Loco es bueno! (Crazy is good!)

Every last one of us ought to experience at least One Big Life Adventure — some “crazy” thing we’ve always wanted to do, even if our idea makes no sense to anyone else, or maybe even to ourselves! Sometimes loco es bueno (crazy is good!), and it’s our wild-and-woolly, free-spirited sense of adventure that allows us to seize our serendipitous moment:

Overlooking Mulholland Dr.

Like Columbus in the olden days
We must gather all our courage
Sail our ships out on the open seas
Cast away our fears and
All the years that come and go
Take us up, always up…
We may never pass this way (again)…
(Seals and Crofts, 1973)

Indeed, we may never pass this way (again).  So, go loco.  Follow your heart. Busta move and get-a-move-on. Carpe diem. You get the idea….

Vamos!

Locomototrip: when a picture is worth a thousand words.

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Hasta la vista, locomotos

Venice BeachThe locomotos are basking on Venice Beach, a Southern California beach considered a microcosm of the entire world as well as a carnival of sensory delights.

Venice Beach represents the entire human spectrum–from tourists to the homeless, from restaurateurs to street vendors, and from successful screenwriters to struggling actors. Every movement in Venice is a kaleidoscopic tumbling of images; each turn of the cylindrical knob creates another fantastical illusion to enjoy.

Boardwalks ribbon through the soft sands that stretch from Marina del Rey to Venice Beach and into Santa Monica, Malibu, and the Pacific Palisades. It’s easy to forget the parameters of time as the world moves forward at different speeds and in different directions. Skateboarders weave in and out of lovers holding hands as merchants hawk their wares and beachcombers stroll against the backdrop of the Pacific’s eternal horizon.

While the locos wait to receive the title to LocoTres’s moto, the foursome spends time on this Southern California beach, sinking into the sand as the sound of the ocean on a balmy afternoon soothes their road-weary bones and the briny air stings their sunburned faces. As the sun slips into the Pacific Ocean, the locos sip wine and think about how great it is to be alive, and to be on this journey with friends they hadn’t even met a month and a half ago.

Not a bad way to end the day. And not a bad place to rest before riding across the border into Baja.

May the “City of Angels” protect you on your journey, Locomotos. Hasta la vista!

A bump in the road

Whatever it takes, I'm gonna find my wallet!

The locos stopped to gas up their motos as they headed southward to cross the border into Mexico. Poor LocoTres put his wallet on top of the pump for what seemed like a second as he pumped the gas. Alas, he didn’t realize his wallet had been snatched until he turned around to put the nozzle in the pump. Sadly, his wallet contained his passport, credit card, motorcycle registration and title, and his personal journal–all of which were gone in a flash.

LocoTres can’t go anywhere without his passport, so the Locomotos have backracked to Los Angeles, where LocoTres has an appointment with the Danish consulate.

It hasn’t been the best week for LocoTres: even his Mac laptop crashed, but fortunately the geniuses at the Apple store were able to retrieve all his data. At least he has his Mac.

Hope LocoTres gets his passport back soon. In the meantime, the locos are spending more time in and around the City of Angels, (Los Angeles), which is a trip within a trip.  Last night the locos went to the Jay Leno Show; who knows where adventure will take them today?

Keep us posted, LocoTres…

 

Too close for comfort

The locos  camped out in Death Valley, CA. For those unfamiliar with Death Valley, it’s located in the Mojave Desert, which is one of the hottest and driest places in North America. Maybe that’s why it’s called “Death Valley!” Actually, D.V. got its name from English prospectors during the California Gold Rush. Unlike the Native American tribe, Timbisha, who have inhabited the Mojave Desert for 1000 years, the  pasty white English prospectors weren’t accustomed to such dry climate and extreme heat. Death Valley is a misnomer, however, because records from the Gold Rush report just one death.

The locos didn’t have to worry about extreme heat in the middle of the Mojave on a recent December evening. They were more concerned with having a place to rest their weary bones and staying warm and dry all night.

Wonder who snores the loudest?

All’s quiet on the Western front

 

San Francisco: Seagulls soar above the briny bliss

The locos rode into San Francisco, parked their bikes in a city parking lot on Fisherman’s Wharf, stripped off their helmets and moto gear, and toured the city. They sat on a bench somewhere on the Wharf and watched the seagulls fly overhead while they ate  some of San Francisco’s world-famous sourdough bread. Then they toured Alcatraz, (“Island to the pelicans”), a former U.S. military fortress, which later became one of the toughest maximum-security prisons in the United States and which once housed some of the world’s toughest criminals.

Leaving Alcatraz: Let it be a lesson to you, LocoDos!

Goin’ back to Cali

San Francisco fog. Fisherman’s Wharf. Pacific Coast Highway. Mullholland Drive. Death Valley. Cali. The Locos are going {back} to Cali, man. Well, LocoUno is going back to Cali. For the other two locos, their first trip to the West Coast is gonna be a trip.

Social Networks: Linking the Locos

The best part of life’s journey is the people we meet along the way…

The locos first met each other in online social networks. LocoUno (Diego Arango) lives in Atlanta, GA but travels often to his native Colombia, South America. Diego is a member of Horizons Unlimited, a travel network that links motorcyclists and adventurists from all over the world. Through Horizons Unlimited, LocoUno met LocoTres (Patrick Spanfelner), a professional off-road racer from Denmark. Patrick wanted to travel the United States from one end of the country to the other, and wanted to complete the trip before Summer 2011, when he had to be back in Denmark to hop a plane to San Paolo. After communicating online with Diego, Patrick bought a plane ticket to the U.S. and then bought an inexpensive dirt bike for Locomototrip, which he plans to sell dirt cheap after the journey.

LocoUno met LocoDos through the latter’s father, who travels often to Colombia, and who happened to strike up a conversation with LocoUno during a recent flight. After a little background research (and maybe a little background check? Just sayin’!) LocoDos’s father introduced his son to LocoUno.

LocoDos (Joshua Palmer from Atlanta, GA) had just graduated from college and wanted a graduate-level adventure. Josh’s father, a bit of a free-spirit himself, was in favor of an adventure as long as Josh was learning something. The official deal: LocoDos has to learn Spanish by the end of the summer. The official teacher: LocoUno, the Colombian native, is fluent in both Spanish and English. The plus factor: LocoTres, the son of a Danish mother and an expat American father,  is fluent in Danish, English, and German. Welcome to the Loco League of Nations!

Within a month, LocoUno and LocoDos had prepped their bikes, done their research, and rolled on down the highway. They left the north Georgia mountains in mid-October, riding 150-200 miles a day and camping at night. They picked up LocoTres somewhere in Missouri, who’d just spent the night in a state park loo after torrential rains and pummeling hail had soaked his clothes and sent him scrambling for shelter.

Along the way, the locos have found plenty of places to clean up and bunk down through the online social network, Couch Surfing, whose mission is to “create a better world, one couch at a time.”  The locos have met people of all ages and backgrounds through this worldwide network, crashing on couches from Ohio to Oklahoma. More importantly, they’ve established new connections and have made new friends as they traveled across the country.

CouchSurfers Unite!

Locomototrip is on Facebook, too, the world’s largest online social network. As the locos “moto” across the U.S., their families and friends can stay in touch, and the friends they meet along the way can follow the locos online.

It is truly a small world (after all), and thanks to social networking, the world becomes smaller (and friendlier) every day.

Vamos!

Turkey Time

The locos spent Thanksgiving on the road, which wasn’t a huge deal for LocoUno or LocoTres because these boys have their own national holidays. LocoDos, however, is a chef, and not a Thanksgiving has passed in the last several years when he hasn’t whipped up a festive feast for his family. Well, he’s got family on the road now (after spending that much time together, smelling each other’s breath day in and day out, these locos have to be like any other loco family!) they’re all gonna cook together.

They met a CouchSurfing friend on Thanksgiving, and everyone pitched in to prep the turkey for the deep fry. If you’ve never eaten fried turkey, you don’t know what you’re missing!  Deep-fried in peanut oil, the bird is crispy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside.

The locos' deep-fried Thanksgiving

As for this little fella? He just wants a kiss. Or a few little morsels that fall off someone’s plate. After all, dogs celebrate Thanksgiving, too.

Headin' your way for a little turkey love

Loco Las Vegas

Looking more like Peter Fonda every day

The locos left the Moab desert at sunrise, driving 500 miles or so to Las Vegas. They picked up another loco on the way, though we still haven’t found out LocoCuatro’s name, or even if he’s an official loco. (These guys make friends wherever they go, you know?)

Once in Vegas, the locos did a little rock climbing and enjoyed a little couch surfing. LocoTres, (Patrick-from-Denmark), turned 25. LocoUno (Diego-from-South America) tried to teach LocoDos (Josh-from-the-U.S.) some Spanish, especially before the locos ride down to Mexico. And every day, LocoDos (Josh) is looking more like Peter Fonda in Easy Rider, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. (If you’ve seen the movie, you know what I mean…)

The locos are having a grand ol’ time, which is evident from their photos! There’s good eatin’, good sleepin’, and of course, good lovin’! Ah, Loco Las Vegas.

Good sleepin'

Sleep where & while you can, LocoUno

“Creating a better world, one couch at a time”

That’s the official mission of the online social network, CouchSurfing.org, a non-profit organization that connects worldwide travelers to the local communities and cultures they wish to experience. Whether surfing for a sofa or wanting to host one, the CouchSurfing network is made up of like-minded folks who look at life as an adventure and who want to live it to the fullest.

To join the worldwide organization, simply fill out the online form, read the rules, ask some questions, and get to know others online.  Here are some statistics from CouchSurfing website:

  • Total number of CouchSurfers 2,385,528
  • Successful Surf or Host Experiences 2,691,246
  • Friendships Created 2,768,165
  • Positive Experiences 4,433,458
  • Countries Represented 245
  • Cities Represented 79,930 (Source: http://www.couchsurfing.org)

Dawn and Danny are friends the locos met through the CouchSurfing network, and as the world gets smaller through online networks, we really do seem to be separated by only a few degrees: Dawn is a friend of a friend of one of the locos. Dawn and Danny let the locos crash on their sofas and offered them hot showers and a hot meal.

Dawn from Moab, UT

You're scaring me, dude