I am in no way religious nor can I build a plausible image of anything resembling a higher power... However, there is certainly something very odd about meeting someone who you feel you've known for years. That welcomed feeling of comfort and respect upon first encounter just seems entirely too coincidental. This was my experience in meeting Justin, Nik and Drew who are all absolutely out of their fucking minds. In the 4 days I was with them I repeated this phrase no less than a hundred times. As background, I was in Chile on vacation with my buddy Mike when I met Drew in the Santiago cantina. Mike and I were flying to Torre de Paine in Patagonia the following day. As all great adventures go, each character lives their own crazy side stories that build a mosaic picture exploding with color. Later that night after I met Drew I literally almost killed a man as he stole my phone... another story for another time. Fast forward a few days and Drew is picking me up at the Bariloche Airport after I had been traveling for 24 hours to get there...
How did I run into these 3 dudes and what am I doing? As a reader of all this you can see a build out of an amazing journey through life but for a moment in time an amazing journey though self. I too, was on a journey when I crossed paths with Drew, and although the past can lead you to certain places in your life, the current, the now, is what was driving this journey. These guys are charging forward in search of something that is hard to describe but bears a likeness to that untapped fire in each of us. Social dynamics are quickly erased with these guys. Judgement does not exist. Trust holds true and confidence never waivers.
Each member of this crew (that I just joined) brought a finely tuned skill to the table. My skill is that I can drive. Not because I am a race car driver or because I have an old supercharged Camaro that can blow the doors off any thing in four counties. I can drive because I do it all the time as part of my job which takes me all over the country each week of each year forever until my eventual death which is estimated to be 60 years from now and probably behind the wheel of a driverless car. As for today though, I'm in charge of the wheel and my vehicle de jour is??? The Chevy Cobalt... From 2004 to 2011 Chevy made an entirely underpowered four door midsize sedan called the Cobalt. This thing would be your last choice in the United States or Canada as you roll up to the Executive Emerald Club aisle at National Rental Car, but in Argentina this was the only option with an automatic transmission. See it's not that Drew can't drive a stick, it's that he was planning to drive the car and film at the same time. I picture him steering with his knees as he leans over to the passenger window knowing that the oncoming truck is going to negatively impact his shot not to mention his day. I said to him at this point only knowing him for an hour, "...how the fuck were you planning to film a documentary about motorcycles while driving a car?" Drew's stone faced reply: "Not sure but I knew it would work out. Something brought you to us for a reason..." That reason would soon be realized when I spotted two rocket ships dipping in and out of traffic in my rear view mirror as we began winding up the canyon roads. And the boys aren't just riding motorcycles, they're riding DUCATI'S. The likes that have not been seen by 95% of all inhabitants of South America let alone the remote areas of Patagonia.
Without boring you with the details (or giving away the documentary) on my 4 day hiatus with these gentlemen my job was to drive this car. So I did and began driving the Blue Demon as if it were a third, much slower rocket; more like a bomb on wheels once we loaded her down with spare gas cans... Needless to say once handed the keys, I happily drove this car every fucking insanely awesome mile while partnering with my co captain as he stimulated his creative juices. As Nik and Justin hammered down the highway at 220 kph bound to silence, the mood in the Blue Demon was more like a Jimmy Buffet concert since we had music, an assortment of argentine snacks but were also limited by a govenor at 176 kph.
I let Drew run the playlist which often reverted back to the one he created for the trip. As I begin to realize that I too am out of my fucking mind for being on this trip, I then notice that Drew and I have similar taste in music. Conversations were extensive and detailed but what else are we supposed to do as we chase a couple maniacs on rockets??
Okay, I'll give you just a quick snapshot of my own adrenalin rush on this first day.......
As we get to the magic hour for sunlight I drove through the winding canyon roads with Drew hanging out the pasanger side window with camera in hand, I found that I spent more time driving into oncoming traffic on blind corners than I did in the normal right hand lane. Recall, I just met these guys a few hours ago. Now we are all flirting with disaster because it makes us feel some sort of way... The radio plays Bob Seager's "Working on the night moves" as Drew pops back into the car with the camera clutched in his right and the camera's neck strap in his teeth. He was shaking and said, 'Dude you just made this happen right now! I'll give you whatever you want for the footage I just got. I'm getting you a whore tonight! I'm getting you a bottle of pisco! Whatever you want! Holy shit bro I can't believe what I just captured on my camera......" While he continued his rant I hid behind my lime green mirrored polarized sun glasses with a smile bigger than my face as the rockets blasted off into the distance again. Thinking to myself what is happening right now and what's next.
"Bro you were brought here for a reason. You are supposed to be with us on this trip."
"I know and it's fucking crazy right? Drew, do you know the only thing that could make this moment better than it is right now?"
"Two cigarettes brother."
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