Follow the Great HCMTrail Ride

This post is to tell you how to follow along with the great HCMTrail Ride in “sorta real-time.” It’s sorta real-time because I don’t know how much I’ll be able to post while I’m in the jungles of Laos. I’m told there is reasonably good cell phone coverage throughout the country…  but I’m not sure there will be much at places like The Dogs Head, or the Chokes. So I’ll be posting when I can.

There are four main companies in Laos providing coverage. They sell sim cards with a data plan. But unlike most of the US unlimited data plans, their data plans are quantity restricted. So I’ll be getting buying a sim card that you get a specific amount of data. Then you refill the card as you go. I don’t know how well it will work out in “real-time,” but we’ll see.

I’m going to use a “multi-media” approach. I’ll be posting on YouTube, Facebook, and here on the website. Since I won’t have unlimited internet time, I won’t go around to the usual social media sites to notify everyone when I’ve posted something. So… if you want to follow along, you need to “subscribe” to the three places I’ll be posting.

I’m taking a GoPro and a drone for videos which I’ll post on YouTube. This will probably some of the best stuff from the HCMT. Go to YouTube to subscribe. When you get to YouTube, click on subscribe and the little bell that pops up next to it. You’ll get a notification every time I post a new video.

Click here to go to the Ho Chi Minh Trail Ride YouTube videos.
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Click on SUBSCRIBE and then the little bell that pops up

I’ll post pics and a little bit of story to telling you what’s going on the HCMTrailRide FaceBook page. Go there and click both the Follow and Like buttons so the Facebook stuff will pop up in your news feed.

Click here to go to the Ho Chi Minh Trail Ride FaceBook page
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Click Follow and Like to have the HCMTrail Ride show up in your news feed.
You can comment here too.

I’ll be posting the longer stories along with pics right here on this website. I intend to write about each day as I go along. I want to be sure to tell you about everything while it’s fresh in my mind. To get emails of each post, enter your email address it the little box under the top banner pic. Then click on subscribe.

I promise I won’t blast you with a bunch of junk mail or spam. You can always unsubscribe to any of the places you’ve subscribed to.

I have built-in lots of flexibility to the schedule. Except for the beginning and end dates, nothing is “cast in blood.” So… over the next few days (before I go), tell me what you want to see or know about. Leave me a note either on FaceBook or here.

Click here for the schedule

I also welcome your stories or comments about any of the places I’ll be going. I hope lots of folks will share stuff.  I’ll respond as I get a chance. If you’ve got a long story about a place I’m going, you are welcome to post it too. Keep in mind that this web site is moderated, so if you post a question, comment, or story here, it may not appear right away.

“Quickie” questions or comments will probably work best on FaceBook.

That’s all for now. I’ll “see ya” on “The Trail.”

Places to go – The PDJ

“Whoever controls the PDJ, controls Laos”                       

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I know… I said I would talk about “The Alamo” next in the series of “Places to Go.” But, I really can’t do that without talking about the PDJ and all that went with it first. Besides, the PDJ would likely be our first stop on the “Northern Loop.” So here we go.

Most aircrews simply referred to the region as the PDJ. The initials come from the name the French gave the region during their colonial reign: the Plaine des Jarres. Hence, the abbreviation, PDJ.

“Plaine des Jarres” translates to Plain of Jars. The name comes from the massive stone “jars” that were either human burial urns… or places to store rice-wine scattered around the region. Depending on who is telling the story, the PDJ is from several hundred square miles… up to 3,000 square miles.

Plaine des Jarres
Plane of Jars

 For this discussion, the importance of the PDJ isn’t the jars. Rather, it is the years of see-saw battles for control of the PDJ. You see… Continue reading