Our minds wheeled and sputtered in the blankness, on ground that was neither soil, nor sand, nor snow. The adjectives we had brought with us were not adequate here. Lunar. Martian. Salt of the moon. Salt of Mars. No, they would no longer serve us. For the salar has long glittered underfoot fantastic, yet fathomable creatures—elegantly proportioned vicuñas, fluorescent flamingoes. It has long been mined for minerals commonly used—salt and boron, and now, lithium. And so, somehow, this place was of our world also, of our home.Read More
It has been a while since we put out a video. We have been shooting tons of footage, but in Peru and Bolivia and even Chile the internet was not great and we rarely stopped long enough to spend any time editing. But as we have been stuck in beautiful Mendoza, Argentina getting the bearings and forks and tires sorted out, I had time to put together a little visual update of the roads we have been riding. Enjoy!Read More
Wasn’t this one mistake enough to worry about? And why had I come here if I had already decided that it was hopeless? There’s no way to talk about this without sounding cheesy. But it was true. There was no point in being there⎯⎯in putting a whole sea between myself and my companion⎯⎯if I didn’t manifest the belief, in my thoughts as well as my actions, that I would achieve my goal.Read More
So, now that we’re all tucked in and waiting for winter in Patagonia to pass, I suppose it’s high time I tell you the story of “Our Last Night in Nicaragua and the Pig”.Read More
I began to tell a few people about our motorcycle trip about two years ago. For a couple years before that, I kept my two-wheeled dream almost entirely to myself, secretly stowing away plans, but unwilling to commit even to the act of description. I think I was afraid of both an incredulous response and an interrogation for which I was unprepared. Surprisingly, and perhaps due to good fortune, people rarely respond in the way I feared. My friends are enthusiastic and a little envious, my family is hesitant, but supportive, and my coworkers are excited for me, if not a little sad. The more people you tell something to, the more real it becomes, until it feels inevitable and you are caught up in a force quite beyond your will. There is power in that transference of will.
Now, less than two months from our intended departure, I am beginning to feel the pressure of what we intend to undertake. I feel as if a wave is gathering above me, lifting and propelling me forward, and now I must stand and ride where the wave will take me, or crash beneath it. There is no escape from it now. I am already in the wave. From time to time, I awake early in the morning panicked about the future, feeling suddenly the impossible immensity of everything at once. I feel engulfed in a cloud formed of every border crossing, breakdown, language barrier, illness, confusion, bandit, pothole, and rickety bridge. In this fog, I wonder what I am doing, what compelled me to think that we could take on something so immense. My heart rate increases as I stare at the twilit wall, suddenly wide awake.
I try to remind myself that while the fearful cloud is not real, it is natural to feel panicked before a great unknown. The overwhelming feeling will pass. The future can never be faced in its entirety. It is simply too immense—even when life seems mundane and predictable. One must, in order to continue living, have faith that tomorrow will be provided for, by whatever means. This is a sort of self-deception, but it is useful self-deception. It is a deception in which we all participate daily because the unknowable is paralyzing.