“Take your protein pills and put your helmet on…”
It seems appropriate that Woon Chi would end his road trip around the western U.S. by singing David Bowie’s Space Oddity, as you’ll read in his journal below. Growing up in one of the world’s smallest countries and traveling by motorcycle throughout one of the world’s largest must feel like exploring a spatial frontier. One of my favorite moments from Woon Chi’s whole trip was when he looked out on Yellowstone and wrote, “I never knew there was this much green in the universe.”
“Commencing countdown, engines on…”
While collaborating and sharing his journey, it feels as though we’ve played the roles of Major Tom and Ground Control — Woon Chi as the former and me as the latter, observing his route, hoping it all went to plan, and ready to help if it didn’t.
“Your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong…”
Despite a breakdown on the first day and summer temps that took Death Valley off his list of destinations, Woon Chi rode almost 5,000 miles through Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and British Columbia. You can see his route here.
He stopped in Vancouver and tuned up his bike before continuing on to Tofino, the last stop on his month-long journey.
Woon Chi rode the ferry from Vancouver to Nanaimo, then motored on to Port Alberni and Ucluelet where he stopped for the night.
“I’m stepping through the door and I’m floating in the most peculiar way…”
The ocean called so Woon Chi hit the waves in the late afternoon. He sent photos and noted, “Just came back from surfing! Had a great session!”
He met up with friends in Tofino and explored the coastal forest of British Columbia.
Looking at his photos, I can’t help but wonder if there’s an X-Wing hiding in there somewhere…
“And the stars look very different today…”
The culmination of his road trip coincided with his 32nd birthday. Good times with friends in the moody, misty forest.
Throughout Woon Chi’s road trip, his illustrations have been a delight for all of us. While in Tofino, he sent some final sketches of memorable moments on the road that weren’t included in his daily journal.
In this first sketch, he recalls Hawk vs. Bike, noting that “I thought I would have died for a second when the hawk flew out. We almost collided. Almost.”
And finally, this one…
Woon Chi says, “I freaked out n’ stopped by the freeway, couldn’t make out if it was inside or outside. Took my goggles off n’ flicked it out. It was inside, ha. Fuck.”
Yeah, fuck. Keep calm and don’t carry on, or crash. I think Woon Chi has given new meaning to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
“Far above the world,
Planet Earth is blue…”
Until today, this photo of the Canada coast was the final shot from Woon Chi’s road trip.
But hold on… there’s just one more thing:
“For here I am sitting in my tin can…”
It seems Woon Chi really meant it when he said, “I want a campervan omg.”
Please welcome the newest addition to Woon Chi’s Road Trip Armada.
His first comment about his “new” campervan?
Maybe. But isn’t that how all the best dreams begin?
“Though I’m past one hundred thousand miles
I’m feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go…”
Drive on, Woon Chi, drive on.