Sunday, 22 February 2009

Following the Tyretracks of Hopper and Fonda

Utah, beautiful Utah. Riding into Monument Valley, homeland of the wonderful Navajo Indians and John Ford epic Western movies. We were the only ‘cavalry‘ there that day but the Indians were friendly and drove us round in 4x4’s, playing their flutes for us. Yes, they make their living from tourists, they know that, they told us so, but they were the most warm and friendly people you could wish to meet. These people were patriots, Native Americans, the descendants of the country’s ancient history, the grandsons and granddaughters of the heroic “Windtalkers” of WW2. We were in the presence of greatness. We did our best. The place was a truly moving and spiritual experience and I don’t usually do ‘moving and spiritual‘. Empty mountain roads, massive rocky canyons. Vast blue skies with those clouds from ‘The Simpson’s‘. Sweeping high-speed curves that led us across the Colorado River at Lake Powell. The deep joy of a rumbling Harley formation swinging through those big fast bends. Blimey, was it really this good? Yes. I left a five-minute gap so I could ride alone, at 60mph for 25 miles, without seeing another human being. Eagles soared, tumbleweed tumbled, mountains graced the horizon all around me and with that engine rumbling as only a Harley V-twin can, I sang my heart out for a while and then settled back, taking in the realisation that I was alone on an arrow-straight road stretching to vanishing point. Just me. No ‘knees-down‘, no ‘wheelies‘, no 0-100mph in ten seconds superbike “speed me to the next life” crap, just a remarkable, solitary and personal motorcycling experience that I simply have to live through again, because nothing else has come close.

9 comments:

Ky Long Rider said...

I've ridden across Utah and the western states. I know exactly what you mean. It reminds me of every cowboy movie I've ever watched.

I rode through the Bonneville Salt Flats area early one morning. The salt was so heavy in the air that I could taste it on my lips.

There is a sense of spirituality and peace that I've only experienced on two wheels. Arlene and I have ridden the Blue Ridge Parkway a couple of times. I can think of no single place on earth more beautiful and peaceful. It's a place that draws us time and time again.

Ride safe.

Hogday said...

Thanks Kentucky LR.
Sold! The Blue Ridge Parkway it's got to be next!

powdergirl said...

I'm jealous.

Rachel Tamed said...

Glad that you found something moving and spiritual - not usually my thing either, but in a place like you were in I can see how it was possible. Great pictures, thank you for sharing!

Cpdcoppurr said...

Thanks for sharing Hogday.......

I know hubby KLR is salavating over the pics.......

I have not done these rides. They seem like fun.

But great rides through italy, spain and yugoslavia sound like great scenery as well!!! Nevermind the food and atmosphere and culture!

Hogday said...

CPDC: Riding in France is a joy compared to riding in England regarding volume of traffic. 4x the geographical size but with the same population means seemingly empty roads. Plus, the French tend to like bikers a lot more. We're off back to Normandy in May, sightseeing and visiting , for the 4th time, the memorials at Omaha Beach and elsewhere. When we lived on the south coast we could be on the cross channel ferry in 20 mins and rolling into France 3 hrs later. Deep joy! Maybe I'll post some pics.

Bitches In Blue said...

Beautiful pics !!! If you ever make it to Chicago let us know :)

Hogday said...

Hey B's in B, I seem to recall that a certain `Mother Road` starts on your patch!! I've seen one end of her and would love to work my way to the other, so thanks for the invite to rv for a brew sometime.

Glad you liked the photo's. I'll post some more `roadpics` from elsewhere, in due course ;)

kateykakes said...

Beautiful pics!

I bet it was great, but I'll just be envious. After my motorcycle accident, I've never gotten on the back of a bike again. Spent way too much time recovering to want to take a chance again.

But boy, do I love them!