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November 8th, 2009 - Windmills of my mind

First, I would like to thank Cynthia Qusipe, Matthew Hanscom and Debbie Medina for their generous donations.

Bakersfield to Barstow on Hwy 58 is only 130 miles, but it was the worst 130 miles of my journey so far. Wind blew at a vicious velocity bringing clouds of dust that made the highway invisible at times. My mouth filled up with sand, and my goggles didn’t seem to be effective in protecting my eyes. I stopped after every dust storm and cried a river to get the sand out of my eyes.

Stretching from the Colorado River on the Nevada border to the highly populated Riverside, San Bernardino County is a barren piece of land at best. Boasting to be the largest county in the lower 48, the northern part is also one of the poorest I have visited so far.

My presentation was scheduled to be on the 9th of November at the Barstow library, but to my surprise, the newspaper article claimed it to be on the 6th. Nevertheless, the library staff were super and helped with everything I asked for and I enjoyed chatting with them for hours. They provided services with what little they have in a town of about 30,000 and did a great job of it. To accentuate how poor this town was, I had found Wi-Fi in Chicken, AK with a population of only 27, but Wi-Fi was non- existent in Barstow library.

In Barstow I stayed with Eva Cox, the daughter of Tom Cox of Poet Motorcycles (one of my sponsors), and had a great time. We celebrated her roommate’s birthday that evening, and I awoke the next day with a head the size of a basketball. I guess I’ve lost my edge on the whole drinking thing – dang, I used to be good at it!

I was praying for low winds on the way back to Bakersfield, and for most of the way it was fine; but as I approached the windmills outside of Mojave, the winds got stronger by the second. An electronic sign read “High winds – Campers and RVs not advised”. I have been through some strong winds in my lifetime, but none compared to what I went through in that 20 mile stretch. The wind pushed and shoved my 1000lb bike to the other lane with no effort, and all I could do was either a) hang on for dear life or b) pull over to set my balls back into place.

Well, I’m back in Bakersfield for Spanish lessons now. My plan was to attend a language school once I entered Mexico, but I decided instead to get a jump start here in States. I will get back on the road shortly and will head for Arizona. Stay tuned…

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