I thought I was sort of a badass. Here I am, riding a relatively small scooter on America's fast and furious freeways. I have a proper topbox, which was conveniently included when I bought the scooter, but other than that, my backpack is simply attached to the back seat with some strategically oriented bungee cords. Another day bag is resting on the floorboard between my feet, sort of secured to the bag hook. So, tiny transport in a big country, with a little bit of down and dirty thrown in. Then I met these guys, and consider myself out-badassed.
They are riding three rattletrap Honda Trail 90's around the entire United States. I met them on the third day of my trip, also the third day of their trip, in the Safeway parking lot in Florence, Oregon, where we were all in search of budget vittles (also, Safeway has free wifi). We swapped travel stories, and I spent a lot of time admiring their entire get-up, and the number of things bungeed to various points. These bikes seem a perfect method of travel along roads like 101; they are too small to legally be ridden in traffic, so they can simply tootle along off to the side in the bicycle lane, at a leisurely pace, but can also cover more ground than a bicycle.
Meeting these guys made me really happy. Three adventurous souls who were undertaking something a little crazy, partially prepared, partially winging it, with a dash of haphazard, and a lot of style. During my four months sitting at home I was sinking into complacency; always thinking a little about traveling again, but not doing anything about it. Being wrapped in my apartment was just too comfy. Now that I'm on the road again, and meeting interesting and friendly folk, I'm feeling rejuvenated and excited about travel. I was hoping to see them again, but they continued north while I detoured inland to Eugene for a day, and at this point have outpaced me up the coast.