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I leave Luray Caverns energized. My mind sparks electric as we pull out of our second shoot. Lesson are learned. Adjustments made. We roll on.
Hours of road lay ahead of us before we can rest. Virginia has thrown it all our way. Heat. Humidity. Hours of road. And now, rain.
Our producer Lauren gets on coms to check in, her tone is audibly nervous. Unfamiliar roads wind and twist before us as we bomb down a Virginia mountainside. We alternately lean in, accelerate out, ride the clutch, and ease the breaks through beautifully treacherous country.
The chaos of the day slides away, and I find a groove. The gorgeous landscapes of Virginia flow over, under and past us. Forward momentum heals all hurts and we’ve got our eyes set on the horizon. The rain eases, the road straightens out, and we hit the interstate.
As light fades, so does the exhilaration of the day. Miles of road pour underneath, while we seem to stand still. Trucks approach, their prehistoric rumble a last minute warning before sucking the bikes into their airstream, only to push them out again. The sensation is unnerving, but it helps keep weary heads alert.
Night is upon us and Jeremy and I ride side by side. At times we’re separated by a mere foot as we attempt to make the most of our headlights. He could easily pull ahead, but the light thrown by my bike is weaker, and he hangs back to ensure I ride in safely.
The miles drag on, the day hangs heavy, yet we ride. I fall back, the highway lulling me to complacency, but Jeremy cajoles, shouts, and jokes me back to the present until we ride shoulder to shoulder once more. We guess what sights we’re missing on either side of the road. We make crazy jokes and laugh insane laughs.
It’s after 10 P.M. before we roll into our first hotel of the trip. 15 hours since we left NJ. Bikes parked, we help the crew unload. 4 men and 1 woman haul camera equipment into a motel room, attracting derisive looks from barefooted patrons.
We’re a motley crew, rough around the edges and an unlikely traveling party, yet we make no apologies for it. As we explore this great country, nothing will hold us back. Not heat, nor humidity, nor the fall of night. We are a collective possessed by one goal: to explore, document, and celebrate the American Dream on our terms.