Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Texas train cars, heavy wind

Riding through Texas on my roundabout way home, I managed to get myself blown off the highway by the extremely heavy winds. A gust blew me into the median in the center of the divided highway. I managed to slalom the motorcycle around the larger bits of trash (tires, etc.) and whatnot, and slowed the bike to about 5-10 mph before it hit a patch of deep sand and fell over.

It was one of those sit-and-wait instances. I couldn't get back on the bike yet even if I'd wanted to. I had to rely on an SUV full of five "thirtysomething" women to help me get the motorcycle back on its wheels and on the road. Then I just sat there, taking a few photos and smoking a couple of cigarettes while getting my nerves settled.

This photo illustrates the wind. No, the tree hasn't grown sideways. It's being blown that way by the wind.

The story of any journey is, more often than not, the story of things that went wrong on the trip. If everything goes perfectly smoothly, there isn't much to talk about. It's the same way with journalism: If every day went well for everyone in the world, no one would want to read the stories. It's only when people deal with adversity and survive, or when bad things happen, that anyone who isn't directly involved in the events is likely to become interested.

Saguaro, southern AZ desert, lucky to get out alive

On my way back from California, I stopped in Yuma, AZ, to visit my brother-in-law and his soon-to-be wife. Had a great visit with them, then headed north to Prescott, AZ, to see my best friend. I was way out in the sticks on a non-primary highway when I took this photo.

I got off the motorcycle and tramped over into the brush and rocks, shot about 20 pictures with my digital camera and two film cameras, then headed back to the BMW. That's when I saw the sign saying that the entire area was littered with potentially unexploded bombs or missiles or something. In other words, there were live explosives laying around the desert. Nobody was supposed to be walking around in that part of the desert. But since I didn't see the sign when I was headed into the area, I had no fear of walking around in the danger zone.

The question is, If I had seen the sign, would I still have gone into this area to take these pictures? I don't know the answer to that one. I probably would have done so, but I would have been watching my feet, looking for bombs, etc., rather than concentrating on getting photos.

New trip photos: Liquor store, Northwestern SC

In the summer of 2006 I went for a 6,100-mile motorcycle trip from my new home in Columbia, SC, to Las Vegas, on to the California coast, then back home via the Gulf Coast. I was fortunate to have a month for the trip.

Assuming I can get this blog to work (I've been struggling with it off and on for months) I plan to post a number of photos from my trip here.

A few people have seen this photo and assumed it was in France. Not so. It is, as the title says, a liquor store in the northwestern corner of South Carolina. It's one of my wife's favorite photos from this trip.