As we’ve winded up the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington, we’ve gained insight into many things about ourselves. We’ve been tested upon the limits of our ambition, the strengths of our passion, and the depths of our fortitude. We’ve had some long and difficult days when nothing seemed to go right, but we’ve also had some incredibly gorgeous and inspiring day that not even the worst problem could turn bad. Ultimately, we’ve been incredibly fortunate to be able to spend most evenings of this trip thus far either bedding down in a beautiful campsite — along rivers, on the shores of lakes, in rainforests, or at the beach — or spending time in an awesome city with great people — as we did in Portland and, now, Seattle.
The traveling has been exhausting, especially sleeping on the ground after 12+ hours of riding, but we haven’t been put off by it. At the end of the day, when we sit down at the campsite and get to talking about the things we’ve seen and the places we’ve met, the consensus is always that there’s no place and time we would rather be than right then and there. When we wake up in the morning and break camp over coffee and talks of the day to come, the possibilities are truly endless. We may set a destination that would be ideal or convenient, but rarely do we make it that far, for exploring that which we stumble upon always takes up more time each day than we allocate it.
Aside from learning about ourselves in less than conventional ways than usual, we’ve gained an incredible amount of insight into the nature of this country. Spending so much time on the bikes alone each day, we’ve all had plenty of time to think in solitude. Of course, there’s the obvious things we thing about — where we’re sleeping that night, how we’ll capture better footage, when we’ll have time to charge our phones, but it is the thoughts that the surrounding promotes which really drive us to wonder. When riding through the redwoods we felt strongly against the logging industry; however on the Olympic peninsula we understood the necessity of such an industry for the local economy and the country alike. When we slept in a tee-pee in Arcata, we freely talked and joked about Native Americans; yet when we stopped for gas on a tribal reservation, we were humbled by the economical state of today’s Native American communities. These moments of inspection and pondering may seem short and brief here, but on the road they can occupy hours of solitary time. The mind wanders in unusual ways when left alone and, on a motorcycle trip such as this, it is often in such a state.
Random occasions have become some of our favorite parts of the trip. Stumbling upon some little girl’s Otter Pop stand on the street in Portland, and, subsequently, receiving an email from the father about how we managed to inspire and promote self-reflection for him and his daughter’s future is one of the most heartwarming moments of the trip so far. When we meet other bikers who’ve done what we are many years before, we’ve had inspiring and enlightening conversations about the nature of society and the benefits of pursuing such an adventure.
As of yesterday, the second leg of our trip both metaphorically and physically began when we reached the most NW point in the continental US – Cape Flattery, WA. After staring out at the Pacific one last time until our trip is done, we turned our bikes east and went forth into Seattle. From here, we will continue East until the Atlantic shows on the horizon. Then South. Then West back on home.
There was a lot of learning in this first leg of the journey. From the surrounding to ourselves, it has almost been overwhelming at times. However, the greatest lesson we’ve learned in this week has very little to do with the trip itself but rather with those surrounding us. As of writing this post, our Kickstarter project is a mere hour from ending. We have 67 different people who have backed this project. From anywhere between $5 to $500, almost seventy different individuals have shown their trust in us by support, believing, and spending their own hard earned cash to help us make this goal a reality. We are truly fortunate to have such a community surrounding the three of us and so unfailingly willing to support us in these endeavors. While we have learned a lot of lessons this week, the most powerful has been the one that you guys taught us: with the support of friends and family, any shallow obstacle can be overcome to achieve something great. Once again, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.