Decent Exposure

How This Long, Strange Trip Began

Saturday, September 2nd, 1995

I'm sitting at home. I have the whole next week off from work, but I have absolutely no confirmed plans. Should I bag it and go into work the next week? Or should I just hit the road and see where I wind up? DUH! I'll hop on the motorcycle and figure out where I'm going when I get there.

Sunday September 3rd

I have to assemble enough gear to last me a whole week and stuff it into something smaller than a book bag. By the time I cram in all my cold weather gear, rain gear, camera stuff, and maps, I have barely enough space for a couple pair of socks and underwear. Beyond that, the outfit I wear on the first day is going to have to be the outfit I wear every single other day of the whole trip. I go with the basic black jeans and white t-shirt. Soon I'm all packed up and ready to head out. My first destination is Albany.

I head down 79 and across 206. When I get to Bainbridge I decide that rather than just driving up Interstate 88 that I'd take the rural route that parallels it and see what I see. Before I'd even gone a mile I chance upon a group of Civil War recreationists who are preparing for a skirmish.

I peek into one tent and overhear a couple officers hazing a corporal. Something about, "Have you had your physical yet?" I continue on the rural route, but after I fight traffic all the way through Oneonta it begins to lose its charm. Eventually I get on 88 and cruise along unabated.

Before I know it I'm at the home of my good buddy "Farkle" in Clifton Park, about 15 miles North of Albany. Farkle's wife is about 8 months and 27 days pregnant. We enjoy a quiet dinner at home. That night we go up to Saratoga Springs and walk the strip in the warm Summer evening and have a couple drinks at a local pub.

Monday September 4th

I leave Farkle's house and head towards Boston. Again, I choose the rural route rather than the interstate. Throughout the day I wind my way through the Massachusetts Berkshire Mountains and spy many scenic vistas. Unfortunately much of the New England population has the same idea I do. The traffic is relatively heavy for such a remote pass.

That evening I wind up in Walpole Mass., about 10 miles South of Boston, at the home of Jeff and Heidi, old friends of mine from my days at Hobart College. It's been six years since I've seen them last, and I find them with a four year old boy, a two and a half year old girl, and a newborn girl. We have a quiet dinner at home, and I avail myself of a rare opportunity to watch an episode of Star Trek Voyager.

Tuesday September 5th

I ride into Boston and play amateur model for Jay, an amateur photographer I met through the web. We wind up spending almost 8 hours shooting about 7 rolls of film. Click here to see some pictures from the session. That night I'm back at Jeff and Heidi's for a late dinner.

Wednesday, September 6th

I'm debating whether to head out to Cape Cod and spend another day in Massachusetts, or head back to New York State. Forecasts of bad weather the next day cause me to err on the side of caution. Except for brief stops to rest my weary butt, I ride continuously from Boston to Albany, north to Lake George.

By this time I'm about ready to call it quits, but I still have to ride all the way through the Adirondack Mountains before I reach my destination. Despite the uncompromising natural beauty, sight seeing and joy riding are not of any interest to me at this point. I fly along at 80 - 90 MPH in an attempt to finish this ride in as short a time as possible. I do pause, however, to snap a quick picture in front of a leather shop that was a regular stop on our family ski trips in the Adirondacks when I was a kid.

Shortly thereafter I arrive at my home away from home: my old fraternity house at my alma mater in Potsdam, NY.

Friday September 8th

I'm lucky enough to be in town on the weekend when the fraternity holds its annual Racquette River Regatta. Other greeks from SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University put their rag-tag rafts in the water and float down to the shore behind our house where the first major party of the semester awaits them.

Saturday September 9th

I get up early and prepare to ride back home. It's cold, overcast, and it looks like rain. I finally have a chance to use the rain gear and cold weather clothes that have been taking up so much precious real estate in my bag. Although it is a chilly ride and I do catch some lake effect rain north of Syracuse, I rather enjoy the ride. After a week on the road it's nice to get back home with one day of vacation left before I have to get back to the grind at the office.


At the time I didn't think much more of this trip than a fun outting where I got to get naked in front of a camera for the first time in my life. A few weeks after I got home I got the pictures from Jay. He and his partner Mark were running their own web design business. I liked the pix enough that I thought maybe I'd make up my own web site to display them. They graciously gave me some space on their server and this site went online for the first time. I still didn't think much about it all. But my collection of pix kept growing and growing, and I supplemented them with earnest and self-searching autobiographical essays. I STILL didn't think much about it. But as time went on I established more and more relationships through contact from visitors to my site. Now I have friends across the country, my videos are being shown in film festivals around the world, and the site has taken on a life of its own.

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