Somewhere between ’82 and ’83 I believe.
Actually. my brother did the driving because it was his car and it was more like towing the bike as it rode on the back wheel.
He had a very early 80’s Ford Mustang.
I had a complete POS Suzuki two stroke street bike that barely ran and smoked like a motherfucker from the late 60’s.
I had been out of work for months and there was no work in the Coos Bay area.
My brother was in the Navy at the time and stationed in San Diego.
He had driven to Portland and stopped into Coos Bay to pick me up on his way back.
I got a job offer through a different local of the Operating Engineers down in California for a two week job.
My Parents lived just South of San Francisco in San Mateo.
I took the front wheel off the bike, we opened up the trunk. I wedged a 2X4 across the trunk and lashed the shit out of the front forks to the 2X4, the trunk hinges, the back seat and anything else I could find. The back wheel was on the ground, following.
We drug that fucking motorcycle behind that Mustang from Coos Bay to San Francisco.
The bastards charged me an extra fifty cent toll for it on the Bay Bridge going into Frisco.
At some point the bike had leaned over and it completely wore the back tire down on one side.
We got to my folks, My Dad arranged to have one of his buddies load it up in his pickup and he drove it to Lemoore Fucking California where this job was.
South of Fresno.
There ain’t nothing in Lemoore California except Cotton Fields, lots of them. There is an Air Force base not too far away and a huge water canal that goes clear across the state runs through there. They were digging out the canal and that was the job I went down there for as an Oiler for the Heavy equipment.
Central California, during the peak of Summer, I went from the high temperature being in the mid 60’s to 104 degrees in the shade. The first day I drank a gallon and a half of lemonade and pissed one time. I sweated the rest of it out.
Like to croaked from Heat Exhaustion because I wasn’t used to that shit.
As long as I live I will never forget riding that fucked up piece of shit Suzuki back from the job site one blistering afternoon with no helmet, and an unbuttoned shirt flapping in the wind behind me down this desolate two lane road when I see what looks like heat shimmering in the road ahead of me.
I was probably going 45 or 50 miles an hour with a giant cloud of blue smoke trailing behind me and no one else in sight when this shimmering in front of me started getting a bit darker.
I had sunglasses on and couldn’t quite figure out what the hell was going on.
About twenty five feet from meeting this darkness hovering over the road I realize it’s a cloud of some kind of bugs.
Fifteen feet away, at 45 miles an hour, I realize it is a huge swarm of GIANT Dragon Flies!
I went into that cloud of bugs at speed and they started hitting me EVERYWHERE on the front side of my body.
I slammed on the brakes because it felt like someone was putting fifty fucking cigars out on my arms and my chest all at one time and at least two of them plastered me right in the face.
I had welts all over from those fuckers. My fingers, my arms, my shins but most of all, on my bare chest and my face.
Holy Fuck did that hurt!
Here I am standing in the middle of the road with Bug Guts and welts all over me after I finally got the thing shut down and stopped..
I looked down and got a good look at just how big these sonsabitches were laying on the ground and I shit you not they were at least three inches long and half an inch in diameter.
I never seen Dragon Flies that damn big, before or since!
When I finally got back to the motel we were staying at all the guys I had been working with took one look at me and thought I had been jumped and had the shit beat out of me by some locals.
I was black and blue all over.
I managed to finish out the two weeks and then caught a ride back to my folks. I ended up staying down there around the South Bay area for five fucking years.
Some of the most insane chapters of my life happened while I lived down there and I am stupid lucky to still be alive.
I will never forget those damn Dragon Flies though.