Well, you’d assume this would be a dull subject and that my daughter’s heritage would be pretty much the same as mine and you probably don’t give a rat’s ass about that. And you are assuming that this topic has little or nothing to do with motorcycles, but you would be very unobservant and quite wrong in these assumptions. Here’s why. For about 12 years after my daughter Bailey was born, I never suspected her heritage was anything but the same as mine, but during her teenage years I became convinced that her heritage and mine differed significantly. There was something other-worldly, extraterrestrial and twilight zoney about her.
Anyone raising a teenage female stays up nights trying to figure out where this mentally morphing creature that used to be their daughter has come from. To shield themselves from responsibility for this monster, most men blame the milk man or the plumber, a throw-back Neanderthal gene or perhaps a connection to the Salem witches. Women seem more resigned to teenage female behavior because most of them were that way themselves. Being a well-grounded engineer, I came to the conclusion that it was some extraterrestrial genetics at work.
When she was 16, Bailey came to me and asked if she could have blue hair. What? Blue hair? Nothing in my life had prepared me for considering a question even remotely this outrageous. Who other than perhaps an extraterrestrial would want blue hair? I explained to Bailey in broad terms that blue hair might alienate some people and in her current teenage female state she could use about all the friends she could find. The next day she had blue hair.
In all those teenage years, my attempts to communicate with Bailey in English seemed not to penetrate her brain at all which lead me to assume that she perhaps communicated in a non-terrestrial mode which involved a lot of eye rolling, violent hand gestures, outraged shouts, flaring nostrils, crying and various views of her back as she walked away. I never figured it out.
Teenage boys are mostly just normal. Maybe a little sports activity, some skate boarding, a little drinking or smoking and doing well enough at school to keep their parents off their case seem to get them by. Other than trying to deal with the female space creatures in their midst, teenage boys mostly just move on with their lives in a combination of oblivion, resignation and general self-interest.
Though this theory of my daughter’s extraterrestrial heritage had been cemented in my mind for many years, it wasn’t until 2013 that I was able to combine my motorcycle riding and tangential thought processes to launch a search for proof of my theory.
Acknowledging that I have a lot of theories about life that are real slim on proof, I oriented my mind for this tour with more care than I often do. I mapped out a route that took me through the pine forested and desert parts of Arizona and New Mexico with a loop up through southern Colorado. There were enough potential extraterrestrial contact places along that route to prove or disprove my theory.
Two days before my departure, I monstrously sprained my left wrist in a bad fall while escaping a swarm of bees and tripping backwards over a sand bag I had placed there only a few minutes earlier. Wish it were something more heroic or interesting, but that was what went down. The injury put that wrist on injured reserve, rendering it almost unusable for holding a motorcycle handlebar or pulling in the clutch for gear shifts, both near constant and unequivocal requirements of riding. But I was on a mission to uncover my daughter’s teenage alien heritage and I would ride one handed as often as possible and let the pain keep me focused. I fired up the Road Glide and headed out across the southern California desert and into Arizona on a hot late May evening.