Road tripping always seems better and shorter – regardless of the 11 hours in one day (round trip) I spent driving – in a foreign country. There’s something about new roads and cultures that makes me pay more attention to my surroundings. We ended up in an area called Paraty, got on a boat, and sailed to some islands near Ilha Grande… this is a work trip:
It was 99 degrees and I needed to ride and get away. The obvious choice – Arizona. I decided to try and find the spot along the Grand Canyon I had once camped while still in college. I remember sleeping on the edge of a cliff (literally) with nothing but a few hundred feet separating me from certain death and not a soul in sight – those were good times – so I packed up the bike.
The late start that day caused me to ride the final two hours in darkness. I think I was being tested by the biker gods. As night fell, rain started, the wind picked up, and then a construction zone. The fresh black asphalt hid any definition of the road and the uneven lanes didn’t help much either – no biggie. I’m a biker. It’s part of the deal. Test passed.
The next morning I witnessed a dog and a coyote become friends – true story – then off to find the Grand Canyon. I never found the exact spot I camped way back in the day. Apparently there are too many off-the-beaten-path dirt roads to follow and my memory isn’t what it used to be. It didn’t matter. I made it to the big canyon and it’s still pretty amazing – that I do remember.
In the span of about two hours, the temperature went from 99 degrees down to 49 degrees and then back up to 105 degrees – this includes 2 rain storms and some sleet. Yes, sleet. Yes, it’s mid August – notice the white stuff in the photo – that’s snow/sleet/hail. Call it whatever you want. It was cold.
End of the day camp spot – the smell of pine trees and rain, flames of an open fire and some crackling wood. It’s a pretty great way to end a ride. The tortilla chips with a hint campfire smoke even tasted great. It was a good day.
Guardsman Pass is a great little ride close to my home. I took a photo here in the Fall a few years back. I’ll try and find and post it.
Driving doesn’t work for me the way riding does. Riding helps me think. It’s the difference between watching a movie and actually being IN the movie. Anyway, this is what I came up with today: I need to get out a lot more. I need to do some riding, some shooting, some drifting. I know what you’re thinking – “all this guy does is drift.” Well, that’s how I feel right now – more drifting. And now that I’ve posted this I’m obligated to it – this is how I self-motivate. Otherwise, I’ll just think about it for years and years… and years.
Guardsman Pass, Fall 2008