Today I begin what may become one of the most difficult tests of long term mental and physical endurance and strength I have ever undertaken: for most of its remaining 2500km through Patagonia, Ruta 40 is considered one of the most desolate highways in the world.
Over half of the remaining road is gravel, sand, and dirt. The number of towns listed on a map once I pass Perito Moreno can be counted on one hand, and there are many stretches of hundreds of miles without provisions, fuel, or places to stay.
At the end of it, I will be very close to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the entire world. When I reach it, I will have journeyed by impractical vehicle to both the top and the bottom of this chain of land I call home, the Americas.
When I journeyed north, I did it at the end of summer, arriving at the Arctic Ocean only weeks before the first snow. Today, as I journey south, I again find myself riding into the teeth of winter, the chance of encountering more than the isolated patches of snow I have seen so far being very likely.
I don’t know how long it will take. I don’t know how often I will be able to find internet access to update. I don’t know if it will turn out to be more miserable than the Dalton Highway in Alaska, or if the RV-like storage and additional gear on my mototaxi will make it bearable. I don’t even know if my moto will make it in one piece, or if I’ll be bussing back and forth again for repairs.
There is only one thing I know for sure: I will make it to Ushuaia, whether wet, cold, or miserable… and it will be a ride to remember.
While I’m making this trip, check in now and then at http://threewheels.net and take a look at the map in the upper right hand corner to see where I’m at. If you have the time, you can click on it to get a more detailed view showing my route history and zoom in to see what kind of time I’m making.
Think about me, alone, mostly isolated from civilization, struggling down a desolate road in a slow, unwieldy vehicle, sleeping in any spot I can find in sub freezing temperatures, driving through all types of weather, exposed to the elements… doing it to feel it, to push myself, to test myself, doing it for the fun of it.
As you consider this, I hope you’ll be inspired to subject yourself to a small measure of hardship in honor of my trip and donate a small sum of money to Operation Smile. Your donation will help an amazing charity directly impact the lives of children in the countries I am traveling through, and encourage me to keep sharing my adventures, photos, videos, and stories.
Thank you for your support and for coming along with me on this mad adventure.