13 September 2017

Baja Adventure Time!

That's right, kiddos, it's Baja Adventure Time! After spending a fabulous few days in Brea, CA with my brother, his family, and more of our extended family, we finally got rolling and headed for Mexico. That is probably one of the easiest border crossings to do, but knowing what the wait is on the other side to get back in is the tricky part. Thankfully, we won't be having to cross back in for quite a while!

We rolled up and through in under two minutes, picked up the highway and headed south. We didn't ride very far, as we were only planning on going as far as Coyote Cal's Hostel. It's on the coast, south of Ensenada, and has been there for several decades. There was no one staying there, and we arrived at happy hour, so we got ourselves a couple of beds for the night and a bucket of beers.

It was a nice, easy start to riding and staying in a different country. Eventually three other people arrived and stayed for the night as well, but it was a pretty quiet group. My guess is that during Baja riding season it is a madhouse, in the most fun way.

Up to that point, we had ridden only pavement, but heading out of Coyote Cal's the next morning, we hit dirt roads almost immediately. We rode across the peninsula on an easy, scenic dirt road. The middle section was pretty rutted out in the turns, but still easy and beautiful.

Coming to the end of that road into town, however, was a different story. The town's streets are sand. I don't mean an inch or two of sand on top of hard pack, where you can see corrugations here and there and get some traction. I mean inches to feet of it. And I managed to ride right into what felt like a bottomless pit of it in an intersection, nearly losing it, dabbing my right foot, and throttling the hell out of there.

Ah...sand. So fun on fully loaded big bikes...

Later, we rode through San Felipe and continued south on to Puertecitos. There were a number of low spots in the road which had washed out during the last storm, or had sand washed into them. After going through a number of small spots like this, we came up on one and I slowed down to third gear--probably 45mph or so. At the last second, I realized it was way deeper than the others had been. I hit it, felt my bars yanked out of my hands, then managed to get back to them and gas the crap out of it. My back end wiggled a bit, but boy did that feel better than my front end wiggling.

As I came out of it, feeling a lot better than I did as I entered it, I watched for Josh in my mirror. I asked if he made it through easily and he said yes. He mentioned that he slowed way down, and picked a line to the left, going through no problem. I said I had hit it in third gear, and he responded that he saw that, and that I also managed to pick the deepest line there was.

Of course I did.

It's always fun to challenge one's self, right....

We motored on and pulled into Puertecitos around 5:30, super happy to see the gas station. Then we got closer and were super unhappy to see the gates on it closed.

What!?!

We needed gas. What was going on?

We rode further into town, and when we saw some people, rode over to ask about the gas station. They said to go back, and soon someone would open it. They discussed amongst themselves, and said it would re-open within half an hour.

So, with nothing better to do, we rode back and waited. While rummaging through things on bikes and waiting, a guy rode up on a three wheeler and asked if we were waiting for gas. When I said yes, he said it would open later. I told him some people had said in half an hour. He thought about it for a moment, and said yes, more or less.

About ten minutes later, he rode by again and said it would open at 7.

Huh. Ok.

We decided we should find a place to camp, and within a few minutes had found Campo Octavio. It was the one closest to town, and after telling us we could take whichever spot we liked--and proudly pointed out he had bathrooms and showers--the gentleman told us where a market was. We headed off to buy a few supplies, including a 6-pack of Modelo, then went back to the gas station to wait for gas.

There's nothing classier than sitting on the side of the road, drinking a can of beer, and waiting for a gas station to open. I was heartened to find our three-wheeler friend working on the pumps, and the lights for the station eventually come on. During the half hour or so, while we were waiting, we watched a constant parade of boats on trailers being pulled out of town by a couple of pick-ups. Each boat had 2, 3, 4 or more guys sitting in the back, and it looked like the trucks were shuttling them back home at the end of the day. Right about 7, a pick-up came rolling up, saw us, and the driver asked if we were waiting for gas.

He seemed surprised they weren't open, rolled up closer and yelled at the guy working on the pumps. Then I heard the word I had been dreading..."Mañana."

The pick-up reversed, repeated what was said to me and I thanked him, not feeling particularly thankful.

It wasn't that I cared whether we got gas that night or the next morning, but I was concerned the reason it wasn't available that night was because of gas not having been delivered to the station due to the recent tropical storm--not that I had to wait until the next morning, but that I might have to wait several more mornings.

Well, at that point, there was nothing more we could do. So we headed back to Octavio's and set up camp, had some dinner, and relaxed on the beach. As the sun was going down over the mountains behind us, it appeared to be throwing really cool light on some clouds just over the house out on the point. They had a warm, surreal glow, like they were being lit from inside, like they had there very own source of light.

A few minutes later, that source would reveal itself in the form of the full moon. It was breathtaking, and I cursed myself for not having a really good camera. It was huge, and it seemed like we could reach out and touch the glowing orange orb. We were absolutely mesmerized by it, and at that moment I realized I had been camping for every full moon since early May. I knew at some point in the middle of the night, I would wake up and think it was morning because it was so bright out. I don't get the highest quality of sleep when I'm camping during a full moon, but I accept that when there is so much beauty around.

And in the end, the moon didn't disrupt my sleep at all, really. Remember how we saw those couple of trucks making all those trips, taking boats and dudes back home for the night. Nope. They were taking them OUT for the night. Shrimp season has begun here, and that's a night job. So, several hours later, after I was finally slumbering peacefully, the trucks went back to retrieve the full boats coming in. And the access to the launch point took them across our beach....

Until the tide changed early in the morning...

And the access for the boats going out before sunrise WAS our beach.

Moral of the story--Don't stay at Octavio's unless you really like the sound and smell of old pick-ups going through your campsite.

I will say, though, it was pretty fascinating watching boats launch and get picked up right off the sand beaches. I enjoyed sitting in my chair that morning, cup of coffee in hand, watching how they did it all. It was surprisingly simple and efficient. Not everything has been improved-upon to death.

We packed up that morning and headed for gas, and it was...wait for it...open! The same guy was there and apologized for it not being open the night before--he couldn't get the system working. I didn't care, I was just excited there was gas! Yay! We filled up, checked tire pressures, and rode on.

Looking at the map I'd been using, I was surprised to find the road we continued on to be paved. But, speaking of not having been improved upon, the pavement soon ended. The state was working on getting the road done, and for the next 80km or so, a blasted out and smoothed new road-to-be crisis-crossed our rocky, sandy, rutted road. We loved our road, with the exception of that time we got stuck behind a semi for a bit. Josh got around him in a good spot, but of course by the time I went to pass him, I did it in the sand.

Eventually, our road ran smack into Mexico 1 again, and this was the highway we would take to reach Guerrero Negro for the night. But, my sandy adventures weren't done for the day, yet. We stopped in Villa Jesus Maria to fill the tanks again, and hit up a little grocery store for lunch items. Then, we decided we'd take the 9km dirt road out to the coast and have lunch on the beach.

It was great! The water was beautiful, the beach was picturesque with two beached fishing boats and hundreds of birds. There wasn't a single person around, and we were able to ride right out onto the beach. We stopped and I grabbed the bag of lunch things from my bungee net, while Josh went to retrieve the crackers and tuna from his top case. He made an awful sound when he opened his top case.

Uh oh. This isn't good...

You know how I mentioned our road that morning was rocky and sandy? Well, it was a really rough and bumpy road, and the banana I had chosen to pass up that morning at breakfast was smashed nearly to liquid. Sweet, sticky, slimy banana gross-ness was all over everything in the top case. So, for the next ten minutes, we did some cleaning...

 

Then, we had lunch on the beach! Afterwards, we rode the 9km nice dirt road back to Villa Jesus Maria, and finished out our day in Guerrero Negro. Guerrero Negro is a small city at the northern border of Baja California Sur. During the high season, scores of whale watching trips go out from many different hotels and expedition companies located there. But the night we were there was quiet. We stayed at the Malarrimo Hotel and RV Park. They allowed us to camp for about $10 that night--seems to be the going rate--and had bathrooms and showers for us to use. There was another couple from the states staying in the hotel, but they couldn't be bothered with even exchanging pleasantries with a couple of people on motorbikes. I didn't really care--there was a big fluffy Black and Tan dog that lives at the hotel who was super friendly. Even better!

I liked riding and staying in Baja California, but little did I know how I would like what was to come next even more.

Next, Baja California Sur!

 

10 September 2017

Side Notes--When I'm 64 (or maybe 84...?)

So, Doug, Josh and I walk out to the end of the trail near the lodge at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to take in the views and all the glory one can see of the Grand Canyon without having to go too far. One of the things I really appreciate about that area is that they haven't gotten so concerned about people being stupid that they've felt the need to put guard rails and fencing around everything.

One can still scamper out onto rocks, sit on ledges, and terrify one's friends. We of course immediately headed up or out or wherever would afford us the best view farthest from all the people. Near the end of the trail, we climbed to a perch and enjoyed the views until we were ready to head back down. We carefully descended our rocky tower, and began the short walk back.

As we came around a bend, I saw an older woman, putting her hand to her forehead, and saying, "Oh, I just can't watch!"

I glance left to see what she is referring to, and see another woman of the senior citizen variety walking out onto some rocks, arms stretched for balance. As she is walking backwards, she says, in an entirely unconvinced tone of voice, "Ok, well, I trust your judgement...."

A third woman in the party, holding a camera, waves her backward and says, "Oh, just keep going to your right. You're FINE!"

I immediately look away and keep right on walking, thinking, "Oh, I just can't watch this either!"

I felt pretty certain there would soon be a fence going up right in that spot...

But, then I thought about it again. Who am I going to be in 20, 30, or 40 years? Assuming I make it that long and don't ride off a cliff somewhere, I'm going to be that woman with the camera. I'll be waiting for Josh and Doug to get themselves out on a perch above some canyon, yelling (because I'll be mostly deaf from riding motorcycles all those years), "Just keep going! You'll be fine--stop being little wussies!"

Other people will be walking away, hands over their eyes, saying they just can't watch. Well, not the teens and twenty-somethings, cuz you know how they are.

They'll be standing, pointing, and laughing, calling me a crazy old woman. I think I'm ok with that...

Side Notes--Los Perros

I'm only five days into this trip--outside the United States--and I've made friends, fallen in love, and had my heart broken. I'm not talking about people, but about all the dogs I've seen. Anyone who knows me even a little knows how much I love dogs, and there have been many here, in just these few short days, to see.

Dogs are dogs everywhere one goes, I guess; some are bold, some are afraid, some are protective, and some just really want to be loved.

In Puertecitos, two dogs came walking over to the bikes while we were in the market. They were probably in the 55 lb. range, and some weird mutt-brown color, but they both totally reminded me of my friend Nikki's dog, Romulus. I could tell immediately they were friendly, though they were both a bit cowed--heads down and tails down--while curious.

Ears and heads immediately perked up when I said something to them in a friendly way. They started trotting around the bikes, sniffing, and peeing on the front wheels--like you do if you're a dog, I guess. And while I was sitting on my bike, looking to the right, one stood up on his back legs and put his front paws on my thigh. He didn't even seem to mind that the bike rocked a bit from the unexpected added push from that side.

I talked to him and gave him some pets on his head, and was immediately sad to see his first reaction as my hand came towards him was to cower. That just hurt my heart. The best I could think to do was pet him and talk sweetly to him, giving him a good day--a few minutes when he could know someone liked him.

All the dogs we've seen have appeared to be mutts of some sort, with the exception of what I can only imagine are the pure bred Chihuahuas. There haven't been any giants, though a big fluffy black and tan guy--who, for good measure, peed on our front wheels also--was super sweet and friendly. He seems to live at the Hotel Malarrimo in Guerrero Negro, and likes to say hello to the guests who are camping there.

There is one I have seen who I would like to bring home. I guess that didn't take long. She is brindle and white, and has the cutest sticky-out ears. She has probably had a few litters of pups, though judging by how much time she spends near and with me, they aren't around anymore. She wiggles and wags her tail, trotting up anytime she sees me. She'd give me kisses all day long if I let her.

She must have a family who treats her nicely, as her first instinct is not to cower when I raise a hand to pet her. She is so skinny, though that could be because she has obviously been feeding pups. She looks for love, and is readily willing to accept it from strangers, and return in kind. Another good doggy ambassador. For the two days while I am here in Puerto San Carlos, I will pet her and call her Flower.

The four-leggeds don't care if you don't speak their language perfectly. After days of struggling to have conversations in other languages, I find it refreshing to settle into the ease of new friendships in a doggy language I seem to be fairly fluent in.

!Buen Perro!

She's a leaner!

 

And So We Venture On...

The Grand Canyon was pretty stellar, I have to say. We lost Doug, though his departure for home had always been planned. He'll join us again in Santiago, Chile, when he's finished with the European leg of the Queen tour--if you don't know, he runs automation on the Queen and Adam Lambert Tour. For now, home and work called him back.

Josh and I spent another night in the campground on the north rim. In the early afternoon, I used the wi-fi at the general store to upload some pics to Instagram. But after about 30 minutes of trying to do so, I decided it just wasn't going to work. As I walked back to our campsite, I saw someone sitting at our picnic table who was neither Josh nor myself. To be honest, when I first saw him, I thought it was Josh. Though he was wearing the exact same shade of Kelly green shirt Josh was, one glance at his cute sailboat shorts, and I knew it was not. Josh introduced our visitor and said he wanted to share our campsite.

We all sat chatting for a bit and I got to know a little about our new friend. Since I neither speak nor write French well (who am I kidding...I mean NOT AT ALL) I will probably spell his name incorrectly. Demian is 26 years old, and was spending three weeks in the states and Canada with some friends, seeing the eclipse and a number of our national parks in the west. The day before we met him, his one friend asked the other to marry him, so Demian chose to split for a bit and give them some newly-engaged privacy.

Early in the afternoon, Demian headed for the showers, and we headed for the Kaibab Trail. I tossed my Camelback into the backpack, filled up our camp mugs, and off we went. As we headed down the trail, we passed a couple standing on the side of the trail, panting, exhausted from their hike back up.

The man looked at us and said, "I hope you enjoy that coffee! You're gonna need the jolt to get you back up!"

That's so cute. He thought we had coffee. Amateur.

I'm on vacation. I had wine.

We kept heading down the trail, and after a few switchbacks, we came upon Gus. His human was doing some trail maintenance, and to be honest, I just wanted to grab Gus's muzzle and give him a huge smooch. I have a soft spot for mules, and he was particularly curious and well-behaved all at the same time.

The trail was beautiful, and quite the workout. We followed it with dinner, then sitting around a campfire with Demian until it was time for bed. We left the next morning, spending a little more time on a different lookout, being awed and amazed by the views.

Walking back to the bikes from the lookout, we ran into a Kiwi on a KTM 950 Enduro. Well, not so much as ran into, as came around the corner and were surprised to see another person in riding gear. He was less surprised as he was coming from the parking lot--and by the line of our conversation had spent some quality time checking out our bikes--and probably heard us coming as my boots are still so damn squeaky!

We had a great conversation with him. He was at the end of a nice long tour around the western states and Canada. He and a buddy had flown their bikes over and started together, but after a fall that shattered his friend's leg, they split up--one for surgery and hospital, and one for adventure. I'll keep my squeaky-ass, protective boots, thank you. As we said good-bye, I handed him one of our travel cards.

He said, "Oh, you're Girl On A Motorbike? I've heard of you."

Yeah. So that was weird. I'm really still not used to what a small place the interwebs has made of this planet.

After checking out his bike, we hit the road. We were out of Arizona within an hour and a half, then out of Utah and back into Arizona--after a quick stop for groceries--in another hour.

It was hot.

And I mean HOT.

We rode into camp and it was 107.6 degrees, on a thermometer we have all determined reads low. A little while later, it spiked at 108.5. We jumped in the river and spent a restless, hot, night making a little dinner and experiencing the joy of scorpions. Or paper towels...I don't really know.

I just knew I'd be happy to move on to cooler climes...

 

 

 

Post tags: motorcycles, motorbikes, BMW, F700GS, Suzuki, DL650, Central America, South America, camping, Mosko Moto, Rev'it, Sena, Alt Rider

 

03 September 2017

Side Notes--paper towels vs. poisonous killers!

I did not grow up in Arizona, but I did get my degree from the University of Arizona in Tucson. Arizona is known for having a few things that would like to off you, such as nasty cactus, Javelinas, and scorpions.

My old dog, Scottie, and I had a few run-ins with the cactus, often ending in me frantically searching for the tweezers and pulling spines out of his face or my hands. I understand they are called "prickly pear," but I didn't think the pears would be prickly....

The only run-ins I had with the Javelinas occurred when I was in my truck, so that was never a real threat to me. If you don't know what a Javelina is, it's a giant hairy pig-like thing. But, it's not a pig. It's a peccary. You'll have to look it up if you want to know more--that's all I've got from my two and a half years of residing there.

Now, the last is probably one of the more common annoyances in Tucson. The first couple of times I lived there, I was told to close my drain plugs in the bathroom as they would crawl up through the plumbing. I don't really know about that, as I never encountered one. Not once.

So tonight, as we are camping in the Virgin River Gorge with the temps topping out at 108.5F, we chose to do our dishes in the ladies room. There is only one other camper in this giant place, so we just popped into one. It was full of dead bugs and looked as though it hadn't been cleaned in a really long time. Regardless, we cleaned a little spot for ourselves, washed dishes, and turned to head out.

I took this pic a few minutes too early. It would hit 108.5F later.

As I open the door, something small comes in, and I pay absolutely zero attention to it. Josh promptly steps back and says, in a very excited voice, "It's a scorpion!"

I said something to the tune of, "Really? Huh. Well, this is Arizona after all."

He re-opened the door and told me I had to see it.

It was nowhere to be found, but nevertheless, the idea of camping in Scorpion Land had me a little nervous. Thankfully, one thing Marmot has done correctly with its tents is make the openings round, with the opportunity to put the zipper heads at the tops. No tiny little Scorpion gaps for those little pukes to get in.

As we walk out of the bathroom for the last time, Josh says, "Well...it might not have been a scorpion.... It might have been a little piece of paper towel floating in on the breeze...."

Wait...WHAT!?! What do you mean a piece of paper towel? You can't tell a scorpion from a piece of paper towel???

In the end, it really doesn't matter. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have nightmares about scorpions army-marching into my tent while sleeping.

Good night!

 

Here We Go!

Oh geez, all the plans I had for getting stuff done, and posting something spectacular for the day of our departure went right out the window! My friend Carmel--who has just begun her second year of moto-travel--warned me that I wouldn't be ready to go on the day, but that I just had to go. And...she was right.

So, on the morning of departure, Josh, Doug, and I took some pics, called parents (mine didn't answer, I had to leave a voicemail...) and I posted one little pic on Facebook, with the extremely short caption of "See ya!" I have to say I felt honored by all the messages of love, luck, and "post up so we can follow along". Thank you, friends!

Well, after two 360+ mile days to start us off, here I am, sitting in our campsite on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon! I am soooo excited. I have never been here. In case you didn't read that correctly the first time, I HAVE NEVER BEEN HERE. For those of you who don't know, I've lived in the southwest most of my life, and I went to the University of Arizona. But this is my first time here, and I am ready to hike and take in the views!

I'm curious to know what you all eat when you're camping, because I seriously enjoyed our breakfast. We have some AMAZING elk summer sausage our friend, Justin Large, sent with us. I fried a few pieces of that, then made banana pancakes to go with. We are fueled and set for the day.

Getting here has included two days of mixed riding--some spectacular scenery with decent temps, and some long, straight, boring roads in temps topping out at 103F. I may or may not have been sweating in my helmet....

We had a few problems getting started--I actually pulled plastics on my bike's hump, disconnected the battery, and re-wired some things the morning before we left. That got us started later than we had planned, and then we spent some time at two different stops while Josh worked on repairing his clutch play and gear shifter.

Near the end of the first day, as we rode into Durango, Josh was really struggling to get his bike to shift--even if you're not a moto rider, you can probably see how this would be a problem--so he worked on his bike in the shade of a Holiday Inn, while I ran to the grocery store for dinner supplies, and Doug ran to Liquor World (I'm not shitting you, that's what it's called...) for a box of wine. If you're not in the know, or even wrinkling your delicate nose at the idea of boxed wine, knock it off. They're amazing these days, and when you're limited space-wise, you can pull the bladder out of the box, and it's durable enough to stick anywhere in your luggage. Also, it's limp and boneless like a cat, so it slides into any available space. Doug got a Bota Box Malbec, and it is delicious.

So, we cruised another 20 miles from Durango to Target Tree Campground, set up camp, and set about to make dinner and give our collective bottoms a rest from the motorcycle seats. I had picked up chicken thighs, bell pepper, mushrooms, and onion at the store, and I sautéed it all with our jar of seasoning and served it over quinoa.

Then, to be honest, we just sat finishing our drinks and staring at the stars. There were a lot of them and they felt so close. Bedtime was next, but as per usual with me, on the first night of camping, my actual sleeping was spotty. That said, I was more than happy to be awake in the middle of the night to hear what must have been 30 coyotes yipping in harmony several times. It was beautiful, and I was truly grateful for the fact that I could be lying there listening to their beautiful voices singing in the night.

Josh slept through it.

Anyway, that was the first day. It was quickly followed by breakfast, photo shenanigans, and hitting the road for a long hot slog to the Grand Canyon. We did stop for lunch at a park that had a climbing wall, so you know, I was all over that...even in motocross boots. And we stopped for a couple of "border crossing" signs I didn't yet have.

As of this pic, I hadn't yet figured out how to get the front camera on my new phone to mirror the image so writing is the correct way...

We are on our way, and really happy to be. I'm not sure it has sunk in yet that we get to do this for the next 10 months, but I did say, "Hey! Two days down, nine months and 29 days still to go!"

Oh...and we are going!

 

 

Post tags: motorcycles, motorbikes, BMW, F700GS, Suzuki, DL650, Central America, South America, camping, Mosko Moto, Rev'it, Sena, Alt Rider

 

27 July 2017

Periods, Panties, and Parallel Twins

Yes, yes I did just use the "P" word.

And dudes who read this blog may want to scroll on. That said, dudes who want to be educated, and perhaps show a little more understanding to a woman rider, may want to keep reading. Your choice, but you have been warned.

A couple of months ago, after listening to a Freakonomics podcast interviewing Thinx Period Panties co-founder Miki Agrawal, I busted open the iPad and ordered just over $80 of underwear. To be more specific, panties. Three pair. It took a pretty big leap of faith for me to invest that much money in three very small items, without ever having heard a review on the product from someone I actually know and trust.

I let my fellow Colorado GS Girls know I had done this, and that I would follow it up with a review at some point. One of our members mentioned that she had bought some, and really liked them, and a number of women showed an interest in knowing more.

It seems ridiculous that with approximately half of the population of people in the world experiencing periods--and having done so since The Beginning of (Wo)Man-Kind, that we are still loathe to confront these subjects. Well, I'm here to put it all out there for my friends, and call bullshit on the taboo of discussing periods.

First things first. I got the panties in the mail, and was finally able to actually put my hands on them. As they are only available via the interwebs right now, that was the most important thing to me about them--what do they feel like??? They are a three-layer panty, and I really wanted to know if they felt nice, or felt like wearing Depends or a diaper. I mean who wants to run (ride) around with massive amounts of fabric bunched up in her crotch. Not me. For point of reference, I ordered the "Cheeky," the "Sport," and the "Thong."

They feel fine. They are a little heartier than your normal pair of undies, whether you're wearing silk, cotton, nylon, wool, etc. But they aren't obnoxious. They have a nice finish around the legs and waist, so you won't see panty lines anymore than most other undies. The one exception might be if you're wearing very thin leggings over them--which I often do, but then cover with REV'IT moto pants, so who cares.

A week or so after I got them, I was leaving on a ten day moto trip. Thinking I wasn't going to be in need of them within those ten days, I almost didn't take them. But then I tossed them in the bags anyway. They don't take up much room, so why not? And as it turns out, I was glad I did.

Eight days into my trip, I was riding up to Moab, UT from Arizona, and felt the first tell-tale twinges of cramps. I thought, "What? You've got to be kidding!" It was coming a couple of days earlier than it should, and I was not interested in dealing with being on my period. I still had a couple of nights of camping and riding to do with my ADVWoman Rally staff. Ain't nobody got time for this bullshit!

After setting up camp in a campground with nothing resembling running water or even a pit toilet, my friend Kandi and I ran around the grocery store, grabbing food and drink supplies for the next couple of days. I begrudgingly also bought a box of tampons, hoping like hell I wouldn't need them, and just popped the box in the tank bag to have with me at all times.

The next morning, I decided to try the Cheekies out. I wanted to see how they felt while standing around, walking around, running around, and riding around. So glad I did! And thankfully, at a darling breakfast restaurant the next morning, I had my tank bag with me as that nasty bitch, Aunt Flo, decided to make a visit. (For the record, never has a guest been so unwanted...)

We spent the entire day, until about 4:00 in the afternoon, in a broad, dusty open area, with barely a bush for cover. And boy did those panties do their job of keeping everything in. They didn't leak. They didn't feel icky. They didn't stick to me. Though I wondered about how it was all going down there during the course of the day, I wasn't absorbed with worrying. Yaaaassssss!!!

That night camping, and the following day of riding with the ladies in the morning, and the six hour ride home to Denver went by without incident! Those Thinx panties were worth every penny!

So, you might be wondering why you would want them. You might have your period under control, you might be perfectly regular and ready for every situation. Well, congratulations to you! Just know things can change, and take a moment to read my little story of Mosquito Pass. A few people know this story, and I tell it every once in a while, should I think someone is in need of a laugh, or some sympathy.

A couple of friends--all men--were going to ride Mosquito Pass from Fairplay to Leadville. If you want to know more about this Jeep trail, you can look it up. Each year it is a little different, but it always has some rocky, technical sections. It gets above tree line and has massive, beautiful, wide open views.

So we start up the trail, and make it past the first two really rocky sections. During the second one, Josh bashed his bike on something, and once we got to a good open area, we all stopped so he could do a quick repair. Sparing you all the details--because this story is going to be long enough as it is--as I stood there chatting with my two friends--and one other guy we met as he was going the opposite direction from us--I started my period. Out of the blue. Just boom!

And I was caught completely unprepared.

I had recently finished my period, and was not expecting another visit for several weeks. Now, I was caught unawares and unprepared, and still had almost the whole trail to finish out, bumping and bouncing along on rocks, hoping that since Goretex doesn't let moisture in, it also wouldn't let any out. Of my WHITE AND SILVER moto pants.

Well, I made it through. We got to Leadville and had lunch, but as we headed back up and over the pass in the other direction, I couldn't concentrate. My mind wandered and I was unfocused. Pretty soon, out of the middle of nowhere, I found myself sitting across the side of the bike as it lay on its side.

I never really hit the ground, I just slid in one direction as the bike slid in the other. There was an odd, floaty feeling as I went down, and my muscles and joints just let go. I felt limp. I knew, at that moment, that would continue to happen. Knowing the area well, I begged off the return trip and said I'd do the go-around, meeting them back in Fairplay. They were all surprised, and a bit confused, but my almost immediate feeling of exhaustion that hit as I went down made me realize stopping was a necessity.

For a long time, I thought it was just me. I thought I was weird as with increasing age, I found myself becoming more clumsy and more forgetful when I was coasting along with the red tide.

As it turns out, there has been increasing research into why many women have reported feeling clumsy or foggy-brained just before and during their period. It appears to be a combination of dropping progesterone levels--causing problems with coordination, affecting vision, movement and hand steadiness--and dropping estrogen levels causing fuzzy brain and slower reaction time.

Having researched this now, I feel much better with the idea that science/chemistry is behind it, and I'm not just an idiot. It doesn't make me any happier though. I don't want to take a week away from every month because **in a whiny, sing-song voice** I'm On My Period....

So, I don't. How would I get through my upcoming ten month trip, if every four weeks we had to stop for a week because I was afraid my hormone deprived body was going to rebel against me and drop 550 lbs of loaded parallel twin, on myself or off a cliff? Boy, would it be slow going and annoying. I'll figure it out.

There are things in the future I won't do. I won't schedule myself to participate in a class where I need all the concentration I can muster on a good day to learn and complete tasks that might be new or difficult to me. There is always another class or another time.

If that is the only class and the only time, I won't be hard on myself if I struggle.

If that is the only road, I will slow myself down and forgive myself for being more cautious.

If those are my only pants, I'll pull up my Thinx and get on with it! Though, I do think they need to start making those panties with motos printed on them.

You can find Thinx at www.shethinx.com

I would put pictures of me wearing them up with this blog, but you can just go to the website and see the models wearing them. I look just like that...