What I did on my Summer Vacation: Life Creeps West at a Slow Pimp’s Pace


For about the last year and a half I’ve been rambling around the eastern U.S. and Canada, spending time with friends and family from where I grew up trying to formulate a plan for more adventure. 

Moto Dharama Bum
Moto Dharama Bum

The more I looked the more I saw, the more I saw the more I planned, the more I planned the less I did until suddenly I was reminded of something Sylvia Plath wrote:

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”

It was then I realized I just had to do something, had to move, had to do anything, my figs were turning black.  A tiny voice in my head whispered “go west young man” so I started aggressively job hunting and landed a gig in Portland, Oregon, better known to most folks as Portlandia. So like the old days, I got rid of all my stuff, packed the remainder of my belongings into assorted backpacks on my motorcycle and hit the road across the continental U.S.

The bike all packed up for the long road west.
The bike all packed up for the long road west.

There is no sweeter way to clear ones mind and zen out than on a road trip, specifically by motorcycle.

 

600 miles into the roadtrip I'm jetting through Missouri.
600 miles into the roadtrip I’m jetting through Missouri.

I started in Cincinnati, Ohio and in five days worked my way about 2,600 miles across the plains of Missouri, the vistas of Wyoming, weaved through the Rockies in Utah, into the little known wasteland of eastern Oregon and paused briefly in Portland before I said screw it and went all the way to the Pacific Ocean via Canon Beach.

Racing a storm on the plains of Nebraska.
Racing a storm on the plains of Nebraska.
I hit hail, Native American Reservations, petrified forests, thunderstorms, droughts, watched crop dusters skim a few feet over my head, and chased the sunset all the way to my new home.
The Utah Rockies in my rearview.
The Utah Rockies in my rearview.

I’ve tasted America all the way to the Pacific Northwest via a newfound Motorcycle Oregon Trail and I didn’t have to shoot any buffalo and not a single member of my party died of dysentery for those of you that played the game as kids.

The rolling roads of eastern Oregon.
The rolling roads of eastern Oregon.

It’s been a wild 3 months of moving, grooving, setting up a new life, and creating a new home.

I’ve got Alaska directly to the north, Hawaii directly to the west, and Mexico to the South, so anything is possible. 

Celebratory toe dip into the Pacific.
Celebratory toe dip into the Pacific.

Stay tuned adventurers, because the fun has just begun. -ST


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