So, as most of you know, we’re back home in Oregon for a few months. We’re planning to keep the blog posts coming, one every Monday. Obviously, we’re all caught up on the “travel-log” part of our writing, but we’d like to do a few essay style posts about specific aspects of our trip, like safety, the way the internet and electronics have changed adventure travel, and the whole “overlanding” and “vanlife” movements and their explosive growth in the last decade among our generation.
We’re also planning to do some posts about the adventure to be had right here at home. Since leaving the US, one of the greatest things we’ve gained is an appreciation of the opportunity available to us here in the Pacific Northwest. The abundance of easily accessible public lands, good roads, and cheap gas make exploration easy. There are beautiful campsites, lonely gravel roads, and small towns to visit with their own distinct culture easily within an hour of our doorstep.
We took these things for granted before leaving, but have gained a new respect for well-kept parks, community museums, and monuments to a location’s past. In our past life, we never felt we had time for these things, but now we’re realizing that there is more to Running From Monday than just a big road trip South; for us, it’s about taking the time to appreciate what we have and where we are.
Another thing we’ve learned Running From Monday, is to take action toward our dreams and goals. Instead of persistently putting things off we’ve always wanted to do, we look more seriously at making them happen. Successfully driving ourselves to Costa Rica has helped us to see other things that once seemed impossible, as much more achievable now. As a result, I’ve completed my third flight lesson on my way to a private pilot’s license this summer.
I also bought, then learned to ride, a motorcycle. We love our truck and camper, but there is definitely more than one way to see the world. I plan to do at least a few short, domestic “overland” trips on two wheels this summer. The bike will be a great way to see experience all that adventure just waiting to be tapped out our front door.
On top of all that, we’re still meeting up with other travelers pretty regularly. Only a week or so after settling in, I invited a stranger on a bicycle to crash on our couch. We definitely look differently at people than we did before starting the trip. I wouldn’t have even thought to invite a stranger into our home, and would have never expected them to accept the offer. Mariam did though, and we had a great evening talking bicycles, camping, and living on the road. She even made us eggs benedict in the morning! She’s an inspiring young lady, check out her Instagram here.
Most of you probably remember The Dancing Fireflies, their two Dobermans, and a certain VW van from our time in Mazatlan. Specifically, 10 days on an Autozone parking lot. Well, they made it all the way to Oregon and are currently parked in our driveway. It didn’t take us long to fall back into our old ways.
I’m thinking that there will be enough good stuff to write about that we’ll be able to hold your interest until we get back onto the road this fall. If there is anything specific you’d like to have us write about, or any questions you’d like us to answer, please send us a message or just put it in the comments below.
This is a pretty short post this week, but I’ll leave you with a gallery of pictures from the 2017 Dirtquake. It’s a basically a huge party in a field where they also sometimes race motorcycles on a flat dirt track. Dirtquake is one of those things I never had time to do before, but my friend Brian always insisted I see. When we realized we’d be back in time this year, I bought tickets (and a Honda CB500X) so I could reunite with part of our Baja 1000 crew, Brian, Luke, and Keenan, along with Joel for a weekend of motorized mayhem.
The general chaos of the fireworks, motorcyles, bonfires, and “anything goes” atmosphere of Dirtquake put me right back into my comfort zone. It felt a lot like a weekend in Mexico.