Trans America Trail: Introducing Luke Swab

Jul 17, 2014 View Comments by

Trans America Trail: Introducing Luke SwabHeading out on the second half of the TAT lacks any real fanfare. It’s a day like any other, trying to get too many things done, in not enough hours—the girls are at school and Beth is at work so I merely get on the KLR and leave. As expected, the excitement of my return has for the most part waned. I am sure Beth will miss the support with the girls, but overall the routine has settled in again in less than two weeks. It is important for me to get back out there. It is far too easy to get sucked back into normal life. There are some that may say stopping at home in the middle is cheating. They are entitled to that opinion. For me, I continue to see this expedition as one with no rules. The TAT is not a rigid, inflexible road, it is simply a guideline to whatever it is each person is meant to experience when they tackle it.

Trans America Trail: Introducing Luke SwabAs I climb over Kenosha Pass, the chill in the evening air makes it easy to forget it is August. I have opted not to bring any excessive cold weather gear. It is my attempt to carry less and travel further—each step of the journey I have scaled back. I’ve sent gear home along the way and I dropped off even more when I returned to Colorado. But nothing has prepared me for the beautifully minimalistic approach to riding that I am about to discover in the form of one Luke Swab.

Luke rolls up on his “new to him” WR250 just as I am packing the last of a six-pack of Deschutes IPA into my pack. Luke is a fellow RoadRUNNER blogger and is joining me on the second half of the TAT. Up until this meeting at Route 9 and 285 in the middle of South Park (yes, the town that inspired the cartoon), we have shared nothing more than a few phone calls. I was very hesitant to have anyone join me for any portion of this ride with the exception of my dad’s memory and my connection via the digital world. However, from the moment I meet Luke, with his easy-going attitude, I feel better about having a companion, especially with the challenging terrain ahead. We grab some burgers from Millonzi’s in town and balance them on our bikes as the sun begins to give up for the day.

As we head to my friend Tim’s cabin to spend the night, I look like the love child of a NYC bag lady and a Sherpa. Luke, on the other hand, is rocking an elegant minimalist approach. I have no idea how we will survive. If I have learned anything from adventure riding photos, it is that only bikes packed to every last square inch can really traverse the world. Right? Poor Luke—or is it the other way around?


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!