“I like my backpack, a cup of coffee, and my itinerary, and my passport and I’m out of here.” -Henry Rollins
I have loved the open country ever since I was a teenager. In high school, I used to ride a mountain bike all over the county roads near my family’s Virginia farm before I had a car. In college, I went on road trips and band tours and wrote memoirs about all of the ridiculous shit that we did. In post-college, I grew bored of the country life and moved to Chicago in 2008, seeking a more exciting urban lifestyle.
After a few years in the city, I rediscovered my love for bicycling. I bought a shitty hybrid bike and took it on the city trails and country roads on short weekend tours. As I gained experience on my trips, I became increasingly interested in touring out west.
Then I went to Alaska in 2012 and realized that I didn’t understand anything. My bike trips out there revealed a landscape like nothing I had ever seen before. Huge, open expanses of land, towering mountain ranges, vast open tundra, and no trace of a human footprint, save an occasional backpacker or bush town. It is an immense and profoundly awesome wilderness, whose memory will stay with me for a lifetime.
That trip did two things. First, it showed me that the world was an incomprehensibly huge place that I needed to discover and explore. And secondly, I realized that I needed to start writing it down.
All of this has materialized into these pages and pictures. And it will continue to do so as I find interesting shit to write about. I am not slowing down, wasting time, or getting bored.
I am Dan Hagen and these are my stories. I am on a lifelong quest to see the world by train, foot, bicycle, and raft. I like open country roads, urban nightlife, good cuisine, local beer, alpine mountains, wild rivers, and lots of other badass shit. And I will write about it as often as I can.