One of my very first adventure trips was when I was nineteen years old and I went cross country as a passenger on a motorcycle.
My parents were probably terrified for me, but my boyfriend was a good driver, gasoline was $0.29 a gallon and I had $400 and a plastic coat. What could go wrong?
Leaving from the Midwest state of Ohio, we headed west on a route that my guy charted out – across the plains, over the Rockies, towards the California coast and up through Canada and the Alaskan pipeline (before it was completed) and into the Aleutian Islands. We were meeting up with friends for the summer to help them build a log cabin, and this motorcycle trip was a bonus ride to get there.
Since the Alaskan pipeline at that time was only a road with medium sized boulders and sharp rock, our motorcycle tires got torn to shreds. We hadn’t counted on that! It wasn’t like we had BikeBandit.com and the internet to get all the Honda CBR Parts we needed.
We rode on those abused and sorry tires for miles until we arrived at our friend’s location where we had to go into town to find a telephone. In the woods where he was living, he wasn’t set up with the convenience of a telephone! That would come a few years later. It would have been so much handier to have been able to order all of our motorcycle accessories online and get free shipping to our location.
But back then in the 1970’s there was no such thing as internet and online shopping.
We placed our order through a long distance call and gave a post office box number as an address and then we waited. And waited. We were still preoccupied with building the log cabin, but after a few weeks, we called again to verify that our order had been placed. We emphasized that the summer was nearing its end, and since we were on a motorcycle, we had to get our vehicle fixed and get going on the road soon before the snow came and kept us locked in for the whole winter.
It was stressful at the time, but eventually, our equipment arrived and we bandaged our bike and took off to complete our trip. This time we drove through the Canadian Rockies, then back down into the States and visited National Parks. Sometimes we camped at rest stops, other times we utilized campgrounds and there were a very few occasions when we stopped at a hotel and luxuriated in a hot shower and a firm bed.
Arriving home that autumn, it felt like my life had changed forever; all the scenery I saw, the people I met, and the experiences I had. Now I needed to save my money up for the next trip.
My parents were relieved that I returned all in one piece, even though I hadn’t considered any other option!
I was hooked on adventure.