, the Snow Cap was bustling with other Ratpackers, tourists, and a full parking lot, so we continued down the road a couple of blocks to Westside Lilo’s Café. The restaurant’s namesake, Lilo, was born in Germany which explains the schnitzel options on the menu. A couple members of the group ordered it, and as good as it looked, I abstained as I didn’t want to fall into a food coma for the rest of the afternoon. This intention proved futile though, when upon returning from the restroom, discovered two orders of Lilo’s famous giant carrot cake sitting on the table. Each slice is more than enough for four people and is so good, you will continue to eat it until it is gone. We ended the day in Kingman, a town typically used as a gas stop on the way to Vegas, but we spent the night and had dinner at the hotel. Victor was presented with departing words and novelty gifts by DG and the gang. We ended the night somewhat early as we had a long day ahead through Oatman and onto our final destination of the Wigwam motel in San Bernardino.
Well it’s time to eighty-six the 66 for a while, at least this year. The 2023 Route 66 ride was a westerly adventure. The first day covering the old road from Ashfork, Seligman, to Kingman. The group stopped at a couple locations in Seligman for lunch (and all this author can remember is some kickass PIE). We couldn’t have asked for better weather and everyone made it to Kingman with plenty of time to relax, poolside and bar side, or maybe it was bar side and then poolside . Dinner was memorable as we said adieu to El Presidente, Victor, thanking him for his time and leadership of the club, and do I dare say showering him with gifts.
The second day took us to Topock for a breakfast start where some of us encountered an interesting version of pepper on our eggs, the kind with wings, and I’ll leave it at that. Following breakfast was a scamper west on I40 with a short detour south of the interstate to catch a small section of the old route that wasn’t blocked by road closures. Here some of the group encountered some very interesting gas prices, let’s just say a little on the high end. From there we hit or missed Barstow, hit or missed lunch, but eventually reconvened as a group at the Tee Pees (WigWam) of San Bernardino. And if not mistaken I think most of us were genuinely impressed with the quality of this old iconic establishment. The Tee Pees and grounds around them were very clean, maintained, and provided for a pleasant evening around the pool. Dinner was a bit on the so so side, pizza and fried chicken poolside, but good conversation and libations. Next time I will remember though to bring the Dark Chocolate dessert
Tony L. AZRATPack
This was my first ride with the Arizona Rat Pack, and I had been wanting to ride part of RT66 for a long time, so I was excited to get rolling. We met at Scottsdale GoAz for our riders’ meeting and any last-minute needs. As most group rides go, getting out of town caused the group to split into several smaller groups which was perfect. It is much safer to “go with the flow” and regroup later once out of town, than push it just to catch up. Once on the 101 North, we headed to Wickenburg (via 17 to 74 to 60) with perfect October morning temperatures and low traffic volume. Once we passed Wickenburg, we took the Congress turn off and continued up 89 to Yarnell Hill (always a blast). We then went through Skull Valley and eventually hooked back up to 89 for our first gas stop in Paulden, then on to RT66.
Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-In was the perfect place for lunch and to regroup before continuing the RT66 experience. We rode the route all the way to the Hackberry General Store where we took a break and had a cold drink. The store is a neat old place with good root beer. I also enjoyed the Burma Shave signs as they really added to the RT66 feel. We made our way to our final stop of the day in Kingman, AZ. A classic RT66 town.
Gassed up, we left Kingman at 7am and enjoyed the twisties on the way to Oatman and then had a breakfast stop in Topock. Due to severe damage from hurricane Hilary, we had to take the 40 West to the Kelbaker Rd. and cruised down to Amboy, CA with a stop at Roy’s for gas and a cold drink. On the road again we passed through areas with names like Bagdad, Siberia, and Ludlow. Back on the 40 for a quick run into Barstow and a stop at DiNapoli’s Firehouse for lunch, but I let the group know I would be continuing on my own since I was still full from breakfast. The ability to join and leave the group as I wish was one of the best things about the Arizona Rat Pack trip.
I headed past the RT66 monument and then south out of Barstow. The route took me through Lucerne Valley and Hesperia out to the 15. Off the 15 at exit 131 was when the riding heated up and the temperatures dropped as I headed up and over the San Bernardino mountains eventually dropping into town. I stayed at the Wigwam Hotel for the end of day 2 with the rest of the group. If you have never ridden the San Bernardino mountains, I highly recommend it. We regrouped poolside at the Wigwam Hotel, and after such a long warm day it felt great to have a cold drink and a slice of pizza while hearing everyone’s stories from the past 2 days. The next morning, everyone took their own routes home. I really enjoyed this experience with the Arizona Rat Pack and would highly recommend attending one of their group rides.