Logan Hester - Honorary Gunner Abroad
Right now, somewhere along the more than 2,000 miles of Vietnamese coastline is a worn-out bike carrying an exhausted man with an insatiable appetite for adventure. And food.
At the delicate age of 25, Logan Hester, a self-described “restless, sojourning chef on the road in Vietnam with a healthy appetite,” took off from his life as a husband and chef at upscale OKC-based restaurant Mary Eddy’s to deepen and develop his culinary knowledge out East. At least that’s the reason provided on his GoFundMe page.
But this is the thing about people who perpetually insist on self-improvement: They never seem to be satisfied. Logan, being a true embodiment of this spirit, insisted on undertaking his culinary quest via bicycle. And the magnitude of his commitment is staggering.
In his first two months in Vietnam, Logan has poured sweat over 2,000 km of questionable Vietnamese pavement on his bike. This is a distance that, even if traveled by car, would be enough to make even the most seasoned road-tripper squirm.
To put it in perspective, that’s the distance from Oklahoma City to Dallas. And back. FOUR TIMES. That’s the distance from Oklahoma City all the way to San Francisco. And he’s not even halfway through.
There are a lot of words that describe Logan: insatiable, voracious, fearless, dedicated, maybe even crazy. His current pursuit might be for the skills of a great chef. These are skills he’ll soon have. What’s truly remarkable, though, is the pursuit itself – and the personality that demands it. This is the quality that makes us proud to celebrate him as a member of Team Staplegun. He demands better of his food, but more importantly, himself.
So while he was wandering the streets of Vietnam, amid the incessant beeping of motorbikes and cackling haggles of street vendors, I snagged a few minutes of his time for a quick conversation:
Q: Tell me about your time in Vietnam. What're you doing there?
A: Well, I came to Vietnam to cook and learn more about the food. I figured that it would be a good way to fit in some cycling, so I have been riding from Hanoi. I will ride for a couple days to get to a new region, then work for a week or two, learning the regional differences in cuisine. So far I have been here for two months and cycled around 2,000 km.
Q: Incredible. How does it feel representing team Staplegun in Vietnam?
A: Sorry! I just had a motorbike run into me. I would say I'm by far the best representative in Vietnam. I wear the cycling kit for long days on the bike, and I have an SG T-shirt that is one of three that I still have with me. I end up talking a lot about it. It also makes it easy for people from Oklahoma (or who are Thunder fans) to strike up a conversation. It is comforting to know they are looking out for me and motivating me to be a better person – both on and off the bike.
Q: Wait, you just had a motorbike run into you just now?
A: Lol just another day trying to cross the street. All good.
Q: So what other travel plans are in your future?
A: Well, I’m looking to settle into Saigon and cook for two to three months. Then I have a job lined up in Bangkok in March. That means cycling across Cambodia, so I'm hoping to see Angkor Wat.
Q: And after that?
A: I'm looking forward to bringing back to OKC what I am learning, and I’m looking forward to another season cycling with TSG.
Cheers, Logan. So are we. When you get back, the next round’s on us. Just get home safe!