Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Last Ride.

So here we are at the end. The last ride. As if the universe empathized with my state of mind I woke up to cloudy skies and a forecast of rain. Great. I packed everything in plastic bags and headed out of Kernville expecting to get wet. The sky was grey and you could smell it wanting to rain. It didn't yet though and I pulled off the road at Lake Isabella to hoon around in the dirt a bit for one last time. I considered unloading the bike and really going for it, but I got worried that it'd be stupid to drop it right at the end of the trip, right before I wanna sell it. Also I realized I was being watched by a ranger. I got back onto the road and headed for Bakersfield, which Warren had raved about after he went there with Connie.

The road to Bakersfield was actually pretty cool. Later on Tucker told me there was a better, more twisty and remote one I could have taken. But considering what I was expecting – long straight roads, traffic, and rain – it was all good. The road was full of sweeping bends, there was hardly any traffic, and it didn't rain! I got to Bakersfield and rode around aimlessly for a bit trying to remember what Warren had told me was good about the place. I remembered something about the 'Buck Owens bar' and also a guitar store...

What a bloody goldmine! Front Porch Music in Bakersfield is awesome. Almost like a museum. It was hard on me though as I was on a motorcycle and also very close to totally broke. Hence I didn't actually spend very long there at all... I couldn't handle the temptation. Check out that Sunn stack!!! And just so many guitars. I coulda stayed there all day, but I would've ended up remortgaging the house and buying half the place.

I hit the road pretty quickly, partly because Bakersfield had a bit of a weird vibe, kinda dero', but also because it was really looking like it was gonna piss down. Big black clouds had been following me there and I thought if I took off again I could stay ahead of them...

It sort of spat a little here and there, but I got back to LA without getting wet at all really. When I arrived back at the Tucker compound James and Colleen were just about to tend to their bees, but James had been working on Joe's yellow DR. It looked amazing, like a new bike almost. The engine was spotless. I was amazed. It was funny seeing Joe's bike again, I'd really dug riding on my own but I sorta missed the boys again now.

I now had a week to spend in LA visiting people and doing work related stuff. Half way through the week these two young Norwegian guys showed up (you can follow their trip on ADVRider here) to begin their full year long trip. It kinda sucked watching them getting ready to go as I was only days away from returning to my real life – work, shitty house, terrible weather etc. They were great guys though and we had a good time all hanging out with the Tuckers. The day before we all were about to go our separate ways the Tuckers took us for a ride up into the mountains behind LA and to a great bar/restaurant called Newcombe's. It was an amazing and fast ride up into the mountains, and we were lucky enough to catch the last ten laps of the Spanish MotoGP there too.

We rode back to LA via a bunch of back roads that I can't remember and visited the San Andreas Fault. This seemed an appropriate way for me to end my trip given that I'm returning to a city that was all but destroyed by an earthquake 4 years ago now. Back in Christchurch things are feeling pretty grim to be honest. It's colder than I'd been expecting, work's stressing me out again already, the house needs soooo much work, and my sister's new dog died while I was away. So I set up a new account and put $600 in it towards the next trip... until then, it'll be back to business as usual around here I guess.

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