Three weeks of being on the road is a long road trip, considering most folks only take a week off from work at a time. But then again, when your last road trip was 6 months long, three weeks seems like a weekend getaway.
The destination? Denver, CO.
The reason? Many.
The road from San Diego to Phoenix is a four-lane stretch of desert scrub and tumbleweed generating a monotony of empty looks and blank stares some 350 miles long. There are certainly ways to make it more interesting, like practicing riding without hands, or experimenting with the coolest camera angles at 80mph. But this time around we have more of an itinerary to keep schedule of.
By the time we dropped into the Imperial Valley, temperatures reached 97 degree F. That's 36 degrees C if you're on the new math. But once we got east of Yuma, it managed to rise up a few ticks to 100 degrees F. Not bad. I've ridden in hotter.
But this time of the year the scenery is more colorful, about as colorful as it gets for the desert. There's a stretch of Highway 85 that runs from Gila Bend to Buckeye with swashes of yellow Smoke Trees against Pipe Organ Cactus and reddish-brown hills that reminds me why I tolerate the long stretches of dull superslabbery.
And why take the Interstate? Why not take the back roads? First, there are not a lot of choices getting from San Diego to Phoenix. Two, when it's 100+ degrees out, you want to get there fast as you can.
Phoenix is said to be the "Valley of the Sun", but these days it seems to be the Valley of Freeway Construction. The town just keeps on growing, ever sprawling further out and drowning in the stop-and-go rhythms of a inch-worm on a cholla cactus. And there's no lane-splitting in Arizona. So when the traffic slows to a crawl under the late afternoon broil, the misery-meter starts to rise.
When we pulled into our hotel room around 6:30pm, all I could think of was a shower and a cold drink. And then Sash discovered that we were supposed to meet the Monkey Butt Radio guys for an evening barbecue around that time. So we showered and got dressed got right back on the road.
Monkey Butt Radio is three guys, each of whom named Mike, who talk about motorcycles and everything within a degree or two. We're going to be in the studio with them to do a show.
The big reason why Sash and I are headed to Denver is so that she could take part in the first annual Steel Horse Sisterhood Summit, where a bunch of motorcycle riding women are getting together to pat each other on their backs. But my brother lives there, so I'm going to see him. We also have a client there, Thanasi Foods, who advertises on my beef jerky blog, so we'll be visiting them.
As it turned out, we had a great time. I mean, we got to ride motorcycles all day and then partied till midnight. I guess it was quite a day on the first of our three week trip.
|Interstate 8 has some fun riding along the Imperial / San Diego County Line|
|Me taking a shot along Interstate 8 on the Imperial / San Diego County Line|
|Having lunch at Johnny's Burritos, El Centro, CA|
|Me trying to find a creative photo shot while cruising some long straights in the desert.|
|The guys of Monkey Butt Radio|