“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.

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Woon Chi rode the ferry from Vancouver to Nanaimo, then motored on to Port Alberni and Ucluelet where he stopped for the night.

Ucluelet

Ucluelet

“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.

Tofino

Looking at his photos, I can’t help but wonder if there’s an X-Wing hiding in there somewhere…

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“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.

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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.

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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.”

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And finally, this one…

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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.

Tofino

But hold on… there’s just one more thing:

van

“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?

“I’m crazy.”

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.

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20 comments

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this, Kelly. Epic adventures are what I live for, in whatever form they take. Having just wrapped up our 10,000 mile road trip following the route of my 10,000 mile bicycle trip, I felt empathy and appreciation for Woon Chi and his journey. โ€“Curt

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      1. I’ll look forward to those journeys, and the sketches, Kelly. Traveling by camper van has always been a favorite of mine, starting in the mid-70s when I bought a VW Camper Van. Peggy and I now wander in a slightly larger van a 22 foot Pleasure Way, but we have four years of full timing and 200,000 miles in it. ๐Ÿ™‚ โ€“Curt

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      2. Wow! 200,000 miles! That’s awesome, Curt! Someday my husband and I might do the same. Seems like way more fun than choosing one place sit and watch the view from the front deck. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Great series and a nice surprise ending! Guess he has caught the road trip bug. Thanks for sharing his journey; it was fun to see the country through his eyes (and pen)!

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  3. Kelly and Woon Chi you both did a spectacular job with this adventure – leaves me wanting more. I am very happy that the USA leg of the journey offered help when needed from good people and left a positive impression – yay USA!

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    1. Hey! Thanks, brother! Space Oddity was the perfect thread to weave it all together, thanks to Woon Chi’s karaoke night. ๐Ÿ™‚ Nice to find you here in the comments. Gracias! Hasta luego!

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  4. BRAVO! Nicely played. And I can relate more closely to the camper van than the motorcycle…as I used to live full-time in a motorhome, 30 feet long, but is now in storage in Tombstone, AZ, just down the street from the OK Corral.

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    1. Thanks Badfish! You have a motorhome in storage? Wow, what an interesting life you lead — full of stories, which is what makes you such a compelling writer. I just got back from Cuba — will hop over to your blog and see what’s new. Are you still in Amsterdam?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This truly is/was an epic adventure ~ the series of posts and stories show what life is really about, and yes I agree with the Pirsig quote that has been redefined ~ โ€œFar above the world,Planet Earth is blueโ€ฆโ€

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    1. Thanks Randall! I appreciate you following along with such interest. Real travel lovers like you always rise to the surface through dedicated reading and comments. I appreciate it, and hope our paths eventually cross someday. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. Agree ~ there is always an interesting road out there attracts like people, so it would be great for our paths to cross. I’ll hopefully be spending more time in Seattle/the Pacific NW ~ so hopefully it will. Cheers to a great weekend.

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