The Endless Highway Part 2

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clip_image001ast month, in part one of this little tale, I told you about 2 of 3 motorcycle drifters: Pan- head Billy Burrows and Bean’re. This month I

will tell you about the last of the trio, myself – Scooter Tramp Scotty.

Since the spring of 1994, I’ve stayed in no one place for lon- ger than two months. These exploits cover the whole of the US, Canada, and Mexico too. Through the years I’ve gained the ability to simply move into any town, make it my home, then stay as long as I like. It’s now easier for me to move around than it is to stay in one place. How was such a thing achieved, one might ask? Well… Long ago, as an antidote to the pressures of everyday life, I began taking motorcycle trips. As these journeys grew longer with each year’s passing, what started as a mission of soul searching gradually became a thing of great passion. I began

to hate coming home. Then I hated being home. Why did I return at all? In the spring of 1994 I set out to see if it were possible to follow this passion for an entire year. It was. In the spring of 1995, I returned only to liquidate everything and save what would fit on the bike. Yet, from the beginning it was never an endurance ride I sought. A life of hardships such as sleeping under a tarp on a picnic table in the rain was not for me. Besides, I’d always en- joyed my own pad and to this day am still very much a home- body. So what I really sought was a system that was comfort- able enough to work as an ev- eryday lifestyle. I’ve achieved that very well and my life is now one of very low pressure, leisure, travel, and quite often,

outrageous adventure.

Now how is this achieved? Well, to my way of seeing things there are three absolutes nec- essary to successful, long term,

road-life. These are: a good home; easy access to showers every day; and an active social life wherever I happen to be.

Cool. How do you do that? The answers that follow are, of course, only from my own humble experiences.

Although I live in camp, over the years these camps have evolved into what are, most of- ten, wonderful places to be. I use mountains, trees, deserted structures, etc. to block wind because a windblown camp is truly a miserable experience. Locating the North Star by night will reveal position of the ris- ing sun therefore allowing one to set his camp where it will best catch morning shade from the summer’s heat, and warm- ing sunshine by winter’s chill. A tree overhead will keep me free of dew when all the sur- rounding land becomes soaked with late night moisture. There are 100 other little tricks which when taken individually may

seem trivial, but when appliedimage
together can make a home in
nature’s splendor a most magical
place to be.
I enjoy a folding chair, snug
dome or “home” tent that’s furnished
with a slice of foam rubber,
two sleeping bags, and a
single quilt — all stuffed with
down. When sun or rain persists,
a roof is erected using one
12’ by 16’ industrial thickness
tarp that keeps the surrounding
area, including my motorcycle,
dry/shady, and can be
either thrown over everything,
or strung into trees depending
on one’s preference at the
time. The motorcycle battery
charges all lighting, cell phone,
and computer too. There’s also
a variety of other tools which
when combined, provide a very
relaxing home.
To the land I have become
quite proficient at locating very
private places on which to stay.
For I wish not to be disturbed
even when sitting home naked

 

imageto pound on these computer keys until late afternoon. These places are all around; it’s just that one doesn’t take notice until he begins to use them. Think about it. When was the last time you slept without pay- ing for that privilege? Trust me it’s an easy thing to become used to.

What about trespassing laws? Let me assure you that sleeping on the land is not a real crime; you ain’t gonna do time for it. If the cops do show up (not like- ly) they’ll probably just check paperwork then let you stay, or at worst, ask you to move on. Still, I seldom make camp near people’s homes because it makes them nervous, whereas a lone rider camped out and away is not really a threat. He’s more of a curiosity.

I realize that my approach to the details of making camp are pretty anal, but they are also barbed with many years of experience, and it’s to this ec- centricity that I owe such great quantities of ease and comfort in my offbeat travels. For me, a good home is a necessity to making the strangeness of road life so pleasantly wonderful.

imageimageAs for showers, I can only say that there are more ways to attain them than can be listed here. Yet I will state that when visiting an area for any length of time, I invariably hook up with a YMCA or gym. These places often provide hot tubs, saunas, and other luxuries too. To the necessity of a social life I locate a few hangouts then take time to make friends there. I seek out rallies, cook- outs, campouts, concerts, fairs, or any other event where peo- ple come together in a social manner. I also take time to visit many of the friends I’ve made

across this great land.

Once these “accommoda- tions” are put into place, the town is mine. I can stay as long as I like. This kind of freedom

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may be impossible to fully com- prehend until one personally experiences its rewards. But think about it, people’s travels are most often governed by their need for accommodations. What if that need was no longer a factor? Where would you go? What would you do?

As to the travels, leisure rid- ing, huge events, and the kind of highway adventure that can never be planned, well, as any one of these men will tell you, they are extensive. But for these stories you would do well to Google or Facebook the name of any man mentioned here or in last month’s offering. For it is the intention of this ar- ticle only to bring light upon the world of the gypsy motorcycle drifter, and to take a look at the many different methods used by them.

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