Some time ago, I went to the camera store to pick up some film I had left to be developed.
The counter guy had a chain ring tattooed on his arm, and had noticed the aged steel frame bike I had ridden up on. We chatted about things while he pulled the film from one of my medium format cameras out and looked it over. After a bit he had to get back to work, and smiled ruefully at my telling him about an upcoming bike tour I had already made reservations for.
“Man,” he said, “shooting film and riding steel frame bikes. That’s the life.”
He was right.
There’s more to it than just those two things. Having a partner who enjoys your passions to share your life with is the most important thing. I’m lucky enough to have that. There’s a bit of time to run off and adventure. There’s the sky above, and road below your feet. There’s the promise of something new and beautiful around every corner and up every winding mountain pass. There’s the joy of tall trees, the crunch of gravel, the smell of dust and oncoming rain in the summer. The sigh of the wind in high lonesome places. Steel rails leading off to the distance, going on across the country, leading and calling you to follow.
Yeah, there’s more to it that just those two things. But those two things led me to the rest of the world and the infinite joys I find in it every day.
This is the life. The only one we got. It’s time to stop sitting still and see. It’s time to experience.
Shooting film and riding steel. This is the life I always wanted but never knew about. And it’s better than I dreamed of.
This is the life.