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Nothing clears the cobwebs quite like sticking a pin in a map and hitting the open road. Between the rugged landscapes, endless horizon, and quirky road-side curiosities lie an altogether more human experience as old as time: the thirst for adventure. It’s about throwing off the shackles, drinking in the unfamiliar, and cranking down the window to let the breeze ripple through your soul. 
Last year, evo photographer Ian Kose set off in search of fresh tarmac, forgotten skateparks, and the warm blue waters of Baja California. Snaking down the West Coast, he watched the world unfold over the handlebars of his motorbike and through the camera lens.
About a year ago, some friends and I decided we needed more adventure in our lives. Naturally, a motorcycle trip was the solution. After bouncing ideas back and forth, we landed on a route from Seattle down the coast to Baja California, Mexico and back.
I woke up the day of the trip not knowing what to expect. What had I gotten myself into? I knew what I was excited for and had an idea of the challenges ahead, but I was ready to throw caution to the wind. None of it seemed to matter as I put on my gloves, turned the key, and roared South with my friends.
The road to Cuatro Casas is harsh, unforgiving, and unpaved. It’s shrouded in overwhelming darkness when we arrive at 10:30pm, and I can immediately tell that my bike isn’t going to agree with this terrain. Brake lights pass one by one and as soon as they’re out of sight, just like a scene from a horror movie, my bike sputters and dies. I frantically yell and honk to no avail, watching anxiously as the lights fade into the abyss.
Alone in the Mexican desert, my mother’s voice echoes in my head. “Be safe down there, use your wits, don’t get stuck, and come back in one piece”. The thought is interrupted by my own increasingly heavy breathing inside my helmet. Panic is setting in. I turn the key, crank, and crank. Finally, after an eternity, she roars back to life. I rip out of the rut and start flying down the road, narrowly avoiding soccer ball sized boulders and potholes.
Brake lights appear on the horizon and a deep feeling of relief comes over me. My friends are at an unexpected fork in the road. We turn right, pushing through deep sand, and in the distance I see a lonesome campfire and pickup truck. We roll up to a man seated at the campfire, and I stall again. As Miles helps bump start my bike, more and more people emerge from the shadows and begin surrounding us. We are outnumbered and vulnerable, but soon a man is drawing a map in the sand, speaking rapidly in Spanish. Eventually, my enthusiasm for our current state runs thin and I begin trekking back down the road.
Before long, I see a motorcycle on it’s side. Robert has fallen in deep sand and is pinned underneath his bike, but luckily they’re both fine. For a while we’re lost in a labyrinth of dirt roads, turning down six different dead-ends that have a strange familiarity to them. I drop my bike while u-turning at a dead-end, then Bruce drops his bike, then Miles, then Stevie. Finally, we’re rewarded with a wooden sign, “Cuatro Casas Hostel - this way”. In desperation I break off from the group and start rolling down the road. There, glowing in the distance, is the hostel. We’ve had some close calls, but we’re safe. It’s an experience we’ll never forget.