Confirmation loud & clear


SUNDAY, WHILE I was typing away telling you how we’re apparently not prepared to tour South America this year, CCjon was stuck in the woods in Texas with a dead motorcycle. The sidecar rig he built to ship to, yeah, South America.

Stop to rest

He’s got the water-cooled Kawasaki version of the Suzuki piglet, same basic deal, a 650cc thumper. Just one piston flying around in there, thump thump thump…


Looking ahead

Looks good. She carries the weight low, but with clearance for off road.



Here’s where she stopped, gasoline pouring out of the air box. The engine oil was full of gas, too. CCjon worked on the carburetor but there was no fixing it in the field, so he was stuck 75 miles from home (which isn’t too bad, I’ve been stuck 2,750 miles from home).

He hiked out to a paved road, left the rig in the woods overnight, went back Monday with a trailer and hauled it home.

So there you have it, confirmation. We truly aren’t ready. Good call.


Check out this video a rider shot where we’re going instead, the Continental Divide trail. He was there too early, in May. We’ll be there in July for our final South America shake down. By July the snow pack should be gone and most of the melt water with it.

After 5,500 miles of what you see here, we’re thinking the Andes won’t throw anything at us we haven’t seen before.

I like the jaunty music, don’t you?

That big GS twin is a fun bike to ride, but fully loaded? On soft ground? Plan to pick it up off the ground all day. They’re just too heavy. This guy’s young and the GS wore him out.



Plus, the GS is a big-ticket item, costs about 2.5 piglets. Look at that frosty little piglet. We had quite a heavy frost here this morning.



Those Labrador and Newfoundland badges reminded me to check in with John and Doreen Scott. I met them in September on the ferry from Blanc-Sablon. They were headed home to Newfoundland.

I knew they were planning to be in Mexico about now, where John’s multiple sclerosis would be treated with a chemotherapy regimen. So I hailed Doreen and, sure enough, they’re in Mexico as we speak.


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John’s room has a view of Popocatepetl, an active volcano.


Outgoing from me this morning:

I’m glad to hear John’s doing all right, Doreen. So with the chemo is he sporting the Kojak look now? Telly Savalas? Let me know if he is, I’ll shave my head in solidarity and send John a photo. No lie, let me know. Won’t the bride be surprised when she gets home from work today.

Incoming from Doreen:

Yes Tony he does have the Kojak look but he is handsome anyway.

More outgoing:

Okay, we’ll see if the bride thinks I’m a good-looking Kojak, too. One Rhode Island baldy coming up. Stand by…

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Into the bathroom, find the clippers, bottom drawer…

Outgoing, with photo attached. To John this time:

And dig it, I’ve even got a Kojak tootsie pop. I’ll bet the Mexican medical establishment didn’t give you no Kojak tootsie pop. Here’s to you, John! Get well soon.


Tony DePaul, November 18, 2015, Cranston, Rhode Island, USA


About Tony

The occasional scribblings of Tony DePaul, 63, father, grandfather, husband, freelance writer in many forms, ex-journalist, long-distance motorcycle rider, motorcycle wrecker, motorcycle rebuilder, collector of surgical hardware, blue routes wanderer, outdoorsman, topo map bushwhacker, handy with a wrench, hammer, chainsaw, rifle, former photographer, printer, logger, truck driver, truck mechanic, jet fueler… blah blah...
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