A Mother-Daughter Two-Up Journey

May 27, 2020 View Comments by

A Mother-Daughter Two-Up Journey, two-up ride

The tires were humming along to the cadence of our favorite adventure tune, and I was lost in reverie. It had been just 16 years ago that I gave birth to my favorite pillion, who was riding with me now for the first time. There was no greater gift that I could think to bestow upon my daughter, Alana, for her sweet 16 than our first two-up adventure along the Oregon and California coastline. It was 10 days of precious mother-daughter time of moto-camping, and a right-of-passage memory that would last a lifetime. Having been raised in the adventure motorcycling community by two parents who ride, and with aunts and uncles who visit and bring global riding tales to share, Alana has been given some of the greatest inspiration to explore the world. And now she carries that close to her heart two years later as a freshman at Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu.

A Mother-Daughter Two-Up Journey, passing the batonAlana’s launch into the wild frontier of the ocean as a marine biology major was only a twinkle in her eye when we set off on our moto adventure in 2017. It was quite fun to witness how each of us perceived this two-up journey, one as the driver and one as the pillion. Within the first day, we dove into our riding routine in different ways, and took in the beauty that we passed with separate perspectives. As the afternoon sun played hide-and-seek through the grove of pines outside of Shasta, CA, I lifted my visor to feel the wind on my face, as Alana enjoyed the extra 2½ inches of space on my new seat while listening to her favorite road trip play-list through her earbuds. Thanks to dear friend Jim Kirkland, Suzuki’s famed director of service with 43 years behind him, and favors from his industry friends who wanted to back our trip, my Suzuki DR-Z400 became super two-up roadworthy right before we launched. This gave me great peace of mind when carrying such precious cargo.

Because Alana and I share similar outlooks in how we view the world in all its beauty, and enjoy taking the time to commune with it, life with her is joyous, fun, and easy. This translated in such a beautiful way throughout the whole journey. After pulling into various campgrounds throughout Northern California and Southern Oregon, we would seamlessly set up camp as a well-oiled machine without any verbal communication needed. Then we would go explore our surroundings to see what gems would reveal themselves in the natural habitats around us. We shared cooking jobs with ease as Alana took on the roll as sous-chef, chopping and dicing her little heart out, while I whipped up the one-pan meals over our camp stove. After enjoying beautiful meals—like self-dehydrated black beans and rice, while pumping it up with sautéed garlic, lime juice, olive oil, sea salt, and cubed avocado—we would kick back by the campfire with full bellies and recount the day and the fun we had.

Each daily ride was around 200 to 250 miles, rolling through some of the most beautiful scenery our country has to offer. We would stop for photography and video, and little snacks of wild blackberries for a butt break here and there in the Oregon wilderness. We would also enjoy our daily routine of lunching under trees on the side of the road, with giant redwoods and majestic eucalyptus being our backrests of choice. Another fun daily break was our mid-morning mochas in fabulous little off-the-wall coffeehouses throughout the journey, where we would take time to share our photos and whereabouts on social media. And what had the most impact on Alana was introducing her to my daily enjoyment of chatting up strangers and camp neighbors to hear stories of travel and life insights. We met some amazing people on our trip who stopped us at gas stations, and who crossed our paths in the most unique ways, all to confirm that our world is a friendly place and there will always be someone to make you feel at home.

A Mother-Daughter Two-Up Journey

As the miles rolled by and the face of home at the end of the day changed its look from invigorating rivers in Shasta to fern-laced mossy groves of redwoods in Oregon to bluffside expansive views of the Pacific Ocean along the California coastline, we experienced great appreciation for our world on a daily basis. And when it came time to celebrate Alana’s birthday, we timed it perfectly to camp at one of my favorite campgrounds in California: Kirk Creek Campground on the oceanside bluff just south of Big Sur on Hwy 1. After getting wind of a cancellation of the premier campsite on the bluff, we swooped right in on the birthday serendipity. It wasn’t long after setting up camp that we were exploring the beautiful creek-lined trail down to the ocean to watch the sunset. We soon worked up an appetite, and made a beeline down the coast to treat ourselves to a delicious gourmet dinner at mountainside yurt community Treebones Resort. As we soaked up the cozy ambience created by the dining room fire, our dinner conversation was amped with the giddiness of treating ourselves to the good life after many nights of camp dinners. This was the perfect exclamation to an already incredible journey.

The one take-away from this adventure that I felt was important for Alana to experience with me before going out into the world on her own was the idea that by allowing the adventure to unfold organically, we are shown a much more enjoyable and freeing experience. And, as I stand in the doorway of her empty bedroom three years later, there is a smile on my face knowing that each of us can reflect back on this journey in our own ways to show us that no matter the distance between us, we will always be connected by adventure and living life as fully as each of us can.

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