Thursday, December 9, 2010

So Cal

This may be out of is an update ...

Headed out of San Diego up to Mt. Palomar observatory. What a great ride up that mountain with all it’s tight twist and fabulous views.

Solitude seems to be bringing with it certain sensitivities to the world around me. Without the distraction of another person to interact with, I find myself going through some strange emotions. A mix of excitement, indifference, and trepidation to the idea of long term rides. On a long straight road or at a lunch stop, I may feel vulnerable, lonely and sad; then I am riding up to Palomar in awe of the beauty that surrounds me.

Then I think of the friends and loved ones who would do anything to be on this ride, the boyish look of glee on Terry’s face when I told him about my intention to stay on a continuous ride from Post post Moonshine in November, until the April MS RTE. Feels at times like the guy is really with me in a way, as if he never died, as if he is pulling for me back in Casey as he gets the MS lunch Run set up.  Having Terry routing for this ride makes all the difference.
I never deluded myself into thinking I wouldn’t go through changes on a big ride, and at the same time I have no way of predicting what would happen during five months on a motorcycle. Especially knowing that I don’t really need to be home on any particular date. I feel a lifestyle change coming on and I’m only in the first month. Regardless of lifestyle, life continues, people are born, grow up, get married, retire, and die.

They do these thing weather or not I’m on a ride. Trick is to deal with the most tragic of these life events, an untimely death of a very good friend, while more or less alone on the road…

I am attempting to put these feelings of loss, vulnerability and renewal into a new perspective. It’s just teething pain, or maybe baptism by fire, I can’t quite tell yet. One thing I am sure of, and admitting it comes easy when safely tucked in at Tom’s house in Yuma…
These feelings, if allowed to be felt will pass in their own time. No escape attempts and I’ll be free.

Thanks to the people I encounter along the way, such as the nice lady who came and sat near me in Borrego Springs, CA and after talking a while commented, “you’ll be fine” …changed my whole outlook.
Thanks to the good folks following this trip who encourage further exploration and discovery. You guys are the best!
From Palomar, I turned north into a bit of rain and cold past San Bernardino heading for Barstow, CA where my buddy lives in a fifth wheel with his wife. Working as camp hosts at Owl Canyon campground just outside of Barstow, they enjoy the solitude and beautiful landscapes that is hard to find these days.
Bill suggested I not ride in due to the miles of bad road and picked me up at my motel in Barstow.

They were inspired by this my visit and this ride to explore the Owl Canyon trail for the first time. What a treat to walk with them and see the formations which continue to change to this day. Interesting that they both chose to give up contact with all family members and live in some of the most remote parts of the country depending on the season.
From Barstow I rode to Joshua Tree, which has been on the to-do list for many years. I was not disappointed, and only five dollars entrance fee for motorcycles. So after talking to a woman about the San Andreas Fault I discovered she wasn’t comfortable with my comment that “we can watch the earth move from here”  She nervously replied “…don’t talk about the earth moving“. Turns out she experienced a few earthquakes and is on a hair trigger for the big one. … And I thought I had worries.

Chilly temps up at the lookout to the San Andreas Fault across the valley got me to thinking I need to get out of the altitude and into the lowlands.

Salton Sea is 150 or so feet below sea level and what a nice warm change in climate.

Tom is making short work of the few planned maintenance items on the WEE.
Countershaft sprocket went back to the stock 15 tooth from the 16T that I tried back at Moonshine. The 16T is giving me less fuel range and mileage.
Changed the oil and filter. Tonight we do tires at Bobs house.
As always, more capped pics here:   [url][/url]


  1. Wonderful pictures. I'm so glad you didn't ride that road to Owl Canyon. I am blown away by the spectacular scenery. It must have been extraordinary to hike in there. And, I love the Mastodons!
    I hope the sad feelings are out-weighed by many happy ones. I know Terry Hammond watches over you as you now take this journey to keep your promise to him. I am with you too cheering you on and missing you so much at the same time.
    xoxo Georgette

  2. Keep going Buddy!!! It looks like your having a great time meeting all of the people you are!!! MErry Christmas!!!! Safe Travels!!!!