Today is the birthday of a friend here in Patzcuaro. You may be familiar with his blog, The Unseen Moon.
For those of you who are not, check it out, it is one of the reasons that I scribble down thoughts from time to time. Felipe has been an inspiration to me to polish the keyboards as well as dust off the old mind.
Today he was going over some of the things he can no longer do, and one of those things was "barreling 100 miles an hour on a motorcycle down a California freeway in the middle of a cold night"
In reality he probably still could do that, although I admit it would be more difficult than it was years ago.
Recently I was going over some old photos and copying them for digital storage. It was then that I found one of myself sitting on my old Triumph motorcycle on the top of Twin Peaks in San Francisco. The year was about 1971 or 72.
You might notice of how few high rise buildings there are in downtown SF next to the Bay Bridge towers....
It made me think of some of the things that I cannot or could not do anymore. I do remember barreling down streets in San Francisco doing 100 miles an hour, usually 50 to 70 was about the norm in those days. Keep in mind that in the 70's there were a lot less cars and people in the city. You certainly couldn't do that now, unless it was 3 AM .
Another thing I remember doing is when Interstate Hiway 5 opened in 1972. A friend of mine and myself decided to trek down to LA and check it out and see if it really was a faster way than old 101.
We left the city around 9 or 10 PM and found ourselves needing to stop for a bathroom break somewhere around 20 miles west of Fresno. So we pulled off the side of the highway, got out and both relieved ourselves in the middle of the highway.
We then walked around the highway for several minutes, enjoyed the starry night, returned to the car and continued on to LA. I would doubt that there were over 50 cars per night that used that road in the first few months after it opened. In our brief pause and for at least 1 hour, we were the only car on that road for that period.
During that time there were no gas stations built and if you had to get gas you had to find one of the few exits and drive easy to highway 99 which was the old original hiway.
It would be several years before any gas stations were built, highway 5 even today is a desolate strip in the middle of isolated farmland,which although a little faster than the alternatives is one of the most boring stretches of asphalt I have ever driven. ( Far worse than any autopista in Mexico )
I doubt that I could do that today, as I would be run over in a matter of seconds even at 3 AM.
One other thing I remember back in the early 70's was going to Reno from the city on a dare from another motorcycling buddy. It was September we left around 8 in the evening and were crossing Donner Pass around midnight. I naturally was not dressed for an extended motorcycle trip, no leather or warm clothes, between shivering in the cold rushing air to getting to our hotel room, where I got in the shower and stood there enjoying the hot steamy shower for awhile, the don't recollect much more of that spur of the moment trip.
Except for a little Nevada style partying. But that's another story.