- Miles biked: 10,865 (roughly... our odometers broke/died)
- Countries biked in: 9
- Bird species seen: 376
|On a ferry from Monterrica to La Avellana,|
- National Parks experienced: 19
- Time zones traversed: 5
- Boat rides taken, including dinghys to and from larger boats: 18
- Trucks ridden in (with or without bikes): 10
- Highest elevation achieved on foot: 15,800 feet, El Pulpito, El Cocuy National Park, Colombia
- Highest elevation biked: 13,100 feet, El Cocuy, Colombia
- Highest elevation camped at: 14,970 feet, El Cocuy, Colombia
- Longest time spent in one place: 4 weeks, High Trails, California
- Number of bike shops visited: 57
- Biggest unexpected bike problem: The steel eyelet that my (Tam's) rack was attached to broke off in California. Didn't think that my steel frame would break.
- Weirdest food eaten: roadkill moose, Fairbanks, AK
- Favorite food eaten (in terms of quality and quantity): pupusas, El Salvador or fish tacos, Baja California
- Strangest plant observed: boojum trees, Baja California
- Favorite/most helpful bike shop: C.O.B., Smithers, British Columbia, Canada
- Worst big city for biking: Panama City, Panama (although, they are developing a nice path along the coast)
- Biggest cultural difference everywhere: being vegetarian
- Favorite national park (although it's hard to pick): Denali, Alaska
|A grizzly fishing in southern Alaska|
Annual Blog Update Quiz, courtesy of Tam's dad, Michel:
Which is greater:
1) Miles travelled by bus or miles travelled over water?
2) Number of flat tires or days of rest?
3) New bird species seen in North America or Central and South America?
4) Number of crocodiles seen or bears seen?
Check back in about a week for the answers!
Thoughts by Danny
This past year, Tam and I have done some things. We have swum in glacial Arctic rivers, explored submerged shipwrecks in the languid Caribbean, and surfed the barrels of the El Salvador coast (attempted to, anyway). We have been caving in California, packrafting in Alaska, and birdwatching in Costa Rica. We have eaten salmon fresh from the Yukon and drunk tequila in the town of Tequila. This past year of travel, so unlike anything we have done before, has been a whirlwind of color, music, culture, activity, people, and experience, almost all of it entirely novel and utterly, ineffably incredible. The people especially, from day one in Alaska and every single day since, have surprised, inspired, and educated us more than I could have imagined, and receiving such kindness has filled our own growing hearts with the hope of passing it on.
|With many new friends in Chiapas, Mexico, on Tam's birthday|
Accompanying such positivity has been a conspicuous absence of negativity. Although someone in every country we've been to has told us horrible things about the next, so far we've had no security issues at all. Some rumors are based in truth, but the vast majority of what we have heard has been little more than schoolyard whisperings, their augmentation and distortion stemming from ignorance and fear of the unknown. We all have dreams, we all need a human connection, and we are all more similar than we know. Were someone to rob us tomorrow, one thing they wouldn't be able to take is my firm belief in the good of humanity. One negative experience, or even multiple, could never overshadow all the laughter we've shared.
With all that we've done, there is also plenty that we have missed out on. A prestigious job, processed foods, TV, a fancy car... living outside a culture that pushes us inexorably towards these things has been self-affirming and liberating. And while I plan to further my education and accomplish something, someday, in the working world, right now I have a whole lot to be thankful for. An abundance of food and health, a loving partner and family, and the fortune and clarity to follow the road we choose are a pretty good place to start, not to mention my trusty bicycle and a pair of well-made shorts.
A large portion of this next year will be more of the same, if you can consider experiencing new places and meeting new people every day "more of the same." We've just discovered the Andes, and, though we still plan to reach Patagonia, we've resolved to slow down and take more back roads, enjoying and learning as much as we can.
A huge thanks is due to our parents, grandparents, and everyone who has supported and encouraged us along the way! We wouldn't be able to do this without you.
|Yosemite Valley. Goodnight for now...|