Go West Hi-Lites #3

From a motorcycle diary Skip Hunt Go West!


I’m not sure what it is about luggage on a motorcycle, but I’ve noticed that when I have no luggage loaded on my bike, no one bothers to even notice me. When my bike is fully loaded, everyone stops and asks where I’m going or where I’ve been. They usually get this faraway look in their eyes as I tell them where I’d just ridden from or where I hope to ride to, etc.

I think the desire to be “free” like that must be pretty universal. Not so much the motorcycle component, but perhaps just the idea that someone is in the middle of some trip where they don’t know what to expect, are exposed to the elements, and alone. Something about that seems to be very appealing to folks in general I’ve found.

I mention this because I was hoping to leave Las Vegas fairly early in order to get some miles covered before the hottest time of the day. I didn’t count on the vari- ous visitors outside the hotel as I loaded up my bike. Don’t get me wrong, I love sharing the vibes with anyone who wants to absorb them close up, but it tends to put a dent in any plans of getting anywhere quickly. ;-)

A good two hours late, I was bolting South toward the Joshua Tree National Monument via straight down the middle of the Mojave desert via the Kelso dunes.

I’m not sure if it was the obscene heat or inaccuracies in my phone’s GPS, but I ended up getting a little lost. My chain was really feeling worn and the lack of any other vehicles at all was making me a little nervous. Figured, if I make it to Twenty-Nine Palms I should really bit the bullet and look for a new chain. If my bike were to fail out in this vast desert nothingness, I’d literally be toast.