The Wheel Turns – 2012 X-Country Ride: The East, Traffic, Sweltering madness and Serenity.

A few days of mindful work brought me fully into the heart. Replacing deck boards and stairs, pouring a little concrete and cleaning the gutters brought a peace of mind and oneness with the tasks. The work came easy as lemonade and light conversation fulfilled the moment. Here I was not a tourist but part of the pulse. We wanted to stretch the time into an eternity and in a way we did. The clock however was ticking, the road began to call. All good things don’t have to come to an end, you just keep scattering the good all along the road.

Morning came and with it a breakfast you only dream about. Kale’s mom made sandwiches for our lunch while his dad helped with loading the bikes. Time idled away as there was no rush. The next couple of days would be cruisers, 250 to 350 miles, tops. The last sight was Kale’s parents waving, captured in the rear view mirror as we idled down the long twin strip gravel drive. We meandered through the farms and countryside before picking up Route 6. From here on out the deer would be everywhere and you had to remain double alert. They just jump out in front of you for no apparent reason. But there are other things that can stop you in your tracks, too and I would be finding out soon enough.

Route 6 rolled and dipped on way across Ohio. Green was all around us but if you looked close everything needed water, reminding me to drink more at every chance. The heat changed too, it was just as hot as Nebraska but now there was abundant humidity. Rolling down the road, it wasn’t an issue. Standing still however was. Kale kept to his word and the day was short. We camped about twenty miles east of Toledo in the lushness of the deep woods near the coast of Lake Erie. It was quiet with a fair number of campers filling the sites. Like most of the campgrounds we stayed at they were surprisingly full. There is a good feeling in seeing so many people taking advantage of the beauty of our country away from the major attractions. Sleep came easy as we were both still a bit tired from working the farm.

The morning came with a jolt of reality. Backing the f 650gs out of the gravel parking, I slipped and the bike leaned passed the point of no return. I stabbed my left leg out to ease her to the ground. Kale was already rolling, ever aware he caught sight of me in his rear view mirror. I was busy stripping the bike when he got back. Shame, stress, adrenalin rush and extreme effort to get the bike upright did something I hoped wouldn’t happen. After a quick talk down the best thing to do was get back on and hit the road. We did for about ten minutes when at a stop sign I pointed to some soft grass and signaled to pull over. I parked the bike just in time. A disc in my lower spine just had a blowout.

The next 24 hours were spent in bed at a hotel in Sandusky, Ohio. The only way out was to pack myself in ice and not move. Was this over? Is this it? Not even half way! No way! The reality was looking more and more like a flight back and have the motorcycle shipped. With only one thing to do I did it well, do nothing.

Kale brought dinner back from a local grubhouse. If he was disappointed he didn’t show it. These things happen. The timing always sucks. We tossed around different scenarios, route changes and destinations. It all came down to, ‘see how I feel in the morning.’

It was quiet in the room that night, too quiet. We were both coming to terms with the near future. We had both taken time off from work, a month, to fulfill the dream. But there was more at stake here than an aborted vacation. To get the whole story of both the inner and outer journey, you will have to be patient. The 2012 X Country Ride is being put to book form as I write this blog. Here we are getting the outline and I am sticking to the motorcycling touring aspects. This will be reference material for the novel.

We were both up early. A couple of hours wouldn’t make any difference at this point. I had been hobbling back and forth along the outside corridor with a cane to get a feel for life as it would be for next few weeks. ‘It could be worse,’ I thought. Since we were following a pioneer trail my thoughts drifted to them. What happened to those poor souls who’s back went out along the trail? They went on is what they did. For them there was no turning back. My spine and I have been friends and antagonists for a long time. It would hold, just hurt like hell. My coffee needed a refill and Kale was up. “Let’s do it!”

We softened the suspension to the limit so I wouldn’t get hammered. You lose a little of that tight feeling but then we weren’t pushing the envelope either.  We rode along the Erie lakefront following the train tracks to Lorain, Ohio, then skirting Cleveland, jumped on Interstate 90 and made some time. The traffic was furious, as were the drivers. The heat, construction and probably an accident or two had everyone going like mad. Cell phone in hand and 80 plus miles an hour are a bad combination. It made for real passive/ aggressive riding, your head forever on a swivel eyeing everything around and ahead of you. From Ohio to Maine the large and small highways were like racetracks. If you were going too slow, or in someone’s way no doubt you would hear about it from the driver yelling at you through open windows. It sure kept things interesting.

The back was tolerable, just merely unbearable. Still the best was made of the situation and my riding partner, Kale, considerate in keeping the number of hours in the saddle down. We still rode into the night to make up for a slower pace. There was strip mining and fracking along with unparalleled beauty. In a couple of hops, we were heading up the famous Maine coastline. Maine is a National Geographic moment in progress. We stopped often to enjoy the vistas and soak up the cool of the far northeast. Perfect riding temperature and some sweet roads to go with it. Enjoying life from a two-wheeled point of view. There is nothing quite like it. We rode into the night again to reach our destination, Southwest Harbor, Maine.

Next: Days of peace. The calm before the storm.

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The Wheel Turns – 2012 X-Country Ride: Heart of the Heartland

The high plains greeted us with a blast of heat like the furnace door had just opened. Hot as it had been, the ride to this point was just a warm up. Before the touring began, you thought, ‘man it’s gonna be hot,’ and were clueless to the reality that waited just down the road. If anything the road teaches.

The endless plains stretched on and on and on. Only interrupted by the irrigated corn, soy and wheat fields. Without the pumped water only the plains survived the harsh conditions. There were as many wet, green fields as withered dried up patches of what could have been a good harvest. Water is king and water rights in some desperate regions have been cut back to 1884 levels. This is an attempt to keep from sucking the meager supplies dry. On the brighter side, golf courses have stopped watering and you know what? The brown grass doesn’t stop the golfers and the water can go to where it is needed.

You looked forward to the long sweeping arms of the irrigators. They brought a moment of damp, near cool, when passing them. Then passed and the furnace doors opened again. Shade became a sought after friend. It was the first thing you looked for when parking. If none was available you put the kickstand down nearest the closet shadow, then made a dash for it to dump the suit and cool down.

Regardless of the temp, it was Sturgis season. Harleys ruled the roads and small towns on their way to that single location. The population of Nebraska doubles for the week of the rally and close to that number for the weeks before and after. It was still a few weeks before the official days of thunder and already thousands of bikers were on the road. In a fortnight, on our way back, the party would be in full swing. The thousands of bikes would surge geometrically in number creating that never-ending rolling thunder. More on Sturgis when we pass through South Dakota.

Nebraska stretched on before us. Every five to ten miles you’d slow to roll through a farming community. The silos were the town square and where the action was. Then every so often you hit a big town with a population of five thousand. What got me was the architecture. The late eighteen hundreds and early nineteen’s were the boom time for these places and little had changed since then. The folk that live along Route 6 take a certain amount of pride in keeping their history around them. Fast food joints and fuel stops, stuccoed and glitzed, seemed oddly out of place in these places of beauty out of step with time.

The pauses at towns in no way slowed forward progress. The stretches in between were a posted 70mph and we used up every bit of it. 5PM and it’s still hot as hell. The heat really doesn’t kick in until around 11AM at which point the some sadistic weather person keeps dialing up the temp until you are riding on the surface of the sun. It’s not until the sun sets that a respite is given. We rolled into the Lincoln, Nebraska KOA just after sunset and just a little toasted. I will admit, for once, I showered like a tourist, letting the cool water do its thing. By the time I got back to the campsite Kale had the Jetboil fired and dinner was a few minutes away. Heads up, getting a good loaf of bread at some point during the day makes for better dinners.

We talked of the road, the things we saw, what went right and equally as important what wasn’t right and planned the next day. This got to be a pretty standard routine. Debriefing, followed by a briefing. It works. You touch on all the necessary stuff then drift into talking. We were both tired. Tomorrow would be our first deadline.  Kale needed to be in Chicago while I had to stop in the Quad Cities. There was only one other. Catching my flight back.

We rode into the sun, the cool of the morning still with us. The 1200gs and f 650 gs were quiet intruders upon the rolling hills of Iowa. The omnipresent dun brown of the prairies began shifting to ever greener pastures and fields cruising into the Mississippi River basin. The waning cool was offset by a rise in humidity. If its not one thing, it’s another. You accepted it, what else were you going to do?

The riding was quick. We were making time today. One more fuel stop before the Big Muddy. We shook hands. “See ya in Valpo.” Kale rolled out first, the big 1200 r taking on the freeway effortlessly. I was right behind him, having no intention of losing my navigator until the river.

Eighteen hours of rest and it was back on the road to meet up with Kale in Valparaiso, Indiana. This small stretch of road, that should have taken no more than four or five easy hours, stretched on into the night while I poorly navigated the country roads of northern Indiana. Herds of deer were forever bounding across the asphalt in front of me, giving the rider ample opportunity to test those new abs brakes. Riding around in circles began to take its toll. I called Kale and laid down in a Kmart parking lot, basking in the orange glare of high-pressure sodium lights. Kale picked me up a few long minutes later and I went to bed.

I woke to the pulse and rhythm of the heart of the heartland. Sixty acres of forest and pasture. The deer were grazing and eyeing the garden beds as coffee brewed. A train whistle, off in the distance, heralded in a new day. Heavy dew shone off the bikes making them look cleaner than they were. No washing until the motorcycles returned home in Oakland with the exception of windscreen and mirrors. All those bug guts and sprays of mud had meaning.

Walking the open grounds around the house and barn revealed a dozen small projects that needed attending to. It was something to do and a way to earn your keep. Nobody rides for free, nobody.

Next: The East, traffic, sweltering madness and serenity.

The Wheel Turns – 2012 X-Country Ride : Into the Heat

No more mister nice guy. Bishop was behind us. If that is what the road had in store for us then the lane ahead was just a little sweeter. Man, cause it was getting hot. We checked to make sure our vents were open for cooling. It was then I noticed Kale always had his main zipper up while I had unzipped mine hours ago to catch the wind.

These stretches of southern Nevada and Utah can get rather desolate and fuel is ever a primary concern. Needless to say we filled up at every chance. The longest distance between service stations was 172 miles. Kale knew his bike had the range. The F 650 gs had yet to be tested. The numbers crunched but would they reflect reality? We rode conservatively as the idea of being stranded for some hours on a shadeless strip of asphalt sucks. Tonopah to Ely Nevada, is one of the few remaining stretches of exquisite nothing. The bikes made it without dipping into reserve eventually arriving at Baker, Nevada, gateway to Great Basin National Park and the Lehman caves.

Being one of the least visited national parks has its upside, less people, less impact. This camp stands out amongst the others for its solitude. There were other campers but no one, it seemed, wanted to intrude upon the rushing mountain stream’s babble in the silence over the great basin. It was awesome and one of the darkest places on the planet making star viewing some of the best.

Then of course, the Lehman Caves. We signed for the first tour of the morning. No one else did and therefore received a private tour. Once again was darkness and deep silence with only an occasional drip of water to disturb it. Stalactites and stalagmites created a maze of translucent spires in total darkness. It is a living cave. Oddly, now that I think,about it, our flashlights were illuminating the natural rock/crystal art that would have otherwise never been seen. Nothing was to be touched. Nothing was. Wow, and yeah man, the whole place was pretty far out.

The cool mountain air was far behind. We dropped into the basin, diverting from Route 6, to lean into the twists and turns of Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Monument. Both have truly amazing rock formations that have to be visited physically to appreciate. Once we were through viewing the rpm’s came on again and the fun began. Tight hairpins to sweepers the roads had it all making the experience complete in a biker kind of way. But man it was getting hot.

Three days into the dry hot weather dehydration and overheating hit like a brick. I was drinking like normal and that was the problem. Normal was simply not enough for the riding conditions. I bonked. Inside the convenience store was the cool and ice cold sports drinks to slam. Without which, the whole damn thing would probably have ended right there. It didn’t and there was something to learn. Drink lots of water. Yellow is not mellow!

This seems like a good point to drop in a safety issue, especially with the contiguous 48 having the hottest weather on record. Dehydration is a sneaky bastard. You reach for a coke when what you need is water. The caffeine keeps you from hydrating. Every chance you get, you have to be drinking fluids. The hot dry weather sucks the moisture right out of you as fast as you can take it in. Even faster.

Most of the riders we saw this tour chose jeans, sneakers, and a tank top for their riding gear. It’s a personal choice. However with all that skin exposed you’re drying out like a drop of water on hot asphalt. Hmmmm, good metaphor.  You don’t notice because you are not sweating, the sweat vapors off too fast at 70 mph. A full riding suit like the Aerostitch Roadcrafter, aside from the protection, acts as another layer of insulation against the heat and dry conditions, helping you retain your liquid while the venting keeps you comfortable. Anything to keep from bonking.

For the heat I used a bandana with a couple handfuls of ice rolled inside and tied around my neck. Every stop you renew the ice. It was a simple solution to keep your brain from sizzling and keep you alert and sane. Riding temp at 70 mph, fresh black asphalt, sun overhead, 107 degrees. That’s hot!

We headed northeast. If not directly on Route 6 it was close by. That road had an uncanny knack for following us, or us it. Boulder Co. was the destination. Family, hot shower, home cooked meal, good conversation, and a firm bed never felt so good. Stuart, a rabid bicycle racer, was kind enough to explain to me what proper hydration is all about. Got it! Yellow is not mellow. Pee clear! Okay, okay, enough already with the pee!

Taking an extra day I rode down to Manitou Springs Co. to see Jon Renaud of Back To The Books, bookstore. He carries my novels at the store along with a fine selection of independent authors. Back To the Books’ inventory is as varied as it is eclectic with an excellent children’s section. Manitou Springs, the mountain village, is a shock of vibrant colors in a verdant mountain setting. It works. From here you can make the assault on Pike’s Peak, a 14ner. The village was also nearly victim to the forest fires that raged through the Colorado Springs area a couple of months ago. You could see large swaths of blackened trees and that was just from the road. No doubt the interior was scorched. The town was spared. Manitou Springs is a sweet stop after hanging tight through the twists and turns of mountain road it took to get there. Hydrating and psyching for the return ride.

Back to the road. The bed, family, and friends were now behind us. From Boulder we zigzagged two laners to hook up with Route 6. Out of the pan and into the fire!

 

 

Next down the road: The heart of the heartland

The Wheel Turns – 2012 X-Country Ride : Wheels on Fire

THE MACHINES, THE GEAR, THE PLAN, THE RIDERS

Suddenly all three things started to fall into place. Time, money and desire. You make these things happen and when the moment comes you are ready and jump! The motorcycles were BMW: a ‘95 gs 1200r with close to 100,000 miles, just broken in. We would roll that odometer in a few days. The second machine was a ‘10 F 650 gs chain drive with less than a thousand miles. Not broken in, yet! Both had hard side bags, top boxes manufactured by BMW and Touratech, a welcome addition for anyone going long distances.

 The gear was simple enough. Safety comes first, period. The Aerostitch One-Piece Roadcrafter had everything we look for as riders when it comes to protection and kick ass looks. Plus you can put it on in few seconds and get it off just as fast when the sun is hammering you with 111 degrees, as it was in Kansas (and almost the whole ride). With the leg and main zippers fully zipped, the vents wide open we rode comfortably. Zipping down the main zipper to provide ‘more’ airflow, for me, was counterproductive. The extra hot wind stole your body water at a wicked rate. Zipped and vented provided the proper balance for safety and comfort.

Helmets, boots, and gloves are always de rigueur. Each rider chooses what is right for themselves. Mine was an AFX with visor and smoked windscreen. Both aided well in keeping the relentless sun at bay and giving superior airflow and view. Kale’s was a traditional SHOEI, his touring boots and gloves, custom. Mine varied in that they were steel toed Wellingtons and roper’s gloves.

 

 THE PLAN

 The route was clear enough. Take one of the original trans-cons (also the longest) from one terminus to the other.
U. S. Route 6 – highway of the Grand Army of the Republic – fit all the necessary requirements. A plus was that Route 6 runs as a two lane highway for much of its length. There are sections where she runs concurrent with larger freeways yet always seemed to return to the double band of black.

 The western terminus of Route 6 is cause for some minor dispute between Bishop Ca. and Long Beach, Ca. Each claims to be the official end, or beginning, depending on how you view such things. Bishop was chosen. To make up the difference our first day of the tour took us through Yosemite; The Tioga Pass, Lee Vining, down the eastern range and across the first of many great basins to the town of Bishop. From then on it was little more than following the map. NOT!

The eastern end of Route 6 is Provincetown, Mass. It’s a fair distance, no matter how you look at it, and just the first half of the journey.

 THE RIDERS

 Kale Williams, old enough to know better, young enough to still give it a go. A life-long rider, Kale still renews his skill level by taking courses and of course, applying what he learns to the road. He has been criss-crossing the roadways on two wheels since the original Kawasaki Kz 650 hit the market. Kale knows the road and the road knows him. It’s always a pleasure to tour with that kind of experience; you learn something new every day.

  John G. Rees, that’s me – author, daily rider (Suzuki dl650) and one of a few who can sit in the saddle for 12 hours and go for more if that’s what it takes to keep up with Kale. Then there are the tools. I know how to use them. They always come in handy to either keep us on the road or, as was most often the case, aid another biker or motorist on their way. There is always time to stop and lend a hand especially on some of the stretches in the middle of nowhere that have suddenly become somewhere for somebody.

 As with most journeys of this nature, there is more than one tour happening; an inner and outer trip. We were prepared for the outer adventure. The inner would require all our strength, endurance, compassion and kindness if we were to make it the entire way as we had begun. A couple of bikers and miles to go.

 ON THE ROAD

 The first day was a warm up. San Francisco Bay to Bishop, Ca. via Yosemite, the Tioga Pass and Lee Vining. The Pass and Lee Vining was a downhill run with s-curves, hairpins, shear drops, and captivating views. Into the first of many natural basins we met the future – long stretches of arrow straight road and the sun overhead in a cloudless sky. There was a warning with the bright sun and warm air that rushed passed, stealing minute quantities of your body water, continuously, unnoticeable. Soon there would be no warning. When you are standing in the fire, you know it!

 The roads were clean, devoid of tourists and perfect for breaking in a new bike. The F 650 gs shifts effortlessly, allowing the rider to give the road ahead all of their attention. No box of rocks here! We were cruising the day away, with the exception of the caveat, the ride was uneventful. A couple hundred miles and change later we pulled into our first campground in Bishop, Ca.

 This campground would prove to be a prime example of what we would be encountering in the way of rustic accommodations. The parks were clean, staff, friendly and helpful, grounds and campsites level and amenities in good repair. Then, of course, the folk who camped in every conceivable level of comfort; from semi-sized RV’s to one the size of an old VW bug, harem tents and one-man’s – we all had a common desire; to be at this place, at this time, and to share its beauty around. Whether a smile, getting or giving directions (I was forever asking where the *&%# am I?), talk of the road, bikes or lending a hand, the goodness of the people shined through. And we saw this everywhere! In times such as these with less and less of the time we so desire, that there is always time to help someone else.

I will admit to a bias here. Bikers, underneath all that gear, leather, gloves and helmet are some of the nicest peeps you will ever meet. It all starts with a smile.

 Image

NEXT UP: INTO THE HEAT

Back to the Islands (RoadTrip 2012)

Aloha! 7843 miles later from Oakland, CA to Southwest Harbor, Maine and back again it’s good to be home. I wish to thank you all for thinking of me, sending your good wishes and great good love to keep me going and get back on the horse when the times got tough. The route was planned and then navigated by my riding partner Kale, whose forethought, wisdom and vision made the ride a truly remarkable tour across this great country of ours. From July 7 till August 3rd, full moon till full moon, clad in Aerostitch one-piece Roadcrafters, we traveled without regard for the time, yet with great regard for each other and the land that passed beneath our wheels. Long hours in the saddle gives one time to think, not think, ponder, dream and open one’s heart to the road.

Kale understood the route far better than I, for he spent countless hours doing research in preparation. The fearless leader, with a GPS mounted to the left side of his handle bars, iPhone at the ready, he led the way on a BMW gs 1200r with a twisted throttle and eyes on the far horizon. I followed, not for lack of experience. This is the third tour and I ride daily on the Big Island, but for lack of any sense of direction, I could get lost in an empty parking lot. Living on an island, you can always find your way home if you keep going. The hours were long and we generally didn’t reach camp until after the sun went down. Asses sore, arms and hands in need of stretch and rest; tired, hot and reeking odor – our smiles stretched as wide as the miles that had rolled under the rubber that day. When I say hot, I mean really f*#@!ing hot. From Cali to Maine the sun glared with anger upon the land. We were only passing through. My heart went out to the good folk that lived their lives beneath the overheated summer sun.

For the most part, the route followed the old highway system, Route 6, envisioned by Eisenhower in his youth as a young army officer. Years later, after becoming president, he implemented this vision into reality by uniting our country with a highway system. The road, like the chosen destinations were, as Kale’s father put it, ‘austere and remote’. This is one of the reasons there was no blogging during the ride. There simply was no internet service available. That in itself was a unique experience that more of us should try. Cell phone service was as sketchy as a service station.

Fuel was by far the more important of the two.

For those of you whom I had hoped to visit, while spinning the wheels of a new BMW f650 gs, you have my apologies. Blame the road. She was making all the calls. To everyone I did meet – Mahalo – your presence and kindness were comfort to this skinny ass across the endless miles.

There will be more written in the coming weeks concerning the motorcycle tour. Thank you all. Man, it’s good to be home.

ImageMahalo and aloha, john g

p.s. Versatile riding apparel, like a friend is never truly appreciated until it is needed. Ride safely; protect your self.

A NOVELIST’S RESEARCH RIDE

When I started writing I suddenly found myself reading more than ever before. The reason was research. An idea, a vision of sorts was becoming words on paper. Alas imagination will only take you so far, unless you’re writing something so far out that there is no research data available. Good luck with that.

While writing the first fifty pages of ‘anoxic zone’ it occurred to me I didn’t have enough. Of imagination and inspiration there was plenty, yet without facts and details of different time periods there was no way to tie my vision to reality. This also helps the reader to make the leap of believability. While I wanted to have a firm foundation for the novel I did not want to rewrite history or give a history lesson, at least one you weren’t able to catch me giving. There’s the rub, trying to find a balance between fact and fiction and weaving them together seamlessly.

Mark Twain gave the best advice concerning this conundrum, and I paraphrase, “Don’t let too many facts ruin a good story.”

The funny thing is that the research does not end – it evolves. About the time you think you’ve got it, you will find yourself back with your reference material. As I’ve stretched my bounds with the second book ‘Halocline’, and the third, ‘Black Tide’, so has the research grown to accommodate new ideas, locations, action and drama.

Doing my ‘homework’ has taken on a new level as well. I still Google my brains out, but for my next works some of the study will be experiential. I have had the good luck to tour the U.S. on a motorcycle a few times with my friend Kale. This ride will take us from the west coast to the east coast on Route 6, the longest trans-con in the states. Two lanes will carry us through the heart of the heartland, where a good deal of my next book will take place. Route 6 goes right through my hometown where the incubus began.

A ride of this length, well over ten thousand miles, requires a good deal of research of its own for the trip to go smoothly. Riding sixteen hours a day means you’d better be suited properly for comfort and protection, not only from the road but also the elements. Being unprepared will make the journey miserable and miserable sucks. Kale is a lifetime rider and remembers the days when blue jeans and a leather jacket were de rigueur. For touring now he recommends an Aerostitch Roadcrafter one-piece suit. I was lucky enough on my first two tours for a friend to loan me one of his Roadcrafter’s for me to use. You quickly learn how function and comfort can come together in such a sweet package. But after two borrowings, and if you’re going to keep riding, you have to get one of your own. This year I worked with the good people at Aerostitch to get my sizing correct and purchased my first ‘Stitch’. This is one of the only motorcycle suits still made in the U.S.A. with a quality level that surpasses anything on the market.

From the blistering deserts of southern Utah to the frozen peaks of the Rockies the Roadcrafter was made to make the best of it. You can ride with next to nothing on or be fully fleeced and you will be covered in comfort, protection and a style that can’t be beat. It’s also the only road gear you can don in ten seconds, which in my books, will be a very handy feature as there are often times when it’s better to run than stay and fight. For those of you who have read my books, Jake gets the shit kicked out of him more times than I can remember. An Aerostitch could have saved him a few learning curves.

Since you write about what you know, motorcycling is working its way into more and more of my prose. My next book has a young woman riding the mountain roads of Romania on a BMW Adventure bike in search of an evil that entered her as a child. Now with a customized Roadcrafter that has an inside slip pocket for a twelve gauge riot shotgun that pulls out through one of the suit’s side vents she just might make it. Seems pretty cool to me.

Research is key to many good books. The better you study up, the more likely the words will come out better than expected. Readers can always tell when a writer is being lazy or full of it. I try very hard not to let that happen. It’s crucial because once they feel like they’ve been had the book gets put down. I do not want that to ever happen, to anybody.

Come July when Kale plans on riding cross-country, no doubt I will sit down, if I can, and do the day’s journal and write some till I fall asleep. This sounds a whole lot better than working out the kinks and chaffing of poor quality riding gear. You see, we ride sixteen to eighteen hours a day, everything must fit perfect. Thus the Roadcrafter made by Aerostitch in the U.S.A.

Kale and I will be sharing the trip on my blog and facebook so when the time gets closer I’ll be getting the word out. Pictures and everything!

There is no doubt in my mind that each day of the ride will be twenty–four hours of deep research that I hope to share with you in my upcoming novels. If you haven’t yet, check out my website at www.blackwaterbooks.com

See you out on the road!