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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Heading Out West

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Margaret Stadtwald
Margaret Stadtwaldhttps://discovermuscatine.com
Margaret Stadtwald works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

I think anyone who has ever owned a bike has had the daydream of hopping on your ride and just taking off somewhere they’ve never been before. A nomadic pilgrimage of some kind, just burning through tank after tank until you get your mind right. Riding off into the sunset like a long forgotten, nameless cowboy losing and finding yourself all at the same time.

I’ve always had this thought of riding west, like a prospector heading out to find their fortune on the California coast. I’ve wanted to chase the sunset over the mountains and watch the sunrise in the desert. I’ve wanted to retrace the footsteps of our country’s trailblazers heading through the frontier. A biker’s Oregon Trail without the cholera and dysentery.

It all sounds very fantastic and mythical with cowboy theme music in my head, but the dusty trail isn’t so dusty anymore. Endless miles of highways, cities, and lights is more likely what I would have in store, but I still want to make the trip anyway. Blasting across the flat states. Watching the mountains break through the earth and reach up into the sky. Vast, empty deserts stretching every tank of gas. A triumphant ride down some coastal highway through an ocean breeze. I’m sure those that have made the trip will say that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be and that it’s not like it is in the movies, and I’m sure you’re probably right, but this is my movie and that’s how it’s goin’ down!

I just read this book a few weeks ago that I had gotten for Christmas. “Cross Country and all the B.S. With It” by Hood Lodo. Hood Lodo is a member of the Outcast Motorcycle Club, the only all African American traditional 1%er MC in the U.S. (according to the book) which is neither here nor there, just something I thought was interesting. I won’t give anything away in case any of you want to check it out, but I will say that this book is the Murphy’s Law of motorcycle trips and even with all the mishaps of the road it has fueled my desire to make the trip all that much more.

A coast to coast trip would be awesome, but with living smack dab in the middle of the country, that isn’t really feasible. So, I’ve been rolling around the idea of making two trips. One to the West Coast and back and then another to the East Coast and back. I want to span the width of our diverse country soaking up all the sights and scenery my soul can handle.

Have any of you made either of these trips? What are some must see spots and what are places that should be avoided? I dig road stories and would be interested in hearing yours. If you have an interesting story, please feel free to shoot me a message on the No Baffles No Brakes Facebook page. I would love to read it!

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