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Goodbye Letter (Sent out in February, 2002)
We tried to keep our leaving a secret from our jobs but 2 months before we left we spilled the beans with this email that we sent to over 300 friends. The reaction that we got was overwhelming. This letter also committed us to leaving on a specific date which was truly the point of no return.
Dear friends and family:
As you probably all know, Cindie and I have been planning a big bike tour for several years now. We now have money for seven years and I hope to find a way to keep traveling even after that. We leave in just a few short weeks. Our house is now rented out and we are currently living in our RV near the school I teach at. Because I can now walk to school my car is now up for sale. Cindie's truck and the RV will be sold in a few weeks as well. We had no idea how much work and planning this trip would take. We have been knee deep in chores for the last three months. We will soon be past the point of no return and we both are very excited.
We leave Saturday March 30, 2002. We will first have breakfast at the Tecate Grill in downtown Prescott at around 8AM. We will be leaving on our adventure from the Prescott Courthouse at 9:30AM. We will hopefully make it to Yarnell to camp but will be satisfied with anything past Wilhoit. We are giving ourselves three days to get to Phoenix. We will be carrying more than is considered reasonable and be very slow. The first day is always the hardest.
It is very hard to plan a trip like this out because things change but it is also unwise not to plan at all. Our route for the first six weeks is pretty much figured out but as we get further into the future my planning gets vaguer.
I want to follow the good weather around the globe. Weather is truly something worth planning around. We do not want to be somewhere during the rainy season or the desert when it is hot. I have researched several different sources and have put that information together like a puzzle and planned our route by that. We will see how it works in time.
We are not concerned with our mileage. I bet we average less than 200 a week. I have met people who have ridden from Panama to here in three months. We plan on taking an entire year. We really just have to haul our load to Panama the rest of the time we can do rides or hikes without our loads.
The main yardstick for us is how little we can spend. We plan on only having $15,000 a year. That comes out to about $41 a day. If we can get by on less who knows how long we can go but if we spend more we will have to cut something out.
At this point we plan on spending the first four week meandering around southern Arizona in order to get our legs strong and break in the gear. Around May 1, 2002 we will cross the border at Douglas and begin the many climbs into the central Mexico highlands. Around July, or so, we want to spend a few weeks going to a Spanish immersion school in Guanajuato, Mexico. The famous velodrome, where Eddy Merckx set the hour record, is on our list as well. Around October 2002 we will descend out of the Central highlands of Mexico and cross the Guatemalan border in late November 2002.
We will spend about 5 months in Central America riding south through Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica until we arrive in Panama around April 2003. At this time we plan on visiting my family in Indiana and Cindie's family in Connecticut for a month. After our time in the states we hope to continue either in Colombia or Ecuador around June 2003. Colombia is a great bike country but not the kind of place you want to visit in a bad year.
If all goes well we will follow the spine of the Andes Mountains south all the way to Southern Chile. We have not decided whether we want to go all the way to the tip at Terra Del Fuego or not but around March 2004 we plan on flying to Africa and spend several months riding in the more friendly countries (and not in civil war) of that continent.
After Africa we think that we may want to teach English in Europe. Maybe southern Spain or Greece in September 2004. Athens for the 2004 summer Olympics may be a possibility too. Besides teaching English we would like to travel around Europe for a year. There is so much to see there. I am sure we will have to catch a major portion of the Tour De France or we will surely feel like we came to dinner but never really ate.
Things get very sketchy after that but I can see us flying from Europe to Hong Kong and riding several months in China and eventually meandering south through Asia until we get to Australia. Australia will take about a year to explore. Heading to New Zealand is a requirement that I must accomplish in order to satisfy an agreement that I made with Cindie. You have no idea what other things I had to agree to before she would go on this trip, but she is my trooper and worth every effort.
COME JOIN US
We leave Saturday March 30, 2002. Again, we will have breakfast at the Tecate Grill in downtown Prescott at around 8AM. We will be leaving on our adventure from the Prescott Courthouse at 9:30 AM. I would like to invite anyone who wants to see us off to meet us for breakfast at the Tecate Grill and/or at the Prescott Courthouse to ride with us one last time. I know that this will be impossible for the many out of state recipients of this email and we will have to catch up with you later. For the rest we would like one last grind up the Whitespars together or at least coffee.
We will soon be updating our web page http://downtheroad.org when we can. The site is started but is just a shell at this point and will have more content as we travel down the road. We are starting a new email list in order to stay in contact with everyone. If you would like to remain on this list, please reply to this email.
Don't be afraid to write,
Tim and Cindie Travis
I have used several brands of bicycle panniers and
highly recommend Ortlieb.
See Why I switched to Ortlieb waterproof Panniers?
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