I was very excited when Grant had asked me to make a presentation of my journey at the HU California meeting. I started working on it as soon as I arrived in San Francisco. I only had a few days.
Horizons Unlimited began as a small travel website Grant and Susan Johnson used on their travels around the world back when the Internet was a new thing. Soon they started getting so many e-mails with questions and comments, that they decided to make it into a database to share all the information they had related to motorcycle traveling. Currently, it is the ultimate resource for all the overland travelers with over 35.000 pages contributed by users all around the world. This valuable collection of information is shared not only through the website, but also with a series of DVD’s and annual meetings in various locations.
On the second night, I had a phone call from Bintuğ, who was coming from L.A. to join the ride up north to Petrolia, CA where the meeting would be held. Next day, after a nice breakfast in San Francisco, Evren, Bintuğ and I took off.
We had underestimated the road. Passing through the dense forests of the Kings Range, dodging deer and guessing the next hairpin turn through the dark, we arrived in Petrolia, Lost Coast around 10:30 at night. There were only two more tents around.
We spent the next day resting, meeting new arriving riders and fine tuning the presentation.
Most were from around California, some from other states and there were a few others from other countries. I wasn’t the only one doing a RTW trip. I met 3 other riders who had shipped their bikes from Vladivostok not too long ago.
This is David Kitson’s bike. I admired the simplicity and straightforwardness of this vehicle. It must have been fun to ride in Mongolia. I had the chance to spend some time with him later on. His personality isn’t much different than his ride.
There were some really useful presentations on off-road riding techniques, survival basics, and trip planning…
I had one hour to talk about the 6 months I spent on the road and a slideshow of 550 photographs. Including the questions, I went a bit over 1 hour and 30 mins. Most people seemed to have enjoyed it, but I felt a bit dissatisfied. It’s hard. After the presentation, I felt very strongly about making a properly edited video of it and leaving more time for questions.
I didn’t have time to stay till the end of the event and missed some good presentations. A heavy schedule was waiting for me at the office in Los Angeles. Already!
Thus began the final ride, back home…