I’m Just A Loser


I’ve put off writing this one because it feels too real and too personal. It’s easy to share about myself and the shit I deal with in my own mind. It’s a lot harder to share when it’s about someone I love.

You see. It’s been a really draining and rough week. I’ve grown so accustomed to being alone that when I spend a solid week in offices and with people I struggle to find space for myself. And that struggle is like a breeding ground for the monster to jump in and taunt away. It sucks because much like someone who struggles with an addiction, the addiction often creates the need for more, and the need for more creates a greater addiction. It’s the proverbial downward spiral.

The general feeling of emptiness is exacerbated by health issues that make me that much more tired. Yet again another area the monster does so well in. And with two young energetic boys being tired doesn’t work too well. Anyone with kids knows the ability they have to push when things get harder.

One of the days this week it came to a crescendo with my youngest running back into the house covered in tears. I stood there just looking at his older brother with a sense of hopelessness. I just wanted them to play kindly. But, I knew I needed to go sit with my youngest regardless of how tired I was.

In his room he was weeping and sat there next to me lamenting how much of a failure he was. He covered his face and said, “daddy, I’m just a loser”.

My heart felt shattered.

He has dealt with so many things already in his life. It’s manifested in ways that are truly heartbreaking. But out if it has grown this amazingly kind and accepting little boy. He loves people and will talk to everyone. Especially if they have a puppy.

Doing my best not to break down in front him I told him all of what I saw in him. Where he was an amazing and loving person. How he is so good at so many things. How there is nothing wrong with him. How he is perfect the way he is. And how I am proud of him. I am lucky to be his daddy. I just held him and assured him he was loved and will always be.

My son is 8. Yet he knows the desperation of feeling like a failure. He’s struggled with depression and anxiety. My plea to the universe is that the monster is never an audible voice in his heart.


I know that I can’t stop every moment of sadness or feeling of failure in his life. I can simply keep reminding him of each obstacle I’ve seen him conquer.

I can tell him I love him. I WILL tell him every day. He will know that I love him simply because of who he is.

And my friends. This brings me to someone I’ve never loved: me.

You see. I would never let someone be as fucked up to another person as I so willingly am to myself. And I don’t recall a time I didn’t feel this way.

I was 12 when I first gave into the monsters voice . Today my wandering led me back to the spot I first tried to kill myself. I sat there and recounted the moments that brought me to that darkness. I know I would have given anything to have someone sit with me and just tell me their love was simply because I was me. That the demons and hell I’d been through didn’t define me.

That I wasn’t the sum of my scars.

That my scars meant I had survived. That I was bigger than they were. That I still had anything valuable in me.

And the truth is; 25 years later I still don’t truly believe in the value of me. I see a reflection in a mirror I wish was someone else. I see a broken heart rather than a mosaic that has a beauty all its own. And riding around other spots from my childhood I wondered if I’d ever really understand.


Eventually I hope I’ll be able to understand that the worth I see in my son is true in me too. That I have value because I’m a human. I truly believe there is worth in every person. That every person deserves to be loved.

And some day maybe I’ll understand that means me too.

So my friends I would ask you to tell someone you love them. Tell someone they’re worth it. Simply share some goodness with each other.

Storm Shelters

There’s one thing you can just about guarantee while riding in Colorado during the summer.

We have some epic storms.


There’s a slight thrill in getting on the bike and knowing you run a gamble of hail, major wind, flooded roads, maybe a tornado…  Hell, it’s a good time if you don’t mind the risk.  I’ve never understood the people who only ride when the weather is nice.  Where’s the thrill or that sense of adventure that makes a motorcycle such a blast?

And the last week has had some kick ass storms.


If you ever get a chance I highly recommend riding along the Flatirons in between Golden and Boulder.  It’s an easy highway ride along 93 that can be made into a nice afternoon.  Hit any of the little shops in Boulder for lunch or maybe start the day in Golden with a nice breakfast.  You can’t go wrong and you’ll enjoy it. And if you have time head over to the Peak To Peak.


If you’re lucky you’ll get to watch the summer storms from the comfort of your chosen place.


If you’re slightly unlucky you might get caught in the storm And have to ride it out.

But hey.  When the storm comes you might even get luckier and have the immense privilege of having people tell you to quit being a pussy; to just shut up and ride it out; maybe that somehow honoring the humanity in each of us is a message of hate… You might even get lucky and have people flat out tell you they don’t care about whatever demons you see in life.

You see.  The truth is that this blog may not be much about motorcycles.  If you’ve come here for that: I’m sorry to disappoint you.  I’d be glad to send you plenty of riders who write impeccable stories and trip reviews.

At the end of the day, I really don’t care about motorcycles.  Not in the way that you would expect. Because of the bike I’ve been some amazing places.  But the fact is I’ve held a baby who was literally thrown away.  I saw more beauty in that child than I ever could in some machine. Even one I’ve built and bled on like mine.

“What the hell” you might say.  How could I not care about motorcycles?  This is a blog about them; it’s about the amazing places I’ve been because of the bike.

Well my friend.  It just ain’t.

The bike is just the tool I use to find something that resonates in my own soul. To seek out others who are lost in the storm as well.  And maybe through the bike and this blog I can share or allow them to share something more.  To allow them to shine a light on their own darkness and monsters.

But this week, and especially through my last post on this blog I’ve remembered why I never cared about the bike itself.  Because unfortunately much of this community would rather be the monster than provide shelter from him.

And you know what?  That’s not the people I care to associate with.  That’s a toxic poison that I don’t need or want in my life.  And it’s not one I hope to ever put in another’s life. So for those who would rather hurl insults than sit down and talk.  I’m honestly sorry for you.  Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had have been with those who I had nothing in common with.

As for me.  I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing here.  I’m going to ride places and hopefully talk about the rides and roads that got me there.  I’m going to keep hoping that something more important will come of the rides.

I’ll take Marty at a McDonalds and Lonnie at some little cafe before I write about the Alps or the endless beauty of a coast.  I’ll keep looking for the chance to be a shelter from the storm for someone else.

Because at the end of the day a motorcycle is just a machine.  But every human deserves love.


Better Than This


If you ever want to see the beauty of America I recommend riding through the part of Colorado we just spent a week in.


Cinnamon Pass, Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Telluride, Silverton, Ouray….


I mean, the list of places to see could go on forever. And without reservation I can say this is the prettiest part of Colorado I’ve ever seen.


And if you ever want to see the darkness of America I recommend reading what seems to be the norm these days.   Innocent people dying in shootings, or worse, what the government is doing with our borders.  Tearing children from their parents, sticking people in cages, subhuman treatment, just a fucking darkness and a true crime against humanity… Truly I am ashamed of this government.(Editors note:  an executive order was signed stopping this policy after the article was written)

I’m growing weary of humanity.  It’s harder and harder to see much hope these days.


Honestly… I’ve spent quite a bit of the last week in a rage.  A rage beset by seeing this country mirror a brutalist regime rather than anything similar to the beauty of the earth she contains within.  A rage brought by a monster that had taunts so well placed even finding joy in the journey was damned near impossible.

I was getting my ass kicked this week.  The roads were generally brutal and the monster spent the week feasting on my heart.  Feeling like I needed to be better.  A better rider, a better father, a friend, or fuck; just a better damned person.

I’ve been reeling from a loss that blurred everything because I allowed myself to look up to someone, to hope that I too could make a difference in the way they did.

This week I tried rather unsuccessfully to focus on the ride in front of me.  But honestly, the journey so many face is so much more important than what I was doing.  So much more brutal.

But I digress.

To the ride…

Well, we hit a mountain pass that saw some of the worst roads we’ve ever taken our bikes.  The pics of the road itself don’t do it justice.


Many people were in complete bewilderment that I even dared try it, much less made it to the top.  Granted the ride down was truly exhausting on the bike and she was on her side and upside down a time or two.


Throughout the next two days various people came up to me just having even heard about it.  It was honestly cool and I wish I could have spent more time sharing with others about this blog and the monster.

We decided after a few days that we were too exhausted to keep in the mountains so we wandered our way over to Moab, UT via a slight detour over to Mesa Verde to check out the cliff dwellings.  Because you know, Moab will be easy riding…. Right.


Tightening things on the bike yet again…


Just about everything had come loose over the last 500 miles.  Less than an hour later I had thrown my helmet on the ground and walked away from the bike.  I was ready to give up.  To slam onto the highway and cut the ride short by a day.

You see.  I was tired.  I hadn’t slept much in the last week.  I was exhausted from roads that were anything but easy.  I was emotionally exhausted from what felt like weeks of one loss after another.  I just didn’t want to do anything anymore but shut down.

And here is the truth of it all.

I’m a broken and fucked up person. I dance with the devil much easier than I can find rest and peace.  Most days I see a reflection in the mirror that disgusts me.   I get why so many give into the monster.  Because fuck; he’s got a point.

This world is dark.  It’s fucked.  And generally, it doesn’t seem like there’s much hope.

But you know what.  Fuck the monster.  I may someday go his direction.  But not today.  Not this week.  Because what I know is that in the last week I was a part of some things that were bigger than my own issues.

Hell, they were bigger than the mountains we crossed.

I’ve shared the hope in the darkness.  I’ve helped others shine the light on the monster in their lives.  I’ve talked with those who’ve rarely had a kind voice from “my kind of people”.

And you know what.  I’m going to keep fighting for the rights of those who don’t have someone fighting for them.  Because maybe the monster exists in my life only in my mind.  But the fucking monster might be another person in the lives of others.  That much I can fight against.  I can refuse to sit by and let the darkness spread.

I can fight for something better than this.  Because we; us; HUMANS are better than this.  We must be.

Maybe we can’t silence the monster in everyone’s lives; but we can sure as fuck refuse to be the monster in others.

We can refuse hate.

We can embrace love.  Acceptance.


For Anthony


I’ve spent the day fighting the truth of losing one of the greats. The truth that the world is a bit less bright without his voice in it.  He showed humanity on levels that most would never dare to approach.  He showed that there’s a little of everyone in us all.  That deep down we’re not really much different.  That if you really look there is beauty even, if not especially, in the dark places.


I would give have given so much to have been able to shake his hand and thank him for episodes and stories that truly touched me.  In Gaza, in Thailand, in Argentina…. I mean truly, the man reached so many by just showing humanity wherever he went.

In the Argentina episode he talked so candidly about his struggles with depression.  He was so honest and raw about it.

I’ve hoped that if anything I ever wrote amounted to something it would be like his work.  That someone who couldn’t give a shit about motorcycles would be touched because I showed something that reached them.

In Anthony Bourdain I saw much hope because I sensed the monster was close to him too.  But in spite of that he reached and shared goodness to all. His show wasn’t about food.  It was about humanity.

It was about us.  All of us. And I truly believe the world lost one of the greats.

I don’t know how to mourn him. I cried today.  I didn’t think I even could anymore.  I didn’t think I’d ever let anything touch me like that again.  But holding back the tears was impossible because my heart was breaking.

So tomorrow I’m going to ride motorcycles with my boys in the morning.  I’m going to love them and tell the monster to fuck off for a day.  I’m going to then wander the city after I drop them off.   I’m going to find a way to honor his memory.

Probably a long motorcycle ride, a mid day beer and the company of strangers at a food truck.

Thanks for kicking ass Anthony.  May you have found the peace you brought to this world.


Peak To Peak

20180521_170504.jpgSome days you just need to take the long way home.  Some days it’s because home doesn’t feel real.  The hopelessness of the monsters taunts.  And other days it’s because the journey is taking you somewhere beautiful.  Maybe even somewhere the monster doesn’t seem real.

I had the 2nd type of the ride this week.  If you ever happen to find yourself anywhere near Estes Park in Colorado then you should get to know the Peak To Peak ride.   Many could contest where to start it (Mt Evans, Idaho Springs, Blackhawk, whatever ).  I’ve done the entire journey multiple times as I’m just outside of Golden.

But if you start at Mt. Evans and take the road all the way to Estes you can ride it in a few hours.  You go from one peak to the next. It’s gorgeous and the twists are some of the best rides in the state.20180523_142517

But you can also do what I did today and wander from Estes Park back down towards Golden. There’s a load of different canyon roads off the Peak To Peak, both paved and otherwise that an intrepid soul can find themselves riding.   If you even gave yourself a few days to spare I assure you continual views and brilliant riding all over the area.

I really did just wander around today.  Taking the long way to Jamestown, back over to Ward, some light offroading and dirt off Left Hand Canyon… Just going wherever.


Really just having no general idea of where I’d end up was nice for a change.  But it got me thinking and I let my mind wander as well.  That’s generally when the monster shows up and throws his two cents in.  “I should go home”, ” I didn’t need to be out riding…” And the taunts only got worse from there.  Guilt set in and I pointed the bike back towards home and fell into a weird place.  The ride was becoming the first type.  I was getting swallowed by it all pretty quickly.  I wasn’t taking the pictures I wanted because, “next time” kept ringing in my ears.  Yeah, I’ll end up back here I’m sure.  But “next time” is all too often a way to delay the “never”.

So I stopped and sat by a river and watched the water flow over the rocks. The way the river twisted around through all the valleys made me realize that without the valleys the peaks wouldn’t be anything.


Those high places are beautiful because of the low ones in between.  Hell, even this valley was ravaged by a flood years ago.  The rebuilding is creating something new and beautiful.  Maybe even something better…

I don’t know.  And maybe I’ve lost my path for this post because the last few days have been dark.  The monster a bit louder than I’d like.  But maybe that makes sense for now.  I wandered from peak to peak because I was hoping to find some sign of hope in the valleys.  I found some clarity at least.  And for now that’ll have to be enough.

Weighed Down

You wake and the clouds are already all around.  The storm is coming and you can already feel it.  As you ride through the wicked wind storm getting blown around all day you’ll know that tiredness that purveys everything.  And you look across the horizon and the sky stays grey and dark as far as you can see.   Just breathing and accepting that all you can do is push through and hope that you’ll somehow get through the storm without laying on the highway and watching everything slide away.

DSC_0067This is the nature of the monster.  He’s a vile fucker and follows no rules.   He’ll show up and tear shit apart without rhyme or reason.

For me he shows up in forms of feeling like a bad father, failed provider or friend.  That overwhelming sense that the best gift you could give those you love is to leave.  On principle I know this isn’t true.   But that doesn’t stop the dreams and thoughts from feeling like a literal weight.   That heaviness on your shoulders and the sheer exhaustion.  Just hoping that the next moment might be the one that shows you some hope.

The fucked irony is that these days often find themselves intertwined in the only moments that feel worth it.  I spent the last five days with my kids.  We had fun, they rode their new dirt bikes, and I got to watch them play as I worked from home.  It would seem a charmed life to many.   But the monster has sat in the corner with me much of the last few weeks, seeming intent on reminding me that I’m just fucking up their lives, that I would give the best gift of the lack of my presence.

So I fight through the clouds of doubt doing my best to ignore the monsters taunt.  I push through the sightless fog even though I have no idea when the storm is going to break.  And in as much as the shitty days make no sense the beauty found after the nightmare is often some of the most breathtaking.

I don’t know what the next bend is going to bring.  I don’t know where the next road is going to lead.  Hell, there’s days I’m too worn out to even want to get out of bed, much less get on the bike.   There are days where I put my kids to bed as the overwhelming feeling of failure has me struggling to even fight back the tears.   For so many these days overwhelm the beauty that is often too few and far between.

For me I know that all I can do is keep going.   After some corners I’m still in the clouds with the monster whispering in my ear.  I’m struggling to breath.

But there are those moments when I round the corner to the smile of my son as he says, “daddy, I love you” as he hands me his heart.


So I shift down, drag the corner and smile.   The monster isn’t going to win.

The Madness Of It All, In The Devils Depths

One of the things you don’t look forward to after two days of crazy riding is staying in your tent at a truckstop.  But you know what, it almost seems perfect looking back at it.

When we arrived in Yuma that night we had no idea that in a town of almost 100k people that not a single hotel would have a room.   So, after devouring a delicious burger and a shake from In N’ Out we called the local police department and they actually suggested the truck stop as a place you could sleep without being hassled.   I would’t say we slept well, but I can say I laugh about it now.

The next day we spent the morning getting new tires put on the bikes as they were both due, which of course made great sense AFTER we hit the difficult part of the trip.  Performance Motorsports was a great shop and got us in and out pretty quickly.  After our experience last night we figured the most natural course was to change our plans of going West towards New Mexico and up through Southern Colorado to the place where only good decisions happen.

Las Vegas!

We set our course to take the back way and just enjoy the trip.   This mostly consisted of the CA 78E into Needles before jumping on the 95 into Vegas.  It’s actually an extremely isolated stretch of road that is surprisingly fun to ride.  Which, had it not been for the wind that was nearly blowing us out of our lanes and into the copious amounts of construction it would have been a great ride.   I’ve now ridden part of Route 66 in each state as well.

We made Vegas and spent two days actually just relaxing before our final jaunt over the mountain passes of Utah and Colorado.    This would become a strategic error as we only made it about 170 miles out of Vegas before calling it quits in Cedar City the first night as a winter storm warning was over the pass.

Heading out that morning we saw our coldest temps as a whopping 10 degrees welcomed us to the day.  We kept the speeds lower as snow was threatening and the sides of the road were often blanketed in snow.  We ran into a guy from California who mentioned it was his first time even driving in the snow much less ever seeing people riding motorcycles in that weather.  The cold was beyond miserable but the roads were only icy a few times even coming over the passes in Utah.   Making it into Grand Juction we decided to stop here around 3pm to avoid hitting the final passes in the dark.

Our final morning was spent cruising along without any issues other than the cold.   We were doing well and actually making pretty good time.  The roads were good as long as we ignored the bits of snow on the shoulder.   All until we hit Copper Mountain.  It was here that the wind decided to put together a fun few hundred yard section of snow about 3″ deep on the highway itself.   Not much we could do here but throw on the hazards and take the shoulder.   Hitting this last part of the trip during the day proved to be one of the only wise choices we made on the last 10 days.  If we had hit this in the dark it’s very likely the trip would have ended quite differently.

We had made it through and coming into Denver the reality of the trip had started to set in.  We rode over multiple mountain passes in the dead of winter, we had ridden El Camino Del Diablo after being told it flat out wouldn’t happen, and we had completed a nearly 3000 mile trip with nothing more than a general idea of where we would end up.  I couldn’t have asked for a better friend to ride with.  Mike was able to accomplish his first big ride in a crazy way.   We had a blast although it was cold and miserable for so much of it.   That’s kind of the nature of these rides.   The immersive experience of being on a motorcycle is one I’d recommend for anyone.   We were covered in road salt and the bikes looked like they have been dipped in concrete but we had completed the journey and damn glad to have done it.


El Camino del Diablo, Day 2. In The Devils Depths


Waking with the dawn and the temps in the mid 30’s was not the morning we expected leaving Denver the week before.  We found ourselves in constant conversation about how rough it would have been without all of the gear we had.   It was sobering knowing that even last night there was likely people crossing the desert with nothing more than the clothes on their back.   It was a weird start to the day and getting around that truth was difficult.   I felt similar sentiments when I ran the Mexican border across Texas last year.   I don’t have answers for the many issues faced along these borders.  But what I do believe is that the vast majority of the people risking so much to cross an area so desolate are good people who deserve just as much happiness and hope as I do.   My heart was on this for the entirety of the days ride.

From most of the people we talked to before we hit El Camino Del Diablo we were under a very incorrect assumption that we had already made it through the worst of the route. We took the 8 miles back down Christmas Pass to hit the remainder of del Diablo and found the road just as dicey as it was yesterday.  But, we were energized and excited that we’d be getting through and made the first 10 miles or so with pretty good time.  Sure, the silt was not fun to get through, but all in all it hadn’t gotten too bad.


And here was where del Diablo really started kicking our ass.  Just when we’d think we made it through the worst of it we found ourselves staring down the four miles or so of what everyone kept calling Moon Dust.   And holy shit it was not a good time.  The road here turns into a sort of basin that holds the blowing sand that just collects and sits.  Many of the other blogs and people who’ve ran this road talk about getting stuck in this, especially if they’ve recently drug the road.    With tire tracks disappearing under the sand you’d have no idea what you were riding through.   This is where this bike being so heavy turned into a nightmare.  All you could do was drop the bike in a low gear and stay on the throttle as much as possible before getting sucked into the next big rut.


But as we made our way into the pass we found ourselves in a heavier and more solid footing.   Every report we read said we had made it through the worst of it.  Ha… Well, del Diablo kept the tricks up his sleeve the whole time.   We had the illusion this morning that we’d get into Yuma by early afternoon.  I can almost hear the the road laughing about this.   But, seeing as we were feeling good about our progress we decided to hit one of the random offshoots that headed towards Mexico.   Yet again common sense was too boring and we realized we were very likely on a smugglers route across the border.  We were on a road of sorts, but this was not one that any border security was likely getting their vehicles through.   Many washes were well over 10 feet deep and often I could hear the bike dragging over the edges.   It was rough but after around a mile and a half our GPS welcomed us to Mexico.   We honestly contemplated going further but knew that we were getting into dicey legal territory and figured it best to head back to the main road.28537688_2080220855598225_1552972338_n

At some point which better and more substantial writers have mentioned you’ll find yourself in the military range.  Here you not only have the road itself to tango with but you have the lovely warning signs reminding you of the joys of not dying.28537121_2080222108931433_274763818_n

And here is where it got shitty.   After making it 50 miles and already at 2pm we knew we needed to start making better time as we really weren’t looking forward to another cold night in the tent.  But what we hit over the next 16 miles was nothing short of the worst shit I’ve ridden through.  Here the moon dust was 4-6″ deep at most spots and quite a bit deeper at others.   This isn’t a good time.   To add to it was the fact that the border patrol had quit dragging the road a few weeks earlier so it had become a choppy mess.   We started running into more and more ATV people here and it was our first sign of civilization since we left Ajo the day before.   This created an even bigger mess of the road and it was beyond exhausting to even keep the bike upright as you went over the moguls and deep spots.   Envision going over huge speedbumps that are covered in deep sand and throw in exhaustion and a weird emotion about the place and you’ll get the idea.   It took us the better part of two hours just to make it through the last part of the road.   But as we neared the end we found ourselves realizing just how crazy it was to even attempt.   Hell, even the last 8 miles of dirt road into town kept us on our toes.

But, after 8 hours of solid riding we had made it.   We had conquered El Camino Del Diablo and really did feel accomplished.

As we hit the tarmac in Yuma we were looking forward to a nice shower and a comfy bed…. haha… Boy were we wrong again…

El Camino del Diablo, In the Devils Depths

El Camino del Diablo, aka The Devils Highway is a 150 mile stretch of dirt “road” that has been in use by people for over a thousand years.   Death has lingered over this route for much of its history.   The awe inspiring beauty of the rugged desert would be a nightmare for those who travel the barren landscape for any reason beyond ours.  We knew we were in for a rough few days, but we also knew that we had our lives to go home to on the other side of it.   I’ve struggled to write this part of the blog for that very reason.  This was an emotional ride.  It is a sobering thing to know that there are over 2000 souls who have been lost in this area.  And the irony of it all was that the last time Mike & I were down near Mexico was over 20 years ago, and that was a trip where I was within hours of dying (true story).   So it seemed fitting in many ways to come back to this place and test ourselves and the bikes we would bring with us.



Starting the day off with a great breakfast we rounded the corner just outside of Ajo and turned onto the Darby Well Rd.  Hitting the dirt here we knew the next few days would be something we’d not forget.   The first 20 miles were a normal mix of loose sand and small ruts, nothing too terrible.  We were actually feeling pretty good at this point in spite of flat out being told there was zero chance of getting my Harley through this road.  It wasn’t too bad so far.   So far.


There’s a section we didn’t get good pictures of because of the simple truth of how bad the ruts were.  For probably 10 miles we had to stop, pick a line and commit to it.  Mike in his bike was having to be careful enough, even with his ample clearance.  I had to downright get lucky and hope my line choices were perfect. In multiple spots I was straddling ruts with just enough room for the tires much less having to put a foot down if I got bound up.   With a few really hairy moments we made our way through and were not too much worse for the wear.


Around this point we found ourselves in the rocky sections.  And well, my torn exhaust would be testament to the fact that I was truly operating the wrong vehicle for this route.  But I’ll be damned if common sense ever had anything to do with my choices on motorcycles.  The rocks weren’t huge, but when you have clearance of around 4″ you tend to get used to scraping EVERYTHING.   This was not an area I was wanting to find out what happens when you crack a case or shred a belt.    The volcanic rock was crazy to ride through and the whole area felt like we were sitting in what used to be a huge mountain that blew it’s lid.   The way the black of the mountains stood against the tan white of the desert was incredible.


We made it to the junction at Christmas Pass at around 4pm.  We stood here already knowing we had kicked some ass because frankly, EVERY SINGLE PERSON, literally, every person we talked to in the area told us that Mike would struggle to even make it to this point and that I flat out wouldn’t.   We were at about the half way point here and naturally decided heading up Christmas Pass made perfect sense as we were told this was an even harder section of del Diablo.   And holy crap, after slamming the bike off one shelf rock after another and pretending these things were dirt bikes through the washes we finally decided to call it quits for the night about 8 miles up Christmas Pass.


Today was a good day, and we were looking forward to what tomorrow and the next 75 miles would hold.



In The Devils Depths, Up Is Down

There’s few better things than getting on a bike to ride a few hundred miles nursing a head full of hungover dreams and madness.  But then again the whole nature of this ride has been fueled by remotely bad ideas and often downright stupidity.  20170404_141518

We figured that leaving Tombstone and only having a few hundred miles to go would be a pretty easy ride.   Boy were we in for a surprise.

Leaving in yet again very cold weather, we went south east before going north west which made perfect sense in light of this whole trip.  We went down towards Bisbee to check out the town I missed on my trip down here last year.  I was so glad we did.  If you haven’t been, this one is worth the trip.   It reminds me of Howl’s Moving Castle in that it doesn’t look like it belongs there.  It looks like someone just stuffed it in the remnants of an old mine.  We wandered around through the little streets amazed that people could even get cars through some of the spots.   We stopped at one space where there seemed to be about 100 steps just to get to the persons front door.   We found a little bar and decided against any additional spirits rather enjoying a coke with some of the locals who imbibed in a wee heavier type of drink.  Nothing like already being drunk by 8:30 in the morning.  But, if what they said is true, the town either swallows you or spits you out.  It would seem these cats were of the second variety.   (sorry for yet again not taking pics in this town.   It really is a shame.  Guess I’ll just go back again next year)

Although the town was cool, we needed to put a few hundred miles down and were already nearing lunch time before we got out of there.   The ride in that area is more of the desert mountains that I’ve grown to love.  With days I’m sure you could wander and never come across the same place.   It is beautiful and watching the clouds and feeling the cold contrasted in a bizarre mix that was quite breathtaking.

Heading the back way into Tuscon we decided to push on to Ajo and put off getting the bikes serviced until after our foray into the desert.  Which maybe isn’t the wisest decision, but hey, why start now?

From Tuscon we took the 86 west into Ajo and found ourselves fighting some of the nuttiest winds either of us have ridden.  Nothing like getting pelted by the sands along the road and having a hard time even staying in your line.  But somewhere about 60 miles out of Ajo we stopped for an impromptu chat with a group of bikers on their way up from a trip into Mexico back into Taos, NM.  A cool group of people and a neat chance to just shoot the breeze while we hid from the wind.   Making connections are what makes these trips as cool as they can be when frankly the ride itself is brutal because of the conditions.  We were both pretty damn tired after around 1300 miles of cold and wind.


We took a breath and jumped back on the bikes for a last hour or so before hitting Ajo.  More wind and dusty conditions eliminated getting to really see much on the route so we jammed down into Ajo at about 5pm.   This is another neat little town with tons of very cool murals painted on the buildings.   It’s a thoroughfare into Mexico and gets quite a bit of traffic because of it.

We knew we needed to check in with forest service and military personnel before hitting El Camino del Diablo the next day but weren’t sure where the office was.   We decided to stop and chat with a couple of local sheriffs who directed us to the office and were cool enough to even call one of their buddies who worked the range to give us an idea of what we were getting into.

It was here where yet again I was told that getting my Harley on that road just wasn’t going to happen.   These guys were even telling Mike that taking his KLR was probably pushing it as far as capability.  Their take was that it was going to be difficult at best, and damned unsafe in reality.    Well, we had made it this far and figured there was no point to at least try.

But, we knew tonight was going to be our last night to be comfortable and found a little motel to lay our heads down for a good rest after playing wild west in Tombstone the night before.