My summer movie ended with a winding ride through Ft Davis, Valentine, Marfa, and Alpine. It’s almost heaven, and a good ending to an amazing journey. Texas to Alaska and back. Exactly two months to the day or eight weeks.

Ten thousand miles. Twelve states, 1 province and 3 countries. There was that cup of coffee in Rosarita Mexico.

I saw numerous old friends and met many new ones along the way.

Pete helped out with an oil change in Salt Lake City. Wade duct-taped my battery in Alaska. Carlos went out of his way to get me gas when I ran out on the Mexican border near El Paso.

Funny how I was concerned with those I might meet on the border. It took a Latino American to show me the kindness of mankind. All were strangers who became friends. Much like Central and South America – people are people and have a desire to help you when it’s not scripted.

I met Suzanne who, at close to 70 years young, was finding every off-road trail she could ride in Montana on her BMW. She dropped it on gravel but She was living her movie. Stan, at the young age of 80, was riding his BMW Motorcycle from Upstate NY to San Fransisco to see his daughter as he does every summer. He says he could book a flight, but that’s boring.

What stories he spun as he told of his journey. Like the time he was struck by lightning in Kansas. That was a real shocker!

Gordon in Vancouver, who still rides his BMW at close to 80 (years – and MPH) rode with me through Yellowstone and on to Cody, Wyoming. I barely kept up!

I met William, who was riding his 1964 BMW along the coast of California. “Slow and steady,” he says, “and be sure to take extra oil.”

Mike and Richard from the BMW rally (where I presented the story of my trip to the tip of South America) had made the trek as they do every year from Atlanta and Houston respectively. Can’t forget Doug from Virginia and Kelley from California, who wants to live her own movie to South America. And the Sweeny brothers from Wyoming.

My three greatest rides were on the route through British Colombia to Hyder Alaska. The other was riding Hwy 1 from Crescent City California to San Diego CA. Awesome ride, which ended with the 716 miles along the border from San Diego to El Paso. “Riding the Wall” that wasn’t.

I hope she said yes…

I ended where I started. Isn’t that the way life works? We leave to find out that what we left behind, was right there all along.

Life is all pictures on the wall except for the people we meet.

I battled wind in Montana, wildfires in British Colombia, rain and cold in Alaska. Fog hampered me in Northern California. 115 degrees is hot in the desert of California/Arizona. “But it’s a dry heat.”

As I raced home toward the eye of a hurricane Harvey, which was bearing down on my hometown of Victoria, Texas, it wasn’t the weather and obstacles that impressed me. It was the character and grit of the people of south Texas. How they stay put. They don’t run. They’re battling the worst hurricane in 56 years. The worst flooding in Houston…maybe ever.

They face it with the same determination that settled that land 200 years earlier. I left to find a land I’d never known, only to come home to a people I always knew.

Live your movie, ride your journey, and leave tomorrow.

Now that’s a wrap.

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