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Old 08-12-2010, 10:46 PM   #181
kerncountykid OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClarkA
Imagine my fury at someone who doesn't know the difference between a National Monument and a military base located nearby!
The monument is an island surrounded on all four sides by the test range and an air force base. The Trinity Site is just north of the dunes and missle testing causes closures of back country camping within the monument boundaries to this day.

Not crapping on the military at all, but next time you're riding the 700 miles from LA to Bonneville to go racing be sure to stop by Groom and say thanks to the USAF for sealing those salts up tighter than a dolphins butt!
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Old 08-13-2010, 11:22 AM   #182
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When you have tunnel vision it's easy to overlook a mountain range here, million acre forest there. On the outskirts of Alamogordo I began climbing into elevations not seen since the Sierra's in California. My wandering finger found Lincoln National Forest in my always handy atlas. Huh, whoda thunk it? Even less expected was just how high above sea level Lincoln was, a staggering 8000+ feet; the highest elevation of my trip. It was a beautiful and unexpected piece of country.

The lack of gas stations was horrifying though. As the sun set I found Artesia, Dee Dee huffing and puffing on fumes. In the pitch black I sped south for Brantley Lake State park, similar in many ways to the hellish Alamo Lake in Arizona. Except there were people here. I spent an hour talking with a banker and his family about our failing economy, eating weeners and beans his mother had made specially for me.

Leaving Brantley in the morning I locked eyes with a slobbering bull and fully expected him to charge and gore me to death. I escaped and found Carlsbad Caverns National Park. The long elevator ride down emptied myself and about eight other people into what I can only describe as an underground football stadium, but bigger. It took almost two hours of brisk walking to bring me back to the exit. The cool, humid air steamed off my jacket when I finally stepped back out into the sun.



















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Old 08-17-2010, 01:35 PM   #183
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I hit loose gravel on a lonely stretch of road and nearly gave up the ghost. It was Co. Rd. 720, a narrow two lane stretch over weak rolling hills; the last vestige of geological activity before settling into Texas' unbelievable flatness. It took some time to regain my composure and my feet hurt from putting them down at speed. As I cruised along, overly cautious, a spec appeared and grew in front of me. The spec eventually became a full sized truck. Considering the desolation I stopped to offer help. A very elderly rancher appeared with a shotgun and said he was shooting cows. Or that's what I thought he said through the muffle of my brain bucket. Helmet off, he clarified; he was picking off coyotes that were eyeballing his cattle.

His name was Tom, and after a few friendly minutes I was back at it. The archetypal bullet ridden signage welcomed me to Texas. Minutes are hours on roads this long and when I finally found Monahans Sandhills State Park I was fully surprised. If White Sands challenged what I though I knew about the desert, I realized I didn't know anything as I hiked up the lonely dunes and looked out over the entire state of Texas.





















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Old 08-17-2010, 06:20 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by kerncountykid
Aww man, I wasn't looking for a hand out, just a little understanding. I doubt they have guys roll in on vintage bikes they built for cross country trips 2 or 3 times a week. I understand about not loaning tools, and an even semi-polite 'sorry, we don't loan' woud have sufficed. I've been around the block and know how that stuff works. These guys were rotten. There wasn't a bike in the shop, they were standing around shooting the shit at 11 am, and talked to us like we were trash. I mean, I built that bike from scratch, give me at least a little credit. I wasn't on a Gold Wing with a wallet stuffed with credit cards. And who says 'A compression test wont tell you anything'? Not something I'd expect to hear in a garage, much less a dealership.

Glad you guys are enjoying it, I've got a ton more to write, and the really crazy stuff hasn't even started yet!
I sent them a polite "WTF?" I don't expect to hear back but you never know.
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Old 08-18-2010, 04:06 PM   #185
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Enjoying your ride !

I rode a Suzuki 380 2-stroke across country when in my early 20's. Now, some 35 years later I still refer back to that trip when planning my journeys. Tales of that long ago journey still make great fodder around beer soak camp fires.

Keep going !!!!

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Old 08-19-2010, 06:03 PM   #186
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Thumb Thanks, buddy..

...Robert Pirsig has to be smiling somewhere right now.
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Old 08-19-2010, 06:09 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by Highwayman
...Robert Pirsig has to be smiling somewhere right now.

Well......maybe....."Due to suffering a nervous breakdown, Pirsig spent time in and out of psychiatric hospitals between 1961 to 1963. He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and clinical depression as a result of an evaluation conducted by psychoanalysts, and was treated with shock therapy on numerous occasions. In years following the publication of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, he has lived a solitary and reclusive lifestyle.".....Wiki
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:30 PM   #188
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicH2
Enjoying your ride !

I rode a Suzuki 380 2-stroke across country when in my early 20's. Now, some 35 years later I still refer back to that trip when planning my journeys. Tales of that long ago journey still make great fodder around beer soak camp fires.

Keep going !!!!

I totally love this post

To everyone else that reads it
if you haven't already

get off your ass and go fucking ride the ride of your life at least once
so you'll have something to brag about & make you smile 35 years + later
I have a feeling kerncountykid is just getting started and will have many more rides in his future

at least I hope so cause I am hooked on his awesome pictures and writing style
kerncountykid you seriously should be looking into a motojournalist gig and get paid to ride and write
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:00 AM   #189
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airborndad
I totally love this post

To everyone else that reads it
if you haven't already

get off your ass and go fucking ride the ride of your life at least once
so you'll have something to brag about & make you smile 35 years + later
I have a feeling kerncountykid is just getting started and will have many more rides in his future

at least I hope so cause I am hooked on his awesome pictures and writing style
kerncountykid you seriously should be looking into a motojournalist gig and get paid to ride and write
thanks a lot, that's about the nicest thing anyone could say. I'd love to digest it into one readable story for a rag. so here's the end everyone, thanks for the positive responses!
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:01 AM   #190
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The western cut of Texas was laid out special for travellers. Anywhere beyond the state, be it west or east, you are so much closer to home. This almost infinite breadth of space is sufficient to fill with all your thoughts, and you're afforded the time to organize all those memories, ideas and resolutions. I couldn't tell you word one I turned over in my head in all that time, but I know it was an important part of locking the past weeks experiences in the deepest canyons of my mind.

When I reached Dallas I stopped at Weinerschnitzel for one last chili wanger dog and called my grandpa for the first time in a month. We talked about riding and laughed for a while at what a gypsy I had become. A sub-ten minute oil change that afternoon stood in stark contrast to the unrefined disaster way back in Las Vegas, NM. I finally found one last soggy piece of ground to pitch my tent on. Atmosphere scraping cell phone towers beared down on me as I listened to "Silver Stallion" by the Highwaymen and let the riot going on in my mind push me through the door to sleep.





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Old 08-20-2010, 12:02 AM   #191
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October 19th

For a month I pushed nature into an unprecedented period of agreeability, but on the 32nd day she finally pushed back. Through Dallas I tread softly over the very spot, marked by a gruesome X, where President Kennedy was assassinated. By the time I reached the Arkansas border a nagging cold had set in and began nipping at my exposed hips. Lustful stares from girls won't keep you warm in low rise denim jeans. Soon night set in and the cold became a propellant for my mind, sharpening the edge of my determination to get home.

When the Little Rock skyline finally appeared in the horizon, acute angles perfectly stamped through the dim sheet of twilight, I smiled. The distant, familiar buildings quickly became my neighborhood and a mile wide grin spread over my face. But that smile escalated into weak laughter and my vision blurred with exhausted tears. Over a month ago I predicted my house would look different as I approached from this opposite end of the street. I was wrong though. Our little corner home appeared unaltered in reality and memory.

It was the road that was different.









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Old 08-20-2010, 12:33 AM   #192
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Epic.
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:54 AM   #193
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Thanks for all the work and time to bring us along on your fantastic journey. Totally enjoyed.
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:06 AM   #194
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A totally incredible journey for a young man that you will remember for the rest of your life. I agree with many others on here, I am certain that you will make many more trips similar to this one, but none will be more memorable.

Thanks for taking us all along with you.
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Old 08-20-2010, 05:40 PM   #195
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Thumbs down Wise Up

Quote:
Originally Posted by RicH2
Well......maybe....."Due to suffering a nervous breakdown, Pirsig spent time in and out of psychiatric hospitals between 1961 to 1963. He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and clinical depression as a result of an evaluation conducted by psychoanalysts, and was treated with shock therapy on numerous occasions. In years following the publication of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, he has lived a solitary and reclusive lifestyle.".....Wiki
The book was written in 1974, not 1963, and the man is now 80 years old.
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