Monthly Archives: February 2017

Bustin’ Loose!!

Howdy!
I’ve come to find my previous tactic of waiting long periods of time to blast out rambling missives doesn’t serve my writing urge very well, so I’ll be posting more frequent, shorter posts about random dumb shit. This will either elicit a squeal of glee or a groan frustration, but that’s on you.
The powers that be at Fruit, the Cupertino based tech company I moved to this hellhole to work for, has recognized my hard efforts and blessed me with a paid day off which I’m applying to tomorrow. And how shall I utilize this? Stoned surrounded by food wrappers in front of a screen? Perish the thought. Thumper and I are headed, here in a bit, to Mercey Hot Springs, a little oasis of peace in the odd little dry land patch between I-5 and the 101. I’ve spent most of my camping, riding, get the fuck out of dodge time in this general area and it has been a lifesaver.

Fancier and more spendy than my favorite developed springs in Oregon it’s rustic by Cali standards. Keeps the super yuppies at bay.

This will also be a tiny shakedown run for some recent adjustments to the bike and new gear that will be part of the big 4000+mile 3-4 week SW moto ramble I’ll be heading out on after my contract is up here in a few weeks. I’m so goddamn excited! Gonna be a hoot. More details on that to come, be good to run into some folks while I’m oot and aboot.

Time to prep Thumper and finish packing, y’all have a sweet Sunday.

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Thoughts on Cali

img_20161026_174725012_hdrThis is gonna be the first of a few blatherings digesting my year and a half here in the South Bay. It’s been a challenging and eventful experience and, hopefully, the last that drags me far from friends and deep into isolation. Been way too many of those this past couple decades and it’s getting fucking old, let me tell ya.

All-in all, I’m a very blessed fellow. Single, no kids and no serious obligations to keep me from living however I wish. A wealth of understanding friends who know I’ll eventually swing back through town and catch up has kept me going in the doldrums. Typically chasing jobs, education, or a change of scenery it’s always been easy to uproot and head to the next gig out of a sense of adventure. I’ve lived in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Arizona, Alberta Canada, and now California.

With the thrill of moving severely diminished after being done so many times, the primary take away of Cali is that adventure can be had anywhere, friends cannot always be made. Surrounded by 6.1 million people (the population of the 5 counties that make up the greater bay area, I’m a GIS guy, it’s my job to figure this shit out) and I can say I’ve made one possible long term friend. In a year and a half. Not for lack of trying, initially. Being the new guy in town frequently, you learn to make friends if you don’t want to end up shooting yourself in the face out of sheer isolation and loneliness. Gave up drinking a long time ago, so that option is out for dulling the feels.

It got to the point that after my GF and I broke up 6 months into my time here due to the challenges of a long distance relationship a decision had to be made: wallow in misery and treat myself like shit or do all the stupid little shit every day I know would make the time here bearable. So now I meditate twice a day most days, do some deep self reflection, work out 5 times a week, go for a stroll almost every day and eat a basic but tasty diet. Seems like simple stuff, but it has kept me going even when it felt pointless.

I NEED my friends, and for all the bullshit this experience has included, that 1 lesson has made it all worth while. Not that this has been some Trail of Tears for fuck sake. I work for the big fruit based tech company as a GIS tech, make the most $ I’ve ever made in my life, have explored places only ever heard or read about and have become prepared for the next phase of this life. Pretty damn sweet if you ask me.

The Next few posts are going to detail aspects of this place, the outdoor adventure/moto riding, the Silicon Valley mystique, and goddamn Californians.

Wrapping it up in Silicon Valley

imoutSoon, very soon.

March 10th is my release date. After a year and a half in Techville it’ll be time to huck most all the shit back into Mighty Whitey and make a final trek north to Bend. For all the shit talking I could do, and have done, concerning this place and my time on it, I have to say it’s been a hell of a learning experience and some good times have been had. Many cool places I’d have never had the interest in or taken the time to check out have been explored and enjoyed.

Desert moto trips, coastal moto trips, trail running in the Sierras, backpacking in the oak savanna, fucking about in SF, and here soon seeing 2 of my favorite comedians back to back nights in San Jose at the Improv. Bill Burr the 22nd of March followed by Doug Stanhope the next night. So damn excited I may pee myself.

These 2 fun filled nights, however, are only a precursor to the big thrills on the horizon. I’m going to drive Mighty Whitey north, fly back down to catch the shows then jump on the KLR and take off on a 3-4 week road trip all around the desert SW. Fuck YES!!!

Having taken a number of 2-3 week road trips in one of many trusty Subarus over the years, this will be my first this long on Thumper. A multi week outdoor adventure trip involving National Parks, deserts, bouldering, hiking back-road moto adventuring and general fucking about across thousands of miles of mostly desert. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

Being a solid minimalist, I’ll be avoiding the “Oakies heading West out of the Dustbowl” look many ADV riders seem to be so fond of. Lashing mountains of heavy bulky shit to a mildly powered bike that will be expected to handle in some tough conditions seems to be a recipe for disaster I choose to avoid. Luckily, most of my gear is higher quality lightweight backpacking kit so I should be able to pack all I need, have a little room and not have to wallow down the road like a pregnant water buffalo.

Many applications have been slung and none have stuck, so what the fuck, why not hit the road for a bit? I’ve seen images of so many cool places it’ll be good to go in person and lay my eyes upon them. Life is too short to just suck up digital content.

Plan to hit a variety of places all throughout SoCal, AZ, Utah, Colorado, NV then back to Bend. This whole thing actually came about figuring how to get my bike back north while the roads might still suck. Thought about running up the coast to Astoria, but the weather is typically shit in the spring on the coast and I’m fucking done with Cali coast trips. Then it was Death Valley for a few days which morphed into a big adventure. Carrizo Plain Natl Momument, Death Valley, J-Tree, Salton Sea then to see a high school friend in southern AZ enroute to Bisbee just in time for the Mishka Shubaly and Christene Lavene gig. Might even be able to buy a beer for Doug or one of his delightful band of misfits. May dip into Mexico for a look-see, not sure yet. Then north through Utah to check out old stomping grounds to Montrose, CO to visit friends. After that it’ll be road trip improv till I roll into me town of Bend.

Anyone along the route or who will be out and about that time of year and wants to hook up and travel a bit, shoot the shit or offer a patch of grass to sleep on I’ll be checking FB on occasion. Lots of Instagram will be happening and blog posts from time to time.

The big adventure begins roughly March, 25. Still have a few things to check out here before rolling out of Cali for good.