Monday, November 1, 2021

~ The White Line ~




"It's never crowded along the extra mile." Wayne Dyer.




My jacket goes with me everywhere.
Thanks, Anthony's for the quality repair of my zipper for this trip.
Greg, your extra effort means a great deal.



There I am, peacefully riding my motorcycle across the wide-open roads of New Mexico. The speed limit on this two-lane road is 65 miles per hour. There is very little traffic so I'm not particularly concerned by the semi-truck heading towards me. It was merely 100 feet from me when the nightmare unfolded.




Highway 60 pointing towards La Joya, NM.



The white line saved me.





A sedan, directly behind the eighteen-wheeler, abruptly begins to pass the big rig. I'm terrified. "Didn't the driver see me?" I ride with bright lights during the daylight. Moments seem like minutes then everything appears in slow motion.


The semi-truck driver drastically veers to the far right and blows its horn to warn the passing car. I move over within inches of the shoulder. The passing-car driver appears frozen, unable to slow down or speed up in the face of danger. I see the terror in her eyes. 


Then, out of the corner of my eye, I see the white line.


The white line saved me.


While taking driver’s ed in high school, my teacher offered this driving tip. “If you are ever blinded at night by the headlights of an approaching vehicle, look down at the white line for balance.” It wasn’t at night, but in the blink of an eye, I saw the white line. I steered my motorcycle alongside the white line, precariously near the soft shoulder. The car, within inches, passed an instant directly between the semi-truck and my motorcycle.


Life is a journey, and for me, never about the destination.


My mantra “The Wind, the Open Road, and My Motorcycle,” is a constant in my pursuit of wildness.


It’s been about 1,100 miles since leaving Three Rivers, CA and I love the wide-open vistas as I continue my journey towards my birth village — La Joya, New Mexico.


There is a poem by Robert J. Hastings that has always rung true for me. I love it and share it with you.


I thought about shortening his poem for this article but after the “white line episode,” it wouldn’t be right:



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



The Station

By Robert J. Hastings




Tucked away in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision in which we see ourselves on a long journey that spans an entire continent. We're traveling by train, and from the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at crossings, of cattle grazing in distant pastures, of valleys, of city skylines and village halls.


But uppermost in our minds is our final destination -- for at a certain hour and on a given day, our train will finally pull into the station with bells ringing, flags waving and bands playing.  And once that day comes, so many wonderful dreams will come true.  So restlessly, we pace the aisles and count the miles, peering ahead, waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.


"Yes, when we reach the station, that will be it!" we promise ourselves.  "When we're 18 ... win that promotion ... put that last kid through college ... buy that 450 SL Mercedes-Benz...pay off the mortgage...have a nest egg for retirement. From that day on, we will all live happily ever after.


Sooner or later, however, we must realize there is no station in this life, no one earthly place to arrive at once and for all.  The journey is the joy.  The station is an illusion -- it constantly outdistances us.  Yesterday's a memory; tomorrow's a dream.  Yesterday belongs to history; tomorrow belongs to God.  Yesterday's a fading sunset; tomorrow's a faint sunrise.  Only today is there light enough to love and live.


So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw the key away.  It isn't the burdens of today that drive men mad, but rather the regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow.


"Relish the moment" is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24:  "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad of it."


So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles.  Instead, swim more rivers, climb more mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars.  Laugh more and cry less.  Go barefoot more often.  Eat more ice cream.  Ride more merry-go-rounds.  Watch more sunsets.  Life must be lived as we go along.  The Station will come soon enough.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




The adventure begins as I cross the Colorado River from California into Arizona.




Paying respects to a fallen biker along Highway 66, near Kingman, AZ.
The full story about Danny Cypert, Mile Marker 88 at My Motorcycle Tales.com.




Historic Route 66, Williams, AZ.



It's getting dark when I see a small grocery store near a place called Forest Lakes, AZ. I'm concerned with the many puddles of water everywhere. It is not safe to continue forward as evening brings out the deer and elk. 

The country store is about to close, so I quickly buy my supplies for tonight's dinner. "Ma'am, I see water puddles everywhere. Do you think it will rain tonight?" She rings up my supplies then thoughtfully replies. "I don't think so. Last night, it rained hard along with golf ball hail and it got pretty cold. On your motorcycle, you should take care." 

Ok, that concerned me as I headed off to find a cozy spot on USFS land for the night. The wet ground makes it hard work to get a fire started. My dinner, beef stew and soda crackers, is perfect. 

I usually don’t pack a tent but the weather, on an October ride, can be unpredictable. It is surprisingly warm inside the tent.

During the night, I hear in the distance a loud coughing sound that awakens me. "It's likely a deer, elk, or bear," I tell myself, half asleep. In the morning while sipping on hot coffee, I hear the coughing sound again. The sound comes from a nearby meadow and there in the distance, peacefully grazing are three free-roaming horses. One has coughs and the mystery is solved.



This mess kit was given to me by Vince Roleter who used it in WWII.
Once he heard about my adventures, he knew the perfect gift.
He lived a full 95 years in Three Rivers.




Dispersed camping near Forest Lakes, AZ.
The night temperature dipped to 32 degrees.




Karl Guthe Jansky, Very Large Array (VLA) near Magdalena, NM.




Historic Boys Ranch sign.
6 miles to La Joya, NM.





I was born in the village of La Joya along the Rio Grande in New Mexico.
La Joya, like a magnet, is always pulling me back to my roots.





I was born in this adobe house built by our dad, Sebastian Griego.
Our mom, Nancy Moya Griego raised Paula, Leo, and Robert Griego here.
Today, we camp directly behind this open door.
We call it, Jewels Camp.



Robert Griego at home in La Joya, NM.



Ready to enjoy breakfast, La Joya style.
Our family friend, Stanley Esquibel warms up the stove.
We feast on spam, eggs, tortillas, green chile, and coffee.




Stanley Esquibel at his home in La Joya, NM.



Love the artwork in Mountainair, NM.




Abó Ruins, NM.
The full article, Abó Ruins
 at RoadRUNNER Magazine.





I love El Morro National Monument in northwest New Mexico.
The full article, El Morro National Monument at RoadRUNNER Magazine.





El Morro National Monument in the evening.



It's hard leaving the Land of Enchantment and the clear blue skies over New Mexico. I think quite a bit about The Station as I brace for heavy rains across Arizona back to California.


The journey continues.



2 comments:

  1. I believe this was my favorite story yet! Well done. Two things grabbed my attention..the WWII mess kit and the adobe house you were born in. Thanks for this trip into your past!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Aww, thanks Jody! This story was full of meaning for me. I appreciate your positive feedback.

    ReplyDelete