28 Days Later

Despair.  Agony.  Devastation.  Mind numbing depression. We boarded the plane in São Paulo expecting the worst.

We quizzed our veteran overland friends on the homecoming and transition process. The general consensus was bleak.  We just spent 15 months living out our wildest dream and the hangover from that sustained high was sure to be severe.

For the last three years our mission, mantra, purpose could be summed up in five letters: PAN AM.  Once you board that plane, it’s all over.

We left a lot of ourselves out there on the road less traveled.  Our egos and identities would be in dire need of substance.  Like the first days on the PanAm we would be green and vulnerable.

Yet   Continue reading

Toyota Tundra Expedition Prep

The first visions we had of driving down the Pan-American Highway had us in a rescue orange, late model Sportsmobile complete with ladder and yakima racks.  That very model went up for sale on the Sportsmobile website and haunted us for weeks.  We bent the budget numbers like an Enron executive in an attempt to justify the $70,000 purchase.  Reality soon set in and we realized we could equip and fund the trip for nearly half that.

Toyota was chosen on account of it’s expansive service network around the world.  While the Tundra is built in and exclusively for the US, should anything go wrong, the network will never be far.  While on the road we have already passed a   Continue reading

Cut the ties and jump the tracks

Leaving San Francisco in our rear view, knowing we would not return, was a sobering moment. We spent a month dolling out farewells and only a few days packing up our life, the apprehension was palpable. Slowly, the anxiety passed with each mile on the road. We toasted our first night with a bottle of 2006 Caldwell Rocket Science in Big Sur, California. A rented out $35 piece of state owned grass with zero amenities assured us we were on the right path. Adventure is out there.   Continue reading

Saying Goodbye to San Francisco

The veins of San Francisco stretch out across the city in every direction, pulsating life at all hours of the day and night. The N line rumbles the windows on Judah Street while the dirty 30 skulks through Chinatown. No matter where you are, MUNI echos its familiar song on every street and avenue. Twenty minutes, twice a day, the commute provides an escape form the routine it encompasses. Flash your bus pass, grab onto a handrail, and slip silently into the daydreams you slowly nurse to life each day.

These rails and routes connect us all.  When your stop is called, snap back to the reality that this is a city of one million strangers bonded by a common   Continue reading

We are headed South

Exiting the foggy fortress of San Francisco on our way to Tahoe, we considered what we would do with ourselves with only 365 days to live. Matt Pirog did not hesitate with his answer, “I’d get in my car and just start driving, south. Can you drive to South America?” Yes you can, it is called the Pan-American Highway; it begins in Alaska and ends at the tip of South America in Tierra del Fuego. Out of this one night of speculative dreaming, an idea was formed that over the past year and a half has solidified and become a certainty. Looking back now, it is fitting to think the idea was not even originally ours. We have our friends   Continue reading