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In search of Torrey

Kathy R

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Bloomingdale, Illinois to Torrey, Utah by way of New Mexico - and back by way of CO,KS, & MO - 3800+- miles 7 days....


Wednesday Oct 2nd - On the road heading West at 7:35am. - 600+- miles - strong head winds and buffeting from NW - intermittent thunderstorms - 5:00pm Happy to be holed up for the night in a Holiday Inn Express along I80 in Grand Island, NE.


I experimented with CD's and music for the first time. In 55,000+ miles of riding I have never really listened to anything. Since I was all alone and bored out of my gourd in Iowa and Nebraska...I had decided at the last minute to try it.


At the start...

Rain Windy Gloomy - I reached for Moody Blues "On the Threshold of a Dream"

After the first gas stop I began to belt out Anita Baker "Rapture"

After lunch it was the new Van Morrison "Down the Road"

4:00 and tiring...I grabbed a fig newton and the optimism of Basia and "Clear Horizon"


The music was a real plus. I would listen to each CD about 3 times and then shut it off until I got to the next gas stop for a new CD. I ran through two sets of (2 per) AA batteries a day.


I was asked "Aren't you cold?" atleast 5 times, "Aren't you wet?" at least 5 times and told "That is a big bike" atleast 4 times. At one exit ramp it dawned on me that I had to ride 4 miles down the road into the town and I was ticked at myself for the waste of time. It turned out to remind me what I like about riding the most; the little towns and the kind of people who live there. The friendliest, least jaded, stare you in the eye people inhabit these paradises...and I cannot tell you how much I think back to the faces of these people whenever I remember a trip. I never forget them. I just love them all. They are the strangers who connect with me and hug me with words.


Thursday Oct 3rd - on the road at 7am (soon to gain an hour as I cross into Mountain Time) - 623+- miles - Strong winds - threat of snow in the passes of Colorado sends me south at Denver on I 25 to Raton, New Mexico.


Dawn is at 7:30 and sunset is at 6:15 or so - I'm on the road out of Grand Island NE in the dark this mornng. Rainy. Cold. Music? What else but Jimmy Cliff and some regae to bounce around on my bike to?


East of Denver around Ft Morgan I put in a call to Jake's cell and request some mileage information. South of Denver he gives me the low down. Looks like a 500 mile reroute will get me to Torrey by Friday or Saturday. I do NOT want to ride in snow on a motorcycle.


Jake - thanks for being there buddy smile.gif


Have I said it's windy? wink.gifcrazy.gif The sign along I 25 that says "Caution:Gusty Winds" has come loose and is held by one lonely bolt. laugh.gif It's funny now, but I can say that after this trip I have honed my wind skills. It never got so bad that I needed to stop, but the winds were a handful.


I toy with the idea of riding at night, but the twists and turns of the road into Raton tell me that I need to go to eat dinner and go to bed. If I am going to ride in the dark I want it to be at the start of my day, when I am freshest. Besides, there is nothing like being on your bike as the sun comes up. It's spiritual.


Friday Oct 4th - 750+- miles - 28 degrees for the first 2 hours - I make it to Torrey!


Woke up in Raton, NM at 3am. Was riding towards Las Vegas, New Mexico at 4am. The wild life "beware" signs sent me into butt pucker mode, as they picture what I figure out is a freaking ELK. This sign was followed by a Deer sign about 30 miles later, which I scoffed at. laugh.gif GOD save me from the Elk! I see no animals, other than those that died a while ago. I am saying my Our Fathers and Hail Mary's very reverently.


6:00 am I stop for breakfast in LV. Real food this time. Pancakes and bacon and juice. I'm back on the road before the sun comes up. I pop a newly aquired CD in; Journeys of the Flute Native American music that made me cry as the sun lit up the red rock for the first time that morning. I've never been in NM and it was beautiful. But then, 95% of this country is beautiful from what I have seen.


At around 9:30 I stop for gas and to call my brother to wish him a Happy Birthday. It is then that I receive a jolt. I come to realize that my fanny pack is gone. I laid it on my seat at the restaurant, in the dark, and took off.


That morning I had put my Visa, drivers lic, ins. card, "get out of jail free card" and $50 in my overpants pocket. I had decided that I wanted to be able to get to my ID fast if I got pulled over. I realized it would add more stress for the cop involved if I were to have to open my top case. So, I had some key things with me. However, I did lose some precious things along with my cell phone, $300 cash and simple things like a hair brush. I called my Ex and left him a message asking him to go to my house (we are buddies) and go to the bank and cancel my debit card etc. He had a message for me when I got to the Chuckwagon that he'd taken care of it all, but the bank gave "an EX-Husband!!??" lot's of grief. The nicest thing about my Ex is that we kept the best thing... our undying friendship. I am very grateful to him.


Those of you who know me know that I am quite buoyant. It took some thinking that morning to pop up again. I realized that someone really in need might find the fanny pack. Someone in a real jam. I, for one, am never in a jam. I can part with these things. I spent a good part of that day counting my blessings, of which I have so many.


I also knew how dumb it is to travel with ALL of the phone numbers stored in one place - my cell phone. I know NO ones number. Everyone is speed dial. Dumb! I have since corrected this and my glove box contains the little things that I needed that morning. I keep a key safely stored on the bike - hidden. I'll always get to that glove box. If someone steals my bike - I have a bigger worry than the tidbits in the box.


So...where was I before retelling this took me back to that dark moment? Oh...the sun was out. I stiffened my upper lip, popped Red Hot Chili Peppers "Californication" into the CD player and rocked down the roadway towards Farmington NM and the glorious back roads that would lead me into nirvana. (Whoops - didn't have that CD with me laugh.gif )


From I 24 I took 550 north to 64 West to 160 West to Utah 191 North ....where I met my buddy Ron B. I was pulling into the nothing place of Bluff, Utah and I hear the distinctive sound to my left and there it is ...the nose of an RT!!! And it's GREEN and it IS RON!!!


Hugs...HUGS....HUGSSSSSS!!!! As we stand there two BMW's go by. We know we are near Torrey. A few more hours.


We take 191 north to 95 NW...and we slow down...because God has been here.....a lot....and often....this is the place...we are very moved. The map book said "scenic". It took my breath away. I had ridden through Utah last August 2001 on my way to CA and Mexico/Canada. I knew I had to get back to explore what I had glimpsed from Rt 50 and I 70. Now, I could see it up close and I have to tell you. It made me cry.


We road into Hankville...gassed up and took the turn west on 24. We glimpse two bikes at a gas station..."Oh boy, there are two more BMW people!!" I'm starting to get goose bumps. The road is amazing... again....different colors, awesome. You cannot believe it unless you see it with your own eyes.


Now I am really beaming and I pop Collective Soul "Blender" into the CD player and turn it UP!


We pull into Torrey...little town...not much...but we see bikes at Brinks Burgers...and pull in and the HUGS began again...Laney, Dick, Gleno, Daryll, Fernando.... smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif


I'm exhausted now laugh.gif


There are many things that appeal to me about a ride. One of them is the adversity and the challenge. I'm tired at the end of a days ride. I have tales to tell every time I ride. I remermber the most unremarkable things from my rides, but they are things that I cherish.


This ride was already quite memorable and it wasn't even over. How about that? laugh.gif



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Kathy, I don't think I've ever read a post of yours written so freely and movingly. You write VERY well. I not only see what you describe, I can FEEL it. Lovely work. Can't wait for Chapter 2.



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What Fernando said.


Kathy, it was SO nice having you there. When we the blurple and the Green RT's pull into Brink's parking lot, you can't imagine the commotion inside that place. PAPER BUTT!!! Hey, it's Kathy and Ron! Wohoo, they made it! etc.


And it just got better from there.


I can't wait for chapter 2.

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So glad you were at Torrey!


Wow. What a lot of things to deal with on your journey out...and by yourself, no less! I can imagine why you were so glad when you caught up to Ron! Brinks must have been like coming home!


Your positive attitude is an inspiration to us all.


Glad you got to experience Utah...it really is a spiritual place.


Thanks for sharing your story,



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Your ride tales rate up there with Guy's and that's saying something. I'm glad to hear that all went well on your journey. Seems like you made incredible milage within and on the bike. Congratulations, boy am I jealous. smile.gif BTW, nice EX, maybe you could give others lessons about how you cultivate that. Not me, I'm steaming (yes, pun intended) towards my 19th anniveresary. smile.gif

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Kathy, you embarked upon a Journey. Yeah, it was a physical one, but I can see you've accepted along with the challenge to experience the miles and what they bring to a Rider, you've also decided to accept into yourself what arises, what's available to fill the heart and soul. And, you've embarked upon getting us to understand it.


"Torrey" remains to many readers here a somewhat mysterious... item? What CAN we call it? Left undefined, folks fill in its "meaning" from snippets of description. They come up with concepts like "Hoon-fest", "Oh, an In thing", "Another get-together."


That's so sad. And, it's not their fault. Yet, we who could possibly bring to them the awesome "thing" we have found are left stuttering to communicate what we have encountered. I gave up after my first "report" two years ago. After "Torrey I", what could be had that would fill a person up was only gotten across person-to-person by its participants, where knowing and loving the person who was entreating us to join them made available an understanding that only seems to come from that intense non-verbal communication between loved ones.


That's not meant to dissuade you in your task, Kathy. I KNOW you took in what Torrey is. I know you'll try to tell us, and in your great love, try to affect us in the way that Torrey can and does. But, don't fret that your words don't fully please you -- they are only words. Tell us how you feel, and urge us to understand that -- from the perspective of Feeling. We'll reach, and some of us will succeed.


You've told us of Awesome Beauty. Yep. I really think it begins there. Just as how that makes us feel might require a Poetic description, simply alone what it LOOKS like tries the power of any writer. When that's even partially grasped, how it might affect us opens forward: Stand in the mightiest cathedral you can imagine; Now, make that cathedral three miles wide and a mile high. How would YOU be affected? How would you be affected if you encountered that EIGHT TIMES... just GETTING TO "Torrey"?


Now add miles upon miles of no people, no structures, no... civilization. Remove from your life for one, two, or three days, ALL the aspects of life that bring you tension, cause you worry, bring carefulness -- set yourself free.


Now, opened up, bring Kathy. Bring SteveA. Bring love, friendship, outreach, DESIRE to be filled up and fill up others. Can you see how each aspect builds upon the other... and leaves us overwhelmed?


Torrey, it's beauty, acts like a canvas... but not a blank one. It is already filled with awesome artifacts of ethereal creation, and the roads that man might contrive to convey us through such awesome grandeur respectful of its aesthetics, curving gracefully through Majesty in ways that maintain that Freedom, and draw us out. The loving people of this land have done that. And maintain that -- Intentionally for us to experience.



Kathy's tales have much to relate. Already, I've seen in her words, particularly in the Feelings they express, what wakes up in me the person I failingly aspire to be. Kathy, you ARE making Torrey awesome. For me, that's "once again". For so many, I deeply hope it's "What she said led me to take the plunge and find out for myself".


Thanks, so much.

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After two days in that miserable rain, cold and wind, (a little hail too) the sight of that familiar orange stickie on your helmet was the start of the best part of a trip that became one of the best I've ever taken. Thanks for telling your story, and thanks for being wonderful company on the way home.


btw, those jokes I made about a "frightening ride behind Kathy and her V1" were just that, jokes. I asked Recourses to edit them out after realizing that some of you folks might get the wrong idea about our "paperbutt". I doubt that anyone who has ridden with her would be reluctant to accompany her anywhere.


Just be careful not to get too close when she starts doing those "stoppies"


Sorry, I guess I'm just incorrigible blush.gifwink.gif

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Just be careful not to get too close when she starts doing those "stoppies"


You know...it ain't the stoppies that bother me, it's when she does this and this down Main Street Torrey.



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Great to see you again! Great Ride Tale! We can't wait for chapter 2, etc. Great to hear you made your (long) trip so enjoyable. You are an inspiration. Aren't these people WONDERFUL?? We're making arrangements to go to ShortCut's Xmas party. Leslie has to forego two singing engagements and I have to get a shift trade at work (I'm finally back! smile.gif ). We just told people we're going to a reunion of family and friends. I think that's pretty accurate!


Hope to see you again soon!


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