Ten years ago, fresh out of the Navy and having just met the woman I would end up marrying, I set out from Big Bear, CA, on what was to be an 11,000 mile motorcycle trip that took me to the top of Alaska and back. It was before the days of uber-capable smartphones and GoPros, so I made the only rational decision…to build a computer with a touchscreen, name it MotoCompy, and mount it in a magnetic bag that sat on my gas tank. I stuck a webcam on the front of the bike and recorded my GPS track. Yeah, I know…I’m a nerd. I grew awful facial hair, I had a moose run through my campsite, I came close to hitting a deer and being hit by a semi, I jumped in the Arctic ocean, I got (and patched) a flat tire in an area where a wolf had chased another motorcyclist the day before, I went to the Goonies house, and I witnessed bored people exploding women’s undergarments in Chicken, AK…because there’s nothing much else to do in Chicken, AK. I kept a blog (very 2006) and I posted from the road most nights.
Much has happened in the ten years since, but I often think back on that trip and wonder when I might be able to head back up…this time with my wife and son…in something with four wheels instead of two. It was an amazing, life-altering experience, and I loved every moment of it.
Anyways, I thought it would be fun to post some pictures and memories from the trip over the next few weeks as I sift through the footage, stills, etc. And, if you’re bored (but not quite bored enough to explode undergarments), you can take a look at the ol’ blog. Unfortunately, the comments got wiped out a while back, but the posts are still there and most of the links (including the one for the Microsoft interview) all work. I’ll conclude this first post with the way I concluded the last post, summing up my trip, from August 2006:
If you ever get a chance to take a large roadtrip like this, do it. If you’re scared of motorcycles, don’t be…ride one at least once. If you don’t like Canadians (like some of my posters), start liking them…they’re nice. If you haven’t been to Alaska, go. If you haven’t seen the Grand Canyon in person, do it. If you used to enjoy photography but haven’t done it in a while, get out your camera and take it with you in the car tomorrow. If you can’t drive thousands of miles, drive a hundred and see where it takes you. I truly believe that I am a changed person because of this trip and I hope and wish that same type of experience for all of you. God has made an amazing world and it’s worth exploring. There’s more than just buildings and houses out there and I think I had started to forget that. I mean, just look at that map up there….Look how big this continent is. Crazy! Alright, I suppose That’s all I have to say. Thank you so much for following along on this trip. It was an incredible experience for me and you all were such an important part of that. Thanks again, and happy travels to you all.
And away we go…