Oregon to Patagonia | A Journey by Jedidiah Jenkins

Oregon to Patagonia

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I don’t have much hair, but about once a month my unruly...



I don't have much hair, but about once a month my unruly whispies start to make me look like a recently-fired adjunct professor. So in each country I seek out a local barber off the main roads. Today I found this old man. He told me he's been cutting hair for fifty-five years and he clicked the scissors quickly and much more than necessary, like an instrument, as if cutting hair was a form of salsa dancing. He never stopped talking, and wasn't concerned if I could understand him. I got one bit about him and his best friend living on horseback in the Andes in the glory days. #oregontopatagonia (at Plaza Tunuyan.)

Exactly one year ago today: I left on the biggest adventure of...





















Exactly one year ago today: I left on the biggest adventure of my life. Looking back at pictures I can't believe the miles gone by, all that I've collected. Like drops in a bucket, you cannot watch it fill, but look away and be busy with living and soon the bucket is overflowing.



#oregontopatagonia #oneyearlater (I miss you my travel companions)

This moment. I’m a little tipsy on wine as I write this so...



This moment. I'm a little tipsy on wine as I write this so hang with me. The world's oldest man, bent over like a crane's neck, walked in to this restaurant just now. This place is generations old with dirt floors and incredible Chilean steaks and wine. The man hobbled in and was greeted by our waitress. She guided him with her hand gently on his back to his spot, where he sits everyday. She cared for him so tenderly, a slow paced care that I rarely see at home. And she sat with him as he ate, talking about God-knows-what, and made him very happy. His laugh was weak but full of belonging. She was happy too. #oregontopatagonia #chile (at La Ruca Restaurante)

The continental divide, the top of the Andes. One snow flake...



The continental divide, the top of the Andes. One snow flake melts to the Atlantic. The other melts to the Pacific. Separated as they fell by only a foot and ending their lives a thousand miles apart. #oregontopatagonia #andes

I am going to buy this house. They used the local stone to build...



I am going to buy this house. They used the local stone to build the house in descending terraces down the rocky cliff. They've got a jacuzzi and five gardens. The locals told me it's 1/5 the price of California. See ya. #oregontopatagonia #vi~nadelmar #chile (at Playa Re~naca; Vi~na Del Mar)

Ever wished you could’ve seen Malibu or Carmel fifty years...



Ever wished you could've seen Malibu or Carmel fifty years ago? It's called Zapallar, Chile, and the seafood is incredible. #oregontopatagonia #zapallar #chile (at Playa Zapallar)

If you live too high in the fog of Valparaiso, and you...



If you live too high in the fog of Valparaiso, and you can't see the ocean view... improvise. #oregontopatagonia #valparaiso #chile (at Reca~na)

Exploring Santiago with my dad. How good to be born of and...



Exploring Santiago with my dad. How good to be born of and around others who enjoy discovery. We both have total ease at finding almost anything and any place fascinating. And he is an excellent hit man when you need one. #oregontopatagonia #seeingtheworldwithMikeEhrmantraut #breakingbadinChil'e @peterjenkins_explores (at Santiago De Chile)

A 6.6 earthquake just hit us. We were driving down the coast in...



A 6.6 earthquake just hit us. We were driving down the coast in Valparaiso, exploring how gorgeous it is here in Chile, and our little car felt like the back wheel had popped off or was flat, it also felt like hitting ice, that moment where your stomach gasps like a ghost passed through you. I have always wondered what an earthquake felt like from a car. Thank you Chile, now I know. Don't worry, the news is saying no one was hurt.



They call this place the San Francisco of South America. It really is. #oregontopatagonia #valparaiso #chile (at Vi~na del Mar)

The truth is, I feel understood by stray dogs. They find me and...



The truth is, I feel understood by stray dogs. They find me and nuzzle their scrappy heads against my hip until I crouch down. And once down; I sit there and they tell me I am one of them.



But they know I have human powers... So they tell me to buy meat and snacks in the human stores. And I always do. I don't know if I am being conned, or if I really am one of them in disguise. #oregontopatagonia (at Vi~na del Mar)

My dad and his lady Kelley are visiting me for two weeks....



My dad and his lady Kelley are visiting me for two weeks. He's never been to South America and his passport had been expired since 1986. But he is a serious adventurer and is completely in his element. Kelley has lived in the Mississippi Delta her whole life and these mountains have her breathless.



It's the middle of winter so I'm parking my bike and waiting for spring (October) and driving around Argentina and Chile with these two, the parts I won't get to see on my bike. I'm going to spend the month of September in Buenos Aires, as a city slicker. I want to consume all this culture, gorge like Thanksgiving dinner on memories and then rest in my gluttony-coma when it's done, distilling the book I have to come. #timewithdad #oregontopatagonia @peterjenkins_explores (at Parque Aconcagua)

I’ve heard that our identity is the average of the five...



I've heard that our identity is the average of the five people we spend the most time with. It feels true and probably is. Some decisions or realizations we make when we're young and we can't quite trace out why, but they change our whole lives.



For me, one of these things was in 10th grade. I decided to be friends with people I looked up to, or felt made me better by being around them. This is an unusual choice for a teenage boy, because the only metric of social success at 15 is how sarcastic you can be. But I had been burned and didn't want that anymore. I wanted to be around good people who were smart and kind and made me feel that way too.



That subtle decision changed my life. I have for the past 16 years sought out people I respect, friends that inspire me and make beautiful things, write beautiful words, make people feel beautiful.



I have found that many people don't respect their friends. They laugh with and at them and they share experiences...but not their souls.



Choosing kindred souls as my community has made me who I am.



Almost everything I own was either given to me or made by a friend. Not so long ago we were starry-eyed kids with dreams of starting our own thing, doing our own thing. Now I'm 31 and my friends make the things I love. That is the adulthood I only dreamed about. It's here. And I carry it with me in South America.



#oregontopatagonia #friendship #thethingsicarry (at Posada El Encuentro)

Before I left on my journey to Patagonia, my mom gave me her old...



Before I left on my journey to Patagonia, my mom gave me her old pocket bible. In the 70s she walked with my dad from New Orleans to Oregon over 3 years. She carried this little leatherbound book with her the whole time, and it's full of scribbled notes by both her and my dad. Weathered yet hardly fragile, I have it with me now as I follow my migratory pull. #oregontopatagonia #familylegacy (at Chacras de Coria - Mendoza)

One of the best stories I’ve heard on my trip. I have...



One of the best stories I've heard on my trip.



I have passed a thousand small shrines on the side of the road, and many of them are covered in plastic water bottles. I thought maybe they put them there as a way to make the place shine or noticeable, but then I noticed that every water bottle was full of water. Totally full, and left in the desert. Thousands of them.



We did a little research and found out why.



During the Argentine civil war, Difunta Correa's husband was forcibly drafted to fight. He became sick and was abandoned by his regimen in the middle of the remote desert. Difunta heard that her husband had been abandoned and she set out on foot with their infant baby in her arms. She followed the tracks of the soldiers and crossed the barren desert for days.



She ran out of water and collapsed in the dirt. She died of dehydration in the hot desert sun with her baby clinging to her.



Her body was found days later by roaming Gauchos. Incredibly the baby was alive, suckling on her breast. It had never stopped producing milk.



Story of this miracle spread around the people of Argentina and Chile and she was popularly deemed a saint.



Today people pray to her for help and peace, and offer bottles of water to quench her eternal thirst.



#oregontopatagonia #argentina #difuntacorrea #folklore (at Posada El Encuentro)

This place is loaded with old metal cars. I feel like I’m...



This place is loaded with old metal cars. I feel like I'm in a golden Woody Allen or smokey Spielberg scene all the time. Usually the cars are packed with a family headed to a picnic or a couple scruffy teens smoking out the window. This entire region is hugged up against snow capped Andes with Pinot Noir grapes in rows at the bottom. #oregontopatagonia #argentina #mendoza (at Rio Mendoza)

We explored a massive wine cellar today. 12 meters underground....



We explored a massive wine cellar today. 12 meters underground. In the center of the cellar was an amphitheater and a grand piano. I asked if I could play for the wine. The argentine woman who worked in the cold cave said yes. So I did. #oregontopatagonia #argentina #wineserenade (at Bodega Salentein - Killka)

Argentina is a country drunk on its own history, with pride like...



Argentina is a country drunk on its own history, with pride like an echo. There are decrepit mansions and collapsed Spanish arches in every town. They tell you that not so long ago this place was swimming in riches. One of the most powerful examples of this is its ghostly railways system. Funded primarily by the British Empire at the turn of the twentieth century, Argentina had 30,000 miles of state-of-the-art railways connecting the country like a circulatory system by 1950. Economic troubles and an exploding automotive industry crippled the massive network and it crumbled in fits and starts over the last fifty years. From the Bolivian border down to Mendoza you will see train tracks disappearing into thickets and grass, beautiful stone bridges collapsed and haunted with the steel tracks curling down to the ground. This country was once the seventh richest in the world. For culture and spirit, it still holds the title. I absolutely love it here. #argentina #oregontopatagonia (at Chacras De Coria,lujan De C)

When someone asks me ‘what’s your perfect day’...



When someone asks me 'what's your perfect day' ...my answer is a warm winter afternoon on back roads in the country, and I see a tree covered gravel road that I've never seen before, and I go down it, because I have nowhere else to be.

In northern Argentina, the landscape changes with every bend in...



In northern Argentina, the landscape changes with every bend in the river. This entire mountain range, near Cachi, is slanted like God bumped his artwork with his hip and he was walking by, like a happy accident. #oregontopatagonia #argentina (at Quebrada De Las Conchas Salta)

Have you ever seen those giant vats of wine at vineyards?...



Have you ever seen those giant vats of wine at vineyards? I'm about to be dropped into one on the dare that I can drink my way out of it. Byyye. #argenintawinegametoostrong #winewasthefirstmiracleofjesus #holydrunk #drunkonthespirit #oregontopatagonia (at Bodega El Esteco)

About Me
Jedidiah Jenkins

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My name is Jedidiah Jenkins, and I am on a bike trip from Florence, Oregon to Patagonia. I'll be gone from August 2013 - December 2014. Back in the 70's, my parents walked across America in search of themselves and the country they called home. My friend Phillip Crosby and I are doing the same, but all the way down to the bottom of the earth.

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