MOA = BWW Motorcycle Owners of America
The forecast said that rain was likely on both days of the Sedona MOA Getaway. Long gray tendrils from five distinct showers filled the horizon ahead; an interesting sight characteristic of late summer in the southwest. I rode toward them–east toward Sedona. Patches of blue fueled hope that I might thread a dry–or mostly dry–path through. On the Prescott side of Mingus Mountain, though, sprinkles turned into solid rain, forcing me to stop under a gas station awning to struggle into my rainsuit.
Naturally, the rain then soon stopped…and that was the end of it. So eighty BMW riders from the western US and Canada enjoyed a weekend of marvelous scenery, great roads, interesting bikes and friendly companionship under a bright Arizona sun.
Today was the final day of the BMW International Rally in Salt Lake City. It was a great event thanks to tireless work by its organizers. Unfortunately, it was also memorably hot, topping 100 degrees each day and lingering over 80 well into the evenings as fairground campers tried to sleep.
Mornings were pleasant, but by afternoon, all the shady spots–the beer garden in particular–were crowded. Evaporative cooling vests sold out fast. Many resorted to cowboy air conditioning–a wet bandana around the neck. Electrically-heated vest sales were slow.
The prehistoric earthworks at Newark, Ohio cover almost five square miles…the largest ancient monument in the world. Over one hundred such earthworks were built over five centuries by mysterious early Americans.
Reconstructed effigy pipe
“My father has received many honors. Today’s will be the greatest. Flickering light and choking smoke filled the ceremonial house. My eyes watered as his bones blackened, then cracked and settled deeper into the coals. Only inches below the clay-lined fire pit lay the ashes of his father. If the monuments I build prove worthy, my son will one day stand where I stand. He will hold my stone pipe, my most intimate possession, home of my animal spirit; source of visions and wisdom…as today I hold my father’s. His will never be smoked again. When his funeral fire was kindled, I broke it.”
Explore the Cosmos…Fast
Epiphany at Zion On this second morning of a four-day, autumn loop around the Grand Canyon, I am blown away, cobwebs gone, in open-jawed wonder in Zion National Park. Our purpose is to be creation’s audience, wrote Pulitzer-winner Annie Dillard (my paraphrase).
That a short-lived speck of ectoplasm like me has a place, much less a purpose, to evaluate, assess or contribute anything to Zion’s soaring towers carved a sand-grain at a time over mind-numbing eons, seems ridiculous…especially so as I look upward from deep shadow to sun-bathed slabs and spires. But that’s my story: Our place, job and duty is to appreciate a meaningful world and recognise our special place in it.
The Woodstock generation now rides BMW motorcycles. We held a reunion in Salem, Oregon this weekend.
Phil Funnell is a really cool guy…world traveler, author, member of the canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame, former owner of the biggest BMW motorcycle dealership in Western Canada who’s now grown, one might say, a bit eccentric. I think Rosalie fears this will be me in 15 years.