Go West Young Man!

32 Days and 5,536 Miles On My Vintage Motorcycle

That night I made my way to Catalina State Park. My headlight illuminated the edge of a Martian mountain scape as I loudly woke up the park, surely it's last arrival of the night. In the morning I struck up a conversation with another Steven, who had crossed the country on his Triumph just to have a beer on a California beach. We agreed to meet up at the New Mexican border and rode out separately. I looked in at the Pima Air and Space Museum, either too broke or lacking the conviction to pay for the tour. Saguaro National Park tragically passed under my radar and left me with the only possible reason to ever return to Tucson in my life.

I completely forgot about Steven and was surprised to see him at the New Mexico visitors center. We rode on together for Las Cruces. I was only able to pretend to be annoyed by his presence and secretly appreciated the intrusion. When we reached Las Cruces at nightfall our only camping option was north at Leasburg Dam. The rec area was gated and locked when we got there, and rather than push our bikes under the high fence Steven insisted we camp on the side of the road. Our proximity to the Mexican border left me with images of my spinal cord dangling from the necklace of some high ranking drug lord.

Steven turned out to be very weird. I finally convinced him to follow me into the park when a returning camper opened the gate. As we sat in our fireless campsite he told me his life story. As a young man his pregnant fiance had been murdered. This was bookended with stories of floozies he had banged while working as a bouncer in a bar. He was a good guy who I think was just dealt a cosmically bad hand. As the night wore on and his beers ran out my presence began to offend him more and more. I turned in for the night before he was able to demand a drunken arm wrestling match, or worse, punch me out. I think Steven had done a lot of punching in his life.


Post a Comment