one could imagine. Victorville was a balmy 102 degrees as
I rode its surface streets and marveled at the length of time
the traffic lights took before they turned green. Twentynine
Palms was only a few degrees higher, but Parker, Arizona,
was hitting about 106 when I cruised through. Yuma was
110, and Tucson was 115; I began to roast! Anything metal
that I touched was hot enough to fry an egg. My motel
requirements those nights were simple. The AC had to
work, and work well. Also, the ice machine had to be in
I brought my passport because I wanted to arrive in
Antelope Wells from Mexico to meet Tom, so I crossed the
Mexican border at Douglas, Arizona, and worked my way
through Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico, to Mexico’s Highway
2, which roughly parallels the U.S. border and heads east
through country that Geronimo used to frequent. About
90 miles east (after crossing the Continental Divide for the
first time), I turned north on a dirt road that led to the U.S.
border at El Berrendo, Mexico, and met Tom in Antelope
Tom rode from Colorado bathed in cool breezes (I
imagined) and was smiling on the other side of the border
fence when I crossed back into the U.S. This was after an
interesting little 100-mile side trip through northern Mexico
and a rather thorough search by the Mexican border
officials. We joined forces and headed north.
We’d heard plenty of warnings about the mud that could
swallow an unsuspecting KLR without so much as a burp,
Tom had said that if we started at the Mexican border
near the first of July and head north, the likelihood of parts
of our route being blocked by snow would be nil. He also
said that we would be well into the wildflower season
and the flowers would be more profuse as we continued
north. He was right on both counts. The wildflowers were
beyond belief! Not just a couple here and there, but miles
and miles of them. And as we moved north, we saw more
varieties than I would have guessed existed. We took as
many photos of them as we could but couldn’t capture
their grandeur in its entirety.
We also were surprised how far and few between the
houses and towns were. It was as if we were traveling
through the various areas before civilization moved in.
Wyoming and Montana, in particular, had such vast
expanses of grassy valleys and distant mountains, we
couldn’t help but imagine what it must have been like a
couple of hundred years ago when buffalo herds roamed
these areas. Though the buffalo are gone, we did spot
coyotes, foxes, deer and their fawns, elk, moose and
calves, yaks (at least that was our best guess), antelope,
wild horses, vultures, osprey, golden eagles and more.
Ross and Tom spotted a bear, and I was a little upset that
I missed him—though if one had visited me while I was in
my tent, I would have been even more upset.
We came upon numerous ghost towns, abandoned log
They say that after the apocalypse there will be nothing but
cockroaches and KLRs left.
An old WER steering damper was
grafted onto the KLR. Whatever works!
There are a number of fork braces on
the market for the Kawasaki. Again, this
one came out of Sutton’s garage.