It’s been a month since my initial post. Hectic and educational best describe the past few weeks. I thought I’d fill ya’ll in on what’s been going on:
I’ve been working part time at Jetboil wrapping up projects and preparing for a smooth transition. On the off days, I’ve been wrenching at Naults Suzuki. The guys at Naults have been super helpful and patient putting up with my thousands of questions. We’ve been doing everything from simple carburetor cleanings to complete engine rebuilds and everything in between such as changing tires, adjusting chain tension, installing brake pads, oil changes, and checking valve clearance. I even had the opportunity to hotwire a bike’s ignition. You never know when that could come in handy… It’s been great to work beside talented mechanics and observe their problem solving approach. Thanks Kevin, Paul, Shawn, Mike, and Herb!
After putting the word out about my trip, many folks have generously offered to donate gear. Thanks to Jetboil for the brand spankin’ new PCS Flash. Thanks to Lonely Planet for the wealth of reading material! The country specific books have been very helpful for planning. Although I won’t be able to take this library of books with me, I will carry along Central & South America on a Shoestring and the handy Spanish phrase book. Thanks to Clif Bar for the 15 boxes of bars! After devouring “product testing” numerous bars, I’ve found a few that I’ll take with me as emergency rations. Thanks to Burt’s Bees for the sunscreen, insect repellent, lip balm, and all-in-one wash! Thanks to NEMO for the prototype tent! Pictures will come soon, but let me tell you, this is one slick tent. Thanks to BMW and KTM for their generous offers of a brand new adventure touring motorcycle but I think i’ll stick with my KLR, El Burro. OK, so maybe that last one is a bit of a stretch…
I also have to give a big thanks to the folks at ADVrider and Horizons Unlimited. Thanks for all your advice and support. A special thanks goes out to Dave G. who did a similar ride last year (Texas to TDF). If you’re interested in going back to the future to see what’s in store for my ride, check out his blog www.AllTheWaySouth.com. Thanks for all the advice from your first hand experience!
I’ve picked up an international drivers license on the black market from AAA, opened up a second bank account (incase I have a problem with one), scanned all of my important documents (for when they are lost/stolen), and photoshopped the the expiration date on my registration (I tried to renew before I depart but apparently it’s too early for that). My arms were turned into pin cushions as I received immunizations for Rabies, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Yellow Fever, and Tetanus. I purchased a slew of malaria pills and have just about had it reading the fine prints of insurance plans. It’s amazing how many will not cover riding a motorcycle… But I’ve found a plan and am hoping that I never have to cash it in.
In a few days I’m flying out to visit with friends, go rock climbing, and attend weddings around the States. I’ll be back in early October to put on the final touches and then head out on the road!