Something Better to Think About

2013-05-09 09.26.08Good thing I voted by mail, because Tuesday, November the 8th—election day—I’m heading out on a five-day, three-state motorcycle trip. As always, the closer I get to a mini-Gypsy run, the more it occupies my thoughts, to the point where everything else is pushed aside. Good luck, Hillary … this supporter has voted and moved on to more important things. With four whole days still to go, I’m already fussing over clothing, extra boots, and riding gear. Pondering which helmet to wear. Making sure the tie-down straps and bungee cords are where I can find them Tuesday morning. Anticipatory agitation? Oh yeah.

I’ll meet my friend Dave at a Costco near the I-10 freeway at 8:30 AM Tuesday. Dave has a touring BMW, so we’ll be evenly matched for the 400-mile ride to Las Vegas, where we’ll spend the night at a motel in Henderson. My son Gregory will meet us for dinner that night, then join us on a rental Indian Wednesday morning for a half-day ride to Chino, California. After we check into our Chino motel I’ll spend the afternoon at the Planes of Fame Museum, continuing my episodic cook’s tour of aviation museums.

Thursday morning the three of us plan to ride Highway 395 north to Lone Pine, California, and a side trip to the Manzanar Internment Camp. Dave did graduate work on Manzanar and its impact on surrounding high desert communities, so we’ll have a built-in tour guide. We’re staying at the Dow Villa, a historic Lone Pine tourist motel with big 1950s-style rooms.

Friday morning we ride west to east through Death Valley, which my son Gregory, a Las Vegas resident, has unaccountably never visited. Leaving Death Valley we’ll take the road to Pahrump, Nevada, then over the Spring Mountain Pass back into Las Vegas. Dave plans to keep riding, all the way back to Tucson, but I’m going to spend the night, and possibly two nights, at my son and daughter-in-law’s house in Henderson. They’re throwing a birthday party for Quentin, my grandson, on Saturday, and I don’t want to miss it. I’ll ride home to Tucson solo late Saturday or Sunday morning.

I’m bringing the big DSLR camera for airplanes in Chino, a selfie stick for the iPhone, and of course the GoPro for the ride through Death Valley. I’ll have to tote an extra motorcycle jacket for my son to use. Don’t know if I’ll have room for my extra rain suit, so Gregory may be out of luck there. Maybe, though, I left it at Gregory’s house last time we rode together. Chances are we won’t need rain gear, but you never know, and that’s why I keep some in the saddlebag.

If I don’t get much blogging in between now and then, at least you’ll know why, and (I hope) understand. Motorcycling, as flying once was, is a big part of my life, a source of excitement and anticipation. Sure, there are safer hobbies. But they suck.

Wish me luck, okay?

© 2016, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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