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Mailbag Monday #12

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Today_we_continue our Mailbag Monday series…

Dear Nathan,

How are you doing?  I’m doing great in school.  Do you ever feel like you are in danger?  How the scenery?  Are they cool awesome?  How long are you going in miles?  It will be great if you can answer the questions but if you can’t, it’s ok.

Sincerely,

Matthew

Hey Matthew,

I’m doing great! We just started the South American portion of our journey and the mountains are already kicking our butts. Each of the last four or five days we’ve had to climb a mountain, or a series of them. It has been a ton of work.  Each day we tackle several four to six hour climbs on terrain that varies between gravel and a mixture of rocks and mud. I’m glad you are having a good time in school, I have many silly memories from school. On warm days in wintertime we would try to make super-snowmen. Typically recess would end with massive snowballs that no one was capable of lifting.

To have an adventure atop a bicycle saddle comes with much danger. Some days, we travel on the shoulders of busy highways. Couple that with threats of bears and bandits, and there is plenty to make a person concerned. We do our best to be safe on the roads and use good judgement, and pray that others look out for us in the same way. It’s hard to worry about it when we find ourselves in the middle of such beauty. The Andes of South America have made my jaw drop on several occasions. The trip will end up at around sixteen thousand miles which sounds massive, but it’s amazing to think we are already over half done.

Thanks for writing Matthew!

Nathan

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. krista #

    I recall super snowman attempts in elementary school. Usually it made the snowball the lone snowy structure surrounded by dead grass.

    Glad for the mile inclusion; my kilo measuring skills are still not up to par.

    February 20, 2012
  2. Allison Stoltz #

    Hello Nathan,

    Do you know how tall the biggest mountain you’ve climbed has been?
    Have you gotten stuck in the muddy roads?
    We’ve forgotten: were is your final destination?
    Have there been many times where there have been forks in the road?
    Did you get to celebrate any for Mardi Gras or Carnival?
    Are you still climbing mountains?

    Stay safe. Have fun. Bike hard.

    Ms. Stoltz’s class

    February 22, 2012
    • Hello Hello!

      The biggest pass we crossed was a few weeks ago, from Mocoa to Pasto in Colombia. The elevation of the pass is right around 12,000ft! It was a huge climb, and took about five or six hours of climbing to reach the top and descend to a camping site. The the terrain on the climb was some of the most difficult we experienced. Not only were we dealing with a steep grade to climb, but also large stones, mud, and streams.

      Our final destination is the Ushuaia, Argentina. It is the southernmost city on the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego. There have been many forks in the road, and most of the time we take the correct turn. Occasionally we have taken a wrong turn, but we are able to figure out our error within a mile or two. We are going to be climbing in the mountains or very close to the mountains for the remainder of our trip. It will be some of the most beautiful and difficult riding we will face.

      Thanks!

      Nathan

      February 22, 2012

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