June 20, 2010

Big Bear,

I woke up, I had slept well, then the luxury of a shower, oatmeal and it was time to head out.

The parking lot is thick loose gravel and uneven ground. I wasn’t sure how to get out of there. I elected to walk the bike out.

That worked until the ground started to go up and the bike sideways grinding it’s tires in the loose gravel. I got the whole weight of the machine on my right thigh as I struggle to straighten it out to a vertical position.

My arms are screaming at me that they were not meant to lift 450 lbs motorcycles, my mind screams that I will not drop this bike…

the mind won.

My heart is pounding as if I had just done a hypoxic interval. (full out short sprints done without breathing type of work outs) I sit on the bike and I can’t even straighten it out… I finally do and carefully set out. Well I guess carefully is not quite right as when I pull into the Starbucks parking lot and get off the bike I realized that I rolled down here with the saddle bags wide open… An accident prone day it looks like…


Coffee is what I need. I order my drink, they don’t really understand, a girl drops a cup behind the counter, then another. I am afraid my clumsiness is spreading around.

I carefully walked to a table with my caffeinated drink, pulled out the notebook and checked out Google maps. I still had not gotten a sense of where I really wanted to go.

My heart was still lingering over San Diego that I was going to visit on this journey and which I had bypassed.

I talked to a rider about roads, take the 18 north out, then Harrod road then the 40 East. Hmmm… OK, maybe…

I gathered my stuff and walked out. As I was packing the bike, this dude on a Suzuki V Strom 1100 pulls up. He says to me : I have the same bike at home! I said : no way! and we started chatting, looking at maps and just having a grand old time. “You want to eat?” Sure I thought, on an accident prone day it’s always better to go slow and since I was a bit gun shy about hitting the desert this delay was fine by me and the stranger was nice and had a great smile.

the newly met stranger and his Suzuki V Strom

We headed into town looking for a place to eat and we were stopped by a motorcycle police escort to a large quantity of Harleys, modified machines, hogs and all types of loudly piped motorized vehicles. Something has to be up or this is the worst place in America to sleep in. The blast of those machines bouncing all over the buildings, the hills and the eardrums. Tough looking guys and their tough looking girlfriends behind them, leather, tattoos, fancy paint jobs, chrome, hair in the wind, they were everywhere.

We had lunch, a good time and we decided to go see what this was all about. The waitress said there was a big event up the hill so we went to see.

hogs, harleys, choppers, paint jobs, gnarly dudes and attitudes

We stood out like graphic designers using PCs in a sea of Mac users. But it was fun.

more of the machines

Yours truly sticking out with pride

There was a gathering, bands kiosks and things but we did not go in. The fact was that the day was slowly drifting by and no mileage was covered.

Option number one was for me to follow the northern route and he was going south. But somehow that did not feel right. On this trip I have stuck to what felt right and so San Diego came back to mind and I said, well I could go down to San Diego… Deal!

We set out on the 38 through the mountains there, a beautiful ride. This was a first for me. I have always been riding solo, and this was the first time I went out with a riding partner.

We got caught behind two slow riders and the pace slowed down quite a bit. At the bottom of the mountain was pull out area and right there was a river. We stopped.

the river, the sun

Oh the sun, the heat, the sound of the water rushing down through the rocks. Life happens in those moments. There was a teepee someone had build with love, there was an altar like construction with stones and dried flowers inside, it looked beautiful, brave and sad at the same time sitting in the middle of this small river.

A teepee

blasted by the winds and burned by the sun the teepee by the river

Catching the spirit

Oh the heat, the sun and the sound of water, the half moon is in the middle of the sky blue, she’s always watching over me. My northern, rain forest bones are finally shedding the last of the dampness and clouds feeling the touch of the sun and the heat. Life and death and the water rushes.

back on the road

When we got back on the bikes it was around 5:30, we shared the road for a little longer and we parted ways when the 215 appeared. I felt a twinge of regret as my beautiful stranger was sweet and funny but so rules the dictate of the road the and gift of the moment.

I took the exit, the ramp shot out in the sky in a perfect white arch against the blue of the sky I curled into a perfect curve accelerating, exhilarating, got over the arch shifted into fifth leaned forward on my rocket machine, it’s all so perfect.

I am blasting down liberated momentarily. As I merged into the left lane I perceived a movement, I looked and there was this grey Toyota with 4 or 5 little girls with their faces plastered in the windows smiling & waving at me excitedly, I waved back, grinning from ear to ear, then gave them a heart felt peace sign and continued my forward trajectory into this journey of discovery and adventure hovering around 100 miles an hour gliding into the future.


5 Responses to “”

  1. chris Says:

    Awesome Danielle. I have done some 100 mph + this weekend too. just up to Whistler for breaky. I am very much enjoy reading your travels. Continued safe journeys. Ride like the wind. C

  2. Myrna Jacobs Says:

    I am enjoying your blog so much.

    If and when you get to Michigan, up north, you can visit us and we will feed you and make you sing for it.

    We are in Bellaire, Michigan.. a tiny town near Traverse City, MI.

  3. Erika Says:

    So glad you are feeling that you are going forward into the future….thanks for your email too!

    Don’t know where I am going but I know it is somewhere. I’m willing to let the welding go, I have thrown it up asking the question, is this what I am to do at this time?

    Still waiting to hear about whether I am in POW, shades of last year tinge my mind.
    Looking up and and out to land and water I know there is a path for me….

    hugs, exoxo

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