I met up with the team from eGarage in November along the coast of California for a video shoot. The day was fun and a fascinating look at the process of filming and directing. I knew that the footage would be pretty epic but I had no idea that their directing and editing would lead to such a high quality product. The footage within and my commentary is such a neat memento of my travels and hopefully an inspiration to those who think long distance travel on two wheels has to cost an arm and a leg. It was featured on Jalopnik and seen by a few of my friends around the internet. Let me know what you think! Hats off to eGarage for this great short film.
Topophilia: the love of or emotional connections with place or physical environment
After a soggy and cool week of camping in West Virginia, it was finally time to start working my way back toward Virginia. I was one of the first to depart that Sunday morning with a GPS predicting an 8 hour 200 mile ride ahead of me. Dew dripped from small buds beginning to grow on the oaks and poplars along the creek. Up here it was still early spring but in a day's ride, I'd have the fortune of watching the seasons change and the leaves green up with falling elevations.
Upon reaching Moorefield, the sun had burned through the clouds to reveal a warming and comfortable day. The roads were still so familiar after all these years, the trees slightly taller and the shacks increasingly weathered. Sticking to back roads, I ambled up mountain passes on old Hwy 55 through pink patches of red buds and the lily white display of dogwood flowers turned to the sun. In no time at all I crested the rise over Great North Mountain and back into my "home" state of VA. I call it "home" but was born in Georgia and spent much elementary days in Germany. As far as my topophilia, some say that "home is where the heart is", and mine keeps coming back to VA.
By late afternoon, La Tortuga found itself screaming down parkways and 8 lane divided highways of Northern Virginia. The density of growth and frenetic pace of life only served to galvanize my opinions on the area and a life I left behind. The miles ticked away until I was soon approaching the well manicured tree-lined suburban subdivision of my youth. Pulling into the courtyard, my mind replayed an image of myself one year earlier scootering past me up the road. I could almost see the buzzed hair, new gear, clean scooter and hopeful wunderlust in the apparition. 30'500 mi have rolled away behind me since I last parked in this spot. I have traveled across the great continent of North America at GPS verified average of 26 mph and lived to tell about it. The panoramic vistas of the west, robust foodways of the south and shining faces of friends, the true Americans, have been seared into my memory. When each day is an adventure, it is easy to overlook the beauty and importance of those things around you so I often pause and think "I may never be here again". I try to live each day like it is the last and give every landscape the reverence it deserves. It is too easy to become jaded and nonplussed by the immensity of it all.
My folks came out to greet me with big smiles on their faces. Mom had been digging in the garden all morning and asked me to forgive her appearance. Who cares!? I'm just happy to see her - the last time was August in Skagway, AK!
The trip is not over! I'm planning to stick around these parts for a month getting things in order and going through the Ruckus for issues and repairs. The next leg of my trip will start in June when I head north toward Maine and then on into Canada for the summer. I'll be somewhat quiet here for the month of May while I'm cooling my jets and working on other projects temporarily.
In May 2014 I quit my job to ride a Honda Ruckus over 59'000 mi and counting. Wild camping most nights and cooking most of my own meals, I keep the costs low and the landscape changing.