Category: California – December 2016

California Desert Art: Noah Purifoy Outdoor Museum

California Desert Art: Noah Purifoy Outdoor Museum

While near Joshua Tree, California – I made a pitstop at the Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Museum.

When I pulled up in the early morning, the light coming east across the desert was glorious. It bathed everything in a golden glow. To the west, menacing clouds gathered. And me? I stood nearly in the middle amongst a silent collection of curious assemblages.

Throughout my trip, I wondered many times if weird people gravitated to the desert or if the desert made people a little weird. Either way, I really enjoyed taking in something so far removed from my reality. I am always interested in peoples drive to create art.

Who hasn’t been here on a raucous Friday night, really:

Lunch tray tapeworm

Social commentary and an angry sky.

Streetlamps? Giant Q-Tips?

Cafe Tetanus

Some of the pieces felt a little murdery and creeped me out. I suppose work that makes you feel something is a success.

Good luck… toilet… horseshoe?

I build one of these yearly when we put our lawn furniture in the shed for the winter.

Sad lamp is sad.

Another space that made me feel like someone might’ve died.

So many toilets.

Love the boots 🙂

 

 

 

 

Motorcycle Travel Packing – Some Odds and Ends

Motorcycle Travel Packing – Some Odds and Ends

When I’m roadtripping on the bike, I do my best to pack lightly with regard to clothing. I try to pack things that are easily re-wearable, wrinkle resistant and fast drying. Fast drying is a huge help. That means I can wash them when I stop for the night and they’re dry by morning. And that means less stuff to pack.

My clothing basics usually include:

  • Wicking base layer – top & bottom
  • 3 pairs of underwear – 2 bras
  • packet of ankle socks
  • Off-bike jacket or cardigan – depending on the weather
  • Sometimes a travel dress
  • 1 pair of off-bike jeans or pants
  • 1 pair of shoes
  • A couple T-shirts for on/off the bike

The key for me seems to be versatility. Picking clothes that I can comfortably use on the bike and still not look like a total hobo if I go to a restaurant. Also as you can see, I like black and grey. Sometimes I’ll also pack a scarf. They can smarten up a plain t-shirt or zip-up jacket when off the bike. Oh, and earrings. I feel like that’s something that helps me not feel so boyish.

Gallon Ziploc bags are my best friend. They keep stuff tidy and make for easy packing. Keeping like items together keeps me from having to rifle through everything to find something.

Some hotels have washing machines for guests, which is nice. That helps when your re-wearables have been re-worn many times. When you know you should be stinky but you cant smell yourself anymore? That’s when you’ve achieved a high-level of funk. Well done.

In my everyday life, I hate folding clothes out of the dryer and putting them away. My motorcycle packing is kind of the antidote to that. Roll it up and stick it in a bag. If you don’t have a lot, you don’t have to take care of a lot.

On the topic of motorcycle wash and wear – my friend Bill sent me this lastnight. Timely!


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

Prompt:Your least favorite household chore

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 ToadMama.com.

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.

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