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Old 06-16-2010, 06:43 PM   #166
SirSkuffy
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I find myself lured to your report.... Your ability (and age I suppose does help) to grasp the opportunity to explore before being "claimed" by society and our need to nest a little.

I congradulate you both on your amazing adventure and thank you for allowing us to tag along.

Live life, live free and live and love the moment.
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Old 06-17-2010, 04:06 AM   #167
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Good to see you're reporting again !!!

Hows the old Honda holding up ? And, where is the road taking you next ?
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Old 06-25-2010, 10:28 AM   #168
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So the Kern County kid finally comes home. I was born in Bakersfield, son of an oil field laborer, who himself was the son of an oil field laborer. But I haven't lived here in over twenty years and the air of mystery that hangs over the southern tip of the San Joaquin Valley is almost as thick as the smog. Both my mom and my dad spent the entirety of their youth crusing Chester and Union, hanging out at the Valley Plaza Mall, sun tanning next to swimming pools tucked away in the suburban sprawl and, at the same age I am now, raising two babies.

The mystery of course is what kind of life I would have had here. For the sake of my sanity I assume my mother's sudden and perplexing move east almost twenty years ago kept me out of the oil fields, and from a shared fate with so many young men who weren't lucky enough to walk away safely from those oil rigs, my father included.

My grandfather still lives here though. The man lived harder and faster than anyone and now over the tip of eighty years old he's the only Ware left besides me and my brother. He's a master welder, self taught mechanic and all around old-school dude. His welcome was warm, and for Justin, brief. Within twenty minutes he was back out into the night to have his own unshared journey south. No need for goodbyes with Justin, they're never permanent.

I spent two days wrenching on my poor old Honda and visiting with family. I paid my respects to the ones that couldn't be there and then, as my grandpa later said, "left outta here like a cannonball".














kerncountykid screwed with this post 08-11-2010 at 02:51 PM
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:40 PM   #169
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Talking

Great stuff
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Old 06-25-2010, 01:09 PM   #170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerncountykid
So the Kern County kid finally comes home. I was born in Bakersfield, son of an oil field laborer, who himself was the son of an oil field laborer.
priceless.
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:08 AM   #171
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It's been said before but I'll say it again: you are a superlative writer.

I hope you take another trip somewhere soon even if it was just to the Walmart across town because I'm sure your spin on it and your style of storytelling would make it a worthwhile read.

Thanks for this excellent report !
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:22 AM   #172
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October 13th

I rode back to LA. Justin had a deficit of on-the-grid labor to pay for his brief prison break from society. He did let me sleep on his floor though while he toiled. The insomniatic blue light of LA peered through the window and I slid deep into my sleeping bag, and lightly into a strange sleep.

My cousin is stationed in San Diego with the US Navy. My plan was to ride down for a visit, then head east. I posted a request for a ride share on Craigslist the night before and to my amazement an offer waited for me that morning. Meeting my cousin didn't materialize, but I did meet Stevan, a retired police officer, in the parking lot of a large football stadium. We loaded Dee Dee into the back of his pickup truck. My mind pushed at my body the way alike poles of two magnets do as we rode comfortably in the wrong direction: east.











Stevan dropped me off outside of Tucson in a factory parking lot. The ride from San Diego had been about 400 miles, mostly through the desert. Weeks earlier this parcel had halted Gord permanently. But a few more miles around the sun had dulled the blazes daytime severity. I had hitched the ride because Dee Dee was starting to show her miles and I feared a similar mechanical failure in the heat, but it would have been a beautiful ride. I saw jagged black mountains encroaching our Mexican border and vast sand dunes populated with campers and paddle wheeled dirt bikes.

And then I was alone. In the factory parking lot I pored over our tattered atlas. A trip that had been defined by shared exclamations, laughing and slow conversation was now turned inward. Not silent, but outwardly quiet. In Tucson I sat in a Fry's Grocery parking lot and ate a chicken leg. If Fry's does well I'd hinge it on Anja, the shockingly gorgeous cart wrangler. She shyly asked questions while I took a mental picture of her electric smile, sure I'd need the image later to keep me going.
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:27 AM   #173
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That night I made my way to Catalina State Park. My headlight illuminated the edge of a Martian mountain scape as I loudly woke up the park, surely it's last arrival of the night. In the morning I struck up a conversation with another Steven, who had crossed the country on his Triumph just to have a beer on a California beach. We agreed to meet up at the New Mexican border and rode out separately. I looked in at the Pima Air and Space Museum, either too broke or lacking the conviction to pay for the tour. Saguaro National Park tragically passed under my radar and left me with the only possible reason to ever return to Tucson in my life.











I completely forgot about Steven and was surprised to see him at the New Mexico visitors center. We rode on together for Las Cruces. I was only able to pretend to be annoyed by his presence and secretly appreciated the intrusion. When we reached Las Cruces at nightfall our only camping option was north at Leasburg Dam. The rec area was gated and locked when we got there, and rather than push our bikes under the high fence Steven insisted we camp on the side of the road. Our proximity to the Mexican border left me with images of my spinal cord dangling from the necklace of some high ranking drug lord.

Steven turned out to be very weird. I finally convinced him to follow me into the park when a returning camper opened the gate. As we sat in our fireless campsite he told me his life story. As a young man his pregnant fiance had been murdered. This was bookended with stories of floozies he had banged while working as a bouncer in a bar. He was a good guy who I think was just dealt a cosmically bad hand. As the night wore on and his beers ran out my presence began to offend him more and more. I turned in for the night before he was able to demand a drunken arm wrestling match, or worse, punch me out. I think Steven had done a lot of punching in his life.
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:53 PM   #174
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicH2
Good to see you're reporting again !!!

Hows the old Honda holding up ? And, where is the road taking you next ?
The old Honda is starting to show her age, but really just needs a few days maitenence. I'm sketching out a trip in September again, but it's up in the air right now.
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:54 PM   #175
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanishing Point
It's been said before but I'll say it again: you are a superlative writer.

I hope you take another trip somewhere soon even if it was just to the Walmart across town because I'm sure your spin on it and your style of storytelling would make it a worthwhile read.

Thanks for this excellent report !
Thanks alot, and thanks to everyone else for the kind words!
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Old 07-15-2010, 04:44 AM   #176
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You must have passed through Yuma.

"Slow down....your moving way too fast."
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:25 PM   #177
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicH2
You must have passed through Yuma.

"Slow down....your moving way too fast."
I did, but we left SD around noon, so I was a few hours too early to catch the 3:10 to Yuma
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:15 PM   #178
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Boozed up sleep must be restful, because Steven was packed and long gone when I moaned and grunted my way out of my sweltering tent. Due east lay the Organ Mountain range. As I sped up the carefully carved mountain road I got my first glimpse of the White Sands Missile Range, testing site of the worlds first atomic bomb. Approaching the base I was advised not to photograph the range and asked to prove my citizenship. My puny bike sat humbly in the parking lot as I perused a field of gutted rockets and decommissioned symbols of our military might.















And then there are the white sands. Have you ever felt out of place at a party? Well try feeling out of place on the planet and you can probably imagine how the White Sands National Monument would feel. Where the hell did 11 miles of fine, pure white sand come from out here? I'll spare you my fury about our government appropriating something like this for military use and just say I'm thankful to have been able to ride my dying motorcycle barefoot through the towering, blinding white dunes. As someone who's Xanadu would be an acre and shack on the dark side of the Moon I can tell you White Sands is a serene, cleansing place.













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Old 08-12-2010, 05:49 PM   #179
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I like your style, Kid.
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Old 08-12-2010, 08:54 PM   #180
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerncountykid
Boozed up sleep must be restful, because Steven was packed and long gone when I moaned and grunted my way out of my sweltering tent. Due east lay the Organ Mountain range. As I sped up the carefully carved mountain road I got my first glimpse of the White Sands Missile Range, testing site of the worlds first atomic bomb. Approaching the base I was advised not to photograph the range and asked to prove my citizenship. My puny bike sat humbly in the parking lot as I perused a field of gutted rockets and decommissioned symbols of our military might.















And then there are the white sands. Have you ever felt out of place at a party? Well try feeling out of place on the planet and you can probably imagine how the White Sands National Monument would feel. Where the hell did 11 miles of fine, pure white sand come from out here? I'll spare you my fury about our government appropriating something like this for military use and just say I'm thankful to have been able to ride my dying motorcycle barefoot through the towering, blinding white dunes. As someone who's Xanadu would be an acre and shack on the dark side of the Moon I can tell you White Sands is a serene, cleansing place.













Imagine my fury at someone who doesn't know the difference between a National Monument and a military base located nearby!
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