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January 1, 2005

Crawling Back into the Black - Paying off Expedition Debts 2

Jan 1st, 2005

Time has once again sped by since last you heard from us. At the end of the last leg across Australia I was faced with mounting debts of over $45,000 USD, incurred mainly from crossing the Pacific in pedal boat Moksha. I just couldn’t face another stint living in a shopping mall in Darwin, flogging T-shirts and names on Moksha.

So there was no option but to ground the expedition and find a real job. Yikes.

I was lucky to be given work on the same Colorado buffalo ranch that Stuart and I stayed at in 1995 after I was run over by a car while rollerblading across the US. Over the years all of us involved have come to realise that an expedition of this magnitude necessitates wearing many different hats other than the obvious one of ‘expeditioneer’. So as ranch manager I found myself on a hellish steep learning curve, assuming tasks such as buffalo wrangler , installing a mile long pipeline and irrigation system for 220 acres of hay meadows, and ultimately making the hay itself. I don’t think the local ranchers every quite knew what to make of this wannabe Limey cowboy.

Now, for the first time in many, many years, the expedition is free of debt and with a good chunk of the total budget needed for the next leg already in the bank. It has taken three and a half years to crawl back into the black.


The next leg will begin in just a few months - March 2005. Steve is returning to pedal with me in Moksha from Darwin, Australia, north to the island of Timor, a distance of around 450 miles. Three other old friends – Chris Tipper (Moksha’s builder from the UK), Sher Dhillon and Lourdes Arango (helpers when the expedition was in California), and April (teacher from Colorado and veteran of several past legs) will then kayak and bike with me 2600 miles up the Indonesian chain of islands to Singapore, arriving October before the monsoon season.

Part of the next leg will involve uplinking educational resources to the schools section of the site via a laptop and iridium satellite phone. If you are a student, teacher or parent interesting in knowing more about how to get involved with this component of the trip, email me.

We still have around $6,000 to raise. If you’re feeling a little heavy in the pocket and need a year-end tax write off via our 501 c 3 Non Profit Organisation, DON'T HOLD BACK from visiting the Wishlist and pledging one of the items needed for the next leg to happen. You can pledge directly via Paypal or a major credit card. Be it a fishing lure for $1 or the satellite phone for $1500, it all helps enormously. Many thanks to those of you who have already pledged!


Or you can click to the Store and pick up expedition T-shirts, signed photos from past legs or even a VHS copy of the documentary series.

This leaves me to wish all of you a very happy and prosperous New Year. May we all navigate our way successfully through the coming year with the sun on our faces, a stiff breeze at our backs, and not too many unscheduled capsizes…

Many thanks,

Jason Lewis


Posted at 3:07 PM