Where are we?

Monday, July 2, 2012

I believe in God!

The bikes are in Rick's garage. He says they look as well as can be expected after two months in South America.

I was beginning to get a bit doubtful as to whether I would ever see my bike again, but we kept the faith. Julie and Carolyn both teased us about Adios motos, but we knew. Rick said, Confucius say that it okay to go slow as long as you never quit moving. With time out for a dead father, the guy was true to his word and delivered the bikes.

Now it is repairs and then a good ride. Jim and I are presenting our trip at Horizons Unlimited in August. Hope to see all of you in Nakusp, BC.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Riding Season

As we flirt with summer here in the PNW, our bikes sit quietly in a warehouse in Los Angeles. Seems as though our trucker, after a couple of false starts to pick up our bikes that Customs would not release, QUIT. He sent our full payment for shipping back to Rick. Now Rick is looking for a new trucker. Not to worry, summer riding season is just beginning. Today is June 21. All is not lost, I have riding my bicycle and doing Yoga. Jim is working for the State Department of Natural Resources.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Held Hostage in Los Angeles

Our bikes cleared customs today, but are now in a bonded warehouse waiting for the owners to come up with thousands of dollars in storage fees. This is BS.

I called SCAN Shipping yesterday and what they told me blows my mind. We shipped 7 bikes from Chile with personal gear. Caribe did everything right, but when Evergreen Lines saw personal gear they fabricated 23 packages. Now this caused Customs to go into a tail spin because now the bill of lading had been amended, a big NO NO. So they stopped everything.

Now here we are some weeks after May 15 when bikes first arrived in Long Beach and someone wants to be paid. Our negotiating power is limited as everyday we argue risks running up more storage fees.

Time to cut our losses. You guys win. You can have the bikes and call it even. No not really, but we're getting close.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Before I Die

I want my motorcycle back before I die. Gaston, our shipping agent, continues to work for the release of our motorcycles from US Customs in Long Beach, California. Are we seeing America's best at work?

Our bikes arrived from Chile on May 17th at the Port of Long Beach. Gaston was on hand to secure their release. He sent a brief optimistic note, and Rick arranged trucking to his home in Tacoma.

A few days later Gaston tells us that bikes can't be released because the customs papers stated cargo was 7 motorcycles. However, we had left our personal gear on the bikes, i.e., sleeping bags, clothes, helmets, boots, etc. Gaston, says, no worry, they are going to do another X-ray to examine our dirty underwear. We'll be free very soon.

No, US Customs will not release because Chilean Customs made no mention of our personal gear. USC says there are 24 "packages" that were not listed on the Chilean manifest. Should just be a simple call from USC to Chilean Customs. Not that simple! If anyone expects a happy outcome with a Federal Bureaucrat taking some initiative, don't hold your breath. These dirty bastards, that we as taxpayers are paying, have absolutely no incentive to do anything other than sit back and watch.

I was asked if what is going on in Long Beach is worse than Lima, Peru. I hate to say it, the US makes Lima look like a streamlined, highly efficient operation. I say makes it look, because Lima was a disaster.

I have to wonder if all Custom's Agents are constipated but just think it is a normal condition. God help the United States.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Home for a Week

I am guessing that a lot of our regular followers have signed off. I understand, but it will take me a while to digest this trip and return to normal. Some of my closest friends say this was not my state when I left so I cannot return to it. I have lost all interest in these esoteric, academic and nit-picky arguments, but given that I raised it, I want to say a few things.

I think that we, here in the USA, are the ones that are out-of-touch with the normal. I am watching BBC news right now, and they arguing about how long the government can keep information on individuals in their files. Yawn!!!! Now I am watching Ma Jing in China talking about the domestic market being saturated and making case for entering the global market. Now I understand . No I don't. Life is much simpler than we make it.

What we did for two months in South America was rub elbows with the people. These people were very different from me in background, education, income, experiences, expectations, living conditions, and anything else you can add to the list. We in the United States of America are different. And let me add, we don't understand the rest of the world. We can't given our coddled environment.

I am not blaming anyone, not even my mother; I don't think you could expect to live the way we do and expect any real understanding of how the rest of the world lives. Let's leave it at that I am really glad to be home to enjoy a standard of living that I enjoy as a result of getting a good education and working hard, but more than any other reason is that I was born white in a family that expected me to go to college in the United States. I may sound like a Republican, but after this trip I am not.

I wish that we could send 300,000,000 people on a similar trip, just so they can appreciate what I am feeling after a week at home. I called Yamaha this morning and they say they cannot provide the motorcycles. Rest my case. I am not going to change everyone, so let's break out the wine and celebrate. We are the luckiest people on earth; let's not forget this simple fact. If I had been born at 14000 feet in Bolivia, I would be a different person. Primarily, I would have tougher feet.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I Cannot Believe It Is Over!

But it isn't....The visual images & memories will last forever. As the trip progressed, Dave & I talked often about how do you convey the amount of visual memories, sounds, smells & interactions that 2 months & 7,416 miles of travel thru 4 unique countries provides. The answer is 'you can't'. We tried as best as we could with our blog, but the pictures & words don't do justice to the emotions & understandings that one gains by immersing yourself in other cultures.

We are thrilled & extremely pleased that so many of you followed the blog & joined in our adventure. Thank you.

It is also more than appropriate that we sincerely thank our wives who understood that this adventure was important to us & the compelling desire we had to explore this part of our world by motorcycle. We are both extremely grateful for their support.

Some of my favorite distant memories are the discussions around the campsite...(many of those with you who followed this blog). To have 2 months to share observations, thoughts, (solve a few world problems) with Dave & just plain enjoy each other's company just amplified the richness of the experience. We laughed often & on a few occasions...the chins quivered. It doesn't get better than that.

We look forward to compiling our images, video & thoughts into a coherent package for presentation to other fellow riders & any of you with interest.

I am not going to close with ANY thoughts or suggestions of OTHER trip ideas that MAY have come up. I don' t like violence!

Thank you all again for joining in our adventure.