The decision to leave the comfort of a steady life and assured income was difficult to make. Endless possibilities stretched before me and the hardest thing was escaping the gravity of commitments. Once on the road, those stresses were replaced by finding a stealth campsite each night and mother nature’s whimsy. The wild and open spaces call loudly and change dramatically in the sunrise and sunset of life. Taking these valuable journeys and building my observations at this age may present entirely new perspective when my hair has turned grey. As the seasons tumbled through the latitudes, I followed comfortable winds in search of the great unknown.
From 2014 to 2018, I criss-crossed the continent aboard a 49cc Honda Ruckus named La Tortuga racking up 70’000 miles. With my home on it’s back, the little scooter carried me to the farthest reaches of the continental road system, north to the Arctic Circle’s Inuvik and Prudhoe Bay, down to the rum-soaked southernmost tip of Key West, out on the Rock’s Screech scented easternmost point at Cape Spear, Newfoundland, and wet on the westernmost road at Anchor Point, AK. Averaging 110 miles per gallon, the cost of travel is quite low, even factoring in the spare parts to fix something about to break in the middle of nowhere. I can count the number of hotel rooms I’ve stayed in on one hand over four years of travel.
The magnetic nature of La Tortuga opened up many possibilities with new acquaintances and friends throughout the continent. When I envisioned my journey on the little bike, I anticipated a distanced lifestyle and solitude, yet discovered friends on every horizon and cemented bonds that will last a lifetime. In March of 2018 on the last day of a transcontinental cruise, the bike was attacked by a pit-bull in NC and I suffered a collarbone fracture and subsequent surgeries forcing a pause to the Ruckus travel. The bike is parked at a friend’s fortress of a compound while I take time to heal my bone and transition to a long distance Kayak trip around the southeast.