|05-29-2014, 05:34 AM||#1|
Joined: May 2014
Location: San Francisco, CA
Finding Main Street - 3 Friends, 2 Months, 10,500 miles pan American trip.
The Movie: Vimeo
The Website: FindingMainStreet.com
In early July, the three of us set out from San Francisco on old motorcycles that we picked up weeks or months before and fixed up in our garages. We set out to cross the country (not once, but twice) in an effort to understand what our country comprises itself of. We intended to find out what the youth of our country – the future of our national identity – is doing with their lives. We left politics and prejudices behind in an effort to understand what someone in, say; Montana or the Mississippi Delta has in common with their fellow countrymen and women in Manhattan or Detroit.
The trip was not about judgment of our peers and their differences, but rather about discovery of the commonalities that hold us all together as Americans. And, of course, it was about adventure, about wanderlust. It was about stepping out of the normal, everyday, routine and finding something more spectacular. It was about inspiring ourselves and others around us to make an effort to understand who we are as individuals, as a generation, and as a country.
Because of this, we intended to make the trip something bigger than a journey solely of self discovery. We wanted to share what we found. We wanted to show our friends, family, peers, and strangers the America that we found. And, most of all, we wanted to inspire others to make such a journey in their own way. Thus, Finding Main Street was born; a three part project (blog, movie, and photobook) to explore and explain the America that opened itself up to us. Before we left, we created a website, a blog and a Kickstarter for the projects. We put together our funds and bought some camera equipment, some waterproof ammunition cans, and a few extra hard drives. The project was born.
We recently have done a few interviews with publications like CNN and SF-Weekly. Check them out if you're interested to learn more about our trip.
Here is a map of our trip - 10,500 Miles
We left heading north, up the California, Oregon, and Washington coasts. At Cape Flattery, the most Northwest point in the continental United States, we turned eastward towards Seattle – our ultimate goal being New York. After staying in Seattle for a few days, we left on our long trek through “the West.”
In a sense, it is a beautiful thing that the West really has maintained its identity as a wild, dangerous place. In another sense, it’s quite a pain in the ass that it has. Between Washington and South Dakota, we crossed the continental divide seven times, rode 50 miles down a dirt road (which, on 80’s bikes, is no easy feat), ran out of gas countless times, got caught in golf-ball sized hail, camped in some of the wildest places we saw, and met characters that only an environment so hostile yet so beautiful could produce. But we made it out of there alive, and we were on to the mid-West.
In Wisconsin, we stayed for several days working for room and board on a small organic farm in the Kickapoo Valley region. The healthy, solid food and manual labor was a much needed rest from the grinding routine of waking at 6am daily and riding for 10-12 hours. After Echo Valley Farm, we headed towards Chicago (skipping it for financial reasons) and skirted around Lake Michigan towards Detroit. In Detroit, we found what we believed to be one of the most “advanced” of American cities – a place that had reached its pinnacle of success and fallen, but is now working (and slowly succeeding) in rebuilding a new city with a much different identity.
After Detroit, we took a shortcut of sorts through Ontario towards Niagara Falls and New York State. With money running low and time becoming of the essence, we rode across the entirety of the NY Thruway one very long, cold night. In New York, we parked the bikes at a friend’s house upstate and traveled to the city – our turnaround point, in a sense – on the train and stayed in the city for a few days. After reaching the East coast, we were forced to skip more than we intended or wanted to due to financial reasons, so we headed south towards Tennessee and New Orleans on interstates. In this stretch we saw Gettysburg – an important point in the divisive history of our country, Graceland – because we had Paul Simon stuck in our head for the last 7,000 miles, and the Mississippi Delta – sometimes referred to as “the most Southern place in the world” and rightfully so.
New Orleans, the city that we were all looking forward to the most, treated us well with its rich food, drink, and culture. We saw a taste of the bayou lifestyle – something definitely unique in this country, if not the world – and left heading towards the lone star state. Although we only had the time to stop in Austin, Texas treated us well. Meeting some local motorcyclist girls, we were given a very hospitable, very fun, firsthand tour of the city. Where Detroit may be one of the most “advanced” of our cities for reasons mentioned earlier, Austin might be one of the most “time appropriate” cities. Full of art, culture, food, and drink, Austin holds something both young and outright American in its identity. It was, perhaps, the most “American” city we visited.
After Texas, we turned to the great Southwest. It was a region we all anticipated as a time of self-reflection and solitude; a place where we believed the hot desert head would clear our heads and the sun would exfoliate the layers of our trip so tightly packed atop one another. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Due to a tropical storm in Baja Mexico, the Southwest was going through a time of severe monsoons, and we spent this leg of our trip powering through sheets of water along the roadway and getting soaked from the insides of our helmet to the soles of our boots.
Fortunately, the Mojave Desert lived up to its reputation as the driest place in America. Our homecoming to California was hot, dry, and just what we were looking for after the soaking that the southwest gave us days before. The second to last day of our trip, we rode from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, where we re-connected with old friends and appreciated the feeling of returning to a familiar locale. The last day of our trip was spent riding up the coast once again, and as each mile moved past under our tires, the comfort of home became more and more real. We finally arrived in San Francisco on August 28, with over 10,500 miles on the one working odometer left and a lifetime of experiences and memories to reflect upon. We rode into the city with our arms held high and shouts ringing out in our helmet. We had just completed the biggest journey of our life, and it felt damn good.
Check out the Film and Blog on our website for more info.
From Left: Yamaha 650 Maxim, Honda Magna V65, Yamaha 750 Seca.
From Left: Brant Ozanich, Dylan Ozanich & Wyatt McCall
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