Ribaudo column: Remembering a friend; city finally taking right approach on Loop Road (opinion) | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Ribaudo column: Remembering a friend; city finally taking right approach on Loop Road (opinion)

Carl Ribaudo
Tribune Columnist

Local Musings

R.I.P. Dave Higgins, adventurer

A few months back a good friend of mine passed away. His name was Dave Higgins. Many of you may not have known Dave, but you should have.

I met him 10 years ago. He showed up with a gray ponytail and I thought “this is a guy I should get to know.” He left a lasting impression on me.

Dave was a perfect riding partner: up early and ready to go; could ride 400 miles in the scorching Great Basin heat or cold days through the Pacific Northwest with no complaints; would have a smile on his face when he took his helmet off.

He was retired and moved here a decade ago after living in Sonoma County. Dave was a motorcycle rider and I rode with him many times. In fact, our journeys took us on some long two-week trips through Utah, Arizona and Nevada, as well as a summer trip where we rode to Whistler.

Dave was a perfect riding partner: up early and ready to go; could ride 400 miles in the scorching Great Basin heat or cold days through the Pacific Northwest with no complaints; would have a smile on his face when he took his helmet off. As a ride planner he was unmatched — he knew every place to get a good meal on any county road in the West.

You see, Dave was 82 when he passed away. I met him when he was in his early 70s and continued riding with him right up until he died. I used to tell him he was an inspiration and that I wanted to be riding and doing what he was doing when I was his age. We would have great talks about the adventure of it all.

We live in a town of adventurers; many travel to far off places, some climb mountains, others ride their bicycles across the land. Often times that is how we define an adventure, but I believe that definition is too narrow.

I have always considered Dave an adventurer. He once told me that the adventure was not necessarily how far or how dangerous the trip. Rather, it was in your mind and it was up to the individual to define it. An 82-year-old man on a week-long, 1,500-mile motorcycle trip across the American West in my way of thinking is just as much an adventure as a trip to Everest.

Dave passed away as he lived, on a motorcycle. He was on a return trip from Death Valley. Somewhere along the way he had a medical episode and died before he crashed. All his friends have been saddened, but he left us with something very special.

No matter how old you are, go have an adventure — big or small have your own adventure. We will.

It’s good to see the city of South Lake Tahoe host its own community meetings for the Loop Road project.

This is how the city should have been handling this controversial project from the start. Instead the city let the Tahoe Transportation District handle these meetings and in doing so it was remiss in its responsibility.

Community meetings by the city for city residents is a more thoughtful way to present the concept, listen to community members, understand the issues and try and address concerns, identify the opportunities and benefits from the project.

This is a smart approach. Contrast this with some community members’ bad judgment of rushing a ballot measure that was ultimately smacked down at every level of the California court system.

More meetings, more input, more information equals better dialogue and discussion and ultimately better results.

Now if we can only learn the art of compromise.

Recommendation

Barbecue season is here. Don’t miss all the good stuff Overland Meat has. Best ribeyes in South Shore. Don’t miss the poke on Friday.

It’s a Wrap

OK, enough winter. Let’s get through a quick spring and have an early summer. Yea right.

Carl Ribaudo is a columnist, consultant, speaker and writer who lives in South Lake Tahoe. He can be reached at carl@smgonline.net.