Aboard the California Zephyr #6 Amtrak train, I left out of Union Station in Denver. Within two days I was at Penn Station, having stopped in Chicago just long enough for pizza and beer.
In the end, Lucinda and I traveled 3,458 miles together. When I think back upon the experiences I had on this trip, I seem to circle around the idea of thresholds. In the words of John Pack, “Thresholds serve two purposes as I see it… One is a barrier to stop us, the other is a portal through which we are meant to pass.” Although it may come across as hyperbole, that I met myself in odd, unfamiliar places without submitting to fear; that I met and shared time with so many different people; because of these experiences I believe I have somehow changed.
In conclusion, out of Pirsig’s, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:
“Trails never end, of course. Unhappiness and misfortune are bound to occur as long as people live, but there is a feeling now, that was not there before, and is just not on the surface of things, but penetrates all the way through: We won it. It’s going to be better now. You can sort of tell these things”
After a great blueberry pancake breakfast, I bade Samantha and Steamboat Spring adieu and began traveling south to Leadville, Co. My plan was to visit High Mountain Institute and spend a few days camping in the high Rockies. My plan was thwarted. As I was down shifting into the town of Minturn, just beyond Vail, the cam chain on Lucinda snapped. She popped out of gear and drifted to a resting place just outside of a clothing consignment shop.
To fix her would mean opening up the engine and accruing an expense beyond her worth. Uncertain of myself and of my next steps, I pushed her to the trail head of Grouse Meadow, about 10 minutes from where her pistons fired for the last time. I stashed most of my belongings in the woods near the parking lot, packed what I needed to camp for a few days and took to the hills.
On Monday, July 12th, I will leave Colorado by train and travel eastward. The loss of Lucinda has taken some wind out of my sails and seems to me an end to a marvelous adventure. So much has taken place within a relatively brief period of time and a slow conveyance eastward will allow me to see the country in another way and perhaps, to put the Kid to rest.
When news arrived that Lucinda was fixed on the afternoon of the 30th, I broke camp and with a few farewells to the those I had come to know in Selkirk, I rode southwest with what remained of the light. That night I slept in a ball park in Grafton, North Dakota, happy to be moving after a week of seeming exile. The next day I traveled west through North Dakota on Rt.200 and then south, passed infinite stretches of grassland often bespectacled with grazing cows, down 85. Pockets of cumulus clouds spotted the big sky, offering picturesque riding until their safe distance lessened. After a few gripping moments, I arrived to a safe place to put up my tarp, not far from Sturgis, South Dakota.
The following day, route 85 south through Black Hills of South Dakota offered some of the most beautiful surroundings, windy roads and dry, warm weather of this entire trip. It was incredible while it lasted. On route 34 in Wyoming, also, the road cut wonderfully along a river at the base of a gentle valley. Nothing ever will last and while crossing the pass from Wyoming into Colorado I was met with cold rain.
Now I am in Steamboat Springs staying with my friend Samantha. I have some decisions to make concerning what to do next.
At Lord Selkirk Hotel, I met Creg. For some reason, we became mates from the very first.
These stills are pulled from video caught on a Canon HV-10