Friday, January 27, 2012

Europe and Points East.........

I've been treated to some absolutely spectacular sunrises in Boulder,these ones straight out of the camera,no need to mess with these already beautiful colors.

I'm spending a little extra time with me Mum before I leave for Europe and my Round the World trip,to return in 2,maybe 3 years after traversing continents and countries i've yet to see,people i've yet to meet,customs and rituals I have only read about in the journals of other travelers or National Geographic shows i've watched.On the other hand,i've also been thinking that the world has become so small today,as I thought to myself,well,what if something were to happen to Mum,what would I do if i'm in Russia or India or japan or Australia?.
There's not too many places on the planet that aren't accessible by plane anymore.The "far off and remote" areas are not so far off and remote anymore,thanks in part to the fast forward march of technology.

Wanderlust set in at an early age for me,I remember the first time I left home for a trip,I decided to on a backpacking trip to Europe.Earlier that year I had met 3 germans shopping at our local supermarket traveling around Ireland on bicycles,we chatted,they asked for directions,and ended up staying a couple of nights at our house.Naturlich,habe ich nach Deutschland eingeladen,so of course I went.

It was December of '76,2 months shy of turning 15 the following January.
In '79 things were a bit different,there were no computers,no GPS,no cellphones,I think we just got an answering machine at home,and I remember it was the size of a VHS player and it took cassette tapes to ecord the messages.Travel was a little different too.
My old man had a friend who worked for a large department store in the  end of things,he knew all the truckers,so he got me a ride on a truck that was passing through Germany en route to Denmark with drill bits that were 6 feet wide,used in the mining industry there.

So off I went in December of 1976 on a truck to Germany.I couldn't speak German,was never there before and didn't have any maps,I just went.

Today,we have the GPS taking the place of the map,which in turn takes the place of the interaction needed when you have to ask a real person for directions.I was reading another motorcycle travelers blog the other day(the name escapes me now)and he mentioned that he makes sure to never turn on the GPS unless absolutely necessary,and on many trips he never brings the GPS at all.
I mean,how did we ever get around before the GPS?.We just did.We asked people for directions.
When I was dropped off in Germany by the truck driver,I had to get to the town of Essen from where I was at.
"Essen" is also the german word for "eat".
It took me all morning to find someone who spoke English to point me in the direction of the town of Essen,and not tell me where to go to eat.

Sometimes,you need to take a step back,sometimes going backwards is a good thing.Sometimes,if you're too close to something,you can't see the whole picture.

I have a ballpark idea of where i'm going,Europe and Asia.That'll do for now until I get there.



TREE said...

wow, Great photos!!!

Charlie6 said...


Great photos as usual, so will you first stop be EML to order your sidecar and pick it up once you've gone round Western Europe a bit?


Redleg's Rides

Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

WhereThe HellisMurph said...

Dom,i'm not using EML,i'm going with Stern,the Rox chair.Nice chair,roomy,a 1 1/2 person,good lines.I'll be using it minus the nose for better ground clearance.
And i'll be going straight to LBS Sidecars in Elsendorp,Holland with the bike,so as we can start to tear it down and work on it.I can borrow one of Ad's(the owner) bikes or a sidecar outfit should I feel the need to wander.I'll probably shoot north to Sweden to visit 2 friends who I met in Death Valley last year on a RTW trip,get the far north stuff out of the way before the winter sets in.

vincent said...

Welcome in Toulouse !

WhereThe HellisMurph said...

Vincent,thanks.I will let you know when I get off the ship in EU.

Ara & Spirit said...

I remember the good old days! (not that the present ones are bad!). Torn map... bungee cords... a fistful of quarters for the pay phone... Newspapers as a liner under the coat in cold weather... the $2 foam cooler which lasted 5 days if lucky... That was that!!!
3 years full time in the 70's! Now... over 5 years later full time again... 2 GPS, SPOT, laptop, net book, smart phone (smart?), cameras galore, 2 extra 120 batteries with a folding 27W solar panel. I know I am forgetting something! Yes, heated gear... TOO MUCH... Met last Year two riders from Europe, had been on the road for close to ten years, nothing! Just a map... They had never been on the Internet... I envied them, yet, this is my choice... or is it? This double edge sword! Be well... Ara and Spirit

WhereThe HellisMurph said...

Ara,wow,how right you are.
I still "only" have 1 GPS :-),but laptop,45lbs of camera gear,iPhone.........
10 years and 1 map,eh?.Sometimes less is more,simpler is better.We get lost and caught up in having the "latest' bike,GPS,Laptop.............TOO MUCH is right.
Now you're making think,maybe I have too much "stuff.Time to evaluate.

Hope to see you and Spirit in a few weeks at Salton Sea.


Anonymous said...

Can you assess where you are coming to Finland? I've been reading your blog throughout the spring and would be really great to meet you and talk about your trip.

IRISH Murph said...

Hi, I will be coming to Finland in September if all goes well.
Best to contact me on my FaceBook page or my email.