This blog's for ME

Almost 25 years old, asking my parents if I can sleep in their bed with them. I had thought I was going to be the 25th Prime Minister of Canada. Things had changed. 10 years later, I was still a scared little boy. The time had come to slap myself awake. One Saturday morning, November 19th, 2009, I declared to the world I would be riding my 10 year-old motorcycle from Vancouver, BC Canada to Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, and back.

The official departure was August 28th, 2010. A group of well-wishers saw me off at 8:03 am.

I arrived in Rio de Janeiro around 6 pm March 1st, 2011.



My return to Vancouver came on July 5th, 2011 about 2:00 pm.

Drug & alcohol abuse, ADD, social anxiety, health, chronic pain, night terrors.

So many concerns. But I am far more interested in this question: Do I have the capacity to make this trip despite all my shortcomings?

My mission: To inspire myself to face my fears, enlighten myself on how all living things can peacefully co-exist, enjoy every moment, and see the world as plentiful and generous.

Go ahead. Call me crazy. Call me anything you like.

I'm out to save my world.



I LOVE YOU ALL



Questions, comments, concerns, threats? Contact me: jason.chapman99@gmail.com


Snow in Mexico

It's a hot, dry and dusty day just past the border between the Mexican States of Baja California (B.C.) and Baja California Sur (B.C.S.), in a place called Guerrero Negro. A few kilometres out of town lies a large lagoon where the ground is covered in white crystals with three gargantuan machines including a dozer, train, and combine methodically scraping, loading, and removing it from the ground. A photograph might make you think it's the day after a big snowstorm in Canada, and the clean-up crews are out. Instead, you see a man in a t-shirt holding up a white chunk the width of his chest with a big smile on his face. And the reason for his mirth? The material in question is not snow, the bane of every municipality north of the 49th parallel, but something very different, something that has translated into big money here on the 28th parallel. It is the major reason for 50 years of relative prosperity in the area.

With over 14,000 world-wide uses from chemical production, to food seasoning, to de-icer, salt has become one of the most ubiquitous minerals for human consumption. In the 1950's, salt production became a growing concern, as San Francisco's supply was quickly falling behind demand. Several companies were looking for new sources of salt for their own production needs. Enter shipping magnate Daniel K. Ludwig, a savvy and effective businessman who was called upon to locate an area that satisfied the requirements for large-scale salt production. On a trip to B.C.S. in '54 Ludwig found the perfect place in the Ojo de Liebre lagoon of the Mexican Peninsula. With very little rain, a large salt-water basin impervious to tides, brisk winds and a high saline content of water, the area was landmarked as a perfect location. By 1957, a town was created as the labour force brought in to build the facility, and continue salt production, required the necessary infrastructure.

Exportadora de Sal S.A. de C.V., the company that Ludwig created, became the largest producer of salt in the world, providing 7 million metric tonnes to the world's markets each year. That small town, Guerrero Negro, has profited handsomely from his efforts too, even after he sold his interest in the company to Mitsubishi Corp. of Japan in 1973 amidst threats of nationalization. Since then, the population has steadily grown from 3 to 15,000 residents, with over 1,000 employed by Exportadora de Sal. This is surprising news considering the town is located in a desert. Several other towns to the North do not even register a blip on the scale of wealth compared to Guerrero Negro. But people are not the only creatures that find the area bountiful.

The salt flats used to evaporate the ocean water from the brine host an astounding array of wildlife, noteably 95 species of birds. 27 species of shore birds, to large Pelicans and Cormorants feed on the marine life made plenty by the unique biological characteristics of the environment. The bottom of the food chain consists of a bacteria that lives specifically in saline waters such as these, of such interest to scientists that NASA comes to study it every year. Gray whales come to the lagoon in the thousands every year to give birth to their calves. What turns out to be no more than a quick gas stop for people who don't have a clue what the area has to offer, it is an incredibly rich, and bountiful one for those people, and animals, that do.

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