Boarding Pass – Landon Durnan

Earlier this month my friend Landon completed a cross-country trip from Baltimore to his new home, San Francisco. Not only did he do the entire trip on a motorcycle (don’t miss this incredible “music video” of his ride – also linked below), he also documented the entire journey on his road trip blog with the help his iPhone. From planning the trip, to adventures along the way and reflections it’s all recorded here. So enjoy today’s Boarding Pass to see how Landon [literally] rolls when he travels. {Thanks, Landon!}
last trip taken:
Three week cross country trip via motorcycle. 5,000+ miles, over a dozen cities and parks, amazing experience.
next trip on deck:

I’ve been thinking about a road trip to either Portland or Salt Lake City. (Thanks to some inspiration from someone’s PDX Guide)

one place you would go back to again and again:

Yosemite National Park. While describing this place to others I used words like: gorgeous, fairytale, and heavenly. There are snow-capped mountains that pierce the sky, dozens of hiking trails, and several waterfalls. It’s very easy to fall in love with this place and being only three hours from the Bay Area I can see going back here over and over.

place you’d most likely recommend a friend go visit:

Austin, TX. Besides San Francisco, this is the only other place I’ve visited and felt comfortable and ‘at home’. There are lots of things to see and do, great restaurants, and eccentric shopping. The Alamo Drafthouse is also the best movie theater ever and it is an absolute “must-do.”
preferred method of transportation:
Two wheels or two feet. I actually get claustrophobic with metal and glass around me now. You get a whole different experience traveling when you can smell the air, feel the sun on your face, and look up.
place you’ve never been but dying to go:
Rome, Italy

place you’d never go back:

Roswell. There is nothing to see or do. You don’t get more landlocked or surrounded by boring. Touristy, strip malls, and chain restaurants. And I didn’t see a single UFO or alien. Death Valley is a close second because I nearly got a heat stroke, but I did get a fantastic pie recipe from Death Valley Junction.
most memorable trip:
Riding down the hairpin turns of 89A into Sedona, AZ is literally the only place I’ve ever been that forced me to have an emotional response. Red rock sandstone, a rushing river, and being surrounded by a gorgeous canyon was an amazing experience that I will never forget. It could have been the dry heat or the hours of riding through flat Texas and eastern Arizona, but I think Sedona was pretty enough to make anyone tear up.

how do you prepare for a trip?

I’ll normally get travel guides, read websites, and talk to lots of people. However, I’ve found that you can have even more fun winging it by talking to locals, wandering around, and following your nose.

how do you record your travels when you’re traveling?

A digital camera and an iPhone. The iPhone is literally life changing and allowed me to find restaurants, take pictures, update my GPS location to a website, and blog everything. I also seem to hang on to a lot of travel brochures, pamphlets, ticket stubs, and receipts.

what is your favorite thing to photograph in a new place?

Food, food, signage, landscapes, and my bike. I’ve found taking pictures of your motorcycle in front of things is like having your picture taken. You and the motorcycle are the only things in the entire world that have experienced the same things together.

on an average, how many pictures to you take on a trip?

The average on the last trip was 50.12 pictures a day. I filled all three memory cards I brought with me and wish I took more photos.

what’s in your “designer travel kit” ?

A Canon SD1000, an iPhone, and a beautiful leather journal that I wish I had used more. However, when you’re on the road and taking care of the first two levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs I relegated all the creativity to writing on my road trip blog.

what do you do after a trip? how long after a trip does this happen?

It takes me several days of sleeping just to feel normal again. It’s been over a week since the end of my last trip and I’m still sorting through photos and videos.

favorite souvenir/thing to bring back?
I made it a point to save gas receipts (since you get 3-4 a day), but they all seemed to have disappeared! I usually don’t purchase anything, but I’m pretty fond of a Tibetan skull prayer beads that I got in a voodoo shop in New Orleans.

website: robotsarego (road trip site HERE!)
on flickr
Super fun creative music video

Click HERE for all the past Boarding Pass features.


  • Great pictures..! Your blog always makes me want to travel. Sigh..! And that’s so funny — there’s a peach water tower about 45 minutes from where I live, just like the one pictured here! I wonder how many there are around the country…

  • What a fantastic post! I completely agree about Yosemite…as a child of the Bay Area I spent loads of time there growing up. And Death Valley can be hard, but in the spring the wildflowers are just breathtaking.

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