Trans America Trail: Crossing Unknown Waters
Originally published on RoadRUNNER.Travel on October 31, 2013
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
It finally happened. I have arrived at a point on the Trans-America Trail where I must somewhat blindly ride through or turn around. I have been hearing the stories ever since I left Connecticut of impassable water crossings, but this is truly the first to challenge me. The water crossing that is stretched out ahead of me is unique in that it turns around a corner; there is no “other side” to look across to and evaluate. I believe I have two options. Hammer through it or turn around and look for a way around it. Instead of these two impulsive options, I choose a third. I hop off and attempt to walk around the corner to see what I am really facing.
I share the love of my opening quote with my sister Tami. I have always found humor in the fact that the quote is often misattributed to Christopher Columbus. Considering the quote is originally, “On ne découvre pas de terre nouvelle sans consentir à perdre de vue, d’abord et longtemps, tout ravage.” and everyone knows Christopher Columbus was Italian. For those who do not speak French, as I understand it, it translates to “One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight, for a very long time, of the shore.” André Gideand, a French author, actually penned the words sometime after his birth in 1869, just a few years later than Columbus’ passing in 1506.
If there is one thing I know, when faced with a water crossing of undetermined depth, and you don’t have a boat, then the next best thing to have riding on your shoulder, is a French Noble Peace Prize. It’s common sense really. In fact, this quote holds special meaning to me for this trip, because by the time this post goes out, the one-year anniversary of my dad’s tragic motorcycle death will pass (October 21, 2012). While a day does not go by that I do not think about him and get a little sad. I often think about the adventures he and I had together. The way we reached for new shores together and conquered the mid-west one father-son trip at a time; each time losing sight of the shore for just a little bit longer. While I miss him greatly, there is always another shore to reach for and I know he would want me to go. So, while I ride with a heavy heart, I still ride. What is a shore but a combination of sand, rock, and dirt? It is moments like these that the water separates these familiar elements and turns them into unknowns, until they are crossed.
With these few moments of reflection behind me, I return from what I am dubbing my “À pied environ de l’eau inconnu “ or the “walk-about of the unknown water.” While I can partially see around the first corner, I quickly notice that the serpentine route turns again. I cannot see a way to walk through to this area. I retrace my steps back along the road, which looks more like a river. I saddle up, start the engine and . . .
To be continued . . .
SPECIAL NOTE: The remainder of the TAT series will be posted exclusively on AdventureHermit.com – and also posted in Map format on Maptia.Com
I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to RoadRUNNER Magazine for providing me the opportunity to write for its readers over the past year. The offer came the day after my day was killed riding his motorcycle home from the grocery store. To say it was a difficult time would be an understatement. But the opportunity to write was just the therapy I needed.
Unfortunately, in early November, I received word that, an executive decision at the magazine has been made to change the magazines blog focus to “Current News: and “Product Reviews” and away from stories. Almost a year to the date from when I started writing. I was not offered the opportunity to participate in this new venture, which is ok as I am a storyteller and will leave this type of reporting to the experts.
I sincerely appreciate everyone’s support and I will do my best to get back on track with sharing my Cross America Motorcycle Adventure! Please consider signing up for updates if you would like to hear the rest of the story and receive updates about my upcoming book telling the rest of the rest of the story.