In Pursuit of Wildness: Petrified Forest National Park
I’m on historic US Route 66 heading east for a small village nestled next to the Rio Grande in New Mexico called La Joya. Each year, I make this journey across the wild west, past little communities and towns with interesting names: Newberry Springs, Oatman, Cool Springs, Valentine, Peach Springs, Twin Arrows, Two Guns. They sound like names from old Western movies. The map tells me that it’s about 1,100 miles from my home in Three Rivers, CA, to La Joya, but I rarely follow the straight lines.
Today, I am riding my 2019 Indian Springfield on its maiden voyage. It’s three weeks old and just broken in with barley 911 miles on the odometer. I love Western movies, and I’m especially fond of the line by Augustus McCrae in Lonesome Dove: “Ain’t nothing better than riding a fine horse into a new country.” In Peach Springs, AZ, near Mile Marker 88, I stop to pay my respects to a fallen biker, Danny Cypert. The air is warm and the warm breeze pushes me toward Peach Springs. In the distance, a train with endless cars snakes across the prairie. This is a popular route for motorcyclists cruising Route 66.