For a few years now I have gone on solo summer trips, discovering myself and this beautiful state of Colorado. It started one year as a simple bicycle tour on the plains which morphed the following year into mountain biking the Colorado Trail. Talk about an epic adventure. The CO Trail typically had three or four thousand vertical feet of uphill everyday and I could barely average twenty five miles a day. Fun trip but I lost ten percent of my body weight, some vacation I planned, eh? This picture was taken at Baldy Lake. This trip through the CO wilderness gave me a new respect for mother nature as I was rocked daily by afternoon thunderstorms which made it impossible to make good progress along the trail. This trip redefined travel for me as well as helping me better realize my potential as this trail was an enormous undertaking for me to endure. Loneliness, isolation, hunger, dehydration, extreme cold, sheer joy, paranoia, and pure exhaustion were many of the emotions felt over this trip. After pedaling closer and closer to Durango for hundreds of miles I began riding over Cinnamon Pass. At one point I was passed by dirt bikers and was like, "That should be me!" I could tell by their spirited riding that they were having fun while I was busting my butt off. I was certainly jealous. Fast forward my life story for a bit and I started back in school when my dad offered to help my with acquiring a vehicle. He is an avid motorcyclist and we have spent thousand of miles together on his bikes when I was younger. Seeing as I lived in CO I was able to convince him that a motorcycle was reasonable year round transportation and besides he wanted me to ride. So it was only simple progression when I took my affinity for suffering in remote areas and applied it to my new found hobby of motorcycle travel. This trip was schemed over many months which gave me a consistent goal while going out for pleasure rides. There were many trips to Utah where I learned that motorcycles, by nature of their existence, get destroyed while applying them in their natural terrain. Here a buddy fixes his bike again. I also learned that having quality equipment sure beats not! Don't buy vintage used craigslist tires. These Moab trips also reminded my why I like to be outside... cause it's the bees knees. A bad day outside beats a good day in. I learned a lot about dirt biking and motorcycle travel over the last two years, which are pretty much the limit of my experience. Some of the lessons learned were not at all specific to this activity and were repeats of lessons learned and not learned from past experiences. One of those lessons was, forget what other people want, my life is short and I need to do my own thing. Trying to make other people happy by trying to meet their expectations is a waste of my time. On one Moab day I got roped into rock climbing some choss I've already climbed before and we were almost struck by lightning. This was one of the most terrifying rock climbing experiences I have had and I've had my share of sphincter clenching climbing. Honestly all I wanted to do that morning was do disc golfing in peace. Here is a pic of the formation. It was the corkscrew thing on the left known as Ancient Arts. Yeah, it started snowing while we were up there. What a waste of a day. But after that I was like screw you guys, have fun going out to dinner I am gonna go ride the White Rim Trail. But first I had to leave town which wasn't until about 9 pm. Super wild ride doing it in the dark. I love riding into those long desert sunsets. I almost hit a cow, scored free beers, and ran out of gas, now that's way more fun than almost dying on a desert spire. All this time I have been thinking, "Cool this is preparing me for my next big summer adventure." So I continued to have that philosophy about my riding and also made some new riding buddies with whom I had discussed my epic summer plans. Needless to say they wanted nothing to do with my desire to ride fully loaded dirt bikes on techy trails. We had fun riding together anyways. I've never been a social butterfly, but I was totally trying to get someone to go along with me as this moto thing gets dangerous sometimes. But I couldn't find anyone dumb enough so I figured I better try to learn to be independent! Time for trial runs with gear. I had a blast passing this truck on the highway, I felt real claustrophobic for a second as I was surrounded by semis in each direction on a narrow mountain road. I talked to the driver who was going all the way to California, which made me chuckle for some reason. I liked how the front wheels weren't on the trailer. Also in the name of preparation I traveled to the Midwest to see Tool and Puscifer play at the River's Edge Music Festival in Minnesota. It was well worth it and this gave me the confidence to know I could do anything I set my mind to. After getting back to CO I had time for another shakedown ride before the trip. I decided to go camp up on Argentine Pass near Georgetown. It was a good ride from Boulder as I had figured out all of the backroads to get there. This also gave me a better idea of my packing abilities, what I have been forgetting, and where my riding ability is at. For this summer ride I planned much of it on Google Earth and brought a GPS. I also had maps and such with me. I carried too much food and added too many last minute necessities to the list. Another mistake was making last minute changes to the moto before leaving, but it was the best trip of my life with so many good memories. I broke this and bent that, crashed into those and bailed before them. This trip took me from Boulder to Georgetown to Breckenridge to Leadville to Aspen to Lake City to Silverton to Ouray to Gunnison to Buena Vista and back to Boulder. It was six days of spectacular high country riding that pushed me to my limits and incorporated all that I've got. It totaled about 1000 miles and I had to come back earlier than planned. I had a great time and look forward to next year's shenanigans. Maybe I can find someone ignorant enough to join me... Stay tuned for a report of day one.