Losing someone close to you can be very difficult. But a sadness has hit me with the passing of a fellow adventure rider.Trying to get the Winter with just a little riding I find myself living the adventure through others by reading their reports and looking at their photos on the Adventure Rider forums.
Well, a few weeks ago I was following the Seattle to Argentina on a KLR650 post by OZYMANDIAS (Clayton). Clayton studied some books and made some preparations to take on this amazing trip. And the Adventure Rider community was waiting in anticipation to see his travels as he heads off in May, 2007.
Clayton made it to Mexico on May, 31st where a few hours outside Acapulco he was involved in an accident when a donkey ran out in the road in front of him. This left Clayton paralyzed from the chest down. He made it from the hospital in Mexico into the United States for long term treatment and rehab. In his own words he admits how difficult it is to deal with, knowing that he will never walk again. He was completely honest about this.
As the thread goes on we see how Clayton continues to heal from his injuries and begins law school in Nashville, Tennessee in August, 2007. This is when I became very proud of Clayton. Seeing this person who I’ve never met before go from riding from North America to South America, being injured and losing his ability to walk, yet heal enough to go on to law school! Things seem like there are going about as good as they could without seeing him stand up and start walking again.
This weekend I wanted to get my fix of ride reports and saw this forum post up at the top. I hit the last page and noticed something very wrong must have happened. I saw the words RIP. As I skim backwards through the posts I stumble across page 13 from February, 25th where a fellow rider posted that Clayton took his own life. Even though we may see a smile on someone’s face we may not be able to see the pain that is deep inside. Clayton, if you were still around I would have loved to meet you. God bless you.