The week just before the Covid-19 shut down the country and mandatory mask were put into place, my good friend Todd Blublaugh hit me with some news. Our pal Brendan, or Snake Dumpster as he’s more commonly known as was getting hitched. You see, Snake decided to go ahead and propose to his partner in crime Emily, and of course she said yes. I mean who could resist a guy with the dirtiest white jeans you’ve ever seen and equally dirty yellow Choppers Magazine hat.
With every wedding comes something almost as important as the wedding itself… The Bachelor party. If you ride any sort of a chopper, the bachelor party usually consist of getting your best bro’s together scrounging up some extra fuel containers and hitting the road. Snakes bachelor party was going to be just that. The plan was simple, meet at Snakes house in Joshua Tree and chopper on out to Nipton, CA. Yes, you read that right… Nipton, CA. Trust me, we all had fun with this one, wondering what the fuck we were gonna to do in Nipton. Boy where we wrong.
Almost everybody rolled out to Snakes house the Friday before we departed. I chose to ride up early Saturday morning. Not sure if that was the best decision or the worst. When I arrived in Pioneer town Saturday morning, I saw the remanence of what must have been a fucking wild night of pre-partying. The boys were moving a little slower than usual and partaking in the ol’ hair of the dog routine. After a few cups of coffee and beers we all strapped down our gear and hit the road.
Todd and Snake led the group through the Mojave Desert on two-lane roads from Pioneer Town to Nipton. The air still had a bit of a chill in it, and the cumulus clouds filled the sky. We really could not have picked a better day to be on two wheels. Along with a few quick stops for repairs and at a closed bar called “the Palms” we made our first real stop in Amboy, CA. If you don’t know, Amboy is a tiny town that became a popular stop when the original Route 66 opened up. We gassed up at Roy’s Motel and Café and enjoyed some hard-core ice cream sandwiches and a few tall boys. It was here I learned about “Rocket Man”. Apparently, “Mad” Mike Hughes wanted to prove the earth was flat, so he built himself a homemade rocket and launched from Amboy. Unfortunately, his parachute didn’t open on the way down and he didn’t make it. Guess we all gotta keep believing the world is not flat for now.
Anyways… from Amboy it was more of the same beautiful Mojave roads to Nipton. Somewhere on the road Snake’s primary belt snapped and another bike went down. Luckily, we had a chase truck that scooped them up got em to Nipton. The rest of us rolled in and went straight to the bar, the only bar in town called the Wistlestop Café. Todd had told us before the trip that this place had the best burgers around, and let me tell ya, he wasn’t lying. The Wistlestop did not disappoint. Super delicious burgers and appetizers paired with some microbrews hit the spot.
As we all settled into a bit of a food coma, we couldn’t help noticing a huge wedding party going on the other side of the campground from us. All the folks we bumped into were super friendly, so we decided to mosey on over and lightly crash the party. We ended up meeting the Bride and Groom and getting their blessing to hang out. And hang out we did. For CJ and Mandy to open up their wedding to a bunch of dirty bikers was very cool. They were even super understanding of our pal @obrono (look him up) commandeering a cherry little Honda 80 three-wheeler and ripping around the party. Oh, he also was also responsible for getting the biggest wedding bonfire going I’ve ever seen.
After a magical night of drinks, bonfires, three-wheelers and painted port-a-potys we turned in for a good nights sleep in an old school house that Todd arranged for us. We all woke up, slammed some coffee with some “mothers milk” courtesy of Napa Dave and headed out in different directions. Some straight back to Los Angeles, some back to Pioneer Town, and some to Vegas. Although we all headed out separately, we all left feeling the same… that times like these are much needed and should be done way more than we do. None of knew that a week later the world would change forever.
Story by Cary Brobeck
Photos by Todd Blubaugh