People sometimes ask, “What was your most exciting/memorable/awesome ride?” (As if there's only one, right?) Nobody ever asks about the creepiest rides, but I have 'em if you want 'em.
Ride number one, my buddy Albin and I traveled to a vast field southeast of the Bay Area, where you can see the San Andreas fault and actually climb down into it. It was after work, getting dark, when we landed and dropped sprops. We left the bikes to walk to the fault across a huge, bare field.
We were quite a ways from the bikes when we saw headlights approaching from the west, but the fault was right there so we messed around with it a little bit. I found a good stick to poke it with, Albin threw rocks at it. But when we emerged, there was a car by our bikes. It was almost dark, you could barely see it.
We're out in the middle of nowhere, and there's a mystery car. Great. Now we're in a Nick Cage movie.
As we got closer, we could see the light bar on top, it was a sheriff's deputy waiting by our bikes, doing paperwork by the dome light. We rattled on up noisily, so as not to surprise him. Once we told him what we were doing, he told us that a couple of bodies had been found out there in the past year, possibly the work of a serial killer. So when he saw a man and woman walking across a field, he thought he'd gotten lucky. Nope. No serial killers. Just a hippie and a motorcycle messenger under a big fat full moon on a tasty summer night.
We had another creepy encounter before he went back up to Washington. We were camping in a place miles away from a penitentiary after exploring central California. In the morning, while Albin was cooking oatmeal, a ratty-looking pair of guys emerged from the bushes. No car. Middle of nowhere. Just two beat-looking dusty guys who kept exchanging shifty glances I didn't care for.
Since Albin has actually walked right through the middle of a crack deal on a street corner downtown without being aware of it, perhaps he was oblivious to their silent communication. He fed them oatmeal and coffee. They wandered off together, ostensibly to use the outhouse. When they came back, they thanked us for the hospitality and merged back into the bushes.
We packed up and took off headed west. Not too long after that, we heard sirens, and passed a bunch of police cars headed toward the campground. We heard later that a couple of inmates had vanished from a road crew the night before.
I still have a suspicion that neither of those guys knew how to ride a motorcycle, and that's why they didn't try to leave us in shallow graves in the bushes.
Craziness. Bad craziness.