Dissertation of an adventure

Click here to start from the Beginning




I had to wake up at 4:30am to ride a cab to the San Jose airport in Costa Rica. It was quite a busy airport that early in the morning but I arrived just early enough to make all the necessary checkouts and fly back to the USA.



I changed planes in Denver which meant I had 1 hour to clear customs with all my luggage. I had a little hang up when I presented my declaration paperwork with a paragraph of countries visited before returning section. I was sent to the level 2 baggage X-Ray checkpoint but since I was the only one in that line I made it through quickly.


A miserable overnight in LA and I was back on the plane to Alaska. The cold and snow was a bittersweet welcome home.



I am very thankful that you read this weblog, without knowing it many times I was very close to throwing in the towel but I didn’t want to let you down. I felt as if it was up to me to go deeper and farther into the forsaken third world and seek out the good and the bad. So if you can pay me one last favor and leave a comment with your favorite story of this saga I would be a better person for it and could more accurately speak to my audience in the future. You can be anonymous if you wish, but please just comment.




Now for the Q and A..



Was it dangerous? Were you ever scared along the way?


Yes it was dangerous, I put myself in several dangerous situations. I think that if anyone was looking to commit a crime against someone they would look past me. On the road most banditos probably didn’t know that I was packing a six pack of firebombs with an itch to use one, but I think that the confidence and purpose that I projected kept them looking for easier targets. On the street the machete muggers also never took a shot at me, because even in the dark 3:00 am night I was almost wishing that I could test my theory that throwing giant rocks will prevail over a simple machete.  


The scariest situation I encountered was in a dark slum in the depths of Managua Nicaragua. I was held up at a policia checkpoint for an hour and a half as darkness fell leaving me completely lost. After a 30 minute aimless drive I ended up on a dark dead end street with gang bangers partying in front of the huts on either side of the road. I drove the gringo machine past all of them only to find the dead end. On my return trip back down the chokepoint they were all out waiting for me. With the windows down I almost had to run over a guy to demonstrate that I wasn’t stopping for any reason and I got out of it alive.




Would you do it again? What would you do different?


Never Ever Ever drive to Centro America for any reason. Everywhere you go you are constantly burdened by your car, you have to find a guarded parquero every night and you always have to watch it or people will jimmy the locks to steal your stuff. For the amount of money it costs to bring an American vehicle down there you could pay for a plane ticket and buy a vehicle once you are in country. A car with CentroAmerican plates almost never gets messed with.


If I go back I would fly to San Jose Costa Rica and by a motorcycle for $800. On a motorbike you aren’t stabbed by the fuel costs and breeze through the borders and police checkpoints.




Did you learn to speak Spanish? Was it hard?


Sólo puedo decir lo que tengo que decir. I can say only what I need to say, my vocabulary is still very small but I am still working on it even now. I went into Mexico without even being able to count to ten. Now I can get by using a 4 year olds vocab and understand where to go and what to do. It was very hard and very frustrating, but necessity makes things happen at an incredible rate.


It seems the fastest vocab and grammar lessons are watching movies with Spanish subtitles and writing useful phrases on flash cards to memorize.





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10 responses to “Dissertation of an adventure

  1. lizzie

    well. my favorite part of the blog as a whole was the storys. as i’m sure you are aware you’re a phenomenal story teller. i was laughing out loud at almost everyone.

    my favorite specific stories were probably…
    -your kayaking attempt up the coast of belize that you just pulled into the resort and took a nap on the grass
    -the massive amounts of parades going on all the time
    -the family bike riders. i still want to try that with mike.
    -your crazy sunburn (back to the kayaking)
    -the beautiful sunset and beach/ocean pictures. i was jealous almost every day.
    -oh yeah, and the picture of the kayak sticking out of the pt cruiser.

    i’m sure there were more, those are the only ones popping into my head right now.

    i think you should continue to blog even though you’ve left middle america. i’m sure your life has adventures you can still post about.

  2. jami

    It was a blast reading your blog. I don’t know if I have a specific story that I loved, but I will tell you that you are my husband’s hero. You should keep blogging, we’ll keep reading.

  3. Aunt Barb

    I loved the entire story! How can you narrow out one adventure. The whole trip was an adventure.
    I loved the beach pictures, I love your descriptions of the culture. My favorite probably is when you decided to sell the car and the kayak and the new twist to the story! You are a brave soul and I think it is fun!

  4. Ina

    I was just checking and discovered your blog postscript! I was hooked on your blog and travel adventures. Every day I would check to see what new adventure you’d had. I had many favorites, but the standouts are the monkey video and that filthy water being enjoyed by the locals! I admired your ability to do something different. I wish you would blog every day.

  5. Hey man!

    Thanks for your blog. You were one of the best guest we ever had so far.

    Ojala podamos verte de nuevo

  6. Jon and Lisa

    Hi from Jon and Lisa (We sold you the giant banana boat). We are so thrilled to have followed your amazing journey and were entertained every step of the way–Glad you made it home safely. Duede, sorry about the hatch! We should have thrown in some dry bags but we weren’t thinking!I kept bragging at work and giving everyone the lowdown on the location of big yellow. Very strange and vicarious to see a thing that sat beside our garage make its way through more countries than we will ever visit. Yes, please do keep up the blog–your perspective is refreshing and unique and if you wrote a book we’d buy it!

  7. Did you bring any nachos the size of your ass home with you?

    …I bought a bass guitar specifically for our jam session on your return trip… oh well.

    Look me up next time you get a wild hair up your nachos.

  8. Cujo Wilson

    Nicely done bro. Thank god for this travel blog. Some of the long days on the slope. This is the only thing I had to look forward too. Glad you are home safe and sound though….and not married. See you on the 18th for the Service High reunion. I am balls deep in a seven week hitch right now!!!! Make money money, make money money money.

  9. Maryjane Melis

    You are a true adventurer. I loved reading of your travels. The fishing boat will seem mild.
    You follow your dreams, good for you.

  10. Nickle Pickle

    Hey Craigers –

    Awesome adventure! I would have never thought you could actually drive that far south and SURVIVE! You are quite the smart nature man when it comes to things like that though.

    I love the part with the monkeys, they are so smart. But I think I love the clean shaven combover the best!

    Wonderful stories, you always have the best!

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