For Jay and Conor Rasmussen, bonding with people up and down the Americas – and with each other – made all the difference.
Jay Rasmussen and his son, Conor, were on a mission when they traveled 12,000 miles by motorcycle from their Roseville home to Buenos Aires, Argentina, last summer. Actually, two missions: Get to know a dozen or so countries up and down the Americas, and get to know each other better.
Mission accomplished on both fronts. “We got really close,” said Conor, 19, a student at Bethel University, where his father is an education professor.
The two shared their thoughts about the journey aboard 2009 Kawasaki KLR 650s less than a year after returning, even though, as Jay said, “I still haven’t processed it all.”
Q: Did the trip meet your expectations?
Conor: It was different in every great way possible. You always have expectations and they always change, but I wouldn’t trade a thing about this trip.
Jay: It exceeded mine. Walking into a trip like this I think it’s key not to have so many expectations. We knew every single day would bring surprises. Our motto is: “The end is nothing, the road is everything.” It’s about enjoying each day. Both of us had a hard time coming back.
C: Every day we tried to process what our favorite thing was. It helped to reflect and process like that.
Q: What was your favorite part?
J: For me the favorite country was by far Colombia. It’s so green. The roads are a motorcyclist’s dream, curvy and beautiful. Also, the people were the friendliest. They’re so happy to see others recognize that they have a real cool country, that it’s not the country we heard about five or 10 years ago.
C: I liked Peru a lot. The Sacred Valley, and mountain after mountain with no people. The colors in the sunsets, I’ve never seen before.
Q: Were you able to actually enjoy the scenery, or were your eyes on the road ahead all the time?
J: There are times like that, yes, especially for the leader, when you are looking at the road 100 percent of the time. Overall, 60 percent road, 40 percent views.
C: I’m about the opposite. That’s why I’d get in trouble more. One time I ran off into the sand.
Q: How was the food?