Monday, October 15, 2018

“Alice: How long is forever? White Rabbit: Sometimes, just one second.”

― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

We all tumbled down the rabbit hole this past Saturday for the second annual Anna in Wonderland event. Shenanigans started out at the Oakland Motorcycle Club for this 65 mile, 8 stop treasure hunt. All kinds of unexplainable and idiosyncratic things occurred just like in the original story. And here are some of my observations:
  • 3 different Alice characters from every age group
  • 39 participants, 22 on motorcycles and the rest in cars
  • being filmed out the passenger side of a passing car on High Street right after we left the club to go to the first stop
  • the policeman who pulled up at the first stop and kindly gave us "the look" to get the photographers car re-parked (no ticket issued)
  • the running adults in our group when each spot was given the green light to find playing cards hidden the day before, fun to watch
  • at the second stop... a "fresh" newborn baby on a picnic table with a couple and a scared dog under the table not moving an inch as our imposing group descended on them feverishly in search of playing cards
  • the two families having what they thought would be a quiet picnic at Eckley Pier picnic ground and our group momentarily interrupted them to look for the cards and roses but the young girl in the family had found a rose so she got a prize of course
  • some people got lost and then some missed the tea party and the cake resulting in confusion 
  • the big red hat of the Queen of Hearts Carol was left on the back of the sidecar so it blew off onto the road and Nick retrieved it from a possible sad existence when they circled back to go get forgotten sunglasses at the lunch stop
  • the cake, the cupcakes and Tracy the maker of this cake ferrying it about all over the course with the help of the photographers car
  • Julien wearing his great grandfather's vintage leather hand-painted motorcycle jacket and having his first motorcycle ride as pillion on Brent's motorcycle
Special thanks to Judyth Greenburgh for inspiring this event all the way back on May 7 2012 when I attended her Alice party in the desert, click here to check that out. 

To see photos of the event taken by professional photographer and friend of mine Ian Tervet, click this link. 

Below is a video I created with some of my photos and a handful of participant photos as well as my behind the scenes time lapse videos from the day before.

Anna in Wonderland 2018 from Anna MacKinnon on Vimeo.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Sheetiron 300 Dualsport ~ ironing those sheets

As part of the Oakland Motorcycle Club, I worked the annual 27th Annual Sheetiron 300 Dualsport this past weekend and wow, what fun. This two-day ride began in Stonyford on Saturday morning, and it ended up in Fort Bragg on Saturday night, and returned to Stonyford on Sunday afternoon. This ride takes place each year on the weekend before Memorial Day Weekend.

Friday afternoon registration opened

a sense of humor

tech inspection


sweeper bikes

day one in Fort Bragg
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Kurt's doll (his passenger) lost an arm

Nick with his Ural and his monkey Kevin

fun with rear tire changing the morning of day 2

this was an R100 PD BMW that ignited on Day 1

day 2 as some of us in the support group made our way to Ft. Bragg

all I saw of Paul Gregersen was his dust as we went to Ft. Bragg

the roll chart

day 2 tossing bags on the trailer to head out

time lapse of the baggage unpack in Ft. Bragg

organization at its finest
Joe Rico has a sense of humor for sure
time lapse of day 2 loading bags in the truck

not one of our riders but we saw this at The Zen Motorcycle Shop in Pt Arena

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Another turn around the sun so off I went...

On Sunday the 22nd of April I left Alameda for the first leg of an 8 day trip. Below is the route (read it counter clockwise).  A total of 1,455 miles in all, mostly pavement with occasional dirt.

Santa Barbara is always a step back into nostalgia since I attended UC Santa Barbara and as usual, I was hosted by Jim who I've known since college days and he fetes me like royalty anytime I'm around. We went whale watching on Monday for a couple of hours, saw two gray whales with calfs as they made their northern migration. We saw countless dolphins, common dolphins to be exact. The dolphin pod stayed with our whale watching boat for quite sometime, surfing the wave at the bow.

Then on Tuesday (my actual day-of-birth), I left to head East through Ojai, then north on the 33 to Lockwood Valley Road and due East to Lancaster. About 30 miles north of Ojai was a complete moonscape because of the Thomas Fire that went through there in December of last year. The devastation was eye opening, melted signs, melted guard rails, occasional remains of homes, a bare outline of stone, small hints of new life just beginning to come up with purple flowers.

evidence of the Thomas Fire from December 2017

the most deluxe outhouse you'll ever know
I arrived in Lancaster in the later afternoon and was treated to the "wood king" experience at "the Ranch". It's really unique there at the ranch -- chickens, artifacts, interesting souls that hang out there and stuff that defies explanation. I believe it might be a portal to another dimension.

throne on the wood pile in Lancaster

the sunset "Queen of the woodpile" experience ~ hello to all
oh the things I learned about chickens ~ they are amazing creatures
And from Lancaster off we went, me and the wood king Timbo ~ destination Death Valley Junction. Our destination was the Amargosa Opera House and Hotel. I have heard about this place for years and wanted to stay the night there. The interesting woman behind the legend here was named Marta Becket and this video fills you in on her vision and life at the junction.

the wood king, Timbo and his GSA

the Amargosa Hotel

inside the opera house 
the commemorative chair for Marta

The weather in Death Valley was hot. Yes it was early season to be quite so hot. Riding a motorcycle in 104° F is like going through a blast furnace, don't know why people say "oh you'll cool down once you get on the bike." 

We took a tour of the opera house in the morning and then onward to Darwin to beat the heat (well not entirely but we tried). Darwin is outside of the park and sits up at altitude close to 5,000 feet above sea level so it was more comfortable with the temperature. My friends Jude and Pierre have lived there for some time now. This video is a good overview of life in Darwin and Jude appears in the piece (around the 1:57 minute mark).  David and his dog Cinder are always a "must visit" and when his mom Ida is there, it's a real treat. The gentle souls of these people give one hope that the world is indeed filled with kindness and creativity.

Father Crowley overlook, near Panamint Springs

Darwin, CA

my favorite statue and dog Kane in the background

me near sunset in Darwin, CA
David and his dog Cinder

Leaving Darwin, the F18 Hornet is an almost daily occurrence around here because of the nearby Naval Station. The air seemed to rip in two when one came by me from the back and I didn't see it coming and of course didn't know what the hell was happening for a moment. I felt like I could have driven off the road with surprise. I could practically see the face of the pilot. 

in Lone Pine, heading north

Silver Lake at June Lake loop
Jackson California
The drive North up the 395 was relaxing and nice with the end of my day in Walker, California. It seems like a big fishing area and it was the opening of fishing season so lots of people on the rivers. '

On Sunday I went up and over the Sierra Nevada pass via Highway 89 and Monitor Pass. The roads were clear and I noticed the fires had touched these lands too for many miles. The weather was clear and cold of course. So most of my time across the Sierra was average of 35 °F but not actively snowing thankfully.

My final night out was in Vallecito in the gold country and then home the next day, Monday the 30th of April.

Kit Carson pass over 8,100 ft

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The trip North in summary from Cabo San Lucas

On Thursday January 25th a handful of us left Cabo to start the week long trip North to home. Each day was gorgeous weather for the most part as seen by the pristine blue skies. The fourth day from Guerrero Negro to San Felipe was interesting in that we had immense side winds in the morning to make life a little interesting. The dirt road to Coco's Corner was fun though and the wind actually helped to usher the dust sideways and away from our faces. All in all a good trip with lots to see and experience. A total of 3,490 miles for 21 nights but not all days were travel days.

Tropic of Cancer in Baja, marker

We stopped here for a beer and this sweet dog.... always a dog around
the morning outside of our hotel in Ciudad Constitución

frequently we saw the Policía Federal in the larger cities

the cowboys having coffee in the morning enjoying their smartphones and some videos

so many questions

Sea of Cortez, breathtaking

Sea of Cortez

Descanso/memorial that I managed to capture going 75mph

only AIR SWIMMING allowed in this "piscina" like others in Baja... no water

descanso / memorial up on the hill

cow, where are you going?

checkpoint #5 heading North

stopping for a moment on the way to Coco's Corner

Coco's Corner

Coco's Corner
beautiful toll road from Mexicali to Tecate over 1300m in altitude with a view of the desert

Trip home.