Dear Ma, I Find Myself Lost Up in These Here Mountains

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Alexa, Nov 11, 2020.

  1. Alexa

    Alexa I think I don't know

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    Dear Ma,

    Yesterday, we dropped off the Sierra Nevada Mountains and onto the edge of the Great Basin Desert. Sure feels good to be back in my land of open skies and coyote cries.

    Skinny Beans and I were as tired and hungry as a uranium prospector by the time we reached Lee Vining, a small town previously known as Poverty Flat. We rented a room in one of the boarding houses that line Main Street and then walked across the street to a sit-down kitchen. Well, ten days on the trail had us more than a bit peckish, so we ordered something from every page of the thick menu book, which seemed to be upholstered out of the same sticky vinyl as the seats and tablecloth.

    After settling our bill with the waitress for all we’d consumed, I could not lift myself from the table, so we sat there for a couple more hours and watched the locals watch the tourists. I guess we were wearing neutral gang colors because no one watched us. Maybe this was on account of us looking (smelling?) a little different (crazy-eyed?) because we had just spent ten days riding (rolling?) around in the dirt.

    Inclement weather brews over the mountain tops. Rain to be measured in whole inches, they say. The storm hangs on the peaks like Grandma Crane’s wig, swirling grey and white curls and hanging lower every hour. We’ll try our darnedest to stay ahead of it, but storms usually catch up to me, and after two days of watching it build, I’m certain it’s just giving me a head start.

    Yours truly,
    Peanut

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    #41
    liv2day, forgorin, lvscrvs and 17 others like this.
  2. KuhlKLR

    KuhlKLR ColoDuc

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    Brilliant writing. Glad you're back.
    #42
  3. Mcahron

    Mcahron Feeling Fluffy, don't ruin it!

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    Nice pics. An artists eye!
    #43
  4. NinjaRider

    NinjaRider Been here awhile

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    Great writing ( again ) and the pics bring even more life to an already great story! The "accounts" of your first trip always made-my-day and I am definitely along for this ride!

    Stay safe and enjoy your adventure!
    #44
  5. Alexa

    Alexa I think I don't know

    Joined:
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    Dear Ma,

    Today was nuttier than squirrel turds. Remember that storm I told you about? Well, that stormy tempest won the gold metal in the storm race. It caught me, soaked me, roosted me and then shared its champagne with me. It was exhilarating! The desert bursts to life when it rains, and there aren't many things I love more than riding in the wet desert.

    Peanut spaced in for the whole thing and then later shared this little song to the tune of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In case you don’t recall the melody, here are some versions to choose from, depending on whether you’re in the mood for nostalgia, motor humor, or soothing rock-n-roll.

    Movie version:
    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

    Jim Carrey version:
    Ace Ventura

    Rock guitar version:
    Rob Galley


    And here is Peanut's version:

    “Oh, my…
    Dirty dirty dirt bike.
    Dirty dirty dirt bike,
    I love you.


    And, my…
    Dirty dirty dirt bike,
    Dirty dirty dirt bike,
    Loves me, too.


    High. Low.
    Everywhere we go.
    On dirty bike I depend.


    Braap. Braap.
    Dirty dirty dirt bike,
    My fine two-fendered friend.


    Braap. Braap.
    Dirty dirty dirt bike,
    My fine two-fendered friend.


    You’re sleek as a thoroughbred.
    Your seat’s not a featherbed.
    You’ll turn everybody’s head today.


    We’ll glide down the singletrack.
    We’ll ride here and there and back.
    The envy all of who survey.


    Dirty dirt bike.
    Dirty dirty dirt bike.
    Dirty dirt bike.
    … Yeah!”



    Loving life on the road,
    Peanut

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    #45
  6. magnussonh

    magnussonh Been here awhile

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    Kitty Kitty Bang Bang. I love that little ditty.
    What species is that big night colored snake in the 7th picture. It gives me somewhat of a fright just to see it.
    #46
  7. CoastieBiker

    CoastieBiker ATGATT makes me look like a giant Minion

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    Yep, when I saw that picture of the giant snake next to Skinny Bean's bike, I feared he might have been swallowed whole! :becca
    #47
  8. magnussonh

    magnussonh Been here awhile

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    He is visible in the pictures shown after the snake so (relief) he cannot have been swallowed by that snake.


    OMG, WHERE IS Peanut!?!
    #48
  9. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Just on the first page and look forward to catching up on the rest! Excellent writing and photos @Alexa!

    Penelope and Skinny Beans...brilliant.
    #49
  10. borderlinebob

    borderlinebob Been here awhile

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    She wrote an earlier report too.
    If you haven’t read it, you “must” find it.
    #50
    liv2day likes this.
  11. neppi

    neppi Long timer

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    Their webpage isn’t too bad either...
    #51
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  12. Ol Man

    Ol Man Long timer Supporter

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    Links are in her signature.
    #52
  13. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    I don't even know where to start now that I've made it through page 2. Simply...damn. Fantastic writing and wit; I have not come across someone who can craft a yarn like this @Alexa - major props.

    You two have had quite the ride thus far, sounds like the time in CA hasn't all been daises though. One idea, you guys should look into getting a stand when you're plagued with the occasional flat. The Enduro Star stand has saved my arse on multiple trips (unfortunately - stoopid flats). I can't believe you moved camp twice, especially the 2nd time when a ranger told you to do so. What was the cabinet looking thing at that site - bear locker or something?

    Had a seriously hard laugh at the explanation of of taking care of biz in the woods, holy hell that was damn funny.

    Yosemite - wow. Great pics and narrative the entire time.

    Going to wait to catch up on page 3; and also going to search up the other report @borderlinebob mentioned (thanks man!).
    #53
  14. WPaulson

    WPaulson n00b

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    Another great adventure. I'll be following.
    #54
  15. Aces&8s

    Aces&8s Adventurer

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    Another great story and excellent pictures as well.
    #55
  16. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Damn, that wet stuff didn’t look fun. Assume that was in NV? Last time I rode in NV and got caught in weather, had to abandon bikes and hike 5 miles in gear. That wasn’t very fun...lol.

    Look forward to the next update! I love the desert, there’s nothing like that solitude.
    #56
  17. RhinoVonHawkrider

    RhinoVonHawkrider Long timer

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    Just fantastic - unreal writing - Stay Safe
    #57
  18. RhinoVonHawkrider

    RhinoVonHawkrider Long timer

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    Nay I say - but Sinaloa Cartel (or your favorite gang) stealing water for Momma's WEED
    #58
  19. Alexa

    Alexa I think I don't know

    Joined:
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    Dear Ma,

    A motorcycle camping trip is a lot like playing that dangerous birthday party game where you hand a sharp pin to a blindfolded dizzy child and set them loose. You just never can tell where that pin is going to land. Sometimes it’s on the donkey’s hairy hiney. And sometimes that donkey flat kicks you in the tummy and sends you flying ass-over-tea-kettle into the hog’s feeding trough. Well, the other day, after taking stock of our fuel reserves and assessing our spot on the map, Skinny Beans and I felt quite dizzy—most likely on account of sniffing the gasoline fumes. We staggered around like a couple of drunks in the dark, trying to determine which way to head. Well, apparently we jabbed the donkey good with the sharp pin because that silly donkey kicked us so hard, we found ourselves on a new road pointed toward our next adventure, the kind of adventure we were out here looking for, the kind you can’t see until it’s almost over.

    I guess I should go back and begin at the beginning. This all began a few days ago, back on the day the rain caught up to us. We had stopped at the gas station store in Mina for some gas, but found the store to be closed and the petrol well dry. Now, I can bet my bottom dollar that every small town has a bar and that the folks in the bar know everything about everything, including where to rustle up some gas. So we headed on over to the bar (the place with the colorful picnic tables outside). Skinny Beans went inside—bars are no place for a Peanut as you know what happens to peanuts in bars—and asked the bartender lady if she knew where he might find some gasoline, which she didn’t, but a man sitting at the bar did, which he said was in a town called Gabbs, so the bartender lady telephoned on over to the bar in Gabbs because that’s how folks are in small towns, and sure enough, Gabbs had gas.

    Well, bad luck, Gabbs was quite far away. But good luck, there was an interesting historical site en route that we could stop and see—a real live Ichthyosaurus skeleton. But bad luck, Gabbs was in the opposite direction from where we’d been headed. But good luck, it was in the direction of the new adventure we’d been hoping for and didn’t realize we were already in.

    The situation was as such. What once had been dusty had become slippery. Two inches of rain had fallen from the heavens. The desert changed from grey sand to a brown and sticky mud as if some sort of devil goo had floated up through the earth’s crust. The tricky devil slime was as slippery as slug snot, and neither of us could drive a straight line though it. Even on the roads, we lacked much authority over the direction we wished to travel. Skinny Beans looked like a drunk monkey riding a bicycle in the circus. I, myself, swerved all over the road like that time my horse Misty got her head stuck in her feed bucket. Well anyway, we certainly got plenty of practice riding the devil’s mud, and I hope to be able to drive in a straight line soon.

    Like a piece of flotsam, when I washed up on the shore of my awareness this morning, I did not know where I was, or how I’d gotten there. I crawled out of the tent and realized we were in Hawaii on account of the lush green volcano steaming above us (I will enclose a photograph of the volcano). Skinny Beans said we were in Berlin. I stared at him unblinking like a fish through a fish tank. Not the grand cosmopolitan Berlin, he then told me as he pointed to the desert behind me, but rather her charming rustic sister city, Berlin, Nevada. For a moment, I felt like that dizzy kid with the sharp pin.

    Well, the residents of the Berlin ghost town must have been sheltering inside because the town was as quiet as heaven on a Saturday night. We took some photographs of the Ichthyosaurus dinosaur skeleton on display there. It looked all dry and bony like that music man Keith Richards (he really should hydrate more), and then we continued on our way. Upon leaving the town—this time through the proper main entrance, as opposed to the sticky slippery back door we’d entered through—we noticed the town was actually barricaded closed on account of the road having been removed by the rain. That did explain why we were the only two souls in the Berlin-Ichthyosaur campground last night.

    Well, it was two days later by the time we finally made it to the town of Gabbs for that gas we needed. We went to the pumps, which were unmanned, so we went across the street to the bar, which is where helpful folks can be found, and one such man took us down the street to the grocer’s store, where we put in an order for some gas, which we then went and pumped into our bikes, and then we went back to the grocer’s and settled up for the gas we had pumped. It sure felt good to be back in a small town doing things the way they ought to be done… simply.

    XOXO,
    Peanut

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    #59
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  20. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    Um...I hate to be critical, but did you read the instructions on that tent? I think I see why you woke disoriented :wink:
    #60
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