Last year, I went on a wheelie day with www.stuntasylum.com. It was a brilliant day and one of the pieces of advice that Cassie, our instructor gave us was that if we wanted to practice when we got home, maybe we shouldn’t use big bikes at first. Nobody likes to crash an expensive bike, so she suggested we get a little Grom or a monkey bike to prat about on. So I went out and bought a Chinese clone of the Honda Dax ST70. This one’s a 2017 Skyteam Dax 125 that I bought off eBay for about half what the original owner paid for
A number of my friends had told me to GTFO of Texas as fast as I could, but I was on a self-imposed limit of 300 miles a day on this trip because any more than that would be Not Fun. Which meant that Texas was a three-day-state. Oregon was a one-day-state and California was something in the order of five, but Texas would be three.
Okay, let’s get this out of the way early – I did a silly thing today. I’d been wondering about doing it and despite knowing that it probably was’t a good idea, I did it anyway. I visited the Creation Evidence Museum in Glen Rose, Texas and it changed my mind about something quite important.
Depending on which way you go, it’s about 220 miles from Farmington, New Mexico, to Taos. Today was all about visiting the D.H.Lawrence Ranch in Taos and I’d been given special permission to visit on a day when it isn’t generally open to the public. Better than that, the trustees at the University of New Mexico, who now administer the ranch, had granted me permission to film there.
I didn’t get much of a chance to see what Kayenta looked like last night, but as I was pulling out of the motel this morning, it quickly became apparent that it was every bit as depressed as Tuba City, that I’d passed through the previous evening. This whole area is Navajo land and it’s pretty obvious that your chances of living an affluent lifestyle are considerably less if you’re an American Indian.
I got a properly early start this morning. As in, up by 0530 and on the road less than an hour later. I love early starts on road trips because the light’s pretty, the traffic is minimal and you get to see the places you’re going through as they wake up. I had a long way ahead of me, too – and lots to try and fit in on the way. Kingman isn’t particularly pretty, but it *is* on Route 66 and as far as I care, that’s better than pretty.
I fucking love Barstow. I last visited about four years when Julian and I were expecting our daughter. Somewhere in between the evil morning sickness and the so-preggers-everything-aches phases, there were a handful of blissful weeks when we were able to get away for a last hurrah before settling down to a life of nappies, night feeds and never going out.
This was always going to be the day that I was most concerned about. I mean, if it’s not enough to fly half way round the world to buy a forty year old bike sight unseen and ride it 4000 miles across America, I was planning on taking it into Death Valley in search of a ghost town, with the vague intention of finding somewhere to bivi out in the desert for the night.