Spent a few hours chatting with these guys at a campground outside Trinidad, CO, a small hurting city with the odd reputation in the 1960s as the Sex Change Capital of the world– yep, Google it. Trinidad hangs on as an old mining town, but not sure if a new coffee shop can make it the tourist draw many small towns hope they will save them in the 21st Century people drain into suburbia.
These were single guys on long motorcycle trips– not stopping for Trinidad’s medical clinics. They weren’t travelling together, just happened to land, like me, in the same place at the same time.
You see many of them on the road. They are very friendly, curious, humble, and good at conversation– willing to tell you their whole stories, if you have the time.
They have interesting stories about why they’re on the road, and their love of unplanned travel. Most bikers don’t seem to have a travel plan, stopping where it’s interesting, then moving to an accidental spot on the map. They ride bikes because ‘they’re crazy’ –their answer to why? One was a John Waters fan. I had some copies of LOW BUDGET HELL with me, and gave him one for helping solve a camper van problem.
Before hitting the road, he was a massage therapist at a ritzy spa in Taos. He was a hobby a car mechanic who loved weird vehicles like the Roadtrek. The other guy was a ship captain in the Caribbean, but also a licensed mechanical engineer. Both had recently made a split-second decision to buy a big bike, sleeping bag and go figure out Amerika.
Both had college degrees, but were not content to live the conformist lifestyle of suburbia or marriage. They were both helping their widowed mothers navigate old age, because they were the only ones who had the time. This trip was a 2-3 break from that– to see how they liked bike/camping in the national parks.
They’re definitely not the average guy behind the counter or selling you something on the phone. They’re chasing a red dragon. Cool dudes.