One of our biggest fans from Philadelphia, Trevor Raab recently skipped town to go on a road trip from Chicago to Texas, ride and shoot so many beautiful locations, and get out of the Philly winter. He was lucky enough to get some riding in with a fellow photographer/cyclist, Rue Kaladyte.
Here’s a very calming and contemplative visual slice of their trip…
If a friend calls and asks you to go on a road trip you certainly give it some thought, when that friend happens to be your best friend who you haven’t seen in months and the trip happens to include camping and cycling, you accept the offer and worry about the logistics and getting off work later. My name is Trevor Raab, and my best friend is Rugile (Rue) Kaladyte.
Only two aspects of the trip were certain, my flight from Philly to Chicago and the destination: a small Texas city called Victoria. Embarking on a trip with minimal planning may strike fear into the hearts of some, but for us the plan-as-you-go method is the best case scenario. I arrived in Chicago and it was incredibly cold compared to the unreasonably high temperatures we’d been having in Philadelphia. I managed to make it out of the airport in one piece and find Rugile and her Honda Accord. After struggling to fit my bike into the mid-sized sedan we drove to her house, had a meal, and did some minor planning for our departure the next day.
Day two greets us with a wintery mix, not good. We waited out the weather by eating omelets and drinking too much coffee. Ten hours and several hundred miles later we arrived at our first destination, Wall Doxey State Park, southeast of Memphis, Tennessee. The evening was spent settling into the small hotel room and preparing for the next day’s ride.
We awoke and slowly moved to the breakfast table, talking of the upcoming 100+ mile ride through the park I had programed in my Garmin. Before long, we set off and found ourselves on beautiful back roads, often unpaved, that introduced us to the local dog population. Some of the dogs were friendly; one ran with me for what seemed like miles, another almost bit my leg off. A shortcut was needed to beat the setting sun to the campsite, 78 miles later we set up camp, had a beer and went to bed.
The next four days took us through more national and state parks where we rode, hiked camped, and searched for gators. The next stop on our adventure was New Orleans. On New Year’s Eve we explored the city , ate well, and had our ears bathed in smooth jazz. That night we watched fireworks as the New Year chimed in, I was not complaining and I don’t think Rue was either, especially since we got out of the tent for a night and into a spare room (courtesy of Rue’s distant relatives).
Our departure from New Orleans led to more exploring, camping, eating and of course riding. We pushed on to our destination which greeted us with some much appreciated sun and warm weather. The unfamiliar warm weather was not wasted as we rode all over the area and despite still not finding any gators, we had fun.. Two days later the trip was over and I was back to the now frozen conditions of a Pennsylvania winter.
These photos show some of what was a great adventure through our lenses. I can’t wait for the next one.