On Any Sunday- A Motorcycle Ride/Major Tom

This morning I mounted my 2020 BMW GSA 1250 and heading due East stopping at the Hwy 15/138 Chevron station interchange. For me, of course, due East begins at the top of the Cajon Pass, Hwy 15. In case you don’t yet know I-15 begins near the Mexico–US border in San Diego County and actually stretches all the way to Alberta, Canada.

Morning sky 15/138 interchange

As I sat on a bench waiting for the others to arrive the distant memories began to arise. There is so much I can add about this location. For instance, in 2011, I had breakfast at the McDonald’s in the picture and then continued down the road carrying my thru hiker backpack, walking poles in hand and took the secret tunnel under the 15 freeway across. I continued on to the railroad tracks and saw a couple of thru hiker girls who gave me some water bottles.

According to one, as the train was approaching up a steep grade they offered up the universal whistle sign to the Engineer. The engineer smiled, blew his whistle and then tossed out a case of water to them. Most everyone around this area knows about thru hikers and the Pacific Crest trail.

The McDonald’s above is also the McDonald’s where my friend (RIP) Ed Anderson rode his horse through the drive thru window and ordered food. The picture taken by a McDonald’s employee made the local news.

And if this wagon could talk

I quickly checked my WhatsApp app to verify that I was at the correct Chevron. Suddenly everyone arrives. Two sport bikes, a Triumph, a Himalayan, and three of us on BMW GSs. Elvis rode up on his new BMW and before long I had four new friends and two old ones.

Once we exited the Chevron parking lot I notice that the guy selling tamales is making a killing as was the fresh fruit guy. Maybe next time Ill try one. We rode East on Highway 138 towards Silver Lake and then it was all road twisties and then breakfast at Crestline.

I stayed in the rear trying to keep the Himalayan motor bike with our group. A guy named Tom rode the bike. Suddenly an old David Bowie song entered my mind. I kept looking in my rear view mirror but still no Tom.

At this point it’s probably a better story if you know that we are all connected via a wireless intercom system called Packtalk. The guy in the front Kevin can hear the guy in the rear Tom. And also for the sake of this story his name is actually Pat.

And so I start trying to reel him in as he is way, way behind. A 26 hp Himalayan is no match for the other bikes in this riding group.

So first I start humming to myself, Ground Control to Major Tom
Did you Take your protein pills
and put your helmet on

Ground Control to Major Tom
Commencing countdown,

Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Liftoff

I look back still no sign of the Himalayan.

This is Ground Control
to Major Tom

Though I’m slowing down to sixty now I still can’t see or hear you.

Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you….

We pass the only Korean Sushi place in the most awkward of places way out here in this desert oasis.

Finally I start to see distant headlights. My last reference to Major Tom is made.

Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do.

And we are back as one riding group.

But somehow it all seems to work. I arrived early at our appointed location and start to put the framework on this ride story. Never actually knowing how it will turn out. Until now.

Ground Control to Major Tom

Check ignition
and may God’s love be with you. Obviously the story only makes sense to anyone familiar with that 1969 era song by David Bowie.

Trawlercat Out!