Just over one thousand miles separates Casper, WY from my home in Menifee, CA. And yet it doesn't seem like much at all.
I left Provo, UT on my shortened motorcycle ride to make the final 650 miles back home, and all of it on the slab.
For me, just riding the ST1300 is better than not riding at all, no matter if it's on the Interstate or a narrow piece of pavement up a mountain.
And even though my two to three week motorcycle trip was shortened to five days, it seems I still gained the focus and clarity I needed to refresh my conscience. I've been struggling with a conflict between my past and my future, between my mind and my heart, between obligation and freedom. I've become so imprisoned, of my own doing, with guilt and responsibility, that I couldn't feel free to be myself.
Only riding the ST for an extended trip into nowhere particular was all I had to break away, but even that's only temporary.
The ride south along I-15 through Utah, Nevada, and California was hot. It peaked at 115 degrees F through a 20 mile stretch from Baker, CA to Yermo, CA. At that hot, the wind heats up, it doesn't cool down. My leather jacket, with all of its vents open, kept me from dehydrating too quickly.
I saw many cars broken down on the side of the road, all of them abandoned as roadside service vehicles were out in full force.
I knew that one flat tire on my ST, or anything else that went wrong, would leave me stranded on the side of the road as well, but without air conditioning or shade. When temperatures are that hot, you don't realize how precarious the situation is until you're fully immersed in it.
When I finally got home, I made my resolve and addressed the issues I had come back to address. Even in this day, when cell phones make it possible to text, e-mail, or call from anywhere, I needed to do this in person to express myself fully, and move forward with a greater sense of freedom.
And now I've come a thousand miles in conscience alone.