Beat Up Maverick California Bound

West Coast Bicycle Trip
May 19, 1980

Well, here I am, sitting on John F. Kennedy University lawn,
waiting for classes to start, Modern Philosophy to begin with. The
trip from Michigan was good. After Jane contacted me (when she saw my
name on the ride board back at school) we made arrangements for my
ride out to California. She was on her way to the coast to visit
friends, and my contribution for gas made it easier for her. She also
liked the idea of having someone to travel with. Driving to California
was a big deal for her, and a single girl traveling alone did present
some legitimate concerns.

Jane may have been a crack shot on CMU’s women’s basketball team, but
her preparation skills for the drive to California were lacking.
We left Mt. Pleasant in a rusted out ’72 Maverick. I had my doubts
about whether or not we would get to California, especially after the
problems with the rear end differential started. By the time we
reached Modesto, where I said goodbye to Jane, the clunk, clunk was so
noticeable that I gave her a 1 in 5 chance of making it to San
Francisco, but I didn’t tell her that.

The highpoint of our trip to California was our twenty-four hour stay
in Park City, Utah. Jane stopped to see her ski bum friends. The boys,
Dan, Robin, and Kevin, lived to ski. What do a bunch of jocks do when
they haven’t seen each other for a long time? Play basketball! So we
all went down to the Salt Lake City Sport Coliseum to shoot some
hoops, something I loved to do anyway. Unfortunately, I was out of
shape. I was playing with superbly conditioned athletes. I was so out
of breath from running up and down the court that I had nothing left
to play the game. That was an eye opener for me. One should never take
lightly his or her personal race with Father Time.

The other highlight of the trip was when we stopped in Paxton,
Nebraska. I had been driving for a long time, so when I saw this small
town saloon, I pulled over. The owner of the place was a big game
hunter. He had his game trophies hanging all over the place. Actually,
the place was more like a museum than a bar. I was not into killing
animals for sport, but that place was impressive. Under each trophy
was a written description of the kill. Admiring the memorabilia, it
was impossible not to feel the intensity of the hunt. The guy who did
all the hunting was the same old guy who handed me my beer. He was a
proud old man. All he had left now, though, were his memories and the
bar. I was lucky enough to buy him a beer before Jane and I headed out.

We ran into snow in Wyoming and more in Utah, but once we reached the
salt flats, the weather warmed. It was nice after that, and when we
arrived in Modesto, we stayed with more of Jane’s friends. In the
morning, Todd gave me a twenty-minute ride up to Stockton and that’s
where I started to bicycle north.


About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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3 Responses to Beat Up Maverick California Bound

  1. Great looking car and bar. Did you ever find out if she made it?

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      If I remember correctly, Jane graduated that year. Anyway, no, I never saw her again. We had fun driving out to California together, though. Thanks for the comment.

  2. eof737 says:

    Love those pictures too… 😉

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