And so, after 37 days of travel, some crazy weather, hundreds of hours of filming for 2 great organizations, and thousands of pictures later…I was awake at the crack of dawn to depart Bend Oregon and ride the last few hundred miles to Seattle. After the unexpected problems of the previous day, I was hoping there wouldn’t be any surprises when I’m so close to my goal. Sure enough, right before I left, I noticed my right panier rack had broken a 2nd weld! (the first one had been broken for a few days and I hadn’t had time to get it welded properly. I ended up putting some Sonic Weld on it and hoped for the best. Everything packed and farewells said, I hopped on my bike that chilly morning and headed north. The ride over Mt Hood was stunning…as it usually is, I just had to be careful not to be on a patch of road salt when leaning into the corners. Once on the Portland side my bike hit a milestone..or should I say my odometer did…40,000 miles. Now, really truly, there’s another 3,000 plus on this bike since I had the dash replaced under warranty early on in the bike’s life. But still, 43K isn’t too shabby since April of 2008, and they’ve all been adventure miles, that much is for sure! Once I stopped to snap a pic of my dash, I continued north with a mandatory stop at Lava Java (my friend and coffee expert Phuong Tran runs the place, amazing coffee!) and pushed on the last 100 miles to the emerald city. Everything was becoming familiar again…even the air was regaining its particular Seattle smell. And then, after passing by the Boeing airport I came over the hill and saw that skyline that I know so well….and what a feeling of mixed emotions it was. That moment when you finally realize that you and the bike, you’re there together, you’ve made it together. You can honestly say that you’ve taken care of each other over the thousands of miles, and now, it’s brought you here…brought you home. After a few moments of taking everything in, I headed over to my appointment at Ducati Seattle. They had replaced my gas tank under warranty right before the trip, and after the first week it hadn’t been filling properly. Back in Texas, fellow Multistrada rider Tom Melesky had guessed that it was probably the float being separated in the rear tank vent…and sure enough, that’s what it was. Once that was fixed, I pricelined a cheap hotel in town (my RV was still in storage), snapped a few pics with the space needle, and headed out to dinner with a motorcycle mechanic friend of mine. The rest of the weekend consisted of catching up on pics, having Easter dinner whilst watching the opening Moto GP race, and checking in with the Touratech USA guys to give a report on my jacket. Good times…great to be back in Seattle.
So, conclusions from this trip? All I can say is, the more I ride, the more I want to ride. It’s an odd sensation, but most definitely a part of who I am, a part of my being. I’ve learned throughout my crazy life thus far that it’s best not to ignore where I came from and who I am. Thus, I’m grateful to have found a machine that allows this passion, that is such a core part of who I am, to grow and develop and hopefully someday spark that passion in others. To this end, I keep riding and will keep posting. Thank you to all here that have commented or even just “liked” one of my updates over these months. It’s an amazing feeling to know that today, with the power of the internet, it’s not just me riding alone and for myself, but really one person physically and tens maybe even hundreds riding virtually…that is something truly inspiring.