Category: Motorcycle

Blog posts about motorcycles.

Nothing Lasts Forever – The Future Is Now

Nothing Lasts Forever – The Future Is Now

D*Face mural in richmond virginia - nothing lasts forever

Recently I’ve been resurrecting some old posts and sharing them on social media. The nature of chronological blog posting means things just get buried over time. Sometimes old posts need a bit of a… tickle.

One of the posts that I shared last weekend was about the old Underwood and Petty service station that I’d seen in Strawberry Plains, Tennessee in 2018. My friend Andy left a comment on Facebook about making more of an effort to stop and take photographs or to document such things in his future travels.

Well? The future is now.

And now. And now. And.. you get the point. We’re always one second away from the future. So, why wait?

Motorcycling has proven to be a satisfying and socially distant activity for me over the last 20+ years. Getting out on your own to snap a few interesting photos seems like an okay idea to me! Don’t you think?

nothing lasts forever mural D*FACE richmond virginia

So with that, are you looking for something to do? Looking for something to post about? Why not go snap a photograph or two of some of those places in your local area that are hanging on by a thread? You know – those places that are in danger of becoming a “do you remember when so-and-so used to be on the corner there?”

Take the picture. Capture the memory. Share it.

You might be the reason someone remembers or tells a story, or recollects fondly. You may even become the spark that sends someone out to explore and see something with their own eyes.

Or, maybe you’ll just get out and enjoy a ride on your motorcycle.

If you find something to share, leave a comment and let me know!

Long and Lonely Views – A Train to Nowhere

Long and Lonely Views – A Train to Nowhere

Where are those places in which you feel at home, feel like your true self? What do the landscapes that tug at your heart and anchor you look like? Have you found mind-expanding inspiration in a particular environment?

I never expected to feel so inspired by the wide-open expanse of the desert areas in the American West. The vast open area stirs something deep within me. It’s as if the big sky reaches down to the horizon line, follows long-runnin’ tracks across the Earth, up through my feet and straight into my heart.

long train tank cars rice california

As someone who fears dark water and not being able to see what lies beneath, at first blush I thought perhaps the scrubby desert-scape is the antithesis of that. Everything is out in the open and available to be drunk in by your eyes.

yamaha fz07 on californai route 62

But this is a trick your own mind plays on you. The dry range holds many secrets in the ripples and folds of its surface. As in so many things, we need to learn to see beyond the way we think something is, to the way it really is.

yamaha mt07 on route 62 near rice california - train cars

These photos were snapped along California 62, near what the map said was the “town” of Rice. There wasn’t much doin’ out there – just some train cars, tracks, and a few other odd remnants of humanity. While short on the trappings of society, it was big on thinkin’ room.

Walking Down Camera Roll Memory Lane

Walking Down Camera Roll Memory Lane

abandoned cafe in desert center California

For the past week, I’ve spent a fair amount of time scrolling, scrolling, and re-scrolling through the camera roll on my phone. Thousands of photos live there serving as memory touchstones.

Yesterday while I was going through the pictures, a smile swept across my face as I recalled happy moments from far-flung places, enjoyed my daughter’s mugging for the camera, and was reminded that for the most part, I haven’t ever given my experiences their full due and proper.

On to the next thing!

That’s how I’d lived my life for decades. You might even say I was something of a shark – always moving; a purpose-built apex predator. My only nemesis was drowning from lack of forward movement.

I went on like that for years – always moving, always consuming. Until I cracked.

abandoned cafe in desert center california

Recovery and Discovery

For the last two years, I have been recovering from what we’ll call a ‘psychiatric event,’ only there were no balloons or confetti. (0 stars, do not recommend.) It’s been hard. And scary. I’m still struggling with getting to know the person that I am now. This version of me is a bit different than the person that I used to be. At least the me that I remember.

At times I miss how I was able to navigate through the world. Specifically, being able to compartmentalize everything and cram it down into tidy boxes and quickly close the lids. I’m not successful at doing that anymore. Now, my demons just pull up a chair, shake loose a ciggy from their pack o’ smokes, light up and say, ‘So! What are we thinkin’ about tonight?’

virgin mary mural in kingman arizona

There are so many photos on my phone that pull me back to a time in my life when I was in shark-mode. And while I find myself wishing that I knew how to tap into that way of (not) thinking again, the reality is that I make no real effort to do so.

Being closed off and ignoring my feelings was easier. But it also put me where I am now. There must be a middle ground. Perhaps that’s my next big trip.

The World’s Tallest Uncle Sam – Danbury, Connecticut

The World’s Tallest Uncle Sam – Danbury, Connecticut

“I’m just going to make a pitstop.”

When I say these words to anyone that I’m traveling with, 90% of the time it means that we are going to be taking in some type of attraction. Perhaps it’s a ghost sign, a muffler man, or maybe even a mural. What we’ll see when we arrive is sometimes a mystery, even to me!

On this pitstop occasion in June of 2020, it was to see the World’s Tallest Uncle Sam in the city of Danbury, Connecticut. Wouldn’t you know? He was just a hop, skip, and a jump away from where we were gassing up our motorcycles.

World's Tallest Uncle Sam in Danbury, Connecticut
Looking up at the World's Tallest Uncle Sam in Danbury, Connecticut

The World’s Tallest Uncle Sam stands 38′ feet tall. His splendid fiberglass form occupies it’s own corner of the parking lot at the Danbury Railway Museum.

Danbury RailWay Museum
120 White St
Danbury, CT 06810

The World's Tallest Uncle Sam Shoes  in Danbury, Connecticut

Plaque Reads:

July 2019
“Meet Me at Uncle Sam” spoken by patrons of The Great Danbury State Fair was a common phrase during fair week. Uncle Sam, a symbol of American Might and Democracy comes home.

He is the tallest Uncle Sam statue in the world and returns to Danbury standing as proud as he did at the fair from 1971-1981. His iconic fiberglass figure stands 38 feet tall. Thanks to Mayor Mark Boughton, dedicated city staff and area residents and business, Uncle Sam returns from decades in Lake George back to his forever home in Danbury

The World's Tallest Uncle Sam in Danbury, Connecticut - Plaque

The first time that I saw this Uncle Sam was in the town of Lake George, New York in February of 2010. At the time, he was in need of a little TLC.

The world's tallest uncle sam in Lake George - February 2010

For years, Uncle Sam stood outside the now-defunct Magic Forest, alongside a bevy of other fiberglass statues. Here he is in 2010 keeping company with a Paul Bunyan Muffler Man, and Santa.

World's Tallest Uncle Same in Lake George Magic Forest - February 2010

It can be easy to dismiss these types of statues as silly or frivolous. But as the plaque that is now posted in Danbury can attest, they become part of the lexicon of the places we call home. Their relevance or importance to the fabric of our memory may not be realized until the circumstances of life change.

Keep documenting the things that spark joy, friends.

That Time I Rode My Way Into a Live Sex Show

That Time I Rode My Way Into a Live Sex Show

Back in olden times when I used to travel (January 2020), I found myself in the scrubby desert of eastern California making my way to the Arizona border.

Yamaha FZ07 heading towards parer dam

The winter sun was warm and the sunbleached landscape began to give way to deeper hues as I rode closer to the Colorado River. My plan was to cross the Parker Dam and then head towards Lake Havasu, Arizona for the night.

wild burros on roadway sign

When traveling, my senses are on high alert. This is especially true after a few days of settling into the rhythm of being in motion and shedding the skin of “real life.” Everything that is new to my eyes becomes exciting – the trees, the rocks, signs, rivers, abandoned structures, just everything. It is all a feast for the eyes which I gluttonously devour.

wild burros on highway sign

After seeing the first few signs noting that wild burros might be on the roadway, I was super-excited by the idea of seeing them. You can’t imagine how delighted I was to finally spot a pair strolling on the side of the road.

wild burros on the roadway in california

As soon as they came into view I pulled over. Not much of a burro harasser, I gave them plenty of space and watched as they lazily sauntered along swishing their tails. They didn’t pay much attention to me as I sat wat…

Oh!

Well!

Um…

Right.

wild burros getting busy

They didn’t pay any attention to me whatsoever and just went about doing wild burro things.

wild burros on the roadway in california

I chuckled to myself as I rode away. Wild burros, indeed.

looking out at the colorado river near parker

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