Kelsey & Gabe’s Pan Am Mission: Tragedy Hits Gabe at El Fin Del Mundo
Riders’ Report # 5
Kelsey & Gabe’s Pan Am Mission:
Tragedy Hits Gabe at El Fin Del Mundo
Riding down towards Ushuaia (the end of the world) I was really upset with myself for losing my portable Satellite GPS device. I should have been more careful with my expensive electronic devices. There is always a feeling of having to conserve time, to get in the wind, and not dilly dally around. Trying to cut down the down time and maintain those wheels turning forward. Note to self……..KSU only when ya ready!
The ride turned super cold as the elevation rose. The roads were wet, and I rode over iced asphalt that was shaded cold by the steep hills or mountain walls blocking the warmth of the sun. I personally tend to have issues with wet roads due to a certain bad experience when I started riding back in 1979. I slow down as I clench up in certain scenarios.
It’s a weak spot in my riding skills that I am determined to overcome one day. Kelsey, on the other hand, is an excellent rider who was winning competitions when I first started riding Long Distance Endurance riding. There is a difference to Long Distance Endurance riding and touring long distance. It’s not the same to “Iron Butt” it to a destination compared to riding to Sturgis or Daytona Beach with breaks. I won’t get into it here but maybe in another rider’s report down the line.
Kelsey and I stopped in this wonderful bakery called “Panaderia La Union” in the city of Tolhuin, Argentina before you ride over the last mountain into Ushuaia, Argentine named “El Paso Garibaldi.” This place is very busy and just walking into this establishment makes one’s sugar rise 50-points. I had the dark Café Con Leche as well as Kelsey. If you find yourself going south on Route 3 stop by the Panaderia La Union (bakery) as I highly recommend the pit stop there.
Kelsey & Gabe Arrive to Ushuaia
As I rode the high mountain, I could see my breath inside my helmet as if I were vaping. My shield did not fog up due to the pin face system on my Shoei helmet. Kelsey rode out of sight ahead of me, but I could see him slowing down every so often catching a glimpse of my yellow LED fog lights and just like that he was out of eyesight again. We had a rule that if we don’t see each other for ten minutes we rode back to check on each other. He rode his ride and I rode mine. That does not mean that one is better than the other because what you don’t want to happen is someone having an injury trying to keep up outside of their riding experience or comfort level.
In the mountain you could see the snow fall on the side of the road. The roads were slick and wet with the shaded area making me worried. I stated that already, right? LOL! The point is that I made it to the city limits or what many coined the gates to the city. I stuck around to take pics and about ten minutes later Kelsey showed up from inside Ushuaia proper. Kelsey got into the middle of the street when traffic was zero and I took the pic. It felt really good arriving to the bottom of the world where my journey is to commence.
After our celebratory pic shoot, we headed to the Inn “La Posta” but when I turned into the La Posta Kelsey roared by continuing his ride on Routa 3. After about an hour I got really worried because his GPS signal showed his bike was off in the route. After about two hours Hector the owner of La Posta were literally walking outside to his truck to hunt Kelsey down. Kelsey shows up asking me where the hell I went! I asked him where he went! The miscommunication was I thought he said he was going to the “INN” when he was telling me lets got to the “END.” As I was looking for the phone google maps for the hotel he thought I was looking for the END OF THE WORLD!
Tears Left at the bottom of the World
We went out to eat to celebrate our arrival to the end of the world. The next day I got a call through the “WhatsApp” that I highly recommend you get because clear phone calls all over the world over WiFi for free. My brother David was calling me from Okinawa, Japan. I answered the phone and it was as if I knew. “Don’t tell me bad news I don’t want to hear it,” I told David. He replied, “we lost dad today.” He gave me the update of the situation that brought tears to my eyes. I had to hang up due to the overwhelming pain I felt of losing my father. I left tears for my father in the bottom of the world. I took a day to compose my head and headed hard to Santiago Chile to fly to Hartford, Connecticut to bury my dad.
On the way back Kelsey and I stopped at the viewing of El Paso Garibaldi that had a beautiful scenic view. Kelsey drove his bike up for his pic. Unfortunately, Kelsey left his cell on the cement bank forgetting to pick it up. He noticed it gone about 30-min later, turned around rode hard and could not find it. Our guess was someone stopped at the viewing and snagged the phone for their own.
The next day Kelsey was on the phone canceling his service for that cell and buying a new cell. He had it shipped to the hotel where I would stay in Connecticut. Safe to say Kelsey was not a happy camper for losing his phone. Thank God I had mine for his use and my laptop computer. Made it a lot easier for him to stay connected with family. I guess Kelsey and I left some gifts in Argentina like my Delorme InReach Explorer, Kelsey’s cell and his bike cover that fell off the bike somewhere. We hope to good people of Argentina enjoy our donations.
National Route 40 (Argentina)
Riding the Boring Patagonia Desert with sections that did not have gas stations (that we knew of) in a 280-mile stretch. We ran up Route 3 until we got to Rada Tilly, Argentina and turned West on Route 26 to Route 40 that is commonly called La Carretera Austral or just “Ruta 40.” Wikipedia states that, “National Route 40, also known as RN40 or “Ruta 40”, is a route in western Argentina, stretching from Punta Loyola near Rio Gallegos in Santa Cruz Province in the south to La Quiaca in Jujuy Province in the north. The route parallels the Andes mountains. The southern part of the dirt road route, by now largely paved, has become a well-known adventure tourism journey, and there are plans to pave the whole road.
I am told in their summer it is quite nice and scenic to ride but Kelsey and I rode through the winter when it was all dead. There was nothing to see except Lama looking animals and these fat birds that looked like butterball turkeys with wings that can fly fast. God sure is funny when he created these creatures in the beginning of time. We made it through the boring and spent some time on the Andes Mountain that had welcome signs and other monuments. It got super cold at the top of “Cardenal Antonio Samoré Pass.”
Cardenal Antonio Samoré Pass (Spanish: Paso Cardenal Antonio Samoré) is one of the main mountain passes through the southern Andes along the border between Argentina and Chile. Going up the Andes mountain pass I found my Hog fishtailing in the curves due to the wet cold roads. At the Argentine immigration checkpoint they had a sign calling for snow on the mountain. When we rode up there was sprinkling of rain, but the weather would have the temps drop further into the evening for the snow to appear. We crossed into Chile and rode Route 5 into Santiago in the cold weather.
Eventually we made it to Santiago that Saturday the day my plane flight to Connecticut was to leave. About 150 kilometers my front gas tank stopped working thus I was forced to use the auxiliary gas tank for the rest of the trip stopping every 150 miles or so. I left my Road Glide at the Harley Dealership to have the front end taken off to adjust the Legends Suspension, change all the fluids, adjust the belt tension, and some other small things that are needed. I was driven to the airport to meet my wife and children in Hartford. I had an additional long trip ahead of me.
Back From Connecticut – Now in Santiago, Chile
I am back in Santiago catching up on my Riders’ Report and going to pick up my Harley then pack it and hit the road. Kelsey got cabin fever waiting on me to which I don’t blame him. He took off this morning to ride some places to get out of Dodge. I will leave tomorrow Friday and my good friend Lorenzo wants to accompany me to the Peruvian Border. Sounds good to me and hopefully his wife will let him run with me on this part of the trip to later catch up to Kelsey.
This is a Charity Run:
I will stop here and tell you more on my trip to Ushuaia, Argentina to Alaska, but for now, I need to you donate some $$$$$$ for the American Legion (post 180). If you read my previous reports you know that I am riding for my local So Flo veterans through the American Legion (Post 180) located in Plantation, FL. The American Legion completes 100 years in service to our vets and their families. Post 180 does what they can to address the needs of our veterans within their reach in Broward County, FL. It is for this great cause that I am riding and asking you now to donate what you can. I generally ask for you all to donate a minimum of $20, but if God has blessed you donate more like $50 or $100! I ask you to donate what you can.
- A) Quickest Option:
You can donate digitally right now at: GoFundMe.com/Go-Gabe-2019, or
- B) Snail Mail Option:
You can mail a check made payable to: “American Legion Post 180” to Attorney That Rides, 1600 West State Road 84, Suite B, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315; or
- C) The Ride in Option:
You can bring a check or cash to Café 27 on Thursday Night Bike Night or Saturday during the days and see Three Fingers (Brian) at the Attorney That Rides tent set up there. Brian is a member of the American Legion Post 180 and helps me set up at Café 27 and other biker events. Just drop it into the donation jug with a smile on your face knowing you giving to a local cause!
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