This tour had it’s birth place when Melissa and I both converged on the idea to slow down our lives a little, to live more simply, and to (more so for me) to learn to appreciate the little things again. Life for us in Salt Lake City was cozy and surrounded by great friends but traveling the world at ten miles per hour was never far from our minds. I rode my bike daily to and from work and Melissa and I always looked forward to rides downtown and to the parks. When we were not cycling long distances, traveling via automobile, we would see the occasional packed biker would always make time to stop to ask their story. Traveling slowly and more consciously just had a better ring. So after many road trips and car camping trips with the tour approaching we sold the car, gifted items to thrift shops, and packed up the house, storing most of the large and discarding the rest. Since then we have been looking towards the horizon and endless pedaling. Leaving things behind and not becoming too attached to those items which made life “comfortable” was not difficult for us, more so it was liberating.
Now after some time on the road we can sit back and smell the wheat fields, moss covered ponds, sun beaten dirt, and the sweet pine sap from the forest. We have the opportunity to sleep where ever we feel, eat whenever we want, and take cat naps when the sun proves to harsh. Life on a bicycle is more like a religion for us. Slowing life down makes you appreciate the next bend in the road, the next mountain in the distance, and most importantly the time to spend inside ourselves, ever striving to make ourselves better people and the world a better place. This all may seem very charming and cheesy but after you have deep felt conversation with complete strangers, made friends instantly with fellow travelers, and have been humbled by the cold morning and animals at night, life truly does seem to take on a new color.
We see things much differently on the road, more clearly. We communicate better, although I am still, I think, a pain in the ass. Melissa and I have created more memories thus far on the tour than we ever could have imagined before we left. That is not to say we were not adventurous back home, we were and have plenty of memories stack piled from the past couple of years, but at the end of the day we would always get to go home to our “comfortable” space. Out here our “comfortable” survives only by moving on to something new never staying stationary for too long. The most memorable moments living on a bicycle are those times of hardship, hairy arm pits (Melissa), broken bike pumps, harsh winds, retched heat, and grueling climbs up mountain sides. The road is a place where the simple comforts of a couch, TV, or AC dont exist and one starts to appreciate a simple four mile an hour breeze or a mere foot of extra road space. The simple fact is no matter how tired we are, how beat down we feel from the day of biking, or how smelly we may be after not seeing water in a few days we are in this for the journey and we are living that journey every step of the way. Life has it more raw out here and that is what the route and tour bring to us…raw love of traveling and experiencing new and sometimes awkward situations and experiences.
Melissa and I don’t have a set route. The nudging factors which set our course basically boil down to cycling through beautiful country. Our direction is determined by local opinions, good energy draws, and wherever there is green on a map. Nature is our drive and will be the main determinate for our destinations. We have our sights set on exploring the northern US then down the coast on Highway 1. Our plan is to make a giant loop up to Glacier National Park, then over to Olympia National Park, down the coast to San Diego, across Nevada and up through the Grand Canyon, Zion, Brice, then back to Salt Lake City before December 2012. Following us that first loop we plan to take a trip within a trip. Come January we will depart to Asia to backpack around without the bikes or Avenue. My brother Matt married a super cool woman from Taiwan, Susy, and they will be celebrating their wedding sometime in March 2013. Melissa and I figured this would be an opportune time to experience Asia.
After we arrive back home to the states sometime around the end of March 2013, we will once again pick up our bikes and start pedaling south towards Argentina…from there the sky is the limit. We hope our route takes us through Austin, Little Rock (where I spent a majority of my time on my first bike tour. VIEW 2009 BLOG ENTRIES HERE), Louisiana, Florida, then across the ocean to Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, etc…all this could change with the blink of an eye (and already has changed several times) since we are both open to any kind of experience that comes our way. The best we can do is log where we have been and share it with you.