Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mesa, AZ

I'm in Mesa, AZ, again.  The trip across the desert from LA was nicer than expected.  The weather was fair and the traffic was light, so the ride was fast and comfortable.  I'll be here till after Thanksgiving.  I still plan to fly to Seattle to get the van, but the Autohome has been delayed again.  Now they are hoping for "just before Christmas."  I'm arranging to have it shipped to Mesa instead of Medford, OR, since I plan to be here for Christmas.  More later.

A couple pictures from the road.

A shoe fence?  This was the town of Rice, California.  Not much of a town, one burned down gas station and a shoe fence....
From California part 2

From California part 2


And the city limits of Hope, Arizona.  Funny despite the spelling error.
From California part 2

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

California, part 2.

Finally photographed a sunset.
From California part 2


I'm in Joshua Tree tonight. Not able to do any site-seeing, just warming up. The ride here has been slow but enjoyable. I got to see many friends in my old neighborhood (Sanoma County), and spend a great time with my sister in San Francisco.
Hurst Castle is just a little bigger than my sister's apartment.  (Ha!)
From California part 2


From there, I headed south along the coast, stopping for lunch at the famous norhtern California motorcycle meeting spot, Alice's Resturant (famous for from a song "You can get any thing you want at Alice's Restaurant"). The souther California version is called The Rock Store and I got to go there too, with my buddy Scot.
My camp site, just off the coast.
From California part 2

The same spot after sunrise.
From California part 2

Once I get the tent on top of the van, this will be my campsite.
From California part 2


Scot provided secure motorcycle parking.  Sit. Stay!
From California part 2

The Rock Store.
From California part 2

Scot tearing up the road...
From California part 2

Highway 18, the Rim of the World Highway.
From California part 2


I'm on my way to Mesa, AZ, where I'll be for the last half of November. What? It's already the 16th? I better hustle!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Brookings to San Francisco

The Dream.


I awoke, lying in my sleeping bag, on my camping mattress, on the floor of some convenience store, which was closed for the night. I was looking up at the shelves full of candy, seeing a lone street light shining through the windows. A small earthquake was occurring, causing me to be the human air-hockey puck, skittering back and forth between the shelves. "A dangerous place," I thought to myself. I don't want to be lying on the floor if one of these shelves falls during this tremor. I was just about to stand up...

Then I awoke again. This time I was lying in my sleeping bag, on my camping mattress in my tent. I was looking up through the ceiling-window at the tall trees, the nearly full moon right in the corner of the window. And since I was camped on a slight angle, I was skittering along the floor of my tent like an air hockey puck. Confusion followed. The trees remained standing. I resumed sleeping after a few moments and a chuckle at the tricks my mine played.

Tall trees in Oregon.
From Brookings to San Fran

Most photographed outhouse?
From Brookings to San Fran

From Brookings to San Fran

Fish tank building?
From Brookings to San Fran


A Moment of Zen.

In Gig Harbor, I did my first-ever valve adjustment on a desmodromic engine. Desmodromic means the valves are both open and closed mechanically, as opposed to the more traditional method of opened mechanically and closed with a spring. I had been intimidated by the process until I saw it in the raw steel.. Then I was struck by the mechanical beauty and simplicity of the system.
From Brookings to San Fran

Back to the point: Cruising down a road in northern California, thinking about the valve process occurring beneath me, feeling and hearing the purr of the motor, the gentle curves of the road: the moment was perfect. I wanted to take a picture, to capture the light and the sound and the feeling of the machine... but the nature of the moment would have been spoiled just by stopping. And capturing the feeling of a machine is beyond my skills as a photographer.

It was like this only better....
From Brookings to San Fran

The same thing happened in Arizona, a few weeks ago. That time I did stop, it was a sunrise on a smooth gravel road on the way to Prescott for breakfast. The picture almost brings it back for me. I can't imagine it does so much for you.

This is not Arizona.
From Brookings to San Fran

Moments like those are what Pirsig must have been talking about in his book , Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I've read that book twice but finally understand at least that part of it. It was a moment of bliss between me and the machine and the road.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mapped.

I'm in San Francisco visiting my sister for the next few days.  I will post some pictures from my route through the mountains soon but for now, here is the route mapped out.
View Larger Map

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday morning

I've been in Brookings, Oregon, for the past two nights, waiting for the rain to stop.  It has and I'll be taking off this morning.  If you are following on the map, my planned route will take me away from the coast and through the following towns:  Hiouchi, Happy Camp, Somes Bar, Willow Creek, Hay Fork, and Garberville.  I think it will take me two days to get to Garberville, which is probably where I'll be able to log on again.