Jim & Rhonda Delameter (and Aspen!)

We are Jim & Rhonda Delameter who, with our black lab, Aspen, are driving the PanAm highway to Patagonia and beyond.

Portland, Or
When did you start your travels?: 
Reason for taking this trip: 
We have traveled quite a bit and took a 14-month backpacking trip around-the-world in 2007-2008 and came home changed people. No longer did we want to follow the "American" dream of working until we are deemed old enough to retire and really start living. We have been to all continents except South America and, black dogs in tow, decided to drive the PanAmerican as a loose plan, exploring, learning Spanish, and creating a nomadic lifestyle.
Why did you decide to drive?: 
The main reason is really the dogs (now one dog as we lost Porter to cancer in Baja). We were unwilling to leave them behind. Also, when we backpacked longterm before the two things we missed were having a comfortable bed and having the ability to cook. We also sometimes felt stifled by having to deal with the timeframe of local transportation. Driving our truck camper solved all of these issues and allows us to easier choose our own route.
Are you also taking along pets?: 
Are you also taking along children?: 
What type of car are you driving?: 
Toyota Tundra with an Adventurer camper on back.
Did you make any modifications to your car for this trip?: 
For the truck we added leaf springs in the back, leveling shocks in the front, upgraded tires, sway bar, cold air injection and added air bags. For the camper we did a lot. We added a solar panel, 12volt fans, upgraded the ceiling fan to two-way, added a side awning, roof rack, water filter, LED lights and added side mounted fuel jerry cans and sand tracks.
How did you save up or finance your trip?: 
We sold our house and acreage and saved some. This time around we are working from the road; myself as a freelance writer, blogger, and hopefully soon web designer. Jim is working on some online business options and we will most likely work as we go along.
How long do you plan on traveling?: 
Well, we initially said a year or two but since we're now nearly six months in and have only made it as far as Puerto Vallarta I think it may take much longer. We truly own nothing back home except a few boxes of mementos and so as long as we can make the financials work out, we're mobile.
Where do you plan on driving? : 
We plan on covering every country in Central and South America.
What were your family’s and friends’ reactions when you told them about your trip before you left?: 
Having left once before they weren't surprised. Although many weren't too happy either. With parents getting older, etc the decisions can be difficult ones but we have already had family and friends come to visit and more are on the way soon. With technology the way it is today, being able to call/ skype/ email/ see everyone on social media, etc makes it much easier than last time when we would go weeks with no contact.
What languages do you speak? Will you learn more on your trip?: 
We just speak English now but are slowly learning Spanish.. not fast enough!
Do you have a favorite place that you've visited?: 
Well currently we are "at home" in Puerto Vallarta.. a place we have visited many times as tourists. We did love quite a few places in Baja; specifically Loreto, Los Barriles, and Coyote beach.
What was the weirdest thing you experienced on your trip?: 
We have spent enough time out of country to know that the locals are often trying to sell us something. Thats okay, that is how they make a living. But after some unexpected thunder in Mazatlan, a female beach vendor stopped us and just wanted to talk to us about the weather and then wandered on. It was totally random and unexpected.
What was the worst border crossing?: 
The FIRST one!! We had a little border accident crossing into Baja that required a couple of very expensive weeks in San Diego to fix.
Do you have any advice for others who may be considering driving the Americas?: 
DO IT. Travel. Travel everywhere! The world is a wonderful, amazing place filled with incredible people, beauty, food, and diversity. You will never regret exploring it.
Jim and Rhonda Delameter