The lure of the open road is embedded deep within our modern psyche; many dream of setting off with the sun on their back to chase the distant horizon, few dare to venture… In early 2004 Norman Magowan parted a career in the Space industry and, together with his wife Maggie, dared to chase that horizon when they strapped on a pair of unfeasibly large BMW motorcycles and set off to ride from Chile to Alaska. Their story, as they say in their Northern Irish homeland, is a cracker!
The two books in the ‘Adventures in Yellow’ series to tell the full story of their Pan-American journey, a 15-month long odyssey through 56,000 kilometres of the hottest, coldest, wettest and driest climates on the planet. The journey began chasing volcanoes in Chile down to the end of the world, where accident and misfortune dogged the early days of the trip. These episodes ultimately turned to advantage and triumph and the metronome to a fantastic adventure was set. The duo readily yielded to the torpid tango wonderland that is Argentina, where all sense of time and schedule was quickly abandoned. Riding across the Altiplano the pace was enlivened by their forced flight from strike-ravaged La Paz. Relief from the madness of Bolivia proved to be short lived when they ran headlong into a real-life lynch-mob up on the shores of Lake Titicaca in Peru.
Surviving South America, their travels continued with a colourful tropical traipse through Central America and México on roads running ever north into the vivid wonderlands of the US National Parks. The climate chilled again for Canada and the ultimate reach of the journey; the vast wilderness lands of Alaska, where the trip culminated with a 900-mile duel on mud roads up to the Arctic Ocean at Prudhoe Bay.