Thursday, 9 August 2007

Take the high road!

On the road, even if its only a very slow one; in milage covered rather than speed travelled. The Sespe Wilderness I passed through yesterday was awesome, about a 50 mile ride of continuous curves. It was all so scorched, not just by the sun either! It was so clear how vast an area had burnt down in recent years. Apparently one in every four forest fires is found to be started by fire fighters; I guess thats one way of ensuring job security!

Out the other side of the Sespe was an amazingly arid zone which was was highly cultivated. The amount of water being sprayed everywhere was equal to anything I saw being done in the deserts of Israel, with a good amount of success too. There were a good variety of crops, loads of vineyards (see picture) and citrus fruits. It was interesting to see the agriculture, just as well coz the road was straight, flat and bloody boring.

Which is what the next stretch was like! OK, an oil rig is interesting when you see the odd one or two. But seeing a whole landscape of them is dull, even annoying. All I could smell was oil and all I could see both sides of the road was those damned wells sucking our reserves dry. All so greedy bastards like me can go on joy rides with our internal combustion engines. Such is life, I can see the faults but not stop contributing myself.

The riding has been generally great, my problem has been when I stop and my emotions sweep me away. Last night was horrid, I felt like turning around and heading back to Alasdair and Lauren's. The only thing that stopped me was feeling stupid for giving up so easily, jeeez there ain't no easy way out of this is there? Unlike me, I camped close to where other people were just to have someone close by. Not that I bothered them any, just kept myself to myself. Cooked a bland meal of stewed veg and read my book until about 10pm then got an early night. The ride today has been hard itself, very emotional whilst riding; which isn't helpful. Mind you I must remember, part of the reason of being here is to allow those emotions free reign.

A bit of bare arse sunbathing before starting was more in character for me, first chance I've had in the states! And WOW, what a lovely ride through the mountains from Lake Isabella up towards the Sequoia National Park. Into the redwood forests, through unbelievably twisty roads. I thought they were thrilling going up, coming down the other side was so tight. OK, the bike weighs a ton and takes a bit of stopping; but christ, did I have to lean the beast over a long way. And yes I did scrape my feet on the road, also overshot a few bands. Luckily the one to the right had a big run off to the side and the left one was devoid of oncoming traffic. Actually there was virtually nothing else on the road. The redwood forest was lovely and there's more to come today and tomorrow. And the smell is that gorgeous pine resin smell, mile after mile!


Anonymous said...

Hey Les, watch that arse of yours. Plenty of sunscreen (as if you will), you don't want to have to ride with a sunburnt botty, blisters on the bum, now that would be painful.

Much love
Debbie x

Anonymous said...

Hi Les,
I'll get straight to the point and I hope you dont think this suggestion is presumtuous its just an idea. If you have a few months free time after your journey you might like to volunteer for Medicines Sans Frontiers as a logistician or similarly use your skills. A relative has just gone with MSF to Congo for 9 months. Prior to that he was in Angola and Mozambique, others go to the Philppines , India etc. He says its hard work and the pay is not great but its very rewarding -no matter how poor or desperate many of these people are somehow they can still keep smiling -work colleauges are great too. You know me but Ill post this anonymous in case it annoys you! All the best.

Anonymous said...

The smells and visuals really add to the descriptive text to make it a real virtual journey, taking me to places I will never go but can appreciate through you.