August 17, 2010

The days have flown by…

I have ridden through Wyoming. I love Wyoming.

I found myself in tears so many times…. the beauty of it all, the colors, the shades, the textures, the mountains, the fields. Even the air is different… the energy from the earth too. I took hundreds of photos trying to capture what I was seeing and not too many really tell the story.

I could be here. I could be here and make horses, you know, clay horses, stone horses. It reminded me of New Mexico, the vastness, the infinite skies, the striated, craggy, red rocks.

The earth split and gave birth to all these mountains. The earth shows her bones. Her ribs. Then a blanket of soft sand was pulled over her wounds and sage grew, mottling the landscape with its pale greens. The grass grew and died golden. The flowers are small but oh so colorful. There are wild horses here. I saw two, too far to take a photo.

I wished for more roads, more places, but then I reached Greybull. I slept in a historic hotel that has been a bank, a brothel, a hotel, abandoned and now revived into an hotel again. I was told there are ghosts in the place, they rattle the door knobs and will turn on the TV and flip the channels. The did not visit me. Or maybe I slept so deeply I did not hear them.

The following day I ended up in Yellowstone. My piloting skills failed me. But I am glad I did end up there against my original plan of not going

The way there, just past Cody, was unbelievably beautiful. Again zillions of photos… Then I hit the gates of Yellowstone Park. It is slow going but not as bad as I was told. Parts of it awesome, a lot of it had burned in forest fires. A lot of it…

I saw two buffaloes. They walk on the road at an impossibly relaxed pace. Looking forward, seemingly uncaring about all of us humans gawking. You could think they are like rock stars taking in the admiration or like zombies on Prozac wondering what happened to their lives. Not sure which one is more accurate.

I finally stopped for food and there I met Norman, a rider from Vancouver. He offered to ride together. I wasn’t completely sold on the idea… I like my solitude. But I went with it. We rode the rest of the day, stopping frequently for photos along the way as we approached the Grand Tetons.

The day ended in Jackson Hole. A ski town, reminiscent of Whistler with all the rich tourist trappings. I would have never stopped here. Norman offered to share a two-bed room. No funny stuff, promised. So I said OK. Once there he invited me for dinner. I had to shower and change and that was a bit strange. Like… be the woman to this man… that was strange too. Sometimes being a woman really sucks, there is always this understanding that you have to be helped and saved and be so grateful and make him smile… Maybe I’m just too skittish.

Wine and dinner… even more strange. Funny. It was enjoyable but somewhere, somehow in my heart I was wishing to be under the moon out somewhere. Yeah, I am a strange beast. “Sauvage” they say in Quebec. Which does not quite translate literally as savage, but more like untamed, reticent, left to one’s natural state.

As soon as something resembles a leash, I buck. I rear. I run.

So this morning I hopped on my bike. Headed south. By myself. Nice. Nothing wrong with the kindness, I am totally grateful for the gifts. really.

I stopped for breakfast and met a group of German bikers who were at the motel in Jackson Hole the night before. 2 of them, Udo and Haberl I had shared a beer with. It was nice to see them again. They look tough. They look cool. They are about 8 of them I think. They are here for two weeks, rented Harleys and are going to Vegas for much fun, no doubt.

Two of the Germans, Udo and Haberl, aren’t they cute?!

We all left together. I headed down 89 South and was SO glad to finally hit some twisties. This is where my bike shines. On the Freeways it is OK but on the narrow twisted back roads it rules. I was noticing how much better of a rider I am now then I was two months ago. I guess by force of practice one gets better. But I guess it’s also because I love it so much.

So I zigged and zagged as fast as I could, pushing it. I am working on this new thing, with my feet on the back pegs, I endeavor to steer only by the weight and force in my feet, keeping the hands as light as possible. It’s getting there.

Now I sit at a Starbucks in Salt Lake City. Been here for a good hour plus. Emails, blog, photos…

I will camp tonight. Under the moon if I can help it. My general direction is LA. By way of Moab.. I will spend some time there. It looks like I’ll play a show in Altadena.. and I need to tend to the bike : front tire, tune up… I feel the summer winding down. This morning it was really cold around Jackson Hole. I had my left hand on the engine, trying to warm up. A familiar winter move. Along with the thought of layers and big gloves.

With this change of seasons I’ve been pondering the decisions that loom over my head with the coming of fall and winter. This total freedom… Where will I be, What will I do?

Life goes so fast. The question is : What do I want to do? Because the rest of it, the considerations, the games, the rules, the shoulds and woulds they are all but an illusion. Because reality is what you make of it. Because all can be changed in the blink of an eye. Because I could die the minute I step out of this cozy place. So what would I do to fill my heart with contentment?

This road has morphed me, saved me, opened me. It had challenged me to go towards life completely open, vulnerable at times but it has also forged me like the steel of my engine and showed me that nothing but me can stop me.


5 Responses to “Wyoming”

  1. David Walker Says:

    We are back from our drive to LA and back, friends and family visiting.

    Yes Wyoming! Wide open spaces, distances for ever. Yellow Stone is amazing and bison are mountains of animals. One early morning drive in the park we came upon one standing in a meadow and the morning sun caused the steam to rise from his hulking body and it was backlit golden.

    Take care savage one.


  2. christopher percy Says:

    WOW, what a pick me up reading your blog. I’m not down I’m doing great but it’s always even better after reading your words. I hope your saving all of these blogs cause you’ve got a book here. Danielle in search of herself and finds all. Or, Discovering Danielle. Whatever, I love it. It will be hot again when you hit the flats west of Salt lake City. take care. C

  3. Erika Says:

    This road has morphed me, saved me, opened me. It had challenged me to go towards life completely open, vulnerable at times but it has also forged me like the steel of my engine

    I like this very much, so beautiful Danielle


  4. Norman Barreca Says:

    Hey Danielle, awesome pics & blog!! Great writing! Seem to have misplaced your email & tel #, had wanted to see you perform in LA. Perhaps you could send to me again along with the contact info for Udo & his friends. Thx, stay safe & keep writing your magic! Norman

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