Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Man ... A Machine ... A Love Affair ...

She waits for me in the dark, a metallic lover that commands my soul. In front of my camp beside the aerodrome, the sunrise crawls softly over the mountains.

I sneak out to share the early dawn and softly close the door behind me, as if to guard our affair.

A swirl of steam twists lazily from the coffee in my cup, rising through the still, sweet scented, cool air of the morning, to vanish into nothing.

I stand gazing at her flowing lines and feel that tension. My finger tips slide through the Dew that lays heavy on her skin like the sweat after a passionate embrace.

Behind me, the highway that calls to us both runs just behind the trees. At this early hour it lays nearly silent.

Oregon sunrise over a Yamaha Raider
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Today we're going to dance along the coastal roads. From Cape Mears to Cape Lookout, Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City and we'll climb to the bluffs above the beach.

The trees that shroud the narrow road will hear us rumble under their branches. Like the sensual writhing of lovers, we lean through the bends that wind along the coastline. Man and machine will revel in the joy that is two wheels in the wind on an open road.

Today belongs to us. It is ours and ours alone.

We'll roll together with No one to own our time, our route or our destination.

No one to decide... but us...

Along the way we'll stop here and there to just sit quiet together and take in the visions and the scents. To rest and just breathe slowly, soaking up the life that is our freedom...

... and then we'll continue on.

near Cape Lookout State park in Oregon
She'll laugh as we dodge the holes in the road that suddenly appear as we sprint through the sun dappled shade over decaying pavement.

I'll grin with lust as she dances and weaves across the landscape, thundering back her love of the wind.

A strange blend of metal and man...

... The perfect antidote for a world that seems to have lost its mind.

I am forever in love with a machine.

Grab Your Handles and Ride

Sunday, July 14, 2013

She Rides Out in a Star Spangled Rodeo...

... and teaches me the meaning of Cowboy Up. The meaning of the word GUTS.

I have been blessed with a most precious and special friend.

The lady is a barrel racer. Now, there's lots of "barrel racers" out there, just as there's lots of "cowboys". You've seen the sort; Big hat, Silver buckle, beer swilling blowhards regaling all the girls with stories of how bad and wild they are.

"Cowboys" that have never gotten closer to a herd of cows than the 14th row of the theater watching the latest western.

This precious barrel racing friend is a HORSEWOMAN. A genuine, tee total, double rectified, Barrel Racer. She has yet to achieve her dream, to ride out at the NFR in Vegas. She hasn't got there yet, but she's young, she's skilled, she's strong and the sheer guts and determination she shows with each day just makes my heart ache with admiration of her.

She hasn't gotten there yet, but for her ultimate victory there is no question. Only, when that day will come.

The thing is, she wasn't born with a silver spoon... or even nickle. She has no backing, no support, no sponsors. All she has to carry her on is her own personal belief.

When she set off to battle against the others with their $20,000 High Grade mounts, supported by rich families with deep pockets and "Connections" where simple transportation and lodging wasn't even a thought let alone a concern... she started her ride with a small, greenbroke mare out of Nebraska. To most, nothing special... just another horse.

What she paid for that mare wouldn't feed that $20,000 high grade for a year. But this woman could see the promise... she could sense the heart in the animal.

For her choice, she was belittled.

Competing against those others she hasn't the silver spoon to ease her way... she's had to labor, and still does... with the "plastic spoon" the world handicapped her with.

She's been knocked down by betrayers and blockers... Yet she keeps going.

She was ridiculed for the "little Horse" she brought to a horse race... yet with quiet pride she and that little horse have already beaten MOST of the others and just about all of the loud mouth ridiculers... and she keeps going. The detractors are a lot more quiet now.

She struggles to find the transportation to get to races, while her competition hitches up their $90,000+ rigs without a thought... yet she gets there... and beats their scores in the process, in spite of her struggle.

She's run "Against the Wind", hobbled by not only a Lack of support from friends and family, but, in deed, their active emotional obstruction... and She's gone on to enter, in my estimation, the Top Level of Horsewomen in spite of that.

What's this got to do with Scooters?

Everyone has a dream. Most leave them on the shelf. They'll live their lives with that knot of sorrow eating at their guts; because they made the mistake of listening to the friends, the family, the ridiculers.

They allow themselves to be hobbled by accepting as fact another's denigration of their dreams and their abilities... They allow their own, internal Belief in Their Own Self Worth to be stolen by the callous disregard of people who's only real ambition is to hold back anyone who might TRY.

For if those who TRY... Succeed... It shines a great Glorious light on The base Cowardice of the blockers and betrayers.

You have a dream? A challenging ride you want to make? A Motorcycle you want to build? A business? A hunger in your soul? Anything? Do - IT!

Don't listen to the nay sayers. Ignore the family and friends who surrender to their own fear and work to block your road. Smile, wave... and... Go around them! LIVE people. LIVE your LIFE!

Do it now. Do it Today. Tomorrow may never come.

What's the worst that can happen? You can fail and have to start over. Yet even in that failure you succeeded. YOU tried. While the others lay wallowing in their fear, making excuses and going nowhere... YOU summoned your courage, you went out chasing your dreams and YOU Tried. You have bragging rights to something They ~ Never ~ Will.

Follow the lead of that inspiring friend that holds my feet to the fire... and summon the courage to TRY.

Grab Your Handles and Ride.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Lonesome They Live ~ Out Where The Light is Weak

They sit around the fire enjoying each other. Laughing, teasing, savoring the warmth and light of the blaze and the communion. They taste the joy of life.

Out in the darkness beyond the glow of the flames, out among the flickering shadows another creature moves. Occasionally the flickering flames illuminate it for fleeting seconds as it drifts like a shadow through the trees.

Out there in the cold, lonely and mysterious dark, walks a solitary creature. Yet it didn't choose it so. Fate has branded it an outcast.

It circles silently through the dark. Unidentifiable, unheard... its longings unspoken... alone.

Infrequently, it hesitantly steps in closer; drawn by the sound of life and those that are not alone. Those echoes from the fire touch something deep inside its soul that pulls it toward that light. But, as always, one of those around the blaze will notice the strangers approach as it moves just inside the fringe of light. They will notice and fire a warning shot.

A pack of yapping dogs will come rushing out to chase...

Sure, the creature could easily put a couple of the yappers on the ground. That would send the others running with their tails tucked... but a fight is not what it was seeking. Its life has been nothing but fight. It longs to be part of that unknown camaraderie around the fire. To be a part of and not always stand defensive, with its back to a wall.

It was an end to that solitary existence it sought, an end to the lonesome... that it approached... not a fight.

But as the vulture was created to soar alone, living on the fringes and on the leavings of the world, the hollow void of loneliness in its heart... so this creature also is destined to remain; out in the dark, solo... wishing for the warmth of the fire yet knowing only the dusky cold light of the fringe. Alone.

It stops for a few seconds gazing back, a look of longing in its eyes, then steps out of the circle of light and vanishes into the surrounding darkness.

Grab Your Handles and Ride

Friday, July 5, 2013

A Raider 4th of July

The 4th of July 2013 for us was in Florence, Oregon... or... at least that's where it started and ended.

We dawdled around the rig, parked at the Three Rivers Casino for too long and let the wind catch up with us. Though the day had started off clear sky and calm, and the clear sky remained... the calm blew away.

Mid morning we climbed on Sonja... the Raider... and headed north along the PCH from Florence, buffeted by a stiff Ocean breeze.  :)

North of town a ways are the Sea Lion caves. We dropped the coin a few years back and took the elevator down in to see the place. It was ok... maybe do it again some day... today... I just rolled on by to pull in just a short way further north at the view point for the Haceda Head Lighthouse.

We'd stopped here in the truck, one stormy morning, on a trip a few years back to try and photograph what's claimed to be the most photographed lighthouse in Oregon...

Haceda Head Lighthouse

That day it was raining, foggy, and the surf was huge... Over the sound of the crashing surf I could hear this sound that... sounded like barking... but couldn't for a bit figure out where it was coming from...

I finally realized that the beach, there on the right... was an odd color...

It was Covered... by Sea Lions... making it a rich, brown color... Covered, nose to flipper, shoulder to shoulder, with Sea Lions. Hundreds, thousands even.

There were rafts of 'em, 20 and 30 in a bunch going out to hunt and coming in to rest on their "haul out" beach.  In the rain and wind that day I failed to capture any photograph... except the one in my head. Altogether is was Pretty awesome.

On farther north on our run toward Newport, we found another wide spot to pull off and walk...

A grassy trail led down to the beach below a small river that dumped into the sea at this spot just a few miles below Yachats.

The beach itself is narrow, and pretty rocky in spots...

 ... a few small tide pools are hidden in the rocks...

More of those "Rock Pilers" we followed in Arizona and Utah... have visited the Oregon coast...

Rock Cairn on the Oregon Coast

Couldn't go too far up the beach though... a short convo with a guy playing with his dog on the windy beach used up the time I had available... (that's shorthand for ~ I BADLY needed a lil' boys room!)

... it's a cold wind... morning coffee thing...

So, we walked back to the bike and continued on up the PCH to the Fishing Port of Newport.

Parked Sonja backed into the curb... and strolled non-nonchalantly down the street... trying desperately to NOT look like an old guy with something in his boot....  while I stood in line for the Grandmother and her 18 or 20 year old granddaughter??? to come out of the "one holer" public restroom after an 8 or 10 minute get-together... :-/

Then... it was find a nice lil' cafe along the bay for lunch... and make the run back to Florence in time to find up close parking for the riverside 4th of July fireworks display the Siuslaw Fire Dept put on in the Florence Marina.

All in all a real nice hundred+ mile 4th of July along the Pacific Coast Highway (U.S. Hwy 101)

Grab Your Handles and Ride