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Old 07-09-2012, 09:56 PM   #4
NomadGal OP
Esther
 
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Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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*Thursday June 14th
I left Catia’s house it was good to see her again and I realized that everyone in their own way is discovering a path to their true self.
On the way out of town I stopped at the Bike shop in Garberville to pick up my new Mirror, and to tighten my chain; which I noticed had stretched quite a bit.
The owner Jesse helped me push the bike in the shade and I used the little rod to left up Spirit’s rear wheel. I guess I needn’t have done it seeing as I was tightening it not making it looser, but I like the fact that I am getting more comfortable in using it, and to trust in my kickstand. I bought better chain-lube, Jesse said that W-40 eats the o-rings. Seeing as he was into off-roading I figured he knew what he was talking about. He did say that I needed a new sprocket though; the teeth were starting to slant one way. It dawned on my while he was talking about what all I needed to replace that this trip was getting so much more expensive than I ever thought it would. Not only in gas and camping fees, but in motorcycle upkeep. My landlady still had not refunded my deposit and I was trying very hard to have faith that all would be well.
Getting the bike and bumping into Jim were nothing short of little miracles, and I felt that the universe was telling me that I am doing what I need to be doing now, and that all this is part of something more, something I don’t know yet.
I took off heading North to Oregon, in the hopes of finding cheaper campgrounds there to kick back and relax for a few days before I had to be in Berkeley for the lucid dreaming conference.



Avenue of the giants rest stop



As I was riding though the avenue of the giants and loving the way the trees’ presence felt, I thought that what bugged me most was my inability to control the bike as most guys do. If I felt a bit more sure of myself and handling Spirit, then I could probable pull over onto a dirt trail and find a free camping spot. I am still getting totally frozen with fear every time I get near a dirt or gravel road. Not knowing if I can get Spirit up by myself if I drop her, and worse knowing that I might break something I can’t afford to fix, is forcing me to go to pay camp sites. I was hoping that maybe in a few months I would be a better rider and more confident with Spirit.
I also realized that I am riding too much. My plan had been to camp out more, to relax and meditate, to start painting again and to enjoy myself in other ways than riding.
I did stop by Whole Foods in Eureka, boy what a fantastic health-food store, amazing, it was hard not to buy too much. Good thing I didn’t have much room on the bike. *
At the end of the day I found an expensive campsite close to Oregon and was reluctantly turning around to leave, when the hostess said that seeing my bike only had 2 wheels instead of four she’d let me stay for half price which was $17.50 instead of $35. I was glad cause I was fried. I spend a wonderful night there and slept like a baby.

Today was a short riding day.



I followed the coastline into Oregon and 10 miles inland from Gold Beach I found the perfect campsite.

Pitched my tent, hung my hammock and relaxed for two whole days. It was a much-needed peace of heaven.



I was also looking forward to the dream conference in Berkeley and hope that I would have some lucid dreams before I got to the conference.
I did find out that the place I would be able to stay at fell through.
The owner fell down the stairs and had to cancel her vacation and stay there. I hoped she was okay, and figured that I was not meant to be there but somewhere else.
How true that ended up being!

Tuesday June 19th

I broke camp early Sunday morning and headed down the coast toward Berkeley.
The plan was to make it to Fort Brag so I wouldn’t have to worry not to make it to the conference on time. It was a long but scenic road to Fort Bragg.
The sun was setting as I neared my destination and the campsite I had seen on the map looked great. As I rode up to the window I saw that it too was $35!
I turned around and decided to see how much the RV camp was behind the gas station. It too was a lot, $27. Just as I was about to leave I notice a guy on a BMW GS1200 stop and fill up his tank. I noticed that he too had camping gear strapped to the back of his bike. I got bold, walked up to him, and asked him if he was planning on camping that night. He said he was, and I asked him if he would be willing to share the campsite and split the cost. He said he would and introduced himself.
His name was Christopher, and I am glad I was bold for a change!
He said he wanted to camp at Philo, a place he had camped at years ago.
I followed Christopher along the coast and inland toward Philo. What is it about men and speeding? I was like Déjà vu, following Jim.



This time though Chris slowed down after a little while, even though I was doing s pretty darn good job keeping up. Later he said that I had to have been wondering what kind of guy I was following into the woods, LOL.
We got to Philo camp ground about half an hour later.
Christopher left his gear on the table and said he’d make a quick run to the store for some beer and asked if I wanted anything, I said no.
While he was gone I hung up my hammock, it looked like a clear night so I didn’t feel like pitching my tent.
Chris got back with a huge bundle of firewood and some beer. I don’t drink so I hope he didn’t feel to odd drinking by himself.
We stayed up till midnight talking about life and reality, about religion and people’s misconception about it. I felt really comfortable around him and it was nice to share and evening with someone like-minded.
He lived in DC and was married with two small children. His job flew him out to San Francisco and he decided to rent the BMW and take some time off riding around.
As we were talking I couldn’t help but feel as if we had known each other for a very long time.
I had an intense dream about him and his family that night and told him about it when I woke up. He asked me what his wife looked like in my dream and I told him. Turns on I was right on the bet. Then I said your wife still nurses and he said yes, that’s right. Then the next thing I told him blew him away. I said in the dream you were surrounded by boxes, like you had just moved. The place *was near rocks and coves and water. Christopher than commented on how he and his wife had been thinking about moving seeing the place they lived was rather small for a family of three. He told me he’d let me know if it ever came true, and to keep an eye open for a place near water and rocks.
We had some coffee together at a small place near the campsite and decided to ride together toward San Francisco.



It was great to ride that beautiful coastline together with someone who appreciated it and who loved riding.



We stopped at a small restaurant and had lunch together.
Afterward as we were riding inland Chris stopped to point out a scene, and I commented how lovely it would be to find a meadow and just crash for a little while to soak up some sun. We found a small road toward cow pastures and a littler road up the hill. A nice meadow lay ahead of us and we parked our bikes on a dirt road and climbed over the fence. The grass was high and yellow, looked like it might have been a wheat field at some point in time. We laid there for about an hour, not saying much but enjoying the sun and each other’s company.
I have to admit that by then I was very much loving him for who he was, like Jim says, recognizing the essence of someone.
We said goodbye not to long afterward, myself heading to San Rafael and he to San Francisco to return the bike and fly home the next morning. I hope he has a happy life, and that his dream of riding from Alaska to Terra del Fuego in South America will come true for him. I hope we shall meet again some day.
Even though I had known him for less than 24 hours, I still felt sad to say goodbye.
It gave me a little taste of what it would be like to travel together with someone you love, to share the road and the experience.

After Chris and I went our own way I headed to San Rafael. Geoffrey, my friend on Kauai who give me the KLR, said he had called a friend of his who could help me with a place to sleep. When I found her Geof had not called her yet and she had no idea who I was, lol. She gave me a few good ideas as to where to sleep, and then decided she was being silly. We were in her shop, and she said I could just stay there for the night seeing as she was going home anyway. Her name is Marcia and she owns an upholstery business in San Rafael. I got to sleep on top of the huge table. Had a great vegetarian Vietnamese dinner around the corner and crashed.
I can’t say I slept much that night, the shop is right off the freeway, and every time a semi-truck drove by the place trembled. And it was noisy.
The next morning early I left for Mount Tamalpais. It was a gorgeous ride and the campground was really nice, be it rather expensive. I had called Marin Headlands headquarters, and was able to reserve 2 nights at their Bicentennial campground.



View from Bicentennial campground



natural vegetation

The site was really nice and free, the only drawback was that I had to carry my stuff in and leave Spirit sitting on the side of the road. Hmmm, I so do not like doing that!
I spent a peaceful night there, and the next morning I decided to leave early to go meet with Yogi, a friend of Geoffrey’s someone with whom I could stay a few days, and to Mountain View to meet with Robert Waggoner (author of “Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self” and have lunch with him.
As I got to Spirit and started her, I smelled gas. I looked down and saw fuel squirting out of the fuel hose connection to the carburetor. Looked like my little elbow had a crack in it. I did the only thing I could think of, and that was clean the area, and blob JB-Weld all around the area. It did the trick and I rode off to meet Yogi. He was very nice and let me cool down a bit and take a second look at the bike and fix whatever needed fixing. However he was very clear in that he did not want me to stay there. He called a few people and asked them if they would welcome a traveler. I decided that I would just fend in the city for myself. As I was about to leave he had a friend called Robbie on the phone. Robbie and his wife would love to have me over, and wanted to hear all about Lucid Dreaming.
I promised I would be by the next evening.
I left for Mountain View and got 20 minutes with Robert before his lecture started.
I got to help him with the slideshow, which was fun seeing as I had been to one of his lectures before. Robert is a great guy, and it’s nice to meet someone for whom Lucid Dreaming is as important as it is for me.
I got to camp around midnight and crashed.

Friday June 22nd
The campsite was coated in fog this morning. As I broke down camp I kept putting everything into the bear-proof bin, so it wouldn’t get drenched.
Promptly at 9 a park ranger I had met the previous day, showed up to toss all my junk into his truck and drive it uphill. His sister had been camped next to me and when he had shown up to carry her stuff up I had jokingly said that I would love it if he would be here in the next day too, to help me. Turns out his sister had called him in the morning to remind him to be there at 9 to help me. Wow! I felt really spoiled.
I rode to Berkeley to the Doubletree Hotel in the Marina to meet with Jeff, the AV manager. I was way to early but hung around the Hotel meeting a lot of dreamers and lucid dreamers. Bumped into Robert too.
The training was very brief and our job responsibilities seemed easy. Download each presenter’s Powerpoint unto the laptop, hook them up with a lavalier (cordless body mike), check sound of other mikes, check projector and make sure the session is recorded. Easy peasy.
I attended the opening night till 10 and headed back to Robbie’s place in San Rafael.
It was not until the 3rd night there that I realized that the reason I was there and not staying in the original place was that Robbie needed to learn about lucid dreaming in order to heal himself. I told him all you could do in a lucid dream, and that I had done it myself.
Without going into detail about the next few days, all I can say it was not as easy peasy as it sounded and I basically ran my butt off the next 4 days fixing one thing after another. I did get to sit in Ed Kellogg’s Lucid Dreaming workshop, and it was a blast. In a nutshell it was about preconceived notions, getting over fear that is stopping us from expanding and tricks and hints to gain lucidity.
He talked about his friend Jack who could focus and see and feel the world in such a disconnected, or should I say connected way, that he could pierce himself with a needle and not feel anything or bleed. Afterward he would pull the needle out only to have the opening in his skin close within 5 minutes without leaving a mark.
He then grabbed this huge needle and asked for volunteers. You should have heard the gasps and felt the tension, LOL! I stuck up my arm and volunteered. I don’t think he was expecting anyone to do so cause he said he wasn’t ready yet.
He then went an grabbed a balloon and pierced it with the needle without popping it. It was pretty amazing. He said it was everyone’s preconceived notion that a balloon would pop when doing this, but when one knows how to, the notion evaporates and makes room for a bigger possibility in life. He then asked again who would want to volunteer, and I lifted my arm up again. The trick in doing this is pricking the needle into the fat back part, and out the fat front part in which you blow the air into.



The last day of the conference featured a costume ball where people portrayed a dream they had.
I showed up in my motorcycle outfit, because of a dream I had riding my bike and it breaking down, only to have a stranger show up and help me.
That night was not only a blast, but intriguing as well.
Robert sat at a table and right in front of him a soap bubble landed that pasQuale had blown. It sat there and didn’t pop. When I showed up it had been there for 10 minutes without popping. Robert and I became the guardians of the bubble.



The bubble never popped! As I sat there a thought popped into my head, “Nothing is as it seems, and everything is possible”. I told Robert what just came to me, and he was astounded, he said he had the same thought pop into his head, “everything is possible.” I really felt connected to him, and we had fun taking turns watching the bubble, and at one point danced together when David (his friend) was watching it.
I slept in the AV room at the hotel that night and said goodbye to everyone in the morning and rode to the bikeshop in Daley City to pick up the carburetor part I had ordered. It was June 27th and I was finally “on the Road” without any other obligations. My true adventure was about to start.


I spent the night at a campsite on Lake Tulloch. No picture cause I was feeling pretty horrible. Forgot to mention that I came down with a cold, and was feeling pretty ratty on Tuesday but it hit me hard on Wednesday. I crawled into my hammock at 6, slept till 7:30, warmed up some soup and crawled into my tent at 8.


Thursday June 28th
I woke at 7 am and felt a little better.
Somehow the thought of staying here another day did not appeal to me, the campground was not that nice, and it was expensive as well. I longed to go back into the mountains with the pine tress and the fresh air. I got my bike packed and ready to go by 9:30 and headed toward Yosemite once again.
Toward the end of the road in Yosemite I stopped for lunch at a grocery store and bought a pita bread sandwich. As I sat outside in the shade under a tree a guy walked over, sat down and asked me if I was riding by myself. He was all impressed and congratulated me. He said he loved independent women and admired them for having the strength to do something on their own. Turns out he was a rock climber. Now that is something that is awe inspiring to me. I am not sure if I would enjoy myself as much on a rock face dangling 1000 feet in the air as I do riding my bike. He said he didn’t really much care for riding a motorcycle. I thought that was funny.
I hopped back on the bike and rode toward Nevada. The route still looked familiar to me as I had been down there not too long ago.
As I stopped at a rest stop I saw a sign that said resting allowed for no longer than 18 hours . I figured that meant that I could spend the night there. I hung my hammock and kicked back. I can’t say that I had a very restful night. At first the cars passing by kept me awake, and when it finally got quiet it heard someone walk up to the hammock and breathe loudly. I opened my mouth to say something only to find out I couldn’t move or speak. I guess this is what they call sleep paralysis. Turns out that I must have been partially asleep and dreaming, but I was ever so aware of my surroundings as well, really strange. Then I awoke because some guy kept his car running forever and ever. I finally got up and knocked on the guys window. He had fallen asleep with the radio on and the engine running. He turned both of them off, Yay!! The rest of the night was wonderful and I slept till 7:30

Friday June 29th
What makes an adventure an adventure?
I guess it would be overcoming obstacles and dealing with unexpected circumstances. This day was an adventure day.
I met a guy called Scott at the rest stop in the morning, he was a rock guy who had just purchase 5 acres of land in the middle of nowhere and he was digging for gems and other rocks.
He seemed a bit of a goofy guy, but very sweet. We talked a while and he said goodbye and left. I followed only a couple of minutes later.
As I rode I sped up just a little to pass a car that was going very slowly and as I did I heard a loud Pang and clang and the bike slowed down. I knew instantly what had happened, the chain snapped! I coasted slowly in front of the guy I just passed and pulled over. He stopped to. Turns out it was Scott who wondered what had happened. I told him chain snapped, and I took of back to where I came from in the hopes of finding my chain. It was lying in the center of the road all curled up, and didn’t look damaged or run over. Scott gave me a ride to the little town nearby called Tonopah, and as luck would have it, there was an ATV shop that carried a masterlink for my chain. Scott was really a sweetheart and gave me a ride back to my bike and hug around till I had fixed the chain. He followed me back to Tonopah where I treated him to lunch for helping me. *
I was very happy that this little incident was so easily fixed.

Then after having fixed my chain I ride off through the desert and 2 hours after riding (and trying to charge my phone) I stop the bike to take a picture and Spirit doesn't start again, dead battery.....
Luckily (again) I was only 1/4 mile from Rachel, and it was all downhill so I coasted into the parking lot of a small diner where the owner had a battery charger. So while it's charging I pitched up my tent in their yard, free camping, and am kicking back in the diner. Life is spoiling me!!


free campsite in Rachel

I spend two days in Rachel, most of it in the diner catching up on my ride report.
It was fun hanging around the diner watching the locals and the tourists coming in, and I felt quite at home there.
A guy called Jim who renovated older homes was spending some time there helping Cody fix his house, offered to let me take showers at his trailer. Cody himself was a blast, he no filter so he basically blurts out what he thinks or feels etc.
He thought I was weird, I had to laugh. Vegetarians are not that common there so I have to admit I was rather picky with my dinner order. They had garden burgers, which was amazing, so there most be some veggie-nuts coming in occasionally.

I left early in the morning on July first and headed toward Ely. I stopped in Ash Springs to gas up and the bike started fine again, but after I stopped at the next town to drink something and munch on a Cliff bar, Spirit wouldn’t start. Battery was dead again. I left her sitting at the side of the road and walked to a nearby Motel. Luckily it was being renovated and one of the two guys working in there owned a motorbike and he said he’d run home real quick and grab the jumper cables. His name was Jamie, and he was telling me how he designed and built his own bike. While he ran home I took the battery out and looked at it. *One of the cells was only half full and some others only ¾. I went and refilled the cells and popped the battery back in. She started right back up and I hoped that now the battery would hold the charge.
I thanked Jamie and left toward Ely once more. When I got to Panaca I decided that by now the battery should have charged enough to stop and start again. I was wrong! I was getting a little frustrated by then. To have to keep asking for help is not to much fun. This time a business guy had a pair of jumper cables, and another guy stopped to let me know I could swing by his guitar shop, and that he had a battery charger. I went to his shop and we put the battery on the charger. At the same time he looked on line to see if the Walmart in Cedar City had a battery in stock seeing as the the old one seemed not to be charging properly. Walmart had one and I could make it in time if I left soon, which I did. I got to Cedar city without any lights, neither head nor turn nor brake lights. This little expense had e worried though, I only had $80 left and didn’t know if that was enough. I had to find a job soon.
The battery and charger were $70, so I made it. Unfortunately it needed to be filled and then charged, so I snuck it into the McDonalds sat down and ate French fries and internetted while the battery charged. I stayed there till 11, and by that time the charge light still hadn’t turned green. Not knowing what to do and not daring to ride off in the dark with an uncharged battery I decided to ask my ex-husband with whom I still am good friends, for some help. He booked me a room at the motel nearby for the night so I could fully get the battery charged. Spending the night in a motel was wonderful! I was so tired of taking the seat and side covers off and putting them back on. I also told my dad what was going on and he sent me some money by Western Union. Saved by my dad once again. I felt horrible accepting it from him, cause it has to be a hardship for him. I vouched to find a job ASAP so I could pay him back.
The next morning the light was green, Yay!! I rode by a motorbike and ATV shop and had the mechanic do a diagnostic test to see if my alternator was shot.
He found out that there was no charge to the stator, so he said the stator was broken. Then he mentioned that he noticed that the chain had been loose at some point, but that the wires looked in good shape. He also welded my shifter for me which had almost ripped in half. I decided to just haul ass to Marty’s house near Denver and see if I could order a new stator. It had gotten late so I decided to stay one more night at a motel seeing as I had some cash now. While I was at the motel a thought occurred to me, what if the breaking chain cut the wires? The mechanic said they were okay, but how well did he look? I decided to pull the cover off and see for myself. I didn’t even have to pull the wires out to see that some were severed.
Once I did pull all the wires out I saw that 2 yellow wires were totally severed, and the white on almost. I spent the next hour cleaning and rewiring the connection. When I was at the mechanic I connected the battery tender’s quick charge cable, which was great as now I didn’t need to take the seat back off, but could just hook up the charger to the plug hanging down on the side of my bike.
I was surprised to find that I really did like Cedar City. It is a great place, spacious, not too much traffic, just very mellow and pleasant for a bigger place.

Tuesday July 3rd
The battery charger light was green, and I kept my fingers crossed that the end of my electric problems was over. I packed the bike and left toward Panquitch. I missed the turn off and ended up backtracking but found it a little while later only to have to turn around again cause the road was closed due to landslides and fire.
I ended up going over Parawan unto 143 toward Panquitch. *



Panquitch is a cute little town and I had some coffee and salad art a diner and found two cool peace bracelets, one for Jim one for Alex.



As I was riding out of town I noticed a garage and I stopped to ask the guy if he knew of a place in town that sold the disposable oil bags with the “cat litter” in them. I hadn’t changed my oil in a long time and it was dues. The guy was really sweet and said that I could just change it there and that I could borrow an oil pan. I parked the bike in the back and changed the oil in no time. I surprised him I think by how fast it went. I thanked him again and left toward Fish Lake to camp for the night. I found a nice campsite on a hill and hung my hammock. That might not have been the smartest thing to do as I later found out. There were mosquitos! I had forgotten about those little buggers!
Nevertheless I spend the night in the hammock and for the first time since I left I craved a movie. I grabbed my laptop and watched one that night. It was great lying comfy and snug in my hammock with my tarp over me in case it rained, watching one of the 100 movies I had downloaded unto my hard drive.

Wednesday July 4th.
Today I rode toward Moab, again! This time on Hwy 70. I normally avoid freeways, I don’t like the amount of cars and trucks around me when I ride, it makes me uneasy and tense. This stretch of freeway was amazing though! Absolutely gorgeous. Once I got to Moab I ate at my favorite place called Eklictic Café. The girl still recognized me and asked where my entourage was (Jim and Alex) I said they were still in Idaho, but would very likely be dropping by in the near future.
As I walked into a shop looking for a peace sticker, a young girl, Taya, who waited on Jim Alex and I last time we were there, walked up to me and said “Hi, you are back!” It was really cool to have come back to Moab and be recognized by a few people. It felt a little like coming home after having been away. We talked for a while and she said she might be heading out to Denver to go back to college in August. I told her I would tell Jim she said hi.
I left for Colorado shortly after, and for the first time since I left Idaho I encountered rain! I loved Colorado right from the start. It’s beautiful!



I spend the night in a quaint little place called Naturita, at a campsite filled with carvings. The owner was an older guy in his seventies who beat cancer. He was rail thin but really sweet, and joined me at my campsite for a while talking about a group of gypsies who just invaded the camp after the sheriff tossed them off public lands for loitering there too long. They were making a bit of a mess in the laundry room. He was a fun to spend time with and told me about his life and his kids and grand kids.


]
This one was guarding me during the night, as it was right next to my tent

Thursday July 5th
I wished the campsite owner good luck on his annual cancer re-exam and left early in the morning and rode from Naturita to Lake George, with a few stops along the way. One of the stops was a cool little café in Ridgway called Four Power.
I happened to see it because traffic was backed up due to road construction and I ended up smackdab in front of it. Instead of sitting on my bike waiting I decided to take a break and have some coffee. Turns out they also had internet, hence my previous post. I found this hanging on the wall in the café, it was a large tie-dyed piece of material.



I continued an hour later toward Lake George over the great Divide. I got there pretty late and was tired. The campsite was pretty awesome though, even though I had to go and ride through the trees since I was unable to back up my bike. It surprised me how easily Spirit maneuvered over the pines and the uneven ground covered in branches and wood chips. It was actually quite fun once I quit being a scaredy cat.



Friday July 6
I took it slow and easy in the morning as Marty wouldn’t be home until after 1:30.
I had called him the night before to let him know I was coming.
On the way I decided to stop at Manitou Springs, I always wanted to see that town. It is very touristy, but charming and catered to motorcyclist!



Spend a few hours at a little internet café Marika’s with great teas and coffees and home made pastries made by the owner Christine.
The café is very spacious with couches and chairs and computers. It has a very comfortable and relaxed atmosphere and I enjoyed hanging there for a while



As I rode to Marty’s home in Larkspur it started pouring! And I mean pouring! Thunder and lightening accompanied me all the way. I was glad that everyone slowed down on the freeway, it was very hard to see, and I was glad I was wearing a neon yellow safety vest. I turned off at the Larkspur exit and Spirit sputtered and died…. She really doesn’t like water! I coasted till under the bridge and called Marty who graciously came to get me with the trailer. I was joined by a couple on a Goldwing who had been riding in shorts and T-shirts and were now soaked to the bone. As soon as we got to Marty’s house we started working on my bike.
I will write about this tonight…..
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