Outback of Beyond Adventures
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Loren and I have put together a couple of slide presentations about our Jeep and Rokon expeditions. The first is: A World Odyssey – The Epic Voyage of the Sand Ship Discovery.
Loren Lee Upton and Patricia E. Upton answer the challenge: to drive one American made, 1966 CJ-5 Jeep from the furthest road north in North America to the furthest road north in Europe, via the tip of South America and South Africa, entirely by land except for the natural water barrier, the south Atlantic Ocean. This epic sojourn spans five years, 56,000 miles and five continents!
The journey begins: June 15, 1984 in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska on the furthest road north in North America.
The Darien Gap Crossing! No roads in sight, only 125 miles of dense jungles, tortuous rivers, rugged mountains and vast swamps. 741 grueling, and at times incredibly frustrating, days from February 1985 to March 1987 that put us in the 1992 Guinness Book of Records!
Headed south through South America to Road’s End: furthest road south near Punta Arenas, Chile and then on to the Island of Tierra del Fuego.
Crossed the south Atlantic Ocean by Greek freighter to Cape Town, South Africa and began the sojourn northward from Cape Agulahas, furthest road south on the continent of Africa.
Danger strikes in northern Sudan! Forced to leave the Jeep and float down the Nile River in a make-shift raft for 2Ѕ days in search of civilization. 70 days’ delay for a 15 minute repair job!
Thwarted at the Occupied West Bank of the River Jordan! Crossed the Mid-East. Wintered in England. Traveling through Europe and what was the Soviet Union.
The journey ends: July 4, 1989 at Gamvik, Norway on the furthest road north in Europe.
Loren and Patricia Upton’s Quest for Adventure Continues!
The second slide presentation we have is of our Rokon Trail-Breaker motorcycle expedition . Through the Gap – The Taking of the Windmill.
Loren and Patricia once again answer the challenge: this time to be the first to drive a motorcycle, an American made Rokon Trail-Breaker, through the infamous Darien Gap of Panama and Colombia – all on land!
The journey begins: February 11, 1995 – at the end of the Pan-American Highway in Central America – Yaviza, Republic of Panama.
The Darien Gap : 8 years after being the first to cross this infamous piece of real estate in a Jeep, the Upton’s were at it again, this time completing the first all land crossing of the 125 miles of dense tropical jungles, tortuous rivers, rugged mountains, and vast swamps by motorcycle. 49 arduous days of near never ending romantic high adventure!
Spent fifty-eight hours on a rusting hulk coastal boat with the dubious reputation of being sunk on three previous occasions, just to reach the end of the Pan-American Highway.
Camp raided one evening and the Rokon Trail-Breaker . christened Rozinante . taken and chained to a post in a thatched hut and held for ransom! Rescued by heavily armed police.
Rozinante . the Rokon Trail-Breaker, suffered a minor mechanical breakdown that seriously set the expedition’s time schedule back ten days which in turn set in motion yet another trying logistical challenge that had to be overcome in order to successfully cross the Gap entirely on land. Rainy season was fast approaching and with it comes a sea of thick, gooey mud.
Meeting face to face the infamous Colombian Guerrillas. Not gorillas – the silver backed, chest beating, mountain dwelling kind – NO! Guerrillas – the fatigue wearing, automatic weapon toting, jungle dwelling kind!
The journey ends: March 31, 1995 at Rio Sucio, Colombia, from there a primitive road connects to the Pan-American Highway in Colombia.
The obstacles provided by Mother Nature came to an end when the expedition reached Rio Sucio, however, the man made obstacles were just beginning. faced with almost insurmountable government and shipping company restrictions it took fifteen long, frustration days to find a way to ship Rozinante back to the United States.
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Outback of Beyond Adventures
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