I love being in the desert. We once lived in the high desert of Albuquerque, NM, where the humidity was extremely low. But my body has become accustomed to high humidity while living in the Rio Grande Valley of Deep South Texas, and protested the dryness a little in Wickenburg, AZ, where it was drier than a popcorn fart. I set out on the last leg of the trip with cracked lips, dry nose and dry skin - and the humidity was 9%.
I had lots of time to think and reflect as the miles rolled under my wheels. I have often derided the boredom of driving through The Big Empty of West Texas and eastern New Mexico, yet I enjoyed riding through the Mojave Desert. I suppose local riders see nothing to like about the rides through the desert, but would be intrigued by West Texas, seeing the crop circles created by the irrigation systems, the oil pump jacks and the (newish) wind farms. I guess it is what you are used to seeing. I was intrigued by the desert.
There are a lot more riders out here in the west than there are in south Texas. Leaving Wickenburg, I was passed by a rider on a BMW R1200R. I spotted him filling up, and pulled over to talk to him - a man about my age. Funny thing, we kept seeing each other the rest of the day, including while stopped for lunch in Needles, CA.
I traveled to Las Vegas for a military reunion, and I won't bore you with tales of old men. The older we are, the better we were. But, it was so great to see Bill Paquette, my radio operator way back then. I never expected to see Bill again after he was grievously wounded in 1967. It was also great to see Ken Buchert, my commanding officer who taught me what it meant to be a good and honorable officer.
After the reunion, I'll be back on the road and going through a bit of southern Utah.