This particular journey to Badwater from Oregon is now history. I continue to return to this weblog, and persist in posting new entries, in my attempt to keep it alive, for the experience was one of intense satisfaction, and leaving it behind seems inappropriate. I do not wish to abandon what has been so meticulously crafted within these pages, words and photos prepared by a small crew of expedition enthusiasts who made sure that my progress was regularly reported to you.
The good news is that this Badwater or Bust blog will always be here for you and me to access at any time. That is the nice thing about internet sites. And if I analyze these feelings of closure, I realize that I am not walking away from this journey, but merely building upon it the next exploratory adventure that calls to my spirit. This was a door in my universe that I walked through, not knowing what was to be encountered on the other side. By walking through this mysterious portal, I now realize that other opportunities beckon, passages that prior to the ’09 Badwater trek I would not have understood.
Making the decision to embark upon this expedition back in May was both exciting and intimidating, as never before had I done anything quite like it. Solo overland journeys of many days or weeks tests a person’s mettle, even before they begin. Quite simply put, you have to really want it to do it. Two-thousand-nine was my year to finally break out of the box and put my toes into the icy river of living on the edge. Like the river, life flows along quickly, and I had decided that I was no longer content to just accept things because everyone else does them that way. It was time for me to make my own way.
Sure, the Death Valley Tricycle Expedition was relatively mild by comparison to what intrepid folks like Alex Grove, Paul Gareau, or Mark Beaumont have done, where the mileages are recorded in thousands, and the times are recorded in months. Yet, we all must start somewhere, I suppose. This was a grand ride of adventure that was just right for my first time out on a trike. With the annoying Achilles issue, my cycling mileage was cut short, and I opted for auto transport part of the way to Death Valley National Park so that I could spend more time riding free on the trike in my old stompin’ grounds before the tendons gave out for good. Death Valley was my focus, and I am happy to have made the rounds while there.
This expedition forms my entry into future life explorations through the natural world, journeys that I will continue to make because I have learned that I feel at home while on them. Most of us search for who we are, seeking a purpose behind our fleeting time in this life. I believe I have found my path, one that my tricycle helps me travel. I do not fit into traditional cultural norms, so neither does my newly acquired means of transport. By embarking upon challenging physical voyages in the backcountry, my mind is also becoming stronger, and I can look at myself and feel strong in my convictions. And with the rugged explorers I met on this journey, who were also living on the edge and pushing their limits, I found a powerful connection that was instantly sensed, a tie that bonds through unspoken thoughts – this was one of my finest unexpected joys.
Traveling on the ICE Q through three western states opened my eyes to another world. The stable and reliable recumbent trike allows for swift and comfortable travel that is not restricted by the specter of long distances. Leaving no toxins in the wake, my silent passage along the little known byways of the west permitted me to pitch undetected stealth camps in the wilds. It was a feeling of total freedom, not under the control of any petroleum delivery systems … a freedom powered by the trike pilot himself. Hiking and backpacking are also modes of travel I find enjoyable, and will continue to weave into the fabric of my human-powered existence. Get a trike … give a holler … let’s take a trip into a world known by few. I’m always open to new adventures!
I wish to take this time to thank you all for continuing to visit this Badwater weblog during my journey, and even coming back now, after the trek is long over. I hope your readings here have contributed in some small way to a happier life for you. I probably do not know who most of you are, yet it was your visits that contributed to keeping my morale high throughout the expedition. Thank you!
People from my hometown may be visiting here to read about a guy who is their neighbor. People who click through from the ICE site may be visiting to see just how good their tricycles really are. People who have an existing friendship with me may be visiting to see what their crazy buddy is up to now. People who seek health and long life may be visiting to learn about one way I achieve it. People who are physically challenged may be visiting to experience a vicarious adventure through these words. People who have grown weary of the status quo and seek direction for living outside the box may be visiting to find it. Whatever your reason for visiting this weblog, thank you for your support and enthusiasm!
With that, I now lay this blog to rest. Of course, being a writer of sorts, it may be impossible for me to quit typing into this laptop, so I have created yet another threshold through which I may express further thoughts to anyone who finds my musings amusing or meaningful. It will be for those who wish to live on the edge, for folks who are not opposed to alternative thinking. One of my core convictions is expressed in the saying: If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space. This is true for me on several levels of meaning, physical and ideological. The trike is one way to live on the edge … on the new blog, I will be presenting additional outlooks.
Take care my friends! Hope to see you on a trike someday …