Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tribute to Mom, six days of desert riding; Day six, the Mojave Desert

I woke at in the morning with amazing clarity, I felt blessed for the journey I had made so far.
It was warm, kind of how you Imagine being in Southern California, and since Palm Springs was only about a half hour away it was about how I Imagined it. Still not Bikini Clad women by the pool though, Not to happy about that dream being shattered.
Loaded up and nearly ready to go I got the usual looks and comments on "I cannot believe you are traveling that far on that" and one that kind of made me think "why are you here?" this was a bit different and I honestly could not answer it.
All I knew is that this was someplace special for mom, so what was it?
I would mount up and contemplate the question more.

Mom was a very spiritual person, I mean beyond simply going to church. She had lived in a Buddhist house as well as attended Buddhist Spiritual retreats which she would stay at for months at a time. Later she would fall into new age spirituality and again spend extensive time immersing herself within this line of belief. I knew today would bring answers.

The KLR came to life with only a short push on the starter, it purred with the impressiveness only a four stroke thumper could bring to life, but it worked, amazingly well and it always seemed to pur, more like a cat to me.
I would pass the same girl holding the XXX sign and I would wave, she probably was wondering what the hell was with me at this point.
Yukka Valley is a busy area which certainly felt like a city. Joshua tree was just the opposite, not much for growth, it was small and quaint but I think I had some answers. The town seemed to be inundated with spiritual type establishments. Signs advertisement some sort of spiritual wellness seemed everywhere, even for places of eating. A Fountain on along the highway would catch my attention, and the sign really attracted me "Metaph" I flipped a U turn and checked it out, something along the lines of "Academy for the study of Metaphysics" I smiled, I Suspect mom had been here.
I had my answer and I really did not need to stay here any longer, I felt her soft glow and the peace the about the area, I smiled and rode on. I felt the need to go back to Vegas, maybe mom was pressing me, but there was a small gathering waiting for me of friends and family having a New Years day party.

I would get gas in Twenty Nine Palms and all the drama that went along with Credit cards that never seemed to work right.
Grabbing a liter of water the attendant would make the usual "where are you going" inquiry, after telling him he made sure I knew this was the last stop for fuel "there is nothing on they way, just boarded up buildings and ghost towns" I took what he said into consideration and grabbed another bottle of water.
Saddling up on the bike I decided to verify my route with the Gas Station attendant who seemed to know the route so well. It did not seem like Rocket Science, there was one highway which branched but I wanted to make sure I was not missing something.
"I have never been there" he would tell me, I was going back to my old theory of locals, ask questions but take what they say with a grain of salt.

I was excited though, riding thru the Mojave Desert has been a life long dream. Maybe so all the cowboy movies and books as a kid contributed, but it was there. Just as when I rode the Pony Express Trail I felt another dream come true.

The view going into the Valley was amazing, climbing over the same pass I would go by modern Petroglyphs painted by the imagination of local party goers.
After the pass things got flat, really flat and the valley seemed to stretch for miles. I know I keep saying it but damn I just cannot get out of my mind how long it took to travel thru these areas. No wonder it was so romantic, we traveled thru in a couple of hours, they would take days to make the journey.

The road was easy, but the wind blew hard from the west for several miles, one of those winds that makes you feel like you are cornering on a race track as you lean in.
There was a chlorine plant and I wondered briefly about it.
But what really got me was how in the middle of the ride was a small town, something of a Ghost town but it was still there with a working gas station and the bargain 5 dollar a gallon gas.

I love this post office, for what? the gas station?

This area continued to Amaze, what the hell were Lion Statues doing in the middle of the desert? I mean NOTHING else around save a realtor sign, they were about an acre apart, perhaps they were property markers?

I had visions when I got to this area that I would see pine trees at the top of the pass, I am not sure why but that is the vision I had. For some reason when I see green on a Forest Service map that is what I Imagine. Instead I was greeted by an Amazing forest of Joshua Trees, they are magnificent.

The ride solved what I needed to know, I now knew more about the bike, what gear I really needed to have and how far I could go on a tank of gas. Mapquest showed 230 miles to where I stay in Vegas from Twenty Nine Palms, that ment I could make 270 miles on a single tank of gas so I no longer needed the spare gas can.
It was a good ride, all in all, a small adventure but it is always good to stretch your legs, I was tired, physically for sure and I was ready to head into the house. Voices from the Party within called to me and their familiar welcome voices was like music.
I think mom would smile, and I had a greater understanding of what happyness the Desert brought her, in its own sort of mystical beauty.

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