It’s 102 degrees in the high desert. The Station Fire has burned it’s way through 148,258 acres and it’s only 42% contained. Various logistical wrinkles are threatening to derail my cover story, I have a Category One sinus headache and summer is officially on the way out. At this stage of the game, I’d rather be behind an R1200GS windscreen on the Denali Highway instead of this iMac. But, as a wise stoic once said, it is what it is. I’ll have to make due with this picture I took of my friend Bruce Smithhammer awhile back, a short blast through the high desert on an 09 ZX-14 and three of Aleve.As it turns out, that’s just enough. Something short of optimal, but sufficient to reset the mental circuitry, restore perspective and let those the naproxen sodium do it’s job. Motorcycles, as those of us who spend an inordinate time with them know, are good like that. But when they’re also you’re job, it’s easy to loose track of such a foundational fact in between crumbling logistics, unhealthy air and the sort of heat that would let you sear a tri-tip on the sidewalk. So I’ll say a little prayer, have a glass of water, finish up a few things around this office and make some sort of reasonable graceful segue into a long weekend. Thank God for long weekends. I remember this stretch of long-forgotten pavement certain people used to use for top-speed testing once upon a time. The sun doesn’t go down till 7:15 this evening: plenty of time for another little proficiency run while the rest of the world is slow-cooking in Labor Day weekend traffic. Other than being located on the third rock from the sun, my Undisclosed High-Desert Testing Location has absolutely nothing in common with the Denali. But if I can restore some frontal lobe functionality and be home by dinnertime, it’ll do. Meanwhile, Alaska isn’t going anywhere any time soon.