Category: California – December 2016

Finding Forgiveness in the California Desert

Finding Forgiveness in the California Desert

It was cold when I left the town of Brawley. The sun was just starting to make its way up the eastern sky. The dusky morning blanketed the horizon in a gray-blue haze. The world was not awake yet.

With the sun rising at my back, I hummed west with farms keeping me company for a little while. They didn’t stick around long. Everything quickly turned to sand.

I was heading towards Ocotillo. That’s where I would head north and into Anza-Borrego State Park.

On this, the second morning of my California trip, I still had not yet decompressed and shed the go-go-go agitation that peppers everything I do. There was also the matter of lingering guilt about being selfish and traveling on my own. That all rounded out nicely with worrying about all of the other odds and ends that arise when traveling by motorcycle. Those negative feelings were seasoned to taste and put on a low heat to simmer.

I don’t take my personal freedom lightly. I have keen understanding of how lucky I am to pretty much do what I want, when I want to, without any grief from my family. But I still have a cooling down period that I go through in which I have to release myself from guilt. There are always episodes of inner turmoil that I go through when traveling on my own.

As I rode along, I worked through feelings of awe from the desolate landscape and the nagging of my inner tumult. Just a few miles in to the park everything I’d been feeling came to a head. With the way that the morning light hugged the land, the gorgeous colors of the terrain, the scale of the mountains and dipping valleys – my simmering pot boiled over. I stood on the side of the road taking everything in and I cried.

But it wasn’t a sad cry. It was something else. A release. Being in that beautiful desert space told me that right then, right at that very moment – I could forgive myself. I was exactly where I needed to be and it was okay.

This post is part of a month-long writing prompt challenge: Brave, Bold, Blogger Challenge (BBBC) 2017 hosted by Kathy at

Prompt:A special memory from 2016

The Giant Beetle Spider of North Palm Springs

The Giant Beetle Spider of North Palm Springs

There aren’t many people that I know who love spiders. But I have a peculiar fascination with big spiders like tarantulas and the giant huntsman. Not that I want one on me – I just like to look at them. Perhaps thats why this giant Beetle Spider in North Palm Springs really tickled my fancy!

I had to snap this picture from over a fence in a gas station but I think you get a good idea of what it was like. Pretty nifty, huh? It probably looks great when lit.

It’s a short scoot from the Cabazon Dinosaurs, so if you’re in the neighborhood give it a look-see.

Other Beetle Spiders:

We Are All Just Little Seeds

We Are All Just Little Seeds

With the sunset closing in on Salvation Mountain, I continued south along the Salton Sea to the closest town with a chain hotel in it. Google Maps said that was the Best Western in Brawley, California.

By this time of the day, I was hungry, dirty and windburned. I felt self-conscious as my boots squeaked and my pants swished across the hotel lobby to the front desk. There, I was greeted by the happiest person in the world.

As Bubblicious checked me in, she made small talk – asking what it’s like to ride a motorcycle. She was impressed that I was traveling on my own. Maybe it’s a product of where I’m from but I assume that these sorts of complimentary exchanges with service industry people are just tools of the trade. It wasn’t until she chased me down the hallway with the number for a pizza delivery that I started to believe that maybe she was serious. She reiterated her admiration, this time a little more earnestly. And for that moment, I didn’t feel quite so dirtbag-y. I felt… good. Maybe one day that girl will learn to ride.

Lessons, inspiration, living by example – sometimes we are just surrogates of all that and it isn’t up to us. Unseen eyes watch us move through life, silently taking what they need. Maybe you’re just riding along, enjoying the sunshine radiating across your back and a little girl in a passing car sees your ponytail. From that moment on, an ember of possibility burns inside of her.

We are all just seeds.

Love Wins and Other Streetart Wisdom

Love Wins and Other Streetart Wisdom

What someone chooses to say publicly in paint fascinates me. I feel similarly about bumper stickers. You might only have one shot at getting the attention of someone’s eyeballs and this is what you want them to know.

My biggest takeaway from this little shack is LOVE WINS. I want that to be true more than anything. But now I’m being told to question it, so…? I don’t think I like the mixed messages here.

That’s better 🙂

Casting a long shadow.

Tony seems like a friendly guy.

Have anice day.

On the quality neighborhood stencil over the B, do you see a sunshine or a taco?

Feeling the Glory Of Salvation Mountain

Feeling the Glory Of Salvation Mountain

For a few days now, I’ve struggled with how to describe my experience visiting Salvation Mountain. I keep coming up short. I am unable to pinpoint the feelings that overwhelmed me there with my cliché words.

Perhaps it was the hopeful romanticism of being on a trip and feeling free. Maybe it was seeing the radiant golden light spilling over the earth. Or, perhaps it was the embodiment of a man’s passion and love – but I tell you shamelessly that being there was awe-inspiring. It felt pure and true and as if there was a message that I’d been needing to receive and I was finally getting it. I am not a religious person but that did not matter. Standing there, in that place – I understood and felt a message of love. My heart was wide open that winter’s day. It was glorious.

Without further commentary:


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