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The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions, and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world. My Plan

My 3 Books
I write, self publish and sell books about touring

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How can I afford this?)

India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present

Alaska / Canada / USA
May 2008 to April 2010

New Zealand
Sept 2007 to May 2008

Australia
Sept 2006 to Sept 2007

SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006

South America
June 2003 to June 2004

AZ, Mexico, and Central America
March 2002 to April 2003

How I started
The 5 years before I left


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Equipment Pages Index

Introduction
How Much to Bring and Weight
Some Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
(See more about Sponsorship)

START HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames 
The Steel Repair Myth.
Steel and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs

Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Bike Computer
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Kickstands
Sealed Cartridge Headsets

How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps

Camping
Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground Cloth
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Camp Stove
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Water Filter
First Aide Kits
Solar Power for Camp

Clothing
Bike Touring Shorts

Electrical
Short-wave Radio
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mp3
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See My Videos Here



(see all 3 book)

Backpacking (Trekking) Camping in the Chiricahua Mountains  Wilderness Area Arizona and Map Information

(May 1 - May 6, 2002)

We are not just cyclist and some places a bicycle just can not go.   We stored our bikes and picked up our backpacks at the post office and hiked instead of pedaled into one of the most wonderful side trips to date.  The Chiricahua Wilderness was our first excursion off the bikes

We had always dreamed of backpacking in the Chiricahua Mountains for years while we lived in Prescott.  These mountains are in the far southeastern corner of Arizona and it is a seven hour drive from Prescott so we usually went somewhere closer to home.  We knew that this area was on our way to Mexico and, after calling the local Ranger, we learned that that the nearest town, Portal AZ, had a post office in which we could have our backpacks and boots sent general delivery.  Another convincing element was the fact that if we had our backpacking stuff sent to Portal AZ, used them, and then send them on to Tim's parents we would be set up to have them sent out to our next backpacking destination - probably Puebla Mexico to climb 18,000 ft volcanoes.  

You can tell by just looking at a state road map of Arizona that the Chiricahua Mountains are remote, high altitude, and have lots of trails.  The high Chiricahua Mountains look more like parts of Colorado rather than the low desert which surrounds these mountains and is what you would typically associate with southern Arizona.  In fact, most of the mountains in this area are pretty high and are surrounded by low desert.   These areas of Colorado like mountains are called "Sky Islands" because they have water, high alpine vegetation, animals, and are surrounded by a sea of desert. 

The Apache lived in these sky islands and used the rugged terrain to hide from US troops chasing them.  This type of terrain does not stop at the Mexican border but rather extends far into Northern Mexico.  The Apache roamed freely around this area long before outsiders made an imaginary line on the map.  Once the border were established the Apache used it to their advantage.  If they were raiding and killing people in Mexico eventually the Mexican Army would start chasing them.  They would cross the border, which the Mexican army could not, and start raiding and killing in the US until they got driven south by the US Army who were not allowed to cross the border into Mexico.  This worked for them until the two countries signed a treaty allowing each others army to cross the border if the were pursuing "hostiles".

We picked up four boxes in Portal that were sent to us General Delivery.  If you are not familiar with the General Delivery system I will explain.  You have the box to letter address to:

Your Name
General Delivery
Town and Zip code

It will be sent to the main post office of that city.  You walk in and tell the postal clerk that you want to pick your general delivery and you show a picture ID.   It costs nothing to receive and regular price to send.  This system is used in most countries and we plan on receiving our backpacking gear in various countries about twice a year. 

The Ranger warned us about the drought that was gripping the Southwest and how some springs could be dry.  In addition to the dry conditions there was a problem of the trails being blocked by downed trees.  A large fire in this area that burned in 1994 had killed all of the trees in the places it reached before fire fighters stopped it..   Fortunately, our trail crossed these burned areas but in a few places.  The places it did cross the burned areas were very slow hiking.  Because of the downed logs it would take a full hour to cover a mere quarter mile.  It would have been hard enough to cross these areas without backpacks but with packs loaded with six days of food it would be nearly impossible.  The Rangers advice was to shorten our daily mileage to match these conditions.  It would be tough but the beauty and history of this area were great rewards for this effort.

After picking up our stuff and discussing our route with the Forest Ranger the plan was to hitch hike to the trailhead.  This may have taken some time because their is so little traffic in this area but the few people driving around are very friendly so we figured it would not take but a couple of cars going by before we got picked up.  We never even got to put our thumbs out because a very nice couple, who were camped near us, offered to drive us up but before that happened we met a local with a house in Portal who offered to drive us up and store our bikes and some equipment.  We stored our stuff at his house and accepted the ride up.  That worked out because the couple camped near us were birding their way back to Berkley California and did not really have the time to drive up and down the mountain on the slow dirt road. 

We got dropped off at Rustlers Park (8480 ft)  in the early afternoon.  We camped near where we got dropped off and went on a short day hike.  The night was cold but due to a nice campfire, in the evening and again in the morning, we were comfortable.  The spring near our camp ran clear and cold.  We heard from another tourist that they drank from the spring without filtering or treating at all and had no problems but we did not take any chances.

The next day we saw that there was a known camp on the map of the great Apache Chief Victorio.   We left our tent  and gear in place and went on a long day hike to Buena Vista Peak and then down to a flat meadow with a running spring where Victorio's band had camped and hid from the Army several times.  Despite the drought the spring was trickling out water.  This was a perfect place to hide the hundreds of Victorio's band and the US Army could be spotted from a near by peak hours before they could arrive.   Even if they marched up the hill they would have a hard time finding this hidden meadow.  The Apache usually took full advantage of the rugged terrain and would set a trap.  The soldiers, who would have to march up the 3000 ft trail (that we rode earlier) would be in no condition to take on Apache Warriors who were well rested and attacking from high cliffs.  We had lunch near the meadow as we imagined these events.  Today this place is occupied by the birds and other wildlife that still call this place home.

The next day we packed up and trekked several miles to Tub Springs (9000 ft).  This spring was teaming with life and there was no question as to the need to filter.   Many animals visited this continuous source of water.  In the night we heard a large stick break.  It was loud indicating that something weighing as much as us had to step on it.  It was probably a Black Bear that are known to be abundant in these mountains.  Do not worry.  Tim has camped in bear country before and knows the importance of hanging all of the food from a high tree branch and having nothing they would consider food in the tent.  

The next day we packed up and set off for Anita Park.  A "Park" on our map really turned out to be a meadow and usually perfect places to camp.  This march again went over several trees and up more elevation.  Once we got there we found one of the most beautiful places on earth.  High (9500 ft.) and cold we made our camp for two nights.  The nearby spring was very small and dripped out the sweetest, clearest, and coldest water that we have seen yet in our travels.  Tim poured it over his head to wash his hair until he said that he had brain freeze from the outside in.  In camp we laid around and soaked up the sun and silence.  This was a truly magical time.  

We left the packs behind and took off for the highest peak in the area Chiricahua Peak (9786 Ft.).  Once at the peak we had to laugh because there were better views from our camp back at Anita Park.  There were simply too many trees on the peak to see much.  From there we took off for another spring that was listed on our topo map.   The trail was faint and several time we had to check the compass against the map to make sure that we could find it. 

We expected a two day hike down the mountain back to Portal.  Down is hard - as anyone who hikes much can tell you.  We had a long day hiking down several thousand feet until we came to a dirt road used by birders.  We were running out of food but were to tired to go any further than a near by creek to camp.  As we walked down the quiet dirt road and looking for a place to camp with water we heard a car on the bumpy road.  Tim, who has hitchhiked in his past and was worried about our shortage of food, stuck out his thumb.  The car pulled over and was heading to Portal.  In the car was a University professor from Poland who was studying Red Starts, (see photo page) a specific bird in the area.  He took us all of the way back to our bikes and a large meal in the only local restaurant.  This proves that a thumb in the air is worth a meal on your plate.

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INDEX #1: North and Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to
9-15-06

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present


(see all 3 book)

(Before March 30, 2002)
Life in Prescott Arizona, USA

Cindie's Daily Journals
Life in Prescott Arizona

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Good bye Letter

Other essays by Tim
About Us
Our Bicycle Wedding
Riding In Prescott
Hiking in Arizona
Favorite Bike Movies
The Great Zorr Dog
Life in a $500 RV
The Plan
Good bye Letter

 

(March 30 - May 12, 2002)
The State of Arizona, USA
Prescott to Douglas, Arizona

Cindie's Daily Journals
Cindie's Journal in Arizona, USA

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Our first week Down the Road!
Enjoying Arizona
Heading into Mexico

Other essays by Tim
The Day We Left
Lost Dutchman Mine
Ghost Towns
Tombstone
Chiricahua National Monument
Portal Arizona
Backpacking in the Chiricahua Mountains
Apache Wars

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page for Arizona Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Pictures from the first day
- Arizona Photo Page #1 Prescott AZ - Tucson AZ
- Lost Dutchman State Park
- Arizona Photo Page #2 Tucson AZ - Tombstone AZ
- San Xavier Mission
- Arizona Photo Page #3 Tombstone AZ to Portal AZ 
- Tombstone Arizona
- Ghost Towns in Arizona 
- Chiricahua National Monument
- Portal Arizona
- Chiricahua Wilderness Area Backpack (Trek)

 

(May 13 - 31, 2002)
The States of Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico
Agua Prieta to Cuauhtemoc, Mexico

Cindie's Daily Journals
The States of Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Greetings from Mexico!

Other essays by Tim
The Problems with the Border Area Between Mexico and the USA
Paquime Ruins Casas Grandes, Mexico
Barranca del Cobre or Copper Canyon

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Mexico #1 Photo Page   Agua Prieta to Zaragoza, Mexico
- Paquime Ruins - Casas Grandes, Mexico
- Mexico #2 Photo Page    Zaragoza to Col. Alvaro Obregon, Mexico
- The Mennonites of Chihuahua, Mexico
- Mexico #3 Photo Page 
- Barranca del Cobre or Copper Canyon Photo Page

 

(June 1 - July 17, 2002)
The States of Zacatecas and Guanajuato, Mexico
Zacatecas to Guanajuato, Mexico

Cindie's Daily Journals
The States of Zacatecas and Guanajuato, Mexico

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Hello Guanajuato
Adios Guanajuato

Other essays by Tim
One Fine Day Down The Road
Learning Spanish at Casa Mexicana in Guanajuato, Mexico
Cindie's Car Crash: a Mexican Experience Guanajuato, Mexico

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Zacatecas and Guanajuato Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Zacatecas, Mexico
- Central Mexico #1  Zacatecas to Ojuelos, Mexico
- One Fine Day Down The Road  State of Zacatecas, Mexico
- Central Mexico #2 Zacatecas to Guanajuato, Mexico
- Dolores Hidalgo, the Home of the Mexican War of Independence
- Guanajuato and the Mexican War of Independence
- Guanajuato, Mexico #1
- Guanajuato, Mexico #2
- Mineral Museum of the University of Guanajuato

 

(July 18 - Aug 22, 2002)
The State of Michoacan, Mexico
Guanajuato to Toluca, Mexico

Cindie's Daily Journals
The State of Michoacan, Mexico

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
The Great Secret of Michoacan!
Toluca

Other essays by Tim
Into the Mist State of Michoacan, Mexico

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Michoacan, Mexico Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Guanajuato to   Penjamillo, Mexico
- Penjamillo to Patzcuaro, Mexico
- Patzcuaro, Mexico
- Patzcuaro to Cuidad Hidalgo, Michoacan, Mexico
- Morelia, Mexico
- Into the Mist Mexican highway 15
- Cuidad Hidalgo, Michoacan, to Toluca, Mexico
- Toluca, Mexico
- The Velodrome in Toluca, Mexico

 

(Aug. 23 - Sept. 17, 2002)
The States of Mexico and Morelos, Mexico
Toluca to Amecameca, Mexico

Cindie's Daily Journals
The States of Mexico and Morelos

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
So Close to Mexico City Yet So Far From Anything

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of The States of Mexico and Morelos, Mexico Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Toluca to Chalma, Mexico
- Malinalco, Mexico
- Chalma to Amecameca, Mexico
- Cuernavaca, Mexico
- Amecameca
- September 16 Mexican Independence Day
- Various Extra Pictures

 

(September 18 - 27, 2002)
Mexico City Area
Including the ruins of Teotihuacan

Mexico City, Mexico

Cindie's Daily Journals
Mexico City Area

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Six Months Down the Road

Other essays by Tim
Looking Deep Into the Eyes of a Thief Mexico City Metro (subway)
The Velodrome in Mexico City

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Mexico City Area Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Mexico City
- National Palace and Zocalo
- The Velodrome (bicycle track) in Mexico City
- The Ruins of Teotihuacan #1
- The Ruins of Teotihuacan #2
- Xochimilco
- Mexico City Zoo
- National Museum of Anthropology

 

(Oct.  12 - Nov. 8, 2002)
The States of Tabasco and Chiapas, Mexico
Villahermosa, Tabasco to Cuauhtemoc Chiapas, Mexico

Cindie's Daily Journals
The States of Tabasco and Chiapas, Mexico

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Our Final Weeks in Mexico

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Tabasco and Chiapas, Mexico Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Museum La Venta and the Olmec Heads Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico
- Villahermosa, Tabasco  to Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico
- Palenque #1 Photo Picture Page
- Palenque #2 Photo Picture Page
- Misol-Ha Waterfall Chiapas, Mexico
- Agua Azul Chiapas, Mexico
- Tonina Mayan Ruins Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico
- Mexico's Day of the Dead Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico
- Ocosingo to Cuauhtemoc Chiapas, Mexico

 

(Dec 2 - 15, 2002)
Guatemala #1: The Highlands
Quetzaltenango to Antigua

Cindie's Daily Journals
Guatemala #1 The Highlands

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Guatemala: Riding Through the Highlands

Guatemala: From Paradise to Despair

Other Pages Tim Made
Escuela de Idioma Español Utatlan, Spanish Immersion School in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Guatemala #1 Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- La Mesilla to Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
- The Indigenous Highland Village of San Andreas Xecul
- Climbing the Volcano Santa Maria.
- Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
- Quetzaltenango to Antigua, Guatemala.
- San Pedro la Laguna Lago (Lake) Atitlan, Guatemala
- Lago (Lake) Atitlan Santa Cruz to San Marcos Hike
- More San Pedro Photos Photo Page

 

(Dec. 16, 2002 - Jan. 6, 2003)
Guatemala #2: Northeast Towards the Caribbean
Antigua to Puerto Barrios, Guatemala

Cindie's Daily Journals
Guatemala #2
: Heading Northeast Towards the Caribbean

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Antigua, Guatemala to the Sea

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Guatemala #2 Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- The Colonial City of Antigua, Guatemala. #1
- The Historical City of Antigua, Guatemala. #2
- The Active Volcano Pacaya, Near Antigua
- Antigua to Puerto Barrios, Guatemala
- The Mayan Ruins of Tikal, Guatemala
- Livingston, Guatemala

 

(January 7 - 31, 2003)
Honduras
From the Guatemalan Border to the Nicaraguan Border

Cindie's Daily Journals
Honduras

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Honduras: From the Guatemalan Border to the Nicaraguan Border

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Honduras Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Honduras: The Border to Comayagua, Honduras
- Omoa, Honduras and Fortaleza de San Fernando de Omoa
- Parque Nacional Cero Azul Meambar, Honduras Page #1
- Parque Nacional Cero Azul Meambar, Honduras Page #2
- Comayagua to Tegucigalpa, Honduras
- Tegucigalpa, Honduras to the Border with Nicaragua
- Odds and Ends

 

(Feb. 1 - 19, 2003)
Nicaragua
From the Honduras Border to the Costa Rican Border

Cindie's Daily Journals
Nicaragua

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Nicaragua: Travels Through a Troubled Land

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Nicaragua Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Nicaragua: The Honduras border to Esteli, Nicaragua
- Esteli, Nicaragua:  the Stronghold of the Sandinista
- Esteli to Granada, Nicaragua
- Granada, Nicaragua #1
- Granada, Nicaragua #2
- Volcano Masaya - Near Managua, Nicaragua
- Granada, Nicaragua to the Costa Rican Border
- Isla / Island Ometepe, Lake Nicaragua
- Ernie, The Entertainer from Jamaica

 

(Feb. 21 - March 14, 2003)
Costa Rica #1
La Cruz to Rancho Mastatal, Costa Rica

Cindie's Daily Journals
Costa Rica #1

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Costa Rica #1 (incomplete)

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Costa Rica #1 Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Nicaraguan Border to Playa Tamarindo
- Liberia, Guancaste, Costa Rica.
- Playa Tamarindo
to Playa Samara
- Playa Samara to Playa Jaco
- Manuel Antonio National Park #1
- Rancho Mastatal, Costa Rica #1
- Rancho Mastatal, Costa Rica #2

 

(March 15 - April 10, 2003)
Costa Rica #2
Manual Antonio to Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica

Cindie's Daily Journals
Costa Rica #2

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Costa Rica #2 (incomplete)

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Costa Rica #2 Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Parque National Manuel Antonio, #2
- City of Santa Elena and Monteverde
- Butterfly Garden, Santa Elena, Monteverde
- Finca Ecological, Monteverde
- Frog Pond (Ranario), Santa Elena
- Santa Elena, Cloud Forest, National Park
- Sky Walk, Suspension Bridge, Canopy Tour
- Sky Trek Zip Line, Canopy Tour
- Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

 

(April 12 - 17, 2003)
Panama
Panama City, Panama

Cindie's Daily Journals
Panama

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Panama (Incomplete)

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Panama Pictures

Full size Picture Pages

- Panama City #1
- Panama City #2
- Panama Canal

1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to
9-15-06

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present
Where am I  now

Subscribe to Email Newsletter

 

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Our 3rd Book
Down The Road in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam

A Bicycle Tour Through War, Genocide and Forgiveness

Our 2nd book
Down The Road in South America

A bicycle tour through poverty, paradise, and the places in between.

Our 1st book
The Road That Has No End

How we traded our ordinary lives for a global bicycle touring adventure.

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(Ships Internationally)

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