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Old 11-15-2011, 10:22 PM   #1
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The Time is Now: San Diego to Panama

Let’s start the story here:

The year is 1959: The year that Fidel Castro came into power, the year that Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Richie Valens died in a plane crash, and the year that the World’s Fair was in Brussels. It was also the year that my father lived in Paris for his junior year of college.
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:25 PM   #2
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No one has coined the phrase “adventure riding.” There are no “dual sport” motorcycles, and there are no Spot Trackers to watch over you, which makes my dad’s decision to ride his moped from Paris to the fair in Brussels a fairly authentic experience. The only thing he had protecting him was a small metal badge with St. Christopher on it attached his bike. He carried everything in a small backpack onto which he had sewn an American flag, and after the fair on his way back to Paris it began to pour rain. The skies grew dark, and by the time he reached Bastogne he was soaked. The moped had seen better days. Road grime had worked itself into every crevice and it had begun to sputter. They limped into a broken-down inn where he found a room that was no doubt the type of room in which only a rain-drenched college student would have agreed to sleep. That night he slept a weary traveller’s night sleep, not looking forward to another installment of terrible weather aboard his ailing moped.

But in the morning what he found was not what he had anticipated. His moped was immaculate. The oil was changed. The chain had been scrubbed clean and lubed. The seat had been removed, dried and replaced. It started immediately and ran as if it were new.
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:26 PM   #3
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The inn keeper and his family explained that 14 years earlier, during the Battle of the Bulge, it appeared certain that he and his family were on the verge of death at the hands of the Nazis. Just when all seemed lost, the Americans came to their defense and defeated the Nazis. The inn keeper and his family had seen my father’s American flag and stayed up through the night putting his moped back in order as a gesture of gratitude.

Apparently, Saint Christopher was watching over him.
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:37 PM   #4
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Now the year is 2005. I have only ridden a motorcycle once or twice as a teenager, but a whisper in the back of my head grows louder, and louder, and before too long it is all I hear. If for no other reason than to be rid of it, I obey its commands to buy a motorcycle. I trailer a nearly-new 2003 BMW F650gs home from its previous owner, because I’m too scared to ride it. But I teach myself how to ride. For months, all I do is ride it, and ride it, and ride it. Eventually I leave the neighborhood.
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:42 PM   #5
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Eventually I leave Portland.
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=271438
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:46 PM   #6
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My father passed away over a year ago, but before he did we had our own adventure together.

http://www.roversnorth.com/news/index.php/2010/07/just-what-the-doctor-ordered
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:48 PM   #7
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Now the year is 2011. I am about to turn 40, and have the sort of life that does not justify a mid-life crisis. I have a wonderful wife. I have an amazing 3-year-old daughter who rides a Honda 50, but prefers the BMW or at least the KTM 525. I have an dog/soul-mate. I have good friends, and the list goes on. But there is something restless. It makes me read other peoples stories of motorcycle adventures. It makes me take the BMW apart and put it back together, then take it apart again. I fix things that were never broken. Finally I can take it no longer, and through a miracle that remains unexplained, my wife, Jessie, agrees to take care of everything while I ride off into who-knows-where for a month. If she didn’t love me as much as I think she does, I’d suspect she was trying to get rid of me.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:00 PM   #8
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Now the time is two days ago. Chip and Ty are my neighbors, and through their own personal miracles, they’ve created opportunities to go on an adventure, too. They‘ve also agreed to put our bikes in a U-haul and drive them through the Pacific Northwest gloom to San Diego, where I will fly and meet them. From there we will ride south, if all goes well, to Panama.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:07 PM   #9
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Now the time is yesterday, and it’s time to leave. But before I go Jessie hands me my 40th-birthday present. Actually it is a present everyday I am gone, beginning with this.

My father’s St. Christopher badge attached to a leather trip journal. I am protected. For real... My wife is awesome.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:09 PM   #10
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It pours down rain as I leave, but I know I am safe to go.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:13 PM   #11
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This is Gaile. She sits next to me on the plane. She is following Braco, a Croatian faith-healer. (http://www.braco.net/) Already he has healed her fibromyalgia and perhaps some intermittent gall bladder issues with just his gaze. Now she is working on her cataracts. In any case she is certain a miracle is in my future, because Braco is on the plane only a few rows back. I later see him on my way to the bathroom. He doesn’t look up with his healing gaze, so it remains uncertain if I will be healed, but I have a lot of antibiotics from the Travel Clinic, so I should be OK.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:16 PM   #12
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Chip and Ty are waiting at Motel 6 in San Diego. We unload the bikes and return the U-haul.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:18 PM   #13
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Now the time is this morning. It’s colder than I thought it’d ever be on the trip. I wear everything I have: wool socks, pajamas, cargo paints, mesh motorcycle pants, rain-proof pants, one long-sleeve t-shirt, 3 short-sleeve t-shirts, a light collar shirt, a cycling rain shell, and a mesh motorcycle jacket. For 40 minutes leaving San Diego towards Tecate, I am warm enough. We stop for gas. I am going to die of heat-stroke. I take too much off. I am freezing. I put some more on. I am too hot. I give up. It becomes perfect.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:22 PM   #14
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Ty is a firefighter, so we stop at the Fire Station in Tecate, where he trades patches with the locals.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:23 PM   #15
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Heading to Ensenada...
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