Writing occasionally on the pages of this blog is fun, sort of, and I thought it might be beneficial to write about my childhood. My kids might even laugh about some of this stuff someday, so why not document it before I reach an age where my memory is so poor that I cannot share it? On that note, I have decided to document glimpses of my life and past here. So here are a couple of stories from my past, and I hope to post more of them as I recall them.
That Joshua Tree with the bottle caps in it: My dad and I used to make regular trips to the high desert to ride dirt bikes, shoot and generally fart around out in the desert. He and I both enjoy being away from urban sprawl and the high desert has a certain appeal. We used to load the bikes up in his 1974 Chevy truck (which ended up being my first vehicle) and head out past Victorville, California. There is an exit off of I-15 for Stoddard Wells Road and, a bit farther on, a second exit with the same title (the one past Denny's). We used to exit the 15 at that second exit, and park near a Joshua tree that provided almost no shade. We would ride from there and return periodically to the truck to rest, eat, or to have something to drink. Over the years, my dad would occasionally flip bottle caps from his soda pop or beer up into that tree. He even commented once about how many might be up in there. We were, after all, in the middle of the desert, and there wasn't much out there to disturb the tree.
One weekend, we made a trip out to the desert with a friend of my dad's from work, or maybe it was a friend's son, I'm not sure. I was still riding a little Yamaha YZ-80 at the time, and the acquaintance that was with us commented on how well I was riding. My dad complimented me as well, and I asked him if I was riding better than him; he admitted that he thought I was indeed a bit better than him at it. I recall asking him at least one more time later if I was really better than him at riding; he was puzzled by the fact that I was fixated on that and I said, "Well Dad, it's a big deal; I've never been better than you at anything before!"
We had many good times out there in the high desert. A couple of years ago I looked on the internet and was able to see the subject Joshua tree on either Google Earth or maybe Google Maps; it was still there and I wondered if it still had any of my dad's bottle caps in it.