This morning I headed back out on the highway with Las Cruces, NM as my first destination. This time going solo. I'm planning a short stint of 19 days before returning to SoCal. When I get back, Sash and I are taking another little trip to the 75th Anniversary Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Since cutting our original road trip short last month, and returning to Southern California, Sash and I have stayed at her house in Menifee for 16 days now. She actually still owns a house, but has been renting it out to a family the past few years. They moved out of the house just as she and I returned back. So, the house is mostly empty aside from a futon, television, and patio furniture.
But now the house is up for sale.
A few weeks after the Sturgis Rally, Sash has another doctor's appointment in San Diego. So, she'll be returning. I have a client in Boulder, CO that I'll be visiting with. After that, I'm not sure what I'll be doing.
Probably just riding around.
I can remember at the age of 12 when our family moved from San Diego to Santa Ana. The change in culture was severe. Even though the neighborhood we lived in San Diego was predominantly hispanic, it was still very friendly. I had lots of friends there. In Santa Ana, however, where the population is also hispanic, people remain guarded. As the only Asian/White family on the block, we were like alien invaders to them. I never felt so alone there.
But at that time, I was also going through some of my own problems with being a stepchild. Both my mother and father remarried to new spouses, and both had new sons to love and raise. It made me feel abandoned. Moreover, my mom kept complaining about me spending too much time inside the house during weekends and summer vacations. She wanted me to get out of the house.
"Go outside and make some new friends!" she demanded while making a serious face.
How was I supposed to make friends with people who made suspicious expressions at me?
It didn't take long, however, until I discovered the Santa Ana River Trail. It was a stretch of narrow pavement for bicyclists and joggers that ran along the banks of the Santa Ana River. It starts in the San Bernardino Mountains and flows some 96 miles to the Pacific Ocean at Huntington Beach.
I'd ride my bicycle a couple of miles to the river trail, and from there could ride southwest to the beach, which was about 8 miles, or ride northeast to Prado Dam, which was about 22 miles. The first couple of times I rode towards the beach, and by the time I got there, I found it very crowded with joggers, skateboarders, and bicyclists. I felt quite overwhelmed. So, I started going the other way towards Prado Dam.
The entire day of riding to Prado Dam and back was close to 45 miles. This for a teenager was actually not that exhausting. It did, however, keep me in good physical condition, which I think I still benefit from today.
But for the most part, spending so much time riding far away, and being all alone, made me feel so much more comfortable. I didn't have my mom nagging me. I didn't have to be the stepchild anymore. I'd imagine myself as running away, and resigning myself to my own faculties. Yet, I'd return home by evening.
What I know now is that I get quite anxious staying in one place for too long. Sixteen days here in Menifee has been a long enough time for me. Getting on that motorcycle and being gone for several weeks, even months, is like being able to breathe again.