July 31, 2005 GMT
Red Rocks - and Pink Doughnuts!

I have always loved doughnuts. LOVED 'em. My routine on weekends in SF was to go down to Chestnut street and get a doughnut from the local donuttery, then off to Peet's for the Sunday paper and a thick cup of coffee. Every time I'm in the donut shoppe I ask if they have strawberry/cherry (pink) icing. Every time they say more people asked for it, but they don't have any yet. (Yet? Is it that hard to get?) In 14,300 miles through two nations I have looked but not found a single cherry iced donut. This is remarkable considering you can buy fudge and cinnamon rolls in more places than you can buy gas on the Alcan Highway. I always thought that some day I would make tons of cherry icing and become the North American distributor and make a fortune. The demand is there, I'm telling you.

So it was with great surprise that I pulled into Safeway in Flagstaff AZ, and low and behold--pink donuts! Sadly, it was flavorless; just sweet. It may as well have been red dye in white icing. (What flavor is white?) The search continues...

Anyway, here is the route since Monday: Arches and Canyonlands; Natural Bridges and Capitol Reef; Glen Canyon and Grand Staircase/Escalante; Bryce and Zion (including Kolob reservoir); Grand Canyon (North Rim), Vermillion Cliffs and Sedona today.

A real geography lesson, let me tell you. Also a lesson in hydration: did you ever get a refill on a 44oz super big gulp--before you paid for the first cup?

Most of my time was spent between 5,000' and 8,000' elevation. Peaked at 9118 at the top of Bryce. Wow. Down in Zion it was 3800', yet the bottom layer of Bryce represents the top layer at Zion. Or maybe that's vice versa. Kooky either way. Someday I must return and hike The Narrows--the river that flows through the Zion canyon floor. Imagine 2000' cliffs straight up--and only 10 feet wide. Sometimes you wade chest deep in the river through the narrow gap. Oh and flash floods can happen at any time.

Above 7000' the air is cool, the trees grow, and the views are fantastic. The meadows at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon were spectacular all by themselves. The rock formations are incredible and no way do the photos do them justice. You just have to go there. The twisties in each of the parks was great for leaning out like Valentino Rossi and dragging a knee--especially early or late in the day. I nearly wore out the sides of my new tire in the last week!

Canyonlands is like riding on a giant puzzle piece, only the puzzle piece is 2000' high, and you twist around and around the rim looking down on views as spectacular as the Grand Canyon. Each park was unique in geography, but they all lead up to the Grand Canyon. It ain't called Grand for nothin'!

I was getting upset by the fact that it was getting dark at 9 pm in Utah--until I crossed into Arizona and lost another hour. It gets dark at 8!! I really miss Alaska and the Midnight Sun.

Pics galore in the Flagstaff Set, though I'm sorry I don't have time to organize them better for you. Just know that the Mighty Beagle rolls on without hesitation, though it has trouble keeping up with the "Bush/Cheney '04" Chevy trucks, and the "Christian Hunters and Anglers Association" Fords, the "God Bless our Troops" Dodge's, and the Jesus Fish Hummers on the highways. Despite Devil's Tower, Devil's Backbone, Devil's postpile, and Devil's Kitchen, etc., according to the bumper stickers this is God's country--and don't you forget it! Yet the Beagle continues in humble exploration through millions of years of geographic strata open like a book, surrounded by obvious wildlife adaptations and evolutionary changes--even dinosaur footprints. It's a curious country we live in.

John the Paramedic informs me he just got a used BMW 1150 GS to make Carmen the Wonder Bike jealous. I couldn't keep up with him when he had the 650. I want a faster bike too, otherwise riding with John in the future will consist of coffee at Peet's in the a.m., followed by a beer 8 hours later at some bar. Oh, by the way, best non-Peet's coffee on the trip was just outside Northern Arizona University at a place called Macy's. Some of my readers are familiar with this establishment.

I'm off to Sedona, where I once thought I should open a donut store called "Sedonut" where I would sell donuts with only pink icing. (The heat makes you do funny things, I'm telling you.) After Sedona, I'll be in San Diego for a couple days, then up to SF for the weekend. Then probably back to San Diego for a week or so. What does the future hold beyond that? A new apartment in SF. Or perhaps ... Hoboken?! If I've learned anything on this trip it is that the journey will continue whether the bike comes with me or not.

Posted by James McPherson at 09:04 PM GMT
August 08, 2005 GMT
You Stay Classy, San Diego!

I was reminded of one particularly hot day going through Glen Canyon between national parks. It was absolutely scorching hot. A mid-day furnace with no place to hide, no shade anywhere, and 100 miles between gas stations. I was so thirsty, but it didn't seem worth it to stop in the sun and drink the hot water in my tank bag. Not much traffic at all, so it was easy to spot the headlights in my rear view mirror several miles behind me. The truck caught me in just a few minutes because I was going slowly, trying not to overheat the engine or my tires. So it finally gets right on my tail just as the twisties start. It looked like an armored car, and I remember wondering what it was doing way out here, and where it was going. For 10 to 15 miles, there was nowhere to pull over and nowhere to pass. Just a solid double yellow, in 110 degree heat, no one else around. Finally a straightaway appears, and he moves into the oncoming lane to pass me. That's when I notice the side of the truck. "ICE CREAM! Slushees! Popsicles! Ice Cold!" It leaves me in a cloud of hot diesel smoke feeling like I just saw a mirage, and wishing I could pull the guy over and sit inside the back of the truck for awhile, cover myself in popsicles and ice cream sandwiches.

The trip isn't over yet--but I'm taking a nice week-long break in La Jolla, and it feels good to rest. Makes me wish I had a home to call my own. More on that later.

The last week of riding was a week of extremes. I last camped in Jacob's Lake, just north of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The next morning I rode down to Flagstaff, intending to continue to Sedona and dinner with an ex-girlfriend's Mom. (Always nice to keep in touch.) But a monsoon brewed up over Flagstaff and Sedona just as I got there, so I spent a bit of time inside a coffee shop, the bagelry, and the visitors' center trying not to get zapped by lightning. Finally I went down the canyon 25 miles to Sedona and got absolutely DRENCHED like no other time on this trip. I had sent home my winter rain gear from Moab, saving 11 lbs on the back of the bike, but leaving me vulnerable to the elements. My boots, which had served me so well, could not keep out the water that was rolling down my jacket and lap and legs. I arrived in Sedona in need of a shower and a campground, but found neither. I hadn't heard from the friend's mom, so back to Flagstaff I went--through the same monsoon again--and found a dive motel for $40. My cowboy hat, whose brim had been curved like a potato chip and just as crisp, was ruined.

The boots were removed, turned over, and several ounces of water poured out. They would not be dry for another week. I wore tennis shoes the final 500 miles to San Diego.

Had lunch with Sue the next day in Sedona, whom I had visited at Christmastime 2001 with my girlfriend at the time. The town continues to grow, and with its beautiful rock formations and proximity to so many parks, lakes, forests and outdoor activities, it is no wonder. You can tell I was eager to get going for home; for all the beautiful scenery of Sedona, I only took one photo.

It was hard to impress Sue with my tales of Alaska; she's already been to every continent except Antarctica, and she wants to go there next!

Again, I should have taken more photos. I was fuming about having been passed by a car in the pouring rain while coming down the narrow canyon. So much so that I confronted the driver when we got into town and parked. I took off my helmet and said, "Why did you pass me in the canyon like that?" He told me he was late for a Pink Jeep Tour (a four-wheel trip through the red rocks of Sedona). I exploded at him, telling him that he put my life in jeopardy just to get one car length in front of me, and that he better not do it again, that I wanted an apology, that other motorcyclists wouldn't be as restrained as I was being. I never do anything like this, but he had it coming. He apologized. Normally I just silently rage inside. Maybe this trip has changed me. Don't risk my life so you can get 1 second closer to a pink jeep tour--Jerk!

From Sedona, I went through the former mountain mining town of Jerome, which is now a twisty cycling paradise and nice little tourist village on the cool leeward side of a mountain. Next was Prescott, the last town on the edge of the massive Colorado Plateau on which all the canyons and amazing geological formations were carved. Hard to believe it was all once underwater, but the fossils don't lie. The ciccada's were screaming when I stopped at the auto parts store for a spare cotter pin (Keeps the rear wheel from flying off when you least want it to). I descended into the hot Arizona desert, and was treated to a brilliant perspective of the plateau on which I had been riding.

I made it all the way to Quartzite, right on the border with California, before a monsoon which had been on the horizon was now right on top of me. The gust of wind from the storm front blew from South to North (from my left to my right), and blew me from the right lane of the freeway onto a merging onramp. Had the onramp not been there, I would have been literally blown off the road. I merged right back into my original lane leaning at a 30 degree angle to my left. Semis were roaring by at 80 mph, and I was getting buffeted and blown around like crazy. This was as scared as I had been on the entire trip. I pulled into a gas station and the employees were chasing the signs and trash cans blowing away. The motels were closed, and I had to go another 6 miles down the freeway to Ehrlenberg, hoping not to get squashed by a truck, blown off the road, zapped by lightning, or tripped up by car-sized tumbleweeds rolling across the freeway. I was in a life and death game of Frogger, in a near hurricane. I expected a semi to tip over on top of me. Some got off the road, others keep rolling, trying to get ahead of the storm. It would be my second night in a row in a motel ("The Flying J"). The storm was beautiful to watch after I stopped, and the lightning was coming every half second. Incredible light show like I had never seen. I didnít have a lens wide enough to capture the cloud formations all around.

The truck stop filled up with travelers trying to wait it out. This was my first time at an interstate truck stop, and they had all kinds of things to cater to truck drivers, including internet, massages, food, phones, and showers, which they called out like numbers at a deli. "Shower number 469..., shower number 470Ö.Ē

Two nights of motels in a row is unprecedented on this trip. Alaska and Canada and Utah handed me some tough weather, but it was Arizona that whooped me. The next day I rolled down I-78, I believe, through southern Southern California. I saw where our beef comes from--and have not had a burger since. I also came through fields of crops that I couldn't place, but zillions of little yellow butterflies flew through them and across the road constantly. Try as I might, I could not avoid all of them, and had to pull a few from the radiator as well as out of my jacket and pant legs when I stopped to fill up. Not quite as bad as the butterflies for motorcycle rider in The Gumball Rally, but I felt his pain.

Finally into San Diego where the freeway was so fast, so crowded and so dangerous it made me want to sell the bike and give up riding. It was that insane. I stopped at a divey taqueria and had some real Mexican (or at least California-Mexican) food for the first time in months. Yum. Sorry Valdez, Alaska, but your canned salsa flown in from Seattle doesn't cut it.

Thankfully my friend Mary lent me her truck so I could make a quick weekend trip up to San Francisco to keep my promise to go fishing, and also to pick up mail. Being in a car was strange; so quiet, music playing, perfect temperature, comfortable seat. I wanted to nap! I found a Peet's Coffee in Thousand Oaks. I was grinning like crazy when I got my first Peetís coffee since May 30 at 9:00 a.m. in San Francisco. Ahh! I also visited my cousin Carrie on the Paramount Studios set in Hollywood. She introduced me to actresses, directors and everyone else who works on the show Charmed. Great fun. On Saturday I went salmon fishing with former co-workers. I didn't get a nibble, but didnít get seasick either. Given my history, I called it a success.

My generous friends and family have put me up now for more than a week. I think I have been in 10 beds, floors or sofas in 12 days. I definitely feel a longing for a place to call home. But just where should that be?

Several months before I left on this trip, I saw a message scrawled on a bathroom wall at Zeitgeist, a motorcycle bar in San Francisco: "Leap, and the net will appear." Positive, uplifting and inspirational quotes are not what one usually finds on motorcycle bar bathroom walls. Although I donít believe in Ďsignsí, I certainly recognized that sign-seers would see it as a sign. My friends said that opportunities I never anticipated would arise on this trip, and that not knowing what would happen after it was over shouldn't keep me from going on the trip of a lifetime while I had the chance. They were right, but the future is still unclear. I have opportunities in SF, LA, and NY, as well as an invitation to ride with friends all the way to South America. And Jackson Hole, WY, was my favorite place I visited on the trip.

As much as I would love to keep riding South, I didn't really prepare myself for it. I wouldn't know what to see, other than Copper Canyon and Macchu Picchu. A Lonely Planet Guide would help, but there is nothing like The Milepost, the essential turn by turn guide to Canada and Alaska Highways. I would love to keep entertaining everyone with tales from the road, but I feel like I have nothing more to prove to myself. I have truly convinced myself that there is nothing I can't do if I can just get over my fear of what could go wrong. That may have been the goal of the whole trip now that I think about it; to get rid of that nagging stress pain in the bottom of your stomach that tells you something in your life isn't going the way it was supposed to.

I need to be my own boss and see if I can control what I do from day to day, and maybe even how much I make in the long run. There has to be a way to incorporate creativity into the process too, rather than just doing things by the book or the way someone else did them before you. Making yourself uncomfortable for a while, like I did on this ride, forces you to see what is essential for survival, and what is merely a matter of comfort. You might be surprised when you find that running water and electricity are in the latter category, and that love, friendship, creativity, expression and adventure (the free things) are in the former.

So it looks like I'm headed up to SF next week, taking my time, driving up the coast on Hwy 1, which many say is the best ride in the USA. I will put mile 15,000 behind me along the way. Had I gone straight down the Pan American Highway to South America instead of up to Alaska, I would have been to Ushuaia and back up to Buenos Aires by now. I'm going to extend my summer for a few more weeks by flying to New York to visit my brother and sister-in-law, but I'll be back soon to find a place to live and set up shop. In the meantime, if you like motorcycle adventure stories, great photos, and stories from people learning about the world and themselves, you should follow along with my friends Dave and Ericka as they travel two-up from Paris to Australia.

Great writing, great photos, great people!

A couple more entries to go here and then I'll hand out some Ichies; the first (annual?) Ichiro awards. Stay tuned.

Posted by James McPherson at 07:12 AM GMT
August 13, 2005 GMT

Excellent ride report and photo essay on the Continental Divide trail by Stephen Golub. This was the trail that Anne had originally convinced me to ride before we left San Francisco in May, but the lure of the national parks (Yellowstone, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Natural Bridges, Escalante, Bryce, Zion, and the Grand Canyon) was too strong.

Poor Beagle lay fallow for 11 days while I R'ed & R'ed in La Jolla. When I went to start her up this morning and ... nada. The Mighty Beagle battery had been treated mighty poorly by me for the last couple of months, so I bought and installed a new one today. (Careful pouring in the acid!)

The kill switch is still holding firm with duct tape, but I spotted a small oil leak coming from the drain plug. Could be time to change the soft copper washer--or maybe just some dirt/sand on the threads, keeping it from making a tight seal. I'm not too worried. Next oil change I'll make sure everything is OK. (Have I really gone 2000 miles since Moab already? Sheesh.) Another casualty: the straps on my saddlebags--the ones that attach to the lower part of the frame--are gone. The right side strap was burned off by touching the exhaust, and the left side was chewed by the chain apparently. No biggie, the bags stay put across the top of the seat just fine without them. I aired out the tent and sleeping bag yesterday. The tent was still damp from when I packed it at Jacob's Lake almost two weeks ago. (Pew!) How do you wash a tent (and footprint and rain fly)?

Posted by James McPherson at 06:11 AM GMT
August 17, 2005 GMT
Deadman's Curve; No Place to Play

I sent out postcards to a few people who helped and supported me along my "trip of a lifetime," but for Mary--my hostess for two weeks in San Diego--a thank you card just wouldn't do. As a counselor, she helped me process the lessons from this trip and helped make sense of why and did this and what comes next. Her encouragement and thoughtfulness and generosity and patience made only one souvenir meaningful; the coveted cowboy hat. And it fits her perfectly. Thank you Mary.

Before leaving San Diego, Mary and I went up to Irvine to visit my oldest friend, Mark, whom I've known since way back in Jr. High, High School and College. He's got two great kids, and we took some great photos, but papa says they aren't ready for the white hot spotlight and international fame that this web journal brings. (Yeah right!)

From San Diego I took the Coast Highway up to Oceanside, then "I'ed the Five" up to Dana Point, where I rejoined it. The Pacific Coast Highway is supposed to be one of the most beautiful rides in the USA, but I think it refers to the part between San Luis Obisbo and San Francisco, because Long Beach ain't much to look at.

I had to get a picture of the giant pink doughnut sign, because apparently my instincts are correct; there was a time in this country where the pink doughnut was a huge draw. To prominently display a 15 foot diameter pink doughnut thirty feet high is to send out a beacon of hope to doughnut lovers for miles around. Who traveled the furthest to get to this sign after seeing it on the horizon, I wonder. There were no pink doughnuts inside this establishment. Iím preparing a false advertising class action on behalf of the citizens of Long Beach when I get home. We will settle for nothing less than free pink doughnuts for all.

I stayed with my friend Darryl in Playa Del Rey, and he took me along to a bar to meet with his agent, who kindly offered to read anything I wrote. I'm learning a lot about the entertainment business lately.

This morning I hit the road for Mulholland Drive, the curvy crest of the Santa Monica Mountain range, but not before another Peet's Coffee, this one in Westwood, near my alma mater. Up through the canyons of Bel Air I got lost several times, always winding up at the gates of some mansion. I finally found my way along Mulholland Drive East to the Hollywood sign.

You can no longer hike up to it. (Terrorism, you know.) When I went to school here, I don't think I ever left campus.

Backtracking West, I got to where Mulholland turned into a dirt road and then ended abruptly. I was enjoying the first dirt road I had seen since Capitol Reef, UT, then had to backtrack to Sunset Blvd. and down to PCH. When I picked up Mulholland again, I took it to the famous Rock Store cafe, where Jay Leno, Brad Pitt and all the famous actors who own motorcycles like to hang. Yeah, it was closed. Weekends only.

I continued through some of the twistiest roads of the entire trip, scraping the pegs all the way down the ocean, and back up through Decker Canyon. Not a single car in front of me or behind me the whole way. I had to have passed the infamous Deadman's Curve where James Dean bought it, but I'll tell you; it could have been any one of a couple dozen switchbacks along the way. I didn't expect to have such solitude and such a great ride in LA.

My friends Greg and Amy are putting me up again in Westlake Village. They've got two great kids too--and three dogs to boot! I'm sad they are moving to Arizona this winter. Their place has been my home away from home for many years now.

In the morning I'm off to San Simeon and Hearst Castle. Hoping for light traffic, good weather, and great photos. Looks like I'll arrive in SF on Thursday evening or Friday evening. I would really like to get in Thursday to catch up with my softball team for pizza. Playoffs should be starting soon. Otherwise I'll be in Big Sur for one last night of camping before arriving in SF Friday. A helluva trip so far. I'm in the home stretch.

Posted by James McPherson at 06:27 AM GMT
September 07, 2005 GMT
Voyage of the Beagle, Summer 2005

Near Laguna Seca race track in Monterrey I came across a dozen Lamborghinis parked for dinner at a roadhouse. I parked in between some of the cars and took a couple pictures of the Beagle among them. The looks I got from the owners/drivers were part "Don't scratch the paint," and part "Dang, look at all the places that guy has been!" Sorry guys, you couldn't buy a trip as great as this one has been.

As I was setting up my last camp at the Laguna Seca race track--the only campgrounds in all of Monterrey apparently--a couple came by in their truck. "Ah-ah-ah," the man said to me as he wagged a finger. "You can't camp here."
"Why not?" I asked.
"This space is reserved. We reserved it months ago for the classic car races this weekend."
I explained that there was no reserved sign on the post, and that if this really was their campsite, I was very sorry, and I would be glad to move my tent and all my gear to another site elsewhere. It was already getting dark. Fog had moved in, and I was frozen from riding up the coast since 8 a.m.

But this guy's attitude was strange. He was a little TOO adamant about the space being his. He kept saying I had to leave even after I told him I would. I asked to see a piece of paper that confirmed his reservation. He pulled his huge idling diesel pickup into my campsite, within inches of my tent, and produced a piece of paper that said he reserved the space for the 18th, 19th, and 20th (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday).
"Today is Wednesday. The 17th." I said, handing it back to him. An awkward pause.
"Well this is the first year they haven't put Wednesday on the invitation,Ē he said sheepishly.
"So you're telling me you already know that you don't have it for tonight, and you're just trying to trick me into moving to another site?"
I looked him in the eye, and he just smiled. "I'm not saying anything," he says.

I was so disgusted. I had ridden 15,500 miles to this point through Canada and the USA. I left my key in the ignition most nights, left my bags and helmet unsecured every time I parked, and never encountered anyone explicitly trying to swindle me--until I was 100 miles from home. A well-to-do married couple.

"Get out of my campsite." I said, and went back to setting up. The guy said nothing.
"This is the first year they didn't let us come on Wednesday," the wife repeated from inside the truck.
"If you have a problem, call the ranger." I turned my attention back to the tent.

If they had come to me in the beginning and said, "Hey, could you do us a favor and switch campsites with us?" I might have accommodated. No, they led with a lie and persisted with it, even after I called them on it. I wondered if they cheated at racing too.

That night the campgrounds all around me filled up with would-be racers bringing their classic cars from as far away as Southern California. They were meeting old friends and laughing and wrenching all night long. No consideration for the motorcyclist trying to sleep above turn 7. I barely slept at all. I should have let those swindlers have their space.
In the morning I took Hwy One up to Santa Cruz and searched in vain for a Peet's Coffee. The boardwalk and cliffside road made for nice viewing in the early morning.

Being familiar with Hwy One from there to SF, I decided to take the winding Hwy 9 through Great Basin park and then Skyline Highway to Alice's Restaurant.

The redwoods were spectacular, and I didn't mind getting lost in Great Basin and having to backtrack several miles. All off-roading is forbidden there, unfortunately, and I thought wistfully of all the great dirt roads I traveled in Alaska alone--probably 2000-2500 miles of it.

Unlike the Rock Store in LA, Alice's is open on weekdays. I had a burrito and struck up conversation with people there about my bike and the ride. "I'm 40 miles from the end of a 15,600 mile trip to Alaska," I told them.
"What was the highlight?" one wanted to know.
"The Dalton Highway," I said. Why? "The geography, the road, the weather, the animals, the pipeline, and the significance of riding that dirt road alone, all above the Arctic Circle, with 24 hours of daylight."
One guy on a Honda Valkyrie gave me a card for a free pass to the airplane museum where he works in Menlo Park. It read "VIP Pass." Nice guy. I felt like a VIP all day. Kinda like you feel on your birthday.
I knew everyone in SF was working this day, so there was no way to gather anyone for a welcome home party in the afternoon. I walked over to All Star Donuts, my ritual doughnut stop for 8 years.
"Do you have any doughnuts with pink icing?" I asked again of the young guy who works behind the counter. I have practically seen him grow up from 9 to 17 years old. One time I gave him two Giants v. Dodgers tickets I could not use. He still remembers.
"Not yet," he says, "but more people asked about it."
My turn to brag: "Well I just got back from a motorcycle trip to Alaska and down through the Rockies, and I can tell you, no one has it. I was thinking about starting my own doughnut shop and selling donuts with strawberry and cherry icing."
"You should!"
"You don't mind the competition?"
"Nah, it would be great."

I ate my chocolate donut, drank my Peet's coffee and looked at the Mighty Beagle. I took out my silver paint pen, shook it and added a "CA" to a string of states and provinces on my saddlebag that began with the very same two letters. My friend Mary was right: it wasn't just a list of states the Beagle had been in, it was a record of a single circular trip that introduced me to people I will never forget, wildlife I had never seen before, natural features and geology that can be seen in only one or two places in the world. I rode from California to California--by way of the Northernmost and Westernmost highways in North America; by way of pipelines, ferry boats, old railroad rights-of-way, high mountain passes and the Continental Divide. I explored the National Parks of the West, and understood a little better the importance of protecting them from the very people who are invited to visit. I shared the roads with tankers hauling oil, with trucks carrying food from farms to the cities, and with cars carrying people to and from family, work, and destinations unknown. I saw more, and experienced more in my 2 1/2 months than I had in the previous 16 years combined.

If you ride, and if you yearn for a trip like this, for goodness sake--go. It is so much more than you can imagine. And it grows exponentially in retrospect. The hardships (the breakdowns, the fixes, the crashes) become the biggest highlights.

I delayed writing this final entry because it meant the end of the trip, and I always want to feel like I am still on it, or that I could be at any minute. But the trip is indeed over. I am in Hoboken New Jersey and Beagle is secured in my grandparents' garage in Walnut Creek, battery cables disconnected. I feel uneasy without it. The last week in SF before my departure to Hoboken was a comedy of mind-changing and indecision. It continues to this day. But when you finally come to that fork in the road, you take the one you think is best based on what you know of yourself, and what you learned in all the miles behind you. If anything, my sight is attuned much further down the road than before. I can see already that the Hoboken fork is a short road, and it returns back to California soon enough. But for now, I will be glued to Horizons and my new friends' websites and enjoying their adventures even as I plan another of my own. After Alaska, I need to come up with a new dream ride. I just don't think it is Mexico and Central America. Not right now.

If you read Brian Greene's Fabric of the Cosmos, or Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, you will understand that time and space are linked; that bodies in motion over great distances will pass the time more slowly than those at rest. It is therefore not incorrect to say that the Beagle is a time machine, and that for riding it I have extended my life about one quadrillionth of a second. But I have enriched it infinitely more than that. Keep moving, people.

Posted by James McPherson at 08:45 PM GMT

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Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

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Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

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