I grew up reading novels about hero cowboys, men of adventure who challenged the world and marched to their own drum.
I rode a horse, herded cattle, carried a pistol, sometimes a rifle and loved to camp in the wilderness lands where the spirits of old whisper upon the wind.
I believe in the old adage "ride hard shoot straight and speak the truth, and damn it, I have shoved my fist in more than one nose of those evil villains bringing a scourge upon someone innocent.
I guess I never really realized it but as I write this, I now realize that those readings influenced my desire to travel and my ability to push the fear of the unknown aside.
Maybe it helped me to want to be that new person, to see new things, and to trade with those indigenous people and share their customs.
As I write this I realize the lasting impact upon my life, Craving a strong history I believe that one of my favorite Authors Mr Louis L'Amore more gave me some of that history by way of fiction.
His writings always brought forth someone willing to venture into the unkown, willing to see all things new. His book on medieval Europe peaked my interest and made me read about all those areas which Mathurin would travel, being a poet, a warrior and a physician what more could we model ourselves after?
For the past month I have been busy readying my steel horse, I have changed the filter, put on the Aluminum Saddlebags known to the motorcycle world as Paniers.
My steeds shoes are rubber and hopefully I will not throw any on the way, if I do, I carry spare in those water proof bags you missed out on.
My gear is not leather, nor wool, but rather textile which is waterproof and abrasian resistant, let us pray I never have to find out how well the later is.
My tent is loaded, my camping equipment washed, matches ready at hand to light that fire that will carry the hot ashes to the heavens.
A campus I will not carry, rather a GPS with all the maps of the US under my fingertips and all my trails shall be plotted, even into the abyss of the unknown.
Soon as with my Idols of my childhood I will sit under the open stars again, my head not resting against a saddle, like so many times of my youth, but rather against a nice modern inflated pillow.
Could be I am cheating a bit, but hell, the western saddle was technology in its time.
Travel music is also something which shall soon be my companion, an Ipod loaded with tunes to make my mind wander with the humming of my tires on the road adding to the strum of the guitar in my ear phones.
I really wanted to learn the Harmonica, but as it turns out I am incapable of learning a blow instrument, my cat had been horrified, now with him leaving this world only his spirit arches its back as I try to play.
I should have learned to play the guitar, I mean after all what could be more romantic than strumming a tune while gazing at those stars, what more could bring those savages to my favor?
The String Bass I played in highschool is to big to pack, and hell to be honest it has been so long my Rockabilly days are probably gone anyhow.
I hope that poor singing and a hearty appetite willing to eat nearly anything, my big smile and resemblence to Shrek will have to suffice & will win over their hearts, so please put down those torches and pitchforks!
So thank you Mr L'Amore, I loved your stories and have many of them, though they are all the same in some regards, they have molded me into the adventurous person I am today.