Monday, July 20, 2009
Day One—Orange County, CA to Mesquite, NV
In case you were wondering what NBC airs at three in the morning, it’s Meet the Press with David Gregory. I know, because that’s what woke us up to begin our great motorcycle adventure. Woo hoo! Raring to go! We look wide-awake, don’t we? I knew we shouldn’t have stayed up until midnight! Oy.
But hey! It’s been a great adventure so far. I’ve gotta tell ya… something happened on the ride today, something so nifty, so insanely cool and fantastic that I giggled in my helmet for miles.
But… I’ll get to that in a bit.
Back to this morning. Once we got everything loaded and secured, we hit the road by the light of the crescent moon. No traffic. Nice cool temps—in fact, a little too cool since I had only the vented jacket and tee. But hey! Complaining about being cold knowing 100+ temps were waiting over the hill made no sense—so like any good Motor Doll, I bucked it up and bore the cold even though, as we crested the Cajon Pass, my teeth chattered in my head so loud it sounded like Halloween skeletons rattling in my helmet.
The cold didn’t last long. When we stopped in Baker at eight a.m. the giant thermometer already read 96 degrees. Hot.
We fueled bodies and bikes, my feller filled the CamelBaks at the Mad Greek where we dined, we donned the cool vests (or at least I did), and hit the road. Because we’re riding Sportsters (which have small tanks), we have to stop for gas every hundred miles, which is okay because it gives us a chance to stretch: Victorville, Baker, Vegas, and our final stop in Mesquite, which is where we’re staying for the night.
We arrived at noon. We both wanted to keep riding, but since we had reservations (and if we kept going, it would throw off our reservations for the rest of the trip) we stopped.
Went for a swim. Ate a swell dinner at the Casino. My feller posed with the natives.
But really… you don’t give a rat’s ass about any of that, now do you? You want to hear about the super-groovy thing, right?
Okay. Here goes:
Just as the Las Vegas Strip came into view off the 15, a flash lit up the sky in the mountains north of Vegas. A bright white, zig-zag shaped flash. Uh oh, right?
Remember a couple of days ago I was freaking out about the whole riding in rain thing?
Well... the opportunity came, day one. As we left Vegas and neared the Sheep Mountain Range, the lightning grew more frequent. And as we climbed the grade, the rain began. I can’t begin to describe the feeling of riding through a lightning storm in the mountains. All of my senses were engaged. The smell of the wet desert. The taste of the rain. The feel of the drops hitting my neck. The visual spectacular taking place on either side of the road. Yes, I was a bit worried my chrome Sportster would turn into a rolling lightning catcher, but thankfully, I out-rode the bolts. Go Sporty, go! Seriously, the second the rain came and the lightning starting going mad, I started giggling and didn’t stop until we rode back out into the hot desert where our clothes dried within minutes. The experience was THAT COOL.
Well… that’s it. My thrilling story. Was it worth reading through to the end to find out the mystery? I hope so.
Until tomorrow (which is supposed to be a full day of thunderstorms ☺ )…
For my feller's account of the day and more pictures, go to www.socal67.com.