Who Am I?

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A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

03 May 2012

Packing Up and Heading North

I’m counting the days down now until I leave to back up to Brewster, Washington to do that cherry-drying thing again for the summer. I’m kind of excited, as you can imagine. The chance to be a part of that gang and fly those old Sikorsky helicopters again is great; it’s like a three-month vacation from life. Mikey is already up there, preparing the two ships that his boss owns. I’m sure that as soon as I arrive we’ll take up residence again in the SweetRiver Bakery, sitting in the open backyard/patio that overlooks the lake, drinking lots of local wine and eating too much pizza. And maybe if we drink enough good wine we’ll even sing a little bad karaoke, as if there was any other kind.

But honestly – I hate to admit this – what I’m really looking forward to is jumping on the bike at the end of the season and riding it home. Ironically, I may be looking forward to that more than the summer of flying itself. I miss riding…miss my Sportster. Jacob was/is looking to sell his Honda motorcycle recently and I was half-tempted to buy it just to- a) keep it in the family, so to speak, and b) give me something to ride in the meantime. Hey, I may own a Harley but I’m not prejudiced; I’ll ride anything.

I’ve been dreaming a lot about the route I’ll take home – planning it in my head. The Grand Canyon is high on the hit list. Vegas, not so much. And there are people I want to visit/meet – like a pilot friend/helicopter owner (and frequent blog commenter) Russell in Texas who I’ve been wanting to meet for years now. Well this is the year!

A southerly route is called for this time – don’t want a repeat of last year’s freezing foray through Bighorn National Forest. I shudder very time I think back on that part of the trip up to Brewster. It was so crazy/cold/dangerous/stupid. Just horrible. Instead, I’d like to head down into California to Hal Johnson’s place, and then scoot down the coast (the PCH!) to L.A. and then head west to see Joshua Tree National Park, and the Joshua Tree Inn where musician and fellow Sportster rider* Gram Parsons used to hang out and eventually died. But it just might be too far out of the way, unfortunately. We’ll have to see.
Either way, it promises to be a fun summer. And this time, unlike last time I know what I’m coming back to. I’ll have a job waiting for me. Yes, it’s the same job I’ve already tried to quit once (unsuccessfully). But things are different now – different as in “better.” As long as I don’t crash the motorcycle and break my arm again, everything will be cool.

(*Well, at least he sat on one for a photograph.  In truth, he doesn't look too comfortable on it.)


Mike Morris said...

Sounds like fun Bob. If you make it to the Grand Canyon state let me know. I'll be doing an internship with Papillon. Maybe I can buy you a beer.

Bob Barbanes: said...

Mike, thanks for the invite. I've got a couple of friends at Papillon - so you don't have to twist my arm! But when it comes to beer, I'm buying!

Greybeard said...

Do the Hoover Dam tour.
And EVERYONE should see the Grand Canyon.
Personally, I'd LOVE to ride down the PCH and cross the Bixby bridge...
Remember "Then Came Bronson"?
Take pictures, then share.

Mike Morris said...

Well, I won't argue with free beer Bob.

Everyone should see the Grand Canyon. I've been 5 times and love it every time. I've been to Bixby bridge. A nice piece of engineering.

Bob Barbanes: said...

Turns out that after the gig in Washington is over, I'm probably going to head west to the coastal town of Friday Harbor to visit a helicopter operator/new friend there. Then it'll be down the west coast to at least San Francisco where I *will* hit the Bixby Bridge. Maybe east from there toward the Grand Canyon and the aforementioned beers with Mike Morris and some other friends at Papillon.

And Greybeard, do I remember "Then Came Bronson?" You bet I do! In fact I wrote about it a couple of years ago in this post:


Heh, Then Came Barbanes...get it? Ahh, I kill me.

It's going to be a long trip home. But you knwo what? I deserve it. And I've been looking forward to such a trip for years. Now, if I could only figure out a way to fit Pennsylvania into the schedule, then I'd go see Debby as well!