September 22, 2012 by cleanwatt
It’s a Saturday night, and I’m set to depart Monday morning.
I’ve spent the last 5 months lazily preparing for this trip remotely while away with work. I say lazily, not due to lack of excitement, but the last thing I felt like doing after work was trying to learn Spanish, plan routes, research border crossings, and other tedious tasks.
So, I’ve intelligently decided to “wing” most of it. I have done a good amount of research about the important items such as safety, food, water, fuel, lodging, and how to order a beer without making an ass of myself. What I have excelled at is spending loads of money for my bike. I pity any person along the path of this trip who asks me about my bike and understands English. You’ve been properly warned of this now, and know that the majority of images I’m to post here will have my bike in the frame. With good reason though, it’s bloody awesome.
Here’s one for starters:
I’ll post more about my preparations in a permanent area of this blog for those of you interested in hearing what all I’ve done and am taking with me.
The first leg of the trip will have me riding from my parents house in Manhattan, IL to Hermosa Beach, CA where my cousin lives. Probably take 5-6 days cruising out West, which will give me a great opportunity to shake out my gear and packing. Very probable I’ll end up chucking some unneeded items out along the way. The amount of head scratching I did trying to figure out how many pairs of underwear to bring was stupid.
One of the many great things about this trip is my lack of a deadline. Without being granted an attached leave of absence, or sabbatical, I chose to leave my employer in order to pursue this dream. The down-side is, I don’t have a job waiting for me upon my return. Up-side, the only thing determining the length or direction of this trip is me.
That being said, there are two items so far demanding a respectable amount of progression Southward in the coming weeks. First being, in order to remedy my complete lack of Spanish, I’ve enrolled in a two week immersion course in Guanajuato, Mexico. So I need to be in mid Mexico by October 22nd to start that. The second time constraint is my means of bypassing the Darien Gap. A section of land with no means of passing through by any other than a hovercraft, armed with a selection of forest clearing tools, and weapons. The Darien Gap stretches for about 60 miles that is the border of Panama & Columbia, from the Pacific to the Caribbean, essentially cutting off Central & South America from each other. There have only been a couple motorized crossings, and those expedition teams have written books about the ordeal. So, I’ve happily booked myself & my bike on a boat to take me from Panama to Columbia, which will depart Panama December 8th.
I think this will do it for my first post. I’ll endeavor to update this site as much as I can muster, at the very least country by country. Thanks for tuning in.
Here is a little taste of climbing wind turbines. Wasn’t setting any records with Wyoming’s altitude, but you get the idea.
Here’s one more picture of my bike for good measure!
Questions & Suggestions are always welcome in addition to offered lodging along the way!