Into The Great Big Open

Around the planet by motorcycle

Humble beginnings


Let the record reflect that we intended to depart Silver City at 8AM, and indeed I pressed the starter button at 8:03…but we weren’t on the highway until two hours later thanks to a misdiagnosed starting problem with my bike. What we thought was a flooded carb was actually a lack of fuel delivery. Once it was all sorted, we headed north through piñon/juniper country, past the lava-capped mesas near Apache Creek, and by late afternoon we were among the volcanic necks north of Gallup.

In Shiprock we ate fast and cheap (and surprisingly good) Chinese food, and in the parking lot pulled on our rain gear while reservation dogs watched us with coy eyes.  An hour later we were in pummeling rain, and as darkness fell, lightning and  strong side winds had us turning around a dozen miles south of Hesperus, tucking tail to find cheap accommodations in Farmington. Humble beginnings indeed.

Charging the battery after too much cranking.

Charging the battery after too much cranking.

First-kiss excited and bully-fight scared.

This is the day before departure, packing the bike, trying to make it all fit with some semblance of order to a backing track of Jekyll and Hyde saying, “Do I really need all of this shit?” and “What am I forgetting?”

But this is evidence of forward movement, a huge relief after a year of planning, researching, worrying, projecting, saving, calculating, doubting, and wondering if it’s such a great idea to quit a job during a global recession. The unglamorous truth is that trip preparation is mostly wasting time: earning paychecks and not spending them, researching without creating more bogeymen than actually exist, creating a plan without destroying the essence of travel.

Enough. Tomorrow I kiss my dream girl, who could close her eyes and sigh, or bite my tongue and lift my wallet. I finally face the bully too, and since this ain’t the movies there’s a chance I’ll get clocked good before I see it coming.

This ain’t the movies.