A few people have asked me about the Zebra in the pictures that I have taken on my rides through the Lost Coast. Here’s the skinny. They are real. Not horses painted weird or hybrids. Good ol fashion African Zebra.
I happened to find these striped little guys while I was getting into a song on my IPod riding my motorcycle, in a gentle turn. So by accident. Well almost an accident.
The day was beautiful. I had made my way down from Ferndale. And I had just taken in the Lost Coast. I was excited because I was getting ready to manhandle the Kings Range on my dual sport motorcycle. I had set a course for Kings Peak Rd and was really daydreaming about the ride ahead.
As it turns out I was behind a lady (a safe distance I might add) who stopped dead in the middle o the road right in front of me. Ok I was following closer than I thought. With most likely a ” oh crap I’m going to die” expression on my face I saw her screech to a halt, meanwhile I went to evasive maneuvers mode. Standing up on the pegs of the KTM 990 Adventure and swerving right into the gravel shoulder to avoid collision.
Somehow I managed to keep it under control and get the bike stopped. Skidding to a halt next to the car I had been behind I also realized I as off camber. So I set about to pull ahead and get the bike positioned right to put the sidestand down and park.
Meanwhile I was watching an older woman emerge from the car beside me to my left with a small black object in her hand. I really wasn’t going to wait to see what it was. She was gesturing at me wildly to look to my right. I couldn’t hear a damn thing she was saying. Skillet was blasting “Hero” through my speakers in my helmet and I had tunnel vision staring right at her hands. Was I going to get shot? Was she going to rape me? She looked almost excited, panicked, and happy at the same time. Kind of like an eerie delerium. But how could such a nice lady, wearing a sweater and Bermuda shorts be harmful?
I honestly don’t know how I got the bike parked so smoothly. Habit I guess. But all in one smooth swoop I took off my helmet and peered warily to my right.
I thought I as having an hallucination. There in front of me were zebra. Not one but two. How could this be? They were so graceful and seemed to be looking back at us as if we were the ones behind the fence and not the other way around.
Turning quickly toward the lady I could see her draw and fire her gun. Gasping in astonishment I realized it was a camera and she in a rather rude manner asked to get the F^## out of her way. I was mildly irritated about her abrupt unsafe stop in the road still.
So I did. But not before whipping out my trusty Nikon D3000 and snapping a few shots for myself. I figured I owed it to her and myself to get the best shots possible. And the Zebra seemed to get a kick out of posing for us while calmly munching on their grass. And who would believe me if I didn’t have proof.
Then as cool as a cucumber and quick as a wink, I donned my helmet put my camera back in the tank back and got back on my bike. Turning the key and thumbing the happy button brought that big LC8 to life. And with a twist of the throttle and a quick clutch release I roosted that lady’s car with about 25 feet of dirt and sod from the side of the road. She must have thought it as raining dirt chunks.
Looking back I could see her give me the finger. The Zebra just went back to eating that grass. Looking back now I think I could have probably handled the situation different. Ok no I don’t.
But man those Zebra are awesome. Since that time I have managed to return and take more pictures and tell the caretaker of the Zebra my story. But since he only speaks Spanish I am pretty sure he just smiles and nods and thinks I am just another crazy gringo who rides through every once in a while.
Moral of the story: If you find yourself in the Lost Coast. Keep your eyes peeled. You never know what’s going to jump out in front of you.
Ride with us to Lost Coast. Your adventure begins here!!!