Well, things in the world of Johnny Killmore may have looked quiet lately, but that’s because I’ve been planning my next adventure: 2hearts1horizon.
In short, I’m going nomad. My girlfriend Kate and I are moving things into storage and making our new home a 1990 Honda Goldwing with a big ol’ sidecar on it. I’ve wanted to do this kind of adventure– and more– for years. Now, with Kate having a gap year in college, we can finally do it.
We’ll be on the road for six months starting August 17th. We’ll take a la of the US and some of Canada, assuming the border is open. It’s a bit bold I reckon, but nothing that hasn’t been done before by others, and tame in comparison to racing up Pikes Peak.
Still, giving up your home for a life on the road is a big step, especially with a COVID crisis causing people to keep their homes closed when they might have otherwise offered a place for the night. Parks may be closed, restaurants and famous destinations may be hard to access.
But I’m not the type to let a crisis stop me. This plan has been in the works and we are going, come hell or high water. We are also empowered by the fact that most of our trip is supposed to take us through nature and away from cities. We’ll use backroads entirely and the small towns tend to be less worried about the many crisis’ the news feeds us.
Still, I am feeling an emotion similar to when I hit the road to do Pikes Peak, knowing I was spending all my money and risking my life for reasons only known to me. This reminded me of my unofficial theme song, “Alive,” by the band Lo-Pro. It was fitting and I used it to psyche me up when I was feeling overwhelmed.
This time I’m drawn to a very different sounding song, but one that deals with the same feeling. Switching from heavy rock to the slower, breathy falsetto singing of the band My Last Mistake, I give you the song, “What if I?” It speaks to me because of its simplicity. The song doesn’t use heavy guitar to build its emotion, and the lyrics seem like a laundry list of insecurities, worrying what would happen if she failed, broke down, or embarrassed herself.
Then the song ends with, “what if I don’t?” After all that worry, it just plainly states, what happens if I do nothing? And that speaks clearly to me, so I’m making it the unofficial theme song for my upcoming sojourn on the road with Kate.
What if we can’t get into Canada? What if we break down? What if we go broke thousands of miles from home? What if we can’t get into Yellowstone? What if we end up hating each other after sharing a tent for months? What if we die from COVID-19? Sure, but what if we do nothing? What if we spend our days earning rent money, then paying rent only to begin again? What if we live for no reason?
And So It Begins
Sounds worse to me, and so the trip will begin as soon as I return from volunteering for the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis. Yes, we’re still taking wounded an amputee veterans on the ride of a lifetime, starting in Moab, Utah and exploring Colorado on the way to the most famous biker rally on earth.
At first I thought it might be a bummer because of social distancing needs. Then it dawned on me, the ride is really about the riding. We only spend 3-5 days actually at Sturgis out of just over two weeks together. Most of that time is spent at some cabins outside of Deadwood, around a fire and relaxing.
Sure, riders go in 2’s and 3’s to check out the scene and “do Sturgis,” but the closeness that is formed by riding together is the healing part, and many of the vets throughout the years prefer small gatherings to crowds, where PTSD can put people in a hyper-vigilant state.
So in a short time I’ll be loading up to take on an adventure for the folks who operate Veterans Charity Ride, then I’ll be coming back to my new home, an oversized sidecar outfit. Then the real adventure begins.
What if? Sure, but what if not?
I’ll still be writing for the blog at Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys, a sponsor of the Veterans Charity Ride and a great group of people. I and Kate will also be busy filling up the Instagram feed and blog for 2hearts1horizon so I recommend heading over there and signing up for our weekly mailer. It’s a world of adventure out there, but sharing it enriches everyone involved.