Monday, August 31

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” - Saint Augustine

Sunday was my second day of sustained riding (i.e., over 50 miles) since arriving in California. It felt  good to watch the miles fly by. I left Santa Ana, CA early to meet up with an old pal who lives in Nevada. Because I was going to arrive early I decided to take my time and treat myself to breakfast—pancakes! DSC00147 I haven't had pancakes in ages and the I-Hop did not fail. It was a nice change from a green smoothie! I didn't know that my friend had been alerted by his sister-in-law (my Santa Ana friend) about my early arrival. Consequently,  he changed his arrival time to prevent me from waiting. In the end, we both did a little waiting for each other. It was well worth it. I'll call him RH. Nevada RH  is hardcore in all the good ways. He  is the only individual I know who has been riding since, well, forever! That is, all the time I've known him. The husband and I met him in the late 70s (Yikes) when he was riding in Chicago. He is still riding. He has never NOT ridden! But he's changed locations many times but the one constant has been riding. RH now makes his home in the Las Vegas area, where he is able to ride year round. He rides a HD Fatboy and he let me swing my legs over it. It's a big bike—over 700lbs, shiny and replete with cool front and back accessory lights that accentuates his presence on the road. HR is ATGATT (all the gear, all the time). DSC00154 We had a great time chatting about bikes, rides and old times. The time was all too brief IMHO.  And, his wife gave him お土産 (omiyage) to give me. Really cool Japanese writing pad, and a beautiful pink patterned cloth. どうもありがとうございました .

RH reminded me that I wanted to ride the Vegas strip. Up one side and down the other, I rode “the Strip.” It's like Chicago's Magnificent Mile and New York's Times Square, but on some DSC00166 serious steroids. The traffic was crazy but I had been warned. Actually, I felt right at home with the traffic. I took pictures when the light turned red as there were no safe places to pull off for a quick shot. DSC00164

I had hoped to ride about 535 miles but called it quits after about 390 miles. That's another great thing about solo riding. You can change your mind on a dime and there's no one with whom to negotiate the matter. I called it quits because my eyes looked like I had been drinking and they felt like they had been massaged with sand. I could not blink away the grating feeling of each blink. My eyes were crimson with alien like veins extending outward from each pupil. I gave up in Mesquite, NV, and got a room. The eye drops started taking effect almost immediately but only after a blinding burning sensation after application.

DSC00160 The ride along I-15 was hot. But I've come to appreciate just how much weather is a matter of perspective, it depends on one's reference point. Ordinarily, the 90s are hot to me, but if one's reference point is 114 degrees, then 97 feels downright cool(ish). The whole way was pleasant. I so appreciated that the temps never climbed above 107 degrees. I guzzled lots of water and when I felt I'd had enough, I guzzled more.DSC00148

Just as I felt called to the road, I'm hearing the call toward home. This has been the best combo vacation/research trip. Family and friends made this special. (More on them later). It may even be the best vacation I've had "alone." Ever. DSC00153