warmth. freedom.

What a busy week it has been..

 

I had some good, local riding this weekend, starting out in Columbus, setting out to support some friends and watch them complete a Polar Plunge (frozen lake, jumping in) for a charity event.  I took the long way to them.  Rode roughly 400 miles on Saturday and never left Ohio.

grandest of canyons

Some things are so large the human brain cannot fathom their existence.  The Grand Canyon is no exception.  It is so massive, it looks fake.  Almost as if you are looking at a painting against the earth. Some sort of optical illusion…  No wonder when Clark Griswold arrived he immediately left again.

Very few things can make you feel so small yet so at peace.

We met a guy today from Germany, again mesmerized by our bikes.  He is also a BMW rider in Europe.  We chatted with him for a bit and he took our picture for his records.

Sometimes it pays to take the road less traveled.  We looked at the map and decided to take the ‘long way’ out to our hotel.  The views we saw by going over an hour out of our way were absolutely amazing.  Miles and miles of Canyon viewing without a single tourist in sight.  After riding that way I felt cheated for having paid money at the Grand Canyon National Park.  I felt bad for all of the other travelers who didn’t know what they were missing.  It is truly amazing to be awestruck by God’s creation.

Vegas, baby!

Starting off the morning in Reno, we saw that one of the bikes parked next to ours had been tampered with.  The ignition on the Victory machine had been stripped out as if somebody had attempted to ‘hot-wire’ it.  We looked over our bikes and were relieved to not see any damage done to them.  We set off across the desert for Las Vegas.

I feel incredibly sad for the people who fly into Las Vegas.  The absolute most gorgeous riding in that area is through Death Valley.  Despite such a menacing name, the temperatures weren’t all that bad.  It hovered right around 80 degrees.  Lake Walker and the surrounding desert were mesmerizing.  Absolute motorcycle bliss.

Along the way, I struck up a conversation with a man at a gas station.  He was riding a 2015 Road Glide.  His name was Rick but in the motorcycle club he was in he went by ‘Ricochet’.  Nice guy, from Nashville, belongs to a christian motorcycle club.  They do a lot of fundraising for different charities and help others who are struggling with addiction and help them find God.  We talked to Ricochet for about 45 minutes at the gas station.  He asked if he could tag along with us for the day seeing as how we were all on our way to Vegas.  Just like that, we became three.

As we rolled into Vegas, the scenery stopped, the heat set in and the expenses increased.  I’ll never understand why people take their children to Las Vegas as part of a family vacation….  Especially with knowing what prostitution is (Human Trafficking) and that Las Vegas is the number one area for young boys and girls to be trafficked into the sex trade………

 

Rubber side down.

Reno! 911

The best part about traveling to Reno was seeing Mount Shasta  and riding through Lassen National Forest on the way.  The forest was a great ride.  Twisty roads, little traffic, friendly people.

We met a couple who were traveling in a ‘Slingshot’ (three wheeled vehicle).  They were giving us tips and pointers about where to ride in the area.  We found a small diner in the middle of the desert called J.J.’s.  It looked like an old ghost town.  Wooden walkways leading up to the place, dirt parking lot, nothing but desert all around it.

Great food, extremely busy place.

 

Rubber side down.

a Wedding, turning around, feeling complete

Today’s adventure was all on hot.  103.5 degrees was what my max temp said today.  We left from Vancouver  and the relentless summer heat wore us into oblivion over the course of the day.  We traveled west to the Pacific Coast Highway and drove south from there.  We stopped in little towns, ate some food and took some pictures of our bikes at the Pacific Ocean.  It’s sad, knowing that now we will be making the return trip home.

On top of seeing some amazing views on the P.C.H. we saw a helicopter dumping water on a small wildfire.  I’ve never seen that in real life before.  It was amazing to watch.  I hope they get that thing under control soon.

I feel like all of the miles have sort of helped me work out some things in my brain area.  Probably in my heart too.  I’m excited for another week on the road.

A very good friend of mine used to tell me over and over; “Life doesn’t turn out how you thought it would, but it turns out exactly how it is supposed to.”  I found myself repeating her words over the past day or so to Dave and to myself.  Bringing a sort of comfort to me.  Sometimes when you’re alone in a motorcycle helmet you reflect and replay.  Replay’s tend to be decisions that while looking back, you might have done things differently.  It’s a scary slope, a replay can quickly turn into a regret.  For those of you that truly know me, you would be hard pressed to find another person with the always positive outlook on life.  I don’t regret anything in my life, admittedly I may have done a few things different, mainly how I reacted to certain stimuli imposed upon me by forces I cannot control.  I am not where I envisioned myself in life but I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.  I am enjoying that moment.

 

Two Wheeled Therapy

Rubber side down.

Halftime

Nature never rushes, yet everything gets done.
― Donald L. Hicks

Today we set out on our final leg of the ride.  From Bend, Oregon to Vancouver, Washington.  It is truly hard to believe how many people said that I would most likely never actually ride out this far.  Never underestimate the power of perseverance.

As we set out from Bend, Dave’s bike needed a new rear tire.  We called a local shop and explained to them that we were traveling through the area and that we would take the wheel off the bike for them. HUGE Thank You to Pro Caliber MotorSports in Bend, Oregon.  They got us set up with a new tire and mounted and balanced in about 30 minutes.

From there we rode northwest to Mt. Hood.  On the way there the crosswind was actually strong enough to loosen Dave’s mirror.  With that, we stopped and performed a bit of motorcycle maintenance on the side of the road.

As we came into the Mount Hood area we rode up to Timberline Lodge and enjoyed some of the most breathtaking views a person could ever see.  It felt weird to have such a short day of riding, it was only 160 miles total today.

We got settled into our hotel and grabbed some food and a pint.  Tomorrow is a rest day / wedding.  After that, we get to turn around and travel the southern portion of the country back home.

 

Two Wheeled Therapy

Rubber side down.

There – Photos

Enjoy some of the pictures from our ‘westbound and down’ collection.  These images were taken on the way out…  Gallery number two will be posted in roughly one week.

Landscape Changes

“Often, it’s not about becoming a new person, but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be.”
― Heath Buckmaster

As the landscape around us changes it is hard to deny how truly far we have ridden.  Looking at a map today, seeing ‘home’ as a small speck on a map, truly is a humbling thought.  How insignificant we all really are in the grand scheme of things.  Things that seemed so important, time consuming and otherwise distracting have since faded away.  What a pleasant feeling.

They say that when you go through a hard time in life, you need to find yourself.  Being the person you were meant to be is as simple as eliminating distractions from your world view.  Not once have I ever felt myself change.  I have, on the other hand, felt as though I was getting back to being me.  Remembering my passions, remembering how much I have to offer, realizing my value as a person.

 

 

hi(gh), desert

Left from the Modern Hotel in Boise this morning and jumped on HWY 2o towards Bend, Oregon.  They call it the High Desert.  Once we left civilization we had 130 miles to the nearest town.  No gas stations, no shops, just desert.  It was a great view.  The road cuts through some of the rolling hills of the area.

We came to a construction zone and the flagger talked to us for about 10 minutes while traffic was all stopped.  She recommended a small restaurant in Burns, Oregon.  (The only town in the middle of the 260 mile stretch of road)  We took her advice and found the establishment in town.  From the outside it looked dirty, small, not pleasant.  We went inside and it looked like it was a set from the movie ‘Road House’, except it was a Wednesday afternoon and the only people inside were three older men at the bar.

The waitress recommended the Steak Sandwich…..  Oh. Em. Gee.  It was marinated in whiskey and cooked to order.  The most delicious thing I’ve eaten in months… by far.  We talked with the wait staff for about an hour while we ate.  Discussing everything from Unions to geographic limitations of living in a desert.  The town was located approximately 130 miles in any direction from the next town.

The ride out of town, after we were full, was long, straight, and desolate.  No traffic.  Just us.

 

Two Wheeled Therapy.

Rubber side down.

people persons

As the title suggests, we are social creatures.  Today we made a lot of new friends.  When departing from Cody, WY a man approached us as we were loading our bikes back up.  He was wearing BMW Motorrad suspenders and was roughly 60 years old.  As he walked up to us, we knew he was interested in our bikes.  His first words to us were in a heavy German accent; “Forgive me, I don’t speak English.”  He was here in the states from Germany on vacation with his family.  Joergen, told us about his BMW bikes and how much he loved rifles.  His big conversation was about how he has been on the  Nurburgring on a BMW ‘K’ bike.

Dave knew just enough German that we could have a conversation with him.  Fascinating man.  Once again, bonded by two wheels…  Bliss.

We stopped in for breakfast at the ‘Irma’, which is a bar / hotel that ‘Buffalo Bill’ owned.  There was a film crew filming a documentary about the Irma today.  We sat next to them during breakfast while they continued to film….We are totally going to be in the background of every shot.

After breakfast we started west and hit Yellowstone.  That is a breathtaking place.  No wonder it is so popular.  While we were there we met a very nice couple, Bob and Wendy.  Bob was a Police Chaplin in the Chatham area of Canada and we knew some of the same people.  He told me a story about one of the officers that had been struck and killed on the interstate on a traffic stop.  He was the second person on the scene.  His voice trembled, his eyes welled up as he remembered the details from so many years ago.  Sometimes we take for granted how much people will let us into their lives, even for a brief moment.  I enjoyed the conversation with them, I asked to take their picture to remember them by.  (Their photo is the background of this post)

After Yellowstone, we rocketed across the high plains at what could be described best as ‘Spirited Riding’.  We ended up in Boise, Idaho for the night.  What a cool town.  It is definitely a hipster town.  Who knew?  Really friendly people, unlike most hipster towns where everyone is better than you and they know it.  We made friends with a guy at the hotel bar and talked in depth with him about bourbon and wines.  Learned some neat things.

What an amazing day….  Meeting so many new people and just enjoying everything.

 

Two Wheeled Therapy.

Rubber side down.