Follow The Elefant: A meeting of travelers

Follow The Elefant: A meeting of travelers

Follow The Elefant: A meeting of travelers

After a summer spent in Minnesota with family and friends, our journey had to go on. It wasn’t a question of should we keep going, but when? The stage was already set. We had the gear, the bikes (already in San Diego), and the money we saved up from working all summer.

Out of curiosity, we checked to see if there were any gatherings coming up some time in the near future on the Horizons Unlimited (HU) website. HU was started by a couple doing the same thing we are, traveling the world by motorcycle. They began the site a few years after completing their 11-year trip to bring travelers across the globe together. We found there happened to be a meeting near Yosemite National Park scheduled for Sept. 21-24, 2017. The decision was made to make the event the send-off of the continuation of our adventure.

The next weeks were spent gathering the gear that would replace our little moto trailer and preparing Ehren’s father’s travel trailer (a 28-foot toy hauler) and truck for departure to California. Once on the road, the first stop was to retrieve our beloved travel companions from their dark storage unit in San Diego. The next stop was the fairgrounds in Mariposa (about 40 miles outside of Yosemite N.P.), where we would spend the five days before the HU travelers meeting fitting our bikes with some new storage, migrating old gear from the moto trailer to the bikes, and then packing (and repacking) our stuff.

Ehren’s father, Steve, flew out to San Francisco two days before the start of the meeting. We picked him up from the airport and brought him back to Mariposa. The three of us spent the next day riding around Yosemite. After the HU meeting, he planned to take his truck and trailer back home — doing some sightseeing on the way, of course — while we would make our way south.

Finally, the first day of the HU gathering was upon us. Many styles and types of motorcycles (and motorcyclists!) were pouring into the fairgrounds. Each day was filled with presentations covering individual’s trips, tech sessions, how-to travel guides, and demonstrations on camp cooking and how to set up a bike for travel.

There was plenty of time in between presentations and mealtimes to chat with other riders and travelers — which, essentially, is what these events are all about. We made sure to talk with everyone we could and found a number of travelers who were going to be embarking on the same trip we are doing now—we may have even helped convince one traveler to do Central and South America.

This event was important for us. Not only did it represent the reboot of our adventure, but it allowed us to get back into the mindset of travel and life on the road — and the enthusiasm of everyone was a boost to our morale after the past three months.

As the travelers meeting wound down, we realized that these people — who had shown up as strangers only a few days before —were leaving as friends. We felt as though by hearing others’ stories and sharing our own, we were able to consider ourselves part of this travel community. 

We gained a lot of inspiration for the adventures ahead and can only hope that we imparted some inspiration of our own. It is our desire to be able to present at one of these meetings some day in the future and help inspire the next traveler.

And so our journey begins once again as we head south in search of something bigger than ourselves within the experiences and knowledge we aspire to gain through our interactions with far off places, people and cultures.