MY LONGEST DANCE WITH SALSA Colorado Springs, CO Mile: ZERO 20 October, 2018 On 1 November 2018 Salsa and I will start dancing, from Colorado Springs, Colorado to Ushuaia, Argentina. Who is Salsa? She’s my 1995 R100RT BMW airhead, with 110K miles on her odometer. Why have I named her Salsa? Because she wears a red skirt (tank) and loves to dance down the roads. Who am I? A man pursuing dreams. To name but a few: to stand on the Equator in Ecuador, with one foot in the Northern Hemisphere, and one in the South; to explore Machu Picchu in Peru, and to fly over the Nasca Lines; to sleep on a floating island on Lake Titicaca, and visit the Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia; to stand in awe at the foot of the Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina, and to ride some of the infamous Ruta 40; to ride the Carretera Austral in Chile; and of course ultimately to reach Tierra del Fuego and Ushuaia, at the tip of South America. What is my route? Sadly, due to the unrest in Central America, I won’t be exploring those countries . . . this time. Instead I’l be shipping Salsa on the Wallenius Willhelmsen RORO out of Galveston, Texas to Cartagena, Colombia. Beyond that, I’ll be taking it day-by-day, aiming south. Have Salsa and I made other long dances together? Yes! We’ve been dancing partners for over two decades now. We’ve danced all over North America, including Canada’s Maritime Provinces, the lower 48 states, Mexico and Baja California, and Alaska. We’ve danced to the top of Pikes Peak, on the Tail of the Dragon, down the Blue Ridge Parkway, on the Bear-tooth Highway, along the Pacific Coast Highway, on the Natches Trace, over the Going to the Sun road and the Million Dollar Highway, and across the Top of the World road in Canada. We’ve danced through cities and towns, deserts, forests, open plains, rolling hills, up mountains and down into canyons. We’ve danced on beautiful days, and through rain squalls so thick I lost visibility of the road; through deserts in full bloom; through wind storms so strong they cracked Salsa’s windshield; through freezing and sweltering temperatures, snow and hail; and so on. Have we had any accidents? Yes! In Mexico we took a spill when blocked by a herd of burros around a tight bend. When riding the Tail of the Dragon I felt over-confident, and twisted too much on the throttle. We ended up in a ditch. In both cases we managed to get up, dust ourselves off, and continue dancing. Lessons learned? Yes! Don’t get over-confident! Be extra careful around blind curves! Ride with a good amount of “reserves” in mind: for stopping safely; for cornering in full control; and so on. Who will I be leaving behind? My daughter, son-in-law, and son, my two grandsons; but most importantly Bonnie, my beautiful Navy bride of 34 years. Thank you, Bonnie, for allowing me to pursue my dreams! I owe you Italy next!