Where the rattlers won’t go, mind games to ride 80 miles through the desert.

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“If you are going through hell, keep going.” ~ Winston Churchill

Hell of the West (or the Yuma Grand Fondo) – San Luis, Arizona to Palm Canyon road July 26th, 2014 

“Extra bike tube… check. Tire changing kit… check. Water… check. GoPro… check.” It was 2:30am.  I gathered up the rest of the gear for my looming 80 mile bike ride. The day of our Yuma Grand Fondo, a ride that had been in the works for weeks, had arrived.  July 26th was to be the day of the worst bike suffering I’ve yet felt in life, but it had to be done. Read the rest of this entry

Clipping In, Cannondale and Shimano

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“I always felt that my greatest asset was not my physical ability, it was my mental ability.”– Bruce Jenner

In my mind, I saw myself in the cycling scene from American Flyers, a peloton of trained athletes tucked into compression shorts, sparkling white shoes clipped into metal contraptions, gliding around on the 16lb flying machines we call road bikes. But that’s not exactly what it looked like. In fact, when I started riding with the people here, we didn’t even know how to ride in a paceline, we were side by side, or in the road. I never had the time, money, or guts to clip into my Cannondale road bike, either.

I only recently got my first “real” bike, my Cannondale, in 2012 when my friend Margaret went overseas to teach English. I offered to watch her horse for the year, and in return, she gave me a sweet deal on her older roadie. She had two anyway; there was no use in letting the gorgeous creature sit in a garage. As she was packing her house up to leave the country, I went over so she could show me the bike. The garage was full of bikes, hanging on the walls, leaned up against the wooden siding, hanging upside down on the ceiling. She lived in a raft guides house, the sort of house you find rather often Fort Collins, if you know what I mean. I scanned all of the bikes in the garage, quickly picking out which ones I was secretly hoping would not be the one I was about to invest in. As soon as Margaret had said “do you want to buy my other road bike?” a few weeks prior, I said yes, knowing she had great taste in bikes, but without having seen the bike.

Cannondale R700

Cannondale R700

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In the sacred shadow of the mountain

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In the sacred shadow of the mountain

“If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for a moment.” ~ Georgia O’Keeffe 

After chugging up the long road to Taos, the RV pulled into a dirt lot in front of the Two Graces gallery where Robert Cafazzo stood, unassumingly  awaiting his six gumptious travel writers known as the “Whiskey Sisters.”  He was the first and last man to step foot on our RV with us during the trip. Read the rest of this entry

Our journey to the colorful Santa Fe

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Our journey to the colorful Santa Fe

Our journey across the Southwest becomes a more powerful spiritual journey each day. Through the people we meet, and the stories that are shared with us, the more each of us see bits of ourselves in these women. They share stories of rebellion, of being headstrong, they tell us about how they broke the rules, or didn’t do what was expected of them, or how they followed their heart and their calling to create the things they knew had to be done. In the case of Georgia O’Keefe and Millicent Rogers, other people shared their stories for them. Each and every woman we’ve met (men too!) has, as expected, caused us to look back within ourselves and evaluate our own journeys. Have we found our passions like these women have? Have we found our own calling in life?

Our discovery of New Mexico’s women began at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico where I officially became an O’Keeffe groupie. Deborah Stone sat with us in on the patio on a gorgeous Santa Fe day and began with giving us an overview of the life of Georgia O’Keefe.  We caught the O’Keeffe museum during the Hawaii art and Ansel Adam’s (a good friend of O’Keeffe) photography exhibition, curated by a director in Hawai’i. Georgia O’Keeffe was a rebel who did just what she wanted, when she wanted.

“I have a single track mind. I work on an idea for a long time. It is like getting acquainted with a person, and I don’t get acquainted easily,” O’Keeffe said in 1962.

Deborah pointed out O’Keeffe’s love of the vortex in her art,  and her love/hatred for the color green. She explained that her flower paintings are the need to give a close up shot of something, much like photography is able to do. There was a bookshelf full of her cookbooks,  because apparently she was a bit of a health nut and well, a woman after my own heart.  And she was very healthy and conscious of what she ate. She often wore black, kymono style clothing and didn’t allow people to photograph her as she worked, that was her space and her time. She was a private person.Who enjoyed people on her own time. And so we were told, if she liked you, she’d give you a rock.

Georgia O'Keefe Motorcycle

Georgia O’Keefe photograph at the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico

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Six women, 1 RV; Las Vegas, Border Towns and Route 66

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Six women, 1 RV;  Las Vegas, Border Towns and Route 66

It is day three of our Women’s HerStory Tour of the West. For me, it’s a bit of a nostalgic adventure. I’ve been to each place on our tour already, through 6th grade field trips, 13 year old trips with friends, family trips and roadtrips with old boyfriends. For some of the other gals, it’s their first time visiting my home state.

 

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The Whiskey Sister HerStory Tour Begins…

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I find myself in another one of those adventures where people ask, “how the heck do you get involved in these things, Kaysha?” Well you must know by now that I am infatuated with wine, and everything that it is. Wine is bottled poetry, its a love letter in a bottle, its the bottled soil of the land from which the grapes grow, its a complement to your meal, a provacateur amongst good friends, its an ancient liquid that sets its roots deep back into the biblocal times when people began importanting the fermented grapes into Mesopotamia, Egypt and Israel. But just as much of a history and connection to the earth can be found in whiskey, with her rich earthy tones and substle wooden notes. The distillation process spread from the Greeks in the 3rd century and was eventually spread to the Scots and Irish by the 15th century, and the rest is history. The beginning of this year I started working with THE RV TravelGirl  Aliza Sherman herself, and then shortly after with Canopy Management, the company that distributes Wine Sisterhood WineMiddle Sister WineCowgirl SisterhoodPurple Cowboy Wine among others, and now Whiskey Sister Whiskey. So until May 31st I’m devoting my time to a new sort of history, the legends and history of the strong women of the West. The kinds of women you’d find.. perhaps with a glass of whiskey. I am setting out on a historic RV Adventure through the past.  On Thursday May 22nd, Aliza Sherman and I are driving up to Los Vegas to gather up 4 amazing women who will celebrate the premier of the whiskey for “Real Women Who Drink Whiskey.” Read the rest of this entry

Hitting A Wall

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YumaHillsIts funny the things you realize about yourself at 2:00 AM. Maybe, sometimes while wandering around the desolate Sunday evening streets of Hollywood, or maybe while climbing an impossible hill. My brother and I walked down from the Puscifer concert at the Greek Theatre in L.A around 11:15 PM this last Sunday night. It was a concert I’ve been counting down since I heard about its existence earlier last year! Tickets came out in December, sold out just as fast as they came out, I was without a ticket. My brother had two. Last month while I was in Colorado shortly after I’d handed my brother a bottle of Maynard’s Chubacabra wine I’d brought up from Arizona, my brother handed me a ticket to Cinquanta. Read the rest of this entry

Don’t Be Normal! Be Weird! #ICON14

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PhoenixLong.com

A view of Phoenix, Arizona from the downtown Sheraton hotel.

I received my schwag bag and a pile of papers, ads, and guides for #ICON14 from the front desk , where I of course used my QR code to check in.  The bright green and black bag they’d equipped me with was certainly big enough for all the free stuff being handed out throughout the event, along with my laptop (clever) and an extra pair of comfortable shoes. #Winesister Chelsea and I made it just in time to see the last half of Simon Sinek’s “Reconnect With Your Why; How Great Leaders Inspire and Eat Last. ” As we would soon find out, more than 3,000 Entrepreneurs and small business/marketing/social media enthusiasts piled into that Phoenix’s Convention on the sunny 90 degree Wednesday for #ICON14, hosted by Infusionsoft. Read the rest of this entry

My Run-in with the PCT

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PCTedited

My familiar green backpack leaned up against the metal chairs outside of Starbucks last Friday around 7:00am.  We were waiting for our ride, off to a new adventure, again. That pack has gained a few things since going on the Camino de Santiago last September, specifically a blue mummy bag which made it on this trip,  and then a camping knife and my new tent that arrived around Noon, later that day so I didn’t get to use then on this trip.

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