Amanda Zito begins her dream ride, an 8,000-mile loop of the US.

Ever since I got on two wheels—I'm talking my childhood Mongoose mountain bike, long before I had a driver's license—I've dreamed of taking a trip across the US. So far I haven't gotten around to actually doing it. Amanda Zito, a.k.a. As the Magpie Flies, has beaten me to it, recently completing an 8,000-mile motorcycle trip from her home in Portland, Oregon, to the east coast and back. This is part one of her journey.

Amanda took this trip in August, encountering 111-degree heat in Oregon. Naturally, this required a stop for ice cream. Wouldn't you? She continued on to her intended destination of free camping in Washington, only to find it was only free if you already had a pass. She found her way to Forest Boundary Campground just south of Pomeroy, setting up camp in the dark. Amanda took what could have been a stressful ordeal in stride and made do as best she could. "Just gotta roll with the punches," she says. That's a great attitude to have on a trip like this.

Badlands National Park
Coming attractions.

The adventure continues over highways, superslab, and dirt roads to her family's farm in Corvallis, Montana. Here she spends a little more time than she'd planned due to a miscommunication about timing with her brother. They planned to ride together out to Badlands National Park in South Dakota, but he didn't take the days off work she thought he would. So she waited up for him (missing riding through thunderstorms in the process), caught up with family, and did some motorcycle maintenance.

If you've already been following As The Magpie Flies on YouTube, Amanda has seriously upped her cinematography game since previous videos, which were already quite well done. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the trip once it gets truly underway, with more adventures and a few special guest star YouTubers she meets along the way.