Wherever I May Roam - One Woman Livin' on a DR650

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Feyala, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Aug 20, 2011
    I find myself in rural Illinois. On the plus side, there's not much out here to do other than get the ride report up to date, and I finally feel like I can just relax for a bit without worrying about being chased off, overstaying my welcome, or finding a place to sleep. On the minus side, I'm in rural Illinois... :rofl

    Oz ran out of money and so he is seeking work in Flora. I still have a little pile of funds left, so I'm not in much of a rush, and most of the jobs here are factory work anyways. We're staying with a friend of mine who is renting a house here in Cisne for $350 a month. I've literally rented a 4x10' closet for that much before. Crazy.

    It's been a bit of a culture shock, but so far nobody's come at me with torches and pitchforks so it's all good.

    Oz didn't end up getting his tooth fixed, but I'll get to that part of the story in time - his tooth stopped hurting though, so that much is a blessing. It's also gotten to be too hot for me to want to go to Florida, so when I leave here I might be going northwest-ish, heading for the Hells Canyon rally. Maybe the national Rainbow Gathering, maybe Alaska, maybe just bum around in the northwest, I don't really have much in the way of plans currently.

    I'll probably be here another couple of weeks to a month getting my business in order. I need to renew my registration, get new tires, and some other tedious stuff which is more challenging without a fixed address. Most importantly, the RR is hilariously outdated and this is one of my top priorities.

    Hope you all have been doing well, and look for updates in the near future!
  2. 8lives

    8lives Dharma Bum

    Jan 16, 2012
    Shasta County,Calif
    Good to see you back,keep chasin the Rainbows,lotsa events in the summer.Post when you can so those of us who can't bail and cruise can live through you and the others such as yourself.Partake and enjoy fellow person of the earth.
  3. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Aug 20, 2011
    Hey, it was great to meet you too! Thanks again for putting us up! :clap We talked for, what was it, a day and a half? Time well spent!

    Sorry for setting your dog off, I'm sure your wife was happy when we left so she could finally get some sleep!
  4. klrzorn

    klrzorn Been here awhile

    Feb 4, 2006
    St. Louis, Mo.
    I'm not sure how far you are from Edwardsville, Ill. I have friends that have received cheap dental care from SIU Edwardsville dental school.
    I don't know what the process was for them to get this care.
    They seemed happy with the care though. Maybe Oz could check it out.
  5. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Aug 20, 2011
    It was quite chilly on this side of the mountains, unlike Saline Valley, and I hadn't slept very well. Oh well! I quickly broke camp and began my day.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/hummingcamp.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1187__320x240_hummingcamp.jpg"></a></center>
    After stopping to air up my tires, I continued south on the 395, slowly warming up in the sunshine. I decided to take a journey through a period in history I wasn't really that familiar with: WWII Japanese internment. In my history classes, it was only ever mentioned briefly, almost as a sidenote.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/tower.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1192__320x240_tower.jpg"></a></center>
    Welcome to Manzanar!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/manzanarsign.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1190__320x240_manzanarsign.jpg"></a></center>
    As I entered the auditorium which the National Park Service had converted into a free interpretive center, this sign summed up the story.

    "In 1942, the United States government ordered over 110,000 men, women, and children to leave their homes and detained them in remote, military-style camps. Two-thirds of them were born in America. Not one was convicted of espionage or sabotage. For 10,000 of them, Manzanar would be their new home."

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/manzanarnewhome.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1193__320x240_manzanarnewhome.jpg"></a></center>
    Past the gift shop, the first exhibit was quite shocking, laying bare the sentiments which led these events to unfold. After the Japanese strike on Pearl Harbor, xenophobia and racism towards the Japanese were at a breaking point.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/keepmoving.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1188__320x240_keepmoving.jpg"></a></center>
    "Herd 'em up, pack 'em off and give 'em the inside room in the badlands. Let 'em be pinched, hurt, hungry and dead up against it... Personally, I hate the Japanese. And that goes for all of them."

    "Let Them Howl. If making 1,000,000 innocent Japanese uncomfortable would prevent one scheming Japanese from costing the life of an American boy, then let 1,000,000 innocents suffer."

    There was a public call for action. People felt that the Japanese represented a threat to national security. I'm not quite sure what I expected to find here at Manzanar, but it pulled no punches in its portrayal of the brutally toxic atmosphere that gave birth to <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_9066">Executive Order 9066</a>, requiring all "persons of Japanese ancestry" to report for relocation.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/order.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1197__320x240_order.jpg"></a></center>
    Canada and Latin America were not spared this tragedy.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/canada.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1204__320x240_canada.jpg"></a></center>
    "Under pressure from the US, sixteen Latin American countries interned 8,500 residents of German, Italian, and Japanese descent. Over 3,000 others were deported to the US, where they were to be exchanged for US citizens held as prisoners-of-war. The deportees' passports were confiscated and, upon arriving in the US, they were declared illegal immigrants and placed in Department of Justice camps in Texas. The majority of deportees of Japanese ancestry were eventually sent to Japan either as part of the exchange program or as repatriates after the war."

    Later I discovered that unlike the Japanese, the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_American_internment">Germans</a> and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian-American_internment">Italians</a> who were placed in internment camps have never received a federal apology or reparations. I found this interesting, because their incarceration hasn't been highly publicized, almost as though we've forgotten about it.

    The stories told by Manzanar were heartbreaking. The detainees were given only a few days to prepare. They had to dispose of everything they owned, including their homes and businesses, often at fire sale prices – others knew they had to sell. They could bring with them only what they could carry, and nobody knew when they would be allowed to return. If they were lucky, they had non-Japanese friends who could manage their affairs while they were gone. Most ended up losing what livelihoods they had managed to scratch out of their new home country, some too elderly to start anew. Many buried or destroyed treasured possessions instead of selling them for a pittance.

    They were herded onto trucks and trains, under armed guard, and dispersed to the barren wastelands of the western states. There they were crammed into hastily-constructed barracks, which they had to share with other families. They strung bedsheets from the ceiling as room dividers, in an attempt to create an illusion of privacy.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/barracks.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1198__320x240_barracks.jpg"></a></center>
    "Manzanar's wood and tarpaper barracks were no match for Owens Valley's wind, dust, and extreme temperatures. Congressman Leland Ford, visiting Manzanar in 1942, remarked, 'On dusty days one might as well be outside.' In addition to dealing with crowded conditions and a lack of privacy, internees also had to make do with the few belongings they brought with them. As Yuri Tateishi recalled, 'What hurt most I think was seeing those hay mattresses... It was depressing, such a primitive feeling. We were given army blankets and army cots. Our family was large enough that we didn't have to share our barrack with another family, but all seven of us were in one room.'"

    The lack of privacy did not stop at the barracks, even the latrines and showers held no such luxuries.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/latrine.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1189__320x240_latrine.jpg"></a></center>
    Many of the detainees' worries centered around their children. Nobody knew what to expect, what kind of education their children would receive, or how they would be treated. The camp included a school, which had difficulty retaining teachers. Their sports teams were only allowed to play 'home' games, obviously.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/familylife.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1201__320x240_familylife.jpg"></a></center>
    "I used to wonder how the children could get up and sing such patriotic songs. They would sing 'I am an American' and all the songs we sang in our schools." – Former Inyo County superintendent of schools.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/campexperiences.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1200__320x240_campexperiences.jpg"></a></center>
    The camp also was home to 101 Japanese-American orphans at the Children's Village. Half of the children came from institutions and foster homes, while others were separated from their families when their parents became ill, were arrested, or were the infant children of unwed mothers. At Manzanar they became an unusual family, forming friendships and ties, only to be scattered and uprooted again when the camp was shut down.

    One corner of the auditorium was set up to explain what the children's experience at Manzanar was like, including the toy lending library:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/toys.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1191__320x240_toys.jpg"></a></center>
    Also, the harsh reality that all of the families lost their pets when they had to evacuate.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/pets.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1202__320x240_pets.jpg"></a></center>
    As if being forced to live in confinement wasn't bad enough, a questionnaire was sent to the residents with the intent of ferreting out the disloyal:

    "Are you willing to serve in the armed forces of the United States on combat duty wherever ordered?"

    21,000 young men were asked if they were willing to serve in combat. They didn't know how their responses would be used, or how soon they would be inducted. There was one sad story of a woman who saw her son volunteer for war and return to her in a pine box – she was given his purple heart while still locked behind a barbed wire fence.

    Several hundred men who refused to be drafted were convicted on federal charges.

    "Will you swear unqualified allegiance to the United States of America and faithfully defend the United States from any or all attack by foreign or domestic forces, and forswear any form of allegiance or obedience to the Japanese emperor, or any other foreign government, power, or organization?"

    Most of the second-generation Japanese resented the implication that they had ties to the Japanese emperor, while first-generation Japanese were prevented by law from becoming American citizens. In essence, this question forced them to choose between appearing disloyal to their adopted country or renouncing their singular citizenship. Many feared becoming stateless, having no country to call home.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/nocitizen.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1199__320x240_nocitizen.jpg"></a></center>
    Those who answered 'no' to both questions were considered 'disloyal', and many of them were transferred to a different facility. Some were eventually deported to Japan. While most of the detainees were resigned to their fate, there was some resistance. A protest which drew several hundred grew deadly after the crowd surged forward and the guards fired wildly at them, killing a 17 year old boy, fatally wounding another man, and injuring nine others.

    Not all of the time spent at Manzanar was full of despair. People made new friends, fell in love and got married. They made the best of their situation by organizing clubs and groups, playing sports, running a newspaper, and cultivating lush gardens and lawns. In the span of months, they transformed the bleak, arid environment with Japanese-style gardens, complete with bridges over ponds. It gave them a sense of hope and something else to focus on.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/gardenphoto.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1203__320x240_gardenphoto.jpg"></a></center>
    Signs indicated that the ruins of these gardens were still standing outside, so I decided to explore them. On my way out, there were several exhibits tying this event to other struggles immigrants have faced in recent years, including inspirational quotes by the founding fathers and other historical figures.

    "He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself." – Thomas Paine

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/scapegoat.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1215__320x240_scapegoat.jpg"></a></center>
    Outside, I began to walk across the fairly large complex. I ran across these rebuilt barracks, showing what the lodging was like. Inside there were simply beds.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/barracksoutside.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1217__320x240_barracksoutside.jpg"></a></center>
    Another building was set up as the mess hall, the sounds of a kitchen, dishes clattering and the mumble of a crowd playing in the background. Newspaper clippings reported that the internees grew vegetables in an attempt to make the camp self-sustaining, even managing to get a sizeable shoyu and tofu production facility up and running.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/messhall.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1219__320x240_messhall.jpg"></a></center>
    Further along were these gardens, a hollow shell of once-vibrant life. I tried to imagine what they were like surrounded by lush greenery, a pleasant respite from the heat of the desert.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/garden1.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1218__320x240_garden1.jpg"></a></center>
    There were a number of them scattered around.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/garden2.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1221__320x240_garden2.jpg"></a></center>
    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/garden3.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1222__320x240_garden3.jpg"></a></center>
    The hospital wards, now merely foundations, gave me pause. It must have been terrifying to catch an illness here, especially given the rudimentary services available when the camp was new. This camp is in the middle of nowhere.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/wards.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1220__320x240_wards.jpg"></a></center>
    Nearby was the cemetery. All but a few of the bodies were removed once the camp was closed. Crafted by the internees and paid for by donation, the monument bears the inscription "soul consoling tower" on the front.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/memorial.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1194__320x240_memorial.jpg"></a></center>
    Visitors frequently leave offerings here, including origami cranes and items of personal significance. I found these gorgeous rainbow-colored cranes in a bouquet nearby.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/rainbowcranes.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1196__320x240_rainbowcranes.jpg"></a></center>
    Manzanar gave me a lot to think about. Those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it, and the growing encroachment of xenophobia and disregard for constitutional rights is a troubling bellwether. Hopefully we won't repeat our mistakes. The site did provide some hope, even in adversity the people here managed to laugh, love, and create beauty which survived even the demise of the camp itself.

    My mind clouded with these thoughts, I made my way back to Lone Pine and reassured Nip that I hadn't met my doom in Death Valley. He suggested that I check out a place nearby called Fossil Falls for camping, and armed with directions, I set off into the fading light in search of it.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/sunset2fossil.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1216__320x240_sunset2fossil.jpg"></a></center>
    The turn off was fairly easy to spot once I knew what to look for, and it was conveniently near the highway. I managed to assemble my tent before it got completely dark, ate dinner, and slept. My only company was a single RV on the opposite side of the camp, so I felt like I had the place to myself.
  6. 8lives

    8lives Dharma Bum

    Jan 16, 2012
    Shasta County,Calif
    Ya that Manzanar place is a real reminder of how not to over react and how not treat people.I drive by there often and it's kinda a creepy place when I think about it,it's good it's open for people to see and never forget
  7. Rango

    Rango Phaneropter

    Oct 30, 2012
    Kingdom of Belgium
    qoute [​IMG] unquote
    This is strength

    There is a reason why some of us ride motorcycles.
  8. Patrick46

    Patrick46 visionary

    Apr 20, 2009
    Oregon Coastline
    Fey, you are a person of great depth and wonder.

    Where the majority of people would pass on by such a place as Manzanar, you go and find the beauty hidden there.

    All the best to you. Safe travels and Godspeed! :norton

    btw....if you ever find yourself up here on the Southern Oregon Coastline, don't hesitate to drop a line! :deal
  9. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

    Dec 29, 2009
    Austin, Tx.
    +1 to that!
  10. Harry94025

    Harry94025 Been here awhile

    Feb 14, 2010

    Thanks for your thoughtful post about Manzanar. My parents were in their teens when they were sent to the camp in Topaz, Utah.

    To this day, they talk about life in the camps; they're in their 80's...

  11. Ratman

    Ratman Lucky Rider

    Feb 20, 2005
    Baja is good
    Well Done, Fey. That was a powerful post. I've been by there many times and never stopped. Thanks for the reminder/enlightenment. :freaky
  12. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Aug 20, 2011
    I was up and about before dawn, which is uncharacteristically early for me, but it was good to get a nice, early start to the day for once.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/fossilcamp.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1226__320x240_fossilcamp.jpg"></a></center>
    After packing up my gear, I decided to check out the hiking trail to the falls themselves. There was this big volcanic rock along the way:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/lavarock.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1227__320x240_lavarock.jpg"></a></center>
    Fossil Falls is what remains of a glacial melt waterfall which flowed 10,000 years ago, eroding the soft volcanic basalt in its path. No water flows here today, but native americans did live nearby while it was active. The result of all this erosion is a visual cacophony of smooth, twisted stone shapes.

    Sadly, the harsh early-morning light over-exposed my photos, so I apologize for their poor quality.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/falls1.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1228__320x240_falls1.jpg"></a></center>
    I would have enjoyed exploring the lower trails, as I think the view of the falls would have been far better from below, but I didn't feel like hiking quite that far with my gear on. As it was, hopping between boulders in motorcycle boots was an interesting challenge!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/falls2.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1229__320x240_falls2.jpg"></a></center>
    I zoomed down the 395 and headed towards Ridgecrest. Spying a Walmart, I decided that I could do with some maintenance and cleaned my chain and air filter in their parking lot. Yuck! The filter was absolutely filthy after cruising around the dusty desert for so long. Luckily I carry I a spare.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/airfilterfilthy.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1224__320x240_airfilterfilthy.jpg"></a></center>
    This was a fairly uneventful day, as I ate up the miles heading south towards Joshua Tree National Park. I didn't take too many pictures, because most of the views were of flat scrubby desert with the occasional mostly-abandoned town or water tower to break up the monotony.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/flatdesert.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1225__320x240_flatdesert.jpg"></a></center>
    I rolled on for hours into the night looking for a campsite, playing my favorite guessing game, "does this road look inhabited?" Thankfully, I eventually saw a sign for Johnson Valley OHV area, and decided to check it out. It was a bit loose and sandy, but not unreasonable. I had no luck finding an out of the way place to camp, so I simply threw down my tent in the staging area near the informational sign.

    While winding down for bed, I decided to play with my tarot cards and asked about the outcome of my visit to Joshua Tree. The first card that I turned over was Death. I realize that this card isn't literal, it symbolizes transition, cycles and new beginnings, but it still unnerved me a bit. I laughed it off.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/deathcard.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1247__320x240_deathcard.jpg"></a></center>
    I fell into a peaceful slumber, only to be awoken in the morning by the rumble and squeak of passing trucks. Pickup trucks. Semi trucks. No wonder the road was so washboarded...

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/blmcamp.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1230__320x240_blmcamp.jpg"></a></center>
    I spied one of the OHV trails nearby. Loose, steep, sandy gravel. Yeaaah, no thanks.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/blmtrail.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1233__320x240_blmtrail.jpg"></a></center>
    I packed quickly, dehydration was becoming an issue as the desert warmed up. As always, the road wasn't nearly as sketchy during the daytime.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/blmroad.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1231__320x240_blmroad.jpg"></a></center>
    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/blmsign.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1232__320x240_blmsign.jpg"></a></center>
    I headed back to the 247, where for a time, things were peaceful. I was in a great mood, enjoying the morning air. The flat road became rolling hills, and I found myself stuck behind a pair of semi trucks, going well under the speed limit. With plenty of time to pass, I decided to pull a familiar maneuver – I grabbed a handful of throttle and gunned it to pass them quickly. Midway through, a wobble began to form, innocently enough at first, and I figured it would correct itself as it had always done in the past. I didn't want to slow down for fear of being stuck between oncoming traffic and the semis, or forcing the semis to pile on their brakes to avoid rear-ending me. I maintained my speed until I was sure I was past them and safely back in my lane. This proved to be a mistake, as the wobble got progressively worse, the oscillations feeding into each other. By the time I realized I was in deep shit, mere seconds later, I was sliding across the pavement at 85 miles per hour.

    I have never fallen off of anything going that fast before. I didn't even have time to be afraid. My only thought as I became airborne was something like "Oh. Fuck."

    Making a conscious decision to try to relax, lest my tension cause further injury, I flopped and slid until I came to a stop. I immediately stood up. I didn't collapse, nothing major was broken, so I quickly walked out of the path of the highway traffic and to the opposite shoulder in search of my bike. Thankfully, I found it intact, resting on its right side on the shoulder. It must have stalled and locked up the rear wheel, because it left a large streak of burnt rubber on the pavement, and hadn't slid much further than I had.

    Once the bike and I were out of harm's way, the reality of what had just happened sunk in. I began shaking slightly and fumbled to take my helmet off. Almost everyone on the highway had stopped at the spectacle, no doubt expecting a casualty. One of the semi drivers rolled by at idle speed, leaning way out of his window and shouting "Hey, are you okay??" Other drivers asked the same question. I replied "I think so... give me a minute."

    I started struggling to pull my bike upright, but by this point my adrenaline was wearing off and I was feeling pain. My right wrist would not cooperate whatsoever. Two cars parked nearby and their drivers came over to see how I was doing. One of them, a woman, said that she was on her way to a family emergency and couldn't really stay to help, but wanted to make sure I was okay. The other, a man named Chris, said that he lived a block away and that I could recover at his place. They helped pull my bike upright, which, much to my amusement, started up immediately.

    I followed Chris home, riding quite slowly on the shoulder, my handlebars cocked at an unwieldy angle. Every movement of my wrist was sharp stabbing pain, but somehow I made it down his sandy road to his sandy driveway and managed to park the bike without incident.

    Chris had errands he had to take care of, but invited me to make myself at home. I thanked him profusely and ran a hot bath to unwind and explore my injuries. By this point my wrist was unusable, and it made everything at least twice as clumsy and difficult as it needed to be. I winced as I scrubbed the two-inch patch of road rash out on my left forearm. My right knee was incredibly swollen and covered in bruises from thigh to ankle, but I could walk and crouch on it, so I didn't think it was broken. My fingertips were bruised and numb, and I'd bitten the tip of my tongue. I tried to feel for a broken bone in my wrist, and did experiments to see what my range of motion was. I could grasp objects as long as no weight was involved. I couldn't bend my fingers backwards or forwards very far. I decided to give it a few days to see if it was broken or just badly sprained.

    I spent a few hours in the tub and cleaned myself up. It had been a few days since my last shower, and the water was blissfully relaxing. Eventually I emerged and tended to my wounds with triple antibiotic and bandaids. I wrapped some ice in a washcloth and held it to my knee and wrist for a while, which helped reduce the swelling and pain. A bandage wrapped around my wrist limited its range of motion.

    My riding pants were absolutely destroyed. The seat was nothing more than melted ribbons of nylon.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/seat.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1236__320x240_seat.jpg"></a></center>
    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/seatclose.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1237__320x240_seatclose.jpg"></a></center>
    The armor in knees had blown out, abraded from the road. I looked at the seat of the jeans I was wearing underneath, and was amazed to only find a small burned spot where they had been in contact with the disintegrating pants. They were spotless otherwise. I have no doubt that those pants saved me a trip to the hospital – my knees and skin would have been toast. I have a quarter-sized scar on my knee from a year ago, when I learned the lesson about how durable clothes alone are in a crash.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/knees.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1235__320x240_knees.jpg"></a></center>
    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/kneeclose.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1234__320x240_kneeclose.jpg"></a></center>
    I decided to see how badly damaged the bike was. The road had taken a chunk of paint and plastic from the fender, headlight shroud and right barkbuster. At least it wasn't my knuckles!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/barkbuster.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1238__320x240_barkbuster.jpg"></a></center>
    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/fender.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1239__320x240_fender.jpg"></a></center>
    The right mermite can took the brunt of the blow. Along the outside bottom edge, the aluminum had simply sheared off, splitting the bottom open like a can of sardines. Amazingly, other than some rash on the bottom of my fork tube, the bike itself was completely untouched! Awesome!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/brokenbox.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1241__320x240_brokenbox.jpg"></a></center>
    I accidentally woke Chris up while trying to get the box bent back into shape. He told me that there was no rush, that I could stay the night and should come back inside and just relax. He insisted that I settle in his recliner, loaded me down with blankets, and dug out an old VHS tape of The Doors movie. We got pretty baked. That was a really weird movie.

    Next we watched Maverick, and it was more movie and conversation into the evening. Chris proclaimed with all seriousness that it was my guardian angel who had saved me in the accident, and mentioned that there were a lot of factors working in my favor – they'd recently resurfaced that part of the road, for example, allowing me to slide more smoothly. If I'd been a few miles down the road, the shoulder drops off sharply, and I or my bike could have gone over the edge.

    "Watching you crash was like something out of a movie," he remarked. "I thought for sure you were a goner, and then you just got up and walked away. And then you took off your helmet and holy shit, it's a chick! No offense." "It's too bad you didn't have a camera, that would have been great for my ride report!" We laughed.

    I found out that he was retired, grew up as part of a large family in LA, and he showed me his Harley Electra Glide, recounting stories of his own mishaps on the road. He moved out to the desert for some peace and quiet, but I could tell that he misses his family.

    I spread my sleeping bag out on the bare mattress in his spare room, and he brought me an armload of blankets in case I got chilly. Drifting off, I had the odd experience of reliving the sensation of falling and sliding a few times, but this was the best night's sleep I'd had in a while.

    I awoke feeling like somebody had dumped me in a rock tumbler and left me there for a few days. Once I was upright, I set to work trying to fix the box to a point where it was usable. Chris helped, wrapping masking tape (all he had) around the gaping hole in the hope that nothing would fall out.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/boxtape.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1240__320x240_boxtape.jpg"></a></center>
    I had decided to try to make it to Phoenix, as my wrist was still in a fair amount of pain, and skip my other plans (Joshua Tree and Slab City) for the time being. With the way my luggage is set up, I need both hands to be able to properly work the bungee cords which attach my tent – no tent means no camping. I packed up my gear, bringing the motorcycle pants with me as a trophy. After loosening the bar risers, I was able to shove them more or less back to the correct angle. Other than the rack being tweaked to one side, nothing else seemed out of place.

    I said goodbye to Chris, who invited me to come back if I ever needed a place to stay around that area. I thanked him for all his hospitality – I am not sure what I would have done without him!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/chris.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1242__320x240_chris.jpg"></a></center>
    After a brief stop at Starbucks to let everyone know I was okay, I settled in for the long and painful ride home.

    Highway 62 was peaceful and desolate. The road itself was nothing to write home about – straight and surrounded by endless desert, but it suited my mood and I could set my own pace. I was nearly alone on the road for much of the day. At one point I passed a horse and buggy which was surreal, given the fact that I was at least 30 miles from the nearest town, but by the time I realized what I'd seen, I was too far ahead to take a photo unless I wanted to double back.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/desertmnts.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1249__320x240_desertmnts.jpg"></a></center>
    Near the Arizona border, surrounded by desert, they were growing cotton. This... doesn't strike me as being the best idea – cotton requires a LOT of water, but I guess it works somehow.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/cottonfields.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1246__320x240_cottonfields.jpg"></a></center>
    Soon, I was in Arizona, and called my parents to let them know I was a few hours away. You can see in this picture how tweaked my rack was:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/azwelcome.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1245__320x240_azwelcome.jpg"></a></center>
    The Arizona sunset was gorgeous, a brilliant orange with a ring of pale pink encircling the entire horizon.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/azsunset.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1243__320x240_azsunset.jpg"></a></center>
    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/saline2phx/azsunset2.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1244__320x240_azsunset2.jpg"></a></center>
    It took me a while to get to Phoenix, as I wasn't comfortable going very fast with my luggage broken and off-kilter. My parents were grateful that I was relatively unscathed from my accident, and the look of shock on their faces when I showed them what was left of the pants was priceless.

    Safe and (mostly) sound. Any crash you can walk, let alone ride away from, is a good crash. It could have been far worse...
  13. 8lives

    8lives Dharma Bum

    Jan 16, 2012
    Shasta County,Calif
    We are all venerable when we hit the road on bikes,Im so glad you are ok,it really took my breath away as I read your account of what happened,do you know what caused it yet???Keep us all filled in on how the next few days go,you are safe now,REST AND HEAL.We will all be thinking about you!!!!
  14. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

    Nov 7, 2012
    LacLaBiche Alberta Canada
    Wow Feyla! Scary story. I am so glad you were wearing the gear. Wishing you a speedy recovery!
  15. MoreCheese

    MoreCheese Now less Cheezy

    Jun 2, 2011
    Southern Wisconsin
    Holy cow Feyala! I'm glad that your (relatively) OK.

    Also, thanks for showing the aftermath of your riding pants. Lately I've been kicking around getting some "Riding Jeans" and not using my overpants. Not now. Glad your overpants helped.
  16. Got2Moto

    Got2Moto Got2MotoGraphics

    Feb 15, 2007
    :eek1 Your one tough rider for sure!. I just tossed my Tarot cards in the trash for some reason.
    Heal up peacefully and holler if you need anything.
  17. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Aug 20, 2011
    I am sorry to not have made this more obvious but that was my account of the crash that happened back in November (around here). I'll be going over the recovery in the next post. I turned out fine though. :) My wrist was broken but has since healed and I am back to 100%.

    Trying to keep this in chronological order, but I want it to be complete, so there will be some things repeated that you've probably already seen in the short 'as I go' updates. If in doubt, check the post title, where I have the date. My goal is to get this up to the current date and merge the two. These last two updates have been the stumbling block keeping me from a more rapid update schedule - both emotionally powerful entries that took me a while to figure out how I was going to get out of my head and into words.

    So in short:
    Anything in orange is 'official', long-form, non-current updates. Anything not in orange is short-form, replies, or chat. I hope that clears up some confusion.

    I am very sorry to have worried you all! :cry I am still safe and sound in Illinois.
  18. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

    Mar 16, 2003
    Jennings, Louisiana
    Lovin' your report and pictures. Like the way you have a bit of history about the area you traveled. And, thank you for the time and work to bring this to us. Also, just love KLR travel stories. :clap:clap:clap
  19. Rutabaga

    Rutabaga Been here awhile

    Aug 16, 2012
    Southeast Lower Carolina
    Nice to know there is still a person that will get involved with an episode of your type. Thank you, Chris. You make humanity proud.
  20. 8lives

    8lives Dharma Bum

    Jan 16, 2012
    Shasta County,Calif
    Well the timing now makes sense,The reports will be easier to read as I now know in the end you are ok.