Sunday, August 28


Zenog! Where did we park that damn thing? know, fortunately, due to my less than stellar posting approach, very few 'followers' are missing that I have yet to add any photos/stories from the recent return trip from Guatemala... save the photo above... mostly because they have come to learn that since my postings are infrequent at best, they simply need not check until I send an update link... so this one is just more filler taking up space until I get my act together to post more and send that link... hang in there :O)

However, if you happen to checking this,Thanks for being such an Out-of-this-World blog reader, but really... don't you have better things to be doing?

Monday, August 8

Whew! Made It!

10,000 miles and all is swell. Choco y Yo just rolled back into the Oregon beach town we call our own, the one we left from nearly 5 months ago. It was a quick return from Guatemala, but it did brim with lasting beauty, the kind to share, just not right now... the photos and words need to be put in the mill and turned about a bit before they are ready... so stay tuned, a new Chocovango post full of photos and more is coming soon. Ciao.

Tuesday, April 12

...that's when we hit the rock.

Apparently, it takes something like a near-disaster to get me to write. Daily events and the beauties I am fortunate to witness are just too ordinary and seemingly obvious. Also, it is easier to write about disaster and have it be read, it is full of the dramas that people can relate to through the fears they often carry close to their hearts. To write only of singing birds and magical Sunsets, and have that be interesting, can be quite a challenge, so, I am going to take the easy way out...

 It wasn't until we had the weight of Pablo, his son and friends, in the back of Choco that the roughness of the roads we were traveling along became more of an issue. As we negotiated each rut, boulder, washout and drop-off along the way from the Rio Dulce up into the steep, misty mountains of Alta Verapaz, I became more concerned about the clearance between Choco's underside and the treacherously jutting rocks of the road bed.

 At one point, the incessant jiggling caused by the road conditions, broke loose one of Choco's storage boxes mounted above our passengers.

No big deal, they just reached up and re-supported it with their arms and carried on talking as if it was a perfectly normal occurrence. However, knowing we had at least another 2 hours to go, stopping to find a fix seemed appropriate.

We pulled over at the next flat spot that had some promising vegetation. We all hopped out, me grabbing my machete and Michele her camera, and found a tree. Pablo insisted on doing the work, and I didn't argue as one Guatemalan working a machete is practically like two Gringos working chainsaws. I did however point out to Pablo that he may want to try the saw on the back of the blade since it was maybe sharper. He looked at it quizzically for a second and then apparently thought, “why not?”, and set about sawing, instead of the customary hacking, a branch that seemed like it would meet our needs.

The boys all gathered around and giggled at the new approach to cutting a branch, but in a few moments, Pablo had the branch cut to length and ready to install.

 It fit perfectly. Pablo once again studied the blade and gave it a little nod of approval. I so wanted to give him the machete, but I thought there might be another situation further down the road that might need the machetes expertise. I instead envisioned Pablo, at home, eagerly filing saw teeth into the back of his own machete.

So, I was doing so well conducting Choco along our scenic, rutted route at 15-20 mph, our passengers in back chatting away in their local tongue, Michelle snapping photos out the window... that's when we hit the rock.

To me, it was the sound of an extra-jagged rock puncturing Choco's heart-like oil reservoir, bleeding out all of Choco's hot, life sustaining lubrication. I immediately stopped and dreading, got out to go check the extent of the damage. I half-expected to see a slowly growing rivulet of black blood, like in a horror movie, ominously creeping its way across the road. But, no jagged rock, no puncture, no blood, no horror... not even a drip was apparent as I examined the underside of the motor... Choco took the spanking by El Camino (the way) like the Super Van he is and merely twisted his oil cooler in response to the insult. Viva Choco!

We carried on to our destination, Lanquin and Samuc Champey (for those that have been here), without any further punishment. 

The next day I disassembled the affected parts and only found a bit of shaved off metal and a couple bent pieces that, to date, are still serviceable. However, if anyone happens to be coming down in the next couple months, I might ask to have a couple parts brought along if possible.

We were very fortunate. Had actual disaster ensued, not only would I have more to write about, we would have had to stay right there alongside a remote road and figure out someway of getting Choco towed over and around the treacherousness... could have been fun, but it working out as it did has been, most likely,  even more fun. Thanks be to the power responsible.


My friend Michelle is now back, hard at work in Neskowin and I am sure daydreaming of her next adventure to the wilds of Central America.

It was a lot of fun traveling with her, she has a way of looking at things that is filled with genuine wonder. I would often see her looking across a landscape with an awe inspired grin, easily absorbing all the beauty. If any of you are fortunate enough to see her, I am sure that beauty will be reflected right back...

Thanks for a wonder-filled trip Michelle :o)