Dirt Road Blues (San Sebastian, Chile)

“I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t like dirt roads,” I mused.

“Didn’t you already know that?” Daryl asked.

“I don’t like them either,” Davy added.  “Unless they’re a BMX track.”

There was a time, back when I was young and foolish, that I enjoyed the rough and tumble challenge of dirt roads.  But now that I’m old and gray and ready for my rocker, I’ve decided I prefer asphalt.

I don’t like the intense concentration needed to maintain control on dirt roads. I don’t like that I have to concentrate on that patch of road six feet ahead of me watching for an errant rock or patch of loose gravel that’ll send me sprawling.  I don’t like how my whole body stiffens when I hit loose stuff and how my bike wobbles and my wheels slip and slide.  I don’t like how sore my arms and shoulders get after a few days on dirt roads.  I don’t like the whump-whump-whump-whump of washboard.

And so – I was thrilled when we pulled up to a small hotel/restaurant in San Sebastian on the Chile/Argentina border.  This gawdawful stretch of dirt road through Chile will end at the border – and I was more than ready for it.

“It’ll be dirt road all the way to the Argentinian San Sebastian,” truckers told me.  “Fifteen kilometers away.”

Talk about taking the wind outta my sails…

Our plan had been to cross the border and get to the Argentinian San Sebastian today, then on to Rio Grande tomorrow.  But… well… I dunno…

We walked out of the restaurant after eating hamburgers and it was cold and cloudy and rain was starting to fall and we had another fifteen bloody K of ripio and…

…we checked into the hotel.

Kilometers today:  27
Kilometers to date:  27505


loose gravel road

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

About Nancy Sathre-Vogel

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.

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4 Responses to Dirt Road Blues (San Sebastian, Chile)

  1. Barb Crain March 15, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    LOL ! I don’ t blame ya a bit !!! I love that ending !

  2. Heidi March 15, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

    Reaching your goal will be all the sweeter for it…

    All the Best as you bring this amazing journey to conclusion!

  3. Kathy March 15, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    The phrase “old and gray and ready for my rocker” gave me a chuckle. You are quite the opposite of that, for sure!

  4. Ian March 16, 2011 at 1:25 am #

    The truckers are correct, but no more dirt before Ushuaia from San Seb. Dirt in the national park though for the final section of Ruta 3 to the end of the road just beyond Ushuaia. But nothing you superstars can’t handle :-)) Best wishes – savour the last “few” miles you have left :-))

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