The day has finally arrived, the start of my journey across the Southwest. Destination–Taos, NM for the Triumphs in Taos event. My friends saw me off last night with dinner and drinks at Moxy’s in Berkeley, then spent the rest of the evening with Jac. Two weeks doesn’t seem to long, but damn–I miss her already. I hardly slept last night, I had butterflies about the trip, lots of “what-if”s going on. Then finally 5:00 am rolled around and I was up and packing the bike. I was so wired, I had to take a photo of myself in this tired, nervous energy state.
At 7 am I was getting ready to say goodbye to Jac (not easy), and roll out the driveway.
I rode off and hit the highway. I couldn’t believe I was actually doing this, something I’ve wanted to do for so long but just didn’t for whatever reason. I still had butterflies as I rolled on, my mind racing with thoughts about the route I chose, the weather, the hours everyday on the bike, and then….I noticed how beautiful the sunrise made the sky a pinkish yellow and the fog from the bay was just passing by the horizon. Pretty soon my nerves started to calm and I settled in the saddle, and relaxed.
It was a long haul, destination 1 being Barstow, CA. One doesn’t usually think of Barstow as a destination, but it’s a good place to rest for the night. My friend Neil from L.A. wanted to join me for my last 200 miles so he met me halfway and we continued on together for the last half.
Me and Gypsy, cruising along
Parting shot with Neil
The last stretch through the Mojave desert just about killed me. I knew it would be hot, but wow. I thought I may not be able to continue for a minute there. It felt like trying to breath in a 500 degree oven. Nothing around for miles but hot desert and I wondered how long anyone could last if they broke down out there. Then we found a rest stop and re-soaked our cooling vests that Neil brought along. Without that I think I would’ve melted into the pavement. We soaked ourselves and then continued on for the last 45 miles. We pulled into the hotel and within minutes we had our suits on and jumped in the pool. It was heaven. COLD water! After our swim we had dinner and then Neil took off for home. 404 miles today and looking forward to tomorrow’s destination–Sedona! Here are a few parting photos of Barstow. Really there’s not much here so…..
Ginormous fly–dead from the heat no doubt.
It’s hot out there! Stay tuned for Sedona on Day 2!