and head out on the highway with Phillip Batson, scientist, photographer and man of mystery.
on the road with Phil,
a birds’ eye view from his motorcycle
Phil and his Yamaha, post trip
Phillip Batson is the most adventurous, young at heart, seventy year old person I have ever encountered. He worked most of his adult life at Berkeley National Laboratory as a scientist, and although he is officially retired, he is never very far away from working on or advising on projects for various clientele.
Phil’s road worthy Yamaha
Phil began his trip in 2007 leaving from Santa Rosa and traveling to Key West Florida. After Katrina hit New Orleans, Phil a long time visitor to New Orleans, wanted to see the damage firsthand. He photographed that trip with his heavy Canon 20D. It proved to be too heavy to leave around his neck all day but he managed to he get a few photos while riding. On this juncture of his odyssey he traveled across the southern states. He stopped at the Carlsbad Caverns and then returned to California. Phil kept a wonderful log of his trip, took over 35,000 pictures and you can access his journey at http://altairhouse.com/mctrips/index.htm
from the rear view mirror
Phil’s show in Alameda only showcased a very small handful of his photographs. He had a wonderful slideshow running of his pictures to view as well, and of course the infamous Yamaha was on display for all of us wanna be adventurers to climb on to and pretend we were on the road again.
biker babe Bean
In 2008 Phil rode to Alaska going north on 101 and coming back through Wyoming.
“In preparing for this trip I bought my net book and my Panasonic Lumix FZ-28. I went to Walmart and looked for a camera that I could use with my gloves on. The camera passed the test plus it was light enough that I could leave it around my neck all day. Switching from my old laptop and Canon gave me a lot more room for other things. That trip was a little over 9,000 miles. I was in Alaska the last week of July and first week of August. It was the year they did not have a summer. Rained most of time. “
That trip did not stop our wanderlust Phil, he began another trip in 2009. This is the trip that allowed him to photograph to his heart’s content. He had the right camera and laptop set up. Phil wanted to ride through all of the states that he had previously bypassed. He headed east bouncing north and south as he traveled to “collect states and places” he hadn’t visited. A storm front followed Phil across the country and in North Carolina he rented a motel to let the storm pass. According to Phil, this was by far his most interesting trip. He kept a slower pace traveling but was once again called back for his high school reunion!
slideshow on big screen monitor
In 2010, Phil’s last trip in this series, he describes a ” trip where I did 1000 miles in under 24 hours for the iron butt award”. He traveled to Colorado to ride to the top of Mount Evens and Pikes Peak, both over 14,000 feet, with Mount Evens being just a little higher. Phil is back to California and we really don’t know what Phil has up his sleeves for his next adventure? We’ll find out.
I do believe our scientist made it to the moon!
attention to detail
Times Square, Manhattan
I love this prologue to Phil’s journal from his trips. So to close . . .
DEDICATED TO MY YAMAHA VENTURE
I bought this old motorcycle so I could go for a ride with my neighbor and friend Barry. Little did I know it would lead to much bigger adventures. The old 1986 Yamaha Venture Royale XVZ1300 had 53,000 miles on it when she became mine. She now has 114,000 and counting. At 800 lbs. she is no lightweight but she has 1300cc and 98 hp to push us along. The bike has been described by some as a barcalounger on two wheels. She has cruise control, am fm radio and a cassette deck. I have removed the other frills.
We have now visited 49 states together and as far south as the tip of Key West Florida. We have ventured as far North as the Arctic Circle. She has been in whale snot on the way to the Arctic Circle, in the heat, rain, sleet, snow and hail. We have traveled the freeways and the by ways together, down gravel roads, dirt roads and through the mud. We have traveled together coast to coast twice. She has fallen over many time so has lots of bruises but has never fallen while going down the road. (She has wonderful karma) I have tried to keep a log as we have traveled. The writing may not be great but the experiences were.
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I encourage you to read Phil’s blog, it is an odyssey and my what a lucky man he is.