The Travel Continuum
We’ve been spending a few motionless days in the Bay Area which has allowed us to catch up on some basic housekeeping but also collect our thoughts. One of the unexpectedly poignant moments of the trip for me (Russ), was climbing the hill from Sausalito, turning a bend and seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in all its glory. It wasn’t the first time I’ve seen the Golden Gate. I’ve driven through it a few times on car road trips. Somehow, this time it seemed different. Larger. More profound. I got a little lump in my throat as I slowly realized that we had just ridden 1800 miles and were at San Francisco’s doorstep.
Instantly, I thought of our friends Michael and Chris, who are in their 50s, great adventureers in their own right and who have been touring or travelling since the 70s. A few days before our farewell party, Michael asked me what he should bring. I asked him to dig up some photos of himself and Chris when they were younger. I wanted to see what they looked like when they were younger, before the beard, the wrinkles, before the mask of time had shaped them into the people I knew now. I had a need to see them when they were our age.
I needed, I suppose some reassurance from those that have had adventures before me, that we would come out fine on the other end.
So Michael (the bearded guy!) found some photos. Below is a photo of him in 1976 crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, one hand holding some M&Ms and the other raised in triumph. When I look at the picture, I can hear his distinct full laugh travel through time and space.
I realized when I saw the photos of them when they were younger that Laura and I are part of a continuum and that we are carrying on a tradition. Beyond just bicycle touring, we are joining a long tradition of travelers, of explorers of various magnitude, people who are innately curious but are not content to let the curiosity dwell in a single zip code.
When we got to the bridge, I had that image of Michael in my head and wanted to do homage to them.
So Michael and Chris and all our fellow travelers on the road or in between travels, we salute you!
travis October 17, 2009 at 10:39 am
good fun stuff guys
Russ October 17, 2009 at 10:41 am
yeah, i know….had some M&Ms but ate them all by the time we got to Fairfax!
Toe October 17, 2009 at 12:45 pm
Best post yet! You two are iconic!
Dylster October 17, 2009 at 2:51 pm
Another fine post, friends. And inspirational.
Carl October 17, 2009 at 3:04 pm
So very cool very inspirational!
Ellen October 17, 2009 at 6:48 pm
Wow, I am so proud to hear how far you’ve gone, how much it has built into you, how changed you will be, forever. Keep going guys! You’re almost there.
david p. October 17, 2009 at 7:32 pm
really beautiful post.
Eric From Portland October 17, 2009 at 9:47 pm
Well written and meaningful…. This trip has brought your written to a new level. Facinating and hopeful. I look forward to a book?
skater October 18, 2009 at 12:33 pm
i know that feeling. i had it when we rode out of jackson, wy and the mighty Teton mtns came into view. at that moment i suddenly realized that i had just ridden my bike from San Francisco all the way to wyoming, a landscape seemingly so remote and foreign. but i could ride there! anything was possible!
Bryan October 19, 2009 at 3:10 pm
This is a really nice post. Although having young kids and a “respectable” job keeps me largely confined to a single zip code these days, my imagination continues to trek around the globe, and your blog helps make those mental adventures possible. Thanks.
Jack October 19, 2009 at 5:51 pm
Bridges are fascinatingly beautiful…and that one is particularly beautiful. It’s wonderful seeing natural wonders and man made wonders so closely intertwined.
Letty Bos October 21, 2009 at 9:04 pm
When I saw this picture of my dad as a younger man, a smile instantly grew on my face. I recognized his spirit immediately. He has always inspired and supported me to travel my own path in life, whatever that may be. I am so proud and continuously amazed of him. Thank you guys for posting that picture!
Sasquatch October 22, 2009 at 4:58 pm
I second Bryan’s comment #11. Young kid, middle age and regular job at least center life more in a single zip code. But the dreams of adventure is still alive. Escape to Montreal. Travel to Nova Scotia. Its a great big wonderful world! Beautiful people everywhere. Hey that sounds like a David Byrne song.
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I see no M&Ms in your hands. 🙂