Originally Published in my column for RoadRUNNER Magazine on: 7/17/2014
Meeting Luke Swab!
Heading out on the second half of the TAT lacks any real fanfare. It’s a day like any other, trying to get too many things done, in not enough hours – the girls are at school and Beth is at work so I simply get on the KLR and leave. As expected, the excitement of my return has for the most part waned. I am sure Beth will miss the support with the girls, but overall routine has settled in again in less than 2 weeks. It is important for me to get back out there. It is far too easy to get sucked back into routine. There are some that may say that stopping at home in the middle is cheating. They are entitled to that opinion. For me, I continue to see this journey as one with no rules. The TAT, is not a rigid, inflexible road, it is simply a guideline to whatever it is each person is meant to experience when they tackle it.
As I climb over Kenosha Pass, the chill in the early night air makes it easy to forget it is August. I have opted not to carry any excessive cold weather gear. It is my attempt to carry less and less and travel further and further. Each step of the journey I have scaled back as I have gone along. Sending gear home and leaving even more at home when I returned to Colorado. But nothing has prepared me for the beautifully minimalistic approach to riding that I am about to discover in the form of one Luke Swab.
Luke rolls up on his “new to him” WR250 just as I am packing the last of a six-pack of Deschutes IPA into my pack. Luke is a fellow RoadRUNNER blogger and is joining me on the second half of the TAT. However, up until this meeting at Rt. 9 and 285 in the middle of South Park (yes, the town that inspired the cartoon), we have shared nothing more than a few phone calls. I was very hesitant to have any one join me for any portion of this ride with the exception of my dad’s memory and my connection via the digital world. However, from the moment I meet Luke, with his easy-going attitude I am already feeling better about having a companion; especially with the challenging terrain that is ahead. We grab some burgers from Millonzi’s in town and balance them on our bikes as the sun begins to give up for the day.
As we head to my friend Tim’s cabin to spend the night, I look like the love child of a NYC bag lady that has mated with a Sherpa. Luke on the other hand is rocking an elegant minimalist approach. I have no idea how we will survive. If I have learned nothing from Adventure Riding photos, it is that only bikes packed to every last square inch can really traverse the world. Right? Poor Luke . . . or is it the other way around?!?!?!