An overnight pit stop in Joshua Tree National Park—a tent utopia as it goes—saw us once again ensconced in its ecological melting pot, lined by a jumble of stacked boulders and walls of imposing granite. The convergence of two great deserts: the Mojave and Colorado, blended together in a barbed landscape adorned in Sonoran flora and fauna. Such marvels of dry arid regions simply keep going about their business, adapting to relentless sun, little water and temperatures from below freezing to above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
The prospect of coming home after 33,000 miles through 21 countries on my motorcycle, was a welcomed and warranted one. Taking temporary leave from living out of panniers and a roll bag for two years short of a quarter—to being lavished in comfort at my mum’s house was beyond appealing—hand washing will only get you so far. For me, Christmas could not have been made more special; I reunited with my family. I cherished every moment with my nephews Max and Ollie, who at ages 8 and 6 have blossomed into wonderful, young boys adept at keeping their Aunty Lisa highly entertained. Their innocence and energy was exhilarating as much as exhausting.
Highway 70 took us at full tilt for 360 miles from Denver, Colorado to Moab in Utah, the start of our ride home. A long day for us but it was worth the effort ten-fold. It seemed sacrilege not to take advantage of Utah’s sweet spots. Hiking up to the red rock wonders of the Delicate Arch, just one of two thousand natural sandstone arches, my heart was pounding at the top. And not because I found myself in a world where the sun gleams over a shadowy, giant world of rock. I’ve just become unfit.