“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:
When I woke up and looked out the window, there was a cool fog hanging over everything. The world around me was still asleep when I set off for the day. Because it’s August I had only my mesh jacket – which I suffered with for the next hour. I never would have imagined that even in the mountains it would have been cool enough in the 6 o’clock hour to feel like I might need to switch on my heated grips. But… it was. As my engine thumped, I gave the occasional shudder as a result of the cold.
While you’re in the thick of things, you assume that your circumstances will be same everywhere. But often, if you just keep moving forward you can rise above the clouds and out in to a big hug of sunshine.
Riding out of the valley, I was treated to an incredible cloudless sky. Just behind me, the fog-covered valley along the river looked like the Maloja Snake.
There are so many lovely dirt roads that skirt the aprons of farms throughout northeastern Pennsylvania. I have persistent romantic notions about the lives lived in such places. It’s probably best that I never investigate the truth and carry on with my naïve and wistful ideas. They help to shape my perception of the good life.
Could it just be that my brain subconsciously moved me through an area that was “familiar”? Probably. But I like to think it’s some sort of magic. Life is more fun that way.
This gorgeous dairy farm was along the way towards Route 6. My romantic imaginings have it occupied by an overall-wearing farmer who drives a tractor with heart shaped smoke that puffs from its exhaust stack. The cows with flower-crowns sing in their stalls. Every day a scarecrow waves good morning.
When I finally made it to Route 6, my first stop was the tiny old Meshoppen Fire Department building. It looked like you could pick it up and put it in your pocket. Instead, I left it where it was for the next person to enjoy and kept going west.
It was a good thing that I continued riding along River Road. It was not was not in fact closed as the sign had said. Or at least it was not impassable on the KTM. Your mileage may vary in a low-slung sports car.
Following the pink line of my GPS track, I headed southeast to a crossing of the Delaware River and back to the New York.
Sometimes things might not look so great when you’re standing on the outside looking in. Maybe they look drab, unkempt or perhaps slightly dangerous. But when you peel away the outer layer and get to the heart of what’s inside well, that’s where the magic happens. For people and bridges.
Riding on to Kellam’s Bridge looked a little sketchy, a little narrow, a little are bolts going to fall off this thing?
But, once I started going the camera picked up one of my most favorite-est photos in some time. It makes me feel like I’m speeding towards another dimension in a 70’s Sci-Fi movie of the week. I’m wearing a silver spacesuit and eating non-caloric cookies from a pill. Magically I grew to a lithe 6-feet tall and don’t have a wisp of gray hair. No, I’m 25 again and forever, hurtling across space – a perfect human.
And just a quick as it came… it was over. You’ve got to appreciate the magic while it happens.