Montana’s always been one of our favourite states, particularly the Rocky Mountains side bordering Idaho. Pretty anytime, especially in April with a late season dusting of snow, we made a couple of stops, first in Bozeman then again in Missoula. Missoula has some great outdoors/camping stores giving us the opportunity to do a little “replacement” shopping after the theft during our vehicle shipment.
We’ve stayed at some weird and wonderful camping spots over the course of this journey and Missoula provided one more to add to the mix – an actual RV store ! A first for us and a more comfortable nights sleep we have not had in a while – iOverlander mentioned Bretz RV & Marine as very highly rated – a place that welcomed campers for a night, provided electricity, water and a dump station, all at no cost. Too good to be true we thought, but since it was near the shopping centre we ambled over to take a peek. Indeed, we were warmly welcomed to stay ( we had asked of course ) so over we went and set up for the night, along with 3 other like-minded travellers. We always like to support such generous businesses but having no real need of anything just two days prior to the end of our trip we were only able to take advantage of their propane top-up service – which was fast and friendly.
Not long after passing the Continental Divide we crossed from Montana into Idaho’s ”panhandle” ( briefly ) before reaching Washington state at which point ( in Spokane ) we turned north on Route 395 for Canada. A bit late to make it all the way home from Missoula so decided to spend our last night in the US ( our last night of this amazing journey ) in beautiful Kettle Falls National Campground on the Colombia River. On a cool, but fortunately not freezing, night we sat enjoying the beautiful view of Lake Roosevelt and toasting to the many memories this incredible journey has given us – we reflected on the wonderful people we’d met, places we’d visited and things we had done. Quite simply just a ton of fun and excitement – there’s not much we’d change ( well, actually yes there is – we could have done without Covid 19 ! ).
It was a short run to the border the next day and after a little delay there ( we’d forgotten to complete our “ArriveCan” apps ) with an unusually surly border officer we were welcomed home. Two hours later and we were pulling into our driveway. Hard to believe that it was just a month shy of 3 years ago that we set off from the very same driveway – much has changed in the world since. I’m sure that within a few days we’ll be pining for the open road again but for now it’s certainly great to be with family, and see familiar faces and places. After so long in a camper it’s astounding how big our house suddenly feels..!
We plan to enjoy a beautiful Kelowna summer with family and friends and prepare for our daughter’s wedding in September. I also have a ( rather large ) project I am working on ( details later in the year ) that will likely take 5-6 months. In a “perfect world” and all going well ( a proviso that Covid had taught us to make ! ) we hope to be ready to blast off again by November. Stealing a line from Anthony Bourdain, at this point it is somewhat of a “Destination Unknown” but the seasons would certainly favour international overland travel in our vehicle somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere 😊. More details later in 2022.
On behalf of Lois and myself, if you have been reading along, thanks for joining us for the experience – we hope it has been at least occasionally entertaining, periodically informative, and might even have served as an inspiration for some to pack your van/truck/camper/ motorcycle and venture forth on your own overland adventure. We love the comments and respond to all so please, keep them coming ! We will re-start the weekly blog as soon as we get going again later this year.
If a selection of curious stats and facts, random trivia and a summary of shipping details doesn’t float your boat then by all means sign off this final blog now. This final ’addendum’ is provided mostly for the benefit of a number of our followers who have reached out to us during our journey in search of more specific information to assist them in their own plans for a Pan American overland adventure. Enough have asked, and the questions were mostly similar in nature, that I felt a brief summary here might help. If you are in that category, I hope the following is of some value – enjoy 😊 !
Wrapping up a significant overland venture there’s a bit of a tradition to provide a selection of journey facts and stats and a little trivia – to ”pay it forward” as it were. Hoping the following will sate some of the curiosity out there !
Days on the road – 410
Kilometres/miles travelled – 61,348 / 38,120
Average kms/miles per day – 149.6 / 92.9
Average fuel economy – 16.9 L/100km ( 13.9 miles per US gallon )
Amount spent on fuel ( biggest expense item, by far ) – $11,562 CDN / $9,192 USD
Average price of gasoline – $0.89 USD per litre or $3.37 USD per US gallon
Countries visited – 17
Shortest stay – 2 days ( Honduras : we only transited )
Longest stay – 3 months ( Argentina )
Top 3 countries – Argentina, Colombia, Chile/Mexico (tie for third!)
Best coffee – Colombia (hands down! )
Best wine – Argentina ( Chile close second !)
Best food – Mexico
Favourite city – Buenos Aires
Least favourite city – Colon ( Panama )
Top 5 Attractions ( not in any particular order ):
- Merino Glacier, Argentina
- Carretera Austral, Chile
- Torres del Paine NP, Chile
- Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
- Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
- ( Note: Machu Picchu, Peru would have been included but we had actually visited on a previous trip )
- Trip High: Actually, just completing the full PanAmerican highway, top to bottom ( which was always our primary goal ) – all the other sights along the way were a bonus. The PanAm had been a lifetime dream.
- Trip Low: Missing the Falkland Islands ( closed due to Covid ) and missing Brazil’s Pantanal ( we were simply there in the wrong season )
Some have asked us about shipping which, along with fuel, is the only other significant budget item on a trip like this ( everything else is inexpensive ). We spent $1,150 USD on ( our portion of ) a shared 40ft container crossing from Panama to Colombia. We spent a total of $6,286 USD shipping the vehicle (via RoRo) from Buenos Aires back to Georgia in the US, broken down to $1,350 USD port fees in Buenos Aires, $3,950 shipping freight to Georgia, $330 USD freight insurance, and $656 USD port related fees in Georgia. We could have saved about $300 shipping to Houston, Texas but Brunswick, Georgia was recommended as a safer/easier port to deal with ( ironically it did not matter as the theft likely occurred before the ship got that far – that said, Brunswick was very fast and easy to deal with ). So, our total shipping cost to cross the Darien Gap ( Panama to Colombia ) and to get the vehicle back to North America was $7,436 USD.
A few additional comments on shipping ( something we get asked about a lot ). Covid has dramatically increased shipping costs and limited shipping choices but these costs should go back down when the world ( hopefully ) returns to a semblance of normality ( 🙏). We got off VERY light crossing from Panama to Colombia ( most overlanders we met paid considerably more ) but we paid dearly for the trip home. Normally that return trip would have been about $1,500 less. We also crossed the Sea of Cortez in Mexico ( approx $450 USD ) but I did not include it since it’s an optional route, not an essential one – still, many folks do take that ferry and one gets to enjoy Mexico’s stunning Baja without having to backtrack all the way to the top of Baja ( we strongly recommend the ferry option – La Paz to either Los Mochis or Mazatlan ).
Welcome back! I thought the camper would have been plastered with location stickers by now!
Hahaha ! No stickers ! We are not sticker fans even though most folks do it. Everyone in South America was surprised when we could not give them a OneEndlessRoad sticker – I suppose I should have taken some.
Good to be back . Let’s connect next week.
Welcome home! Thanks for the great stories every week, we really enjoyed reading your adventures every Saturday morning. Hopefully we see you by the lake soon 😊 we have lots to catch up with.
Thanks, and yes, as soon as it warms up you will catch us at the usual spot !
Sounds perfect! We will show up in our project soon 😊
Can’t wait to see it !
Fijn om te lezen dat jullie weer gezond en wel thuis zijn na deze erg bijzondere trip. Het was een eer om ‘mee te rijden’ met jullie. Een geweldige trip.
En gaan jullie nu de truck + camper verkopen ??? Laat het me weten heb serieus interesse voor onze tocht !!
Thank you, glad you enjoyed “riding along” with us ! Looking forward to summer at home before we blast off again later this year.
Do you understand Dutch???
No, but my Translator app does !!! Marco always writes me in Dutch !!!
Okay that makes sense 😆 I thought how come I never noticed your accent before 😂
Thank-you so much for writing about your experiences on this trip. A very enjoyable and inspiring read! I loved all the photos with the information about each and feel I have learned a lot. It was nice to see you both enjoying the outdoor cafes and wineries. Taking the time to sit, relax and enjoy your day. My husband and I enjoy the cafes on our BC travels too. Makes one feel like they are a local!
Your journey facts and stats were an added bonus.
Thank you so much for the kind words, much appreciated. It was always a challenge trying to determine what a reader might like see and hear about ( different strokes for different blokes of course ! ) so we just tried to keep it simple and let people see what we were doing day to day – as boring ( occasionally ! ), or as exciting ( hopefully more often ) as that might be. I tried to take some cues from what I had read on other people’s blogs – the trivia piece at the end I did steal from elsewhere, lol ! Glad you liked it.
Thanks for entertaining, informative posts. I’ll need to find a new blog for my Saturday reading.
On my retirement in 2003 my (then 33 y.o.) hi school teacher son and I shipped a 4-runner to San Antonio Chile. We explored, hiked, camped, ate, tasted wine and TOTALLY enjoyed nearly every country in South & Central America.
Thanks for letting me travel along and relive many adventures.
So glad to hear that you got to relive so many of the places that you actually visited yourself ! The 4 Runner is a great ride ( we saw a few ).A great retirement journey !
As I mentioned we will have a summer hiatus from the blog but will crank it up again late in the year ( same Saturday am time slot ! ).
PS: I just noticed you. Mentioned 2003 – the very same year Lois and I took our (then) kids on a 3 month trip all over South America. Who knows, our paths may even have crossed !
Welcome home and thanks for sharing your wonderful journey.
Nice to hear from you…hope you are getting some travelling in yourself ?
I have been following your adventure since an article in the Winnipeg Free Press mentioned it. By that time, you had reached your southernmost point. I was most intrigued by the scenery in Argentina and did not know that it looked somewhat similar to that in the USA. Your comments on the great variety of food made my mouth water at times. Great that you made it home safely. Stay safe and healthy; I look forward to your next adventure.
Glad you enjoyed the story – even from later in the journey. Should you wish to read some earlier ones just go into our website and you will see them all under “Previous Posts”.
Welcome home! It’s been great to see and read about your trip! I can’t wait to see the next one with all the work you have put in to getting it ready already!
Nice to hear from you and thanks for the welcome home message. Hope all is well in the new job, too.
Yes, I still have lots to do on the “project” – let’s connect again when it’s all done.
Welcome back! We’ve followed you both every km and enjoyed every word of your journey, helped us get through the drab winter.
Hi Garth !
Thank you and glad you enjoyed it. Let’s connect for that long overdue beer – where and when ?
Welcome back! Thanks for keeping me entertained and taking me along with you on your amazing journey via your blog of discovery. It was super fun. You two really covered a lot of ground.
Great to be back – looking forward to catching up in the coming weeks.
Ciao, and Lo says hi !
WOW! Thank you for sharing your incredible journey! I have been to Brazil and would love to travel like you did. Well done!! Whats next???
Nice to hear from you – hope all is well in Calgary ? We skipped Brazil this time because we had been there in 2003 and the Covid induced shipping limitations left us a bit tight for time.
What’s next? Not 100% sure but leaning towards Australia ( working on shipping – but it’s not cheap ! ).
Thank you for sharing your great adventure with us as it brought back memories of one of our previous trips. We sailed on a 34 day cruise from San Francisco to Buenos Aires a few years ago and had the pleasure of seeing some of the sites that you visited. Our favorite city was also Buenos Aires. Continue to enjoy many more years of travel.
Thanks Norbert, glad it brought back some great memories ! We met many people in South America and almost without exception BA was their favourite city 😊.
Welcome back!! I totally loved reading about your adventures and looking forward to your next travel blogs!! We are leaving soon for an adventure of our own…
Glad you enjoyed it all – we enjoyed sharing it. Where are you guys off to ? I already want to go again lol !!!
Have fun wherever it is !
Welcome back! And hope to catch up with you guys sometime this summer. In Denver myself at the moment for meetings, but obviously not coinciding with your travel through Colorado.
Hi Norm !
Ahh…….too bad, would have been nice to connect down there. Text me and let me know when you will be in K town!
We will miss waking up on Sunday mornings to your updates .
Looking forward to seeing you all in a couple of months and hearing your stories in person
Thanks for that – and yes I guess it is Sunday in Oz ( Sat am here in BC ). We are all excited to see you guys too – it’s been way too long !!
That is the most amazing ‘driving’ trip that I know of. So very exciting just to follow vicariously. We have also found western Colorado very beautiful; and have been most impressed with southern Utah.
Thanks for sharing.
You are very welcome Abe !
I really enjoyed how you didn’t let life escape you on this great adventure. I look forward to following your next big project. The trivia makes it real. Have a great summer. Marc in Quebec city.
Thanks for the kind words and glad you liked the trivia piece 😊. Thanks for following along and more details on the project in a few months !
Welcome back Jeff and Lois. Not sure how I’ll spend my Saturday morning coffee reading time now. We’ll have to catch up for a drink soon.
Sorry to leave you hangin’ ( lol ) !
Love to connect – Dale and I are meeting next week ( join us ). Will text you deets.
Home Sweet Home. Thanks for all of your interesting travel stories – always very much appreciated by all of your followers I’m sure. We’ve just made it across Australia – 4500 kms. Now ready to start exploring again & also do some gold prospecting for the next few months. Best wishes for the next phase of your travels – bet you’ve already started planning!!
Pleasure was always ours – South America seemed to offer up no shortage of worthy material 😊.
Glad you are both back in the saddle – you have been incredibly patient; good luck prospecting !
Welcome home Jeff & Lois…. What an Amazing Journey….
Jeff I think you missed your calling…. loved to read your blogs…. Your stories felt like we were travelling along with you!
Enjoy your summer!
Hi Mary !
So wonderful to hear from you ! I hope Atlantic Canada is treating you well ?
Glad you enjoyed the blog – was always fun putting it together 😊. Let me know if you will be coming back this way in the summer.
A “warm” welcome back guys. Gotta love the weather here today! When everything settles down for you, I hope we can get together. It will be so nice to see you both in person!
We are so happy that you had such a wonderful, successful journey. Sounds like it was everything you dreamed it would be, largely because of all your careful planning. We loved all your blog posts and learned quite a lot 😃.
I enjoyed all the stats at the end. It kind of encapsulates the magnitude of your accomplishment. You both deserve to be very proud! AND YOU DID IT ALL DURING A WORLDWIDE PANDEMIC!!!
Yes, now we are back so let’s get together for a drink soon. Look forward to that !
Thanks for the kind words – and we also want to hear all about your time in Costa Rica ( sounds like you enjoyed it )..!
Let us know when you are free…😊
I must say I enjoyed the journey, great dialogue and funny at times. Gutsy move restarting the trip last year with all the Covid shit, well done little brother Timbo
Good to hear !
Yes, the timing of returning to South America was really fortunate – we were getting on top of Covid here in Canada AND Chile was one of the most vaccinated places in the world at the same time ( so we figured the time was right ). Then Chile officially opened up – we booked the next day. At that stage Argentina was still closed so it was truly a roll of the dice on that one ( and we needed to get into Argentina ). A month after we arrived in Chile, Argentina indeed opened up, but not every border. The one we crossed in the far south only opened a day before we got there so we were scarily close to having to turn tail in southern Chile and go right back up the same way we went down. Fortunately it was not required.
“Fortune favours the brave” was our motto lol !!
Just to say… I’ve enjoyed your weekly travel blog and I await hearing about your next travel adventure. Please don’t drop me from your reader list! BTW I also live in Kelowna.
Glad you enjoyed reading along, and no, we won’t be dropping anyone from our crew of loyal readers( and I haven’t “fired” anyone yet lol ) !
Once I start posting again, hopefully in mid Fall, you will automatically start getting them again.
We have quite a few readers from Kelowna, mostly friends and family of course, but also a group who have just picked up our story along the way ( or read the article in Kelowna Now ). How did you come across us …?
So pleased you guys are back after an incredible journey. Your house must seem huge. Hope to see you soon. Have lived vicariously through your blog- thank you.
We are happy to be back too, Penny ( but already missing “the road” ).
Look forward to connecting with you both- email me with a date and we’ll get together !
Welcome home, Jeff and Lois !
Wow!! Congratulations on completing your Epic journey of phenomenal adventure! This was such a incredible chronicle and sharing of sights, stories and experiences!! Amazing!!
Enjoy the creature comforts of home and time with family and close friends as you reminisce and recount enough travel tales to make our heads spin! Take good care !
Thank you Scott !
And, yes, good to be back but already the mind starts to ponder next steps ! So much world, so little time.
We will be here though summer and until after the wedding but hope to blast off again by October or November at latest.
Let us know if you are in (or near ) K town this summer- love to connect !