Saturday, August 15, 2015

~ La Joya, the early years ~

Part I

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are two great Sierra Parks and undisputed jewels of the National Park Service.  I am retiring here at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, after a 35 1/2 year career with the National Park Service.

Our kids grew with National Parks as their backyard.  They are all special -- Pinnacles National Monument in California, Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area in Montana, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, and Mount Rainier National Park in Washington.  Denise and I also had the privilege of living and working in Botswana, Africa for two years while on leave from the National Park Service.  We both were Peace Corps/United Nations Volunteers.  My job was to help the Botswana officials with the Administrative development of their park system.  This was a life-time treasure and we loved it.

Ok, back to retirement.  My retirement gift to myself is a new 2007 Yamaha Road Star, 1700cc.  It was the first to arrive at the D&E Yamaha shop in Visalia.  The manager Steve Tillery simply said, "I have a Road Star too and I love it.....I think this is a good fit for you."  I've owned bikes since I was 16, but this is my first 'big bike.'

So, I am a bit nervous about my first ride all the way out to La Joya, New Mexico.  "Would I get tired after only 200 miles?"  "What if I broke down?" "What if I run out of gas?" 

Too many "what if's'" and with those few words spoken to myself, I'm off on my first big road trip.  As the past comes into focus with the present, I know that I made the right choice.  Here are some pictures of my first trip out to La Joya, during those 'early years.'

For the 2006 ride, the odometer records 2,497 miles  . . . . .

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