Since the Rokon Trail-Breaker is not a street-legal motorcycle, we had to transport it and all of our supplies to the beginning of the Darien Gap. We spent fifty-eight hours on a rusting coastal boat (we were told the journey would only take 12 hours!), with the dubious reputation of being sunk on three previous occasions, just to reach the end of the Pan-American Highway in Central America, Yaviza, Republic of Panama. Finally on February 11, 1995 our Rokon Trail-Breaker expedition began, Through the Gap - The Taking of the Windmill. We had christened our Rokon motorcycle Rozinante, after Don Quixote's faithful horse - thus the "taking of the windmill."
Loren was the only one who rode Rozinante; I walked, along with our locally hired guide/cook and workers. A wide and relatively clean trail punched through the dense jungle by large pieces of equipment made the first couple of days travel relatively easy. That all changed shortly after we left the Choco village of Lepe. We entered an area described by other expedition's as the "Devil's Switchback." An area of only about 13 land miles, but many of those miles seem to be near vertical! Rugged jungle covered mountains, stagnate water holes, steep narrow ravines, hungry insects, and only the vaguest resemblance of a trail comprised our home for three days of hard travel. Rozinante was in her element! The Rokon's performance on the steep grades was remarkable and its ability to climb over fallen trees was incredible. Loren proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the Rokon can and will climb steeper than it is physically possible to ride, before the Law of Gravity takes over! There were days when Loren rode the Rokon and then there were days when the Rokon rode him.
On this particular expedition we had the use of a hand-held global positioning system, a Scout, by Tremble Navigation, truly a wonderful piece of technology. We were possibly the first to ever use a GPS in the mapping of a trail in the Darien Gap. It sure would be great if we could now get an accurate map drawn of the area using those coordinate readings.