by Katie and Mark
Katie, here. I'll give an abbreivated version of what we've been up to for the last two weeks before passing the computer off to Mark. We left L.A. and headed into the east California desert. Joshua Tree National Park was a welcome respite after the busy city-ness of L.A. Of course, we were wishing we had some climbing gear with us in this geologically amazing national park.
Mark's moto porn in J. Tree.
From J. Tree we continued east to Sun City West, AZ (just outside of Phoenix) to stay with my grandparents. We were generously invited to join my family in Gulf Shores, Alabama for a fall family reunion. Having spent many a summer on the Gulf coast as a child, I was tempted. We couldn't resist and spent four beautiful days in with my family in a ginormous house right on the beach.
The whole fam. See that building in the back that resembles a small hotel? That was our fancy pants beach house. Thanks gramps and gram!
The view and beach from that magnificent house.
The entrance to Souvenir City. I haven't been to this place since I was 9 years old!
The latest and greatest from our trip so far:
State count: 10 (including our sidetrip to AL)
Miles Ridden: 6,500
Money spent on gas: $673
National Parks visited: 5
Days on the road: 129
And now, here's Mark.
I have been dreaming of riding my motorcycle to somewhere far off for a few years now. When I met Katie, I was blown away by a woman who loves to travel and was willing to learn how to ride (just because she loves me)! So 4 months ago we set off on our dream honeymoon.
Many of you already know about the stress we experienced this summer as we watched the news of violence in Mexico. Our families were justifiably concerned, and so this last week in Gulf Shores, we were able to sit down together and talk. That's when the most beautiful thing happened. I realized that I was willing to sacrifice the trip if it meant peace for our families. I can only attribute that change to the work of God in my heart, because I REALLY wanted to ride through Central America. I was reminded that there are plenty of other fun things to do with Katie. That's when another beautiful thing happened. Katie's mother said the same thing-- it became clear that she had gone through a similar process. So we're going, but with humility. The plan is to continue to respect our families' concerns and try to hustle through old Mexico.
So after months of hearing everyone's opinions alternately warning and encouraging us, we're going for it. We thank you all for your thoughts, advice, and encouragement that you have shared.
Katie, again. We will be leaving the Phoenix area on Sunday and heading to the Douglas/Agua Prieta border crossing. It is a notoriously mellow and not-too-busy crossing. The last couple days have been spent packing, unpacking, re-packing, running last minute errands, and picking up those last minute items that we don't really need.
Here are a couple parting shots of the packing process:
Yep, you counted correctly. Nine books for two people.
These bags contain all of my (Katie) clothes for the next four months. Inside you will find: one pair of pants, two pairs of shorts, one skirt, one dress, three tank tops, four t-shirts (for riding!), one short-sleeve button up, two swimmies, three bras, five underwears, four pairs of socks, and one hoody! I know, I know, ask any true motorcycler and this is waaay too many clothes. I stripped it down as much as I could but you just never know what clothes you might need!
Next post: the South side of the border!