Just Like That: Day 8 and 9 Back Update

We left Victorville, CA on Saturday afternoon after getting the bikes shipshape at the Victorville Harley dealer. The previous day several folks at the dealership recommended a stay at the GreenTree Hotel. Some had stayed there before and some had danced at the lounge and eaten at the restaurant. Oh yes, they said, It’s a nice place and I’ve never begun itching the morning after! The GreenTree Hotel and Lounge is a large multi-winged overpriced dump. I felt like an uninvited cockroach. I usually ask local merchants how this or that hotel accommodates and I finally caught on when the waitress at the diner or the lady in the clothing department advised, “I’ve stayed there a couple times and it seemed to be ok.”?

Traveling across the Mohave was fascinating. Not long after we crossed the Colorado River I began seeing cactus type little trees that I later learned were Joshua Trees. Wikipedia told me that Joshua Trees were identifying markers for the Mohave Desert. The Mohave has other small plants scattered on the ground and they are seen as far as you can see until your eyes run into the base of a mountain or a large tan bald spot, way out there, with no plants on the ground. The rock formations and mountains appear burnt. Burnt up to a crisp rocks and mountains that threatened to eat my bike and me and burp us out in puffs of black nasty smoke. I spent my time at 80 mph looking back and forth for Gila monsters, rattlesnakes, and the incredible 50 Ft. Colossal one eyed loinclothed man that was created in the Mojave during 1950’s atomic testing. Word has it he was captured and offered live cattle for meals but he threw the cattle down and pouted because the beef was so tough and well done. Riding into Newberry Springs I started noticing black rock again, lava flows! Soon, far to my left and oozing out of a black and red canyon was what appeared to be a glacier like lava flow. I love witnessing these wonders of geology and I realized I was seeing these shapes, flows, and contortions as if they were happening before my eyes. I could ditch TV and be entranced and entertained watching this landscape instead. Again I checked with Wiki and learned that all of the area around Newberry Springs and Barstow were lava flows and spews. I yearn to visit craters and locations that produce these rivers of fire and brimstone.

Heading south from Victorville on I-15 we descended steeply to the base of the San Bernandino Mountains, through the pass, onto US 210 (N) south of Pasadena and headed north towards LA and the San Fernando Valley. As I eased onto 210 I was struck with terror. All 5-6 lanes were heavy with vehicles hammering 75-85 mph. We eased far left into the HOV lane because it was legal and lighter yet proved to be aggressive, fast, and with uneven paving. My heart was racing and I looked for a slower safer place to be. Far to my right was what should have been the slow lane and the cars over there were pounding it faster than I was. Oh well, I’ll stick where I am for the next 20-30 miles. The shoulder to my left became a concrete wall at the edge of the lane and I reminded myself to breath. I mentioned to Gene prior to leaving Victorville that we should effort to keep it safe and slow and just saunter on in. My eyes were glued to the road and to that wall while scanning behind and to my right. A deep screech of brakes entered the right rear of my mind while an instinctive glance into my right mirror showed the front left red fender angled @ 6 inches from and towards my rear right side. I gunned it forward and snapped my head back to watch the red car overreact (thank you Father) and swerve right three lanes over. Huh! WHAT?!?! Did that just happen?? My mind went blank and I watched the red car pass me two lanes over and then move again into the lane to my right, ahead of me. I rode on for a couple of miles a bit lightheaded, still tailing the red car. I remembered I don’t share a two step without at least a nod of the head. I sped up next to the car and looked at the driver and he looked at me and waved an apology. I nodded my head and sped forward. He made a mistake in judgement and almost wrecked me at 80 mph. My heart told me he felt bad and was probably more frightened than I was. We were both blessed and spared by Grace. I’ve never known the feeling of being gone in the blink of an eye; just like that.

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