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“Rallying for a Wild Life” Eastern Africa Film Adventure

Monday, May 29th, 2017 Global Moto Travel Comments Off on “Rallying for a Wild Life” Eastern Africa Film Adventure

Tomson gazelle full moon (2)   Ishmael, the sweet taxi driver from Nairobi, patiently waited for me at the airport until my delayed flight pulled in at 4:30a. It was all perfectly timed as it brought me to my destination, the Kitengela area outside of town, by sunrise. Our deep conversation about inspiring others when we speak through the heart, was interrupted by my giddy outburst over my first wild animal viewing…a herd of Tompson gazelle. There they were at the side of the road elegantly moving together and grazing without being bothered by our 2 WD bouncing along the rocky dirt road. I had arrived.

It was so incredible to see Loraine’s sweet face, after only email contact with the three of us spread out across the globe as we prepared for her film project, Rallying for a Wild Life. Lorraine pulled this whole thing off, and it became a reality as we stayed locked in our embrace. I was in awe over the beautiful African home Lorraine was able to score for our first week. The man who had been renting it was off on holiday for a week. Just long enough for Lorraine and I to soak up the beauty of the Nairobi National Park at its backyard by ourselves to get the camera equipment lined up before Tiffany arrived a week later.

Just after sunrise was the perfect time for us to explore the animals waking, so I threw my bags down inside to follow Lorraine through the open bush. At a short distance, a family of wart hogs bolted away from the sound of our footsteps with their ears bouncing to the cadence of their dash. And without a moment to catch my breath, I saw my first wild giraffe chewing on leaves in the opposite direction as he kept his eyes on us.

LM giraffes tuWas I really already seeing bountiful African wild life not far from our lodging? As we delightedly watched this beautiful site, we stopped in our tracks as we heard what came next. A lion’s roar from about 30 meters away. We looked at one another to try and read each other’s minds as to our next step. In unison, we stepped forward in the same direction as the lion let out another roar from the creek area below as if to beckon us. We obliged, and began tracking him each handing off the GoPro to each other to capture our delighted faces as we bent over to squeeze under the tight brush along the narrow trail.

A cacophony of monkey’s warning screeches alerted us as to the lion’s route, and the bubbling creek captured perfect hoof prints skidding at a great distance from one another showing the speed of a chased animal. This was as close as we wanted to get to keep ourselves out of harm’s way. The only sound left was the combination of elated heart beats as they mingled in the air with the beautiful sounds of African birds welcoming me to the excitement of Kenya’s Nairobi National Park.


Soaring on Two Wheels: A Healing Odyssey

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 RIDING Comments Off on Soaring on Two Wheels: A Healing Odyssey

The desert fills my soul

 

Sometimes it takes getting hit over the head in a big way before we listen to that little voice. In my case, it took a big bat to get me moving out the door and onto my new path, and because I didn’t see it coming, it turned my whole world upside down.

Squeezed out of the house financially, it was a whirlwind of emotion as I was stripped of my role as full time mother and all material possessions. Responsibility shifted as I found myself taking flight on my motorcycle with tent and sleeping bag strapped to the back and freedom as the wind beneath my wings. It was time to shed the old life to make way for the new.

After making sure the kids were settled into their new routine with their dad in a nice condo in Huntington Beach, I was able to answer the call of my next destination…Joshua Tree. Why was the pull to this mystical place so strong? The complex layers of reasons would slowly reveal themselves to me over the next four months. All I had to do was let go and listen.

Immediately, the road magic kicked in, with daily synchronicities bringing beautiful souls into my path. My vulnerability on my motorcycle and love of people made me very approachable, and lengthy conversations in gas stations, restaurants and national parks ensued. My path is to spread my light and lift others. Particularly now, I’m supposed to help other people like me get unstuck after being frozen by the density that has come about in our current time. Some people are just too sensitive to handle this shift and societal change that is coming in strongly these days, and end up becoming cocooned in fear or depression.

I am sensitive to energy as I feel my feet vibrate when I remove my shoes and socks to touch the Earth. This strong pull to commune with nature here in the desert while I camp in Joshua Tree National Park and the surrounding areas is something I can’t resist, and haven’t. This lightness and Bohemian lifestyle gives me the ability to breeze into people’s lives who need me to recognize their beauty and boost them up before I move on to the next dear soul. I help these cocoons of theirs melt away to reveal their true purpose of why they are here on this planet and kick-start them into motion.

Once in a while I get a paying client for a Quantum Healing Hypnosis session, which is past life regression, and what I do on the side in addition to writing, blogging and selling aftermarket accessories that I’ve designed for my business Rugged Rider. But most of the time I exchange these sessions for the luxuries of road travel…kitchen, laundry, shower, a place to pitch my tent. These sessions always reveal that our paths have crossed for a particular reason, in that we have known each other from a past life, will in the future, or need to be together now to enhance each other’s light and help with release and healing. A couple of common threads keep appearing in sessions time and time again these days, and these two golden pieces of inner voice advice are community and balance.

Since the first of this year, I’ve gotten the strong message to bring bright and aware people together in a supportive atmosphere. Before I left my home, I would pull together about eight to ten special local clients and practitioners to have pot luck gatherings, and guided meditations on my neighboring mountain that was energized by underground pyramids and crystal caverns. This boosted us in energy and helped forge the confidence that we can make this shift easier with the support of one another.

Now I use any excuse to get new friends and beautiful souls together. I hold group campfires and sky watches, and use friend’s homes to gather us together for beautiful food and story sharing. I also pick up odd physical labor jobs to strengthen my body and the bond between others with a common goal of creating a better tomorrow; like gardening, yardwork and cleaning homes for renovation. I’ve seen strong visions for years now, of tiny home communities centralized around common areas of gardens, cooking and entertainment. This is what I’m helping to build now with others who are ready to take action in creating “contributionism” community where each member of the “tribe” contributes their gift for the well-being of the whole.

A gathering of beautiful souls

The success of such communities depends upon the sharing of knowledge, respect and compassion. I seem to be building such a community here in Joshua Tree with people I’ve stumbled upon in daily living where we’ve felt a mutual familiarity with each other and this group that seems to be forming. One member of this group has psychic abilities, and has seen visions of us as pirates on a ship together in the 1500s. We were searching for treasure back then, and interestingly enough, we’re working together now to dig through our buddy’s old stuff to get his house ready for renovation and are finding treasures of his that are collectables from eras gone by. Like ancient swords, and custom leather crafted holsters. It almost feels like a scene from Mad Max, as we forage through the goodies in this desert hideaway with visions of preparation for some sort of End Times, or something. Needless to say, each of us has a role, and together we are creating a home that will expand into a welcoming community that will be off the grid eventually and sustainable with a garden and private well.

All we need

With this strong sense of community under my wings, I am taking flight to the areas of our world that provide me the most physical, emotional and spiritual healing…Gaia’s energy centers. Joshua Tree, California, has had the loudest calling to me, so I’ve found that this high Mojave desert has provided the strongest messages and soul balm. It is being one with this beautiful being underneath our feet that has given me the most balance. And as we get launched into this next chapter of big change within our society, I find that the birds have given me the strongest message, “Soar above the turbulence, and keep the higher perspective.”

 

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When Your Ass Catches on Fire

Friday, December 5th, 2014 RIDING Comments Off on When Your Ass Catches on Fire

My ass is saved!

 

Ever find yourself a player in one of your own insane dramas when you react to an emergency life or death situation as if you were cooly swatting a fly away from your face? Well, this is just what I experienced on the first of my eight day solo ride up the coast from LA to Seattle, Washington, when my ass caught on fire.

There I was in the fast lane, zipping along the boringly straight Interstate 5 Freeway, a mere 100 miles from my brother’s boat home in San Francisco’s harbor. The high-pitched hum of “Jack,” my DRZ, had lulled me into a meditative state where only something out of the ordinary could shake me. And there it was — one of the worst possible moto “Richter Scale” scenarios. My butt felt extremely hot through the motorcycle pants, and as I glanced down behind to the right there were flames shooting from the saddlebag and exhaust! Luckily,  there was a gap between the 18-wheelers in the slow lane, so I zipped over to the shoulder for an emergency stop without the flames climbing my leg.

The next 15 minutes felt as if I were an observer of someone else’s nightmare, as I surreally reacted to the insanity. Thousands of thoughts raced through my head as I tried to smother the fire by beating on it with my glove. To make matters worse, I was quickly using up the oxygen within my helmet with no time to think of opening the visor. Not one person pulled over for me after I waved like a crazy person with flames and smoke shooting from my bike. What was fabulous about this is that I was left to my own devices to save Jack and myself from a fiery fate. It was a good thing I grabbed a piece of tire from the road to try and swat out the fire, because the weight of it ended up knocking the burning bag off the bike.

It was then that I remembered that I was still wearing my CamelBak, which was still 3/4 full and ready to save my ass before the flames hit the tank. So, I poured the contents out and doused the fire before all went up in flames. Finally, a woman pulled over and gave me two extra bottles of water and called 911 for me.

By the time the fire engine arrived, I had already proven that I could meet this big challenge head on and take care of myself. I met them with a huge smile and laugh about how my adventure had started off with a bang. They gave the bag a final dousing, and surgically cut the melted plastic away from the pipe. A peek inside the damaged area revealed that only the electrical tape around the wires had begun to melt, but the wiring seemed intact. They asked if I needed a tow, but I answered, “If this baby starts up, I’m outta here!” And wouldn’t you know it, my amazingly reliable Suzuki DRZ400 kicked over immediately. So, I grabbed an extra set of ROK Straps from my tank bag, lashed the surviving Ortlieb saddle bag to the top of my load, and was off.

My brother, Jonathan, had left work early to greet me at his boat. As he waited for my late arrival, he got on Facebook to pass the time, and discovered the post of my smiling face next to smoking Jack. As I finally pulled up, he ran out to give his only sibling an extra huge hug. There was just one answer to where we’d go to dinner that night, “Let’s get your butt in the water and kayak across the estuary to restaurant row for a well-deserved toast to life!”

And a short while later, there we sat on the outdoor waterfront patio of a fabulous Jack London Square restaurant raising our glasses to “not letting anything get in the way of chasing our dreams and living life to the fullest.”

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Lowering the DRZ400S

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013 PRODUCT REVIEW Comments Off on Lowering the DRZ400S

My lowered DRZ

I guess some of the shorter off-road studs get used to sliding off their seat at a stoplight with one foot on the ground, while maintaining total balance and control of the bike at the drop of a green light. Personally at 5’6″ with a 31″ inseam, I like to feel both balls of my feet on the ground for traffic riding mid-week. It gives me more peace of mind with cell-distracted LA drivers coming up on my rear at a stop.

I opted to initially lower my DRZ-S with the premiere craftsmanship of a custom Renanzco Racing seat. Not only did this lower my bike about an inch, but it also added extreme comfort with its ergonomically shaped wider spread. James Renazco personally contacted me to go over the specifics of the seat build to make sure that I understood the ins and outs of accommodating my body type and riding style as well as their methodology, time issues and costs. Renazco customizes the hand-crafted seats by reconstruction, so my stock seat was shipped to them for its transformation to a masterpiece that was built with premium materials to achieve durability, practicality, comfort, function and style.

Renanzco Racing seat from above

I chose the combo materials of a black suede top and yellow vinyl sides that have worn extrememly well following the detailed instructions of seat cleaning and care two years into its regular usage. After adding the suede water-proofing and conditioner, Pecard’s product “PNP4,” the seat has been able to endure rain and bike cleanings without any problems. Aside from being one of the best-looking seats out there, I have to say their personal and extremely attentive customer service jets them to the top of their class in the seat industry.

In addition to the seat, I discovered another way to lower the very tall DRZ. Enter the genius of Norman Kouba and his brilliant product, the #3 Kouba Link, which is a lowering link that dropped my bike another 1.75″. You also need to drop the front forks to match, so that the overall resulting bike geometry doesn’t change dramatically. Norman provides info on the differences between the three Kouba links and the recommended race sag (the difference between the unloaded suspension and the suspension with you on it) for each link. The Kouba site FAQ states: “They put more leverage on the rear spring and make the rear more compliant on the small stuff, but may require a heavier rear spring to help prevent bottoming if a rider is very aggressive.”

#3 Kouba link

Sure, when opting to lower your bike with links you take the chance of compromising suspension travel, effective spring rate (feels softer) and steering stabilization. These issues can be addressed, somewhat, by adjusting the suspension setting and the rear shock preload, and adding a steering stabilizer. You may also need to add bar risers in the front to lower your fork tubes.

What it comes down to is setting the bike up according to the rider, and his/her type of riding. While you may find info out there explaining the differences in the various lowering techniques, only you know through personal experience and riding style whether it’ll work for you. In the end, if lowering your bike provides more confidence on the trail and street, then it may very well be worth the money for guaranteed peace of mind and comfort in the saddle and off.

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Life Lessons from Riding Sand

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013 RIDING Comments Off on Life Lessons from Riding Sand

A loose grip is the answer to life.

A heart attack, brain bleed, and mild dementia. Nothing that the best sand riding technique couldn’t cure.

Did I feel guilty for leaving my 76 year old father in my brother’s capable hands as I took off for a weekend desert ride getaway in Borrego Springs after I’d spend two months nursing him back from his heart attack and brain bleed? Not in the slightest. If it’s one thing a caretaker learns after a long time of giving it’s that sanity demands that you give back to yourself once in a while.

There I was with my DRZ Jack, ready to kick up some sand thanks to Andy at Aerostich and Michael at On Any Moto. You see after my first adventure ride through the Grand Canyon in 2009, I quickly learned that a top load with no side bags makes for some extra squirrelly handling. So the second my two wheels hit the garage on my return, I dove right into ADVRider’s forum to find out which saddlebags would be best suited for the narrow profile I like to run for tighter trails. The answer was easy…Ortleib’s Thin Dry Saddlebags made only for Aerostich. I picked up a nice used set on the cheap, and loved them until the very end. It was a bittersweet day when my right bag took the brunt of a nice 25′ slide down Fairfax Blvd in Los Angeles to save my leg in a mid-town get-off. Thanks to Andy at Aerostich, Jack is now sporting a new set of the same most perfect waterproof dual sport bags that have ever hit the market.

With a weekend of sand staring me in the face, I knew I had to replace my 90/10 road tires with more sand-worthy counterparts. Michael at On Any Moto was there to cover my butt in the loose terrain with a new set of Dunlop D606s and a new 43 tooth Superlite steel sprocket from Drive Systems, USA. I’ve been running the D606s since I first got my bike in ’07, and I love them for their bite in the dirt while holding up well on the tar with no drift or road noise. The new smaller sprocket gave me more top end on the tar for less whine at my stable 70 mph without sacrificing much torque in the sand. Michael is my favorite dual sport supplier, and like Andy, customer service is at the very top of their list. Cheers to you, swee Michael and Andy.

When I finally let Jack loose on the grainy swells of the desert, I had to override the most common mistake made in the sand…control. This is a huge life lesson that I’ve finally come to practice regularly in my 48th year in this life. I just tossed it out of my vocabulary, altogether. Now, I let things unfold organically in their due time, and allow situations to dance to their own music. Just like Jack as he skips across this beautiful landscape at whim underneath my loose grip.

I brought this top sand riding technique back to my dad after my soul was filled from this weekend away. Watching the dementia take hold of him was like watching a motorcycle wheel bury itself deep in the sand at the mercy of a desperate gunning of the throttle. I ride the fine line of honoring his wishes, and helping him navigate the path that appears to be best for him. Who am I to judge? I use the loose-grip technique especially when dealing with my dad’s financial affairs. I let him pay his own bills, and go over them with him to make sure he’s not double-paying. He still feels in control of his life, while accepting help to see things for himself.

This stage has brought us closer together through trust, patience, and companionship. And without the lessons I’ve learned from sand, it would have never been as sweet.

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How to Make an Adventure Ride Cappuccino

Friday, February 22nd, 2013 CAMP COOKING Comments Off on How to Make an Adventure Ride Cappuccino

If you enjoy the little luxuries in your life like I do, then you can probably agree that a morning adventure ride cappuccino with a view wouldn’t be a bad thing. Sure, packing light for week long rides is paramount, and sometimes it’s a toss-up between keeping the down travel pillow
over the collapsible camp chair, but, please don’t toss out my mini espresso
maker. Maybe it’s the habitual comfort of grabbing the warm mug between my cold
hands as I kick my feet up to take in the camp location view. Or, maybe it’s
the luscious flavor dancing on my tongue as I treat myself after a few grueling
riding days. Either way, I think life’s too short to skip the little luxuries.

So, grab your mini espresso maker and fill
the base with water. Spoon in one serving of the ground espresso coffee powder (it
HAS to be as fine as possible: espresso powder, NOT drip coffee grinds) that
you have packed in your food stash and tamp it into the portafilter. A tamper
is a flat tool used to compress the grind at just the right pressure. Not too
loosely or tightly packed, so that the boiling water is pressed through the
grind for the right amount of time to capture the most aromatic flavor. Set the
espresso maker right on your camp stove with moderately low heat, so the
water-steam doesn’t rush through the coffee powder. Low heat = rich &
flavorful coffee. Leave the lid open to await the black gold gusher…

 

Kitchen kit must-have…espresso maker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the brew is finished, set the morning stimulant aside to warm up some milk
in a pot. On my rides, I pack organic powdered milk that produces a cup of milk
if 3 Tablespoons of powdered milk is added to a cup of water. Then pour your
warmed milk into your stainless steel mug or cup. Pull out your handy mini
whisk and get to whippin’, while rolling the whisk handle between your hands
like so…

Andreas whips the milk with his special buddy.

Then add the whipped milk with as much foam as your little heart desires, and add whatever sweetener your buds need. Or, if you’re a purist don’t mess with
the flavor, whatsoever. Then kick back with your masterpiece and enjoy the good life as you contemplate the day’s ride ahead.

This entry is dedicated to my dear friend Andreas Raffel who made me my first adventure ride cappuccino. Thanks Andreas, for insisting that nothing is ever too good for an adventure rider 😉

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Do Boobs and Motorcycles mix?

Thursday, December 20th, 2012 RIDING Comments Off on Do Boobs and Motorcycles mix?

Find out what the doctors aren't telling you.

It was a beautiful summer day in June when I found myself sliding down Fairfax Blvd face down for twenty five feet when a million thoughts rushed into my head, “Crap, I’m going down. Wow, how weird the asphalt looks sliding by my visor. Thank heavens
I’m wearing my motorcycle gear.” I popped up in the middle of traffic in shock and walked away from my motorcycle to the sidewalk in a daze. Waiting for the paramedics as onlookers congregated around me gave me a chance to assess my injuries. My right shoulder and foot took the brunt of the impact, but everything else seemed ok. I thought I was lucky to walk away from my first motorcycle accident
with just a broken collar bone and broken big toe. It was not until a year later that I started to feel the effects of silicone poisoning.

It was back in 1988 when I was 24 that I made the decision to transform my body into something that it was not. I was very athletic, very sensual, and loved my body. But, for some reason I was born into a time that gave women easy access to change the way they looked, especially when living in Los Angeles. I wondered what it would feel like to match my sensuality with a womanly figure. No one else was involved in my decision, so it was just fascinating to witness my emotional process through the whole thing. I thought my emotional state before and after the surgery was a healthy body image. I had fun and thoroughly enjoyed it both without and with the new breasts. The decision wasn’t to
improve my self image. It was to enjoy a new experience.

Three weeks ago the silicone poisoning ramped up from the ruptured implant due to the accident. I got bad headaches, and felt a burning sensation from my breast that spread into the entire chest cavity. After mining the internet for facts regarding silicone poisoning, I was not shocked to find details that weren’t shared with me by the surgeon when I first got them. Silicone is made up of major neurotoxins and carcinogens, which is a recipe for ill health even when they don’t rupture http://www.jussta.com/recipe_for_death.htm). There are many women who have suffered from autoimmune diseases immediately after the implants were put in, but the medical community has refused to link them. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry, and that’s a hell of a lot of hush money.

After going in to get my symptoms checked out, my doctor scheduled an MRI to confirm her diagnosis of a rupture. The MRI came back positive for silicone leakage. Luckily, I was immediately referred to Dr. David Sayah, one of the top plastic
surgeons in Beverly Hills in my opinion, to perform the removal of the implants right away. I felt so out of place walking into that gorgeous marble-lined office fresh out of the tv show “Nip Tuck.” How the hell did I get sucked into this merry-go-round, anyway?

Right now for me at age 48, I am more concerned about health than ego. I enjoyed my wonderful experience with the bigger breasts for 24 years, but am very happy to embrace the old me and a healthy body. I have decided not to replace them,
because I’m ready to feel the energy in my body in its purest form without the interference of any foreign matter inside. I’m feeling some big energy flow through my body these days, and much of the time it surfaces as vibration in my feet. Other times it shoots through my body in pulses or strong waves during meditation. I’m ready for the next phase of my life that includes a more spiritually sensual embrace of my body.

As I look at my body in the mirror after surgery, I find myself exploring all of the new emotions that are surging forward. I had identified myself with these breasts for all of my adult life, so I’m allowing myself to feel all of the emotions that go with the process of letting them go. To be perfectly honest, I’m going through a mourning phase right off the bat. It almost feels as if I’ve had a double mastectomy, and am currently really missing them. But, I am walking away with a stronger emotion that overrides it all, and that is the excitement I’m feeling about a healthy body with beautiful energy that others can feel. At the end of the day, isn’t the beauty always found from within, anyway?

 

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Takin’ On the World

Saturday, August 27th, 2011 RIDING Comments Off on Takin’ On the World

Livin’ the dream!

“I have cancer.”

Paul’s words blasted through the phone, but shock kept them from registering. This sentence seemed so surreal coming from my dear friend’s lips.

“What?! This can’t be!” was all I could utter. My mouth was paralyzed.

“Two years of planning my round-the-world, and it’s in
the toilet. What’s the point?!” I could feel him giving up.

“Wait, don’t slip away. I know it’s hard to see it right
now, but there may be a reason why your trip isn’t happening the way you planned it. Listen, I need you to hang in there with me. Can I ask you something?” As these words rolled off my tongue, I felt the strongest pull to help Paul heal. It was a pull I had never experienced in all of my life. It was so strong that it felt like a calling.

“Sure.” He answered.

“Will you let me help you heal? I know we can do it together.” And with that invitation, Paul felt drawn to say, “OK”. It was at
that moment that I knew how the rest of my life would play out…in a bigger picture sort of way.

This intense period of healing and connection pushed this friendship into a beautiful relationship where life dreams converged. From a foundation of optimism in the midst of a battleground, the round-the-world dream was reborn…one year later. Except this time it would be with a loving partner.

But, as a solo riding mama, how in the world was I going to be able to break away from my kids longer than my longest ride of ten days? There was only one answer. They would come with us. This vision of the family round-the-world adventure ride is very clear in our minds, and something we are making happen in 2012.

Now, for the fun of landing a Ural motorcycle, and customizing the sidecar into a cushy rig for my daughter Alana, 10, and my son Dimitri, 7. This is a dream I’ve had in my mind and have talked about in my ride reports for years. It’s finally coming to fruition. I have always envisioned a sidecar in my future, and now I get to orchestrate its design. Two of my biggest passions rolled into one…riding and designing. This is how I am going to share my world with my children and be by their side as they discover our world as a whole lying in wait to unfurl its beauty for their new eyes.

I invite you my dear ones to follow along. This is going to be a journey of a lifetime for so many as it represents hope, dreams, love and determination. We have our vision focused on making this trip happen, and those of you who come along for the ride will get to witness great things unfolding before all of our eyes.

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Ara Gureghian: Hollywood Needs our Shining Star

Friday, July 8th, 2011 RIDING Comments Off on Ara Gureghian: Hollywood Needs our Shining Star

Vote for this photo of Ara by clicking

"The Phoenix Rises"

 

Your vote could save the future of our country. Quite literally. Here we have our very own brother adventure rider, Ara Gureghian, and his dog Spirit captured in a single poignant photo that could be the seed of inspiration for the next Ron Howard short film that he is developing with his daughter.

Ara’s black and white desert self portrait is a finalist for an inspired storyline in Ron’s new “Imagin8tion project”. This means that we have a shot at getting a story to screen that will fill the hearts of Americans and beyond and give them hope for their future. You see, Ara represents a rising Phoenix from the depths of the ashes. And with so many trying to climb out of the ashes these days, hope is the only life-saver around.

What is one of the fastest routes to the ashes in this case you may ask? I can attest that as a parent this answer is easy…losing a child. Try an only child. And in Ara’s case, how about a twenty-six year old son whom you’ve wrapped your future dreams into of co-owning and running an exciting restaurant together that is the culmination of a tight loving relationship and passion for food and life. All of it down the toilet and with it the will to live without this one person by his side, when the few words were uttered, “I have cancer.”

Since losing his son seven years ago, Ara has taken his life, BMW sidecar rig and his devoted dog, Spirit, to the road. This way of life hasn’t always been easy for Ara. Being at the whim of Mother Nature has both its perks and its challenges. As one gets older, the challenges become more and more like a test of sanity. Why, at age 62, would you put your body through camping in the snow without heat and luxuries? Or, find yourself stuck in a remote area of Timbuktu when your rig breaks down.

The answer is very simple…it is a calling.

Ara has answered this calling of taking to the road with grace, determination and loyalty. Through this journey and the shared insight and heartfelt self discoveries within his blog, www.oasisofmysoul.com , Ara has shed light on not only the dark recesses of his own mind, but those of thousands of others. His readers cling to his words that surface daily like boeys in a tumultuous and angry sea. These words have become their only hope when everything around them looks so dim.

If Ara can survive both the cards he has been dealt, as well as the cards he has dealt himself, then why can’t we?

Vote by clicking the above photo and navigate through the contest details. Thank you, Nicole.


Welcome to Cud for the Mind

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 RIDING Comments Off on Welcome to Cud for the Mind

“I do some of my best thinking in my DRZ saddle.  Actually, the bigger thoughts get chewed over and over in my mind in between concentration on the trail. That’s the beauty about dual sporting…the freedom on the bike and the connection with nature gets you out of the mundane thought. So, toss out those cells, cubicle demands and grocery lists and hop on that bike, or at least join me in some dual sport thought chew.”

-Nicole Espinosa is the founder and blogger of Rugged Rider.


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