In my first installment of 'Giving Thanks to a Community', I would like to introduce you to my friends Daniel and Paula Palazzolo and their amazing tour company, Moto Patagonia.
I met Daniel in 2010, though I knew of him for years prior as we have friends in common. It was during the lead-up to his inaugural ATL to the Arctic charity motorcycle ride to Deadhorse, Alaska that I finally had the opportunity to talk with him. His event, ATL to the Arctic, was created to raise funds for The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. We discussed his route to Alaska, specifically the Dalton Highway, as I had covered the same ground (by truck, not bike) with a friend in the mid-nineties. Our mutual interest in four wheel drive vehicles (and later motorcycles, he found the very first bike I owned ) and film screenings kept the friendship going.
At the time, Daniel (or Zolo, as some on the forums know him) was co-owner of Decatur Garage and he turned his highly-skilled wrench on every motorized (and at times, non-motorized) vehicle imaginable. Rolls-Royce to Porsche, Toyota to Ford, from modifying four wheel drives to building race cars to prepping motorcycles, if it had wheels he probably worked on it. He even repaired the frame on my ancient Fantic Broncco kart that prepared as a rather foolish downhill gravity racer. He is a very talented mechanic, fabricator and tinkerer as well as a great friend, offroad zen master and world traveler.
After returning from Alaska, Daniel meets (and later marries) a wonderful Chilean woman named Paula. You may have read an early story of their travels in the blog back in 2012, Traversing the Atacama Desert in a rented Toyota Hilux 4x4. They remained in Atlanta for a number of years before moving to Paula's homeland, Chile, in 2015.
Today, Daniel and Paula are leveraging their years of international travel and on-the-ground knowledge to offer an unparalleled travel experience in southern Chile. Moto Patagonia offers single and multi-day guided tours, as well as self-guided motorcycle rentals, for the adventurous among us. Headquartered in stunning Puerto Varas, they are a short drive away from the Puerto Montt Airport (Note: the quick flight from Santiago to Puerto Montt is quite inexpensive). My fiancée, Audrey, and I recently visited Daniel and Paula at their home. We spent a few days touring the area together and I can say, without hyperbole, that they live in one of the most beautiful, friendly and inspiring parts of the world I've had the good fortune to visit. Don't take my word for it, go and see for yourself...
Dear Georgia Overlanders,
On February 1st 2010, nearly nine years ago, I launched the Georgia Overland site with my first post. Fifty thousand visitors later and I'm heartened that building something for (what I could only assume was) an audience of one resonated with so many others. It's quite humbling to see 'The Georgia Traverse' mentioned across all manner of travel and adventure forums, your Instagram posts with a fantastic diversity of vehicles and people having a great time exploring our beautiful state and the expertly-crafted YouTube videos that so many of you invested the time to shoot, edit and publish so that others could have a sense of the North Georgia experience.
I would like to express my gratitude to the community. I built a site and YOU created a community. That's awesome to witness. Thank you.
Over the coming months, on this blog and the Georgia Overland Facebook page, I will introduce you to several friends, contributors, supporters and allies. I hope you find their stories and companies as interesting as I have.
The 60+ posts found on the original Georgia Overland Blogspot site are now available here. Take a look in the archives and enjoy the origins of Georgia Overland. Sidenote: The blog migration requires the user (me!) to manually move blog content. It's fairly ridiculous that Weebly does not have an automated system for blog migration.
Hi Friends of Georgia Overland,
I have great news for those asking when we will see new updates to The Georgia Traverse and the Georgia Overland site. 2018 is the year! The first phase will be the migration of the blog content from the original site I began in 2010, to this site. The original site will remain, for now, as a way to preserve the user comments as (unfortunately) the comments are not easily migrated. The second phase will be an update to The Georgia Traverse point and linework coming sometime in Q4 2018. Many thanks to the community for the support, community updates and 'Thank You' messages I've received. It is greatly appreciated!
All the best,
P.S. If you're interested to see where it all began you may access all (60+) posts from my original Georgia Overland blog here.
Clearly it's been too long since I last published a blog post. Here's where we stand with the Georgia Overland site and the Georgia Traverse...
Tens of thousands of users have visited my humble project. Hundreds of emails received. Countless hours spent answering questions and supporting folks wishing to get out there and explore North Georgia and now I will leave it to you, this great community of explorers and travelers, to help each other. Rather than over-complicate the issue with a forum, I will simply post another blog entry for users to comment on. If you have recent Georgia Traverse experiences to share with the community (road conditions and/or closures, trees down, difficult terrain, etc.) please feel free to post a comment. Users can visit the comment section and get a sense of what to expect as the road conditions along the Traverse change quite frequently. I've also added a FAQ page. While the Georgia Overland site is a labor of love, the costs associated with keeping the site up and running (I neither receive advertising income nor do I sell a product) and the hours spent responding to questions are taking a toll. I hope the blog comments and FAQ will help to reduce the time spent on this project, keep the site content relevant and allow me to shift focus to another project that I've wanted to pursue.
PS. If you would like to join the small, yet extremely appreciated, family of supporters that help keep the hosting bills paid, a donation is always welcome!
Many of you use the standard version of Google Earth in the office and at home. As of January 20, 2015, Google Earth Pro no longer requires the annual $399 license fee. Google Earth Pro is now free.
Comparison between Google Earth and Google Earth Pro
Google Earth Pro builds on the amazing functionality of Google Earth with even more powerful tools. Some of the most compelling features of Earth Pro include:
* Advanced Measurements: Measure parking lots and land developments with polygon area measure, or determine affected radius with circle measure.
* High-resolution printing: Print Images up to 4800x3200 px resolution.
* Exclusive Pro data layers: Demographics, parcels, and traffic count.
* Spreadsheet Import: Ingest up to 2500 addresses at a time, assigning placemarks and style templates in bulk.
* GIS import: Visualize ESRI shapefiles (.shp) and MapInfo (.tab) files.
* Movie-Maker: Export Windows Media and Quicktime HD movies, up to 1920x1080 resolution.
Georgia Overland recently received a feature request from Georgia Overland user, Jake. Jake was looking for The Georgia Traverse in geospatial .pdf format for use in the Avenza PDF Maps app, as well as other applications. Visit the Download page and take a look!
For 2015, Georgia Overland has started fresh with a brand new website and the official launch of The Georgia Traverse and The Georgia Traverse .gpx file. The Georgia Traverse is a collection of county, state and Forest Service roads that comprise a (mostly) off-pavement route across North Georgia. It was designed to be traveled east to west, beginning at Burrells Ford Road along the Georgia / South Carolina border. The Georgia Traverse visits North Carolina and Tennessee before ending at the Georgia / Alabama border. The total mileage of all paved and unpaved sections is 390 miles, with 226 miles of unpaved road surfaces, 164 miles of pavement (40% of the paved miles found west of the Cohutta and Big Frog Wilderness Loop) and The Georgia Traverse includes over 500 waypoints.
I'm proud to relaunch Georgia Overland on an entirely new platform and I am excited to announce The Georgia Traverse waypoint and track .gpx files. If you are receiving this blog update via email, you will need to resubscribe on the new Georgia Overland site. Enjoy!