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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Charles Seguin, Aug 26, 2008.
Wow. Just wow. Beautiful place, excellent pics guys.
Freaking Smugmug is on the fritz... those shots aren´t from even halfway up the pass. I´ve got a bunch more...
Awesome ride report guys. I wish I could make time some day to do the same trip. Have a safe Journey to the bottom of the planet. Your a long way from home.
My 6 year old son Ryan wants to add some smilies. He loves smilies.
Long way from home indeed. Although it took us 4 months to get this far, it´ll only take one day to get back.
That is BLOODY beautiful!!!
Well now that Smugmug is working again I can finish.
So we kept climbing...
So far up Chuck had to take a breather.
I, on the other hand, was ready for the road ahead.
Some variations on a theme...
The top! 15,750 feet. Highest I´ve ever been outside of an airplane.
Now we just had to go back down...
So tomorrow Chuck is going to take it easy. I think I will go bag another pass. This one is over 16k feet. I´m going to leave a bit earlier too in hopes that I will be able to get a couple more clear shots of some of the mountains around here.
The scale of these mountains is amazing. I live in the Rockies, but nothing I´ve seen there compares to this. We climbed a little under 10,000 feet today and were still 6k below the tallest of the mountains we saw from the Pass, Huascaran.
I really like the monochrome look of some of these photos. Very stark.
I've ridden to the top of Mt.Evans in CO and standing that high on your own two feet really gives you a different perspective of planet Earth.
I too had to take it easy at the top.
There isn´t much color up there. Just dark rock and snow. And the light is really intense, and variable so you have to focus tightly on things to not have the peaks washed out.
Im going to go practice more tomorrow. We´ll see what I come up with I suppose.
Unbelievable work, boys. I started following this thread during exam week about three weeks ago (you can't study all day, afterall) and have been keeping up ever since.
Like many others before me, I thank you for the time and effort it takes to keep this updated. Fuels my fire even more to get out there when I finish school and tour the globe. My bi-yearly jaunts from Vancouver to Minnesota and back on my '85 Honda pale in comparison to at trip of this mangnitude.
BTW - Though I'm from Vancouver, BC, Canada, I actually swim for Minnesota State Mankato and was up in Northfield earlier this year racing St Olaf college. And I can tell you with absolute certainty that its better to be in South America right now than Minnesota. BRRRrrrrr!
Safe travels, brothers!
Small world man, i just graduated from St. Olaf this last year. Give me a call sometime when you're in town, we'll go out for a ride!
You two are truly living a dream.
I really hope to take a trip like that one day.
Be careful and keep it coming.
Having been both to Vancouver area and Mankato, I`m having a hard time figuring out why you`re in Mankato .
I hope you beat St Olaf.
Minnesota to Vancouver is a nice ride nonetheless. I really like the "highline" up in North Dakota over to Montana. Really easy stealth camping the whole way over. We never saw Vancouver city, but saw Victoria, and Vancouver Island. Stunning.
That much is true. The funny thing is the same thing was said when we went to California 4 years ago, then to Alaska 2 years, and now this. The trips keep getting bigger and more rugged. At this rate we`ll be circumnavigating Africa in 2 years... of course there`s no way we`ll have the money for that. Sooner or later we`re going to have stop riding and get jobs
nice shots, check out www.jeffs9thsemester.com, he just went through there and got some great clear shots. Amazing part of Peru. When are you guys planning on being at the bottom, and what do you plan to do with the bikes? Great photos!
We are going to sell the bikes in Buenos Aires. We are not going to the bottom, having "liquidity issues" which will probably prevent us from going that far. We will make it far enough to see some penguins though
Some thoughts on this thread.
We`ve been on the road almost 4 months now, by far the longest either of us have ever been travelling. And we`ve basically put the entire thing online. I`ve been at this internet for almost three hours today, mostly because I`ve been calling people, but still, we spend a lot of time of the internet down here. Has it been worth it? I think so.
Probably the best thing about this thread is that it functions as a journal of sorts. I`ve actually been reviewing a lot of the first part of it as I wait to get a hold of people on Skype. It`s pretty interesting how different I find things now than I did then.
We`ve also met a lot of people through this thread and the regional forum. We even met some local Colombians who came to see us at Casa Blanca in Cali, because they read on the thread that we were there :eek1 . We also met a lot of cool ex-pats through this thread who have showed us around, and taken us out in their cities.
We`ve also gotten a lot of good information from posters on this thread. We`ve gotten information about routes, safety issues, strategies on dealing with corrupt cops, info on motorcycle mechanical issues etc... that has been very useful for us. We also get a lot of encouragment from posters on this thread that remind us that we are indeed "living the dream" of a lot of people.
The thread also keeps people back home informed about what we are doing. This is a bit of a double-edged sword as it means that you can end up just sort of broadcasting what you are doing, without keeping in touch with them. It can get lonely, because when people are interested in what you are doing they look on thread rather than contact you. On the other hand it saves us from having to explain what we are doing a thousand times over.
This thread is also serving as information for people looking to do this same trip in the future. And I think that we have a lot of good places that motorcycle travelers have yet to post on this website, like San Agustin in southern Colombia and Caraz Peru, where all the recent pictures are from. The question is whether we are helping or hurting if we send hoardes of smelly, disagreable bikers to these places .
And of course this thread is also pure entertainment for a lot of people out there, which is good too.
For those of you looking to do this trip in the future, you can do, or not do a ride report, it just depends what you are after.
I got up a little early this morning so I could get on the road faster if it was clear. Well neither thing happened. The lady at the hotel was nowhere to be found for the first half hour after I got up and I was locked in. Breakfast took a bit longer than usual (she had to go out and buy some stuff) and I needed gas and oil. Before I left I told Chuck exactly where I was going and showed him on the map (all you worrying family types are so silly). I didn´t get on the road till probably 8:30. It was cloudy, and had been all morning.
The road to Punta Olimpia was a bit farther away than the one we rode yesterday so I didn´t get into the park until 10 AM.
The entrance to the pass looked kinda familiar...
Past the ranger station
The valley looking down from the pass road
It was raining lightly and clouds were billowing up the hillsides the entire way up to the top. Right as I got to the snow line I came up behind a mini bus and decided to wait for it to go up and over the pass rather than trying to pass it. Yup, they take mini busses up and down these things. I think its just to keep us motorcycle "adventurers" level headed.
Yep.. thats snow.
About 200 meters from the summit I went down. When I was a kid I learned how to dump your bike at low speeds without injuring yourself. Of course my bike back then was a bicycle, but dumping that the wrong way on a gravel road hurt, so I learned how to do it right! By this point the road was two ruts with water flowing over and around big stones with snow in the middle and on both sides. My rear tire caught a bit of the snow and that was that.
Lifting a bike at 16,000 feet is hard work. It took me a couple tries before I got it. Once I got it up I saw the slide had taken the already loose chain off the rear sprocket. When I went to put it back on I had an oh shit moment of terror when it looked like the wheel had somehow moved back far enough that the chain wasn´t long enough to fit back on. Oh noes! Stranded on the mountain top in the snow! Well stranded until the next tour bus comes that is . It was more a wow this is going to be a giant pain in the ass kind of oh shit moment of terror.
Then I saw that it was just bunched up near the front sprocket. So I pulled it out, put it halfway on and then rolled it down the hill a bit to seat the rest of the chain (another trick I learned riding bikes down gravel roads as a kid). Good as new.
I tried to continue on a bit farther up the road, but I had to juice the throttle too much for comfort over some of the bigger stones. I decided lots of throttle, snow and thousand foot drops weren´t a good combination.
So I walked the rest of the way to the top. Walking is hard at 16,000 feet.