Laughlin & Death Valley or Not Ride

 Deryle Mehrten

     It’s been a few years since SEAT was a player in the Death Valley Daze rides that went on for some 14 years.  Our own Mick McKinnon and the late Rob Lentini were instrumental in making DVD one of the best winter rides of the year.  Time, and some interesting developments when the Adventure Riders joined in, brought an end to DVD.

     As plans were being made for the Laughlin & Death Valley or Not ride an email came in that spoke to a possibility that the Death Valley Daze non-event just might have a comeback.  Based on that, the first weekend of January rather than the third or last weekend was chosen to do a Laughlin overnighter.  Sad to say, DVD did not happen and the Colorado Belle ain’t what she used to be either.

     The Brewery is still in production and churning out some great beer, too bad Thursday isn’t cheap beer night any more.  Three mugs were over $12, no telling how much the pictures were.  The complimentary wine at the Captain’s Buffet has been gone for over a year our server told us. 

     Even so, the weather was great, the Belle still an excellent bargain for rooms on a week day, and hanging out with fellow BMW Motorcycle riders  Marina and John...priceless.  Rooms were $20 the night we were there, they were $10 the following week.  For an “on-the-way” stop, Laughlin is a great deal.

     On the way over to Laughlin, we stopped and checked out the Island Inn in Lake Havasu that is on the west side of the London Bridge.  Lake Havasu has really grown...a lot.  We lost count of the red lights somewhere around 19.  More about the London Bridge Crossing later in this issue.

     Wanda and I were just getting to the front of the line at the check in counter when we spotted Marina Ackerson and John Aubin coming into the Casino.  Such timing!  Marina and John have rented a place in Apache Junction for the winter and couldn’t pass up a ride over to the Colorado Belle for a cold one.  At dinner that night in the Captain’s Buffet we caught up on where we’d been and where they’d been, and who was going where and when.  Good stuff.

      Friday morning was a bit crisp, easily cured by turning the Gerbing jacket liners to bake, we were cozy warm  by the time we crossed into Arizona. .  Electrics...don’t leave home without them.

     Rather than just race home, we took a side tour through the mining town of Bagdad at the end of Highway 96.  It’s been maybe 8 years since we stopped in Bagdad and boy were we surprised.  The mine is running and the town is bustling.  We enjoyed a nice lunch at the new diner with a group of local folks. 

     All the roads off of Highway 93 were clear and dry even though there was a nice blanket of snow all through the foothills.  Evidence of the strong storm that came through earlier in the week.  Kodak moments were around every bend.

     Just because we can, we decided on an overnight stay in Wickenburg Friday night, that would make the last day’s ride an easy one.  Saturday we came down Vulture Mine Road and took Old Highway 80 into Gila Bend.  The ride through the Tohono O’Odham Indian Reservation is a scenic and easy ride.  We were home before 3 pm.

     Great ride and great company.  Check out the details on the other Discover Arizona Rides.  Come join us!


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