Welcome Home

Welcome Home

Amber and I braved the rush hour traffic into Boston. A ride that usually takes 45 minutes took 2 hours! Obeying traffic laws and being stuck in traffic was torture – get me back on that bike! First stop: American Airlines Cargo warehouse. I grabbed my paperwork and then was told I needed to go to customs for some stamps (stamps??? I thought I left Central America). The best part is that the customs office is downtown. I paid my tolls to leave the airport, headed downtown and was greeted by a customs officer with no personality. He was a bit confused why I was shipping a US registered bike from Argentina to the States. “If you did any offroading, the bike will need to be cleaned and fumigated at your expense. Did you do any offroading?” he asked me. I answered “Nope, always on the pavement” (wink wink). 30 minutes later I got my stamps and headed back to the airport. Despite the fact that I was told I’d not have to pay anything when picking the bike up in Boston I still had to pay a $30 fee (that apparently all shipments are charged). Here’s the guys bringing the bike.

Bike Return 002

Loading the bike onto the trailer.

Bike Return 008

With the bike back home it was unloaded and reassembled hassle free.

Bike Return 016

I guess it’s time to quit moving around because I’ve run out of pages in my passport. At the end the border officials started stamping over old stamps. Here are just a few.

 Passport Stamps 002

Passport Stamps 005

Passport Stamps 008

Passport Stamps 009 

Once I had the bike back up and running I met up with my friend, photographer Sid Ceaser for a post trip portrait session. You might remember the photos that Sid took just a few days before my trip started 6 months ago. Sid is a master with light and created some wonderful images. Here are a few “Before & After” photos with a few other tossed in the mix.

(1) Before:

Portrait 6

(1) After:

Post 1

(2) Before:

Portrait 3

(2) After:

Post 4

(3) Before:

Portrait 4

(3) After:

Post 5

A Few More Photos.

Post 7

Post 2

Post 6

Post 3

And of course after five and a half months without a hair cut or a shave it was time to get cleaned up a bit. (Click here if video doesn’t work)

It’s been strange getting re-adjusted to “normal life” again. It’s great to see my friends and family but the adventure meter drops to zero. And what happened to all the Spanish? English… that’s no fun. I keep putting the TP into the waste basket and when I do remember to put it into the toilet I feel like I’m doing something naughty. I find it strange that all bathrooms are stocked with toilet paper and have toilet seats. I look at my closet full of clothes and I just want to wear the same shirt and pants I’ve been wearing for the last 6 months. I pulled up to the gas station and waited around for someone to pump my gas, sadly there was no attendant. Credit cards are now accepted everywhere (even when I paid the shipping agency to ship my bike home they made me pay in cash – to a bank down the street…). I went to a restaurant at home and they had 20 different kinds of turkey dishes – I’m used to walking in and asking what they have. They say chicken. I say “OK, I’ll have the chicken” nuff said. It’s a strange new world…

Charles and I have been keeping in touch since parting ways in Ecuador. He’s been rolling south and having a wonderful journey. Then he sends me this photo… In Quellon, Chile he got in an accident. Charles has no memory before the crash (or even for a while thereafter) but based on eyewitnesses he thinks he had a mechanical failure and lost control. Fortunately(?) for him he crashed into a fire truck. He broke 3 vertebrae, and twisted up his ankles, wrists, and knees. With a broken back he somehow managed to remove the tank bag, save only half of his camera’s memory cards, camping gear, and his passport. His other belongings, as well as the bike, were complete incinerated. His story made the front pages of both the local newspapers. Charles then spent 8 days in a Chilean hospital before returning home to Colorado. He’s doing well and studying to take the Bar exam this summer. Get well buddy!

Charles Inferno

Zoomed In… (For Sale: KTM 640 Adventure – light smoke damage)

Charles Inferno

I’ve really enjoyed sharing my story with you all. Thanks to everyone who followed along and for all the comments.

Until the next adventure…

Categories: United States | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Welcome Home

  1. Whoa – glad to hear Charles is okay.

    In your after photos, you look like Thoreau after joining a bike gang. Which seems about right.

  2. Wow! i can’t believe what happened to Charles. Glad he is ok and home, same for you Benny!

    -Marty

  3. Wade

    <>

    I sold the 640 to Charles, had a brief chat with him. Sounds like he is recovering well.
    I have great sadness seeing the 640 burning up. She was an awesome bike!

    Glad your trip ended well.

  4. Wade

    Any chance you could send me higher res versions of my ex-bike at the end of its life?

  5. igor

    Hey Ben,

    Congrats on completion of your trip. It’s scary what happened to Charles, but glad to hear that he’s doing fine. How much did you pay for shipping your bike?

  6. Haley

    Oh my god, poor Charles. What a horrible picture. Glad to hear he’s recovering.

    Love the shaving video, very Benny.

  7. D. Zube

    Hey Ben!
    It’s unfortunate now that I’ll have to spend my lunch breaks here at the lab reading something a lot less exciting than the latest “A Few More Miles” post. I’m glad to see that you’ve made it back safely and with plenty of awesome stories! Where in Colorado is Charles from? Thank God he managed to survive that horrible accident.

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