My son Jordan (22 yrs old) has been asking me to get rid of my “old man bike” and get something I could do adventure rides on with him. When Judy started agreeing with him, I felt like it was the right time to do something about it. So the research began. The Internet is wonderful for this. After a few weeks it narrowed down to a Suzuki V-Strom 1000. Its big enough that Judy can still ride with me, but a good two hundred pounds lighter than my last Honda cruiser, (sold about a month ago) making it very usable on dirt and fire roads. The price was a bit higher than my Honda sold for, so I started selling off excess inventory. (Rednecks keep excess vehicular inventory parked on blocks all around the house, just for situations like this) Sold 95 Jeep with bad transmission, sold 70 VW bug restoration project, sold 98 Honda Shadow daily driver, 00 Ply Neon, daily driver before we got the Ford Focus.
After several weeks of looking, found a 2007 Vstrom in Napa, CA, (that’s north east of San Francisco). Asked a friend, Dave, to go a look at it for me. (Good friend, that Dave) He thought it looked like a good deal. At 7 AM on Saturday I checked the US Airways web site for seat availability Tucson to Sacramento, it was all clear. (Every parent should have a kid who works for the airlines) At 8 AM on Saturday I called the seller, (Dan) and told him I wanted the bike and I’ll fly into Sacramento, CA at 3:50 PM that afternoon. Dan, (what a good guy) said he’d meet me at the airport and asked if I wanted the new tires installed before I picked up the bike. I said yes, of course. (Did I say Dan was a good man?) We left the house at 9 AM and Judy drove me to the Tucson airport. (I have a great wife) The flights went well and I got there right on time. Dan, true to his word was there waiting with his lovely wife. After a 45 minute walk and talk around the bike the business was done.
I took off heading east to see my nephew, Greg, in Orange Vale. Then it was down to “Good friend Dave’s” house, in Brentwood, just west of Stockton. He and his lovely wife Linda, put up with me for the night and even let me go to church with them the next day. (Good people they are!) Dave asked his adult bible fellowship leader if he would mind introducing me to the class. Not only did the guy introduce me, he did a five minute interview of me! He knew what questions to ask in front of a group like this. I was flabbergasted! (Its a good thing) After class Dave (Did I say Dave was a good man?) introduced me to the church administrator, who, upon learning that Judy and I have plans on going to Chad central Africa, said we needed to go and speak with the missions pastor! After the intro the church missions pastor and his up and coming replacement took great interest in our going to Chad. It turns out that this church has as its main mission focus, the country of Chad! They have an interest in all God believers and Jesus followers who want to go work in Chad. They said they would not support us in our stateside assignment, but to get back to them when we leave for Chad. I was blown away! (In a good way) This was the BEST support raising moment in the last nine months of trying to raise support. GOD IS GOOD! This was the “Chadian” part of the adventure. After church I went to lunch with Dave & Linda and two more Wycliffe folks, Vern and Lois, joined us. I was jazzed, in my own subdued way.
After lunch I headed on to Livermore and Los Altos to visit some friends and supporters. Neither were home. (Somehow all the phone numbers I had with me were bad. But I had mapped out address’). I left notes on doors and kept on going. I meandered thru some Sequoia forest….. it was ….. very good! I ended up in Santa Cruse for the night. Had to motel it. I did have a friend, Alan, staying at a motel down in Carmel, but that was just a bit too far out of the way. The next morning was cold (55) and foggy. I was able to test the heated hand grips and found they work well. I headed east towards Fresno. The weather cleared quickly once I crested the coastal mountains and the temps started to raise. Somewhere on the valley floor heading east I stopped at a hardware store and picked up some black electrical tape to make a sun visor for the top third of my helmet visor. It worked good. A Kawasaki Ninja pulled up next to me and we started talking. I was very impressed that my new ride has 98 HP. It’s the quickest thing I’ve ever ridden. Mr. Ninja told me his new bike has 200 HP stock and he had already gotten it up to 180 MPH. Suddenly I felt normal again, its just another motorcycle I have, nothing special. Somehow there is comfort in that. I made it to some good friends who live just north east of Fresno, in Clovis. They graciously invited me to spend the night. They, (Dwight and Mary) are old Bible School friends. It was wonderful catching up. They are great people!
The next morning I was off south again, heading towards Lancaster. It was HOT! 104 and humid. I stopped at a local motorcycle shop and picked up a cooling vest. Its one that you soak in water, put it on wet and as the air flows thru it, the evaporation cools the air. It made the ride 110% nicer. In Bakersfield I headed east again towards Mojave. In Mojave I was suppose to turn right, or south, but I missed it and went on east another 20 miles to North Edwards. I knew I was suppose to be at West Edwards, so after checking the map, which you can only do when stopped, I saw I had missed the turn. So mid afternoon I was at my friends (Dan and Diane) home in Lancaster. But, sadly, they were not. So I left a note and went on my way. I made it to Canyon Lake by about 9 PM and those friends (Bruce and Joann) were home. So after a short boat ride on the lake and lots of talking we got to bed and the ripe hour of mid-night. I went to work with Bruce the next morning, (It was take your friend to work day) Cool! Bruce does cool stuff. Mid afternoon I headed on south to Judys parents home. The absolute best parent-in-laws on the earth! They probably won’t even read this, (no computer right now) But they’re still the best! After a restful afternoon and evening and humongous dinner we retired. I got up at 3 AM to leave and beat the heat. But my body was in total disagreement. So at 6 AM I got up and actually left. It was a great ride home to Tucson, AZ
thanks to one and all for making this a great adventure!