Good Morning
Copyright © Erik Pennebaker, All rights reserved

Jetisoned out of the mountains, I managed to get to this nondescript reservoir on the Colorado flatlands pretty late. It rained a little early, but then cleared up. I woke up at sunrise, well rested, nice dreams. I packed up the tent while the coffee was boiling, and was gone before anyone else stirred. After so long at higher altitude, the bike feels like a rocket ship in this dense 4000 foot air.
[ tags: camping colorado f20 fuji motorcycle travel trip ]

Day the Last
Copyright © Erik Pennebaker, All rights reserved

This trip has not been an easy one. Lots of things aren't easy. I turned back from the mountain snowstorm when I saw the snow and ice start to creep into the road. I kept on through the tiring winds and cold in Wyoming. All you can do is make your choices. There is no one to tell you otherwise. People say you have taken your life in your hands, but when was it otherwise? If not my hands, then whose?

As the sun set in Iowa I realized my headlight wasn't working right. I did my best, but in the end the fix was less than optimum. A truly unwelcome development. I felt alert, and robbed; it would be an 1100 mile day to get home. I was within 300. I had felt like I could do it. I was dismayed to see a problem like this. When you know it will be tenuous to complete something, and then find an additional hurdle, it can all fall apart.

I pushed on. Sometimes you just know you can push on a bit, and that's what you do. If I followed a truck at a distance, it's brake lights led a path. It wasn't too hard.

As I crossed the border into Illinois, I had only a couple hours left to get to Chicago. Torn, I decided to push further. I had no intentions of attempting this kind of ride again. It was worth continuing now, to complete it, to reach down and gather it up.

As I plunged eastward, the moon rose into the sky and began to burn a line before me, a spotlight above and to my right. I felt it reach down and pull me onward, a sudden and welcome guide, but also an inevitable force. My eyes were wide, peering into the vagueness of the road. Miles passed, dashed lines shooting by in an endless sequence.

"when the oceans are dark
the heavens are foreboding
a chain link wind
is breaking you open"

Lights came from behind, moving quickly. The way ahead lit up. They passed to my left. A white Jeep Cherokee.

I laughed, and rolled back on the throttle to follow.

The bike lept forward, centered in a pocket of motion, launching me away from darkness -- a race, the beginning of a quest, my guides blazing the razor line home, hands cupping me, my footing more sure than it had ever been, ever.

[ tags: colorado f20 fuji motorcycle quest travel trip ]

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