We Are Sky-Dancers


Fear is such a complex emotion. It can be a motivator. It can be a catalyst for change. It can be a life preserver. 

But it can also be a prison. 

I grew up with an extensive mental list of what was safe and what was unsafe. Physically, socially, mentally - I had barriers on all sides to insulate myself. But more than any of those, my relationship with heights has always been the most unhealthy. And then I met Kristen, a person who miraculously is missing the "fear" center in her brain. I wouldn't say that Kris is reckless, but I wouldn't say she's not reckless. 

Since we've been together, I have become more bold than I ever thought possible. And last weekend, I took the final step in my transformation when we headed down to Skydive Spaceland and jumped out of an airplane at 14,000 feet.



These are our buddies Callen and Abbi. Over the past seven years, they have become such an integral part of our tribe. I don't want to gush, but these two are pretty dang special to me and Kris. They are climbers, photogs, videographers, story-tellers, adventurers and overall just our kind of people. Seriously, right now, go to www.abbihearne.com or check out their Instagram feeds: www.instagram.com/abbihearne and www.instagram.com/callenhearne. They recently decided that it was time for a change and they are (as of today!) going fully mobile to live out of a Subaru and camper with their pup, Charles Matthew

Abbi also recently became a licensed skydiver. So as Kristen and I were coming up with going-away party ideas, there was seemingly only one option. We were going to jump from a plane together.








Also at play was a gentleman's agreement made between myself and my buddy Steven eight years ago. When Kristen and I moved to Bonaire, he and I made a pact that if he would not only get Scuba certified but also come down to the Caribbean and allow us to take him on a night dive, I would jump from a plane. Seeing as we have known each other since the 4th grade, I was well-versed in his unreasonable fear of the ocean and he was quite familiar with my outrageous fear of heights. 

The problem with the whole scenario is that, like an idiot, he actually kept his end of the deal. 8 years later, we were headed down to Spaceland to fulfill the rest of the pact.

The team of sky-walkers assembled:

Although there were definite nerves and trepidations, I was most overwhelmed by how each of us had come to intentionally confront our fears. Even Abbi, a skilled, licensed jumper admitted that there was still a dose of nerves every time she got on the plane.

But as we were geared up, waiting for our plane to arrive, I realized that I wasn't really there to skydive. I was there to experience the shock of my greatest fear because I NEED to continually push myself to my perceived limits. I've learned over 34 years that when that drive begins to wane, I just feel...off. 

So, most surprisingly to me, I climbed onto a plane that I knew I would eventually fall out of at a great height with total peace. 

This is my other buddy, Steven. He is equally terrified of heights, but he jumped, eyes closed but willing. 

Abbi is a BA:


Gentleman's Agreement fulfilled. 






The Blue Ridge Parkway


The end of extended trips are brutal, at least for us. We get in a simple routine that at this point feels more natural than being at "home". We've done a bunch of these things over the years and the same feelings keep bubbling up every time...

But before we allowed ourselves to get too far down that mental pathway, we stopped on our way south to hit part of the Blue Ridge Trail and The Great Smokey Mountains National Park. 

The Parkway spans several states and meanders through the Appalachian Mountains. It's kind of a must for bikers coming through the area and even though we'd been here before on our BMW, it was Kristen's first time riding her own bike. Lots of curves, well groomed, and smooth pavement.

Oh, and rain. My gear is really just a windbreaker at this point...

This place is not the worst. 


The Adirondacks


After messing about in Newfoundland for about a week (we needed a month), we had to push pretty hard south and back into the US. We took a bit of a detour through Quebec and Montreal and then on to upstate New York.



Montreal actually seemed like a pretty interesting place but we were nearly drowned in a torrential downpour that reminded me how bad my rain gear has become - I either need to treat it again or splurge for a new jacket!




After hitting the border, we literally began to just wander through the Adirondacks with zero plan. With absolutely no idea what we were supposed to experience, we eventually ended up in a tiny town near Whiteface Mountain and called it a day. Turns out our instincts were right...

After a serious lack of showers, we decided on a motor inn. This is kind of a weird quirk about me, but I love motels where you park right in front of the room. It's awesome for motorcycle travel. This is kind of irrelevant normally, but the owner of this particular place, Billy from the Alpine Motor Inn, was such cool guy and so good to bikers that it's worth a mention. 






Billy turned us on to a bunch of great rides through the area and we ended up at the fifth highest mountain in the US...










After a couple of days of cool and crisp riding, we had to press on again. We are not looking forward to the heat...

To Begin, begin.


"To Begin, Begin."

It was something our hearts knew they needed before our brains could understand. 

And when Kristen and I got married 11 years ago, I think we subconsciously gave each other“permission” to live with a certain recklessness that had eluded us when we weren't together. Not in the dangerous sense necessarily. What I'm talking about is more a freedom to completely and totally sell out to something with the full encouragement from someone that gets you. We push each other to go for it and it just flat out works for us. 

Every time we fall away from this ideology our lives just don’t seem to make sense. We get bogged down and everything feels just… wrong. So when Kris said she wanted to learn to ride her own bike, everything kind of balanced out and made sense again. 

We’ve lived within the brilliance of William Wordsworth for so long. “To begin, begin.” In so many other words, we’ve said this very phrase to each other so many times. It’s an encouragement. It’s a dare. It's our language. "If you want to go for something, first off, just do it. Secondly, I have your back." 

So now we've made our way out of the heat in Texas and up to New England. We just spent the past 4 days playing around in New Hampshire's White Mountains and it was spectacular. Kristen was challenged with mountain winds and dirt and gravel roads and she absolutely killed it. The Ducati even took its first spill which made me weirdly even more proud of her (don't worry, it was at a standstill in the mud). 



We also found the most incredible free campsite on the north side of the park. 10 miles down a gravel road and so isolated. Such a great find on a busy 4th of July weekend. 






Crawford Notch is super cool. I think we may have to come back through to get some more shots.




So we got the Triumph serviced this afternoon, we're getting a much needed shower tonight and we'll head up to Canada tomorrow for some more riding.

Life is good.


Two Wheels to Newfoundland


For about 10 years, Kristen has been acting as a navigator/passenger as we've traveled around. About a month ago, she decided to flip everything on its head.

She went through the a riding course, got her license and now the proud owner of a Ducati Scrambler! I admit that as I saw her in my rear view mirror for the first time, carving around a curve, I legit teared up. I'm crazy proud. 

After rearranging some things and saying goodbye to a few old friends (adios Suburban with 200,00 miles and Honda), we purchased a used Ford Transit cargo van, kitted it out for hauling bikes around and are headed out of the heat out towards Canada later this week. 

One last thing: we are a Scrambler family now.

Happy birthday/4th of July/Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter to me! Lesssggoooo!