Riding across the Mojave from Twentynine Palms on my way to Amboy, California was something of a spiritual experience. Seeing an ocean of sand spill out before me with dappled light spread across the expanse… it is a moment I will never forget. I had many such moments in different desert landscapes around California.
If you asked 21-year-old me what type of riding I would like to do forever and ever and ever – the answer surely would’ve have been twisty mountain roads as fast as I possibly could.
Here I am now in my 40’s smiling back at that narrowminded girl. Such a simple and predictable answer. An answer from a version of me that did not understand the beauty of serenity and solitude. That is what these wide open spaces provide.
On the surface, you might look at the photos and think “boring ride!” But I assure you, nothing could have been further from the truth.
Being in a tremendous expanse gives the mind room to roam unfettered and free.
“Babe. Chris asked me to go do that Grand Canyon dirtbike thing with him.”
“Okay. You should do it! When is it?”
“We’re driving out.”
And just like that, with a few days notice my husband Kenny loaded two dirtbikes in the back of his pickup and drove from Long Island to the edge of California. See? I’m not the only one around here who impulsively heads off galavanting.
In two days time, Kenny and his friend Chris were in Moab, Utah where they spent a day riding. The following morning, they reloaded their bikes in the truck and were off to Primm, Nevada. That’s where they ditched the truck and set off across the desert to Bar 10 Ranch to begin the Grand Canyon leg of their trip.
The pictures Kenny sent of the rugged desolation were so beautiful. Here are a few:
Writing my blog has been an on-going learning experience. Like me, what I write about has evolved over time. People who read it back in the stone age might not like what it has become but that’s alright. In a roundabout way, yes, it is about motorcycles. Sort of. More than just posts about riding from A to B, specs, farkles and so on – this is a chronicle of my brain’s inner monologue. As it turns out, my uncluttered thoughts are best tapped in to when I am riding my motorcycle.
Whenever I write about my flaws, my strangeness, the things that hurt or embarrass me – invariably there is someone who reads it, reaches out and says, “me too.” Now, of course I realize that my feelings about things aren’t unique. But even so – I am often surprised by this me too-ness. Are we all riding around carrying bags full of insecurities, anxieties and hurts? Do we all just want someone to get us?
It’s has been a difficult lesson to learn that it is my fragile humanity that connects me to other people. A false projection of perfection might get lookers through the door but I’m not interested in just numbers or stats. I’m interested in learning to be a better human from the people who stop by and have their own stories to share.