300 Miles on The Motorcycles
March 2007

Welcome, sports fans, to another addition of “Sandy Tries to Kill Herself”. Yes, the year started off with a whizz-bang. No, seriously, we had to pee in the middle of a cactus field, but more on that pleasant topic later…

Remember my new companion-in-pain, Taryn? Well, she and I decided that a marathon just wasn’t going to do it this time around. (Come on, really. How much fun is it to run in a straight line for 26.2 miles? Ya, not much…) Our newest addition to the race family is the Adventure Race. What the hell is an adventure race, you’re asking? Ever seen the Eco-Challenge, Mark Burnett’s production before the days of Survivor? No? Damn. Okay, then think mountain biking, running, map reading, orienteering and rock climbing all thrown into one big pot, simmered for 4-5 hours and tossed out as one big pile o’ sweat and bruises. Makes you want to sign up for one right now, doesn’t it? Huh?!? You know you want to!

So we found the closest race possible…Phoenix, Arizona. I swear, it was the closest one offered at the right time of year. They hold these races all over California, Nevada and Arizona, many of them during the hot summer months. I mean, come on, Las Vegas in August?!? Puh-leese!! I know what you’re thinking about Phoenix, but it was seriously chilly for most of the race, THANK GOD! So, we drove down (me, Terry and Taryn), towing the motorcycles in hopes of escaping the day before the race for a “Blast to the Past” ride. More on that later… We left Davis around noon on a Thursday in mid-March with intentions of driving straight through to Phoenix. And we did. Longest damn ride in a car EVER. We made it there Friday morning around 1:30AM. Just a we bit tired. Got up actually faily early on Friday morn (when it was light out). We decided to ride the motorcycles up to Precott, through Jerome and back to Phoenix. The history behind this ride? Our very, very dear, close friend, Kris, lived in Prescott for many years. Unfortunately, he also passed away in Prescott in December 1998. It was a memorial ride of sorts. Prescott is about 1 hour 20 minutes north/northwest of Phoenix. And the wind on that day was enough to keep me awake and quite worried about how the ride was going to go. I mean, the gusts were upwards of 25-30 MPH. Fine. Neat. Fuck. So away we went, Taryn riding on the back of Terry’s bike, me clutching for control on mine.

Prescott was the same yet very, very different. Prescott, like most towns in the U.S., had been invaded by Wal-Mart, Target, and every other big box store imaginable. Yuck. When we saw that, we headed straight for the old downtown square hoping to find a place to eat. We ended up at the Gurley Street Grill, a place that held many memories of times with Kris. After a satisfying lunch and some reminiscing, we headed out for Jerome. Now Jerome is a town built into a mountainside. Think small, European village, the kind you see in all the travel mags. It’s a very windy, sometimes narrow drive to get to the top of the mountain, but oh, the views are so well worth it. Awesome. You can see for hundreds of miles. The town winds around the backside of the mountain for maybe 1/2 mile to a mile. Homes, shops and restaurants line the streets, open and inviting for all those willing to make the climb. I ended up purchasing a very cool ceramic vase that was fired with horse-tail hairs, creating a carbon design that adorns the outside in a beautiful spiral. For all those willing to take the journey, who enjoy small town life, Jerome is definitely a place to stop and check out.

Three hundred miles, 35 MPH wind gusts and one cool afternoon later, we were back at the hotel, doing shots of Jagger in the bar and preparing for the next day’s challenge. We made sandwiches and filled Camelbacks. We sliced fruit and orderd in from Olive Garden. Yes, I know, but it was close, it was open and it gave us carbs and protein. Beautiful. We had to check in at the REI store in Scottsdale before the sun even rose the following morning, so we had to prep quick, eat quick and get to bed.

Thus brings us to the end of Part 1. Why? I have a severely sprained right ankle, a 5 year old on summer break and need to get the laundry finished. Glamorous, ain’t it?!?! More on the ankle at a later date…