A little insight into the wanderlusting road warrior that is Joe Rich...
Every September, the Interbike Trade Show goes down in Las Vegas, Nevada. Each year I make the trek out there for the benefit of Terrible One. The benefit of T1's presence there is something I have to keep reminding myself of the entire time I'm there. Mainly because if I am going to take a week of my life to go somewhere, Vegas would most likely be the last place I would choose to spend any money to get to and stay at. The other driving force behind my Vegas journey, is the trip out there and home. From the very start of that drive out of Austin, I feel more and more excited about being on the road. I have to admit that the way home always is more appealing to me, because I choose a route that takes me through the southern part of Colorado. Each year after I get back home, I have a huge smile on my face. Memories of bright lights and the sound of slot machines are long gone . . . they have been replaced with sights, sounds, and smells of the Rocky Mountains and all that they have to offer. Then I think to myself, " I have to get back up here sometime soon ! " But it never seems to happen . . . and another year passes before its time for next year's trip to Interbike.
Something that I have learned in my life, is that certain "situations" come together when needed. Many times, these situations are more commonly thought of as something happening "by chance" . . . but like I said, I've come to learn that there is no such thing as "by chance". You just have to be open to see things and their purpose in our lives.
I had been itching to get back to Colorado for some time now. Visions of flowing rivers to swim in, thick woods to camp in, and plenty of cement transitions to flow around in. Yes, I was in need of Colorado, and for a lot of different reasons.
Ruben had come to visit the states in the early part of April. He came to Austin first and then headed out west. Before leaving, he told me that if I was interested in doing a trip somewhere, he would come back to Austin and join me on it. That was about all the motivation I needed to start setting dates aside whether I had time to or not! Ruben and Garrett are the two people I have traveled with the most in my life. And any time another opportunity presents itself to do it all again, I'm more than ready. Unfortunately, Mr. Byrnes wouldn't be able to make this trip due to a filming trip for a new video for Van Homan's shop, 2x4. So Ruben and myself were the only ones on this trip's roster. Or so I thought at least . . .
I had a good friend show up at my door the week prior to leaving, on a bike he had bought in Mexico for $30. He had been riding around Mexico on it for the past month and a half, and had eventually made his way up to Austin. When I heard the knock on the door that day, I didn't think he'd be the one standing on the other side of it. Matty is quite the amazing person. He would call Australia home, but he is a "vagabond extraordinaire" to say the least ! A happy and smiling gypsy if you will. He has a lot to offer to anyone that he crosses paths with and is open to his ways. Once again, it wasn't by chance he showed up and we were leaving a few days later. It was right for him to be here now.
Logan was the other passenger. I met Logan for the first time on our world trip which began in Hawaii back in December of 02. A lot has happened between then and now. These days Logan calls Austin home for the time being. He moved here about a year and a half ago after realizing he needed some change in his life. Logan is one of the best dudes ever and I can't thank him enough for being an amazing friend. Having the right people with you on a trip like this can make all the difference in the world. They are what made this trip for sure!
Sometimes its easy to get overwhelmed and caught up in day do day life. As time goes on it seems as though we get busier and busier. Most of the time its easy to make an excuse as to why we are not doing things, when in fact we need to just make time and do them. This trip was a crystal clear example of that for me. Taking a break from life at home works like a reset button for me. When I'm traveling, I tend to forget things that I am worrying about and see my life and what I want to do much more clearly. It helps me remember what really is important to me and what makes me the happiest. Hanging with good friends, riding my bike and skating, taking in new experiences each day, and enjoying just what's in front of me the entire time. . . . And seeing how nature works so perfectly each day with out any add ins for it to worry about. It really makes you stop and ponder . . . . And I DO understand that as of right now I'm in a fortunate situation with my life. We all need to have a means to provide for such things in our lives. But knowing what really makes me happy, and what is excess, is something that goes a long way. As long as we don't get to caught up in owning "things", a little money can go a long way.
Everyone would probably take away something different from a trip like this. It could mean something completely different to you. But to me, this is what I look forward to. This is what never gets old. This is living . . . .