Today I woke a little later than usual. I didn't have anywhere to go and had already decided it was going to be a down day for me. I cooked some oatmeal and tea and relaxed as I had breakfast. It was pretty nice out, but I could see the clouds closing in. A few other riders were going out for short (or long?) rides before the sessions started in the afternoon. I sealed up my gear and my tent and got my laptop and went into the lodge. I updated some ride reports and talked with a few other travelers.
I had a particularly good conversation with rtwpaul. He's currently headed to Ontario for the HU meeting and then will be going to Guatemala sometime in early October for four weeks of Spanish language school. Sounds pretty good! I enjoyed meeting Paul and hope to run into him again. He's been giving me a lot of grief about my packing! He pretty much epitomizes minimalist packing. He fits all his kit into his Jesse panniers and has no top box and only two Rotopax on a rack behind his seat, with no other bag on back. Conversely, I have about ten times more shit than I need!!
This photo is a DR650 that one of the attendees brought with him. It's all customized. He bought the forks from a guy online for only $150!!
It's pretty nicely set up, but that top box looks pretty big... even to me! My buddy Bart had a DR650 similar to this, but not as kitted out. He traded a guy straight across for a DRZ400 that he now uses for off road. I thought he'd like to see this one.
The sessions all started in the afternoon. One of the better ones was a panel discussion with four guys who have all been to Central & South America. Discussions revolved around border crossings, trouble spots, medical issues, emergency services, etc. All good stuff.
This is Jay. He and his wife, Mercedes, took their 13 year old son out of school in Calgary and went on a one year trip around North, Central, & South America. He was relating all kinds of funny anecdotes about their trip. Pretty exciting stuff, actually!
This sessions is all about using GPS outside the US. Peter has been to Central America and Mexico a couple of times.
It rained a few times while we were in sessions.
Sessions went on into the evening. One of the most interesting and bizarre was from an Australian guy. He and his Filipino wife went on the road with a 9 month old daughter and were out for ten years riding all over the world on a BMW R80GS with a side car. Really amazing stories about sneaking into Tibet, riding through India, being robbed in England, riding into 1980's Afghanistan, being in war torn west Africa during the late 1980s. Crazy stuff. Beyond crazy.
Sessions went right to midnight and then I pretty much went to my tent and crashed.