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I have been meaning to write about my recent trip for a week, but life has gotten in the way. For those of you who don't know, I am a recovering alcoholic. My wife passed away late last year and I fell off the wagon, hard. I have gotten myself back into recovery and am clean and sober 33 days now. I have spent a lot of time immersing myself in AA since getting back from my trip, so I am just now getting to this.

I took off on Thursday, June 13th from Seattle and headed down to Santa Monica, CA in a 2000 Silverado. My brother from another mother, Darryl Carriere, is an amazing harmonica player in a blues band called the Celso Salim Band. Darryl's wife, Eve, is Trina's cousin. The band won the southern California region of the national blues competition, then went to Memphis and won the whole shebang. Darryl won the best harmonica player award. They played a great gig on Venice beach and it was a privilege to see them. This band is definitely going places!!! While I was there a picked up bike #1 from Darryl, a 2003 Honda XL650. It's like new with 3000 miles and has always been garaged. I got it for $3200. He was selling it because the band was ready to record a new album and he needed money for the recording studio. I wanted a dual purpose for exploring the logging roads and trails around my new place, so win-win.

The next day I headed for Denver to see my old friend Kevin. I have known Kevin since junior high when I moved to a new school. He was the first kid to come up and introduce himself to me. Heading up to Vegas, my GPS tells me there is a wreck ahead. The highway was packed and everyone was trying to do 80-85mph. This was Sunday morning with travelers heading back north after their weekend in SoCal. I backed off a bit and, sure enough, we found the wreck. I started braking early and peeled off into the desert sand as the drivers in front of me all decided it was time for a game of dominoes. Bap bap bap bap bap bap bap. I'm not sure how many fender benders there were. I got back on the road and about 5 minutes later realized the XL had fallen over and was resting on the side of the bed. Oops. I got it secured better, got past the mess and had smooth sailing all the way to Vegas.

Vegas was a mess. The interstate was completely shut down and it took my an hour to get through the old Fremont area and get back on course. More construction in St. George. This would become a pattern throughout my trip, something I hadn't planned on. Road construction everywhere. The economy is doing well in America which must mean lots of tax dollars available to fix our interstates.

Utah brough the most beautiful electric storm I have ever seen!!!! The lightning was crazy and lit up the hillsides in this beautiful orangy-purple color that was just amazing!!! I wish I had pulled off and made a video, but everyone was getting the hell out of Dodge so I followed suit. I made it to western Colorado from Los Angeles that day, a long drive for sure.

The next day I made it to Denver by about 1pm. Kevin took me out for lunch and then we went and did some hiking around the Red Rocks amphitheater. I now have a concert at that place on my bucket list, I have never seen anything like it!!! After that we went up to Falcon Mountain, which overlooks the whole area. I will be dedicating a future trip to Utah and Colorado for sure!!!

l left after dinner and made it to Burlington, CO that night. That place was a serious armpit. I wanted to get a lock for the bike and found the WalMart. Talk about irony. I couldn't decide if I was more afraid of getting the bike stolen or getting out of the truck. I didn't waste any time, that's for sure.

The next day I drove through Kansas. The excitement of this leg of the trip was the occasional bridge over the interstate. And I decided the Wizard of Oz is a total hoax. I didn't see a single scarecrow, tin man, lion, flying monkey or pretty girl with a yappy little dog. There was a wicked witch though. She put a curse on my cell phone and it took a dump smack dab in the middle of the state. Good thing I brought a spare with me. I rolled into Joplin, Missouri around dinnertime and got some Arby's and went to bed at 7pm, super tired. I had driven 840 miles that day, which was, ironically, the exact same mileage I had put on from LA to Colorado.

The next day was super exciting and I was really looking forward to it. I finally got to meet Sam (Porky)!!! He drove out to meet me and took me to breakfast in his little home town of Carthage. He wasn't feeling great but you would never know it. We had a great time talking and getting to know each other in person, talking about my trip, etc. I have been working out and eating right, but there was no way in hell I was going out to breakfast in Missouri without trying the biscuits and gravy. I may regret it for life, because after having them there, they will never be the same back home. I still get a little chubbed up just thinking about it. After breakfast I followed Sam back to his place and we loaded up my second bike, a 2016 Suzuki V Strom 650ABS that I bought from him. When Sam advertises a bike as "pristine" he isn't kidding. Showroom condition, purred like a kitten. I met his son and his wife and I can't say enough about them. If you ever have a chance to meet this man, do it. He's a great guy and a class act. And he didn't give me a red cent to say these things about him ;)

After a brief visit at their home I set off for home. Up through Missouri, Iowa, and into Rapid City, South Dakota. Evidently the tax dollars I talked about earlier haven't been funneled into Iowa yet because some of the roads there are more warped than our socialist society. Rolling into Rapid City at 1am, I found myself in an electric storm that was even greater than the one in Utah. This one wasn't exciting though, it was downright scary. It reminded me of some scene from an old WWII movie, the sky lit up white everywhere, as if bombs were exploding, nonstop. I honestly thought I was driving into a tornado. I was so tired and all I wanted was a room to sleep in. Dumping rain. I finally found one at the 3rd hotel I tried. I slept hard that night.

The next morning while gassing up I discovered that someone green with envy decided the tank of my new V Strom was too plain and needed to put some scratches on it. A#$hole.

That night I rolled into Missoula, MT. I was finally able to get ahold of my sponsor, as his number was in the phone that had died. He chastised me for not going to any meetings on my trip. I found one, but I would have had to wait an hour, and I fell asleep. I'll go in the morning, I said to myself. Well, morning came, and all I could think about was going home to Halle (my German shepherd). As I was heading for I-90 a little voice in my head said, "You're going to gain an hour on this leg of the trip, and the AA meeting is an hour long." F#$K. Okay. I went to the meeting in the basement of a church and it was amazing!!! Something like 35 people gathered together, they were cheerful and happy and I felt privileged to witness it. I heard some things I needed to hear and it put me in a great frame of mind for the end of my journey. I rolled into home around dinnertime. 5,465 miles in 9 days.

Today I finally got the new V Strom out on the road. What a great ride!!! It's smooth as silk and shifts like butter. Nimble and easy to ride. I am going to put some serious miles on this baby. At first I was a little disappointed that the instrument panel has all kinds of neat stuff on it, including a great tach and a gas gauge, but it doesn't have a clock. After an hour in the saddle I realized that is designed to lose track of time :)
 

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It is so easy to reach for the bottle, jug, or barrel and so darn hard to stop. Congratulations Scott for stopping once again. Hopefully you can stay put this time. It's not like you didn't have a reason but really there are no good reasons. It's a daily fight just like smoking and I good light up just talking about it. Good luck Scott. I wish I could have met you Scott but it sounds like you had way too many stops as it was. And yes, Sam is a great guy. Wife and I had a nice afternoon visit with him last year. Sure glad everything went well. And we do know biscuits and gravy back here.
 

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Congrats Fisk! Glad to hear you are back on track!
Great post, sounds like a fantastic trip.
 

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Good to hear from you Scott. Glad you are back on the wagon and enjoying life. I'm still waiting for the pic of the first fish out of your lake.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It is so easy to reach for the bottle, jug, or barrel and so darn hard to stop. Congratulations Scott for stopping once again. Hopefully you can stay put this time. It's not like you didn't have a reason but really there are no good reasons. It's a daily fight just like smoking and I good light up just talking about it. Good luck Scott. I wish I could have met you Scott but it sounds like you had way too many stops as it was. And yes, Sam is a great guy. Wife and I had a nice afternoon visit with him last year. Sure glad everything went well. And we do know biscuits and gravy back here.
Thanks Larry. There are no good reasons. Justification was what got me there. I justified slipping away from the program because Trina was ill and I didn't want to take time away from her. Now I am picking up the pieces and putting my life back together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good to hear from you Scott. Glad you are back on the wagon and enjoying life. I'm still waiting for the pic of the first fish out of your lake.
Thanks Critter. I have only fished the lake once. I know there are fish in there, and it is now covered in lily pads, so I'm guessing there are great bass in it. I just haven't given it priority. It's coming though for sure!!!
 

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Thanks for the mention Steve!!!:grin:

I fixed the year of the DL650 to 2016.:smile_big:

We have been Forum friends for a long time and enjoy Facebook together and let me say, he is a wonderful person, a force of nature, solid muscle, good looking :kiss: extroverted and the kind of person almost anyone, myself included should aspire to.:smile_big:

Watching what he went through with Trina, his wife and how he was this absolutely rock solid force in her life, when she needed it most, was awe inspiring. GOD gave him supernatural strength to impart to her to make things bearable for her. I definitely look up to him and I'm proud to know him:wink2:

**** I wasn't feeling good at all when we were briefly together because I had just got out of the Hospitals ER, where a Cat scan revealed a big Kidney stone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am having it removed 7-10-19:surprise:

Steve, originally, you were going to fly in and I was going to pick you up so you could enjoy a riding vacation on your way back home but I'm glad that between our discussions, that you changed your mind and took your pickup:surprise: Just imagine that weather and you being on a bike instead of air conditioned comfort!

Enjoy life my Friend and may GOD bless, guide and keep you forever!:angel:

Sam:nerd:
 

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Well crud. Did I forget already and call you something wrong. Scott or Steve ??? I know I've said Scott in the past. Have I been wrong all along? Sam has been face to face so is it Steve? If so, please excuse me.:sad:
 

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Scott is his middle name. He uses it as his first name sometimes:grin:

Sam:nerd:
 

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Thanks for the mention Steve!!!:grin:

I fixed the year of the DL650 to 2016.:smile_big:

We have been Forum friends for a long time and enjoy Facebook together and let me say, he is a wonderful person, a force of nature, solid muscle, good looking :kiss: extroverted and the kind of person almost anyone, myself included should aspire to.:smile_big:

Watching what he went through with Trina, his wife and how he was this absolutely rock solid force in her life, when she needed it most, was awe inspiring. GOD gave him supernatural strength to impart to her to make things bearable for her. I definitely look up to him and I'm proud to know him:wink2:

**** I wasn't feeling good at all when we were briefly together because I had just got out of the Hospitals ER, where a Cat scan revealed a big Kidney stone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am having it removed 7-10-19:surprise:

Steve, originally, you were going to fly in and I was going to pick you up so you could enjoy a riding vacation on your way back home but I'm glad that between our discussions, that you changed your mind and took your pickup:surprise: Just imagine that weather and you being on a bike instead of air conditioned comfort!

Enjoy life my Friend and may GOD bless, guide and keep you forever!:angel:

Sam:nerd:
Thanks Sam, it was an absolute pleasure. I'll send you a check for all the kind words ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It's Steven Scott. I go by Scott. My email address is Steven, and it confused Sam a little bit. Sometimes he calls me Scott, sometimes Steve. I haven't tried to correct him because I figured at his age, he won't remember anyway ;)

Whatever you call me is okay, as long as it's not late for dinner. Biscuits and gravy? Yes please!!!
 

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**** I wasn't feeling good at all when we were briefly together because I had just got out of the Hospitals ER, where a Cat scan revealed a big Kidney stone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am having it removed 7-10-19:surprise:
Having just spent a night in the ER passing a kidney stone, I can sympathize with not feeling good, I thought the thing was going to kill me. Apparently mine was small enough that I got the pleasure of feeling everything where it damaged some of the kidney and the entire ride down and out. Good luck with it!
 

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I'm glad it's over for you and you are okay. The pain is unbelievable as you know.
Sam:nerd:
 

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Mine played out fairly quick and violent. I am quite amazed that you are even able to move around. It took two large doses of morphine before I got any pain relief and those have to be two hours apart. The second round must have been when it passed. After that there was no pain at all. It certainly kicked my butt, it will be several days before I do much but sleep. I definitely know what weak as a new born kitten means, and I won't be riding for several days.
 

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It's Steven Scott. I go by Scott. My email address is Steven, and it confused Sam a little bit. Sometimes he calls me Scott, sometimes Steve. I haven't tried to correct him because I figured at his age, he won't remember anyway ;)

Whatever you call me is okay, as long as it's not late for dinner. Biscuits and gravy? Yes please!!!
Scott it is !!! Thanks for clarifying. Don't kid yourself, Sam does remember. That stone has him nearly overwhelmed. I've watched helplessly as my wife has gone through it, not once but twice now. Not a darn thing I can do to help. I hate feeling powerless like that when it comes to protecting her. I feel like such a failure. I've been told it's the closest men will get to knowing what childbirth is like. I have no idea if that is accurate or not.
 
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Thanks for a good read with the story of your trip and I’m glad your back on track and headed in a good direction.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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