Sunday, June 04, 2006

Back Home

I was gone from May 14, to May 31, 2006. Seventeen days. It was a Sunday that I began. Two o'clock in the morning. I couldn't sleep. The anticipation of the journey, you know. All packed, all ready, I jump on the bike, the K1100LT BMW, 100 horse power, dual overhead cammed, four valves per cylinder, see there be there device and away, away, away, flying, true nap of the earth, asphalt attenuating, distance assimilating, ever generating the fleeting escape of the landscape into being centered everywhere bounded nowhere. At last I am again on a trajectory to the unknown. This dipping into mystery, that the journey is the destination, refreshes the spirit and everything is again new.

The first day ended in El Paso 600 miles across a mostly arid landscape. I took a favorite route down US Hwy 190 through El Dorado and Iraan then finally connected with I-10 and blasted through Ft Stockton, past the Davis Mountains, through Van Horn and on to El Paso. It was a grueling ride and twice the distance of most of the succeeding days. El Dorado is the home of new bigamy "cult". During an encounter with a clerk at a service station I got a whiff of the local intolerance of the interlopers. There was at the time a federal warrant out for the leader of the group and this was the featured article of the newspaper on sale at the counter and I made mention of this. The last time the feds dealt with such a group was in Waco, Texas when they burned alive women and children trying to get at one David Koresh, the leader of that group which had similar leanings. I remarked later to my future daughter in law that a mark of a civil society is the degree to which we are tolerant of those among us who exhibit behavior beyond the norm. Not that I am necessarily tolerant of illegal behavior, though some things illegal shouldn't be, in my opinion, but the aggressiveness of the authorities should be something less than the wanton slaying of innocents just to serve a warrant.

Day two I rode up into the underbelly of New Mexico and into the center of Arizona where I spent the night in a suburb of Phoenix, Casa Grande. Day three took me to Ontario, Ca., suburb of L.A. where I met with the participants, fellow Vietnam veterans, of the Run For The Wall organization at the Airport Hilton Inn. I registered with the group and tried unsuccessfully to make contact with my brother with whom I was to share this ride. Judy Lacey posted a daily journal of the trip to D.C. and you can see maps of the daily rides here.

More later of what promises to be a post trip hodge podge of notes and comments.

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