BORDER RUN by Justin Chatwin

Dear Filson,


Thank you for defining and redefining the Adventurous American man.  Not only do I wear your jacket and carry your duffel from my motorcycle to the hotel room, but I have also slept, swam, and rolled in the dirt of east Texas and your garment gets even better looking.  Filson is strictly for the man who's okay with wearing the same thing for 10 days straight.  We did four.


My friend and I, ruffians at heart, threw some long johns and baby powder (don't ask) into our Filson rucksacks, saddled up on our metal steeds (named Charlie Crowe and Bobby Valentine after former strippers) to cover 1800 miles in 3 days.   Looking not unlike the Olsen twins in our matching trucker jackets, we set forth on highway 8 to Tuscon, AZ. Within 4 hours,  we had passed black smoke burning from bizzare Salton Sea canyons, my rear light had melted off from the heat, and my friend had baby barfed in his helmet.  We were free at last..  Gods Country. The western States border run.  


The next day and 600 miles later, we awoke from the grueling ride feeling more like we had spent the night in Tucson prison rather than the Congress hotel.  And so began to charge across America playing outlaw in our heads with Charlie and Bobby as we rode through golden fields and the historical towns of Tombstone, AZ (Don't stop, just rent the movie) and Bisbee, AZ (stop, there is no movie, and its the cutest town in AZ). We passed through the site where Geronimo surrendered and into Mexican Border Patrol territory.  We hung a right onto a little road called hwy 9 near the New Mexico border to get gas. A little woman was closing the gas station,  "what you boys doing on this road?"

"Just getting some gas"

"glad you caught me because we close early here." It was 4:45. "Nothing but trouble on this road boys."

"How far is it to El Paso?"

"Bout 3 hours.  Nothing but border patrol and drug cartels on this road after dusk". 

We sobered up from playing outlaw real quick when at sundown in a little town called Columbus.  Not only was the towns water tank matte black but also the Chevy Yukons with shiny big rims that began to do laps around the block, eyeing both Charlie and Bobby.  We escaped out of there so fast, our bikes began to spit up oil.  Fear, the great motivator.  Hell Paso, the taint of America.


The next day in Marfa a tiny cactus thorn and a flat tire set us back.  But a goat farmer named Alan Mclain and an old bearded harley enthusiast named Moondog (need I say more) set us forward.  Two great men with a few missing teeth who dedicate their later years simply to the service of others. Not only did they have a spare tube that fit Bobby valentines tire but we also got 3 cans of goat cheese, a lesson in changing a motorcycle tire, and a 45 minute ride moondogs f-350 where he blasted his new collection of Tiesto.  Very unexpected.  


Our last day, we took the advice of two Mexicans Harley owners named Pedro by following the low road into Ausin.  Although the flat slowed us down, a 30 mile patch out running a highway patrol sped us up.  No need to say more.  


On a four day trip from Los Angeles to austin I had one of my two filson waxed jackets, couple long johns and a few pair of undies.  All in one small duffel.  We looked good, you could see the dirt on our faces and bugs caked into our waxed filsons.   We felt like we were truly living. Truly present.  Felt free.  Felt like men.   Outlaws on the run from nothing at all except our own personal responsibilities.  In the end, my girlfriend wouldn't touch me with my jacket on because of the things I had caught in it along the way.  A jackets like a bike.  Every trip, every tear, every dent has a story.


Nick baby barfed again this time for 5 minutes and this time from sheer exhuastion.  But we were alive as we rolled into South by Southwest and raved to Justin Timberlake till 5am.  Moondog would have been proud.


Filson's a brand with history. American-made, with a story, an adventure whether it's fishing, camping, or motorcycling Filson defines the American man. I've ran over my waxed Filson jacket with my motorcycle, slept on it in Africa, Denver, Alaska, and many strange womens houses.  From the black smoke of the Salton Sea to the vast skies of Marfa and and the back seat of Moondog's truck, Filson is more American than America. 





Justin Chatwin


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