NomadGal's Year on the Road
Iím sure like many other ventures, mine was off with a rocky start.
At first I had wanted to leave on the 18th of May so that I would make it to Lake diamond for tech day early. Unfortunately I dropped Spirit twice that day just trying to park it. What I didnít realize till much later was that my heavy load made the spring go way down so the kickstand became rather too long. I also didnít know at the time that I could set the shock to a different number.
Worn out and unsure of myself I set of early in the morning on the 19th hoping to make it to Diamond lake in one day. Before hopping on the ferry however I had to mail a package at the post office, where I dropped the bike again! This time to the left because the slant was too much. The mailman there helped me get Spirit back up and after having sent my package I stopped at the coffee shop to say goodbye to a friend. Even though he meant well he made me even less sure of myself by telling me that Spirit was way too big for me and I should wait until I could control her better. Good thing I am stubborn! Once I got to the ferry terminal I started feeling a bit more secure and free, and made it on the ferry easily. I hit another glitch right there and then, couldnít park the bike! There were 3 other bikers there, and two of them tired to put it on the center stand for me, but it wouldnít go. I decided to just stay on the bike until the ferry landed 30 minutes later; the last 10 of them through choppy waters which made my legs turn into rubber. *Finally, land! As I rode off toward Anacortes I started to relax. Riding was no problem, only stopping. *While riding my mirrors started flopping about, turns out I hadnít tightened them enough. On top of that my hands were freezing, the thrift shop gloves were definitely not warm! Grrrr, now I had to stop again. I found another thrift shop in Anacortes with a slanted parking spot, and purchased a 17mm wrench for the mirrors and a pair of leather gloves. As I started of yet again I decided to just let all my anxiety go, it wasnít helping me, and I would just have to deal with whatever came my way.
The ride toward Diamond Lake was gorgeous, but I didnít stop to take pictures cause I hadnít emptied out my memory card of the camera yet. I tried to find my buoyancy about finally being free and on the road, but I could only feel trepidation. The mind is a powerful enemy! At one point I had to gas up, but the gas station didnít have a slope to park, so I couldnít get off. I managed to ride close to the pump and tried to get my card in the slot; not close enough! Luckily a couple on a motorcycle stopped there as well and I explained my predicament. The lady helped me with the payment and then commented that my rear tire was almost flat. Her husband then pumped it up for me, it was at 20 psi somehow. I was grateful for the help, thanked them both and wished them a great trip. Spirit rode much easier after that and I was able to park her easier (still having to look for sloped areas). I felt like a fool, why had I not checked the air pressure in my tires? *So many things I didnít know yet. I continued riding and for the first time I felt less worried and afraid. I now felt that if I really needed help, help would be there. This became apparent shortly after I pulled over to look at the map. I dropped one of my gloves, and there was nowhere to park. I just thought oh well, it wasnít keeping my hands warm anyway. Then out of nowhere a young man on a bicycle turned around rode toward me, picked up the glove and handed it to me. I was almost too speechless to say thank you but I did so profusely. I couldnít believe it, help came when I needed it. I figured out which way to go, I had to because my GPS stopped working, turns out the charger wasnít working so now I had to navigate my way by map. I kept riding until I realized that there was no way I would make it to Diamond Lake. After 8 hours in the saddle I was worn out. I hadnít ridden that long in over a year! Coulee Dam was nearby and it showed a campsite on the map. I found it without too much hassle. Once there I had to circle the place three times before I found a site where I could park easily. I must have looked like an idiot again! I was beyond caring however and finally climbed off the bike. It was almost dark but my tent is easy to put up and the can of soup warmed up quickly.
I was gone into dreamland before my head hit the pillow (in my case the Teddy Bear).
The net morning after having made some oatmeal I set off for Diamond lake. I was proud of myself having gotten Spirit out of the gravely campsite area without dropping her. Diamond Lake wasnít too far away so I should be able to get there by 9:30 AM. Hahaha, I got majorly lost on the freeway and missed the exit North. It took me three more hours of backtracking and getting lost all over again before I finally made it to Diamond Lake. Now I had to find the Tech site. I then noticed a guy on a bike heading my way, it was JetnJim heading out to another town do something. I was utterly frazzled about having gotten lost so many times, so this was not the way I had imagined meeting the guy who made most of this this possible. As I rode up to camp I realized I had a gravel road to go over. My courage dropped into my boots right there and then (I really donít like gravel!), but I decided if I dropped Spirit at least there would be someone nearby to help me get her up.
Meeting everyone there was great! Nice to be able to put a face to the name.
Tech day revealed that I had been riding with a broken doohickey.
SDR, you've made a great start. All this will get easier as you put a few of these days together. You can do it. :clap:clap come to think of it, you probably already know that. Keep it coming.
<table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/O5dCtSTxDPfuf-ujs99p2NMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=embedwebsite">< img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-MBxnIumtY6g/TKEpTNF45UI/AAAAAAAAIYY/zWGkEKdcGOU/s288/IMG_9088.JPG" height="158" width="288" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/105133432232392762779/OddsAndEnds?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite">Odds and ends</a></td></tr></table>
Sunday May 20 to Sunday May 27 2012
Jim and I headed to Lewiston Idaho to stay at his friend Wayneís house.
Wayne has a shop there and Jim was planning to do some work on his bike and to see what needed to be done on mine, like check the valves etc.
Following Jim however seemed like mission impossible, man does that guy race! Wonder if he believes in gravity :P
After a while he was kind enough to slow down to 65 mph in a 55 mile zone and I felt myself breathe a little easier. As we neared Lewiston I heard funny chirping sound coming from my engine and I was getting worried. I mentioned it to Jim and he thought it might be the crankshaft, a problem he had experienced before.
We kept riding and at one point I heard a loud dog barking but there was no dog around, thatís when I really freaked. We made it to Wayneís and I was trying very hard not to get too despondent. Last thing I could afford was a broken engine.
Jim went and ordered a crankshaft for under $100 cause he was sure thatís what it was. Things were looking up until the next morning when we drained the oil and discovered sand like substance and metal flakes in the oil filter. *My heart plummeted again. We basically thought this is it, engine gone. My first thought was this is it, the end of my very short trip. Then Jim surprised me by buying a brand new engine, including carb for $1700 + shipping. It only had 426 miles on it, but it was a gen2, so the electrical hookup was going to be a challenge. My sweet Dad pitched in $1000 and Chris and Shawn (?) offered to donate some to the new engine as well. The next few days were spend waiting for the engine to show up, and doing other maintenance on the bike.
I installed anti-vibration risers, throttle lock, and new mirrors. Worked on swingarm, cleaned and re-greased bearings etc. Then on a spur of the moment decided to paint the swingarm black to hide the welding job that had been done on it where the gauge was. It looked cool black. The throttle cable had a few loose wires in it so Jim gave me his decent old one he had and took the frayed one off.
Also went shopping for some gloves and found summer time set that almost fit my thumbs, but it was close enough. The winter gloves I should not have bought and I ended up giving them away, too short in the thumbs.
Then on Thursday I went Morrell hunting with Wayne Sena and John. It was cold in the mountains, but I found quite a few of them. We ate some that night dipped in breadcrumbs and fried. Yum! First time I had ever eaten those kinds of mushrooms.
On Friday I worked on putting the bike back together, Jim had gotten me handguards and we put them on. Spirit was ready for the new engine, but UPS didnít show. I finally urged Jim to check his email and find out where on route it was. Turns out it got shipped to Pennsylvania! Somehow either Paypal messed up the address change (has happened to me before too, or Jim forgot to change it. Either way, there was no way we could wait for it to get here, so Jim hurried to the Post office to get the cover of my engine back, so we could just try to fix it instead.
Saturday was a long day! We checked the valves and they were very tight, so Jim replaced the shims for flatter ones. Then it turns out that the spring of the camchain tensioner (hope I got that right) was compressed too much so the camchain was loose and probably hitting the inside of the case, hence the noise. Jim stretched it out and put it back in, now there was tension. Then somehow the doohickey torsion spring got all twisted up, and the doohickey barely moved. We got that one on better too. The inside of the engine looked flawless, we couldnít find any metal flakes or sand or anything. Then once the engine was back on the bike (for which I was secretly very glad, because I felt that the engine was the true part of what Spirit was, Jim worked on his bike and I put the rest of Spirit back together again.
We started her up and she sounded better than ever!! Hooray, Spirit lived!
Then Jim took the rear wheel off to flatten the bump in rim, and we got another surprise! The spacer in the rear wheel was missing and the bearings all rolled out when Jim removed it. He had an ingenious idea of cutting down the spacer of the neighborís klr250, and it worked!
On Sunday Jim put on a new front tire, and *replaced my GPS mount with one that wouldnít fall off the bike. I learned to use a plasma cutter and found out that it takes a lot of skill to operate one of those things. I wasnít very good at it, and instead of the flower I had originally wanted to make I ended up with an oval foot on my adjustable kickstand. Spirit was done! I canít really remember my ups and downs during this week, but I tried very hard to take it all in stride and accept what was happening, good and bad.
What a rollercoaster ride life is!
Monday May 28 to Thursday May 31st
We had a late start today, mainly due to me and my slow packing skills. I still hadnít figured out how to pack things efficiently and was still trying to figure out where to put what and how to properly balance the weight.
We got poured on for a short period after leaving Lewiston and got pretty soaked. My hands were freezing the gloves were not waterproof after all. Jim let me use his old ones. At one point the mirror flipped down cause the mount was not tight on the handlebar, and the tank bags flipped off because I had forgotten to snap the bungee on the guard. We got to Boise late and had dinner at a small diner outside of Boise; they had decadent vegetarian food, it was really delicious!
That night we slept in the parking lot at Carlís motorcycle store. It felt weird sleeping in the middle of the town in a parking lot. It was also very noisy and I barely slept that night. The next day we met with a rider who looked like he had hit on hard times, and he was looking for work. I gave him my ďwinterĒ gloves cause they didnít fit me anyway. Then I found some killer winter gloves, bright neon yellow at Carlís shop! They fit perfect so now I was ready for cold weather. At around noon I started riding toward Eureka figuring that, with the speed that Jim rides, he would catch up with me in no time. We decided that I should just text him occasionally where I was so he wouldnít ride past me. The plan was a good one had it not been for the fact that I had totally no cell reception when I stopped at Owyee for some coffee and an apple. At one point I took a wrong turn and pulled over to the side of the road to look at my map when I dropped my reading glasses. Even though the kickstand was shorter, the foot was swiveling all the time because we removed the extra bolt because it was still too long, so I couldnít park the bike to pick up my glasses. An elderly couple had witnessed my predicament and made a U-turn to pick the glasses up for me. I felt again very blessed by providence if you could call it such. I made it to Eureka an hour before sunset and the girl at the gas station told me there was a free campsite in Eureka and texted Jim for me to let him know where I was.
The little park where I was allowed to camp was great, soft grass a babbling brook gorgeous mountains, all in all a little peace of heaven to end my long riding day.
I had just fallen asleep given up on Jim getting there that night, when I was awakened by the unmistakable sound of Jimís Desire. He had gotten the text from the girl, and ended up taking the back-road to Eureka, a dirt road on which he narrowly escaped hitting a cow at 70 miles an hour. I am going to feel fine publically saying, ďIDIOT!Ē If I only know how to get him to slow down, but oh well, to each his ownÖ.
The next day when I awoke I was very cold. Jim had made a lean-to and was sound asleep. I didnít want to wake him so I tried to pack my stuff as quietly as I could, and started to cook us some oatmeal for breakfast. Afterward we went our separate ways again (still cause I packed too slow) only to at one point get a text from him in a small town called Beaver saying where he was. I had to laugh! He was exactly one block ahead of me at a small diner flirting with the ladies LOL! We had lunch ad I took off on my own thinking Jim was right behind me, he had to use the bathroom real quick. The first part of the road from Beaver to Junction was nice and I had to stop for about 5 minutes at some roadwork. It was a tad scary going through the broken up road behind the ďFollow MeĒ truck but I did it! Then after a few miles of gorgeous riding the road turned into a dirt road. Well! If my heart could have plummeted for real it would have hit the Earthís core. Holy crap the gravel was loose and Spirit was squirreling all over the place. I have to admit that the only thing that kept me going was the knowledge that Jim was ďrightĒ behind me. Little did I know!
On top of the pass it was freezing, but gorgeous. There were still areas with patches of snow, and I kept my eyes open in case there were bears, it seemed that kind of natural setting with no people around.
After a while I got used to the road a bit and started feeling a tad more confident when it turned into more of a sandy dirt and gravel road sloping down with hairpin turns and no guardrails. Spirit was very forgiving; I rode her very slowly constantly braking on both engine and brakes. I made it down safely and still no Jim in sight. *We met up eventually and it turned out that by going to the bathroom he missed the window and had to wait half an hour at the roadwork sign in order to be able to go.
We rode on and off together and ate dinner at a restaurant in a gorgeous canyon area. I met a couple from Switzerland and talked to them for a while. Jim had struck up a conversation with people from Poland on the other side of him. It was a multi-county get-together. *The night was gorgeous, and a bit of a novelty to me seeing as I normally donít ride at night. I donít like being surprised, and the dark does not let you scan the road way ahead of time. That night when it turned out we were still too far from Moab, Jim opted to stay at a motel, which we did. It was nice to sleep in a bed and take a shower.
We met shortly with Tori in the morning and headed to Moab afterward. The first road we took was terrible so we turned around and took the long one along the river. It was an awe-inspiring road.
Jim went, or should we say raced, ahead but somehow I still got there before he did. The campsite was not exactly spectacular, but it would do. I pitched my tent and went to bed early, I was exhausted.
Saturday July 2nd
Friday, yesterday, was memorable, to say the least!
After breakfast with Jim at Eklectic Cafť, we met up with Alex at the campsite.
Alex is Jimís friend and I instantly liked him. He is very easy going and I found myself surprised to be at ease around him despite out age difference.
The group rode to Fredís at Arrowhead Motors where I met Laura. She was putting the tire on the rear wheel and I watched her do it in case I ever had to do the same. Afterward we all rode to Deadhorse point *and enjoyed the view. The lookout reminded me of Kauai, the same earth-tones as Kokee Canyon.
Then half the gang went back to camp and the other half decided to go do some trail riding. I decided to test myself and see if I could control the bike going down dirt trails. Oh boy, had I known what awaited me, would I have done it??? Truthfully I donít know, but I was glad that I had at least the off-road practice from Beaver to Junction. The experience was both terrifying and gratifying. I only wiped once in deep sand going down a gap in the hills when my rear tire hit rock and the front one deep in sand. (itís a month later as I write this, and I still have some yellow bruising left on my thigh) I did mess up Spirit a bit, broke my brand-new throttle lock and bent my hand guard. The rest of the trail was doable and jumping into the river on the way back was just what I needed.
Of course then Jim goes and does something stupid! I tell ya, that cat has more than 9 lives! He goes and checks out the depth of the river and figures out where the deepest part is, so he can go and jump off the cliff. I go up and jump where he pointed and it went fine. He then goes past the point of where he said to jump and lands in shallow water his back hitting the mushy river bottom. I think itís the mushiness that saved his behind, literally!
Laura and I walked almost all the way across the river; it was that shallow!
That evening at the camping we got together for the sharing of the goodies. I lucked out! Not only did I score a cool knife a flash light and fuel filter kit, I ended up with an original KLR tank bag from Guido. On top of all this I ended up with an extra wide rear rack that has literally made traveling so much easier.
Alex Jim and I went to have dinner that night, and a lovely girl was our waitress, Jim was in heaven! Both guys were very giggly that evening, and I better not post why, but you can probably guess. Looking around and observing them I realized that even though we were all such different people, there still was a cool and amicable dynamics between us. Slept good that night but was still tired in the morning. That huge bruise on my leg was zapping me of any energy I might have had.
Today I lounged in my hammock, I let Alex sleep in it, and he seemed to like it. I didnít really feel like off-roading but when almost everyone went to Onion Creek I decided I should too even though I was tired. Jim zoomed ahead, but Guido stayed with me, he was my lifesaver that day. I dropped the bike 3 times, once in a sandy and rocky spot coming out of the creek (I got Spirit up myself, Yay!) once in very loose sand because I couldnít reach the ground and had my foot sink into the sand when I stopped, and once in gravel on the side of the creek. I was happy that going through the creeks went great, giving gas really helped there. *Unfortunately dropping the bike in gravel bent up my left hand-guard, broke my brand-new choke and somehow made my handlebars crooked. I made it to the end where everyone was resting, and the guys straightened out my handlebars. I was wiped but glad that the rough part was behind me, or so I thought. Turns out we had to go the same way back. Oy! I so did not want to do that, but resigned myself to the fact that I had to, going on would have been longer and harder I was told.
Of course Jim went that way, and I left with Guido following me. I felt bad for him, Iím sure that the last thing he wanted to do was babysit me.
I surprised myself going back. I finally had the courage to stand on my pegs, even though I didnít really have any grip seeing as Spirit still had the rubber ones, not the spiky metal ones. I did not wipe out once and safely made it back to the group.
I was pretty wiped when we got back. Made myself some lentil soup and decided to find Alex and Jim at the restaurant. Jim had safely mad it back in record time, go figure! Found them at the Blue Pig and stole one of Jimís two salads. ☺
I was too tired to walk all the way back so I climbed over the wooden fence of the campground seeing as my tent was right behind it. I started a fire and later that evening we had a whole group sitting around the fire and talking. I was about as lively as a doorknob; what was I thinking, a 51-year-old woman trying to be young again? Good thing I donít listen to that part of myself too often. You are as young as you feel they say, and my spirit inside me is infinitely old yet amazingly young at the same time. Everyone was smoking around the campfire and when I declined I told Jim my story on how I lost my little jade Buddha necklace. He loved it.
Here it goes: I wore a Jade Buddha around my neck and I told myself that if I ever lost it, that it would mean that I was on the wrong path.
One day in Northern India (Himachal Pradesh) a couple of guys accompanied me up the mountain. We left early but didnít get there until around sunset. We were all stoned out of out heads, so neither one of us had taken into account that we might need about the same amount of time to get down the mountain as it took us to get up there. So after watching the sun set all of a sudden the predicament we were in dawned on us. Then I had a bright idea, and told them about a Jack Kerouac book I had read in which he stated that you canít fall off a mountain. Jack described how you could get down a mountain by jumping from rock to rock. And us, silly as we were, decided that it had to be the truth, and we began our descent by jumping from rock to rock. We made it to the village just as it had gotten too dark to see. It had literally taken no time at all to get down. I was so thankful to have made it down safe that I reached for my necklace and say a quiet thank you to the jade Buddha, when I noticed it was gone. I havenít smoked since.
I went to bed with the guys still around the campfire.
The next day, Monday, I mounted the rack and I loved it! Got rid of the Walmart tote that caught too much air, and redistributed my junk differently so my load was lower.
I also activated the other Jimís cellphone for him.
Alex and Jim took off earlier to do the white rim trail.
I ended up going up the river road to find a quiet campsite. I found a really nice one called Hittle Bottom. I hung up my hammock and relaxed in the shade of the trees.
Jim and Alex had said theyíd find me later and I told Alex Iíd hang my peace pants for him to see. I had no reception where I camped, so I rode back into town to text Jim and tell him where I was camped. While I was back in town I decided to get some good food and some stuff for the guys to eat in case they made it back early. I met a lady called Gail from Alaska.
That night turned out to be one out of a horror story.
The occupants of the tent nearby turned out to be a large family or friends, 4 kids and three adults. They were talking and screaming till about 1:30 AM after which the dad told them to go in the tent and watch a movie. Unfortunately one of the kids, a young boy of about 8 was throwing a bit of a tantrum about having to watch a movie he didnít want to watch. I have never heard a dad scream such horrible language at a kid, totally putting him down and belittling him. The F word was pretty dominant.
At 2 AM I was so tired and could not sleep because the guy was talking loudly. I walked to the road for a bit to enjoy the quiet and the view of the moon over the valley. As I got back to camp I asked the three adults if they would be going to bed soon. I explained that I had a long ride tomorrow and wanted to be alert on my motorcycle. The guy got horrible rude and told me very clearly that he had no inclination to go to bed at any time soon, and that if I didnít like it I should move my stuff and sleep somewhere else. I told him kindly that normally people are respectful of other campers and donít make a bunch of noise at 2am. He then told me that if I wanted he could make things really unpleasant for me by going to his truck and getting his 45.
I told him go ahead. That shut him up for just a sec. I also told him he was rude and that he had no right to holler at his kid like that. Then I wished him love and peace in his heart and left. While I packed my stuff I felt so powerless. Here is someone so obnoxious and all I wanted was peace. I did not want to argue with him or fight , just kindness and consideration, but neither one was possible. *I also did not want to pack my stuff and move cause I was so tired. I ended up screaming loudly out of sheer frustration of my predicament. In the end I took the peaceful giving way instead of the resisting way and moved to the other side of the campground with the help of Gail who was also camped there. Unfortunately that side didnít have trees for my hammock so I pitched my tent and got about 3 hours of sleep. *I have yet to get to a point in my life that I accept whatever it dishes out without getting too ruffled by it.
The next morning, Tuesday June 5th my daughterís Birthday, I cleaned up camp and waited for Jim and Alex who showed up later in the morning.
I told Jim the story of what happened, which I guess I shouldnít have seeing as he stormed of in the direction of the guyís camp. I told him to just let it go, forgive and forget. All happens as it should, but he didnít really listen.
I guess the guy hid the whole time Jim hovered around.
Then Jim rode off and Alex stayed behind napping until I had my bike packed up.
Turns out he really hurt himself on the white rim trail. Crashed his bike pretty hard and hurt his hands. The he told me about the deer he hit and how it ended up with two broken legs. Jim held it and caressed it for 10 minutes trying to heal it but couldnít. He ended up having to put it out of its misery using a knife. I am glad it wasnít me. I donít think I could have coped with that to good. Neither could Alex. It was a pretty traumatic night for him, hence the napping.
We went to Fred at Arrowhead Motors again where I put on Jimís rear rim that his wife had mailed to Fredís. I also spend money on a new stainless oil filter, a new choke, throttle lock, tire spoons, and inner tube. Fred made some money on me that day. I gave Jim some of the money my dad had sent for the rear rim, the shipping money he lost when the engine got shipped the wrong way and some of the stuff he had gotten for me. It was not nearly enough; maybe one day I can return the favor.
I texted Tammy that day after I tried to call her but got no answer. I wished her a happy Birthday and found myself rather sad to miss her 18th Birthday
That night the three of us spend out last night together at a motel, it was nice to sleep in a bed again.
The next morning, Wednesday June 6th, after breakfast at Eklectic cafť Jim left to go his way and Alex and I rode together a short while. The wind was howling and I was being buffeted left and right. Something was wrong with Spirit! I rode slow and pulled into a gas station of the freeway, Alex following me. I checked everything I could think off. The front shocks, 4 of the bolts were a little loose and re-aligned the rear wheel, it was just a little off. Then Alex said it might have something to do with me riding on a new rear tire, the knobbies where still long. I was torn between just camping right there and then and waiting for the wind to go away, or just biting the bullet and learn to ride in strong wind. I decided to do the latter and get over my fear. Alex also gave me some good pointers on how to ride in the wind, and to not grip my handlebars too tightly but loosely and to let the bike do its thing.
We said goodbye, I was sad to see him go, having company on the road is nice at times. As I rode of on my own I realized that my solo adventure had only now started. This whole time, with the exception of my solo ride to Diamond Lake, I had been in the company of Jim or Alex. It felt weird finally being on my own, but also liberating. My time was my own now.
I rode to Escalante that day and camped at an RV park. I met Ben at the campsite, he had a broken chain and was waiting for a new one to arrive at the bike shop. He offered me a beer but I had to decline and explain to him I didnít drink.
I slept like a baby that night ☺
Thursday June 7th
Today I rode through some gorgeous countryside. I passed Bryce Canyon.
Somewhere at one of the viewpoints I dropped Spirit again. I had not put it in first gear and the bike stalled abruptly with a sideways momentum and I couldnít hold her. Fortunately after having gotten the bike halfway up, a guy on a yellow BMW saw my predicament and stopped to help me left Spirit the rest of the way.
As I rode to Panquitch I had to turn at a fork in the road and go a different way because the sign said road closed.
Had I listened to my voicemail I would have been able to go, seeing as Jim left me a message saying that he went that way anyway and that it was fine.
I donít regret going the other way, because it detoured via Zion, I loved it there!!
I rode into Nevada and stopped at a wonderful campground in Panaca, only $7 and it had showers. I slept in my hammock that night, carefree and happy.
Friday June 8th
Today I rode the extraterrestrial Hwy toward Yosemite.
It is an amazingly beautiful area despite the barren surrounding, or maybe because of it. There is such a vastness of space that fills you as you ride. Hard to explain, but I loved it. The road stretched ahead of me like a pencil mark on a map. I rode past area 51 and tried to sense if there were aliens around, but didnít.
I rode as far as Lee Vining that night right at the beginning of Yosemite. It was a gorgeous forested campsite with bear-proof storage areas.
Saturday June 9th
Yosemite was gorgeous and windy and I kept on being amazed by the scenes in front of me; the depth of the valleys and the colors of the rock formations and hills.
I had mapped out a road North but was unable to find it. My GPS had died on me early on the road and I had gone and bought several maps instead. I did end up finding my way North which led me through Sonora where I decided to stop at Walmart and buy a $10 tracfone so I would have reception in areas where my droid phone had none. I also got a pump and a tire gage. I rode on and over the Sonora pass.
It was a scary experience but also gorgeous and freezing! As it neared night I found a campsite in the woods. All I could do was pitch my tent eat my barely heated up soup and crash; I had bitten off a bit much that day, I needed to slow down!
Sunday June 10th
I rode through South Tahoe today, there was a Renaissance fair happening, and loads of people were walking around in medieval costumes, it was great!
After Tahoe into Lake Tahoe where I spend time at a coffee shop using the internet and having coffee and a cookie. After my much longed for internet use I headed North to Lassen state park. Holy cow, there was still snow up there, but the scenery was awesome!
I kept on riding and hoping I would find a campground, I did, but they wanted so much money for it that I turned around and kept riding. I went offroad to camp behind the trees, but I dropped Spirit, again. My rear wheel hit a big rock when I tried to turn and I couldnít hold her. It was dark and I walked over the hilly edge to the highway to wave someone down cause I couldnít get Spirit up; too much gravel for me to get a foothold. After a few cars a young girl stopped and helped me get Spirit up. I was so tankful and amazed that someone her age, late teen I think, stopped to help. I was bummed cause I broke my mirror, and the JB weld on the throttle lock had cracked, but it was still whole.
I was physically and emotionally exhausted, so much for taking it slow and easy. Things had to change I decided, this was no fun. I found a deserted road near the forest park and made a lean-to like I saw Jim do in Eureka, and crashed.
I slept good even though it was freezing that night. It was a short night though seeing as I woke at 5:30 am as it was turning light.
Monday June 11th
I headed to my friend Catiaís house in Redway today stopping in Arcata and calling her to let her know I was coming, and then taking the scenic route.
Me and my ideas! What a road! If I had been prone to heart attacks I would have had a few of them. An absolutely awesome route, but scary as hell!
I got to Catia early afternoon.
It was nice to hang with my friend for a few days. I helped her in her garden, ate some freshly picked strawberries, steamed homegrown artichokes for dinner along with Broccoli and onions from her garden.
Redway and Garberville are nice communities with very friendly people. I like it there.
*Thursday June 14th
I left Catiaís house it was good to see her again and I realized that everyone in their own way is discovering a path to their true self.
On the way out of town I stopped at the Bike shop in Garberville to pick up my new Mirror, and to tighten my chain; which I noticed had stretched quite a bit.
The owner Jesse helped me push the bike in the shade and I used the little rod to left up Spiritís rear wheel. I guess I neednít have done it seeing as I was tightening it not making it looser, but I like the fact that I am getting more comfortable in using it, and to trust in my kickstand. I bought better chain-lube, Jesse said that W-40 eats the o-rings. Seeing as he was into off-roading I figured he knew what he was talking about. He did say that I needed a new sprocket though; the teeth were starting to slant one way. It dawned on my while he was talking about what all I needed to replace that this trip was getting so much more expensive than I ever thought it would. Not only in gas and camping fees, but in motorcycle upkeep. My landlady still had not refunded my deposit and I was trying very hard to have faith that all would be well.
Getting the bike and bumping into Jim were nothing short of little miracles, and I felt that the universe was telling me that I am doing what I need to be doing now, and that all this is part of something more, something I donít know yet.
I took off heading North to Oregon, in the hopes of finding cheaper campgrounds there to kick back and relax for a few days before I had to be in Berkeley for the lucid dreaming conference.
Avenue of the giants rest stop
As I was riding though the avenue of the giants and loving the way the treesí presence felt, I thought that what bugged me most was my inability to control the bike as most guys do. If I felt a bit more sure of myself and handling Spirit, then I could probable pull over onto a dirt trail and find a free camping spot. I am still getting totally frozen with fear every time I get near a dirt or gravel road. Not knowing if I can get Spirit up by myself if I drop her, and worse knowing that I might break something I canít afford to fix, is forcing me to go to pay camp sites. I was hoping that maybe in a few months I would be a better rider and more confident with Spirit.
I also realized that I am riding too much. My plan had been to camp out more, to relax and meditate, to start painting again and to enjoy myself in other ways than riding.
I did stop by Whole Foods in Eureka, boy what a fantastic health-food store, amazing, it was hard not to buy too much. Good thing I didnít have much room on the bike. *
At the end of the day I found an expensive campsite close to Oregon and was reluctantly turning around to leave, when the hostess said that seeing my bike only had 2 wheels instead of four sheíd let me stay for half price which was $17.50 instead of $35. I was glad cause I was fried. I spend a wonderful night there and slept like a baby.
Today was a short riding day.
I followed the coastline into Oregon and 10 miles inland from Gold Beach I found the perfect campsite.
Pitched my tent, hung my hammock and relaxed for two whole days. It was a much-needed peace of heaven.
I was also looking forward to the dream conference in Berkeley and hope that I would have some lucid dreams before I got to the conference.
I did find out that the place I would be able to stay at fell through.
The owner fell down the stairs and had to cancel her vacation and stay there. I hoped she was okay, and figured that I was not meant to be there but somewhere else.
How true that ended up being!
Tuesday June 19th
I broke camp early Sunday morning and headed down the coast toward Berkeley.
The plan was to make it to Fort Brag so I wouldnít have to worry not to make it to the conference on time. It was a long but scenic road to Fort Bragg.
The sun was setting as I neared my destination and the campsite I had seen on the map looked great. As I rode up to the window I saw that it too was $35!
I turned around and decided to see how much the RV camp was behind the gas station. It too was a lot, $27. Just as I was about to leave I notice a guy on a BMW GS1200 stop and fill up his tank. I noticed that he too had camping gear strapped to the back of his bike. I got bold, walked up to him, and asked him if he was planning on camping that night. He said he was, and I asked him if he would be willing to share the campsite and split the cost. He said he would and introduced himself.
His name was Christopher, and I am glad I was bold for a change!
He said he wanted to camp at Philo, a place he had camped at years ago.
I followed Christopher along the coast and inland toward Philo. What is it about men and speeding? I was like Dťjŗ vu, following Jim.
This time though Chris slowed down after a little while, even though I was doing s pretty darn good job keeping up. Later he said that I had to have been wondering what kind of guy I was following into the woods, LOL.
We got to Philo camp ground about half an hour later.
Christopher left his gear on the table and said heíd make a quick run to the store for some beer and asked if I wanted anything, I said no.
While he was gone I hung up my hammock, it looked like a clear night so I didnít feel like pitching my tent.
Chris got back with a huge bundle of firewood and some beer. I donít drink so I hope he didnít feel to odd drinking by himself.
We stayed up till midnight talking about life and reality, about religion and peopleís misconception about it. I felt really comfortable around him and it was nice to share and evening with someone like-minded.
He lived in DC and was married with two small children. His job flew him out to San Francisco and he decided to rent the BMW and take some time off riding around.
As we were talking I couldnít help but feel as if we had known each other for a very long time.
I had an intense dream about him and his family that night and told him about it when I woke up. He asked me what his wife looked like in my dream and I told him. Turns on I was right on the bet. Then I said your wife still nurses and he said yes, thatís right. Then the next thing I told him blew him away. I said in the dream you were surrounded by boxes, like you had just moved. The place *was near rocks and coves and water. Christopher than commented on how he and his wife had been thinking about moving seeing the place they lived was rather small for a family of three. He told me heíd let me know if it ever came true, and to keep an eye open for a place near water and rocks.
We had some coffee together at a small place near the campsite and decided to ride together toward San Francisco.
It was great to ride that beautiful coastline together with someone who appreciated it and who loved riding.
We stopped at a small restaurant and had lunch together.
Afterward as we were riding inland Chris stopped to point out a scene, and I commented how lovely it would be to find a meadow and just crash for a little while to soak up some sun. We found a small road toward cow pastures and a littler road up the hill. A nice meadow lay ahead of us and we parked our bikes on a dirt road and climbed over the fence. The grass was high and yellow, looked like it might have been a wheat field at some point in time. We laid there for about an hour, not saying much but enjoying the sun and each otherís company.
I have to admit that by then I was very much loving him for who he was, like Jim says, recognizing the essence of someone.
We said goodbye not to long afterward, myself heading to San Rafael and he to San Francisco to return the bike and fly home the next morning. I hope he has a happy life, and that his dream of riding from Alaska to Terra del Fuego in South America will come true for him. I hope we shall meet again some day.
Even though I had known him for less than 24 hours, I still felt sad to say goodbye.
It gave me a little taste of what it would be like to travel together with someone you love, to share the road and the experience.
After Chris and I went our own way I headed to San Rafael. Geoffrey, my friend on Kauai who give me the KLR, said he had called a friend of his who could help me with a place to sleep. When I found her Geof had not called her yet and she had no idea who I was, lol. She gave me a few good ideas as to where to sleep, and then decided she was being silly. We were in her shop, and she said I could just stay there for the night seeing as she was going home anyway. Her name is Marcia and she owns an upholstery business in San Rafael. I got to sleep on top of the huge table. Had a great vegetarian Vietnamese dinner around the corner and crashed.
I canít say I slept much that night, the shop is right off the freeway, and every time a semi-truck drove by the place trembled. And it was noisy.
The next morning early I left for Mount Tamalpais. It was a gorgeous ride and the campground was really nice, be it rather expensive. I had called Marin Headlands headquarters, and was able to reserve 2 nights at their Bicentennial campground.
View from Bicentennial campground
The site was really nice and free, the only drawback was that I had to carry my stuff in and leave Spirit sitting on the side of the road. Hmmm, I so do not like doing that!
I spent a peaceful night there, and the next morning I decided to leave early to go meet with Yogi, a friend of Geoffreyís someone with whom I could stay a few days, and to Mountain View to meet with Robert Waggoner (author of ďLucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner SelfĒ and have lunch with him.
As I got to Spirit and started her, I smelled gas. I looked down and saw fuel squirting out of the fuel hose connection to the carburetor. Looked like my little elbow had a crack in it. I did the only thing I could think of, and that was clean the area, and blob JB-Weld all around the area. It did the trick and I rode off to meet Yogi. He was very nice and let me cool down a bit and take a second look at the bike and fix whatever needed fixing. However he was very clear in that he did not want me to stay there. He called a few people and asked them if they would welcome a traveler. I decided that I would just fend in the city for myself. As I was about to leave he had a friend called Robbie on the phone. Robbie and his wife would love to have me over, and wanted to hear all about Lucid Dreaming.
I promised I would be by the next evening.
I left for Mountain View and got 20 minutes with Robert before his lecture started.
I got to help him with the slideshow, which was fun seeing as I had been to one of his lectures before. Robert is a great guy, and itís nice to meet someone for whom Lucid Dreaming is as important as it is for me.
I got to camp around midnight and crashed.
Friday June 22nd
The campsite was coated in fog this morning. As I broke down camp I kept putting everything into the bear-proof bin, so it wouldnít get drenched.
Promptly at 9 a park ranger I had met the previous day, showed up to toss all my junk into his truck and drive it uphill. His sister had been camped next to me and when he had shown up to carry her stuff up I had jokingly said that I would love it if he would be here in the next day too, to help me. Turns out his sister had called him in the morning to remind him to be there at 9 to help me. Wow! I felt really spoiled.
I rode to Berkeley to the Doubletree Hotel in the Marina to meet with Jeff, the AV manager. I was way to early but hung around the Hotel meeting a lot of dreamers and lucid dreamers. Bumped into Robert too.
The training was very brief and our job responsibilities seemed easy. Download each presenterís Powerpoint unto the laptop, hook them up with a lavalier (cordless body mike), check sound of other mikes, check projector and make sure the session is recorded. Easy peasy.
I attended the opening night till 10 and headed back to Robbieís place in San Rafael.
It was not until the 3rd night there that I realized that the reason I was there and not staying in the original place was that Robbie needed to learn about lucid dreaming in order to heal himself. I told him all you could do in a lucid dream, and that I had done it myself.
Without going into detail about the next few days, all I can say it was not as easy peasy as it sounded and I basically ran my butt off the next 4 days fixing one thing after another. I did get to sit in Ed Kelloggís Lucid Dreaming workshop, and it was a blast. In a nutshell it was about preconceived notions, getting over fear that is stopping us from expanding and tricks and hints to gain lucidity.
He talked about his friend Jack who could focus and see and feel the world in such a disconnected, or should I say connected way, that he could pierce himself with a needle and not feel anything or bleed. Afterward he would pull the needle out only to have the opening in his skin close within 5 minutes without leaving a mark.
He then grabbed this huge needle and asked for volunteers. You should have heard the gasps and felt the tension, LOL! I stuck up my arm and volunteered. I donít think he was expecting anyone to do so cause he said he wasnít ready yet.
He then went an grabbed a balloon and pierced it with the needle without popping it. It was pretty amazing. He said it was everyoneís preconceived notion that a balloon would pop when doing this, but when one knows how to, the notion evaporates and makes room for a bigger possibility in life. He then asked again who would want to volunteer, and I lifted my arm up again. The trick in doing this is pricking the needle into the fat back part, and out the fat front part in which you blow the air into.
The last day of the conference featured a costume ball where people portrayed a dream they had.
I showed up in my motorcycle outfit, because of a dream I had riding my bike and it breaking down, only to have a stranger show up and help me.
That night was not only a blast, but intriguing as well.
Robert sat at a table and right in front of him a soap bubble landed that pasQuale had blown. It sat there and didnít pop. When I showed up it had been there for 10 minutes without popping. Robert and I became the guardians of the bubble.
The bubble never popped! As I sat there a thought popped into my head, ďNothing is as it seems, and everything is possibleĒ. I told Robert what just came to me, and he was astounded, he said he had the same thought pop into his head, ďeverything is possible.Ē I really felt connected to him, and we had fun taking turns watching the bubble, and at one point danced together when David (his friend) was watching it.
I slept in the AV room at the hotel that night and said goodbye to everyone in the morning and rode to the bikeshop in Daley City to pick up the carburetor part I had ordered. It was June 27th and I was finally ďon the RoadĒ without any other obligations. My true adventure was about to start.
I spent the night at a campsite on Lake Tulloch. No picture cause I was feeling pretty horrible. Forgot to mention that I came down with a cold, and was feeling pretty ratty on Tuesday but it hit me hard on Wednesday. I crawled into my hammock at 6, slept till 7:30, warmed up some soup and crawled into my tent at 8.
Thursday June 28th
I woke at 7 am and felt a little better.
Somehow the thought of staying here another day did not appeal to me, the campground was not that nice, and it was expensive as well. I longed to go back into the mountains with the pine tress and the fresh air. I got my bike packed and ready to go by 9:30 and headed toward Yosemite once again.
Toward the end of the road in Yosemite I stopped for lunch at a grocery store and bought a pita bread sandwich. As I sat outside in the shade under a tree a guy walked over, sat down and asked me if I was riding by myself. He was all impressed and congratulated me. He said he loved independent women and admired them for having the strength to do something on their own. Turns out he was a rock climber. Now that is something that is awe inspiring to me. I am not sure if I would enjoy myself as much on a rock face dangling 1000 feet in the air as I do riding my bike. He said he didnít really much care for riding a motorcycle. I thought that was funny.
I hopped back on the bike and rode toward Nevada. The route still looked familiar to me as I had been down there not too long ago.
As I stopped at a rest stop I saw a sign that said resting allowed for no longer than 18 hours . I figured that meant that I could spend the night there. I hung my hammock and kicked back. I canít say that I had a very restful night. At first the cars passing by kept me awake, and when it finally got quiet it heard someone walk up to the hammock and breathe loudly. I opened my mouth to say something only to find out I couldnít move or speak. I guess this is what they call sleep paralysis. Turns out that I must have been partially asleep and dreaming, but I was ever so aware of my surroundings as well, really strange. Then I awoke because some guy kept his car running forever and ever. I finally got up and knocked on the guys window. He had fallen asleep with the radio on and the engine running. He turned both of them off, Yay!! The rest of the night was wonderful and I slept till 7:30
Friday June 29th
What makes an adventure an adventure?
I guess it would be overcoming obstacles and dealing with unexpected circumstances. This day was an adventure day.
I met a guy called Scott at the rest stop in the morning, he was a rock guy who had just purchase 5 acres of land in the middle of nowhere and he was digging for gems and other rocks.
He seemed a bit of a goofy guy, but very sweet. We talked a while and he said goodbye and left. I followed only a couple of minutes later.
As I rode I sped up just a little to pass a car that was going very slowly and as I did I heard a loud Pang and clang and the bike slowed down. I knew instantly what had happened, the chain snapped! I coasted slowly in front of the guy I just passed and pulled over. He stopped to. Turns out it was Scott who wondered what had happened. I told him chain snapped, and I took of back to where I came from in the hopes of finding my chain. It was lying in the center of the road all curled up, and didnít look damaged or run over. Scott gave me a ride to the little town nearby called Tonopah, and as luck would have it, there was an ATV shop that carried a masterlink for my chain. Scott was really a sweetheart and gave me a ride back to my bike and hug around till I had fixed the chain. He followed me back to Tonopah where I treated him to lunch for helping me. *
I was very happy that this little incident was so easily fixed.
Then after having fixed my chain I ride off through the desert and 2 hours after riding (and trying to charge my phone) I stop the bike to take a picture and Spirit doesn't start again, dead battery.....
Luckily (again) I was only 1/4 mile from Rachel, and it was all downhill so I coasted into the parking lot of a small diner where the owner had a battery charger. So while it's charging I pitched up my tent in their yard, free camping, and am kicking back in the diner. Life is spoiling me!!
free campsite in Rachel
I spend two days in Rachel, most of it in the diner catching up on my ride report.
It was fun hanging around the diner watching the locals and the tourists coming in, and I felt quite at home there.
A guy called Jim who renovated older homes was spending some time there helping Cody fix his house, offered to let me take showers at his trailer. Cody himself was a blast, he no filter so he basically blurts out what he thinks or feels etc.
He thought I was weird, I had to laugh. Vegetarians are not that common there so I have to admit I was rather picky with my dinner order. They had garden burgers, which was amazing, so there most be some veggie-nuts coming in occasionally.
I left early in the morning on July first and headed toward Ely. I stopped in Ash Springs to gas up and the bike started fine again, but after I stopped at the next town to drink something and munch on a Cliff bar, Spirit wouldnít start. Battery was dead again. I left her sitting at the side of the road and walked to a nearby Motel. Luckily it was being renovated and one of the two guys working in there owned a motorbike and he said heíd run home real quick and grab the jumper cables. His name was Jamie, and he was telling me how he designed and built his own bike. While he ran home I took the battery out and looked at it. *One of the cells was only half full and some others only ĺ. I went and refilled the cells and popped the battery back in. She started right back up and I hoped that now the battery would hold the charge.
I thanked Jamie and left toward Ely once more. When I got to Panaca I decided that by now the battery should have charged enough to stop and start again. I was wrong! I was getting a little frustrated by then. To have to keep asking for help is not to much fun. This time a business guy had a pair of jumper cables, and another guy stopped to let me know I could swing by his guitar shop, and that he had a battery charger. I went to his shop and we put the battery on the charger. At the same time he looked on line to see if the Walmart in Cedar City had a battery in stock seeing as the the old one seemed not to be charging properly. Walmart had one and I could make it in time if I left soon, which I did. I got to Cedar city without any lights, neither head nor turn nor brake lights. This little expense had e worried though, I only had $80 left and didnít know if that was enough. I had to find a job soon.
The battery and charger were $70, so I made it. Unfortunately it needed to be filled and then charged, so I snuck it into the McDonalds sat down and ate French fries and internetted while the battery charged. I stayed there till 11, and by that time the charge light still hadnít turned green. Not knowing what to do and not daring to ride off in the dark with an uncharged battery I decided to ask my ex-husband with whom I still am good friends, for some help. He booked me a room at the motel nearby for the night so I could fully get the battery charged. Spending the night in a motel was wonderful! I was so tired of taking the seat and side covers off and putting them back on. I also told my dad what was going on and he sent me some money by Western Union. Saved by my dad once again. I felt horrible accepting it from him, cause it has to be a hardship for him. I vouched to find a job ASAP so I could pay him back.
The next morning the light was green, Yay!! I rode by a motorbike and ATV shop and had the mechanic do a diagnostic test to see if my alternator was shot.
He found out that there was no charge to the stator, so he said the stator was broken. Then he mentioned that he noticed that the chain had been loose at some point, but that the wires looked in good shape. He also welded my shifter for me which had almost ripped in half. I decided to just haul ass to Martyís house near Denver and see if I could order a new stator. It had gotten late so I decided to stay one more night at a motel seeing as I had some cash now. While I was at the motel a thought occurred to me, what if the breaking chain cut the wires? The mechanic said they were okay, but how well did he look? I decided to pull the cover off and see for myself. I didnít even have to pull the wires out to see that some were severed.
Once I did pull all the wires out I saw that 2 yellow wires were totally severed, and the white on almost. I spent the next hour cleaning and rewiring the connection. When I was at the mechanic I connected the battery tenderís quick charge cable, which was great as now I didnít need to take the seat back off, but could just hook up the charger to the plug hanging down on the side of my bike.
I was surprised to find that I really did like Cedar City. It is a great place, spacious, not too much traffic, just very mellow and pleasant for a bigger place.
Tuesday July 3rd
The battery charger light was green, and I kept my fingers crossed that the end of my electric problems was over. I packed the bike and left toward Panquitch. I missed the turn off and ended up backtracking but found it a little while later only to have to turn around again cause the road was closed due to landslides and fire.
I ended up going over Parawan unto 143 toward Panquitch. *
Panquitch is a cute little town and I had some coffee and salad art a diner and found two cool peace bracelets, one for Jim one for Alex.
As I was riding out of town I noticed a garage and I stopped to ask the guy if he knew of a place in town that sold the disposable oil bags with the ďcat litterĒ in them. I hadnít changed my oil in a long time and it was dues. The guy was really sweet and said that I could just change it there and that I could borrow an oil pan. I parked the bike in the back and changed the oil in no time. I surprised him I think by how fast it went. I thanked him again and left toward Fish Lake to camp for the night. I found a nice campsite on a hill and hung my hammock. That might not have been the smartest thing to do as I later found out. There were mosquitos! I had forgotten about those little buggers!
Nevertheless I spend the night in the hammock and for the first time since I left I craved a movie. I grabbed my laptop and watched one that night. It was great lying comfy and snug in my hammock with my tarp over me in case it rained, watching one of the 100 movies I had downloaded unto my hard drive.
Wednesday July 4th.
Today I rode toward Moab, again! This time on Hwy 70. I normally avoid freeways, I donít like the amount of cars and trucks around me when I ride, it makes me uneasy and tense. This stretch of freeway was amazing though! Absolutely gorgeous. Once I got to Moab I ate at my favorite place called Eklictic Cafť. The girl still recognized me and asked where my entourage was (Jim and Alex) I said they were still in Idaho, but would very likely be dropping by in the near future.
As I walked into a shop looking for a peace sticker, a young girl, Taya, who waited on Jim Alex and I last time we were there, walked up to me and said ďHi, you are back!Ē It was really cool to have come back to Moab and be recognized by a few people. It felt a little like coming home after having been away. We talked for a while and she said she might be heading out to Denver to go back to college in August. I told her I would tell Jim she said hi.
I left for Colorado shortly after, and for the first time since I left Idaho I encountered rain! I loved Colorado right from the start. Itís beautiful!
I spend the night in a quaint little place called Naturita, at a campsite filled with carvings. The owner was an older guy in his seventies who beat cancer. He was rail thin but really sweet, and joined me at my campsite for a while talking about a group of gypsies who just invaded the camp after the sheriff tossed them off public lands for loitering there too long. They were making a bit of a mess in the laundry room. He was a fun to spend time with and told me about his life and his kids and grand kids.
This one was guarding me during the night, as it was right next to my tent
Thursday July 5th
I wished the campsite owner good luck on his annual cancer re-exam and left early in the morning and rode from Naturita to Lake George, with a few stops along the way. One of the stops was a cool little cafť in Ridgway called Four Power.
I happened to see it because traffic was backed up due to road construction and I ended up smackdab in front of it. Instead of sitting on my bike waiting I decided to take a break and have some coffee. Turns out they also had internet, hence my previous post. I found this hanging on the wall in the cafť, it was a large tie-dyed piece of material.
I continued an hour later toward Lake George over the great Divide. I got there pretty late and was tired. The campsite was pretty awesome though, even though I had to go and ride through the trees since I was unable to back up my bike. It surprised me how easily Spirit maneuvered over the pines and the uneven ground covered in branches and wood chips. It was actually quite fun once I quit being a scaredy cat.
Friday July 6
I took it slow and easy in the morning as Marty wouldnít be home until after 1:30.
I had called him the night before to let him know I was coming.
On the way I decided to stop at Manitou Springs, I always wanted to see that town. It is very touristy, but charming and catered to motorcyclist!
Spend a few hours at a little internet cafť Marikaís with great teas and coffees and home made pastries made by the owner Christine.
The cafť is very spacious with couches and chairs and computers. It has a very comfortable and relaxed atmosphere and I enjoyed hanging there for a while
As I rode to Martyís home in Larkspur it started pouring! And I mean pouring! Thunder and lightening accompanied me all the way. I was glad that everyone slowed down on the freeway, it was very hard to see, and I was glad I was wearing a neon yellow safety vest. I turned off at the Larkspur exit and Spirit sputtered and diedÖ. She really doesnít like water! I coasted till under the bridge and called Marty who graciously came to get me with the trailer. I was joined by a couple on a Goldwing who had been riding in shorts and T-shirts and were now soaked to the bone. As soon as we got to Martyís house we started working on my bike.
I will write about this tonightÖ..
Martyís house is gorgeous, and nestled against a beautiful hill.
We took the tank and sides off and Marty yanked out the carburetor in no time!
Taking the JB-Weld of was tricky and I think I might have gone at it too slow, lol, made Martyís fingers itch I guess cause he took over and got it all off in record time.
I put the new plastic elbow on it as soon as we found the spring that zoomed past our ears when we took the bracket off.
I was glad that I had ordered the right part.
Then I decided that I wanted to redo the stator wiring that my chain had severed.
I had just twisted and taped the wires together and wasnít sure how long it would last. Marty showed me how to solder and shrink-wrap the joints. Then I asked him if he could cut a half moon out of the top of the chain cover, so I could run the wires up and out of the cover.
The only wire I couldnít bundle up was the neutral light wire, and that one I tucked into the groove and covered with electrical tape so I couldnít accidentally snag it.
After we were done Marty cooked dinner; I told him he missed his calling. Hope he goes and takes a cooking class for fun. Laurie came home and we had dinner, it was very homey. I slept like a baby; they have a wonderful guest bed ☺
The next morning I spend a few hours updating my RR and was about to go downstairs to work on my loose chain when Marty came up and said he had already done it, (sneaky little bugger :<>grN ) and put a new small sprocket on; turns out the old one was not at all that bad, like I had been told. *
I packed my bike up and said goodbye to Laurie and Marty and was about to hop on the bike when I realized my gloves were missing. I had put them on the instrument panel when I rode it to the trailer and forgotten to take them off. Oh well, a bit of a bummer seeing as I have long thumbs, and finding gloves that fit me is no easy feat.
I got to Hondoís place around 3. He had spent the whole morning cleaning and told me the house had never been that clean, LOL. He has a nice place that he got a year ago and is renovating.
Storm came over for dinner, and the guys had meat burger and I my veggie burgers. Storm then surprised me by saying he had a surprise for me and to close my eyes. I did and I felt him put something in my hands that felt like a pair of gloves. As I opened my eyes I was staring at my gloves which I thought I had lost. Turns out that he went looking at my peace sticker on the bike and saw the fingers of the gloves sticking out of underneath the fairing. They had slipped in there and stayed there during the ride from Marty's to Hondo's house. Amazing!
The next day Storm, Big-LV, Hondo and I went for a ride into the mountains. It was very foggy, and at times the fog was so thick that we could hardly see at all.
It was gorgeous though. Storm turned around when we almost got to Nederland, because he wanted to go and listen to a Heart concert. The three of us then rode on to Nederland and had a cup of coffee and a snack.
I wanted to go see Nederland because I spent 14 years of my youth in the Netherlands, which we call Nederland. I wanted to take a picture and send it to my folks who still live there.
We rode back in the rain; the water was high on some parts of the road.
Laura had dinner with us that night and it was fun. *
Heading to Crestone Colorado today in the hopes of being able to pitch camp for a while and relax.
The sky is blue, not a cloud in sight, it looks like a perfect day to ride! :thumb
Left my Journal at the campsite, so I will just quickly write what is left in my memory.
I had a great time at Hondo's place, he made me feel very much at home, and even, without my knowing or his, bought my favorite Boca burger Chik'n patties.
I bought a new $100 chain on Monday, hopefully this one will last a tad longer, my other one lost a bunch of O-rings and was utterly stretched out. I will need a new front rim eventually, but a job comes first. Put JB-Weld on the crack in the rim.
Hondo made me a camera mount for on the handlebar with aluminum and velcro. It's awesome and works great. Now I can easily take pics while riding. (Hmmm, don't think my dad will like that one, I'll be careful Dad!)
Hondo has a couple of great kids, and we watched Jurassic park late Monday evening.
Packed my bag on Tuesday and said goodbye, sniff sniff.
The road to Salida was awesome, some mountainous areas and some very flat.
I took a short break in Salida to say Hi to a couple from ADV riders, but neither one was there so I continued to Crestone.
Crestone is very quaint and small, and I love it!
The campground is absolutely perfect, and cheap as well, $7 a night.
It's located in the Northern part of Crestone, and situated agains a rock face, and has a small creek running through it. I was able to ride my bike up to my hammock, and hopefully nobody will grumble that I did so.
I did have to hang up my food in case of bears.
Think I will hang here for a while and get some painting done and some reading and genuine R&R
Thursday July 12
Spend a blissful day at the campground yesterday, reading in my hammock, painting, and knitting a beany I am making for my friend.
Little purple daisy at the campsite
Crestone has a few places with WiFi so it was great to be able to post my RR.
I got creative and decided to paint a design on Spiritís front fender.
Bad timing on my part cause the clouds moved in and it started pouring.
Later that that evening while kicking back in my tent and watching a movie on my laptop, it started thundering and lightening. The thunder was so loud that it drowned out any noise my laptop was making. I slept soundly.
Today I decided to leave Spirit at the campsite and walk into town. It only took a half an hour during which I took a couple of nice pics.
No photo can capture this view, and the feeling of the place, still, Iím tryingÖ
Very unearthly flower
I noticed that this little itty bitty place actually has a hairdresser. I was just about to chop off my hair using my scissors, but maybe Iíll just have them buzz my head. I donít know how longhaired women deal with their hair on the road! Itís bugging me even though itís not even 3Ē long; must have been a Tibetan Monk in a previous life.
Life can be magical if you allow it to be so.
While camping and relaxing the thought of how to earn a living kept popping into my head. Of course that’s a biggy seeing as Spirit doesn’t run on air like Donald Shimoda’s plane (Illusions, by Richard Bach), nor do I.
Part of me was saying don’t worry, you are willing to work just keep your heart open and expect something to happen. If you believe it will.
The other part of me of course is a tad more skeptical and says, “Gee wiz! Easier said than done!”
Then a small family, husband wife and a teenage son, moved into the campsite next to me. I can vaguely see them through the trees and bushes.
I walked up and said hi, and the woman told me they travel for work. Turns out that they work freelance for GoalZero, a solar panel company that sells small panels for hikers, snowboarders, etc. The life they are living is just perfect. They travel all over the place from destination (which they get to chose) to destination, and every few weeks they market the product at a Costco store for a few days. They get their travel expenses paid and a steady income plus bonus if they sell.
Then she said that they are always accepting applications and are often in need of sales people seeing as not many can handle life on the road.
This job sounds almost too good to be true, but here this hippy couple is making a really good living traveling all over the place in their van and doing their gig at Costco every few weeks. Well, I went online and applied.
Now of course the waiting; if I get it, Wow! If not then hopefully I’ll keep optimistic and open so something else will come my way.
Meanwhile I am enjoying life at the campground.
Yep it rains here every afternoon. My cozy Eureka Mountainpass tent keeps me nice and dry!
Took a ride down the dirt road to a Hindu temple and store, to a Zen temple that was not too spectacular, and to the Chamma Ling center which I had hoped was open to the public but wasn’t. There is another bigger Zen place I will visit today or tomorrow.
The village is growing on me, and everywhere people are talking about life and questioning the “normal” viewpoint of it and the world. It’s awesome to be in a place of like-minded people. Jim, you would love it, and plenty of purty girls too!
There are quite a few places to eat, and not at all expensive
Even though the place is wonderful, I still seem to have the urge to hop on the bike and ride. I might go and ride the million dollar highway in a few days and time it so the I end up in Lake George a few days before the meet, so that I still might get a camping spot.
Left peaceful Crestone today :(
Part of me wanted to stay, and part of me had to go.
I get restless when I stay somewhere too long, no matter how beautiful.
While back on the road riding and looking at the scenery I started to wonder if I am running from something or toward something. Then a gorgeous scene pops in front of me, and it feels like I am part of a show I am watching, totally connected to the beauty of my surroundings, and it doesn't matter anymore if I am running from or to. The only thing that matters is the amazing nature around me and being able to experience it.
I rode from Crestone to Durango today, and just loved the ride.
Every time I go through a gorgeous area, coming into a city or even town gets harder and harder to handle. I really don't like the noise and crowds. But I can deal with it for just a little while. Have to get some better oil for Spirit, and some batteries for my flash light.
Tomorrow I will ride the million dollar Hwy that Hondo suggested, and hopefully camp at Ridgeway somewhere. I do like that little town.
I just hope that Spirit will be ok on the road into the mountains, she's been stuttering sometimes, like she's not getting any gas.
I wonder if my petcock is causing the trouble or my float. Oh boy, I really do not like trouble, makes it hard to really enjoy oneself!
Of course I thought that West Fest started the 23rd, I have no idea why, so now I am way to early in the Lake George area. I might just head to Kansas for a while to visit a friend.
Thought this was pretty funny, it says "Don't even think of parking here"
Today was mixed. Got up early after having dreamed that I had an OBE, boy, I wish. Then I ran to Walmart to get better oil for Spirit. I couldn't find the disposable oil bags, but the guy at the Honda shop said I could change my oil there and use their pan. I decided to check my filter (stainless) and found tons of crud in it, AGAIN!
I really can't figure it out, it was fine for a while. It must be the clutch is what one of the mechanics there said. He said not to worry and just run it.
Yep, I wouldn't know what else to do anyway.
Then I ran back to the motel and had 20 minutes to get out of there.
My dad, again, sent me some money as I haven't heard about the GoalZero job yet. I tell ya, it's gonna take me some time to pay him back, even though he doesn't want me to I will.
It was getting scorching hot in Durango, and I finally left at noon to go ride the Milllion dollar Hwy.
road work (guess that's why the $1,000,000
I met another biker a few days ago, who told me the road was scary, so I was a tad apprehensive riding it, but really! Guess I must have toughened up a tad.
Some parts though it does not pay to have vertigo.
All in all it was a great road to ride.
Right now I am in Ridgeway again, so now comes the question, what to do.
I would really like to go to WestFest, but that's another week, and I don't want to hang around here for a week.
So maybe I'll head to Kansas tomorrow and turn around if I decide to go to WestFest. It's only a couple of days away from Hutchinson.
Even though I love my Spirit, I have gotten to the point of expecting something else to go wrong. That's not a good way to feel.
Got to get past that, and just trust that she will be okay. Hopefully I will be able to accept what comes my way as far as Spirit is concerned.
Yay! I did it!
Finally pushed myself into taking a dirt road!
After posting yesterdays RR in Ridgeway I was heading North to find a campground.
A couple of locals told me about Owl Creek campground down a dirt road.
After warring with myself about whether or not to go there I decided to bite the bullet and just do it! I figured if I get to a point of being comfortable on dirt roads by myself then I can actually camp for free and see some awesome sights.
I was lucky, the dirt road was pretty hard mostly. Some loose dirt and gravel but not bad.
The higher I got the windier it got though, and the road narrowed.
After about an hour and a half, maybe longer (went slow! about 20 mph) I was at the top of the pass
There was a site there that I could have put my tent for free, but it dawned on me that I had not remembered to buy more TP, humph! Of all the things to run out of.
So I decided to just go to one of the forest campsites along the road.
The sun was getting lower in the sky, and the coloring was magnificent!
I finally ended up at Beaver Creek campsite, and pitched my tent between the trees.
I had an awesome view behind my site.
That night it thundered accompanied with lightening of course! I guess cause I was so high up, it made the thunder so much louder, and the lightening filled my tent with so much light, it was as if a car had it's high beams on me.
I slept like a baby that night.
I took my time in the morning and made oatmeal for breakfast.
I had some sunflower seeds and gave them to a cute little visitor. :)
Left camp around 10, and rode another hour or so till I hit HWY50.
A few of these slowed me down occasionally.
I had been on this road not too long ago, but this time around it was sunny, and not black with impending rain. Couldn't take any pics anymore seeing as I had forgotten to charge my camera battery, and the usb charger just wouldn't work.
Hondo had suggested when I stayed at his place, to give Hayduke and Bonnie Azbug a call when I was near Salida, because they have a cottage available for AdvRiders. I called them and asked them if I could stay there and I could. Yay!
They are wonderful people and made me feel really welcome and at home, and their cottage is absolutely perfect!
Bonnie Azbug has a bead store where I saw some peace sign beads; time to make myself a nice keychain, haven't had any luck finding one with a peace sign.
So right now after having taken a wonderful shower, I am relaxing and typing up my report
I am not really a jewelry person, but yesterday at a viewpoint on the million dollar Hwy, a Navaho woman was selling some beaded jewelry she had made.
I could not resist the dreamcatcher necklace, which matched another beaded moon necklace a friend of mine gave me as a goodbye present.
I feel a bit like a Christmas tree with so much around my neck, but maybe that's why I slept like a baby last night :WoW><
Oh Yeah, I'm totally in on this ride.....and looking forward to it. Roll on Esther! :clap:clap:clap
Jim and Alex are pretty fantastic folks. I met up with them shortly after they left you, at the Hells Canyon rally. :clap
I think I remember them mentioning your bike and its many problems, actually... hahaha. Small world.
California is killer with camping fees. For $30 a night I expect a dive motel with, at the least, some sort of bed and an endless supply of hot water, not setting up my own tent and camping on the ground. That's what happens when your state runs out of money for parks, I guess.
It's great to see your skills evolving over the course of this RR! As stupid as it sounds, even though the bike falls over a lot, it's at least not something that you're paranoid about anymore. I imagine if it falls over, you'll go "Oh, not this again..", where with me? I've never had a get-off at speed on this bike yet, so I'm a lot more cautious even in areas where I have no need to be. I'm slowly gaining confidence, and chasing people with a lot more skill than I have seems to be a great way to build it.
I'm a bit jealous of the mushroom picking, to be honest! I'd love to do something like that, I even have an ebook copy of a really good field guide to edible mushrooms, but I'm always leery about misidentification. :cry
Lucid dreaming is fun. For the most part, every time I go lucid I am faced with the choice of forgetting it's a dream and continuing, or waking up though. I am not entirely sure why my brain does this. I mostly don't bother much these days, though I'd like to get back into it at some point. It's nice to see somebody else who is into meditation and such on here. Also another vegetarian, yay! :lol3
The "Very unearthly flower" is mullein. It has a number of medicinal uses, and is also fairly flammable.
Ride on, sister! I'd like to meet up at some point but we'll see how that goes, it's hard for me to plan anything these days...
I'll keep an eye out though! :lurk
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