Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Reflections


Deadhorse, Alaska, to Ushuaia, Argentina







696 days:
290 in North America
53 in Central America
7 crossing from Panama to Colombia
346 in South America
151 in Argentina and Chile; we crossed that border 13 times

Not including side trips, nor the few times we hitchhiked, we traveled...
21,493 miles
through 14 countries:
18,311 miles by bicycle
798 miles on 14 boats
2,384 miles on 10 buses 

We reached altitudes of...
20,144 feet on foot
18,900 feet by bike
16,325 feet on loaded bikes.
We ascended 47 passes over 13,100 feet.

One of our many 4,000-meter passes, this one in Peru's Cordillera Blanca
The only parts of our original bikes to make it to Ushuaia were...
both handlebars
three of four rims
both front derailleurs
Tam's seat and seat post (yes, they outlasted Danny's Brooks saddle)

These chainrings didn`t make it past Peru

The stats above make it clear; we've come a long way. But just riding the miles was never enough. Throughout the last 23 months we've grown, learned, and challenged ourselves together and as individuals. We started on road bikes cycling only on pavement, and have ended on mountain bikes we built ourselves riding almost exclusively dirt roads, tracks, and trails. Our travels have been unique, and we're proud of all we have achieved.

A lot of people have called this trip a "once in a lifetime experience." In a very literal sense, this is true; neither of us plans on biking from Alaska to Argentina again. However, we don't see our past two years as the contained experience that this phrase implies. It hasn't just been a trip or a vacation; it has been a meaningful part of our lives. Throughout it, we've developed a way to live life to the fullest that extends far beyond the realm of the bicycle. Whatever we take on in the future – studies, work, or travel – we're confident that it will be equally as rewarding and exciting as this bike ride has been.

What exactly is this way of life? It's constantly seeking out challenge, taking full advantage of learning and teaching opportunities, living a simple lifestyle, setting long-term goals, never saying "I can't," being honest with ourselves and others, sharing freely, stepping out of our comfort zones, and opening ourselves up to the world.

These are not new ideas – we had read about and experienced some of them before – but the challenge we've just completed taught us what they really mean, why they're valuable, and how to make them a part of our lives.

We're in Ushuaia, and our bike ride from the farthest northern point accessible by road to the farthest southern city of the Americas is officially over, but the journey isn't.

The road always goes on! Thanks to Dan for the photo
We are so privileged to have had the opportunities that allowed us to live our dreams. We want to extend thanks to everyone who has given support, love, and friendship along the way. You were an integral part of this journey. We couldn't, and wouldn't, have done it without you.

With love

Danny and Tamara

Sunset over the Galapagos

23 comments:

  1. Hello to both of you!
    Congratulations for your fantastic accomplishment! Charles and me are so glad to have meet you somewhere on your way in your great adventure. Recently, we met Cameron who cycled with you in the USA! What a small world!
    You are a great inspiration for many young (and not so young!) people and I often suggest your site as a reference for tips and information.
    We wish you the best of luck in all your projects!
    Denise
    P.S.: We are in Boone, NC, waiting for 4 new rims on our bikes! 27,000 km for those rims, not bad...Just 1 1/2 month left before arriving home.
    www.chardenvelomonde.blogspot.ca

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We feel honored to have met you as well! Enjoy your last month on the road!

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  2. Congratulations! I have been reading your blog and cheering you on, since you gave a presentation in Noel Leon's 10th grade science class last December. Felicidades!

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    Replies
    1. Cool! Thanks for the good vibes - we received a lot of them. Glad you enjoyed the blog!

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  3. Beautifully written, wonderfully lived! May everyone aspire to live life seeking such challenge and opportunity. <3 Much Kudos. I hope we can meet up again soon.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Same here... we'll be a bit closer to your neck of the woods from now on.

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  4. It's been almost exactly 2 years since I saw you two last. I am so thrilled to see you guys meet your goal on top exploring and seeing so much of the world. Congratulations! Hope to see you around in the states on another adventure. --Ceri

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ceri! Same here, hope our paths cross again soon.

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  5. I have traveled with you guys just for seven days and I can't believe how excited I am to know you maid it.

    I keep telling people I'm travelling with great admiration about you and about your journey.

    So glad I met you. Congratulations!!

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  6. Congratulations, Danny and Tam! It's been great to read your blog and marvel at your beautiful photos. -- Suzanne Cane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Suzanne! Hope all is well with you and David.

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  7. Hi buddies, it is great written piece entirely defined, continue the good work constantly.

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  8. Well Done Danny and Tamara..!! Congratulations to both for your fantastic accomplishment. Really a great Work. Thanks for sharing your great opportunities with us.


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