Many have asked for updates on the remaing three riders; myself, Brad, and Steve. Following my accident on February 18th of this year, our team of six split into two teams of three; theExtreme Team and the Dream Team. Once I was stable and recovering safely in the hospital in Bariloche, Argentina, the Extreme Team continued on as planned, making up for loss time and eventually completing the journey on April 2nd.
So what has happened in my life since Feb 18, and what are the plans for the Dream Team to resume the journey? Well, my wife traveled to Bariloche to be with me until I was healthy enough to return home. And during this time we (the Dream Team) adjusted our plans to resume the journey. We had fully expected to return to Bariloche in April to continue the ride. But when I took my medical records to my general surgeon the plans changed dramatically.
Dr. Taylor examined the scan films from the pre-surgery exam at the hospital in Bariloche, she found something quite different from my understanding of what had happened. She found that my spleen had actually been “shattered”. This better explained the incident just before getting into the ambulance for the 75 minute ride to Bariloche when my blood pressure dropped to 60 over nothing. Dr. Taylor was confident that I was much closer to a bleed-out scenario than anyone previously realized. She told me that if the same thing had happened in the US, most doctors would have removed the spleen without a second thought to avoid the high probability of having to go back in and remove it later. A badly damaged spleen requires around 6 months to heal properly. Needless to say, any hopes for resuming the trip in April were also shattered.
We considered putting off the trip for a year, but our authorization papers for Argentina indicated a deadline of October 10, 2011. Our expectation was to resume the journey within that time frame, and thought we had plenty of time to retrieve our bikes, which remained in Argentina.
We had left our bikes with Rodry, a very talented mechanic providing necessary repairs and safekeeping until we returned. The story took a dramatic turn last month when we were contacted by Rodry telling us all three of the Dream Team motorcycles had been impounded by Argentine customs officials. The problem turns out to be that Argentine law defines our bikes as being “imported” because we are no longer in the country with them. The reason we left is actually irrelevant according to the laws. Bottom line? We failed to fully understand the requirements which ultimately led to our bikes being confiscated.
Even though Argentine Customs officials are very understanding of our predicament, they have procedures that they must follow. They are now in the process of doing so. We don’t know how long that will take, but we’re doing whatever we can to cooperate and comply with the law now that we understand it better.
So when will we be able to resume the trip? That remains to be seen. But we’re compelled to finish what we started.
Steve is now working on our behalf in Argentina to resolve the charges and regain possesion of the bikes.
(More to come on Steve’s progess soon.)