New Adventure Begins! by Amy Tripp

We’ve lept off life’s treadmill and thrown caution to the wind, and by golly there will be some wind. A year ago, after wrapping Treasure Quest in Bolivia, we hatched a plan to ride our #DRZ ‘s from #keywest, our home town, to #Ushuaia, Argentina. Over the next 12 months we will meander through two continents and umpteen World Heritage Sites in an effort to reach #Patagonia
To get to this point we have purged a lifetime of tchotchke, put some lipstick on the family home and put it on the vacation rental market, sent the girls off to university, farmed out our 3 beloved Jack Russells and cat to family and friends, and quit our day jobs. It hasn't been an easy transition, but today we began the journey at 4:30 am. Praise be to the trusty #Suzukis.
#drz400sm #motorcyclejourneys#gottogotoknow #explore #buckthesystem#makeithappen#shawncowlesadventuretravel #bluonwhite

Friday, August 24, from 8-10pm, Smokin’ Tuna Saloon by Amy Tripp


Smokin’ Tuna Saloon hosts party for Discovery Channel’s ‘Treasure Quest’ season premiere featuring Key West local Shawn Cowles

On Friday, August 24, from 8-10pm, Smokin’ Tuna Saloon, 4 Charles Street, invites the public to celebrate Key West local Shawn Cowles as he debuts in his role as expert treasure hunter in the third season of Discovery Channel’s ‘Treasure Quest.’ Focused on a quest to discover the biggest land find treasure in history – the legendary Sacambaya Treasure in Bolivia, reportedly worth two billion dollars, the premiere episode will be shown at the popular live music venue at 9pm.

Though Cowles has kept busy serving as a steward to Florida Keys history for the last four years as operations manager for Key West Art & Historical Society, his own history has certainly paved the way to starring in the popular reality show. An adventurer at heart with a penchant for problem-solving, his work has included searching for a lost Manila galleon in Guam, recovering lost treasures from Florida’s 1622 fleet shipwrecks Atocha and Santa Margarita, and his diving and consulting work with prominent land find and shipwreck projects in North and South America have given him the technical and practical skills required to lead the ‘Treasure Quest’ expedition.

Over the last three centuries, many explorers from around the world have made the journey to unearth this legendary treasure, without success. Perilous weather conditions and dangers of altitude sickness, wild mountain lions, landslides, Jesuit booby traps, and even blood-sucking vampire bats stand in the way of unearthing the long-hidden riches.

In the season premiere teaser trailer, Cowles, tech specialist Jeremy Whalen, and demolitions expert Jack Peters must travel through Yungas Road, infamously known as “Death Road” because it has more fatalities each year than any other road in the world, to get to an old and long-abandoned Jesuit monastery. Mere miles before they reach their destination, a landslide forces the team to stop dead in their tracks and reroute their journey to safety. Will this end the team’s trek to the treasure, or will their knowledge and expertise take them through to the end?

Adventure Blog by Amy Tripp

Z Files - Phase one - Canada to Key West
Once we had wrapped for Treasure Quest in Bolivia in 2017, we spent time touring the country. Two destinations were a must-see; the spectacular Salar d’ Uyuni and Lake Titicaca. When Neil Armstrong gazed at the earth from the moon, it is said that he mistook the 4000 sq mi salt flat for a glacier. Beneath the brittle crust lies approximately half of the world’s lithium reserve. To navigate the salt flat we hired two off-road bikes, and here the seed was planted. Why not quit our day jobs and ride the Pan American Highway to Patagonia, the ultimate bucket list destination. Two months later we purchased Daisy, a Suzuki DRZ 400, for a song as she was a refugee of Hurricane Irma and has the rust to prove it. Why a DRZ 400 and not a sexy, state of the art BMW? The DRZ is less showy, and you can hurl it in a dugout and head up-river when needed. A month later Zelda joined the team. Identical in make and model and a year younger, Zelda, is named after F Scott Fitzgerald’s wife, a beautiful, high spirited socialite, novelist and painter, renowned for her wild lifestyle.
With the assistance of YouTube University and our good friend and local crocodile trapper, Chris Guinto we have added numerous farkles to prepare the bikes for a long-range journey. Unlike Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman, we don’t have a workshop or garage with a team of gorgeous girls ordering supplies. We work on the bikes in a narrow walkway on the side of our house, much to the chagrin of our three Jack Russell’s that use the area as a bathroom. The goal is to establish a sound working knowledge of the bikes before we head off to remote areas. We live on an island with limited supplies and expertise, so self-sufficiency is critical.
Farkles and upgrades to date:

  • 3 x 3 Mod with JD Jetting Kit for the Carberator
  • 7.4gal Safari Tank (300 miles)
  • Waterproof 12 Volt/USB power outlets
  • Fatbar
  • Pro Taper HandlebarbRiser Mount Clamp Adapter
  • Righteous Stunt Clutch
  • Smith Grips
  • Ram mounts for devices
  • Clutch Cable
  • Brake Pads
  • TST LED Integrated Tail Light & Fender
  • Fluids
  • Smith Grips
  • Mosko Moto 35L Backcountry Panniers
  • Mosko Moto Nomad Tank Bag
  • SW-Motech Quick-lock Evo Luggage Side Rack
  • Zeta Armor-Guard LED XC Handshields
  • KKE Suzuki Foot Pegs
  • Ignition Clutch Case Covers


Shawn & Adele powercouple.jpg

Ready to roll

Catching a lift to Canada