You're here for a good time, not for a long time.

You're here for a good time, not a long time.

October 3, 2011

A Different Trip

October 2nd marked six months on the road for Alex and me.  It’s a miraculous feat that we made it this far.  And it really hasn’t been easy in distant memory given multiple accidents, constant mechanical failures, and a near kidnapping.  It certainly hasn’t weakened my resolve to keep going, but the fairy tale ride we imagined has been much more a battle than I planned. 

No more fitting for this stage is another bad draw for Alex.  He was in Ecuador two days away from Lima when a sixty year-old drunk man stepped into his lane.  Al was doing 50mph and the impact sounds pretty grizzly.  The old man is alive with critical injuries.  Alex escaped with a fractured collar bone.  And the bike needs work too.  A more detailed account is on Alex’s blog.  It’s a lot to take in for me and I can’t imagine what it means to Alex.  He’ll need about two weeks to clean up all the loose ends up there.  He sounds positive, but there’s been plenty of talk of sending the bike home.  Who can blame him?

Sending the bike home means I continue indefinitely with Charlie or whoever along the way.  It’s just strange to imagine Alex off the road.  Sending the bike home doesn’t mean he can’t continue; there are other means of transportation.  It’s just a prospect I never thought either of us would face.  I won’t continue because the real debate is starting on ADVrider right now.

A year ago October 1st is when I landed in Juneau, AK, the end of a very long and exciting twelve months.  Four months driving truck six days a week in -35F degrees followed by two months of trip preparation, skiing, weekend in Vegas and then six months on a motorcycle in Central and South America.  I’ve seen and experienced quite a range of life in one year.  Unbelievable.

So, looking forward now, there’s a lot on the way.  There’s still the November 15th deadline to be in Santiago to pick up mom.  Plenty of time, but it’s fast approaching.  I’m doing away with my Pelican case on the rear rack.  I bought a waterproof duffel bag here in Lima that can combine the case’s contents and the Sea-to-Summit bag’s into one.  I don’t really trust the waterproofing, so I bought a pack cover to put over it if need be.  It’s lighter than the pelican case, less hassle and it gives me an opportunity to use the Pacsafe I’ve been toting this whole time.  It was only $70 for the whole setup so if I’m not satisfied by Santiago I’ll have my mom bring down some Wolfman gear. 

It’s an exciting adjustment though because at the same time I’ll be shipping home a lot of volume and weight from Cusco.  I’ll be able to put all the weight where I want it and still have plenty of capacity for whatever comes along in the future.  I’m really excited to hop on the bike with the rebuilt suspension and a lot less weight.  It’s a welcome adjustment after all that destructive dirt.

Today we met an Australian girl at the hostel currently riding a Chinese bike.  It’s a shame she’s going north.  This ride has been a testicle festival for a while now. 

So after six months there have been a lot of blows but still remaining is plenty of opportunity.  I think in a week’s time the dust will settle on Al’s situation and we’ll have a clear plan on his future.  Sometime soon here Charlie and I need to put the armor back on and face the road again too.  I’ve got one thing on my mind right now: red wine and Argentinean steak.

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