JOURNAL ENTRY 8-29-04-MALCOLM SMITH
There are very few riders from my generation that haven't been influenced by Malcolm Smith. I am very fortunate to call him my friend. Ever since I was 15 years old and saw "On Any Sunday" I knew what direction I hoped my life would take. Malcolm's larger than life screen presence is only exceeded by the man himself. A motorcycle champion, a businessman, a devoted father and husband, icon of our sport, Malcolm is truley one of a kind. I have shared many great racing and trailriding experiences with Malcolm. From teaming at the Tecate Enduro, to competing in my first Rally(The Atlas Rally) to trailrides at his Colorado home and in Chile with Lyle Lovett, to the recently held Dakar Rider Search Challenge where Malcolm graciously donated his time(enduring through some very long days in the process) and wisdom to help us select the team. I have many great memories of riding with Malcolm. And I look forward to many more. Malcolm is now 62 years young. His passion for off road motorcycling is stronger than ever. During the Dakar Rider Search Malcolm and I rode one of the transfer stages together from Primm to Dumont Dunes. I got a flat along the way and had to pound out 25 miles in the sand and rocks just to get to the bivouac. It was a great ride in spite of this fact as it always is whenever you're with Malcolm Smith. On the last day of the Challenge our Baja 1000 factory prototype was brought out for uthe team to test. We gave Malcolm the first ride on the factory beast. In typical Malcolm fashion he promised to take it easy and then promptly proceeded to pin it across the desert at 80 miles an hour. Malcolm continues to be a huge inspiration in my life as well as the life of many other off roaders. I thank my lucky stars every time I am in his presence. In the words of my one of my other great heroes. Long may you run, Malcolm!
JOURNAL ENTRY 7-30-04-CARLOS CASTANEDA
The works of Carlos Castaneda have long played a major role in my life. I have read and re-read all of his books since I got my first copy of A Seperate Reality as a high school student back in Las Vegas. What can you say about Castaneda that hasn't already been written. Visionary, philosopher, Godfather of the New Age movement, crackpot, scam artist, staggering genius; all have been used to describe his contribution to the literary landscape and to the global conciousness. As an anthropolgy major at UCLA in the late 60's he practically turned the department upside down with his doctoral thesis and best seller The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge.
All I know is the man speaks to me. Following are a couple of excerpts from his second book A Seperate Reality:
"When a man embarks on the warriors path he becomes aware, in a gradual manner, that ordinary life as been left forever behind. The means of the ordinary world are no longer a buffer for him; and he must adopt a new way of life if he is going to survive".
"The world is all that is encased here: life, death, people, and everything else that surrounds us. The world is incomprehensible. We won't ever understand it; we won't unravel its secrets. Thus we must treat the world as it is: a sheer mystery."
Here is something I came, across in Jon Krakauers epic story of Chris McCandless, Into the Wild. Its an excerpt from Thoreau. Every time I read it, it makes me feel whole and it makes me think of Dakar:
Nature was here something savage and awful, though beautiful. I looked with awe at the ground I trod on, to see what the Powers had made there, the form and fashion and material of their work. This was the Earth of which we have heard, made out of Chaos and Old Night. Here was no man's garden, but the unhandshelled globe. It was not lawn, nor pasture, nor mead, nor woodland, nor lea, nor arable, nor wasteland. It was the fresh and natural surface of the planet Earth, as it was made forever and ever,-to be the dwelling of man, we say, - so - Nature made it, and man may use it if he can. Man was not to be associated with it. It was Matter, vast, terrific, - not his Mother earth that we have heard of, not for him to tread on, or to be buried in, - no, it were being too familiar even to let his bones lie there, - the home, this, of Necessity and Fate. There was clearly felt the presence of a force not bound to be kind to man. It was a place of heathenism and superstitious rites, - to be inhabited by men nearer of kin to rocks and to wild animals than we.... What is it to be admitted to a museum, to see a myriad of particular things, compared with being shown some star's surface, some hard matter in its home! I stand in awe of my body, this matter to which I am bound has become so strange to me. I fear not spirits, ghosts, of which I am one, - that my body might, - but I fear bodies, I tremble to meet them. What is this Titan that has posession of me? Talk of mysteries! Think of our life in Nature, - daily to be shown matter, to come in contact with it, - rocks, trees, wind on our cheeks! the solid earth! the actual world! the common sense! Contact! Contact! Who are we? Where are we?
Henry David Thoreau , "Ktaadn"
Neil Young .
Malcolm attempts to convince me that he would really like to try out for the Dakar team. His insight as a judge was invaluable and helped us a select a very strong team.