Woodstock brothers take on Tierra Del Fuego
Woodstock residents and brothers Aaron and Nathan Cooper left town Sept. 2 to embark on a journey some people might call crazy but the brothers call “epic.”
The travel-loving duo decided to venture from Chicago to the furthermost tip of Argentina – Tierra Del Fuego – with little more than their Enduro motorcycles, a GPS, Nathan’s basic-level of Spanish understanding and a minimal amount of gear.
The bikes are street legal as well as compatible with off-road riding.
If one motorcycle breaks down, the young men said the plan will be “two men, one bike,” which they hope does not happen.
Aaron and Nathan decided to toss out a set schedule and let “everything fall into line as it happens,” moving where the winds of fate decide to take them.
They plan to make stops and complete charity work along the way as situations arise.
One such stop will be at Misión Vida Nueva (Mission New Life) charity, Guatemala.
Mission New Life reaches out to poor, orphaned and abandoned children in one of the most poverty-stricken regions of Guatemala. The Coopers’ plan to spend at least two weeks volunteering at the center.
“Our efforts [will not be] purely self-indulgent,” said Aaron, 30, who also said the trip has been something he has always wanted to do.
“We wanted to spend some time contributing to something and not just traveling.”
Aaron served in the United States Army as an Airborne Ranger and member of a special operations unit for nine years. He was deployed to Iraq several times before receiving a medical discharge.
The idea for the daring trip started off as a self-motivated desire to continue to travel, but he said God spoke to his heart.
Nathan, 25, previously worked as an ESL teacher in South Korea and Vietnam. He said he and his brother have taken trips abroad together in the past and are compatible travel partners.
Though the passion behind the trip is fueled by the Coopers’ love of traveling, Nathan agreed they have a strong desire to help others along the way.
“We want to bring attention and aid to deserving causes,” said Nathan.
“We could do a lot more than just take a month-and-a-half vacation.”
The Cooper brothers plan to make a documentary about their journey. The tentative travel route includes stops in Iowa, Colorado, California, Utah and Mexico – before they head to random points throughout Central America.
Aaron and Nathan wanted to thank a few local sponsors who have helped them, including Woodstock Harley-Davidson for providing rain suits; Wonder Lake Metrik Mayhem for performing mechanical checks on the Enduros; and Scala Rider for donating much-needed gear.
Aaron and Nathan aim to end up along the tip of Argentina where, Aaron said, they will either sell their motorcycles or give them away, before flying home. The brothers plan to return to Woodstock before Christmas. Both agreed nothing is set in stone.
“If God is using us, and there is still a lot of work to be done, I can’t see us leaving,” said Aaron.
To donate funds for the documentary, charity and general trip costs, visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/212197.