Sykomish in Fall

skykomish

Skykomish River, November 15, 2014. Out with the Seattle boys. Flow at around 2.500 cfs.

 


Moto Tramp 125cc_part XII: Slave to the Road

8/3/14

Comodoro Rivadavia – Puerto Madryn – desert roadside

The desert road. Excruciating boredom and deadly near-misses. I’m balanced on the tabletop earth as dirt, cacti and bitumen scroll away beneath me. I lean into the wind, throttle ever-open. Another truck looms in my side mirror and shudders past, pushing me aside. I ride the tightrope between axle and ditch, tensing against the Patagonian gusts. Continue reading


Moto Tramp 125cc_part XI: Nothingtown

6/3/14 – 8/3/14

Puerto San Julian – Nothingtown – Comodoro Rivadavia

We crunched through a grey-gravelled, purely exploratory coastal road. My tires sunk and slipped, and I practised non-tension with brain and body.

Legs dangling over cliffs, we watched two pods of sea-lions slosh themselves onto flat rockbergs and sun-bask until their rubber-sheen coats dried to fur. The Spanish name, ‘lobo del mar’, or wolf of the sea, is more genetically accurate. This is obvious by the way they scratch their necks with their flippers like flea-ridden dogs, turned amphibious by a wicked spell. They frolic in the gatorade ocean, neck-nip on the flat rocks and tussle for sunbathing estate. Waft of wet dog and warm blubber. Continue reading


Moto Tramp 125cc_part X: Cloudmonster

3/3/14 – 5/3/14

Rio Gallegos – Comandante Luis Piedrabuena – Puerto San Julian

Hats-over-faces, we lay in the dirt by the road. I lay on my back in my foam joke-armour, inbuilt mattress against the cacti and gravel. Time collapsed the way it does in sleep, and I awoke to the scuttle of hooves. A stray sheep trotted by, doomed to die alone in the infinite landscape. I staggered over to El, nudged her awake. Continue reading


Moto Tramp 125cc_part IX: Onward

02/03/14 – 03/03/14

San Sebastian – Rio Gallegos – Commandante Piedra Buenos

Border-crossing circus. Check-out of Argentina via the four mystery-desks. Nice, helpful official, sends you to the angry, jaded official, who sends you to a chronically bored one one, who sends you to another nice one, who sends you on your way. We ride through the rock-studded gravel into no-man’s land, check into Chile, and present our archive of crumpled papers and stubs. Elisa does the talking, while I stare at the picture of the local president. We’d be back in Argentina later that day. Continue reading


Moto Tramp_125cc_part VIII: Skiff

01/03/14

Rio Grande – San Sebastian

A cardboard box, probably belonging to a wide-screen television, came tumbling down the roadside toward us, heading South. Continue reading


Return to the Chilko_part V: Wayward

I rise while dawn is still darker than the moonlit night. Crystals line the inside of my tent, gathered in corners like snowdrift. I reach for a drink bottle. One litre of perfectly cylindrical ice. I check my back-up bottle. Apparently it was subject to the same conditions. Continue reading


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