Mount Lawrence (2015) Movie Script

(spiritual folk music)
Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm
Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm
Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm
Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm
Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm
Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm
Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm
Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm
Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm
Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm
Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm
Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm
Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm
Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm
Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm
(strong winds gusting)
- Bear, bear, bear, bear!
Did you see it?
- [Narrator] Dear dad.
I've been riding for six months
and there's a lot to say, so
I'm writing you this letter.
- I think the river's high
because we had 12 hours of rain
If you don't believe
me, you can look at him.
- Yes, that's true.
- Hi, my name is Chandler
and I'm doing a movie on my
family's trip to the Brazos,
and we're doing the Upper Brazos,
which is right here.
- Is that for me?
Oh, hi there!
It sure is a beautiful day
here on the South Llano River.
(child speaks indistinctly)
It's a wonderful day to be
out here with the family
(peaceful music)
- [Narrator] This story is about you.
And what you passed on to
me, through our adventures.
With those trips, came a
deep love for wilder places.
They shaped who I am and my
understanding of the world.
It seemed if I followed
you, we could go anywhere.
And that's what I did.
For 19 years in life and adventure,
until you weren't there to follow anymore.
Suicide is a hard word to write.
I found it almost impossible to say.
It's so hard because it
doesn't just define the act,
but the entire life that came before it.
Dad, it placed you into a
darkness that's hard to overcome.
When I did say it aloud, the word itself
seemed to overshadow your life.
Even though I still loved you,
the way you had died hid
you deep inside my memories.
I was trying to figure
out how to get you back.
And there are things I'm
trying to understand.
What I do know is that you
suffered from depression.
Along with 10% of other Americans.
And like 30,000 other people that year,
you fell victim to suicide.
I haven't found talking
about mental illness easy.
The sickness of depression
is personal and individual.
I'm sorry you felt the
need to battle it alone.
And I'm sorry every day that we lost you.
My quest now is not to lose
the memory of you as well.
(cheerful music)
(bicycle whirs)
(boat engines rumble)
Seven years have past, and
New York City is home now.
I love the urban jungle with
all its excitement and energy,
but that doesn't mean
I've given up on my adventures and past.
I still find my ways to escape.
Five years ago, I
discovered bicycle touring.
You didn't introduce me to it,
but it's a combination of
everything that you loved.
The premise is simple.
Pack your bags called panniers,
load them onto your bike,
and hit the back roads.
It's a way to find the quieter moments,
the kind you couldn't find in a car.
You sleep under the stars and live simply.
It can be tough, but,
it's the most rewarding way
to travel and see the country.
I've always been drawn to the road.
It represents the promise of adventure
if you follow it long enough.
It's an extension of what
you taught me to love.
And when I'm out there, I think of you.
But still, I struggled with how
suicide had altered that memory of you.
I kept thinking back on all those trips,
wondering if there was something to find,
a way that I could salvage that memory.
So the plan was to hit
the road with my bicycle
and head west as far as I could go,
to the end of the road in Alaska.
I was taking the questions I had with me
and hoped to find my answer.
So this is my favorite view of the city.
And I just wanted to check it out
one last time before I leave.
I dunno, coming here, it makes me
almost question what I'm doing.
I'm going to miss this place.
(train engines whir)
(automated train announcement)
(train rumbles)
We're at the very top of Manhattan
and we're sitting under the
George Washington Bridge.
This is my dad's favorite beer.
And I left home really young
and I never got a chance
to drink it with him.
I wanted to leave something
for you at the end of the road.
Something so that you in your
own way were always there.
I had heard of a way to give a name
to a geographic feature that had none -
streams, hills, valleys, even mountains,
which is what I'm going to do for you.
I'm going to reach the end of the road,
find the nearest mountain
and name it after you.
I would be able to save
that memory, I knew it.
The journey was supposed
to be a solo ride,
but things change.
I had decided to film the whole journey
and I could only find one
of my filmmaking friends
who wanted to come
along and join the ride.
Connor would bicycle with me
and help me document the journey.
While he was a capable filmmaker,
he wasn't much of an outdoorsman.
In fact, he had never slept
outside before, never camped,
never done anything physically strenuous
for more than a couple of hours.
But there was a fire in his eyes
when he talked about the trip,
he was up for the adventure,
and that's all I could ask for.
(lively voices chattering)
- [Cab driver] Are you really
going to Alaska on a bike?
- Yeah.
(indistinct conversation)
- We're not even on the road yet,
and our first piece of
equipment is already broken,
so, good things to come.
- Let's cut that. If we
need to cut anything.
- [Chandler] Let me see the other one.
- Cause I have I have -
- [Chandler] And then what's that?
This is the one that should be cut.
- Okay
- [Chandler] Connor was nervous.
He was leaving everything behind.
His girlfriend, Lizzie, his
friends, his entire life.
(city street bustling)
We're here in Battery Park City to do the
ceremonial tire dunk
in the Atlantic ocean.
The next time we'll wet the wheel,
as they say, is in the Northern Pacific.
So I'm going to throw a
bucket into this water
because there's no way to
actually dunk the back wheel.
(wind gusts)
(wind continues)
(water splashes)
(upbeat spiritual music)
Our journey would take us
through the Appalachians,
the Midwest, Great Plains,
Rockies, Pacific Northwest,
Western Canada, and finally, Alaska.
The beginning of it all was
in the heart of Manhattan,
where we would head west across
the George Washington Bridge
Time would be a factor.
If we didn't make it
before the early fall snow,
we wouldn't be able to
make it up the mountain.
(music continues)
About 10 miles down the road,
the added gear-weight was
too much for Connor's bike.
The back wheel collapsed
and his tire exploded.
We were stuck.
That is a much beefier tire.
Lizzie rode out to keep us company
as we walked five miles
to the nearest hotel.
So needless to say, today,
did not go as planned.
We are sitting in a hotel room,
not the middle of a campsite.
We had major bike problems today.
So we took it to a guy who fixed it up
and told us to stay off it for 24 hours
while this adhesive sets
on all of the the spokes.
So now we're kind of
stuck here till 4:00 PM.
I think we can make it up.
(wind whooshes)
(engines rumble)
This is the end of day two and it has been
a miserable couple of days of biking,
not only were we basically stranded
in a mall parking lot for 24 hours,
but we also were having to deal with like,
not hospitable biking conditions.
Lots of turns, sidewalks,
congested streets.
Luckily our producer
remembered that he has a friend
who lived, very serendipitously, nearby,
where we were trying to go for today.
Early morning tomorrow, we're going to
bust out our first real mile day,
and I think that we're going to
really, really put some
miles behind us tomorrow.
(heavy breathing)
- [Connor] Agh!
- You okay?
- [Connor] I am now.
- No, I do not have a
Marriott rewards card.
It's just for tonight, yeah.
Okay. No, actually we're
actually bicycling,
and we're just trying to figure out
the best way to get there.
(cup banging)
This is not how I imagined
the last three days at all.
Second time in three nights
we're staying in a hotel,
which is not, I literally
thought tonight we'd be
sleeping under the stars
at the Delaware water gap,
and it's a bit demoralizing.
So, and there's, and
there's just no other -
And there are these hills and these ridges
that these roads go up and they go down
and then they go up and then they go down.
Tomorrow, hopefully
tomorrow it's gonna open up.
Hopefully it'll open up tomorrow. I Hope.
So, um, first popped tire in Jersey.
Oooh, ohhh!
Oh baby!
That is one hunk of glass.
The early fall snow wasn't going to wait.
And I was terrified of missing our window.
Things were not going according to plan.
We'd made it 150 miles, roughly
2% of the entire journey.
And we were already
having serious problems.
We arrived in Hazleton, Pennsylvania,
where we were staying
with my friend Patrick.
There, we decided to
dump some of our weight
to make the riding easier.
I want to keep this. It's heavy,
but actually I need to put film in it,
I've yet to put film in it,
this is my dad's camera that I found,
that I want to actually use.
- [Female voice] What
kind of film does it take?
- [Chandler] It takes
like medium format film.
Connor still wasn't doing well.
The trip was starting
to wear on him mentally.
- [Male Voice] I wonder
how much that costs?
- Ready?
This camera's so confusing.
Two, three.
(wind bustles)
- [Connor] I know, I realized
just as we were careening
down the highway at
about 35 miles an hour,
going down the side of a mountain,
I realized you can die doing this.
People do this for fun!
- Now, if you just think of it,
like you think if you
were in a motorcycle,
you wouldn't worry, right?
- Oh no, no. I'm the type
to worry about that, yes.
(wind continues)
- [Chandler] You good?
- [Connor] I'm not great.
(breathless panting)
Reaching my end of the tank of gas.
- Connor's discouragement was growing.
This was not his element.
- [Connor] I'm not coming
in here for the night,
I'm just going to try to
set up my sleeping bag.
I mean, for the first time,
horizontal today since I woke up.
- [Chandler] How often are you horizontal?
- I mean, it's the first time I'm not,
like, working, you know?
No, I don't hurt as bad as I did.
Yesterday, topography
wise, was so much easier.
Yeah, I don't know what
today's going to be like.
We did 15 more miles than we
did the day before? Yesterday?
We did about 45 miles yesterday.
About 45 the day before. Right?
- Are you fucking serious?
Are you fucking serious-
when are you going to learn how to camp?
(wind whooshes)
(whooshing continues)
Suddenly Connor's ankles began
to swell and throb in pain.
(tires screech)
(traffic rushes)
(indistinct conversation)
(wind continues)
It didn't take long before
he was unable to bike,
unable to walk and unable to move.
There was no going forward.
I rushed ahead to get help.
(traffic zooms)
(indistinct chatter)
(camera rustles)
Connor's morale was at rock bottom.
Mine was right there with him.
So you guys will leave -
- Do we have an appointment tomorrow?
- They're kind of expecting,
they're kind of expecting you.
- Just to show up in there?
- No, no, no, they have our number
and they're going to call.
No, it's like the one place in town
that we could, that you could -
- Can get in tomorrow?
I can't get in there
the day after tomorrow?
- Hmm mmm
- When we're actually in Cleveland?
- No, cause it's a Saturday.
- Oh, that's right. Fuck.
- 75 miles tomorrow.
(radio blares)
- And it was all stiff. And
then over the course of the day,
as we were biking, it got
worse and worse and worse.
- Yeah. You've got quite a
bit of swelling over here.
How many days have you been biking for?
- We have been riding for
about seven days at that point.
- Are you married, single,
widowed, or divorced?
- Single
- Yeah, you said that you
adore your girlfriend.
- I love my girlfriend, with
every fiber of my being.
(dog barks)
- [Chandler] Connor had family in Detroit.
- Stay safe.
We decided that Connor would
drive the rental car ahead
and seek treatment there.
10 days later, when I arrived,
we would decide if he could continue on.
I would leave my trailer with him
and continue with a lighter camera.
(motorcycle rumbles)
(peaceful music)
I was left to the pieces
of America that I love.
What kind of lizard is it?
- [male voice] Savannah Monitor
- [Chandler] The strange and the weird.
- [Male Voice] Yeah, at least five foot.
- [Chandler] No way!
- [Male Voice] Yeah. It's going
to be a big hassle to feed!
- [Chandler] The quaint and historic.
- The students try to do your best,
and then the stained glass window.
- [Chandler] The quiet and the beautiful.
(birds chirp)
(bicycle zooms)
I pass through the Rust Belt
and onto the Great Lakes.
Being by myself was lonely.
While Connor wasn't tough,
he was fun to have around.
We shared in the struggle.
Being out there alone was giving
me time to reflect and
be honest with myself.
When I was left to really
think about you long enough,
I got angry and I think it was
totally fair of me to be so.
There's anger because you left
Mom, Annie, Lizzie and me.
There's anger because I'm confused.
And there's anger because
I don't know what I can do.
Looking back, I can remember times
when you were deeply unhappy,
but all the memories I
have of you outdoors,
those are the happy ones.
Being alone gave me the time to think on
what I could try and do
to help those suffering
from unimaginable pain.
(peaceful music continues)
My thoughts were interrupted by Detroit.
Which had once stood mighty,
but now was abandoned
in many parts of the city.
(garage buzzes)
I wasn't sure what to think of the place.
(bicycle whirs)
(dogs bark in distance)
(wind whooshes)
The doctor had explained that
Connor's tendon would heal.
He could rejoin the ride.
- Oh, the Heidelberg project?
- [Various voices] Yeah.
- Yeah, that's where
we're hopefully going to
end up today or start tomorrow.
When I looked at the city more carefully,
I found people trying to rebuild.
There were those who believed
that they could rise from the ashes.
Like Tyree Guyton who changed
his dilapidated neighborhood
into the Heidelberg project,
an enormous art piece with the mission to
improve the lives of citizens
of the city through art.
If they could continue on
through all of the struggles facing them,
so could we.
Even though we had fallen behind schedule,
we could still make it before the snow
started falling at the end of September.
All we had to do, all
we could do was ride.
(cheerful music)
If you're leaving take me too
Heaven knows I can't
go anywhere without you
And I would pay for gas
We could laugh about our troubles
That we're leaving in the past.
Radio is on the fritz
But I don't mind because
the radio is shit
There's no songs about kids like us
About the hopes that we
have and refuse to give up
Have a little faith in me
I know that times are tough
I promise these hard
knocks are nothin', honey,
Keep your chin up
So tired of being poor
Can't stand the thought of you
Scrubbin' toilets in this town anymore
I got paid just yesterday
Well that's $200 plus
change in the ashtray
We could drive all night
Find a town where no one knows us
And start a new life
Have a little faith in me
Mmmmmm, Mmmmm
Mmmmmm, Mmmmm
Mmmmmm, Mmmmm
Mmmmmm, Mmmmm
(music continues)
And God knows where we'll go
But we'll have each other
and that's all I need to know
You know it's darkest before light
You better pack yourself a sweater
Because honey it's
goin' to be cold tonight
(fireworks crack)
- Ahhhh!
- Luke and I are still best friends.
And just like always,
we're still finding ways
to get into trouble.
We live far apart now,
but still find time for
trekking and adventure.
(indistinct conversation)
- Ahhh!
- Luke had been planning on taking
a cross-country road trip that summer,
and it wasn't a hard decision for him to
come and join us for a couple of months.
Each night, he would camp with us
and in the morning drive
to the next campsite.
You meant a lot to Luke.
And once he heard what I was doing,
there was no way he wouldn't join up.
(children laughing)
Planting season had begun,
and the first sprouts were coming up.
We were still on track to
make it to the end before it got too cold.
(cows mooing in the distance)
(wind and tires whirring)
(radio blares)
- Whoa.
Oh no.
Ripped that.
Must have run over something.
Tore up the rubber, tore
some of the strings.
I don't know what that means, but -
So do I get this patch on before it dries?
- [Chandler] No, let
it dry. Let it tack up
- Best milkshakes in 1800 miles of riding.
- It's fantastic.
(wind whooshes)
The gear with me on this bike trip
is similar to other travels
we did with a few variations.
To start, everything fits
into our Burley trailer.
And it's secured with straps.
I pack everything into waterproof panniers,
some odds and ends and maps
go into my handlebar bag,
like always there's a
sleeping bag, pad and tent.
What takes up a lot of space,
is all the stuff to keep my bike tuned.
A spare tire, tubes, tools, lube and lock.
I don't have that many clothes,
but have to have enough
for any weather condition.
Plenty of water bottles to stay hydrated,
a cook set and stove.
A first aid kit,
a tarp and rope,
sunglasses, a flashlight.
And finally, your camera.
Dad, you'd remembered it as the one
you'd snap so many photos with.
During the first part of the trip,
I had been hesitant about pulling it out,
but once I did, it helped
me feel connected to you.
(traffic rumbles)
- [Connor] Put the other bag in there
- [Chandler] I'm going to.
- Day it is?
- The cheese.
It's a really good touch.
- Mmm hmm.
- I think that's what
gives it the pizza flavor.
- The peppercorn though,
the little pieces of peppercorn in there.
- It's almost too good.
- I've been praying for a day like today.
Since we left.
- Winds at our backs.
- Winds at our backs!
And once it got paved?
(wind gusts)
- So, it's raining outside
and we're stuck in the bathroom now,
- [Connor] No, no, it's
not just raining outside.
- No it's pouring. You're
right. It's pouring.
- [Connor] What happened to our tent?
- The tents have about an inch
of water in them right now.
So they're flooded, legitimately flooded.
So we're sleeping in the bathroom.
- Look where Chandler put me.
Look at this spiderweb.
It's a dirty moldy pipe
that's full of spiderwebs
is where Chandler put me.
(wind continues)
- It's going to be like this all day
- [Chandler] For the next three days
- Our gear needed time to dry.
So we took a much needed day off.
(balls roll)
(guns fire)
I was still chasing that memory of you,
but I was no closer to
coming to an understanding.
All I could do was keep going.
(birds chirp)
That's actually my tube under the tire.
So we have to make 70 miles
on this tire before we
hit the next bike shop.
It's going to be on gravel roads.
And I don't know if we're gonna make it.
(wind whooshes)
So we've made it 25 miles on
the first layer of duct tape.
It's holding pretty well.
I'm going to reapply and see
if we can make it another 25.
And then we just have 25 more to go,
and then where to bike shop, all right!
(indistinct conversation)
We're bicycling from New York to Alaska.
- [Male Voice] Are you going back too?
- No, just there. Just riding there.
(tires skid)
- I just...
almost died.
I came real close to dying, real close.
I shifted in front of an 18-wheeler.
I blew my tire,
trying to hop on
to the shoulder
and I fucking -
I almost died.
- Even after that, the
day didn't get any easier.
I didn't think we'd make it.
The tire was was on its last legs,
but we made the last 20
miles, we got to Pierre.
And we made it to the
bike shop, got a new tire.
We're on our merry way.
(winds gust)
(uplifting folk music)
All my life
I've been lost
I've been lost
All my life
All my life
I've been lost
I've been lost
The land was changing, I could
feel myself getting closer.
We could reach the edge of the Plains
and the sea of grass was behind us.
The West had begun.
Wyoming and the foothills
were in front of us.
Connor and I had ridden
just shy of 2000 miles.
Since you didn't do much riding yourself,
I'm going to explain how
to change a flat tire.
Popped tire number 25.
Something that has become
a large part of my life.
(soulful music)
Whoa, oh, oh
Tell me where have you gone
Whoa, oh, oh
Tell me where have you gone
First, you have to disengage the brakes.
Then you take out the skewer
I've been waiting,
I've been waiting for so long
Hmmmm, mmmmm
Oh you know you done me wrong
Next, take your tire levers and
pop your tire off the wheel.
Unscrew the valve.
Your tube comes out next
because you have to find where the hole is
And what caused it to pop.
Once you found the cause -
Number 30!
Three. Zero.
Number 30.
A small, tiny little staple.
Why was there a staple
on the side of the road?
I don't know.
I put the tube in wrong.
You use your patch kit to seal the hole.
Oh, oh, oh
What do I do?
The devil you know is
a good friend of mine.
Put the tube back in the tire
and the tire on the wheel.
The devil you know is
a good friend of mine
Pump it up and put it back on the frame.
And you're good to go.
It'll sure make you blind
Don't forget your camera.
I loved the time we spent in the Rockies.
Most of what I know
about the back country,
I learned up there.
And I was looking forward to
getting back up in the mountains.
- [Woman] Take off packs,
we'll take off shoes
- [Child] I've got an
idea, let's go back up
where that big waterfall was!
- [Woman] Where those guys-
where we saw those guys?
- [Child] Where that
big waterfall was, yeah!
- [Woman] Yeah, let's find that waterfall.
- Yes! Yes! Yes!
(wind gusts)
- [Chandler] Break?
So people always want to know,
why do we go up these big hills?
Like what's, what's,
what's it all worth it for?
(wind continues)
Continental divide.
Right there.
That mountain has water that flows
to the Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico
and then California,
the Gulf of California.
That's awesome.
Ease Natural landscapes
are just a fraction of
the great wilderness that
once covered North America.
Now mostly tamed and transformed
by human development.
The fact that they exist at all,
that they have survived
our very human tendency
to celebrate seeing vistas
with private development
is a gift from the leaders
of the young United States
who chose to designate these lands
as a gift to all Americans.
What up!
It was an easy choice to
take a break from our bikes
and do a little backpacking.
- Oh my God!
- [Chandler] Two women, Brigitta and Jess,
who we met at the trail
head joined up with us.
It was a nice change of pace
to have some new faces around.
(water rushing)
Connor had never been in
the back country before
and the Tetons were a perfect
place to introduce him.
Surrounded by some of the
most beautiful landscapes
our country has to offer.
(wildlife sounds)
You and mom always said that
these lands are precious,
and it had never rung more true.
Seeing Connor experience
them for the first time
reminded me how important they were.
If you ever get a debilitating disease,
come out to New York (indistinct)
- Oh it's in the one in my packs.
- Yeah
- Go and get it.
- Is it - well, we'll get into it.
- Fine, don't.
(water rushing)
Not wanting the side trip
to end, we headed north
to Yellowstone National
Park to continue hiking.
(wind gusts)
(indistinct conversation)
- Whoa, there's a lot of them.
(heavy breathing)
After that, we took off
west to the Snake River
where Connor was going to
run his first whitewater.
We actually might want to fill
these up a little bit more.
Oh, you're twisted on your right shoulder.
- This is made for a man
not quite as tall as I.
(water rushes)
Paddle, paddle!
(raft splashes)
That wasn't it!
Hop back in Connor. Hop back in.
Put your paddle down.
There you go, there you go.
That a baby, that a baby.
It had scared him, but
Connor accomplished something
that he never thought he would.
Paddle baby, paddle hard baby!
(Chandler chuckles)
(peaceful music)
Unfortunately, my body was
starting to break down.
All the wear and tear on my
feet was taking its toll.
To stop any infection, Brigitta,
who was a Physician's Aid,
cleaned and sterilized the wound.
- It's all we've got, okay?
(background laughter)
I was also exhausted.
And now, sick.
- [Connor] How ya feelin'?
- Not good.
- [Connor] Yeah?
- Yeah.
- [Connor] How long you've
been feeling not good?
- Three or four days, now.
- You! This is not the part
where you get to call the shots.
This is, this is the medical part.
And this is the part -
- Yeah, I know I know,
you're right, you're right.
- I know! This is the
part where you take a day
when me and the doc say
it's time to take a day,
And that's how it's going to be.
- [Chandler] Brigitta
and Jess had to move on
while we waited for me to get better.
The side trips were fun,
but they had slowed us down.
(wind gusts)
- Yeah, no, I met these guys
about halfway through the trip.
- [Chandler] I couldn't rest for too long
and tried my best to keep up
our pace to stay on track.
- (indistinct) ..Oh you've still got a
long way to go right?
- Oh, well shoot, look
at where you've been!
You're almost there!
- That are accessible but
are difficult to get to..
We were weaving our way up
from the Snake River Valley
towards the Sawtooth Mountains.
By the beginning of July,
we had reached that place that
was so special to you, Dad.
The Highlands of Idaho.
(boat engine whirs)
During one of our soaks,
Connor and I had a long talk.
We discussed his own
struggles with depression,
and he helped me understand what it's like
to live with the sickness.
He told me that he had come along with me
to shake his life up and get
out of the rut he had been in.
It was a struggle for
him, but it was working.
(fireworks boom)
(distant cheering)
It was the height of summer.
And I was on the trip of a
lifetime trying to find you.
Things felt right.
(firework booms continue)
The next step was to go
where we last left you.
I was following you into the Salmon River.
(water splashes)
(wind rushes)
This is Dagger Falls.
It's where we spread my dad's ashes.
It's nice to come back here.
I haven't been back here since we did it,
and yeah, it's a special place.
It's the start of the Middle Fork River.
It's, um, it's just a really
special place for my dad,
it felt really important to
pass through here on this trip
because I don't know when the next time
that I'll be out here
again, this is really it.
This is pretty nice to be back here.
As you well know, Dad, it's
located in the middle of
the largest undeveloped
area in the lower 48 states.
The river is one of the most special
natural places in our country.
It was where you had been a guide
with Canyons Rafting all those years,
and where I feel I partially grew up.
(plane engine whirs)
- When you get a chance, we'll go
look at the river this morning here.
And it's going to feel
like a tiny little creek,
but by the time we finish
it's a nice, big, beautiful
river in a deep, deep canyon.
(voices chattering)
- [Chandler] Being on
that river made me think
that everything would turn out right.
- [Male Voice] Excellent. Thank you, sir.
- [Chandler] And the
way things were going,
it seemed to be the truth.
Until suddenly...
(camera clatters)
it wasn't.
- [Female Voice] Whoa!
You okay Luke?
- [Luke] No
- [Female Voice] You all right?
[Luke] No!
- [Female Voice] Doing okay? Yes?
- [Luke] No, my knee!
- [Female Voice] Oh my God!
(pensive music)
Put your fears down on my chest
And your heart ain't
nothin' but the best
- [Chandler] It was my trip, my journey,
but it wasn't me who fell off that rock.
Luke's knee was gone.
He had shattered the whole thing.
Unable to move, he was
going into mild shock.
The only thing to do was to fly him out.
And all this dirt is for you
And all dog's treasure
Death can't undo
(humming interlude)
(harmonica hums)
I'll tell you, bad luck will swing.
Take us past right across your truth
And dark days will come
Face it right away
Face it head on
There are few things this
world could never take
The loyalty of a dog and his prey
He went over the mountains and into Boise,
where he would be rushed
into emergency surgery.
The doctors told Luke
he may never walk again.
My trip had done this to my best friend
and it made me re-examine everything.
Take it slow
(humming and harmonica crescendo)
I began to think I should
live with the way things were.
Perhaps it was better to let you drift
into the recess of my memories,
where I wouldn't be putting
those around me in danger.
I had come too far to stop,
but I didn't know if anyone else
should be attempting this with me.
(traffic zooms)
So Connor and I talked.
I reminded him the danger
associated with the trip.
And that I would do my best to
make sure he didn't get hurt,
but could not promise safety.
If he wanted to continue on, he should.
But, if there was any
sort of doubt in his mind,
he shouldn't feel like I
was forcing him to stay.
I reminded him that he had already made
an incredible journey in
every sense of the word.
And if he wanted to go
home, he had my blessing.
He said he would ride to Seattle
and make his decision there.
(air hissing)
- [Connor] Hitting milestones
all over the place.
- [Chandler] Over three months of riding,
Connor had become a new man.
He had come to embrace
the adventure itself,
not just the journey or the project.
He was confident, self-sufficient,
comfortable and more fit
as we crossed up through
Oregon and into the Pacific Northwest.
We took a day off and rested in Portland
and enjoyed the city.
(friendly chatter)
The two of us biked another 700 miles
and lived life on the road to the fullest.
(tunnel echos)
And in what some way seemed
like the blink of an eye,
we had crossed the
country by our own power
and were looking at the
waters of the Pacific.
(high five slaps)
- Again
(high five slaps)
(high five slaps)
Get more jazzed, dude. Look at this!
- [Connor] I am jazzed! This is me jazzed!
- This isn't you jazzed.
There were a lot of factors
weighing his final decision:
girlfriend, family,
exhaustion, and homesickness,
but it was time for him to make a choice.
Connor had already come 3,300 miles
with over 3000 more to go.
In the end, I'll never
know exactly why he left,
but I respected his decision.
He'd come to battle
some of his own demons,
and I'd like to believe he'd won.
Ahead of me lay 3000
miles of Canadian North.
And from here on out,
I'd be bicycling solo.
(bicycle skids)
(dogs bark)
- Hey guys, my name is Peter Garafolo.
I'm a filmmaker from
the Washington DC area.
And this is my first vlog...
- [Chandler] In Connor's place,
my friend Peter would come out
and help document the
last part of the journey.
- on my way to join Chandler Wild..
- Nice.
(indistinct conversation)
- Yeah.
- [Chandler] Homer's as
far as west as you can go,
and then it's a short jump over an inlet
and then the peninsula
kind of continues out
and there's a spit of land
that's there in the states,
and they have this board that
allows you to like petition
to name a non-named geographic feature.
Deep in British Columbia,
I came across Jonathan,
a farmer who is self-sustaining
and in deep mountain valley.
I traded farm chores for food and shelter.
There's some.
(ax cracks)
The sledgehammer hit my
finger with full force.
I didn't know if I was hurt badly,
but there was no going back.
Not now.
(peaceful folk music)
I hear way down in New Orleans
They heal suffering
And take away disease
It will all evaporate from your soul
I haven't seen it
But I've been told
Put all our sorrow in a tune
Hum it softly
And call it blue
Clap your hands and raise your head
Bring your spirit down
To St. James' bed
Oh my sweet friend
We're all going
Down to the river's end
And wash our dirty hands clean
In the songs of
Our lonely ghost's release
All those street lights
that burn so bright
Will watch over us
And keep us through the night
And place your heart over hand
It's our gospel
And you're my hymn
Going to feel that fire
Going to feel that fire inside
Let it burn us up
Burn us white
Oh my sweet friend
Ain't you coming
Down to the river's end
And wash ourselves so clean
In the memories
We find in those streets
Hmmmm mmmmm
Hmmmm mmmmm
Hmmmm mmmmm
Hmmmm mmmmm
Oh my sweet friend
Ain't you coming
Down to the river's end
(water rushes)
- [Doctor] I'd like to present that,
Is it, that we're at some sort of junction
and there's three paths, okay?
There's repair, reconstruction, salvage
were the three paths we talked about.
We're already two and
a half weeks into it.
And so if we're going to
try to do that first path,
the repair path, boy, we
got to get right on it.
Now, the second path
is called reconstruction.
The reconstructive procedure in this case
would be an osteotomy.
That's where the bone is healed so much,
you can't scrape it out,
but you could cut it and
you cut it with a saw.
We have clever little
saws that will cut things.
And then you move the piece
where you want it to be
and you clamp it in
place, put some screws in.
There are some problems that we have
that have no backup plan, okay?
And if you get screwy
then you lose stuff, okay?
- [Chandler] I made the
choice to keep going.
My finger would have to wait,
even if it meant permanent damage.
(pot clatters)
Damn it!
The journey was wearing on me,
not just physically,
but the mental battle of riding solo
for so long was weighing me down.
(soulful bluegrass music)
If I was going to make it
to the top of that mountain,
I needed help.
Four years before this ride,
Jared and I had met on the road.
We've remained close friends,
taking a bike trip together
every couple of years.
As soon as he heard I was struggling,
he jumped on a plane to come join me.
He had also lost someone close,
his mom 10 years before,
and connected to what I
was trying to do for you.
Another friend and my editor, Kevin,
would join us for the final stretch.
Like Connor before him,
this was also his first backpacking trip.
Up high like that, and then down.
(fire crackles)
(indistinct conversation)
(crackling continues)
(music continues)
(conversations continue)
Hm.. hm.. hm!
Ding, ding, ding!
- Oh, we go through Happy Valley tomorrow.
- The end was near.
After five months of riding,
we were one day away from
taking the last pedal.
Hmmmm, mmmm
Hmmmm, mmmm
Hmmmm, mmmm
I'm on my way
Yes, I'm on my way
Hmmmm, mmmm
I'm on my way
- Congratulations, brother.
Then, just like that, Dad,
there was no more road.
- Well, after a very full day
of hiking and camp chores and children,
I won't have any problem
at all sleeping tonight.
- I dipped my tires in the
waters of the Pacific.
I had bridged North America, by road.
(water splashes)
My ride may have been over,
but the mountains still remained,
looming across the bay, calling.
(lively chatter)
- [Female Voice] We provide
company and conversation.
- [Male Voice] No, these are getting
sauteed and tossed into
the veggies, so like..
- [Chandler] Some locals invited
us over for a salmon feast.
- [Female Voice] No,
we're not hibernating.
- [Chandler] And showed us what an
Alaskan Friday night was all about.
- [Male Voice] You got four buddy.
You're going to get four shots.
Jordan gets three.
Julie gets three.
We're good. Yup.
- This is going to be bad.
(gun fires)
(shots continue)
- Leftie!
- Yeah, hell yeah!
- Leftie!
(boat engine rumbling)
- We had chartered a boat
to take us across the bay
to the base of the range.
Your mountain was two miles inland.
Just close enough that
I was planning on it
being a nice, easy walk to the top.
(rain patters)
So that's us right there.
What we're looking for is a creek
which I think is...
the other thing, the creek might be the...
might have the most we'll have
to bushwhack through as well.
The plan was to take two
days to get to the top.
- The creek is just a
good frame of reference
because it takes us..
So we can get like a gist of where we are.
I'd recommend a sleeves down guys.
It's about to got to get spiky.
The dense underbrush was
extremely difficult to move through.
The majority of the plants
were lined with thorns,
making walking even more difficult.
By the end of day one, we had
made very little progress.
I had not prepared for this.
I had never wanted a machete more.
(soft spiritual music)
(branches snapping)
Are you ready to sleep
in the tent tonight?
- First time ever. First tent.
- [Chandler] Yeah!
(indistinct conversation)
Here's the thing -
I'm going to need you to
come right now to Alaska.
We're going to walk through the bush.
All right, let's do this!
- Somehow missed a river that
we were trying to get to,
to fill up water... so
we have no more water.
We have a little bit.
Right now, we're actually
collecting rainwater
because it just never stops raining here.
I've been sick as a dog all day,
but I think I'll be better tomorrow.
I hope.
- [Chandler] Behind us
is as Jakolof Bay, right?
We should be heading,
trying to head due south.
- [Chandler] It became clear very quickly
that I had chosen the wrong way up.
(leaves rustling)
(branches snapping)
The slope became too steep
and the undergrowth too thick.
There was no choice except
go down to where we started.
I cannot conceptualize
not getting up there,
but at the same time,
it's becoming very much the
reality of the situation.
Now I was becoming worried about time.
We had a plane picking us up
from the opposite side of the mountain
on the morning of day six.
The game plan was to
attempt another approach.
This time starting from the
north and heading south.
We found a bear trail that cut through
some of the thicker underbrush
and followed it straight up
the front of the mountain.
- We need a very specific
climate situation here.
- Starting to get cold and breezy.
Getting above tree line.
- [Chandler] By the end of the day,
we had made it a good ways up
and were set to make it to
the top early the next day.
What had started as a crazy dream
was somehow becoming a reality.
- No, I kinda want to push
past this brushy stuff,
get out in a little more open.
At least find some water, you know?
- We've gotta keep our composure!
- [Chandler] That's a big pile of poo.
Because we were following their
trail, the bears were out.
So we hung our bags out of their reach.
I think we're the only ones
crazy enough to be up here.
So this is kind of our view.
We were primed to finish the
journey on a beautiful day.
(rain patters)
A drizzle became a downpour
and stopped any attempt
we were making at the top.
When we heard thunder, it was
time to rush back to camp,
which was incredibly hard to do.
(rain continues)
It was pouring down rain today.
We were on the verge of
hypothermia, 40 degrees.
Couldn't make it to the
top of the first peak
to get to Lawrence.
Game plan tomorrow,
wake up, attempt to do it again,
but, we need a day and a half to get down.
I've come all this way.
And then literally at the,
not even the foot or like the base,
but like at the end of summit, you know?
It's not like a - this
isn't Mount Everest.
This isn't some crazy technical mountain,
but it's still, you know,
the weather is just terrible.
- I don't think I had any
indication from the beginning
that it would necessarily be easy.
- [Chandler] Tomorrow's day five,
which means tomorrow is
the last chance we have
to get to the top.
- Oh wait, we didn't
actually filter, did we?
- Want to do it?
- Today is the day!
- Let's do it.
(peaceful music)
- [Chandler] The weather
had cleared up enough
for us to push to the top
End of the road.
Right there, you see it?
Hmmmm, mmmm
Hmmmm, mmmm
Let's do it!
Hmmmm, mmmm
Hmmmm, mmmm
(rain patters)
(wind gusts)
This is it, huh?
The storm's about to fucking kick our ass.
The storm's about to wreck us up.
We got maybe, what? Two more minutes here?
I wish, I mean, honestly I wish I felt
something more euphoric, you know?
Something, some kind of like
end of the rainbow moment,
but I feel accomplished, I feel -
I feel accomplished, I
feel like I did something,
but, that's the thing, I don't know.
I don't know how my dad would feel.
I don't know how...
I dunno.
It's something I've been
like, trying to figure out.
I know I was hoping standing up here,
kind of on top of the world.
Yeah. I just feel like
there's something else to,
I don't know, I was
hoping like right here,
it would be a break in the clouds moment.
You know, literally an answer
to a question.
(rain continues)
- I'll take this little
sprinkle and enjoy the fact
that there are no bugs hovering
around our faces right now.
- That's pretty awesome right there.
(playful banter)
(engine rumbles)
- So, we left the mountain.
The place where I thought I'd find you,
and had spent six months working towards,
which left me wondering -
if not there, where was
I going to find you?
(contemplative music)
The question ran through my mind,
as I said goodbye to Jared,
as he boarded a plane back east.
And as I went under the knife
to try and salvage my finger.
(music continues)
And I kept repeating the
question over and over
as the 6,700 miles of concrete
flew under me in a car.
I looked for something along
the road to give me an answer,
but I found none.
I settled back into New
York and resumed my life.
My quest unfulfilled.
(music continues)
And dark days will come
Face it right away
Face it head on
There are few things this
world could never take
The loyalty of a dog and his prey
And I lie down for you
And kept you home
And kept you true
take it slow
- [Chandler] Still lost,
I went to the only place
I could still find you.
I sorted through hours
and hours of home video,
looking for something, anything,
to make sense out of the
past six months of my life.
Among that footage, I saw a
pattern starting to emerge.
I had imagined my ride to be a solo one,
and the journey my own.
But after looking at all
those home videos, Dad,
I was struck that none of
them were of you alone,
in all of them, you were
taking people out there.
Never once did you venture
out there just for yourself.
You knew what outdoor
adventure had given you,
and you wanted to share that.
For you, the most important thing
was about sharing that journey.
(uplifting music)
You weren't waiting for
me on top of that mountain
to show me an answer.
You were with me the whole journey,
showing me it was about
the people I was with.
Connor is busy since he returned,
except now, he's the one leading.
- [Luke] These might not
even be like real memories.
I remember my knee coming up,
floating up out of the water
and seeing it for the first time,
like somebody had just
smashed it with a hammer.
What's, you know, what's
going on? How can we fix it?
All right, my knees busted.
- [Chandler] Thankfully,
after extensive rehab,
Luke healed his knee.
- I'll make it out of
here, it's gonna be fine.
I was floatin' dude! And
she came back, she's like
"you're okay, you're okay!"
Cause you're supposed
to like, tap your head,
when you're in the water to let
the guides know you're okay.
She was trying to get me to tap my head,
she was like, "you're okay, you're okay"
And I go, "No! No, not okay!"
And she - I remember the look on her face.
I mean, we'd been talking
about taking a trip like this
for half a decade,
and been talking about this specific trip
for like two years.
And dude, I wouldn't change anything
about what happened at all.
I mean, I still feel like we need to go
and take another trip as soon as we can.
Like, we got to get out of the city.
We need to go and do something.
- [Chandler] Jared and I
are planning our next trek already
because with him, there will
always be another adventure.
In life and adventure,
Mom showed me the ropes as much as you.
Sharing that gift as a family
with Mom, Annie and Lizzie
is one of the more special things we do.
Cause I've been swinging from limbs
Since I was just three
Cause I've been swinging from limbs
Since I was just three
- Peter, Kevin and Scott, my producers,
all joined to help me tell this story.
Our work and adventures have only begun
at the end of the road.
Ooooh, ooooh, ooooh
Ooooh, ooooh, ooooh
And I'll be wading in the water
When the world is tumbling down
And I'll be wading in the water
When the world is tumbling down
I'll be singin'
When the rest have lost their sound
I'll be singin' loud
When the rest have lost their sound
You lost your battle with depression,
but I see now how adventuring
in the outdoors helped you
battle your sickness
for as long as you did.
Remembering you wasn't
about naming that mountain,
remembering you was about
sharing what you held so dear
and had helped you so much.
It was about sharing that adventure
and it is about sharing your journey.
So that's what I'm going to do, Dad.
For you.
Ooooh, ooooh, ooooh
- Well, the trip's over,
we did make it back,
and just like Judy,
very proud of the kids,
all of us for doing it.
It's definitely the most ambitious
family event project
that we've done before,
so we're expanding the
envelope, our horizons,
doing trips like this.
I think it's been a real big
learning experience for the kids,
and I think it's something
that'll carry over
to them for other things they do in life.
They know they've done
something this ambitious,
they can conquer other worlds.
All that seriousness aside, I
think they did have fun seeing
all the outdoors and all the
little critters they did.
So long, Peter. Thank you very much.
(uplifting bluegrass music)
Our hearts our racing,
let's go chase them down
My blood is pumping one
hundred miles an hour
All these bruises
Just a reason, there's
no turning back for me
Honey we can, finally
let our wild run free
Let our wild run free
Baby we're wasting,
that don't matter now
Was too young enough,
not to give a damn anyhow
Let them throw their,
expectations to the dogs
Then our blood on sway,
honey written on the wall
Written on the wall
Your loveless words are
Just a reason there's
no turning back for you
Don't you wanna see just
what this love can do?
Don't you wanna see just
what trouble we can get into?
(harmonica sings)
(We can get into)
Our hearts our racing,
let's go chase them down
We're looking for an excuse
to get out of this town