Deserted People

The ride was really uneventful from Albuquerque to Flagstaff.  I’m now an expert in packing and unpacking my bike each night.  I can do it with my eyes closed  — and I probably have 50 pounds of crap with me that goes on and off checking in and checking out.  Is that a skill?

I’ve just passed the 3,000 mile mark on this trip and it’s one day closer to my Utah adventure.  Its getting real.   I have some serious doubts about my off-roading skills — how about fear?  Yah, fear!  Anyway no matter, its a must do skill-set I need to hone if I want to do some serious challenging tracks around the world.  My take is that if I put myself into the uncomfortable position, I have no choice but to work on the appropriate skills and don’t bitch along the way.  Its a great opportunity to spend 7 days off the grid — sleep under clear and chilly sky in the beautiful Utah desert in a tent and enjoy the moment along the way.  Good, I talked myself into it again — onward.

 Along the ride to Flagstaff, I see a desert ridden landscape that goes on and on and on…  and over the years has left a demolition of property leaving ghost towns with all types of structures; from more than enough vacant gas stations, empty rusted signs which at one time held life and dreams, to failed businesses boarded up and worse, homes scattered everywhere which likely should not be inhabited, but are.

Today, the 5 hour ride was so eye opening.  Click on the pictures below to enlarge them — its worth it.  I have been through pretty poor regions in America.  On this leg of the trip, the amount of horrid living conditions — mile after mile — and it never stops made my mind wander.  I wanted to shoot pictures of all the trailer homes, broken down shacks, hallow rusted steel signs, seriously eroded structures where I honestly believe that rain, if it ever came to this part of the world, would seep into the homes in a big way.   The numbers of homes in this state of condition were in the tens of thousands along my path, but I could not shoot them with my camera since they were often dotted too far for my lens to do justice.  That said,  I can state categorically that these homes are scattered throughout the horizon of this dry ground with brush, tumble weeds  and dirt over hundreds of thousands of acres.

The amount of amazing images which I could have shot had I not been on a motorcycle could have satisfied my wondering mind.  Taking pictures while going 80 something miles per hour on a motorcycle is not easy.  You have to look forward, see the picture well up ahead and then wander over to the shoulder of the highway.  Park with hazards, bring out camera, lift helmet, take off gloves and then shoot away.  If the image is not great — too bad, its a whole routine to do it again.  I sometimes get really upset that I just had missed the perfect picture.

Back to the homeowners of these near condemned shacks… These people barely participate in the American dream — let me take that back — they don’t participate in the American dream.   Real sad.

Got into Flagstaff pretty early and checked into my home for the next 15 hours.

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