Weekend in Tahoe

I rode the motorcycle up to Tahoe on Friday with Sara behind me and a whole bunch of camping stuff attached. We met her dad, Ted at Nevada beach, where I had a campsite that was reserved almost six months ago.

Originally, I wanted to go by myself on this trip as a way to start thinking about my fathers death 11 months ago. I haven’t read his obituary yet and wanted to read it while doing something that he loves. He always took me camping, so I figured this would be good. However, I realized that this campsite would be full of people and not a good place to process and ended up inviting others to join. A bunch of people were planning on coming, but everyone ended up cancelling except Sara and her dad. Now I’m going to plan a personal trip somewhere remote where I can follow the original plan.

It was light camping – sort of an intro to camping for the summer, as I didn’t camp last summer. We ate out every night and only cooked one meal – breakfast on Saturday morning. It was really great and fun. Now I’m ready for some reclusive camping where everything must be brought along.

This morning, we woke at around 5:45 with the sun, had breakfast and headed back home. Sara rode with her dad and I rode alone. It’s nice to ride by myself because it doesn’t feel as crowded. Additionally, I always think about how dangerous riding a motorcycle is. It’s bad enough that I do it, but even worse when I’m responsible for someone else. Every time I get on the motorcycle, I’m aware of how close to death or other bad situations I am. It’s strangely much more comfortable to be alone on the bike over sharing the experience since it’s just me who’s at risk. I’d honestly just rather not have to travel like that at all. But as a creature of matter, I have to travel at the speed of meat – in airplanes, in cars, on motorcycles, bicycles, and by walking.

When I think about being scared of flying, I think about how ridiculous it is that I’ll sometimes take xanax to calm myself but will ride a motorcycle with all the crazy-ass drivers on the road. I guess it’s a control thing-as in I feel like it’s better if I am in control. I know planes are way safer than being on the road without a seatbelt or surrounded by a metal exoskeleton.

I also think about things like this: David Bowie was afraid of flying. He didn’t like the feeling of acceleration followed with rising up in the air. He said it was like wiley coyote going fast and off the edge of a cliff in the road runner cartoons. Most of his trips that I’ve read about involved trains or boats. When he was filming the Man Who Fell to Earth, he took a train from LA to Albuquerque. When moving from LA to France after recording Station to Station (prior to his Berlin trilogy), he took a boat. Yet, after all that fear, which resulted in him wasting precious moments of experiencing time with people or life in general, he ended up dying of liver cancer. Maybe he liked the long hours sitting on Amtrak or swimming in a cruise ship pool. But maybe he could have had more time doing something else if he’d taken the 1 hour flight over the two day train ride or the ten hour flight over the three week boat ride.

Ok, I’ve gone off on a tangent. Today was cool because we woke early, I rode home alone and made it home from Tahoe (180 miles) in about 3.5 hours. I was home by 11:40. I showered, then napped for an hour, then met my friend Rob at the Tribune bar (in the building of the Oakland Tribune). We watched the Warriors basketball game. Afterwards, I came home and watched Game of Thrones while drinking wine in the dark.

I love when days are this varied – when you squeeze 3 days into one.

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