Last summer, the thrift store in Ridgway received a donation of several motorcycle travel books. I think most of them came home with us… Among the books was Obsessions Die Hard: Motorcycling the Pan American Highway’s Jungle Gap by Ed Culberson. Stationed at the Panama Canal zone in the 1970s, Culberson purchased a Honda 125 which he rode throughout Panama, eventually trading up to larger bikes and riding large portions of the Pan-American Highway. Although he wished to ride the entire Highway from Prudhoe Bay to Ushuaia, however, he was award of how harrowing crossing the Darién Gap could be.
Despite the challenges associated with traversing 80 miles of swamp, jungle, and rivers, Culberson decided to give it a try… or two. His vivid account of making his way though the Gap (including traveling in the company of the colorful Loren Upton) combined with some of his difficulties in crossing borders (his connections formed as an Army officer certainly helped) make for very interesting adventure reading.
I enjoyed this book a little better than MotoRaid, mostly because Culberson was able to relate his story in a very readable way.