[SIZE="4"][SIZE="5"]The brain is a pretty funny organ, you think?
It’s not as funny as the genitalia, but it is, pardon the pun, head and shoulders funnier than the heart, a dour repressive bucket of regret and sadness, or the omentum, aka the policeman of the abdomen. The hip bone’s connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bone’s connected to the knee bone, etc etc etc. No humor there.
But the brain is pretty funny. The laugh starts there, as do the tears—prodded by the heart. It can see things that aren’t there, hear voices that aren’t spoken, create a Renoir, a Debussy, a Lil Wayne, a Stephen Curry, and dream and remember. We use it all the time on a ride. It’s the 360 degree awareness organ, the stability control and the ABS.
So, I read an article recently The Peculiar Story of the Schizophrenic and the Shaman
about schizophrenia. In it is mentioned a brain connection between the parietal lobe and the temporal lobe. If disturbed, problems can arise, but it is there in everybody. There’s another lobe that meets up around the same place, the occipital lobe.
Look, this is what I’m talking about
See where the green blue and yellow touch? That's where I'm talking about.
Anyhow, the schizophrenia article got me thinking. I shoot hoops at the gym (poorly, but I do it). Like clockwork, when I first start I, 100% of the time, start thinking about riding in California. It's just a momentary thing, lasts about a minute or so, but it always happens. I think of those winding roads in those golden hills that are so gorgeous. I think of no specific ride, but a generic version of the "recall" is something like Ca 120 west of Yosemite...like this
So, shooting hoops makes me want to ride, and brings back generic, but good memories as well as promises.
Those associations though are limited to the solo ride feel. If you travel with someone, it's different. It does not matter who you travel with, it's different. Looking in the rear view mirror for a headlight, changes things.
I was invited to a high school reunion of sorts, to a friend's vacation home in Big Sky, Mt. He invites people up every August, just to hang. Touring out of the deep south in August sounds dreadful, but it allows things that do not occur with regularity any other time of the year; things like Going to the Sun; like Lolo Pass; like the Missouri Breaks. These are storied destinations for any rider, but you have to be on time and lucky. The opportunity of visiting up there in Montana and Idaho during the thawed season was too great to pass up. An August ride was on.
Originally, I was planning on this ride to be solo, but a good friend had the time, and of the people I have ridden with, he rides most like me, and is a better rider, more experienced. He had not been up that way before--I had, but not to the destinations mentioned. An added bonus was that on such a ride, that's a lot of miles and lots of opportunities to fall over. Bikes are heavy and getting them upright can sometimes be impossible or very difficult, so having another to help was a real advantage. And the bear thing gives Smokey two targets.
Plus, there is the advantage of conversation. It was a plus minus situation, but it was no challenge to opt for a companion along the way. It made good sense. It proved to be a good choice though no mishap occurred.
An added benefit for me was that I was getting to show him some of the most famous motorcycle roads on the continent. I had ridden the Bighorn Range, Chief Joseph, Beartooth, Devil's Tower and the Black Hills. He hadn't. I have ridden Kansas and Nebraska, he hadn't. I knew there was a treat in store for him and being able to share these areas with an appreciative rider was a good thing. As he rides a GS also, and is a photog also, and had a similar budget and a good sense of humor and could be just as curmudgeonly as myself...all pluses.
It was on!
We met on Saturday morning, August 20 about 100 miles from each of our homes. He had to be back a day earlier so we split in Beaver Utah Friday, Sep 2. In between we did over 6200 miles.
I chose a route through Kansas and Nebraska, planning on diving into Wyoming somewhere and getting to Union Pass, then Big Sky, by Friday Aug 26. Things change, but not that much, on the road.
We hit SE Oklahoma and crossed S->N on much of OK 82, a fine road, Scenic and bumpy, hairpins and sweepers.and into Kansas.
and into Sedan, Ks
Sedan, Ks, was only prologue to what awaited us in Howard, Ks.
We're riding along and suddenly
WHOA, WTF was that? Turn around, make time for...
No, not TOOT S DRIVE IN, not that TOOT S was not special, but what was across the street. I have since gone to Google street view to see at another time and not this late Sunday afternoon
Yes, the TIN MAN, or more properly, The Tin Woodsman, with gunshot wounds to his head. The wounds, as those in the know can easily see, are both entrance and exit wounds to the Tin Man's noggin.
Although attributed to the Straw Man, it makes far more sense for the Tin Man:
"I could while away the hours, conferrin' with the flowers
Consultin' with the rain.
And my head I'd be scratchin' while
my thoughts were busy hatchin'
If I only had a brain."
Someone shot the Tin Man in the head. I ask, what does this say about us? Or Howard, Ks...Someone would shoot him, the freakin' Tin Man, in the front and the back? Post your thoughts on
#Tin Man Matters
Does Dorothy know about this? Maybe she does?
in happier times
So, on Ks 99, in the heart of Howard...the rest of the scene
and again arrested by the site's police that only allows 15 images to be posted at a time--used to be 25--this sucks, advrider doesn't do that, nor does r1200rforum.
it's a pain to have to format differently for this site. Ugh