It sure feels like it. The bus spewed another leak as I was getting ready to roll south for the Skoolie Palooza in Quartzsite, and after a weekend of consideration, I decided to leave it there, and move on to another vehicle. It has been a very sad week, even tho the bus has given me much grief over the last few months, it WAS my home, and it gave me a TON of freedom and introduced me to a new life. I will miss her greatly.
I sit here typing this in the dark, at the beach house, after a transformer blew, leaving me searching for flashlights. Man I miss the bus. Hooking up solar this week, so I can live comfortably, on the grid.
Wouldn’t you know it? I am having fun once again, and the snow drives me away! I guess I am always having fun – maybe THAT is the problem? Well, I was really looking forward to exploring around Bryce Canyon and the Dixie National Forest, and a winter storm drops in to say hello – DAMMIT! I did get the velocipede out for some pics and exercise, found the perfect campsite 4 miles away, and BOOM – Mother Nature comes calling – the slut!
Well down into the valley and Cedar City, to regroup and decide on a non-snow-laden destination south of here. Any suggestions?
What a short ride I had yesterday, only rode about 7 miles from the bus, in the desert, when the bike just quit running. Could have been much worse, but I only wound up pushing the bike about a mile, then walking the 6 additional miles back to the bus. Did not have enough water for an adventure, as it started out as a scouting run. But that ended the riding day, and now I am trying to figure out the best place to travel to for resources. Last night I headed west to Salt Lake, as I knew they would have resources, and a BMW service guy or 10 if I needed them. Luckily I stopped in Ft. Bridger for Internet, and realized it was 95+ during the day in Salt Lake – looks like Rock Springs, WY is the destination. I will pull it out there to see if I can troubleshoot the problem, and order parts if I need to.
Not to paint a pretty picture of Idaho, without pointing out some of the downsides. The place seems to be on fire every summer. So much wilderness, and so much dry fuel, waiting for a bolt of lightning, it should not be surprising the place burns every year. My first time into Boise last year, I was shocked at the density of smoke, and I think that was even drifting in from Oregon. Seems everyone has gotten used to it – the place burns. Seems they have to pick and choose which fires to deal with and when. I even passed a couple of campgrounds that burned just a few miles from mine this morning. Well, I am having a hard time dealing with it. On my way down to Ketchum yesterday, the sky was crystal clear and blue. On the way back up to camp, it was smokey and sad. Lucky for me, I have a choice where I live, so I am headed east – gonna try to find a non-burning, remote spot in Yellowstone, as I head south into Colorado.
One single day of riding led to a chilling reminder of how we are not always at the top of the foodchain. No matter what kind of badass you think you might be, you are a play toy for the right size beast. Oddly enough, I just finished watching The Revenant two nights before, and the hero bounced down rivers, and escaped a deadly grizzly attack. Well it all seemed to gel in my mind that day.
Even worse, my rescuer the day after told me of the USDA ranger that suffered a fatal grizzly attack just two weeks prior, in the very same woods. Chilling.
So the bus ran like a top once again after leaving Billings. It appeared to not leak more than a few drops of oil till leaving Three Forks. Pulling into Butte, I smelled oil burning, and when I stopped, found the same 1/2 cup on the ground as before.
So I plan to pickle my brain at the Montana Folk Festival, and figure out plan D (since plans A-C did not work out so well). Oh well, at least there is a nice view.
It may sound absurd, but give it some thought: The entire state is covered in corn, and America is injecting the by-products into our veins via cornsyrup. Seriously, when was the last time you ate CORN? You know, the crunchy yellow stuff on the stalk? If you are like most Americans, you are eating a serving of corn by-product at every meal.
He was not particularly fast for a greyhound, nor was he particularly smart for a dog. He ran 2 races before the owners determined he was not cut out for racing. No matter, The Dude LOVED to run. Being very small for a male, he was presumably the runt of the litter, as he was the same size as a small female grey. Racing under the name, “Redman”, the listing on the adoption website is what attracted our attention. Most of the greys from the kennel I looked at that day were excited, but only one jumped up on the couch and started chewing on the squeaky stuffed toys.
Upon arrival home, it was obvious as I was told that greyhounds did not understand stairs, or glass, or hardwood floors, and my house had lots of them. Like all greys, he slept 20+ hours a day, and liked big open areas to run in. His total laid-back nature earned him his new name – Dude, or “His-Dudeness”, or “El-Dudarino”, if you’re not into the whole brevity-thing.
Unlike other greyhounds, Dude never barked. For 2 years, not a peep, a growl or anything that hinted he was even a dog. Then one day, he investigated a cat on a wall in the back yard, and upon closer inspection, the cat took a plug out of his nose. From that day forward, he hated cats, and would bark every time he saw one. His mission was to patrol the neighborhood for evil cats.
The Dude made me laugh. Every day. Sometimes several times a day, for more than a decade. For the past 8 months, he has been my travelling companion. Many times, for days, he was the only face I would see, and the only “person” to talk to. Most of the time the talking only resulted in a blank stare, unless questions were raised. “You want a cookie?” or “You wanna go for a walk?” usually lifted his head and body.
He grew to love the beaches and deserts we explored. Mostly, I believe, the sand was easy on his feet, and allowed for long exploration.
He never liked riding in a vehicle and HATED riding in the bus. We stopped often when traveling, so he could sniff and pee and explore. He really loved exploring new places especially when there were animal smells. He enjoyed people, but really loved the ladies, and all their attention he could soak up. His favorite attention was a good ear-scratching. He would lean up against you in order to get his head and ears scratched.
I loved this goofy dog. Life will be hard without him.
I think everyone wonders, at some point in life – what is it like to spend the night in a truckstop? Well, tonight’s the night. I have already seen a lot-lizard, and smelled her before she even got into the lot. She smiled at me, and was not terribly unattractive, but her cheap, flowery smell made my stomach roll. I did not have a camera, as I was walking The Dude – too bad for you.
The last 5 days outside San Diego have left room for some retro/introspection, and allowed some thought about life on the road. Not that these thoughts have escaped me so far, only they have been covered up(ignored) by the blazing and amazing adventures I have had weekly for the last 4 months. Being forced to slow down has forced me to deal with emotions & notions that I normally ignore, given the fact that I will be rolling to a new adventure in a few hours, or, I whenever I damn well feel like.
In addition, my goal with this project is to paint the positive (mostly) picture of mobile living, life on the road, and living your dreams. These pages are intended to inspire, not to depress or discourage. Besides, nobody wants to hear a whiny bitch, crying about being stuck in a pretty awesome town for repairs, while the readers are stuck in the typical American rut.
I hope that is NOT how I will come off in this post, or any future reflections.
My intent with this post is to share some reality with readers, and not gloss over the truth about the shiny, sparkling diamond of an adventure I have presented so far. It is still a diamond in MY eyes.
So, the order was placed Friday morning, to get an Ohlins shock sent before close of business on Friday. Then, time to go downtown to find mariscos (Mexican seafood), and see what the town had to offer. Surprise -no where to park. I did find a really nice park alongside the bayfront harbor, only to be surprised by a Baywatch “cop” placing a ticket on my window. I exited, asking him “WTF?”. He said he did not see me, and apologized, but he could not unwrite the digital ticket. He also explained that I was taking up too many spaces. I pointed to the empty parking lot, and asked him was I REALLY causing harm? He apologized again, and told me to appeal it, and gave me a card, to help with the reversal.
So this started the whole pissed-off-ball to rolling. Nowhere to park in San Diego, and there is a TON of stuff to do in this town. Oops, too bad, RV’s are not welcome – 24+ feet? Not allowed. So I have been hanging out in El Cajon, and other outlying communities, spending my money here, and thinking about the plight of the city-dwelling rubber tramps like myself. I am thinking there are not too many of us in cities like San Diego, LA, or San Francisco, as they all have laws preventing parking for bigger rigs.