Thursday, February 28, 2008

Long Way

Hunter introduced me to Long Way Round when we first started dating, and I loved it. It's a tv series about Ewan McGregor and his friend Charlie Boorman, as they rode their motorcycles across the world. I cannot fathom being able to do something that epic; to just leave everything for three months, and travel the motorcycle!! They visited so many different countries, and saw some truly amazing, profound, and even heartbreaking sights. They passed through some of the roughest terrain known to was downright crazy at times. But seriously dude, how cool would that be?! I can't even stand it, I'm totally envious.

So of course the show was a big hit, so Ewan & Charlie did another one called Long Way Down. This time they rode from Scotland to Cape Town, Africa. We started watching it the other day, and we're almost finished with the series. It's rocking my socks off...I'm in need of another road trip, stat! It is not good...this combination of road trip fever and spring fever.

I love a good road trip. Hunter and I have taken quite a few, mostly on the bike. We've gone to Santa Fe/Albuquerque; Ruidoso/Durango; Moab/Monument Valley; Kalispell/Glacier/Grand Tetons/Yellowstone; St. George/Bryce Canyon/Torrey; Lehman Caves, and more. I love traveling by motorcycle. The experience is so much richer, more holistic. Every sense is stimulated; instead of merely looking at your surroundings, you're engulfed, encompassed, consumed by them. It's a feeling that cannot be replicated any other way. You are truly, wholly alive.

And yet...there is always a yet or a but, isn't there?! Of course, with biking you've got both. As breathtaking and exhilarating as it is, it can also be quite terrifying. I have the good fortune of riding with Hunter, who is the most cautious, conscientious, safety-minded rider ever invented. When it comes to motorcycles, he is brilliant. However, the same cannot be said for the other motorists on the road. In fact, it's usually quite the opposite...most of the other dudes on the road are complete morons. We've had a few close calls, and Hunter has put it down twice when he was riding alone. Fortunately, they were both minor accidents. Nevertheless, the potential is there. And when I think about it, boy does it scare the crap outta me. Seriously! Scares. Me. To. Death. I've got to figure out a way we can wrap ourselves in massive amounts of bubble wrap, while still enjoying the wind in our hair. Well, we can't really enjoy the wind in our hair cuz we wear helmets, but you know what i mean! Why can't we have a separate road system for motorcycles; one that is also free of deer, elk, cows, and other random-but-deadly animals? Is that really too much to ask?

It is said that riding is a game of calculated risks. Is seeing the world in a truly wonderous way worth the danger of possibly having a crash? Is living really worth the risk of dying? When you've seen the world from the saddle of a bike, you know what it means to really live, and that makes all the risk worthwhile.


Zachary said...

William Wallace once said, "Every man dies...but not every man really lives."

It's true that typically when you truly LIVE life, the chances of dying increase...but those moments...when you do your part of being safe...are moments you never forget.

As for the motorcycles...even the most cautious have accidents. Gabe lost a Harley Davidson because of a moron driver. He was lucky and walked away...but the bike didn't make it.

Smiley Family said...

You are a brave woman! I do love a good road trip, just in a car with a seatbelt and A/C :)

Anonymous said...

have you ever watched the motorcycle diaries? Interesting flick.

Nathan and Esther said...

It's a good thing Hunter is very safety oriented, otherwise I would have to have my foot meet his hind quarters! Cus if anything ever happened to you...Anyway, you could wrap yourself in bubble wrap, but then you would need a bigger bike.