Trans America Trail: Crossing Unknown Waters

Oct 31, 2013 View Comments by

Trans America Trail: Crossing Unknown Waters“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

It finally happened. I have arrived at a place where I must somewhat blindly ride through or turn around. I have been hearing the stories ever since I left Connecticut of impassable water crossings, but this is truly the first to challenge me. The water crossing that is stretched out ahead of me is unique in that it turns around a corner; there is no “other side” to look across to and evaluate. I believe I have two options. Hammer through it or turn around and look for a way around it. Instead of these two impulsive options, I choose a third. I hop off and attempt to walk around the corner to see what I am really facing.

I share the love of my opening quote with my sister Tami. I have always found humor in the fact that the quote is often misattributed to Christopher Columbus. Considering the quote is originally, “On ne découvre pas de terre nouvelle sans consentir à perdre de vue, d’abord et longtemps, tout ravage.” and everyone knows Christopher Columbus was Italian. For those who do not speak French, as I understand it, it translates to “One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight, for a very long time, of the shore.” André Gideand, a French author, actually penned the words sometime after his birth in 1869, just a few years later than Columbus’ passing in 1506.

If there is one thing I know, when faced with a water crossing of undetermined depth, and you don’t have a boat, then the next best thing to have riding on your shoulder, is a French Noble Peace Prize. It’s common sense really. In fact, this quote holds special meaning to me for this trip, because by the time this post goes out, the one-year anniversary of my dad’s tragic motorcycle death will pass (October 21, 2012). While a day does not go by that I do not think about him and get a little sad. I often think about the adventures he and I had together. The way we reached for new shores together and conquered the mid-west one father-son trip at a time; each time losing sight of the shore for just a little bit longer. While I miss him greatly, there is always another shore to reach for and I know he would want me to go. So, while I ride with a heavy heart, I still ride. What is a shore but a combination of sand, rock, and dirt? It is moments like these that the water separates these familiar elements and turns them into unknowns, until they are crossed.

With these few moments of reflection behind me, I return from what I am dubbing my “À pied environ de l’eau inconnu “ or the “walk-about of the unknown water.” While I can partially see around the first corner, I quickly notice that the serpentine route turns again. I cannot see a way to walk through to this area. I retrace my steps back along the road, which looks more like a river. I saddle up, start the engine and . . .

To be continued . . .


To read the previous Trans America Trail episode, click here.


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About the author

I am an introvert posing as an extrovert. I love travel in all forms, but prefer 2-wheels. I created AdventureHermit as a way to share my adventures and inspire others to find joy through discovery; writing for RoadRUNNER is a dream come true!