Up Hill Both Ways

Mar 28, 2013 View Comments by

Up Hill Both Ways
To the best of my knowledge I’ve never experienced traversing a hill that is actually “uphill both ways.” This ecological marvel seems to have met extinction soon after my parents grew up. I really wish there was such a thing. Personally, I will always choose charging up a hill over death-gripping my way down. My point? One person’s misery is another’s pleasure. I try to focus on the positive of a situation.

Recently I wrote about a trip my family and I took to South Dakota. We were driving, not riding, but I got over it. See, already focusing on the positive. 

Friends could not believe we would tackle such an undertaking in just 3 days. We thought nothing of sitting in the relative comfort of a car for 6-7 hours at a time—I do that and more on my bike all the time. My wife and I appreciated catching up and the kids enjoyed watching movies in the back. They didn’t even mind my educational diversions. We walked inside the Oregon Trail’s 4-foot deep wagon-wheel ruts. We then marveled at the names of these emigrants from the East carved into the soft rock of Wyoming’s Register Cliff. This was a grueling trip for over 400,000 people where thousands lost their lives in search of something better. Sure they could have stayed home, but let’s be honest, there was no Internet back then. What would they have done? The only sensible option was to travel, mostly on foot, 2,000 miles into the unknown!

In our modern world (the one with the Internet) people will gladly sit in a cube for 8 hours a day, but the idea of sitting in a car or riding a motorcycle that long is often regarded as crazy. I can’t imagine being given a choice between cube-time and saddle-time and selecting the Dilbert option. Is anyone else as baffled by this as me? Can I get an Amen for the great outdoors?

Like the western settlers, the drive towards the unknown is what motivates me to explore. I admit I often want to pull my hair out when the girls fight. I long for some time away with just my wife; but I also love getting the girls to voluntarily put down their iPads and take in the wonder that is all around us. There’s a phrase amongst riders. “It’s only an adventure in hindsight . . . in the moment, sometimes, adventure is a giant pain in the rear tire.” Whether battling the challenges of bad weather, broken equipment or merely the fragile emotional state of two young girls . . . it’s all an adventure.

In honor of this sense of adventure, like Captain Ahab looking for his great white whale, I keep searching for the elusive “uphill both-ways anomaly.” I recently passed through Utah where I met a one-eyed motorcycle tire repairman at the town’s only gas station. He swore to me that he saw such a hill. “Just past the Unicorn drinking from the panacea stream about 12 miles east of Escalante.” That’s all I needed to hear. I’m on my way. I’ll let you know what I discover. That is when I get back to my cube and can write about it! Until then, to everyone out there: Don’t go Anywhere . . . Go Somewhere!

What awakens your sense of adventure? What crazy behavior do you find perfectly normal that baffles your friends and family?


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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!