​Amber Waves
​A Rider's Cross Country Notebook

In the summer of 2002 I completed my second cross country trip on my 2001 ST.  It was a inspiring, memory filled ride.  Amber Waves is the day to day story of that ride.  A record of the places I visited, and the people I met.

I rode the Ozark Mountains, across the Great Plains, through the desert Southwest and the Pacific Coast Highway.  I camped in Yellowstone Park, the Cascades, and Utah.  I saw the natural wonders of Crater Lake, the Utah Canyons, Big Sur, the Colorado Rockies, and Montana.  I visited the Palouse, and its endless miles of green rolling wheat fields.  I spent 4 nights in San Francisco, sightseeing, and visiting friends.  I spent time in Las Vegas in awe of the bright lights, and excitement.

I stopped for lunch to meet a fellow long rider, just because he wanted me to.  I asked a farmer for a tractor ride, because it looked interesting.  The vast majority of people in this country are good, you just have to give them a chance.

The trip covered over 7,800 miles, 90% of it on back roads.  I passed through a thousand towns and met hundreds of people.  This journal is only a sampling of the many experiences I had.   Many faces and towns are lost in a kaleidoscope of images.  Why did some experiences stand out from the others?  I don't know.  How is it I noticed a town won the state football championship in 1991, but I can't tell you a single name of a business there?

I start every trip with a list of objectives.  Places and things I want to see.  Few times am I able to accomplish all of them, but this trip proved to be the exception.  I returned home with a great sense of pride and accomplishment, because on this tour I met them all.  I saw Crater Lake, Glacier, the Redwoods, Yellowstone, Big Sur, and the Utah Canyons.  I also found "hidden treasures",  places few know about.  Locations such as Steptoe Butte, an abandoned Pony Express station, a forgotten tennis court in a small town.  A close examination of the Bixby Bridge.  I love seeing the important things, but small towns and their people have always fascinated me.  I enjoy a chat with friendly local, or sitting in a small cafe and observing.  Watching the people of a small town, going about their lives is like peering in a window.  I get a glimpse of what life is like in this place.
The riding?  I rode many of this country's finest motorcycling roads.  At one time it was a 2000 mile lean-a-thon (Yellowstone to San San Francisco by way of Montana, Washington, and Oregon).  I carved my way through canyons, twisted up 12,000 foot peaks, leaned along the Pacific Coast, and zapped 50 miles of a lonely desert road at 105 mph.  The riding was the best any long rider could ever ask for.

Yes, I had some long days in the saddle.  I was drowned by a thunderstorm in Oklahoma, I froze in the Cascades, and found myself late at night, on a dark and lonely road in Texas.

I met new friends, and reunited with old.

Long tours can be a spiritual experience.  They cleanse my being, and allow me to live my life at its fullest.  This trip was especially gratifying in that regard.  I recall rising very early on a Nebraska morning, just so I could witness the sunrise from my bike.  That sunrise will always be with me.
This trip is special to me.  For 3 weeks I was at my best.  I did things many only dream about.  No one can ever take it from me, and when its over, I will tuck it away and take it with me.

I not only recorded what I saw, and what I did, I also added my personal thoughts and insight.  I hope you don't mind.  Writing down what I think about something helps me to understand it.  

The format for Amber Waves is different then that of previous journals.  Each day is a story in itself.  I hope y'all find the new format to your liking.  Let me know.

I'm glad so many identify with me.  Many of you inspire me to do what I do, and I hope I inspire others to seek what it is they enjoy about riding, or life in general.  I am no one special folks, just a regular guy that likes to ride and explore, just one of hundreds.

I hope y'all enjoy Amber Waves as much as I liked writing about it