Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Trip Breakdown

In the summer of 2008 a group of Silk Road alumni and several others took a magnificent trip up through British Columbia, heading north to Whistler then east through the Monashee and Selkirk mountain ranges. Before the trip was over we concluded that we needed a plan for the next year. That plan was to ride our motorcycles from Antelope Wells on the Mexican border north along the Continental Divide to Canada. For me this would be the first part of a trifecta to be completed within the next year and a half. The second ride will be from the Mexican border to the tip of South America, Tierra del Fuego (approximately 8000 miles). The third leg of the journey will begin in Montana and head north to Alaska as far as we can go on the Dempster Highway – we hope to end at Prudhoe Bay.

On our current journey, which began on June 1, our group consists of:

- Joe Laumer from Seattle, a Silk Road alumnus – the brains and the titular organizer
- Roger Hansen, another Silk Road alumnus known for tearing the panniers off other motorcycles by passing too closely
- Pete Pawluk, also a Silk Road alumnus whose profession is pig veterinarian – when he coughs, we pay attention
- Steve Pawluk, experienced at adventure motorcycling and an air traffic controller in Canada
- Frank Floyd from Cleveland and a newcomer to adventure motorcycling – but not to adventure – one of his hobbies is flying helicopters
- Gerry Goertzen also from Cleveland is an experienced motocrosser but a newcomer to adventure motorcycling – Gerry works with JB Ritchie at Invacare and we will rely on him for on-the-fly engineering repairs
- And me – Dan Moore

Day 1 – Getting there and setting up –Several members of the group rode their bikes to our meeting point in Tucson, four of us shipped our bikes. The plan is to drive the 250 miles from Tucson to Antelope Wells and then head north.

The arrival was exciting – I had talked with several Silk Road Alumni about this trip. Linda and Mike expressed regret at their inability to join us on this ride and their need to remain in North Carolina. Upon arriving at the Tucson airport, to my complete bewilderment and surprise, Linda and Mike met us.

At baggage claim, everyone was able to claim their bags but me - - my bag had been sent to Seattle with someone else’s name on the claim ticket.

Saturday night we had dinner and Mike and Linda presented Peter, the pig veterinarian, with a present so that he wouldn’t have to sleep alone.

On our departure day, my bag had still not arrived and my calls to United Airlines were in vain. On one call, I spoke with a nice fellow from India named Muhit who assured me his team would find my bag. This was a brave promise on his end, having no idea what was happening back in the US; Seattle wouldn’t answer their phones.

Still awaiting my bag, but at my insistence the group has gone ahead without me. I will meet up with them somewhere north of the Mexican border in the dessert. We will communicate with Sat phones.

They departed with a flourish!

There is a story about a traveler who stops at the United check-in and says “I would like this bag to go to New York, this one to Chicago and this one to Seattle.” The attendant says “I’m sorry, we don’t do that.” The traveler responds “Well, last week you did!”

Linda and Mike have returned to North Carolina - - and I am still awaiting my bag….


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  2. Home Run Blog! On-the-scene pictures lead us right into the spirit of this adventure. Looking forward to pictures of other local animals you see along the way. Pete's Pig and Linda & Mike are a great start! (Cheers to you, Linda & Mike, for your unforgettable, hilarious surprise!)

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