Ok everyone, my name is alex and my good buddy andrew and I are headin to south america. we have a couple of DRZ 400s that we have torn apart and put back together with a ton of crap strapped to them. its day five now so you all have some catching up to do. if you have any questions about the bikes go to www.venturingsouth.com or check out andys thread venturing south on drzs. The weeks leading up to the beginning of the trip: So Ive quit my job and packed all of my things into boxes. I have paid my rent for the next six months but am not entirely sure weather I have a house to come home to when I get back. Luckily I have such great friends that if I dont have a place I know I will at least have a couch to sleep on. I borrowed a friends truck, thanks Ryan, and loaded my bike, along with three boxes of add ons and extras, to take to Andrews shop in Corvallis. We basically blasted through installing all the extra components in about a day and a half and had both bikes ready to go. Andrew had one week left before he would be done with work so I did the rounds visiting friends and family for a few days. On my way up to Portland to a friends house I crossed paths with my roommate in Ashland Kevin and we decided to go out to silver creek falls for a day hike with my little sister. Then on to Portland. My buddy forest and his girlfriend put me up on their couch for a few days while I was in Portland. It also happened to be his moms, who we used to terrorize as kids, birthday. Forest and his lovely mother My other friend Ryan lives just down the way so one afternoon I drove over to meet up and see if he was home. He was on his way to work but Brady was home so we decided to go check out OMSI in Portland. OMSI is a big awesome science museum right on the waterfront. They have an Imax theatre, a bunch of hands on science exibits and an old de-commisioned submarine. Brady in the captians chair. After OMSI we went down to visit Ryan at work. Ryan works at an awesome outdoor store in east Portland called Next Adventure so I figured I could probably use to do some shopping for the trip at the same time. This place is pretty awesome. There are three floors of anything an outdoor enthusiast can think of. Ryan hooked me up with his camelback steri-clean water bottle and a bunch of Next Adventure swag. One more night in Portland then I headed back to Albany to meet back up with Andrew. After a short weekend of wrapping up all the loose ends it was off to Ashland with two fully loaded DRZs in the back of a Toyota. After a day of partying in Ashland and saying goodbye to all my friends it was time to meet up with the guys who were giving us a ride to san Francisco. Day one: 1-16-13 We woke up early to meet these guys in the albertsons parking lot with our bikes. We responded to a craigslist ride share ad of this guys who had an empty 24 foot trailer he was pulling with a brand new diesel excursion. This was a pretty sweet set up he had with sattelite TV and all the luxuries. Except that there were only two tie down points inside the trailor. After some carefull decision making we came up with the best possible way to tie down two bikes, fully loaded, with only the two points. Then we hoped in the truck and off we went. Well appearently the combination of poor securing and poor driving got the best of the motorcycles. Half way to san francisco at a rest stop we opened the trailer to find Andrews motorcycle laying over with mine resting nicely on top. This wouldnt be a huge issue itself as nothing had broken or bent . The problem was the gasoline that poured out, filtering through his riding gear like a coffee filter before pooling in his boot. if you would like to see that photo check out andrews page. After resecuring the motorcycles it was back in the truck and back on the road. Since we were heading to my friend chriss parents house in walnut creek we asked to be droped off in Fairfield, as it was the closest point on the route. Then a short thirty mile ride and our first official ride of the trip. We got there safe, had some diner, and went to bed early. Day two: 1-17-13 I had a few errands to run early in the morning and got back to chriss parents house around 11am to find andrew ready to hit the road. We rode out through San Jose and cut over to the coast. The california coastal highway is an amazing place to ride! The road twists and turns along steep clifs, pounding surf, and breathtaking veiws. After passing a store we decided to pull off for some lunch. Seing as it was a long parking lot and just a little curb was standing in the way we decided we could hop right over the curb to a delisious sandwich. Andy didnt quite calculate the angle of attack and weight of his gear and slip, out went the bald tire on the slick painted curb. Our first, and hopefully last, accident at a grand speed of two mph. We laughed that one off on the side of the road and went in for sandwiches. Durring lunch we decided camping around the big sur area sounded good for the day and set out into the twisties. We arrived at our campsite just before dark with enough light to get camp set up and grab some beers from the store down the street. Andy decided he needed to do something about the gasoline soaked boot that was burning the skin off his feet. Solution?... tie a string to it and throw it into the river for the night. It didnt work his boot still smells like gasoline. While Andrew did his laundry we had a few beers and it was time for diner. The only problem here is that the bottles we had our jetboil gas in didnt fit with the jetboil. No problems were resourceful. Our custom venturi stove A few beers and off to bed Day three:1-18-13 We woke up bright and early once again and set out south. After a few hours of riding the California coastline we stopped at pismo beach for a quick break. There we met a couple locals who told us about a campsite a little ways south called yalama beach and these world famous yalama burgers. We rode south for another hour or so to find our turn off. The road into yalama beach is 14 miles of 15 MPH turns. Got a little to excited on a few of them and had to realize I had an extra 100 pounds strapped to my bike. So I took it easy and enjoyed the ride through green hills. We got to camp, only 20 bucks, and met our neighbors, another group of local surfers. Apearently there was a big swell coming in so the sites were packed full. Drank a little whiskey got to bed early. Day four: 1-19-13 It turns out the guys that told us about yalama beach were wind surfers. I have been excomunicated from the tent because of my soft yet manly bear of a snoring problem but the wind kept us both up all damn night.heres a short video of the beach we woke up on: Our ride today was not as fun as previous days. After a short jaunt to santa monica the scenic roads turned to 100 miles of for lane freeways on our little DRZs fully loaded. We were pushing them pretty hard not to get run over by the LA drivers then suddenly stopped, full gear in 88 degree weather. We were on our way to east LA to meet up with our friend Robert who had a place for us to stay for the evening. We had decided pre trip that we wouldnt be splitting lanes fully loaded. This went out the window quickly. Sitting in the blistering sun completely dead still we looked at each other, looked between the cars, you wanna? . yep and off we went. Not to bad, pleanty of room. Robert went out, bought us a great dinner and BBQd it all up for us. Then he took us out to some bars in Fullerton and bought us a bunch of drinks. Thanks for showing us a good time! More posts to come soon!