Thursday, October 15, 2015
How can you travel the world on a motorcycle? The key is to never give up and make it happen. Life will throw obstacles your way and you just have to weave around them and go. I have spent the last 2 months in a whirlwind with a focus of ending up in South America by November. Because I was down to my last few hundred bucks when I got out of county jail in Texas the first week of August, job one was to earn some travel money. After a month of setting tile and fixing up the ranch house for Veriest1 I finally headed north to Nebraska with 2800 bucks and a new appreciation for Texas hospitality. I learned a lot of good lessons and had an overall good time in Texas thanks to the folks I met there. I will be back. But first it was north through the sunflowers of Kansas: Soon I was back home for the first time in a year: I stopped off at my house to clean up the yard, pay my property taxes of 161.00 which is basically my annual rent. I also made arrangements with Dave the 83 year old tough retired guy who mows the lawn. When I get back next year I will remodel his bathroom and install a custom tile shower if he pays for the materials and looks after my house while I’m gone this year. I also found out that social security had stopped depositing money in my Nebraska checking account while I was in county jail and I needed my release papers from jail before they would reinstate my benefits. They stop paying you if you are in jail. Who knew? But fair enough, the law’s the law. Alas, I threw all my jail paperwork away in Texas before I left. Oops. And the jail won’t make copies to fax since they are not very trusting. You have to come to Texas in person with photo ID to get the copies. Wow! Well okay, I’ll have to drive back to Texas before I go. But first it was off to Oregon to paint my sister’s house. I spent 3 days at home in Nebraska this year. I am turning into a nomad. Kind of like the people before me who lived on the plains: My tent is smaller than these ones at Fort Robinson in western Nebraska and my horse is iron, but same idea. The northern plains are beautiful in the early fall. After passing through Casper Wyoming I headed up a shortcut through the Rockies across muddy gap. I stopped at a rest area and noticed that behind it was Independence Rock where all the pioneers had carved their names as they passed: Dropping down to Rawlins Wyoming, this historic house caught my eye: I drove through the night and was 1600 miles down the road by the next day with only a brief nap in Idaho. I stopped at a rest area in the Oregon Cascades to use the bathroom. Down the path behind it was a beautiful waterfall: I met a nice British fellow named Henry Parker at the Dee Wright Observatory at the top of MacKenzie pass: Henry is heading to South America so we had plenty to talk about. But soon it was down through the curves as the afternoon shafts of light lit up the vine maple on the forest floor: I stopped by the Forest Service to get a Golden Eagle pass now that I am 62. For 10 dollars I now have a lifetime pass that will let me into any national park or monument for free. Good deal! I pulled up next to two Super Sherpas in the parking lot: They look a lot happier than my bike down in Uruguay waiting patiently for me under Canario’s carport wrapped in my tent rainfly: Because my bike has overstayed it’s temporary import permit by 8 months I will either have to pay a fine of 20 dollars a day or sneak across the border out of Uruguay like I did when I overstayed my temporary import permit in Colombia a couple years ago. Hmmmm. And here I thought my life of crime was over for good. Butch and Sundance didn’t have much luck getting out of Bolivia, but I think I will have an easy time getting out of Uruguay. My bike is stamped into my passport, but as luck would have it my passport will be 10 years old and expire in March 2016 so I sent away for a new one. It just came in the mail yesterday. I got the 52 page fat one since I had to add pages to my last one at the embassy in Panama when it got full. What this means is that with a fresh passport number, Uruguay has no way of knowing that I have a bike in their country. And as luck would have it there is a very porous border with Brazil. The main street of Rivera Uruguay is the border and you can just ride across the street and you are in Brazil. Same with Chuy Uruguay on the coast. And Brazil doesn’t have a requirement for a temporary import permit for your bike. Just ride over and walk back to Uruguay to stamp your passport out and walk back to Brazil and you are good to go. This is all in theory mind you. I will let you know if this actually works in future episodes. I am about ready to start a new ride report over at advrider.com. I will continue to post here all the stuff that has little to do with riding though. more later…..