Yesterday was an emotional day for us. Laura’s family came by to see us one last time before we take off on our next trip (this Sunday!). It was also the day our boxes of stuff went away. Clothes, papers, some of my camera gear, Laura’s jewelry, our old panniers, my trusty orange laptop and, of course, our Surly Long Haul Truckers from our previous trip.

We know things are just things, but I’ll admit I was sad to see some of it go. Not because I was attached to any particular possession, but because they were touchstones of our last trip and our stay in Portland. There is no real value in a plastic Mardis Gras rubber ducky, but when I see it I think of eating crawfish from a bucket with our hosts in Shreveport, Louisiana. These things represent a past that we’re shedding off in order to move toward the unknown future. There is something symbolic, atleast for me, about putting things in boxes to be shelved away. There’s such a strange finality to it.

Stranger still is that we’ve done this before two years ago. The packing, sorting and boxing of our little lives. It was easier this time around, but it is still met with a bit of trepidation. As we look around, our apartment is beginning to feel less like a home and more just a place to just go to sleep. The shift is subtle but irreversible. Home is never a collection of kitchen appliances and furniture, it is your family and your friends that you surround yourself with. We’ve been fortunate to meet good people while in Portland who have helped us and who have welcomed us. They’ve made this wet Pacific Northwest city home for us in the few months we’ve stayed here.

The road’s siren song calls again, but this time the tune is quite different. We’re a little older, a little wiser perhaps about long term travel. We know what travel promises, and which promises it can keep. But we also know life on the road is about surprises and serendipity and we are curious about what lies around the next bend of the road.

One Last Push

We have six more days in Portland. Six more days to see our friends. Six more days to prepare and ready ourselves before pedaling forth once again. We also only have 6 more days in our IndieGoGo fundraising campaign to reach our goal! We are about a third of the way there but still have quite a bit to go.

We want to thank everyone that has so generously donated already and who has helped spread the word.

Our mission is simple – to share our vision of traveling by bike and train across the United States, through words, photos and film. We want to create a tangible vision through our writing and videos so that rail and bike advocates can see what we see. No one, to our knowledge, has really explored the possibilities of bike and train travel and what it can do for rural economies near train lines or what it could mean for new forms of adventure tourism.

Your donations will assist us with the cost of food and train tickets. We reached out to Amtrak many months ago to be a partner, but they chose not to join us. Despite that, we believe strongly in the possibilities of bike and train travel. I think our vision will be made strikingly relevant this spring and summer, as the price of gas will put the crimp on the American automobile road trip and airline travel. People will look for new ways to travel and they will look to the train. As train use gets more impacted, we feel that it may get harder and harder to bring bicycles on board. We want to inspire cyclists across the country to share our vision of travel by bike and train and get them involved now with the conversation about trains and our transportation future!

If you have enjoyed our stories, photos and videos from the road over the last two years, or if you want to assist us with our new mission of sharing our vision of bikes and trains across the country, consider donating to our fundraiser. It closes in six days, so spread the word!

Donate to our PathLessPedaled – IndieGoGo Fundraiser campaign.