Day One

Nov 26, 2012 View Comments by

A picture can say a thousand words, and that’s what this blog is all about. One photo, once a week, with the story behind the lens. It’s only fitting that my first blog here on RoadRUNNER is a photo from my first night ever moto-touring.

I was 23 and brand new to the world of motorcycle touring. I bought a used, well sorted, and farkled Husqvarna TE610 from a guy off of advrider.com. The next step was loading up on camera gear. Then I took a weekend film course through the Discovery Channel in New York. The plan was to ride to the Panama Canal solo in three months and shoot a documentary about it. Had I ever made a documentary? No. Did I study film in college? No. Was this a financially smart move on my part? No, but none of that mattered. I was going for it and that’s what it’s all about.

A friend trailered me down to Corpus Christie, TX in January of 2009. I was to stay there for the night and then travel to the border of Mexico in the morning. The first night of the trip I wanted to camp out on the beach. No hotel for me—I was planning on camping all the time. Easier said than done. The best spot I could find was by a bridge that stretched over part of a bay. I pulled off the road and drove down the beach for a bit. There was a little island with only a few inches of water separating it from the shore. I’ll set up my tent there I thought. As I started crossing, I began sinking. Unfortunately, I hadn’t checked to see how hard the ground was, but at this point I was committed. I just gave her more gas as I attempted to turn around in the muck. This strategy got me stuck. I slowly came to a stop, but the problem hadn’t fully hit me yet. I took off all of my luggage to make the bike lighter and tried pushing the bike while hitting the gas. It just sank more. Now the exhaust was only a few inches from the top of the mud. The back wheel was completely sunk. I had a real problem now. With no smart phone, I called 411 in order to get a phone number for a tow truck company. As I was waiting for the tow truck, I set up my camera and took what would be one of my favorite photos of all time.

Bringing the dry erase board on this trip was one of the smartest things I’ve done. Obviously, trying to camp on that little island was one of my dumbest ideas. You live and you learn, and you have a blast the whole time. I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world.

Tags: , , Categories: Luke Swab

About the author

Commercial fisherman to pay the bills. Adventure Rider for the smile on my face. Documenting it all as proof that anyone can live this dream.