• 10 Oct 2008

    If testing personal resolve were an Olympic event, yesterday I was Michael Phelps. 

    It started simply enough.  They were predicting high winds, so I set out of Needles by 7:00 am to ensure that I would be off the road before 11:00.  See, where I come from, wind is a pretty logical and predictable friend.  It works like this.  The sun comes up.  It heats the land.  Between 1:00 and 2:00, the cool air moves from over the water and onto the land.  Viola.  Sailors and windsurfers can practically set their clocks by the wind.

    Apparently it does not work this way everywhere.  No, out in these parts they have (visual cue - I am using modified jazz hands here) new-fangled wind rules.  At exactly 9:50 am, a strong southwest wind began to blow.  Now, whatever Irishman wrote that ‘wind at your back’ stuff, never rode a scooter.  While they are fairly controllable in a head wind, a gust from any other angle and it morphs from a scooter into a sail.  I made it to Williams feeling a little closer to God.

    Checking the conditions for the next day, I learned that there would be more of the same.  If I was to make it out in the morning, I would need to be on the road even earlier with the added benefit of riding in 41 degree weather.   Wanting to save time in the morning, I went to gas up and check my tires.  Returning back, the winds were a good 30 mph and I, wisely I thought, went to set my manual parking brake.  Upon engagement, the brake handle came off in my hand.  Seriously.  Four years of engineering school and a career as a product designer, and I could not get that brake to release.

    What happened next is the subject of the following post.  For the purposes of this one we will fast forward 4 hours.  I am back in my room with some of the best interviews to date on my recorder.  It is late, but I was so excited to write that I fired up the laptop and started in.

    But it was not to be.  Vista and my security software decided they were no longer compatible.  A break up, if you will.  Again, over 25 years in the PC industry and I am useless.  See a theme? 

    Enter Derrick Kikuchi.  In keeping with our Olympic metaphor, Derrick is the Jesse Owens of friends.  There is not a single significant event of my adult life that has not felt his love and impact.  Three hours on the phone debugging and managing a woman-on-the-verge, Derrick had identified the problem and fixed it from 800 miles away.  Words fail.

    So this was my day.  Facing a precipice and finding miracles.  Oh my.

    Posted by jm-admin @ 10:15 pm

7 Responses

  • Linda Says:

    I love you Julie. Having done all the prep-work you could, this is serious living in the moment and trusting. Your themes are powerful and make reading a joy. I’m right there with you. Can’t wait for the next post!

  • Dianne McSister Says:

    Sand storms be damned!! There is a reason for all things and maybe you just need a little break. Take advantage, rest and hope for a better day tomorrow!!

    Thank God for that 4 years of Engineering school cuz as a language arts teacher, I would have just sat down and cried when the brake came off in my hand - and I figure I am awesome that I can post a comment on this blog, let alone keep all the technology going to create it in the first place. Add to all this that you write better than most English teachers and I am totally in awe! Michealangelo could learn a thing or two from this renaissance woman!! You go girl and I think national recognition should come next!!

  • Katie McDaughter Says:

    Ahhh you just called me and you sound so bored! I’m sorry that you’re stuck out in, as Shayne called it, “the middle of nowhere”. Just rest up for tomorrow!! :)

    Now, on a different note, you will be THRILLED to know that I am doing my pumpkin carving next weekend (and you don’t have to be a part of it, excited?). Hahaha were heading out to some big ole pumpkin patch, we’re excited.

    Love from all angles!

  • Marisa McBestFriendAlreadyMissingYou Says:

    cannot type and nurse at same time
    miss u tho
    u rock

  • Roderick Says:

    The wind is unseen, yet how profound its impact!

    Faith is a step closer to those on scooters, I think…

  • Terry Says:

    The Scarecrow gave you the wisdom to know just what to do.
    The Tin Man showed up to oil your scooter.
    The Lion arrived with the courage needed to face a precipice.
    OH MY

  • Jaime Says:

    What an amazing experience! Today was the first day I have had a chance to look at the website and I have loved reading about your adventures as you cross the US….especially on a scooter! Stay safe!