The endless nights of drinking maté and brainstorming in front of our computers are coming to a head. TRACKING PATAGONIA will exit the phase of grant proposals, press releases, and logistics on Tuesday January 22, when we finally hit the road.
Our team of Sarah Athanas, Rob Jackson, Anne Hedderman, and Scott Jackson have our bikes as ready as they’re going to be. We will also be joined by a friend of Sarah’s, Russ Finkelstein, for the first week or so.
The relatively fast-paced streets of Northern Patagonia’s capital city of Coyhaique (population 50,000) will be left behind and the dusty, bumpy, and curvy main Patagonian thoroughfare called the Carretera Austral will become our home. A bit of anxiety and a lot of excitement accompany our last-minute preparations and they are a fit pair of emotions. They are one in the same.
We have formed this team due to our shared love for Northern Patagonia. We have agreed that sometimes it is the risks one takes that make them stronger (in our case the risks have nothing to do with masked mauraders or armed guerillas, and much to do with grueling uphill climbs and unpredictable weather.) We are sure that by guarding our expectations and not fretting over the unforeseen perils of our bicycle trek and week-long rafting trip on the mighty Baker River we will get a firsthand look at the spirit of the region.
We plan to ride at a moderate pace, travelling about 30 kilometers every day. Some days the ascents over mountain passes will be daunting. Other days the descents will be uplifting. The rainstorms will soak through and mighty winds will be biting. Days of sun and heat will dry us out again. If there is one certainty on this journey it is that the potholes and gravel and blowing dirt of the Carretera will shake our bones and move our souls.
Our bonding attitude – we can’t wait to see what happens! We hope you enjoy our endeavor from afar and feel a part of the transformation that we will be undergoing. Northern Patagonia is facing incredible change in the face of the proposed dam projects and we want the whole world to know what is at stake. Please be content to read along for now. Soon enough we will have a feature length documentary to stretch your minds and open your eyes.