blogging kp!

some of my travels with random musings & silliness mixed in

Riding April 30, 2012

Re-read this the other day… it so perfectly describes how I feel about riding my bike…

“You see things vacationing on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other. In a car you’re always in a compartment, and because you are used to it you don’t realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You’re a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.

On a cycle the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re IN the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming. That concrete whizzing by five inches below your foot is the real thing, the same stuff you walk on, it’s right there, so blurred you can’t focus on it, yet you can put your foot down and touch it anytime, and the whole thing, the whole experience, is never removed from immediate consciousness.”

~~ Robert M. Pirsig

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The Hoop Dance May 29, 2011

This year for Memorial Weekend, I rode my Harley around Arizona. Part of my trip included riding up to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. While walking around the Rim taking pictures, I heard the very distinct sound of what I will refer to here as powwow drums.

I walked over to where the sound was coming from (the side of the Hopi House) and found a show (ugh… I hate that word in this instance) of four or five Native American dancers performing various cultural dances… so, I slowly inched my way forward and soon was able to take some pictures. This series of photos is of the Hoop Dance.

The Hoop Dance is a form of dance that a solo dancer performs to tell a story with anywhere from 1 to 30 hoops at a time…. each formation of hoops can represent an animal (ie… snake, eagle, coyote) that is integral to the storytelling. Also, each hoop represents the circle of life. The various formations of the hoop occur all around the dancer’s body. To create the various formations, the hoops are arranged to interconnect. While interconnected, the hoops are extended from the dancer’s body to create the “wings”, “tails”, etc of the animal they are creating…. all this is done while the dance is moving very rapidly.

More of my pictures: http://wp.me/pyPkl-cO

 

Airports, People, Zombies and the Apocalypse May 21, 2011

Today I am on my way back to the Midwest for my cousin’s funeral. I never would have thought I would be saying this as he was only 20 years old. A complete shocker to me and my family. I admit I am having a difficult time wrapping my head around this and feeling somewhat anxious as I travel back East.

On the way to Concourse C

My anxiety has kept me from sleeping, so, as I sit in the various airports crossing the country, I am people watching… and there is a lot of people watching to be done! Young, old. Big, small. Immense. Slow, fast. Military. Families. Bachelorettes leaving for Las Vegas.

Everyone seems to have headphones on. White ones usually indicate an Apple product. One such set just walked by attached to someone singing to whatever they were listening to. (They probably shouldn’t give up their day job… American Idol contestant they are not.)

As I sit in front of the flat screen tv at my gate, CNN announces that the CDC has released guidelines for how to deal with a zombie epidemic/breakout. Seems I (we) should have food, water and a first aid kit. This seems remarkably over simplistic to me. Shouldn’t we have this already?

**** Newsflash! Today is supposed to be the beginning of the apocalypse. ****

CNN just reported it on the flat screen, so, it must be true…. right? Do you think I will need food, water and a first aid kit? What should be my last meal today? Yikes! Am I only gonna get to eat from an airport food court? This could be my last blog entry!

What an anticlimactic end to my life it would be…. We have an apocalypse and I am sitting in an airport… not riding my motorcycle or hanging out at my local watering hole with my friends…. nor am I camping somewhere among the red rocks of Utah.

I think the Detroit Airport (DTW) has become my favorite of all the ones I have been through. Dallas / Ft. Worth (DFW) used to hold that honor with JFK and London Heathrow as the worst.

DTW water fountain

DTW seems to be new. Shiny. Modern. Right smack in the middle of Concourse A is a water fountain. The fountain is one of those that intermittently but in a series of patterns shoots streams of water up and out of the base of the fountain. Children stand around it fascinated.

I think I will go over to the Harley Davidson boutique. Yep, a Harley store in the airport. It is actually one of two that I am aware of…. Chicago has the other. No bikes for sale, just shirts, jackets, key chains, mugs and any other chotchkies they can squeeze the bar and shield on. (5/26/11… Due to weather… I was rerouted through Minneapolis on my way home… they have a Harley store as well.)

Tunnel between concourses

My favorite feature of DTW is the long hallway between Concourse A and Concourses B/C. It is a tunnel. The walls have the appearance of brushed aluminum. There are moving sidewalks on either side of the tunnel. The best part…. the walls change color! Blue. Green. Pink. Red. The music pumped into the tunnel is surreal new age-y…. I stood there for twenty minutes just watching. Well, two hours of my four hour layover down…. two to go.

RIP Andrew. I will miss you. XO

All pics are from DTW Airport and were taken with a cell phone… if you want to see more… click here… http://wp.me/pyPkl-cf

 

Desert Christ Park, Yucca Valley, CA October 27, 2010

While out researching another ride to Pioneertown, CA, I came across the website for the Desert Christ Park in Yucca Valley.

This is a hillside park adjacent to a church with 35+ statues of Biblical figures… some of which recreate events from the Bible. The statuary also shows various apostles and/or others in what appears to be discussions or taking time out to contemplate. There are even 1 or 2 statues in a lying down position… maybe resting or maybe just enjoying the sun on their alabaster skin.

Back in the 50s, this park was created by sculptor Antone Martin as a his statement of peace. From what I could tell, his cement sculptures appear to be placed facing away from the sun… with the exception of Jesus who always seems to face Yucca Valley.

Unfortunately, a 7.3 earthquake back in 1992, did some damage to a number of the sculptures… removing heads and hands. This left rebar sticking out bare almost as if someone took the sculptures’ skin off.

Martin also built a large wall with the Last Supper in bas relief. (You can go behind the wall and place your head in the window next to Jesus… it’s ok… the wall was built for this!)

More of my photos: http://wp.me/pyPkl-9I

 

Pioneertown, CA October 25, 2010

Saloon, Bank and Barbershop

Back in March 2009, one of my great friends was about to celebrate his birthday. I knew this because he sent a party invitation via Facebook asking his friends to join him at the Rim Rock Ranch in Pioneertown (Yucca Valley) for the weekend.  I did some “googling” and read up on Pioneertown and it sounded both fun and like a great ride. So, I told him I would come up on my bike.

Pioneertown is four miles from Yucca Valley which is very close to 29 Palms and north of Palm Springs. I “mapquested” the route. About 120 miles… 2-3 hours. This would be an easy ride and it was somewhere new!

I took the 15 to the 79 to the 10 to the 62 toward 29 Palms. BE CAREFUL on this road (62). The wind is gnarly! I have been on this road many times and sometimes I felt like I was riding sideways! Once on the 62 it is only about 25 miles to Pioneertown Road… turn left and about 5 miles, some Joshua Trees, boulders and rock formations later I pass one of the best honky tonks around…. Pappy and Harriet’s Palace. Another 5 miles and I arrived at the Rim Rock Ranch.

The Wagon Wheel Saloon

There were about ten of us hanging out at the ranch. It was a great place!  I won’t go into the details of the birthday party but we rocked the high desert!

Somehow, I managed to miss Pioneertown itself on that trip. When I look back, I have no idea how this happened! I just rode right on by it. So, when I heard my favorite band The Farmers were playing at Pappy’s, I had to go! Once again, I loaded my bike for camping and met the band at Pappy’s on Saturday. I brought some friends with me this time. They stayed in the Pioneertown Hotel and I pitched my tent out back.

Pioneertown Bowl

Let me tell you about Pioneertown. Pi-Town started as a living motion picture movie set in the old west style. From what I understand it was built in the 1940s sometime. The concept was the actors would live in the set while they were filming. If you have seen Judge Roy Bean, Annie Oakley or The Cisco Kid, you have seen Pioneertown. Roy Rogers, Barbara Billingsley and Gene Autry were a few of the actors you could find on set. Also, to be found is the Pioneertown Bowling Alley. Gene Autry would tape his show there and he rolled the first ball in the late 1940s. Check out the murals!

During the summer months, old west re-enactments take place on Saturday right on Mane Street. Also, behind Pi-Town, there are corrals that can be rented for your horse(s).

(The hotel is under new management and no longer allows tent camping, but the owner of the corrals does. There is a giant fire ring and it has plenty of room by the fence to set up.)

More of my photos: http://wp.me/pyPkl-a6

 

Big and Lone Pine, CA September 11, 2010

In order to celebrate my birthday with the people I love, I decided to hurry up and get home from Mammoth.

Normally, this is an eight (8) hour ride via the 395 and the 15, however, I had to stop in Independence, Big Pine and Lone Pine.

If you follow any of my blogs or know me well enough, I have a “thing” for neon signs… particularly the old motel signs. Since these towns are peppered with old signage, I had to stop and grab my camera. I wandered around a bit, took quite a few photos and had lunch.

I left around 2pm and pulled into my local watering hole for some birthday celebratin’ with my favorite friends around 9pm… yep I hauled ass. After a while, I tumbled into my own bed. Have to say there’s nothing like falling asleep in your own bed after being gone for awhile.

More of my photos: http://wp.me/pyPkl-9m

 

Red Bear… Dead Bear… September 10, 2010

SLOW DOWN!

I couldn't resist a photo of this sign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know that a traffic offense in a National Park is not a State offense? If you get a ticket in a National Park and do not pay it… a warrant gets issued for you and the FEDERAL MARSHALS will come pick your ass up and take you back to face a judge!!!

Save a bear (or any animal for that matter) and save yourself the embarassment of having to explain that you were picked up by the Marshalls for a speeding ticket.

Don’t ask me how I know.