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We left our day jobs in the creative industry to set out on the Trans-America Trail from Andrews, North Carolina – looking to find our way home to the Pacific Ocean. If we were lucky, we’d survive the literal and metaphorical ups and downs, discovering the often overlooked beauty and open-range of America along the way.
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As natives of the Northwest, the South felt muggy, buggy, and generally unfamiliar, but as we made our way west the signs when we were beginning to get close to home were unmistakable. Rolling hills of grassland slowly transitioned into open forests of Lodgepole Pines and Juniper. The streams became larger and the lakes adopted a familiar deep blue hue. A bite entered the air at night that we hadn’t experienced since camping before the mountain passes of Colorado. It was almost as if we could taste the salt of the Pacific, still 200 miles to our West.
Insert the full width image below this line.Grant is wearing: Axe Indigo Shirt, 221 Original Straight Jean
To this point we had encountered such favorable weather it had become an unspoken rule to make no mention of rain, but the wet winter had transitioned to an unseasonably dry stretch – leaving our forests a quite literal tinderbox. As the forces of nature ran their course smoke would come and go, which was oddly satisfying as we were in the same situation; continually “just passing through”.
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The dry heat and cold nights coupled with our prolonged exposure to the elements required our gear to be simultaneously rugged and comfortable, while being easy to layer as we climbed in elevation or the temperature ticked towards the century mark. We dunked ourselves in every lake we could find, discovered empty campsites at nearly every turn, and finally got a chance to break out the fly rod to cast to rising Cutthroat Trout. The steep canyon walls of Crater Lake transitioned into the cascading rapids of the Rogue River, and when we eventually climbed one last stretch over the Coast Range the peaks finally disappeared into the vastness of the Pacific.
Insert the full width image below this line.Collin is wearing: Denim Sawtooth Shirt, Guinness Oval Tee
Our RPM’s rose with our spirits as we booked it down towards the ocean, splashing through the final creek crossing directly onto the sand and into miles of open, abandoned beach in Port Orford, Oregon. In the end, we’d ridden across the country, seen jaw-dropping beauty in places we’d never expected, but left with the conclusion that there’s no place like home.
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