Three motorcycling mad pals who worked together more than 20 years ago are set for a 24,000 mile road trip from South America to Alaska.
As teenagers Stephen Mason, Raymond Danton and Wilson Hutchison all worked for a computer company in Ayr, but life took them in different directions with Stephen settling in East Dunbartonshire with his wife and four children. Raymond emigrating to Australia, while Wilson went to Zurich,
But a chance meeting at a party brought Stephen and Raymond back together and the internet re-united Wilson as well.
Stephen said he hit on the idea of the motorcycle road trip after chatting with the other two and felt it was a good opportunity to raise money for charity. They decided to fund raise for the charity Deafblind Scotland, that’s planning to build a purpose build £1.2million centre in Lenzie called The Field of Dreams.
Stephen said: “We have all worked in the corporate world since leaving high school and are now in our fifties. The desire to step away from that and have a real adventure is a burning one. That’s why we are going.”
The Long Way Up will take the trio about four-and-a-half-months through 15 countries.
The IT consultant added: “The bikes will go out on January 15 and we fly out to Buenos Aires on February 2. We then have a 2,000 ride to Tierra Del Fuego in Argentina on the southern tip of South America to start the trip which will finish in Prudhoe Bay in Northern Alaska.”
At least 80 per cent will be on tarmac roads and as well as Argentina the three will go through Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, USA, and Canada. Along the way they will be camping and hostelling, with the odd nice hotel for a hot shower.
One of the biggest challenges facing them will be the extremes of weather, with very cold, snowy conditions when they set off and hot humid weather around the equator before heading into the cold, icy Alaskan winter on their BMW GS motorbikes, which have been specially modified for the trip.
So far they’ve raised just over £1,600 towards their £10,000 target.
If you would like to make a donation you can do at the Just Giving page that has been set up. 100 per cent of all donations go directly to Deafblind Scotland.To donate go to www.justgiving.com/Thelongwayuppanamerican