Surrounding Water Welcome Home / by Ben Weaver

Photo: Scott Haraldson

Photo: Scott Haraldson

The hardest part of any trip always seems to be coming home. I talk about it every time. But “hard” may not be the right word. There is an idea that when a route is finished, the trip is done, and coming home is the final stamp on the doneness of that specific journey. We have to return to jobs and bills; the more oppressive parts of life. My recent ride around Lake Superior shed some light onto a new perspective of coming home and I have found myself walking away from the idea that the trip ends when you get home. 

We never come back the same people, and we continue to change even after we settle back into whatever routines resemble home. The trip breathes and lives itself out in our daily lives. It kindles new perspectives that lead to different choices about where we spend our time, our money, and our energy. In many cases we use these resources towards planning the next trip.

In life, I don’t see much separation. It’s all connected as far down the line as I have ever been able to make out. So for me the trips, journeys, adventures, explorations, whatever name you give them, they all become one. The more trips I take, the more trips I plan. They string themselves together; the one nighter, the afternoon ramble, the weekend, and the multi week. The more often we go, the looser we get. The imaginary chains that let us believe we can’t, or shouldn't, leave, fall away. Food, water and a place to sleep are the needs to be met. All the gear and extras are exactly that. The more often we go, the shorter the distance becomes between us and our access to those basic needs. The more often we go, the less there is to keep the going at bay.

My ride around Superior was incredible. Among many truths it instilled in me a certitude for this above: that going begets going. I saw the landscape change. Met incredible people. Rode close to the weather, lived how I am happiest, down on the bones of life. I have come home determined not to loose those bones nor that edge. To wake up with the same sense of awe and discovery that I did with each day of riding. To stay loose and ready to go.

In the coming weeks I will be sharing more stories, specifically pertaining to Fresh Water,  and my experiences riding around Lake Superior as a Charter Bearer to the Great Lakes Commons visionary charter.