It was Valentine's Day. Billy and I had no money to do anything for each other. The plan...take the motorcycles and go camping. We gave each other our gifts, for me Billy had stayed up all night (again) to finish the high fender mod on my Kawasaki Versys X 300, for him a cardboard miniature version of his BMW F800gs Adventure with a Caramello candy bar sticking out of the luggage.
We took off that night, Billy, ashamed and feeling like a faliure at being a provider, me just hoping, just barely hoping that I might get to see a smile on his face even if for only one night. What neither of us realized was that our lives and the lives of our children were about to change forever...
About our family, I would say -- as would most of our peers and loved ones-- that we are strong. We are likely even stronger than we need to be which is probably why it took more than 3 years of life altering, traumatic events to bring us to our knees. We had aged 5yrs, our health depleted, panic attacks were almost a daily occurrence, addictions gained footing, relationships inside and outside of the home became severely strained, clinical depression, deaths of family member and mentors, surgeries, drug and alcohol addiction, total and complete financial ruin, exhaustion, adoption, abortion, abandonment, betrayal, abuse, a life's work stolen, a career path severed, absent co-parents, church hurts, a child methodically molested, gaming addictions, a long painful criminal investigation, losing our house, being accused of even losing our minds-- the list is unfathomable
On that night we set out for Valentine's Camping we were buried up to our nose in the ashes of these atrocities and the only thing I wanted that night was the one thing Billy had to give-- A night on our motorcycles... and even if only for a moment have him lead us away from it all. I wanted us to go somewhere we could try to forget it, and try to laugh-- because the next day we both knew what was waiting for us.
What had quite an adventure that night setting out without even
a thought of where we would camp. We were denied over and over--impassable water crossings, trails to nowhere, and even the police. I also learned that night that my night vision was worse than I thought. I followed Billy's bike through unlit roads virtually blind. Billy sensing my frustrations kept reminding me that this WAS the adventure, the destination actually is the journey itself, to embrace it...so I did --realizing there actually was no where else I'd rather be than lost with him.
We finally found a camp sometime around 1am and set to the task of collecting anything we could find that was dry enough to build a fire. Honestly I don't even remember what we talked about that night, we ate had a few drinks and I remember we finally crawled into our tent around 5am.
When I woke up I found Billy bent over the fire crying uncontrollably. That was the moment everything... and I mean everything changed. We posted the Youtube video FROM ASHES... now entitled "A NEW LIFE | Origin of the Motorcycle Family-F800 GSA - Versys x 300" ten days after our night out adventure camping. We didn't know that on that next morning a choice would have to be made, to let go and die or let go and live. There were no more gray areas for us to hide out in. The Story Moto ADV Youtube channel found it's fire in our desire to share the hope with people that we began to feel. We posted the video and the rest is history.
What you'll find in this video is the decision that was made and the reasons for it. You will find out how, against all odds and only a single mangled thread of hope to hold on to, a family can make it. A person can make it through to the other side. Which for us... just happened to be on two wheels.