Friday, July 22, 2016


Living closer to the northern California coast than ever before in my 60-plus years, I now frequently enjoy a run out there with a leg of it incorporating at least some of California’s legendary highway 1.  Whether on my departed GSA or Guzzi, or now on the T-bird, the ride is always a rewarding departure from the news, the job or any other part of reality I wish to escape.  Yesterday, I rode a 200-mile loop which included US 101, Mendocino County’s Branscomb Road to CA 1, then south through Fort Bragg.  The sky was overcast, the sea gray, the cypress somber but the ride still incredible.

At a construction delay, a fellow on a lithe BMW F-800 sidled next to me.  Chatting, I found he was an engineer from the Puget Sound area relocating to San Diego.  His possessions were packed and being shipped.  He’d owned his F-series less than ten days and figured his transfer was as good a time as any to experience, for his first time, our country’s Pacific rim.

Several years ago, when I worked in an impoverished school district, as a reward for good behavior and perfect summer school attendance, the superintendent and I arranged for a bout three dozen youngsters to attend their first professional baseball game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.  As we entered the stadium, I sprinted ahead of the kids so I could get a look at the expression on their faces – the delight in their eyes – as the kids got their first view of the glorious, sun-drenched playing field.  Awe struck; clearly this would be an experience they’d long remember.

That same indelible, delighted little-kid expression lit up the face of the fellow on his Beemer as he gushed about his journey thus far.

This is why I love the road.

© 2016
Church of the Open Road Press

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