Sunday, October 4, 2015

surrounded by inspiration ~ motorcycle adventurers with Horizons Unlimited

Last weekend I attended my fourth annual Horizons Unlimited event of about 275 adventure motorcycle travelers in Mariposa, California. I find myself coming back each year to hear the stories and meet the people doing these assortment of amazing trips. If ever I felt like I found "my tribe", these folks might be it. To be in the company of so many people that refuse to see limitations is impressive.  It's the whole "what are you waiting for?" feeling that I leave with on Sunday that strengthens my intention to work toward a trip of my own to Patagonia one day.

Here are five of my favorites:

Alex Chacón came to this year's event as he did the previous year and went over some of the computer software tools he uses to make his legendary motorcycle travel videos that are world famous on the Internet, making him a social media phenomenon. This one is still my all time favorite even though he has spent another year of being extremely prolific.  It was interesting to hear which of the social media tools were beneficial for motorcycle travelers and what might be a waste of time.

Nevil Stow undertook an around the world trip on his motorcycle in 2013 and more can be read on his blog here. What made his presentation interesting was that his motivation came after he had suffered a stroke in 2009 and decided when he got well again that he was going to do this trip. His closing messages that if we're going to undertake a journey even half as adventurous as his, to do it while supporting an organization one believes in and not just for the pursuit itself.

Elisa Wirkala really got my attention this year. I didn't know what to expect when walking in and seeing her motorcycle in the room, a 125cc compact red Honda motorcycle that looked almost new. She blew me away with her story of travel and a gorgeous website that gives terrific detail both narrative and photos of her journey from Santiago Chile to her home in Seattle.  She did a terrific job about outlining the financial discipline she went through in the year preceding her trip. Everyone could learn a thing or two from this intrepid traveler.

Michelle Lamphere gave a presentation about her two year motorcycle trip from her home in Sturgis South Dakota with her now fiancé Brian on their two motorcycles and her courage in overcoming an accident early on in the trip that didn't dissuade her from continuing. More details can be seen on her blog. I picked up her book that she signed for me as it does have some interesting information for going to El Fin del Mundo on a motorcycle. Her presentation was excellent and very engaging.

Walt Fulton and Nancy Foote of Streetmasters offered an off-road all day course on Saturday that I gladly participated in. We reviewed some basics about off-road riding and then took our own bikes on a 15 mile dirt road between Mariposa and Yosemite. Fun was had by most of us.

Elisa with her bike, talking about her trip from Patagonia to the US

me with an illustrious group of intrepid motorcycle travelers

getting ready for the Off Road class on Saturday

me at the half-way mark of our off road ride, feeling lovely
Reg Kittrelle took some photos during our adventures on the dirt, this is one of them of me

taking a break in the heat on the off road exercise

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