« Vizio E600i | Main | Copying files off of Garmin Montana 600 »

September 22, 2017

Tioga Pass

The truth is that, yesterday, I read that they had closed Tioga Pass. And, I was shocked. Like...I knew that that was a sign. See, I remember my last project in San Francisco, and after I'd been on the project for about a year, I told them that I'd leave when they opened Tioga Pass. And, I did. As soon as they opened Tioga Pass in the Spring, I left. I hopped on my motorcycle and road home from San Francisco across Tioga Pass. Like...it was pretty crazy, as we were riding between these enormous walls of snow. And, I took some shots. And put them into a little slideshow.

But, obviously, this doesn't make any sense, right? Like...you can't say, "I'm leaving the project as soon as Tioga Pass opens." That's not something that a rational person would say. It just isn't.

So, obviously there are some issues here. Like...after a year on a project, I'm usually so burnt out that I just want to die.

And, that's where I am today, make no mistake. Like...my biggest concern, after commuting to CA for 14 months, is that they won't let me leave the project. My contract has already been extended through December.

My KTM motorcycle is at LAX in short-term parking. It has been there for some time (August 31 - 9/22/2017), so, about three weeks or so.

Like...we were at LAX, and then, they told us we were going to Oakland. So, I flew to Oakland and left my bike at the airport (LAX) in short term parking. And, I'm getting around Oakland OK without a bike, mainly on BART, and on foot. But, after 2 weeks, I'm like...'When are we going back to southern Cal?' and they're like "We're not."

So then, I'm thinking....Christ. Now, I've got to fly to LAX and get my bike and ride it up to Oakland. It's not all that far. 375 miles if you take I-5.

It would be nice to take a slow ride of the pacific coast highway, but the Pfieffer Canyon bridge is out, and the \the Mud Creek Slide area is still closed, so you still can't go up the pacific coast highway to Big Sur (like I did last summer, and a few times before).

Like, as silly as it sounds, I've been bouncing back and forth between CA and CO at, at least for this summer, I've had a motorcycle at DEN and a motorcycle in LAX or ONT pretty much non-stop. So, I've always got a bike in short term parking at an airport somewhere. And then, when I go to Oakland, I have 2 bikes at 2 airports in 2 different timezones. Not that any of this makes sense. It doesn't. But this is where we are. This is my life.

Now, I was supposed to be in Oakland for the last 3 weeks but really, I was remote one week (in CO), then in Oakland 1 week, and then I was remote again this week (in CO.)

So, I've been planning on getting back down to LAX and retrieving my bike from short-term parking.

And, I'm at home in bed, and they announce that Tioga Pass has closed for the season. And, I'm just blown away. Like...I'm dumbfounded. I'm in a state of shock. Like....clearly....something has happened. Something is lost. Something has been missed. An opportunity has been missed.

Like...I can't tell you how many times I've crossed the Nevada desert on my collection of motorcycles and always it's been the same route. Always, I've taken the route that goes
I-70 west to US Highway 50 to Ely, Nevada and then US Highway 6 west to Tonopah, Nevada, to Lee Vining, then up over Tioga Pass and down across the central valley and on into SF.

Like, I love this ride. It's a beautiful ride, and I've run into other bikers on the road and they say the same thing. Like...forget I-70 and I-80. This ride across the desert is beautiful. Serene. Calming.

But now, I hear that Tioga Pass is closed, and I'm shocked. Not that it should matter really, but it just hit me out of left field. Like...fuck....Tioga Pass is closed. Like...I've missed my chance to get out. Like... God up above has slammed the door shut on my little adventure, and now I'm trapped and won't be free to travel.

See, I've been planning on making this little motorcycle trip down to Tierra Del Fuego. And, I've been telling everyone I could find that, when this project is over, I'm riding down to Tierra Del Fuego. Now, it's not like this is hard, it isn't. The thing that's hard is getting time off for the trip. And, the more I watched the news, the less likely it seemed that I'd be able to make my trip. That I'd be able to get away at the end of December. Because, there's a timing issue. It will take 2 months to get from Denver to Tierra Del Fuego. And, the seasons are reversed down there, so the warmest month of summer in TIerra Del Fuego will be in January. So, that's when I need to be there. Which means I need to Nov 1- Dec 1. Some time in there.

But, it's looking like I'll have to stay on this project through December, and maybe longer.

And so, I'm thinking that I'll ride the KTM from LA to Oakland, and how nice it would be to get my bike back up in the bay area. And, maybe I'll have to push my trip to Tierra Del Fuego out a year.

And then, today, I'm on this teleconference, and they tell me that they're letting me go. They're releasing me from the project.

Out of left field. they tell me that I'm done. That the project is over for me. And, that it's been fun, and it's been real, but it hasn't been real fun.

And, suddenly I think about Tioga Pass. They just announced yesterday that Tioga Pass was closed. And, to the average person, they won't attach any significance to this. But I do. I see it as an omen. It felt weird when I learned it was closed, and now I find myself attaching a significance to this event, right or wrong. LIke...Holy SHit....that's what they meant when they said it was closed.

And, suddenly, it's time to go on the trip. And, this is why I tell everyone I'm going because, talk is cheap. Free even. And I've been painting myself into this corner very deliberately. Intentionally. So that, I don't have a chance to back out. So that there is no wiggle room.

Because, obviously, no sane person would take this trip. That's a given. My guess is not one person in 100,000 would undertake a trip like this. And, believe you me I'm going.

I'm all in.

Now, only it is a matter of time. When do I leave? When do I get back? How fast do I go? How many nites spend on the road?

What will it be like if I miss Thanksgiving? Christmas? My daughter's birthday?

I rode down the hill today, took some cash out of the bank, and then went by my old employer to see how things were going.

Like, I couldn't even really remember how to get there. But slowly, it sort of came back to me and I drove straight to it.

I walked inside, and everyone there really loved me. LIke, they all huddled around and begged me to tell them stories. But what is there to tell? I commute to California. I wake up and don't know where I am. I've had a motorcycle in short-term parking at LAX for 3 weeks. I went to Mexico twice this year. The cops in Cancun robbed me of $2,000 pesos.

Now, I find myself in the middle of a home.

I stayed and talked for a little bit, and then I rode back home. The traffic is getting so bad in Denver and now it's almost as bad as Los Angeles.

Posted by Rob Kiser on September 22, 2017 at 4:39 PM


Ah, the joyous life of the Self Fulfilled Prophecy. :)

Posted by: sl on September 23, 2017 at 9:31 AM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)