Episode 140 Randy Perkins on Overcoming Tragedy and Finding Your Path to Adventure
Show Notes for Podcast #140
Randy Perkins on Overcoming Tragedy and Finding Your Path to Adventure
Scott Brady interviews Randy Perkins about his motorcycle and 4wd adventures around the world. Randy also shares his journey of overcoming addiction and loss to find his path to adventure.
Randy is the go-to guy at Timber Tomorrow for all day-to-day logging operations. He is the on-the-ground management; getting the roads constructed, the timber harvesting completed, and all the commitments met. Randy has the timber business in his blood. At age 21, he was already running his own logging company. He has owned or managed five other forestry-centric businesses since, including one that pioneered “Cut to Length” timber harvesting systems. In 1988, Randy was pictured on the cover of American Timberman magazine for a feature on “Up and coming logging companies to watch.” Because of that article, Randy was recruited by the New Zealand Forest Service as the first North American Logger to help design new roads and harvesting systems for their North Island tree farms. In the 25+ years since the Pacific Northwest’s timber industry has watched him make a real “best practices” mark; especially in the decade since joining Sandy Gordon in the business that has grown to become Timber Tomorrow. Randy is involved with numerous industry efforts on behalf of worthy causes, including Load of Logs for Kids, Cut Down Cancer, Oregon Special Olympics, and Relay for Life. You can follow him on Instagram: @pvtmule Contact email: email@example.com
Scott Brady Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal and is often credited with popularizing overlanding in North America. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and includes three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar expeditions include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. @scott.a.brady
Scott Brady: Hello and welcome to the Overland Journal podcast. I am your host, Scott Brady. And for today's guest we have Randy Perkins. Randy has been a member of the community for decades, and he has ridden motorcycles and driven land cruisers on many continents of the planet. Randy's a very interesting guest because he has a very storied past. He started off his life as a Marine and then made a career out of being a logger in New Zealand and in the Pacific Northwest. And he is a passionate overlander. He has a lot of experience as a motorcyclist. And more recently he's been traveling extensively by land cruiser. In Australia and in Africa. So we gleaned some really important insights about buying a vehicle in country, keeping a vehicle, storing it in country, maintaining documentation and registration. So these are very interesting questions that we're [00:01:00] able to dig into with Randy about how he's able to keep these vehicles on various continents of the planet. So please enjoy my conversation with Randy Perkins. This content is brought to you by Overland Journal, our premium quality print publication. The magazine was founded in 2006 with the goal of providing independent equipment and vehicle reviews along with the most stunning adventures and photography. We care deeply about the countries and cultures. We visit and share our experiences freely with our readers. We also have zero advertorial policy and do not accept any advertiser compensation for our reviews by subscribing to Overland Journal. You're helping to support our employee owned and veteran owned publication. Your support also provides resources and funding for content like you are watching or listening to right now. [00:02:00] You can subscribe directly on our firstname.lastname@example.org. Randy thank you so much for being on the podcast today.
Randy Perkins: You're welcome, Scott.
Scott Brady: It's, it's a joy to have you here.
Randy Perkins: It's humbling and I feel blessed to be here.
Scott Brady: We just got done with a nice little adventure together, so we drove, we drove out to Alamo Lake. We had a great little trail ride. We had a, we had Matt, Scott was there, Paula, the producer, Ryan, our videographer. We had a, we had Caleb along as well. We had a, a great little, little trip and for me it was the first time. That I've just done a trail ride in forever, so thanks for being the impetus for us getting out and doing that.
Randy Perkins: Yeah. Thank you, Scott. I appreciate it.
Scott Brady: Yeah, absolutely. Well, your story is so, it's not only fascinating, but it's got so many wonderful arcs and turns and people that have come into your life and you've, you've become a student of these people that [00:03:00] you admire. In many ways. You are someone that I admire and others like Caleb, and many people that I know in my life admire you for the difference that you've made in people's lives. And I thought it would be, it would be good for us to start kind of from the beginning, where did you grow up?
Randy Perkins: I grew up in Gladstone, Oregon until I was seven, living next to the, library. And when I was seven, my dad bought 28 acres south of Oregon City, about 10, about three miles, and it backed up to 650 acres of timber. And full whole growth forest. So I went from a city kid to having.
Scott Brady: You were Huck Finn?
Randy Perkins: Yeah. I had 28 acres of filberts to take care of, and then the rest of the time I was in the woods camping or doing something from nine years old on. So yeah. Exploring.
Scott Brady: And I remember in our conversation recently you talked about Huck Finn being an early inspiration for you about Wonder and Adventure and exploration. [00:04:00]
Randy Perkins: My second grade teacher read Huckleberry Fend to us, and then my third grade teacher gave me the softer side of my life when she read a book called, where the Red Fern Grows to Us. And that book changed how I look at humanity. In people.
Scott Brady: What do you feel you took away from that? How did, how did you change the way that you saw people after that book?
Randy Perkins: I realized that not everybody in our life comes from the same circumstances we do, and everybody has their own challenges. And I understood a lot about the dirt, poor poverty that my dad that was born on the Indian Reservation in the Northwest Territories. It was Cherokees, it was three quarter Cherokee. And then my grandfather who lost his farm in 29 in Iowa, and the dirt later on in life, I understood that about the dirt poverty that those people lived in and had nothing. Nothing. Yeah. Yeah.
Scott Brady: Well, and that seems like that that has served you because it's, it's allowed you to always remain rooted in the fact that things life can change so quickly.
Randy Perkins: It does too. Yeah.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And then as a young man, you. Join the military. So talk a little bit about your military career. [00:05:00]
Randy Perkins: Well, when I was, 17, I dropped outta school and they later figured out I was dyslexic. I couldn't attend school from about the age 13 on. And so my best friend, his dad was, Colonel in the Oregon National Guard, and I went down to talk to him and he said, you're not going in the National Guard. He said, you'll end up in jail. There's no discipline. You need discipline. So he referred me to the Marine recruiter. And the funny thing was, that's a way to wind up in discipline. The funny thing was, is that the night before my best friend, who I grew up with and went in the Marine Corps with, and Jim started the Antler Chandelier Company in Montana. He was at dinner that night with my family and, and Jim said, Mr. Perkins, I am going in the Marine Corps. And dad said that that is the greatest thing that any man could do. And I heard that, and the next day I had the Sergeant Roberts out with me to get my parents to sign a waiver at 17 so I could go in. Just after my 17th birthday.
Scott Brady: Yeah. So similar to my, my grandfather. In fact, I think he was a little bit younger than that. In fact, I think his mom fibbed a bit on his, which, that happened a lot for World War ii.
Randy Perkins: Yeah it did.
Scott Brady: Yeah. [00:06:00] And talk up to me a little bit about what you did in the Marines.
Randy Perkins: Well, I went to, of course everybody goes to bootcamp and advanced infantry, but I went back to Memphis to go to aviation school to be a flight mechanic. And, while I was there, I got snagged up to play football for a season for them. And the, the funny thing about the Memphis story is, is that I got off the plane August 16th, 1977, the morning Elvis died, and I'm in the Memphis Airport. And the story, you know, they're all screaming. The king is dead. The king is dead. And I, I thought to myself, Jesus came back and they killed him while I was on the airplane. But the, the military there. Yeah. I spent almost a year. Going to school, went to Airborne Radio Operator School, also on the C one 30 s. But when I got ready to get out, I'd finished number one in my school and they offered me h mx one duty, which was Marine Corps Presidential Helicopter Squadron. And it's on my discharge papers. And I said, no, I wanted to go out and be a Disneyland Marine and live in Tustin. I didn't want to go live on the East Coast, so
[00:07:00] Closer to family, but, and I ended up spending two and a half years out there, and then quite a few times on the Tarawa down off of the coast of Central America when during the, yeah.
Scott Brady: There was a lot happening that time.
Randy Perkins: Yeah. That was the arms for, yeah.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. Well, I thank you for your service. I think that we both share the recognition that our lives would've taken a very different path had it not been serving in the military. I know for me, I felt. Like a ship with a lot of potential but no rudder. And the military gave me a lot of that direction. So.
Randy Perkins: Yeah, that, I would never have gotten more I have in my life without the discipline I learned cuz I was an undisciplined punk.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And I, I was the exact same thing. Yeah. It, but yeah, I'm still a punk and probably not as disciplined as I want to be, but Yeah. But it would've been much worse.
Randy Perkins: Yeah, I get that.
Scott Brady: So you get out of the Marines and you start getting involved with [00:08:00] timber. But the thing that's so cool about your career story is, That you didn't just do logging in the Pacific Northwest like everybody else did. You decided to go to New Zealand. So was that the first time that you really traveled internationally, not as a soldier?
Randy Perkins: Yeah. Yeah it.
Scott Brady: And how old were you when you?
Randy Perkins: I was 20. 28 years old. When I sold my businesses, I sold my tree farm and I was recruited by the New Zealand government. There was an article in American Timberman, which at the time was the biggest newspaper about logging. And if you're from the northwest, you're a god in the timber industry, cuz we log bigger timber, steeper ground, more production than anybody in the world. And I was recruited by the New Zealand government cuz of that article. But to back up a little bit, the biggest defining moment in my life was the day I got outta the Marine Corps. My dad picked me up at the airport. And mom wasn't there and I couldn't figure out what was going on. And then he stopped out on the Columbia River and he told me he was terminal with lung cancer and didn't have long to live. And it's like, why didn't you tell me? And it's, you know, so it kind of threw me in a dark hole. But, there was no work at [00:09:00] that point. We were coming out of four years of Carter. I, I went into the Marine Corps about a two weeks before Carter started, and I got out about two weeks before Reagan. So we were down to no supplies, nothing to run the birds on. We cannibalize 80% of the birds were cannibalized so we could keep flying. So I started a firewood company. My dad, when I got home, he said, well, I've got two truckloads of logs out there. If you'll cut them up, you can have half. And I figured out at that point I was making about 15 bucks an hour. So.
Scott Brady: Much good money in 1980.
Randy Perkins: Yeah, I was getting a dollar 65 at a regular job. And, and so I started doing that and it kept getting bigger and bigger. And then I was buying logs from an old man, Raymond Smith, out in Corbit, Oregon. And one day he said to me, he said, how'd you like to own your own property? And I said, well, I really don't have much money. And he goes, well, I've got a 40 acre track out there, I'll sell you. And it was covered in Alder at the time. It was kind of worthless other than firewood. And so he took a chance on me and, I ended up buying a small bulldozer, putting a winch on it, building my own blade, building my own canopy fort. And I ended up logging my [00:10:00] property and then the neighbors wanted me to log, and I took that fence down. Then I took the next fence down, and for the next year and a half, I just logged for my neighbors. And then, another man grabbed me and saw the potential I had and took me into the national force and taught me how to log big. Man by the name of Johns, he's my mentor.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Amazing. And, you know, losing a parent, and that was many years ago for you with your dad and just a year ago for me with my mom. But it really does recalibrate things in our mind. What, what did you feel changed about you after you lost your dad?
Randy Perkins: Well, after my lost my dad, I went downhill into drug addiction, drug addiction, and alcoholism. I, I mean, I went downhill, downhill fast. It lasted about three years past that point, I'd had some stuff happening in my life when I was 12, some abuse issues. And I started pretty much drinking every day at that point. And the only sober time I ever had in my life was the 98 days of Marine Corps Bootcamp until I was 25 years old. When I, when I. Had a friend pull me aside and help me. But you know, it's, we get people step into our lives [00:11:00] and we can't forget that, that people step up to help us. And we have to remember that we have to do that. We don't have to, we get to do that for other people in our lives. We get to step forward and help other people. At 25, my 25th birthday, I tried to quit drinking and I kept waking up every morning drunk. And I went into, I was working for the power company at night as a mechanic, heavy equipment mechanic. And one of the guys that I worked with had been gone for 30 days. Everybody said he, he was up at Boardman at the coal plant, was the common story in 1984. And, and Bill was there and I didn't even recognize him. And it was, it was Labor Day weekend and I'd been on a four day cocaine run, and I hadn’t slept for four days and I was in the, we had a room, we called the drying room, which was 110 degrees with no humidity. We could dry our clothes in. And I was sitting there just shaking and sweating and Bill came in and then he said, are you ready to get some help? And I said, I've been trying, but I can't stop. And he took me up and got me into an outpatient program. And many times in my life I thought, Where can I be a Bill in someone else's life to help them.
Scott Brady: Oh, you have?
Randy Perkins: Yeah. I've been blessed to have those opportunities. I don't take any credit for anybody else, but I've been blessed to have those [00:12:00] opportunities to help other people.
Scott Brady: And you've been sober now for how long?
Randy Perkins: 38 and a half years now.
Scott Brady: Well, and that takes, it takes an incredible amount of courage to, first of all admit when we have something that we want to change in our life. And then second of all, to stick with it. So 38 years is incredible.
Randy Perkins: Well, thank you sir.
Scott Brady: Randy. I'm just so proud of you for that.
Randy Perkins: Thank you.
Scott Brady: And we'll talk a little bit later about some other things that we've been both been working on to help each other with in our lives. And you make a decision to, to actually care for yourself, to, to show yourself some of the love that you really, that you wanted to receive. Protect yourself. And save yourself in many ways. And how did that change your life? What, what happened at, at that point that started to. Give you these opportunities?
Randy Perkins: Well, I think, I think when I was 25 and I got sober, the biggest thing I learned in my life is I wasn't lying all the time to everybody. Because addiction is just one set of lies after another. The gentleman I sat down next to at my first meeting, Terry Aggy, he was my sponsor for 25 years. He sat down that night. I [00:13:00] sat down next to him that night not knowing who he was, and he'd been sober about 15 years. He had an a PhD in literature from the University of Oregon. And, and he ran a garbage company. He stayed in college as long as he could before he had to go run the dad's garbage company. And, you know, he, he used to tell me, you know, that you just, everybody's gonna get one chance. You're gonna get a chance, there's gonna be people walk into your lives and, you've got that chance to, to maybe change your life. The sad thing about alcoholism and drug addiction is even if all the people that say they want to do it, maybe only about 10% ever make it. And that's the sad thing. And then when you get to one year, there's a, a, I don't know. It's a, it's a trend and it's, it's been this way since I got sober, but when people get to one year sobriety, they forget about what they got doing to get there and they quit doing it. So about 13 to 14 months people relapse all the time. I luckily, I was, I got sober with some really old, hardcore people. And, and I needed that because I had didn't have that discipline to be able to [00:14:00] thrive and survive.
Scott Brady: We're all glad that you did survive. There's, we have a lot of mutual friends that are grateful that you're here. And, and I, I have no doubt that that decision made a big part of it. Randy Perkins: Yeah. Well, there was, there were seven of us that ran together. I got sober at 25. My friend Steve got sober at 30 and nobody else made it. 40 years old. Yeah, between car wrecks and cirrhosis. And then, and then I lost Steve a couple years ago and he was 25 years sober to, they think it was the cancer that's caused by Roundup. Cuz he was, he ran a cemetery and so it was some weird cancer they'd never seen before. But the amount of people that you know, pass through our lives that even if they don't get sober the first time, if you can make an impact on them. You know, everybody used to always ask me when I, before I moved to Bend, Oregon, where my ranch is at. I lived in Corvallis, Oregon, which was a college town and everybody always said, well why do you have dinner at the same pub every night? Well, one, the head chef co I took him to Columbia with me cuz he wanted to go ride motorcycles in Columbia. So I took him down there. We rode motorcycles for 35 days and so he'd make me whatever I wanted. But what I, when I sit back and look at it, I always tell people, you know, if I had seven people come up [00:15:00] to me and say, how are you so happy in life? And how do you do it without drinkin? Yeah. And five of those people are still sober. So, you know, occasionally people are put in our lives and, and most of the time everything we've ever wanted and needed in our lives. What I find out is a lot of times we don't take it because it doesn't look like what it's supposed to look like. We have a preset notion of who this person should be.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Including ourselves.
Randy Perkins: And ourselves, and we're not that person and they're not that person. So we don't take what's given to us at that point.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Being willing to accept help and being willing to accept. You know, I'm, I'm feeling compelled right now cause there's, there's likely gonna be some people listening that need help. Yeah. Would you be willing to have them reach out to you?
Randy Perkins: Absolutely.
Scott Brady: All right. And how, how would they reach you?
Randy Perkins: On Instagram I'm p v t Mule. Nickname I got in the Marine Corps. Phone number's (503) 780-3828. And if I don't answer, just leave me a message and I'll get right back with you. I still speak on a state level for Alcoholics Anonymous.
Scott Brady: I, yeah, I know you do that.
Randy Perkins: Yeah. And I, for years I spoke on [00:16:00] a national level for Cocaine Anonymous. I was one of the founders in the northwest of that to get that started. So kids could talk about drug addiction with the firmness of Alcoholics Anonymous, where NA tends to be kind of spread out the, I don't mean this wrong, but to them relapse is acceptable and to me it, it's acceptable, but every time it happens, it's that much harder for people to get there and stay there. And you never have to leave a Z thing and no, it, and it doesn't matter where you're at. I have friends all over the United States that are good people, that have 20, 25 years of sobriety that can help you.
Scott Brady: I know you do. And you might be able to put them in touch with that. So Yeah. I know that it's something that people struggle with and, there is help. And there's people that care about you making those steps towards sobriety and yeah. I'm just proud of you.
Randy Perkins: Well, thank you, Scott. I appreciate it. It's, it's nothing that I'm proud of or ashamed of. It, it's just my life story. It's who I am. And, and if, if I was proud or ashamed, I would be silent. And if I'm silent, people die because of our silence. Yhey just don't, I've led [00:17:00] an unbelievably blessed life. And I've tackled some major issues in life. Really tough ones. And, went down those rabbit holes a few times really badly. And then, you know, had somebody step in and say, Hey Randy, you know, you did it with me at the beginning of the year, but step in and say, Hey, I'm tired of seeing you struggle with something. Yeah. Here's, here's what I think might help you. I think to myself all the time, where can I be a Bill Quinn beer? Where can I be a Terry? Ay, in someone's else's life. Not only in recovery but in business. Cuz I've got eight or 10 guys that used to work for me. I downsized in 2009, 2007 I downsized. And all the guys that had been with me for quite a while, I took a risk on 'em and I sold 'em logging equipment on contracts. Cause they couldn't get financing into bank to buy it. So I, I sold it to 'em and then, By the grace of God, those guys are still guys that come back Now that I've decided I'm gonna work five, six months outta the year, they still come back and help me. Bring their machinery back and I contract 'em in and we get to work together. I mean, last, last week we were on a job and we had four of us there and we had a hundred twenty five, a hundred forty five years of [00:18:00] experience and we had 85 years we were together. I was sitting there watching, you know, my log trucker is junior, his dad is senior, and his dad started hauling logs from me in 1981. And junior's been hauling for me since 96, but we are, we're who we surround ourselves with.
Scott Brady: Yeah that is something that I recognize and I've heard it said is that, We're basically a, a reflection of the five people that we're closest with. So if, if we're surrounding ourselves with amazing people and you think about the people in your life like Bill Ragu and Bill Whitaker and these gentlemen that are, are absolutely exceptional individuals. And it helps to make us exceptional individuals in the ways that we can be.
Randy Perkins: So we don't know those moments in life are gonna happen. They're never staged. We never get that feeling. My whole relationship with Overlanding changed in 2012 when I went to my first Overland Expo. I'm standing in line as a lonely person and builder go and, is wife Susan and another fam, friends of theirs from Oklahoma were there and Lady [00:19:00] said, I got a room for five. Bill said We're five. And we sat down and Bill said, do you ride Motorcycle? Said, yeah, I just got back from my 1200 and I've been down the ball at three or four times in the last year. And he goes, tell me how you ride the Baja. I had no idea who the guy was.
Scott Brady: Yeah one of the, yeah. One of the greatest adventure motorcycle instructors in the country.
Randy Perkins: Yeah. And I, and I had that.
Scott Brady: That's his humility.
Randy Perkins: Yeah. And then, you know, the next day he introduced me to you and then he introduced me to Bill Whitaker. And he didn't tell me what Bill Whitaker did, and Bill's drilling me about XL Timber in Oregon, about what I see as their flaws. And I finally asked him, who the hell are you? And he says, I'm a chairman of Simplot. And it's like, yeah. But it's, it's those relationships with my first riding coach, Amy Stroud, a week after I bought my first 800, a friend of mine that rides, I mean, I bought my first 1200, a friend of mine that I rode dirt bikes with, said, You're either gonna get some training or you're gonna get hurt really bad. And then if you get on the bike, you're gonna get some training. I said, who the hell do I get training from for this? And he said, well, Ram Stroud in in SI, Oregon. And I was logging the piece next door to his property.
Scott Brady: Unbelievable. And so you could, you could [00:20:00] logged for part of the day and then go ride your bike and then.
Randy Perkins: Went rode every night.
Scott Brady: Yeah. That's, that's great.
Randy Perkins: You know, two weeks into it, Ramey goes, what are you doing next week? And I said, nothing. He said, can you take two weeks off? I said, yeah. And he said, well bring your bike over. I said, why? He said, we're going to this place called Copper Canyon.
Scott Brady: I was hoping you'd talk about this story, cuz this is incredible. So you, you'd never, other than Baja, you'd never really done a big international trip and now you're gonna take two weeks.
Randy Perkins: I hadn't even done Baja at that point.
Scott Brady: Oh, gotcha.
Randy Perkins: This was 2008 was I bought my bike in May. He took me in June.
Scott Brady: That's amazing. So you're, so you're, where did they ship the bikes too, to Creole or?
Randy Perkins: No No, he shipped it to El Paso, I put it in his trailer and he took it down. With Skip Man, Manso. Oh, from Motor Discovery. I'm still great friends with Skip and I had the opportunity to help his son when his son was having some problems. Skip called me in the middle of the night and it was really touching, but we got to, we got there and then, my first crossing was at, Juarez.
Scott Brady: Yeah, exactly. Get the party started.
Randy Perkins: Yeah. Get the party started. It was [00:21:00] right.
Scott Brady: Yeah. But isn't that, that is such an interesting area when you drive, like once you're outta Juarez and you're, and you're heading south, you come into these Mennonite regions of Mexico that nobody knows about. Yeah. And there there's, there's kids wearing John Deere ball caps. And you know, you and these huge farming operations. Yeah. It's incredible the agriculture in that area.
Randy Perkins: Two things struck me when I, first time I crossed that border was one when we got about 15 miles south out to the east. There's a mountain. And there's an outline of a horse for heroin that the drug dealers had put there. And this thing's like 500 feet high and a thousand feet long. But then, the funny thing is, is in the last 10 years in Mexico, they've changed from John Deere to Juan Deer. So you can get a Juan Deer hat down there now.
Scott Brady: That's funny.
Randy Perkins: But yeah, going down there and then, you know, experiencing Creole and then, you know, the, and.
Scott Brady: And people, I don't think a lot of people realize that a town like that exists. It's kind of like the, I mean, I don't know the, the Durango of Mexico. It's, it's a high mountain. I think it's 7,000 feet or so. And, you know, [00:22:00] so it's up in the pine trees, it's, you know, there's log cabins everywhere. And it's just, it's the gateway to Copper Canyon. Isn't that where the train starts to?
Randy Perkins: Yeah. Yeah. Well, it starts, it would be north and west, about 30 miles from Creole. Because you come in on the road and you have to go a little bit east to get to Creole. Well, it's out north and west at the head of the canyon there. But the, Ramey knew a guy that was a French chef that had this little hotel, and so we're about halfway there. I can't remember the name of the city, but he pulled in there. And this guy cooked us most amazing meal I've ever had in my life. He asked a steak chicken and I'm thinking, okay, this is gonna be the, you know, the rubber chicken, rubber chicken tur. And he comes out and he's a French chef and this stuff has got sauce. I mean, it's just, it's incredible in a swimming pool there, it's like, do we have to leave Ramey?
Scott Brady: Oh, you gotta go back there. So you get to Creole and I mean, riding an adventure, a big adventure motorcycle in Copper Canyon is no joke.
Randy Perkins: No. And it wasn't paved. Oh, it was paved. And it was.
Scott Brady: Yeah, it is paved down to [00:23:00] batis or at least part of the way. But at the time, and, and, and it was funny cuz you and I were just talking about this before we started the conversation. And I was in the same area in 2008. We gotta figure out what time I was there because it was probably close to the same time.
Randy Perkins: Oh, I'll, I'll look at my pictures cause I still have pictures at her time.
Scott Brady: You saw a whole bunch of sports mobiles. It was me. Yeah, it was me. But yeah, I mean, that is an incredible adventure. And you guys got into this one section of trail. I mean, how many guys ended up injured by the time you got to the bottom?
Randy Perkins: After, after we came out of Ball to PTUs, when we dropped into Ball de PTUs, Ramey asked me to kind of stay back cuz uh, there was a lady, Danielle and Art from San Diego.
And Danielle was riding. She wasn't really experienced and she wrecked her bike on the first corner where the, right at the top of the hill where you start now, where the missionary stands up there and blesses you. And, Ram said, okay, Randy, he wanted me to, he wanted me to stay, help him load the bikes cuz he's in a wheelchair. And so I went to load the bike and the key wasn't not there to [00:24:00] unlock the, the ramp. So he says, Randy, you gotta go to the bottom. And so my first trip to the bottom of Copper Canyon was alone. And he saw giving me one piece of advice. Stay out of the inside of the corners. Yes. Because the trucks tear 'em up so bad. And I got to the bottom and I talked to Scott, the assistant ride leader, and he said, well, I'm taking these people into Balded. He said, you're gonna have to ride that key back up there. And it was not 80 on the rim and it was probably 110 in the bottom. And I got back up and Ramey, I loaded the bike and Ramey said, I'll follow you down. And I said, no, no, just go. I said, you know, I'll, I'm gonna wait here about 10 minutes and drink some water. I think I drank three quarts of water cuz I was just dying. And Ramey left. And I was laying against the, the cliff on the left side. And then there's that area, there's that little shrine up there. And all of a sudden I see movement and shadows and there's a shaman up there blessing me. And he's, he's blessing me. And then he goes like this.
Scott Brday: Was he, was he Tara Hamar sick shaman?
Randy Perkins: Yeah.
Scott Brady: Oh, incredible.
Randy Perkins: Yeah. Then he holds his hand out and I got in my wallet [00:25:00] and I laid a five and put a rock on top of it. And he goes.
Scott Brady: We'll give you the wave. Yeah.
Randy Perkins: But the ride to the bottom was, it was quite emotional cause I'd lost my business partner two years before, and that was one of the places we'd agreed I'd spread his ashes out. So I did on the bridge that morning and that evening before he got into B Dedas, coming out of B Dedas, we got back up to Creole two days later and there was a group of us that kind of rebelled because a lot of the people wanted to ride pavement back. I said, I didn't come here to ride pavement. So there were six of us that left and. We went straight east outta Creole, past the garbage dump. And then over the top of the, there was a.
Scott Brady: Were you going to Skai or were you going to Dera or what was the next?
Randy Perkins: We were gonna, I don't know the name, but eventually we were gonna go over the, you know, you go out there and it, you go from 7,000, about 9,000. It's forced it. And you're going straight east and then it goes east and then it drops and goes north up to, to Chihuahua. It was on that section, we, my famous last words were, there's a road there, it says two wheel drive, we can go. Yeah. And well, we went down and that road was so steep that even a guy [00:26:00] in a four 50 that was a really good rider couldn't make it back up at, so we were stuck with going forward. And that day, you should have been about a six hour day. It turned into 34 hour day.
Scott Brady: It sounds like you were on the route to Sarah Cowie. Some big, big river crossings too.
Randy Perkins: Yes. Yeah. The bridges washed out the bottom. That was the first thing we realized we're in trouble. But you know, what are you gonna do out there? You know, we had.
Scott Brady: You gotta keep moving.
Randy Perkins: We had two guys get hurt. My friend Kim wrenched his ankle real bad, and my friend John tore his knee up real bad. They couldn't ride. So the bikes were in the back of the truck.
Scott Brady: And, and then you ended up with someone with a broken shoulder too, right? Randy Perkins: Yeah. And then I ended up with a dislocated ankle later in the ride.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And, and explain to me how, how was it that you were shifting again after you dislocated that foot? Because you said you couldn't feel the foot anymore.
Randy Perkins: Well, they, yeah. I couldn't feel anything from the knee down. And they decided since I was the only one at the time that had an h i d light and we were gonna have to ride through the night that I had to ride because we were outta riders. We had no place to put bikes. And I could physically still ride. Well, I took like seven or eight Vicodin to get it to quit throbbing. But they put tire wraps around my leg. And then they [00:27:00] put a loop in the tie wrap so I could pick my heel up. Oh. And then they tied a shift string from the shifter up to my tank bag so I could shift and then downshift and I remember we, we got to the top of that big canyon out there. There was that little town out there heading towards Chihuahua, about halfway up. And we got to the top of the ridge and the guy that was in front of me, he stopped and it was still daylight. And I got the top of the ridge and I said, what are you stopping for? And he goes, well look at this. This is kind of cool. There's a like a dirt road that goes up this way and then down here and there's a ramp, and I'm gonna get the hell outta here. This is a landing graph. Landing strip. And you could still, it was windy and you could still see the track marks in the dirt. So they just built it. And I said, if anybody asked you if you saw anything, you didn't see anything.
Scott Brady: That's right.
Randy Perkins: Nothing. Because it was still really unregulated there.
Scott Brady: I remember coming around the corner one time, and here's two locals and they have these huge backpacks on their back, you know, stuffed with weed and they're both carrying rifles. And all I, I didn't know what to do, so I literally just smiled and waved like a tourist. I didn't know what to do. I just kept driving and I smiled and waved and he actually gave me just a little curl [00:28:00] of a smile. As I went by. And it was like, that was all it. I mean, he gave me a gift because I would've been terrified are they gonna call ahead or what, you know, but he, he kind of acknowledged me that like, I mean, you no harm man. I'm on my way. Yeah. So didn't see anything.
Randy Perkins: Later that evening, we were, we were following this old dirt road and it had to go to Chihuahua and then we came across a river drainage, and I was looking at a map and I could see on the topical relief map, and it went down to Chihuahua and we were on a plateau. And right before we started down that plateau set of police lights came on off onto our right. And I stopped. And, and Ramey said, you're in the lead beware. He said, if anything feels wrong, don't stop. And so we got to the bottom of the road, we crossed the bridge. And this guy, that's a cop's trying to turn us to go upstream. And I knew Chihuahua was downstream. And Raymond said if we'd have went there, then we'd never been found. They, they would've had all our bikes. And, but you know, it's just the funny thing.
Scott Brady: At least there was a probability of that.
Randy Perkins: The funny thing was, is that I got to the hospital at Chihuahua. I mean, I got to the hotel at Chihuahua, they wanted to take me to the hospital. I said, no, [00:29:00] I've got a flight out in two days to an orthopedic surgeon that'll help me. And so, They took my boot off and, and it had been 105 every day and, and I hadn't taken a shower for three days and Kim came in and helped me take my boot off and that about made me die cuz.
Scott Brady: I can't imagine.
Randy Perkins: Yeah. And so I got in the shower and then I laid down and, and Kim propped my foot up for me and they came in the next morning and they said, are you riding? I said, I have to, we don't have anybody else. And it was great cuz somewhere I have a picture and I'll send it to you someday. I was on crutches, Kim was in a wheelchair and our other friend was on crutches too in the hotel. You know, it's come, come adventure and get disabled. They came in and they couldn't get my boot on. My foot was too swollen so they, they couldn't find any way to lube my foot up. So they went to the kitchen and they got wessin oil and they covered my sock completely and I put on my foot and uh, one guy jumped across my chest. Another guy was holding my legs and two guys crammed my boot on and that hurt so damn bad. And they just said we'll be back in 20 minutes to get you to shut the light off. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Rode all the way home.
Scott Brady: What an adventure to come out of the gate. You'd had the bike for a couple months. [00:30:00] And you went right in, you went right into right into Copper Canyon. So one of the things that I wanted to talk about in this podcast, cause I think it's, it'll be really relevant to a lot of people's desires for travel, is you have found a great way of flying in and either renting vehicles or motorcycles or buying them in country. You purchased a vehicle in Australia. I'd love to talk about how you did that. Well, like what was the process, how difficult was it? What did the vehicle cost? And, and then how did you end up at the other end of it? How did, were you able to at least break even or something close?
Randy Perkins: My first rig I bought was in Columbia, but we can go back to that later. I bought an FJ 43 down there, but the, in Australia, I went to rent a rig and, when I got there and there were no rigs available and they tried to give me this Mazda, something for a little four-wheel drive car and it had ball tires on it and, and. My friend Paul said No. And so I took it back. They kept my deposit of $5,000. So I was talking to [00:31:00] Paul and he said, you know Randy, he said, let's just find you a good Land Cruiser. And I said, okay. And then I called you and I said, what do I look for? And he said, for you I'd look for a 76 series V8 diesel 76. And we found one that had about 50,000 miles on it. I think I paid 35,000, 50,000 Australia for about 30. And it was only a couple years old. It never me. Miles.
Scott Brady: That's really fair.
Randy Perkins: And it had lockers in it already. So then like any one of be, I took it to the ARB shop and started pointing and picking. And it took him about a week to do all the stuff, to put the lockers and everything in it for us. And at that point I was married. Then Paul gave us his wagoneers and we took off and went out the south coast and out, out towards Adelaide and went to the Great Ocean Road and Gorgeous. And saw the 12 Apostles. And then we went up into the Grande and the Flinders.
Scott Brady: Yeah. The Flinders are incredible.
Randy Perkins: The Flinders ended up revisiting three times. You know, I every trip I'd go over.
Scott Brady: Did you ever go to the Parilla Hotel?
Randy Perkins: Yeah.
Scott Brady: Yeah, it's so great. I, well, I, I went there with my dad, so I just had this incredible memory of that and, and my dad eating that you could [00:32:00] buy this plate of food that had, you know, crocodile and kangaroo on it and camel and all this other stuff.
Randy Perkins: So, but did you know the freight memory? The funny story about Australia is, is 10 years before that happened, I pulled into the Lone Pine Cafe and that happened in 18 and 18. That happened cuz 10 years before that I had met a name by the man by the name of Paul Raymond and his wife Lee Mitchell. And they were at the Lone Pine Cafe and I had been riding in Death Valley in 105 hundred 10 degree heat all day. And I hadn't felt like he eaten, so I hadn't eaten anything all day. And I pulled into the lump Pine cafe on the corner there at five minutes to nine and the girl says, I'm not, not serving. It's too close to closing time. The only other people in there were Paul and Lee and they were in the back and they were here from Australia. They had went back to Roaring Thunder cuz Paul was a Vietnam vet and they'd rented a Mustang convertible and driven all the way out across the United States. And Paul in the back says, F that Sheila, you come sit with us. We haven’t an ordered. And so we struck up a great friendship and you know, the friendship carried forward with notes and stuff. And finally Paul said, are you ready [00:33:00] to come? You know, I can't keep, I'm not gonna live that much longer. I really want to help you. And it was one of those things of keeping in contact with people and being honest about what you're able to do. Paul helped me build my rig and I ended up spending seven weeks the first trip. Brought it back to Melbourne. The second trip I took my doctor who travels with me on my long distance trips overseas all the time. We traveled back up into the Grande and I remember we were in the Arc Wilderness. The funny thing is like, I forgot the first trip. You and I were both in the Arcola wilderness and we were gonna meet and we ended up being about five miles apart.
Scott Brady: That's it. It was crazy. We just lost.
Randy Perkins: You were, you were a day early and I was a day early and satellite phone wasn't working.
Scott Brady: That's that's right. We tried.
Randy Perkins: We tried, we made up for it last night.
Scott Brady: That's right.
Randy Perkins: But you know, I, I looked at Mark cuz I had tried to climb Airs rock and the oldest item on my bucket list at that time was 48 years old. I had an second grade teacher read us a story about the man that climbed Airs rock to watch sunrise and I couldn't climb it. We got blown out every day up there. We couldn't climb. And, and so Mark and I were sitting on the AOR wilderness [00:34:00] sitting there right at that, there's a lodge there. It's not much of a lodge, but there's a lodge there. And Mark looked at me and he said, can we go climb Irish Rock? And I said, well Mark, it's gonna cause us to have about four or five 16 hour days. And he goes, I'm good with that. He said, you know, I'm good with that. And I said, okay, well let's do it. And so we got there and the, we were there for three days and the very last day we were there, we, we got to the gate at eight o'clock. So they'd let us climb. We got about halfway up and they started yelling us to come down. I looked at Mark, said, I'm not coming down. I'm going. And the problem was is that four years before that, I had crushed both feet really bad and I could hardly walk. I was hobbling and I crawled on my hands and my knees most of the way to the top. And, and I remember getting up there and that was the oldest bucket list item I ever had. And at that time, it had been on my list for 50 years. Wow. And I realized it was time starting to bucket list.
Scott Brady: And you have, and you've yeah. The things that you've experienced is incredible. Well, let's talk a little bit about that accident. So you were on your motorcycle. And you had a pretty horrific accident.
Randy Perkins: Well, I was October 16th, 2016. And Simon and [00:35:00] Lisa, from to Ride the World, and then Terry Borden from Adventure Trio had always told me. And Ramey had always built in on my head that dreams are just dreams until you set a date. And at that point, I was riding down to the LA motorcycle show that I really enjoyed going to and I was gonna declare that I'm leaving Christmas day to ride to the bottom of South America. And I was in the tills above, Redwood City, California. And I went in, we were in the pastures up there and these gorgeous pastures, huge pastures overlooking the ocean. And I went around a really hard right hand corner and I could see it was right hand corner cuz the only place that had trees were the corner. And I went around this corner and we were going, I was probably going 35 and it was probably 35, 40 mile an hour corners no big. I was taking it easy cause it was just so beautiful and my bike started to slide, started to come out from underneath me. So normally my instant response was to turn it into it and power up. Well, when I powered up and got back straight, the bike just kept skating. And it skated me right into about a 10 foot high rock wall dirt wall. I don't know really what [00:36:00] happened from then. The rider behind me told me that when I impacted the wall, it threw me into the road. The bike went up in the air and the bike came down on both my feet smashed them. Bad it, it broke the fibulas but it didn't. And my boots probably are all that saved me. I've always been a great believer in good gear. So we got my bike upright. I couldn't feel anything from the knees down. And I still remember, must have been in kind of been a daze because my friend helped me get back on my bike. We got it over to the side of the road where there's little berms. I could get up on it and he goes, which, what do you wanna do? And I said, there's this charbroiled chicken place about five miles away. And I've been tasting nothing all day. I want to go eat, eat a charbroiled chicken sandwich here. And I remember I pulled in and they helped me off the bike and helped me into the restaurant. And there's probably a hundred people on the patio overlooking the ocean, watching us just kind of staring at us and when I was sitting there eating lunch, I, I couldn't feel my feet anymore. They had to help me up, get in the bathroom, and I came out and the people were just a gasp because I was getting back on my bike. And I remember before I put my helmet on, I turned around and said, don't worry, I'm not doing do any wheelies. But that's one of those points where I wish [00:37:00] I'd had somebody a little bit stronger in my life because I don't remember the last hour getting back to Redwood. I, I do not. I, I don't.
Scott Brady: So you probably rung your bell a bit too.
Randy Perkins: Yeah, I did. And I had a bruise. I had at the time, climate just came out with the adventure rally armor, the, the 3D armor. Yeah. The stuff from Germany and I had a bruise from here to here. Yeah. Through that arm.
Scott Brady: Crossed your chest.
Randy Perkins: Yeah. It would've broke my sternum and broke every rib. You know, I'd had a rib through along our heart for sure from that. But I've never, I've never met a person yet that, wishes they had less gear on when they got hurt. Yeah. Or bad or cheaper gear on when they got hurt.
Scott Brady: That started a process of, how many years have you been recovering from.
Randy Perkins: That happened in 2016. Took me two years to be able to feel my feet again when I walked. So I had to look at the ground when I walked, and I still around my logging company eventually. The only thing that was really bad was, is I would get about 40% swelling on a long day. 25% normally. Yeah. I, my feet would swell up, you know, every night.
Scott Brady: And I did know that. And which, you know, brings me to, I think, an important part of the conversation, [00:38:00] cuz the last time that I, well, the time before last when I saw you. When you came to Prescott.
Randy Perkins: At Christmas time?
Scott Brady: Yeah. We were having, I think, breakfast together. Maybe, maybe lunch. I think it was breakfast. You know, I know that you had been working so hard to recover, and, and I could just, I could see the pain that you were in, and not only the physical pain, but the frustration.
Because you're an adventurer, you're a traveler. You, your goal is to check off that, those bucket list items. As you go around the world. And let's talk a little bit about what, what we talked about that morning.
Randy Perkins: You suggested something that nobody else had ever suggested to me, and that was fasting.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I was worried about you. Yeah. I mean, I, I, you know, Anna, we've talked about that, but. I feared for you as my friend, is that, that this path that you were on, not only was it not a healthy one, it wasn't a long one.
Randy Perkins: Well, that, and two and a half years ago when I went through my divorce with Denise, I, yep. That was, I went into a dark hole that I didn't know if I was ever gonna come out of, I, when I, when I got hurt, one of [00:39:00] the doctors suggested, testosterone replacement therapy. And they put me on 400 milligrams, which is a huge dose. But they said we needed to, he help you heal your feet. So it put about 75 pounds on me, and probably a third of that was fat, or half that was fat. And the rest of it was muscle. I've always been big, but I mean, I got big and I could never get it to come off. I mean, I'd lose 20 pounds and then it'd come back. I'd lose 20 pounds and it'd come back. And it was so frustrating cuz I can't hike, you know, I, I can't go out and walk.
Scott Brady: It's hard to be physical.
Randy Perkins: Yeah. It, it's hard to be physical when you can't walk. You know, I just, I still remember our conversation from that morning and, and having tears in my eyes telling you, you know, that I really didn't see a resolution to this. I didn't see, cuz I'd had all kinds of surgeons try to help me and, you know, and tell me, you know, we can operate but there's a 70% chance it'll be worse. It gets any worse. I'm not gonna be able to walk and. And then you suggested that I start fasting. That, and I, I didn't really, I trust you and I love you and I, and I know that you were gonna give me the best [00:40:00] input you could and you did. And I have to tell people, look right in the camera and tell you if you haven't tried fasting for joint pain and for inflammation, you gotta do it five days fast. It was simple. After the second day, I wasn't hungry at all.
Scott Brady: Yeah You hand you handled it really well. Yeah. And, and again, I mean, just as it's important to note in the podcast, but I'm, you know, I'm not a doctor and I don't, I don't play one on the internet, but I had had personally really good success with that. You know, I just noticed my, you know, mental clarity and the ability, I guess for me, and I've told you this, Once you fast and I, I've done a 10 day fast. Once you fast for 5, 7, 10 days, you just realize that you don't actually need as much food as you think you do.
Randy Perkins: Oh, it's all mental.
Scott Brady: It's just all a mental game. Of feeling hungry and that you gotta satiate yourself. So when I got through a 10 day fast and it was just, again, people need to talk to their doctor, these are things that you shouldn't take lightly, but. By the time I got done with a, a 10 day fast, I thought this, you know, all of this stuff that I tell myself [00:41:00] about food is just garbage.
Just totally foolishness because you know, as long as you got some fat on your frame, which I do and I had even more back then, uh, you're fine. It's just not, and and of course your doctor's gotta tell you you're gonna be fine. But I was, my doctor said I was gonna be fine and, and I was. And then it changed my relationship with food. And, and now I'm 60 pounds less than I was and Yeah. 30, 40 pounds less than I was even a year and a half ago.
Randy Perkins: So. Well, I remember when you went through a drastic change. Yeah. And I remember the Scott Brady I met was heavier. A lot heavier. And then all of a sudden you're, you're not swath, but you're really looking good.
Scott Brady: Well, thank you.
Randy Perkins: You're welcome. It cha it, it already pre-programmed in my mind. So when you talk to me about it, I'm already thinking that, you know, I watched this guy drop 40 pounds and keep it off for the last four or five years. One of my friends said, you know, the richest man, if he could have everything in the world, what would he have? And I, I never guessed his health. And cuz I've always taken for granted, I've always been a bull, I've always been able to power my way through anything in life. No matter what it was, mentally, physically, it didn't matter. And then [00:42:00] I watched you and then I was blessed enough to have you come to me and say, I think I might have some help for you. And you did the same thing Bill Quimby did for me with alcoholism. You started me fasting and yeah.
Scott Brady: We touch, we touched base every single day. So those that are listening, Randy, he'll send me the calories he consumed during the day. He'll give me a weight update a couple times a week. And it's super helpful for me too. It's helped me stay on.
Randy Perkins: Keeps us accountable.
Scott Brady: Yeah, it's helped me stay accountable. So just having that friend that you can trust, that you can share the things you're struggling with and that you want to be better at. Yeah, and it was just such a, a blessing cuz the next time that I saw you, you were upright and you were walking with authority that I hadn't seen you walk with in a long time.
Randy Perkins: There was a couple things I noticed is one is how much time I spent thinking about food. And two, how much time when I was driving, I'd say, oh, there's my favorite burrito place. I could go have a steak there, I could go. And to realize, when you told me when I was about three days [00:43:00] into this, that any hunger you have now is mental because your calorie counts down. You're in ketosis. You know, and then I remember on the sixth day I called you, I said, okay, Scott, what can I eat? And I’m expecting you tell me celery, And he said, you can have whatever the hell you want. Just keep it in the Lud app so you know your calories and you know your carbohydrates a day. And, and it was simple. It's, it's been simple.
Scott Brady: Yeah. It's, the challenge is it's often just too restrictive. So there is one thing that we have to restrict if we wanna lose weight. And that's calories. And there is a better way to do it. You can be really paying a lot of attention to your macros. If you just start off with getting the number down, it's amazing how quickly it drops off.
Randy Perkins: I've plateaued a couple of times, so I'm down about 35 and probably be home down 40 pounds by the time I get home. And it's the first time since I got hurt where I felt like I had somewhat control of my body and in my life. Before I felt outta control. And that's not a good place to feel.
Scott Brady: No. Its not.
Randy Perkins: When you, have a physical, you know, everything I've ever done my whole life is extremely physical, which is, you know, I, when I got outta the Marine Corps, I was five foot eight, 160 [00:44:00] pounds. And, you know, no, I wasn't big, wasn't strong, wasn't muscular. And it's just that many years of hard, hard work that built that. But I felt like I had lost control of it. You know, I was, you know, no different than when I got sober. I was having heart issues from cocaine and I was having, my guts were coming apart because of the alcohol. The deal of carrying the extra weight and feeling like you're outta control is not good on your psyche. Not at all.
Scott Brady: No, that makes sense.
Randy Perkins: You know, it's the selfishness inside of me now when I put on pants that are 2 cents or I'm, I'm wearing a double XL shirt now instead of a triple. You know, and, and that I have, I know that no matter what happens if I just stay the course. Things are gonna happen.
Just keep making the effort and stay in the course. Good things happen when you do that.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And have somebody that you can be a partner in it and stay accountable. And we've done that for each other and it's made a, it's made a huge difference for me too. And it's such, it's so great for me to see you healthier and stronger. Each time we get, we [00:45:00] get together. Let's pivot back a little bit towards, your travels, because I think it's, it's, it's an interesting one. You've done a bunch of trips down to Columbia with our mutual friend Mecho and his wife saa. Wonderful human beings.
Randy Perkins: The best.
Scott Brady: Yep. And, they run Elephant expeditions.
Randy Perkins: Yeah. Elephant Moto. They run it in Columbia and in Costa Rica. Both.
Scott Brady: That's right. And yeah. Chris White runs the Costa Rica operation, the one in Costa Rica, which I travel with Chris, by motorcycle in, in South America too. That's one of the ways that you have explored these really remote areas and not have to ship your bike. You just, you fly in, you get a guy like Mecho, who's an amazing, amazing ride leader, and then you rent a motorcycle and you're off to the races.
Randy Perkins: Yeah. I watched Mecho, who is a trophy team level rider, like Guru is like Bill is, and we were coming out of, I can't remember the name of the huge canyon, Chicamonga Canyon I think it is. And I was chasing those [00:46:00] guys down the hill, and I'm, I'm pretty good, but I'm not anywhere near their level. And then Bill said, oh, we'll make it easier for you. And so him and Miro pop wheelies and they're riding wheelies for about 10 miles all the way up that hill. And I'm still struggling to keep up with them.
Scott Brady: Yeah, they're, they're amazing riders for sure. Yeah. The, the bridges that I was, I was worried about crossing MEChA was Oh, crossing it on the rear wheel. Yeah. It just amazing. Randy Perkins: Well, the funny thing is, is that there, you know, you're there in your 1200, you got all your gear on. You're going across these old railroad bridges that are.
Scott Brady: They're sketchy.
Randy Perkins: They're sketchy. They're period, you know, they're, they're railroad tracks. So the railroad tracks are about five or six inches apart on the edges. And then some of 'em are filled with dirt. And some of 'em are filled and then some of 'em have nothing. On one of my trips I've ridden in Columbia like seven times now on one of my trips, six or six times on one of my trips down there, we had a girl that, that bill was, I was leading and then Bill was said, I need you to ride to her right side cuz she can't see very well. And I'll ride to her left side because it was getting dark. [00:47:00] Yeah. And we were in jungle.
Scott Brady: Is that when she went into the water?
Randy Perkins: Yeah.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Bill told that whole story on the podcast. It was unbelievable. I didn't know you were there.
Randy Perkins: Oh God. I was right behind her. I was riding on the right side.
Scott Brady: That's terrifying.
Randy Perkins: And, and she was told to, you know, don't go stop at the bridge, let Bill or I check it out. I stopped. She shot across the bridge like a rocket, and I was right there with Bill and he went in. Luckily, my friend, Mark Hansen was my doctor. He's, I used to always give him a nice bonus every year for his doctor work to go with me so he could afford to go on trips with me. And he got her out. And, but the funny thing was, is that it was nothing funny about it. There's two things I learned out of that is her bike went off and wedged in a, in a girder. And she went down through a hole like this big around. And she, that was all she could do to fit through that.
The blessing was that she landed in the only river that was a mud river that we'd crossed all day. Everything else we'd crossed would been, you know, 150 foot high bridges with no guardrails and sketchy. And she went, got ejected down through there. And by the grace of God, there was a little kid on a Honda, about 10 years old, [00:48:00] coming at her. He saw it. He ran over into the pasture, ran underneath the bridge and found her because Bill, it was pitch black. Bill had ran over the end of the bridge to the side. She went off on, went to step off and went off about a 15 foot cliff. And he was grabbing limbs and brush and the little kids screaming. I found her. I found her. But she was face down in the water with her. My visor shut completely full of water. Yeah. And they brought her back up and I mean, she had contusions on her arms that were like this. I mean, it was horrible. I thought for sure she had broken everything, and she hadn't.
Scott Brady: What a miracle.
Randy Perkins: But Mark got her there and got her head up. So she, cuz he was thinking she was gonna get, go into, start having either a stroke or going into shock. I remember this, the somberness that night in the hotel that we stayed at when, you know.
Scott Brady: Someone was that close.
Randy Perkins: Yeah. Nobody's even talking to each other. Everybody's walking around the hotel. Normally we were jolly and laughing and giving each other a hard time about the day, you know, but, no, I've had three amazing adventures with Bill down there. And it's, and Mico, Mico and Saar are just, two of the best human.
Scott Brady: First class.
Randy Perkins: Two of the best human being, [00:49:00] Jill Ram Ramirez. I'm sitting here looking at your picture with him with the blanket.
Scott Brady: That's right. Yeah. Those are the, those are the photos right behind us. And then you, you recently did a big trip to Africa. And talk a little bit about where you traveled there and what was the highlights for you?
Randy Perkins: 2021, Gary and Debbie, who have stayed at my ranch in Ben with me, they're from Kenya. Gary called me and he said, Hey, I know you can't go back to Australia cuz I had 3, 3 8 week trips over there. And so in 2021, Gary called me and said, Hey, we're gonna take our overland truck. And they're at Simply Overland. If and if you'd love beautiful pictures. Debbie takes some of the most beautiful pictures y'all ever see and does some beautiful writing. And they travel all the time. It's simply Overland. They're on Instagram. He said, Hey, why don't you come over? We'll, we'll rent you a Land Cruiser. We'll find you your Land Cruiser rent. And I went and rented one from, can't remember the name of the company now.
Scott Brady: Oh, Busler. One of those.
Randy Perkins: Busler. Yeah. It was Busler. And I rented a brand new, brand new pickup and with the rooftop 10 on it. Brand new.
Scott Brady: So fun.
Randy Perkins: 500 miles on it. [00:50:00]
Scott Brady: Ah, that's great. Break it in properly. I remember when I opened the hood up and it was a six cylinder diesel on there was like fuel line on this side and, and a shutoff line on a wire on this side. I could've stood.
Scott Brady: They're as simple as they get. They don't even have a turbo. No, they're as simple as they get.
Randy Perkins: They're just as circle as they get. And so we left Johannesburg and we went straight to Botswana cuz our, we had to go fast because they were still having covid testing and we had to get across Botswana in into Botswana in the next two days. So we got into Botswana and then we kind of slowed down a little bit and then we went into the Chobe River.
Scott Brady: Incredible. So beautiful there.
Randy Perkins: I remember Gary's got pictures of me that he sent me, and I have some pictures too. The first two elephants I ever saw were along the highway and they'd taken a lid off the box of a pipeline and they were drinking out of em, you know? And I was just, duh. You know?
Scott Brady: And here they're so huge.
Randy Perkins: And here I am a week later and we're in the upper end of the Chobe and the Marini, and I'm driving through a herd of 500 of them. And Debbie has some phenomenal pictures of me driving in the land cruise and all the elephants around us, you know?
Scott Brady: Unbelievable.
Randy Perkins: We went out to Kubu Island on the [00:51:00] big lake out there. And that was my first encounter with hyenas. They took my. Iced tea bottle, drug it off and ate it. So then a couple nights later, we were at the third bridge in Chobe. Which is.
Scott Brady: That's the deal.
Randy Perkins: mound, which is just,
Scott Brady: That's the real deal.
Randy Perkins: Breathtaking. And we were, while camping there, and I was sitting by the fire the first night and Gary and Debbie were on the other side of the fire in their big overland truck. And I was sitting leaning up against my truck and a chair with my headlamp on reading, and all of a sudden I see movement to the left and I look over and it's a big cat, and he walks right between me and the fire. And he got just on the edge of camp. And I said, Gary, Gary came out and said, what? And I said, A big cat just walked through. And he goes, you got your torch? And I said, yeah. And he's chucking the footprints. He goes, oh, looks kinda like a leopard. And he walks out in the brush? In the brush with a flashlight. Oh yeah. There he is. About 20 feet away from me.
Scott Brady: Oh geez. I hadn't heard that story, boy.
Randy Perkins: So that night they thought it would be funny. They took and put all the garbage up on the top of my roof rack next to my tent on the Mansor. One o'clock in [00:52:00] the morning. I feel a truck shake. And then something comes over and lays against my tent on me, and it's eating the garbage.
It's chomping on the plastic bottles. It's a brown hyena.
Scott Brady: Oh geez.
Randy Perkins: And those things are just.
Scott Brady: They're huge.
Randy Perkins: They're huge. And he's leaning on me and I'm afraid to move.
Scott Brady: Of course.
Randy Perkins: God, I'll pee my pants if I have to. I'm not gonna move. And so, you know, about 20 minutes later, he gets off on the ground and he's down there chewing a bottle. And Gary comes out to take a pee and he looks at me and he goes, what's up? And I said, and he goes, he comes out of there and his underwear shoes on, screaming at this hyena to get the hell out of here. So the next night we put the.
Scott Brady: Yeah. South Africans are another, their own breed. Yeah.
Randy Perkins: And the next night we put the garbage on top of their truck, but that damn same hyena came in and he stole our plastic wash tub. And we've got video of pictures of 'em on the game, trail cameras that night. But on third bridge outta mound, north of Mound there, we ran into the hippos. A lot of hippos on the river there.
Scott Brady: They are huge.
Randy Perkins: And they're, you know, you don't f with [00:53:00] the hippos, that's the number one. Gary pulled me aside and he looked me in the eyes and he said, you do not mess with the hippos. Yeah. Don't tease 'em. Don't even go near 'em. Yeah.
Scott Brady: Yeah. They kill more tourists than any of the other animals there in Africa.
Randy Perkins: But they, you know, if anybody.
Scott Brady: Well, other than a mosquito, mosquito kills.
Randy Perkins: We went, you know, the thing I wanted to tell you was, is that one of the goals on this trip when Gary asked me, he said, I want to go to the skeleton coast in Namibia and the NIB Desert. And he said, why? And I said, because the first Overland Journal article I ever read when I found an Overland Journal magazine somewhere was about your trip coming down the skeleton coast.
Scott Brady: And it was Bruce Dorn that wrote that. And you just saw Bruce again.
Randy Perkins: I did, yeah, I saw Bruce. I didn't know that, that Bruce had written that.
Scott Brady: He wrote that story.
Randy Perkins: But I remember your pictures in the shipwrecks and I thought, God, I've gotta go to that place.
Scott Brady: It was incredible.
Randy Perkins: So we went there, we kind of bypassed the dunes in the south, and we went there, stayed two or three days. And then Gary took me into the NIB desert and we didn't see another human being for four days. We didn't see tire tracks. We saw one animal close to the coast, and the rest of the time it was just.
Scott Brady: Nothingness.
Randy Perkins: And when they say it's the oldest desert in the world, I kind of believe 'em [00:54:00] because all the rocks are, there's nothing sharp. Everything's rounded off. But you know, to move forward, we went up to the Caprivi strip up on the northern end of Namibia. Gary said, do you want to go? How would you like to go Whitewater raft in an Angola? And I looked at him and went.
Scott Brady: Sure, sure.
Randy Perkins: I'm game. Gary was, I came back that night and I said, how'd we do? And he said, well, you have your hands and your feet. So it was a pretty good trip. But then we went out to Caprivi Strip and we stayed, you know, all along the previous strip and then into Zimbabwe and then, yeah. Yeah. I, I ended up my trip at Victoria Falls and then I flew out of Victoria Falls to come home.
Scott Brady: Incredible. Yeah. I was so, I was so glad you were able to have that experience. You know, one of the things that, that I love to ask in the podcast, and it's totally a, a selfish personal question, but, uh, let's talk about some of your favorite books that you've read.
Randy Perkins: In my youth, Huck Finn was read to me by my second grade teacher, and I had just moved out to a, to our farm. And I had seven, 800 acres of timber that was unexplored. It was old growth big creeks that went all the way down the Willamette River 10 miles away. And I spent every day out there. [00:55:00] I started my first business, crawdad fishing, and I sold Crawdads to a guy that drove up and down the road. The other book that really touched me on a level I wasn't at, well, I didn't expect anything at, at nine years old to read was the schoolteacher read us Huck Finn. And being a child growing up in Oregon, Not in a big city. You don't have any race differences in races. Everybody's the same. And to read Huck Finn and to learn about humanity, a little bit about humanity. It, it stayed with me the rest of my life. And then in later life, then she read us that book Where The Red Fern Grows. And that book taught me to be a gentle soul to people and to animals. That taught me what love is. You know, that book really is a story about love more than anything else. Wilson Rollz and Where the Red Fern Grows, it was written in the thirties, I think, and it's still a must read today for young people.
When I bought my first 1200 BMW I was, the day I bought it, they said, you might want to come back. Madeline and Scott Russell from Western Oregon, bmw. And I said, why? They said, there's a guy that's gonna talk here tonight. I said about what? And they go, just come. And it [00:56:00] was Ted Simons. And of course I bought Jupiter Travel that night. That fired my imagination.
Scott Brady: That's an incredible book. Yeah. Incredible.
Randy Perkins: And then my bike came in three weeks later cuz we're gonna have to order it from Europe cuz I wanted some special stuff on it. And my bike came in and they called me. And, one my pastor sent me a picture of him sitting on my brand new bike, man that had put me on.
Scott Brady: Touche.
Randy Perkins: Hit the man that put me on his bike.
Scott Brady: Touche. Yeah. Did he bring your bike back after three days?
Randy Perkins: He just sent me pictures of it and, but that night there was a couple there that talked named Simon and Lisa Thomas from the round to ride the world. Yeah. And listening to them talk about their adventure. At that time, it had been about eight years they'd been riding, but for the, to listen to them talk about their adventures they'd been on. And then at the end of it, I asked Simon, I said, so how much does it cost? And he said, well, you can budget for about $30 a day if you wanna stay in hotels about $50 a day. And instantly I'm doing the math saying, I got enough in retirement right now, I can just leave. And then, you know, a week, two weeks later after that I went to Copper Canyon. So it, it kind of, Those books You [00:57:00] gave me a book about five years ago was Mad, bad and Dangerous to Know.
Scott Brady: Yeah, yeah. Ran Fine's book. Incredible.
Randy Perkins: Yeah. Incredible book.
Scott Brady: It is an incredible book. Talk About a Life Well Lived, that guy. Unbelievable. Yeah. Randy Perkins: Yeah. And then, one Man Caravan, another book, which I think is one of the top two or three motorcycle books ever written. If you haven't read that book, read it.
Scott Brady: It's, and it was so early in motorcycle travel, it's just incredible that they got any place at all.
Randy Perkins: He goes all the way across modern day Iran in Africa. I mean, modern day Iran in Egypt with nothing but British Expeditionary Forces maps. Just little dots.
Scott Brady: That's right.
Randy Perkins: And he tells the story in the book about getting into villages and they say, well, does the road go into the next valley? Yeah. But don't go there cuz people don't come back. Well, do you know anybody that's went there? No. Yeah, but don't go there cuz you won't come back. And it was pretty crazy. But the book that, that you gave me at Christmas time to listen to on the way home and introduced me to audiobooks, I'd never knew what an audio book really was. Never listened to 'em at all. I tend to be kind of old school about stuff and the comfort crisis. Completely [00:58:00] changed how I looked at my relationship with my body and how I looked at my diet and how I looked at my body. And it wasn't a book of know-it-alls preaching to you. The comfort crisis is 15 hours long. And it took me 24 hours to listen to it because I kept replaying it. Did they just say that? You know the, I've never heard anybody say this kind of stuff before and it all makes sense. You know about why we go into ketosis when we were a hunter gatherers and we would run out of food and we would die. But then your body would go into ketosis. Because you were goring everything you could get. Because you didn't know when you were gonna eat again. And, and there's studies that they did with the, you know, I never heard of it. Anthropologists nutritionist. Going back and studying ancient tribes and ancient people.
You know, and ancient cultures to see how they and.
Scott Brady: How long they would walk and run in a day. You know, they'd walk 20, 25 miles a day. Yeah. It's Incredible.
Randy Perkins: It's like when Sterling Newling did the book, the movie on the people of Copper Canyon, their guys would run there.
Scott Brady: That's a really good one.
Randy Perkins: That's a good one. Yeah.
Scott Brady: Yeah. That's a great book. I comfort crisis. I've recommended [00:59:00] it to many of my friends cuz it's, it's a pretty powerful read.
Randy Perkins: It, it was life changing for me and between that and fasting, it all, everything started to make sense that I don't have to play the cards I'm dealt, I can read deal.
Scott Brady: Yeah, sure. And you have.
Randy Perkins: And I have. And, and thank you. Sorry. When I was in the leadership school about 15 years ago, I had, it's been 18 years now, but it was something pretty traumatic out. I lost my wife to a drug overdose. She'd been sober when we got married about four years. I had about 10 years. And she, got an overdose fried her brain. Her parents were very wealthy. They kept her alive. She just died here a couple years ago, but she was in vegetable. And, I had to get some help. 10 years later, I still wouldn't let anybody get even close to me. And I, you know, you and I have talked about it a lot about getting help. You know, don't be afraid to get help. You only got one chance. You only got one life. And every day you spend either struggling or not living life to the fullest is one more day you're never gonna get back.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And we don't know how many of 'em we have.
Randy Perkins: No. [01:00:00]
Scott Brady: So it, every day might be the last.
Randy Perkins: I've always told people I wish I knew when I was gonna die, because I know if I could quit working now and just go spend the rest of my life, I maybe could have did that 10 years ago. But you know, to live each day of the fullest. Yeah. And, and now through your help and also. You know, getting the help I needed, it took three years of tough work to be able to do that. To be able to, well, love myself basically, is what it came down to.
Scott Brady: We gotta start with that because.
Randy Perkins: I could always see everything that was wrong with me. I could never see anything right with me. I always, and that's just stuff that's born in our head from our childhood that we're told were nobody and that's what we believe.
Scott Brady: That's right. Yep.
Randy Perkins: Yeah, it's been a hell of a journey and, I had a ranch down here that, that I was starting to build and I showed it to you about three years ago, four years ago, and, Went through a divorce and decided it was better if I sold it. I have a beautiful cattle ranch outta Bend, Oregon, and I know you've been to it and it's, it's heaven.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Beautiful place.
Randy Perkins: And I wish I, you know, I come down here and I just think to myself, this is where you belong. [01:01:00]
Scott Brady: You know, there's Bend is an incredible place. Prescott's an incredible place. And, and, and home is really where we make it as travelers. And you've been able to do that. You've been able to see the world. It's just been an incredible thing for me to watch you progress as a traveler. And it's just, I think that this conversation is so important and I'm so grateful, Randy, that you've been so open with our audience and you have been with me for many years. Is that Yeah, we all struggle. I lost my mom last year and I needed to go to therapy cause it was so, it was such a heartbreaking heart ripping outta your chest kind of experience.
Randy Perkins: I remember having those daily conversations with you for the better part of two or three months. You know.
Scott Brady: That's right. Every day. And it's, you know, there's just, we don't, we can't prepare ourselves for those things, but we do need help to get through them. There's no such thing as that. You're strong enough and none of us are strong enough. We all have heartache and we all have things that we need help with. And, and I'm just so proud of you for the things in your life that you've done. To take care of yourself and [01:02:00] to learn to love yourself and to get the help that you needed. And that's really why I wanted to have you on today, is to remind all of our audience that we do need that. And that an adventure can be such a motivator for life too. Yeah. And it can fill us with so much joy and love and connection and friendships that we would've never imagined having and.
Randy Perkins: Confidence in ourselves.
Scott Brady: That's right. And we can continue to have those experiences and to gain confidence in ourselves. Randy, let's, let's talk again about how people, cuz we're getting close to time here. Let's talk about how people. Get ahold of you or follow you on Instagram can see more of your adventures.
Randy Perkins: I'm Pv T Mule, private Mule on Instagram. Nickname from the Marine Corps. Scott Brady: There you go. You're also on, I think Facebook and some other.
Randy Perkins: No, I got kicked. I got kicked off Facebook as security risk.
Scott Brady: That's probably a good, I I'm not on there very often.
Randy Perkins: I'm on Instagram only.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And so that's how people can follow you.
Randy Perkins: Yeah. And my, my phone number, I'm not afraid to give it out. I give it out to a lot of people that [01:03:00] are in recovery and need help and it's 5 0 3 7 8 0 3 8 2 8. And you know, most people that call me say, do I have a problem? And there's one simple thing I always tell 'em, just don't drink for 30 days. Just don't smoke dope for 30 days. Don't use drugs for 30 days if you can't do it. Maybe oughta get some help, but I'm never here to tell anybody that you're this or you're that. That's not my place in life.
Scott Brady: Yeah. They've gotta come to it on their own. Well, they've had people tell 'em for a long time. Yeah. They need to come to it on their own.
Randy Perkins: We tend to beat ourselves up so bad that we, we start to look at ourselves like other people think we are and then that sets our destiny. And that's who we become. Watch your actions because they become your habits. Watch your habits because they become your destiny. And you know, we don't, it's not one bad turn or one bad episode that gets us where we're going in life, but like with abuse. And you know, the thing is, is I've learned about abuse is from doing four steps in alcoholics Anonymous with men, about 95% of men that have alcoholism problems. It [01:04:00] comes from either physical abuse or sexual abuse. And you can pin it down to the day it started. For me it started at 12 years old. You don't have to live the story you're living now. You have a chance to start over. Yeah. And that's the beauty of this life. You can pick your own ending. You can't pick your starting, you can't pick your, your friends. You had to stay with your family. But in the second half of our lives, we have a chance to make whatever story we want when we're done. You know, and, and the beauty of it is you don't have to know the answers. Beauty of it's is just do the right thing every day and keep doing the right thing. You don't have to. If and if you get set back for a day, it's like you've told me, you know, I get upset cause I wasn't losing, you know, half a pound or three quarter pound every day. We all reach plateaus. Just keep doing the same thing and good things will happen. And they have.
Scott Brady: And they really have. Yeah. Well and having you on this podcast has been a good thing, Randy, and I appreciate you brother.
Randy Perkins: Very humbled to be asked because when I look through your list of people, those are all people that are heroes in my life that I look up to.
Scott Brady: They're my heroes too.
Randy Perkins: And you're the luckiest man in the world.
Scott Brady: I am. Because I get to [01:05:00] sit down with them all. Yeah. Yeah. And Randy, thank you. Thank you again.
Randy Perkins: Yes Scott. I'm very grateful for the opportunity to.
Scott Brady: And I'm so glad we got to get out, go camping together too.
Randy Perkins: That was, that was awesome.
Scott Brady: We'll have to plan the next one.
Randy Perkins: It was awesome. Chase and mate, Matt's range on one lane road with brush scraping on both sides. Yeah.
Scott Brady: Very good Randy. Well thank you so much my friend, and thank you all for listening and we'll talk to you next time.