Saturday, October 9, 2010

Coming Out of the Fog

Kind of an odd concept going into fog for the summer and coming out in autumn.  But looking back on that last post from the coast, the fog gave a good cover to break away from the drudgery that blogging had become.  Coming up with regular posts that had even a nominal amount of interest was a chore. Consequently, I gave myself a self-imposed 3 month sabbatical from blogging.  It wasn't planned to be three months it just turned out that way.  More on that in a minute.

The situation had gotten to the point where I couldn't see the forest for the trees.  I was focusing too much on trying to come up with interesting content while my heart wasn't in it.  I was letting the blog run my life instead of vice versa.  The time off was a good way to stop and look at the bigger picture.

The beemer and I have been racking up the miles this summer.  One of the great benefits of riding is meeting interesting people.  If I can humbly say this, the beemer seems to be a magnet that draws people of all ages.  From little kids holding on to their mother's hand to elderly ladies, people seem to gravitate to it and conversations start quickly and happen almost daily.

A recent example happened at the Vista House overlooking the Columbia Gorge.  I stopped there week before last to snap some photos.  As I was getting ready to leave, a gentleman pulled into the parking lot on a Harley.  We started making small talk about motorcycles then he mentioned that he just needed to get out and go for a ride.  He said that ten days ago he received some bad news.  He's been diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas.  The conversation took a different tone so I asked him if he had a religious background.  He perked up and said yes he's a Christian.  He said that his future is secure and he knows where he's going when he dies.  It was really great to hear him confidently talk about his faith and how people are seriously listening to what he has to say.  It was obvious that his faith has given him strength in spite of facing the unknown with cancer.

This brings me to the bigger picture.  I'd like to invite you to stick with me as we go on a ride.  I can't help but talk about my faith in God and more specifically in Jesus.  He has changed my life over the last 9 years and I have to tell others of His love and grace and mercy.  If you had a cure for cancer would you talk about it or keep it to yourself?  If you knew of the only exit out of a burning building would you "respect the rights of others" and not say anything?

Some might say, "Why talk about faith, this is a motorcycle blog?"  I can't suppress it any longer.  On this blog I've kept it bottled up so as not to offend anyone but I have to be true to the title and post on what I think about.  More importantly I want to be true to God.

We all know that riding a two wheeler is dangerous.  We also know that at any moment we could leave this life.  Let's face it, there's a one-to-one relationship between people and death.  No one gets out of this life alive.  I know this is a negative subject but what if it's true that what we believe in this life determines where we go in the next life.  We plan for vacations and retirement, I'm thinking maybe we should look at what's next after this.

I've developed an online relationship with many of you over the past year and as a result I care about you.  And even though I've been lurking for a few months I've still been following your blogs.  I want to bring this blog back up and share my thoughts along with motorcycle travels. The content here is not intended to be offensive.  Hopefully it will be a thought provoking journey.  I hope you find it both interesting and challenging.

I thought I would post a straight on photo instead of the usual reflection shot.  This was yesterday afternoon at Bald Peak State Park.  This area is excellent for riding the twisties and seeing beautiful scenery.  The trouble is you can't do both at the same time.

By the way, in case you're wondering why I'm wearing a baseball cap it's because I'm follicly challenged.  Actually I don't want the glare off my forehead to bring down a satellite somewhere.

God's speed.


  1. Lovely photos as always Mike and REALLY good to see you back.

    I can't see how you can offend anyone who reads your blog regarding the affirmation of your faith. From a personal viewpoint, the fact that someone has faith and hope for the future is the best possible thing a person could wish for. It guides behaviour. Good on you!

    Religion as such doesn't figure highly in my life for a number of reasons but I still try to conduct myself in a decent manner and help others when I can - why wouldn't you? I also have optimism for the future.

    Thanks for the refreshing post Mike, there is much to be admired.

  2. Geoff,
    Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by. Keep up the safe riding and the great posts!

  3. It is questionable whether many motorcycle blogs are just about motorcycles. Most mainly describe the things the author is seeing or doing while riding, so I don’t see it at all as an issue for you to talk about your faith and your riding. It certainly won’t be offensive. We all know you cannot please all the people all the time – a fact that I was reminded about when I upset somebody with something I wrote on my blog, so my rationale is that you should write what you believe in, what you want to say and what gives you pleasure. Most bloggers probably recognised finding something to write about can be a chore sometimes and that is a good time to take a rest from your blog, just like you did. I am glad you have decided to write again. Welcome back!

  4. Gary,
    Thank you too for your thoughts on this and for stopping by. It's interesing to read about your trip. Continue to ride safe!

  5. I had a sense that you wanted to head this direction and were perhaps tentative about it. That you have a heart to minister shows in your posts and comments to others.

    It probably will offend some people, and some may simply not be interested, but it will also touch others. You never know who will stumble across a post and find something they need. Because it's from your heart, it won't be such a chore...well, everything can be chore at times, but you know what I mean.

    Ok, on to the mundane...

    I like the orchard shot. I'm not brave enough to walk into someone's orchard, but I love the image. I have a thing for orchards, especially old ones with some old forgotten tale.

    The b&w seat and gloves - perfection. That's a great photograph. Love it.

    And finally, It's great to actually see you! And at Bald Peak, one of my favorite places. At one time I had this foolish notion of riding a bicycle up there. Follicly challenged on Bald Peak, Haha!...did you plan that bit of irony on purpose? :)

  6. Kari,
    Thank you, I appreciate your comments - I really do.

    This was only the second time that I've walked into that orchard. It's at the base of Bald Peak. It's pretty big which makes it easy to get in and out unnoticed, at least I think no one saw me. It's an almond orchard and they were everywhere. Come to think of it I could've been mistaken as an almond poacher. Yikes, I better wait until the trees are bear to go in there again.

    LOL on your Bald Peak analogy. I didn't think of that until I read your comment. I'm not totally bald just challenged but I should have connected the dots (so to speak). Thanks again!

  7. Mike, Religion is not a big part of my life either but I have never been offended by others ideas or religions for that matter. Lately I have been riding a lot and it has allowed me to rethink life and the purpose we are here for. I too believe in saying what I feel and if that offends someone, than I'm sorry, don't read my blog. Keep up the good work and pictures. Life is short!

  8. George,
    Thanks for your honesty. That's a good beginning to think about the purpose of life. You're right, riding offers a lot of time to think and since we occasionally have close calls the purpose of life should be addressed.

    You're right about life being short too. That gives me an idea for a post. Thank you!

  9. Kari,
    That orchard is hazelnuts (filberts) not almonds. I don't why I typed almonds. Just wanted to clear that up!

  10. Very well written post Mike. Love it and look forward to reading much more!! Love the shots too!

  11. Very thoughtful post and it really matches the title of your blog. I guess that I wouldn't be too worried about offending anyone because, after all, this is the Internet and no matter what you say, someone somewhere will be offended.

    Welcome back. Looking forward to your posts and your photography. I also really like the B&W shot of the gloves on the seat.


  12. Stacey,
    Thank you for the encouragement and for stopping by!

    Thank you too for your thoughts. We all hope we don't offend anyone but I guess that's not always possible unfortunately. Thank you for your kind words!

  13. Understand the blog thing. Been there, done that. Coming out of my own fog.

    If you will indulge me I'd like to offer a bit of advice. I've been around a long time. Been blogging a long time. Seen a lot of intense life. My offering is this:

    Follow your heart, my friend.

    I sense that your blog isn't just a newsletter, a how-to guide, or the Great American Novel. Nor is it a venture that's headed for commercial possibilities. It's a vehicle to connect with others.

    A more meaningful connection will happen with those that chose to follow with you. Those that chose not to follow are entitled to their choice. Doesn't mean they're bad people. Just not those you'd choose to hang out with, anyway. So it all works out.

    For what it's worth, you know where I stand on things. I'll be hanging around with your forebearance.

  14. Irondad,
    Thank you for your advice. Your comments are always appreciated. I hope you hang around for as long as you can but your last statement about forbearance is one where I might disappoint. I will be following my heart though.

  15. Hi Mike! Sorry it took so long for me to get here. Welcome back and I'm excited about this journey! I'm with you for sure. I can't wait to be inspired by your words and I'm sure God will have His hand in it as well!
    Thanks for the photo of youself and not blinding us with the glare!! hahahaha!

  16. Hi Eve,
    Thank you for stopping by and your comment! It's a good thing we have a lot of cloudy days in the Northwest... no chance for glare. ;)