I am writing from under an outdoor patio of a Dairy Queen somewhere east of Phoenix Arizona, where I am cowering from the unbelievably strong rain and lightning that has been assaulting the surrounding hills of Del Puerto Canyon Road for the past few hours.
It reminds me of my experience in the San Francisco bay area about a month ago. I rode up the coast from beautiful Big Sur with high expectations of the city that everyone had been praising so strongly. I planed to devote it a day or two to explore and see what all the talk is about. But as ill fortune would have it, the bay area fell victim to a heavy thunderstorm, fog and low temperatures; an all around miserable, gloomy day. It was soon clear that there was going to be no exploring and San Fran had for the second time poorly received me. So I grabbed lunch at the famed Taqueria Cancun and decided to continue to push on towards Yosemite National Park.
Riding from north to south past the Golden Gate bridge barely visible in the fog, I first visited a few companies I though might be interested in partnering with the Pegasus Project. The North Face, Cliff Bar and Mountain Hardwear all proved fruitless, the only pleasant experience being at Sandisk. As I waited to speak to the receptionist who was busy on the phone, a woman who works there stormed in the lobby from the parking lot, frustrated for spilling her coffee on her blouse. My helmet in my hand she turns to me and demands: Tell me that is not your motorcycle outside!? I smile and say; “That is not my motorcycle outside”. And then my smile grows even larger as I admit the fact. A short but very entertaining conversation ensues and before leaving Mrs. Silva jots down an address in San Jose of her sons restaurant where I am instructed to go have a meal, her gift to me.
I did in fact go to the “Garage”, a cute little restaurant where I met her son Louis but I did not stay for lunch, rather I decided to continue east for a few hours and find a place to camp outside the urban setting. But the weather had different plans for me, bringing back the angry rain. I was soon forced to take shelter and naturally the next best choice from a gas station overhang is a McDonald’s.
“So there I was, unwillingly spending hours at a McDonald’s, hogging the sole power outlet that happened to be by a kiddie table inside the play-place, witnessing two shift changes while the rain poured endlessly outside”.
Catching up online and figuring out my move as the night slowly crept up I decided that it was too late to leave town, instead I would take a chance and try to sneak in a local nearby park so I packed up my makeshift play-place office and hoped that plan A would work because there simply was no plan B.
That was a rough night. I sneaked through the gates at nightfall and parked the bike inside a bathhouse right outside the large, fenced-in pool that looks like it would be rather enjoyable on a nicer day. I tried to sleep but I felt too vulnerable there so I forced myself to stay awake, listening and waiting for the rain to pass. At the first sign of dawn right before the park reopened I packed up my soaked gear and headed out trying to take advantage of the break in the rain. As I rode the machine out of the bathhouse a man in a brown and green uniform was just walking from his car, the only parked vehicle on the lot. I realized my luck in having avoided a really uncomfortable conversation with the park ranger or possibly even the police so this little stroke of good fortune, and the amusing look on the mans confused face, helped bring my spirits up a little. And as luck would have it, not a mile away I came across the much needed laundromat where I spent the following hour drying my clothes that got completely wet the previous night and making conversation with the little Asian lady who runs the place – seemingly with an iron fist. And slowly the sky brightened up and my mood turned positive as I forgot the challenging night that passed and embraced the new day.
I am writing from under an outdoor patio of a Dairy Queen somewhere east of Phoenix Arizona, where I am cowering from the unbelievably strong rain and lightning that has been assaulting the surrounding hills for the past few hours.an observatory up top, finally turning into incredible pretty rolling hills with golden grass swaying in the breeze. Just what was needed to get the spirits up.
And there you go, a lesson in staying positive and embracing each new day with a smile. After the rain, sunshine must come!