This was the response of several people when I awoke yesterday morning following an unbelievably strong 5.3 earthquake that I felt intensely while lying in my tent in Cambria at 11:55pm on Oct 20th. I was not asleep yet when it happened, so my consciousness absorbed the full experience of the King City epicenter. I had to laugh when others either slept through it or thought someone bumped the tent. I was amazed to see that no motorcycles tipped over. My theory is that the earth moved due to the gathering of so many adventurous world travelers in one small area.
The annual Horizons Unlimited meeting was the venue and if ever you'd want to be in a place with a group of disaster preparedness folks ~ here it was. For three days and nights, people from all over the world met and gave presentations of their motorcycle travels around the globe. Several were on actual trips far from home. There was a very full schedule and in between presentations, we all were able to look at the motorcycles, talk about gear, procedures, life, etc and all while enjoying good food in the lodge. Thank you Grant and Susan for starting this collective and continuing to foster and support the community for which I'm honored to be counted.
Here is a list below of just some (not all) of the presentations I attended that left an impression on me (in no particular order) ~
Southeast Asia on Lucy
Cliff Danger just came back from a trip on his Minsk motorcycled called LUCY ~ his story was populated with beautiful images (his profession is photographer) and his harrowing accounts of challenges left me speechless. Here's only one of several of his videos from up on the Hai Van pass. And his artistic eye with interactions in the form of "bunny teeth" is cool. Learn more about him on his blog at http://thebunnyteethmovement.blogspot.com/
Jeremy Kroeker commenced his presentation with a beautifully worded account of his state of mind that fueled his desire to get out on his motorcycle journey. He also had beautiful photographs to illustrate his travels in Central America. He put out a book called Motorcycle Therapy that attempts to capture the experience and he continues to take trips that give him fuel for more stories.
Chiwi on a motorbike
"Chiwi" stands for Chinese Kiwi ~ aka a Chinese New Zealander. I learned this from Ellen Delis who is currently on her long trip with husband Andi and they both gave a couple of very good presentations. Their website is entertaining as well. They embody an incredible "can do, remove those obstacles" spirit.
Adventure Trio turning heads
This family is doing things a little differently, to say the least. The average American family wouldn't even put this on the remote list of considerations for how to see America but Sandy, Terry and their son Jack are getting out and touching life, first hand. Their website is very informative, it speaks for itself. The presentation by all three was a synergistic experience that demonstrated why it works so well for them.
Going to the edge of the world
Dylan Samarawickrama is definitely living on the edge of the world as demonstrated in his presentation traveling on his BMW GS. He seems to truly be living up to his mission statement: "Go to the edge of the world…. and jump! Feel the wind and see how it frees you from all your anxieties and worries. Let loose your emotions. Let your fears get blown away by the wind. Smile! Open up your heart and let peace enter it. Scream! Express your joy. I’m enjoying my freefall without the parachute!" and his website supports how it's all playing out for him. I couldn't imagine this man ever in a foul mood!
Misadventure filled with adventure
I suppose every adventure implies the unspoken "misadventure" and Carla King presents a creative, humorous account of how life doesn't always go the way you want but the advantage there is the people you meet along the way and the experiences one can be open to when the unexpected happens. I enjoyed listening to two men talking about why they like reading Carla's books only minutes before she walked onstage to show her photos of both her initial round-the-states tour but the more recent China motorcycle adventure for which she is finishing her book now. Go Carla!
What the heck is that thing?
Craig Vetter drove to and around the meeting on his aerodynamic thing, I don't even know what you'd call it. But check it out here. He admits it's a bit of a "chick magnet", especially for the older ladies in Carmel where he calls home.
Will English is actually his name
He's from the U.K. and his name is Will English but his self effacing personality eschews the typical blog or web presence. I couldn't even find mention of his adventures anywhere online but Will gave a side-splittingly entertaining account of his travels around the globe. He happens to be here in California now on his slow way home to Britain. This was one funny man and god bless his perseverance as he comes to motorcycles later in life (he started at 43 years of age and has been riding for 7 years). Late breaking news is that Will wrote to me after this post and said he does have a blog, click here for more!
Clement ~ a true original adventure story teller
I had heard about Clement Salvadori as one of the first motorcycle adventure guys that took to writing about it. He has so many experiences and books out now ~ I'm sure he's lost track of the number. He entertained the audience with stories from one of his "for hire" adventures riding Royal Enfields through Nepal and Tibet. He is a master story teller and his photos are superb.
Jupiter and what it's like in outer space
Some people that don't ride motorcycles or don't consider traveling on one perceive those of us that do to be space aliens. Literally the concept is so far from their ability to relate that the group of motorcycle adventure travelers might as well be from another planet in their minds. Ted Simon is the true grandfather of the movement with his original book "Jupiter's Travels" and he led the audience Saturday night on a trip back in time to his origins as a boy and painted a bit of the sensory picture of England in the Second World War. I believe his unveiling of these memories served to demonstrate the state of mind that has evolved for him and made him the intrepid travel and example setter of today's world. He presented some of the photos and ironic stories from his recent journey for which he's got a book called Rolling through the Isles. He is one of those rare humans that you can feel safe just sitting next to him (which I did while he finished breakfast yesterday).
This link takes you to my small collection of photos of the events.