Bill Atchison - Backroadexplorer
This afternoon , a day after getting home after several weeks of very infrequent internet visits during a long wander through Mexico I finally checked my email again. What I read was the equivalent of getting hit between the eyes with a sledgehammer.
A message dated 26 Feb from Janet Atchison in Alberta broke the tragic news that her husband Bill had died on February 22 in a traffic accident in Oaxaca state while he was riding his BMW 800GS. Bill is the author of a travel report here on HU under his moniker of Backroadexplorer.
I had never met Bill in person and just missed that opportunity when I found out a day after the fact that we had both been in the city of Veracruz on the very same day 19 Feb'10. From email correspondence with Bill and through reading his travellog I felt a great friendship for him and knew he was genuine explorer.
Bill had been riding solo in Mexico these past months as a preparation excercise in improving his Spanish skill and road experience in Mexico so that he and Janet would set of for a big ride through South America.As Bill had explained in his travellog ,he was travelling without Janet because she had injured her heel while they were packing up the bike last fall and she stayed home to mend while allowing Bill to enjoy his riding.
My deepest sympathies go to Janet, Bill's father and the family.
Thanks Sjoerd, very bad news. :( Bill was a great guy, and a real traveller. He was a presenter at the 2009 HU CanWest Meeting and although I missed it, from all reports his stories of exploring Mexico and Central America went over very well indeed! I'm sure he has inspired many. He was a great supporter of HU, and we had many interesting "conversations".
Our sympathies go out to his family and friends. We'll all miss him.
Grant and Susan
Sjoerd...this is indeed unwelcome and tragic news. I talked to Bill many times over the years about travels including at various mini and regular meets here in western Canada. I remember following him down to Bragg Creek last spring to a breakfast. He was on his new GS 800, which he seemed to just love.
Here's the info posted on his backroadexplorers.ca site....
February 26, 2010:
For those who have been following Bill and Janine's travels on their trip journal: http://mytripjournal.com/backroadexplorers
We have to pass on some sad news. Bill Atchison has been touring on his BMW motorcycle for several months in Mexico. His family, received word that he died in a road accident on Monday, February 22, 2010, doing what he loved most, riding on his motorcycle throughout the regions of Veracruz and Oaxaca, Mexico.
Little information of the accident is available at this time.
If you wish to send messages of condolences, please email Bill's wife Janine at: firstname.lastname@example.org (cut and paste this email address).
Bill's information and last entries of his recent trip can be found by clicking this link: http://mytripjournal.com/backroadexplorers
Very, very sad news. Bill spent a little over a week with us in Mex City. It was a pleasure to have him as a guest. He was a quiet, intelligent person. My sympathies and condolences to his wife and family.
I am in Mex City and if I can help in any way please contact me.
I had the honour to meet Bill and Janine at the Western Canada meeting at Toad Rock .A great guy and a true gentleman.
Sincerest condolences to Janine and family .
Bill was a great person, always there with a ready smile and happy to help. When you met him you could tell that his passion was motorcycle travelling. Through his blog, his presentation at the 2009 HU meeting and the breakfast meetings of the HU Community he's inspired us to slow down and explore those back roads that we would otherwise have missed.
Our thoughts are with Janine, Bill Sr and the rest of his family.
Audrey & Ekke
Oh, that's terrible news about Bill...
I only knew him for a few hours, but learned a lot.
I stayed at his place while I was passing through Canada.
He taught me about topes, borders, what shots to get, what medicines to buy.
It was a life well-lived. I hope that those who don't ride can understand how full it was. Thoughts go out to Janine and the family.
This is just terrible news.
I had only recently met Bill when we were discussing preperations for the South America trips we were both planning. As soon as I met Bill I could tell he was a completely genuine guy, his advice and enthusiasm will be greatly missed by many.
A sad, sad loss indeed.
Words can not express the sadness I am feeling as I read the news about Bill.
Bill and I had met and riden many times, we were exchanging emails to meet in southern Mexico in the next couple of weeks, I was so looking forward to getting togeather. As I enter Mexico in the next couple of days it will be with a heavy heart and renewed caution.
If there is anything that Janine needs when i am in Oaxaca please let me know.
Here's some info from today's local paper.....
http://raven.b-it.ca/images/obituplo...lliamFeb22.jpg ATCHISON William "Bill"
April 12, 1954 - Feb. 22, 2010
William "Bill" Atchison of Red Deer passed away suddenly in Oaxaca, Mexico on Monday, February 22, 2010 at the age of 55 years. Bill will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 36 years, Janine Atchison of Red Deer, one son, Trevor Atchison of Red Deer, one grandchild, Edwin Atchison of Red Deer, his father, Bill Atchison Sr. of Calgary, two brothers; Michael (Patricia) Atchison and daughter, Carmel of Water Valley and James (Heather) Atchison and children; Elyse and Nadine of Calgary, as well as many friends. Bill was predeceased by his son, Donald Atchison and his mother, Olive Atchison. A Celebration of Bill's Life will be held at the Red Deer Funeral Home (67 Street) on Friday, March 12, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. with Pastor Dave Bayduza officiating.
Condolences can be forwarded to the family by visiting Welcome to Red Deer Funeral Home & Crematorium - Located in Red Deer
Funeral arrangements in care of the
RED DEER FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORIUM
(67 STREET) LTD.
6150 - 67 Street, Red Deer
My heartfelt thoughts go out to Janet and Bill's family. I only met Bill once, last summer in Nakusp and I immediately felt a kinship with him. His easygoing enthusiasm was downright contagious. He will definitely be missed by the community.
I will be passing through that area later this month or early April. If anyone has more information on the location of the accident I would like to pass by and pay my respects if that's possible.
A note from Bill's brother
I received the following note from Michael Atchison:
I am Michael Atchison, my brother was Bill Atchison (Backroad Explorer)
I have designed a sticker (sample attached) to help commemorate the
life of my brother. I would like to offer these to the people who new
my brother and would like have a memory of Bill riding with you on your
adventures. If you could send me your mailing address I will forward the
sticker to you, also if you could add this information to any bulletin boards
that Bill was a member of or forward to his riding friends this would be
To request a sticker please forward your mailing address
via email (michael at spydermouse.com)
On behalf of myself and our family I would like to thank you for your
prayers and support during this time.
michael at spydermouse.com
Adventures of Spyder Mouse
Bill Atchison - Backroadexplorer
On Feb. 24th my wife Sheila and I returned to our winter hideaway in Tucson, Arizona, following our 70 day adventure from Tucson to Panama (we winter here, but are from the Okanagan Valley, B.C., Canada).
Last night we enjoyed the company of a fellow rider we met last summer in Nakusp, B.C.; Michelle Eisele (scrabblebiker). Michelle is on her way down to Mexico and perhaps beyond.
We were talking about Mexico and happened to mention that we spent a few nights in Mazatlan on the way down to Panama. We went on to say we were walking along the street in front of our hotel and saw three guys sitting outside a bar enjoying a beer. One had a Horizons Unlimited t-shirt on and as we approached were surprised to see our friend Bill Atchison. We had met Bill at the Nakusp meeting last August so we joined our friend for a beer or two.
It was then that Michelle told us of Bill's passing. We were absolutely stunned to hear this aweful news. Bill had emailed us several times during our trip through Central America and in his last email on Feb. 15th, he invited us to join him at Garry's hostel in Mexico City just last month.
Sheila and I would like to send out our heartfelt condolences to Bill's wife Janine and his family.
I know I speak for all of you when I say Bill Atchison left a huge impression on us all and will be greatly missed.
Casey & Sheila Boyle
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