33 1/3 N C S + Cuba
Update: I left out of Caracas on July, 2012 with a bunch of metal in my leg and headed back home to rest up for the next go around. Bike is still in Venezuela with my good friend SS. Thinking I will be heading back to VZ to get all this metal pulled out at some point. Hopefully will get this ride report back up to date one of these days:1drink
My time has come.
Some short history: I started riding dual sport bikes in 2006 and turned out to be such a great compliment to traveling solo that I just knew it would be the best way to get around and have good adventures and meet great people almost any place you go. I would have enjoyed going practically anywhere but the most accessible place for me on a big trip would be going to North, Central, and South America (maybe a rough 33.333 of the world) because they are all connected and I would not have to get the pricey carnet to go to those other places I was also really interested in, those will have to wait for now. I have no official limit on time the only limiting factors being health, money, or my family's health so I'm sure its going to be one wild ride:1drink
The plan became to travel and experience as many countries as I could all around the Americas. It was hatched by this site and I thank all the people who took their time to post of their trips which would be the valuable information that I used to help me with my journey.
Thankyou ADVrider and all those who make it what it is:clap
This thread and site are two of my primary resources for researching and learning from others as I do this ride so please feel free to offer any hints/suggestions/spots as this goes along. I look forward to meeting many of you ADVers down the road and sharing rides and beers (or water if you like).
Procrastinator that I am I could not even get the bike that I wanted to take ready to go in time. Iíve found that it is almost easier to keep working in the same grind than to stop it and go crazy as it sounds. Fortunately I have a good ole brother who bought a bike right after I bought my first six fidy and he had the foresight to by a big boxer that I have grown to love and that will God willing carry me through the first part of this trip. Once I finish the trip North I will come back home and rig my poor little Dakar that has been resting in pieces over the last couple of years.
This trip has been unlike any other trip that I have ever taken in that I have never so much time to think about and gather up so much stuff that I may or may not ever use for this trip.
I kind of over whelmed myself somewhat with all the work that was needed to add all the stuff and make ready the little Dakar bike so I took the easy out and did a little less work to the big mule (aka 1150Adv) to make ready the first part of the trip.
My brother has been so busy with his business that he canít make the time to ride like I do so Iíve been running his gs quite a bit over the last few years and taken it under my wing per say and have maintained it, although not cosmetically as those who have seen it know well. It may not look pretty but I love the bike and itís been very good to me for what weíve been through together.
I have planned to try and keep an updated near realtime RR as I go but being a camper Iíll just have to see how the wifi stuff works out for me on the first part of the trip, thinking it will be easier as I get south. So now here I sit in the first hotel (for some wifi) of my trip at Tom Bodettís pride here in Pueblo, CO at 3 am in the morning (I slept a large part of the afternoon away) working on this adventure.
It really began on Aug 6 when I had to do a little rewire work on the mule to get it ready take to CO to start off with the Second Annual Latin America Adventure Rally outside Carbondale that was on the second weekend of Aug +/- few extra days. Had to wire in a centech unit to help control my hunger for power and keep it distributed. My brother was nice enough to get a good sonic burger dinner and get me some much needed zip ties before the trip began.
My good brother Thomas and the bikes, burgers and stuff:
The new unit installed mostly:
And some much needed shark, it was a long night getting some stuff caught up and anyway I never slept well the night before getting ready for a big one:
And yours truely in action:
Had to ride the scooter a little that day getting more stuff, great little machine, saw a guy out at St. Francis, KS lives near Little Rock touring on his, this was my first two wheels and how I learned to ride:
Got every thing pretty much buttoned up on the sixth and looking forward to leaving on the 7th hopefully early to head to Colorado for the Latin Rally.
Getting long so I'll post tommorrow in another...lots more coming from here
Aug the 7th the takeoff
Had a late night finnishing up the big GS and got up pretty early to load some clothes and other stuff for the trip up to CO. As usual I didn't get gone early enough and as Aug weather goes for OK and the middle states I just hauled up the big roads to get there as fast as I could. I orginally hope to make WF but it was out and I was leaving behind schedule to make very much of the second latin rally.
Carrying a laptop for the first time:
Was feeling pretty good on the bike until I got up to Salina, KS and ran through the heavy winds and warm temps out to Hays. I think the winds where so high they couldn't even let the big windfarms turn due to fear of overspeed, I saw more stop than spinning:huh needless to say it was windy and I was wanting to run a lot quicker than I could. DQ was needed about every 100 miles but only one would be allowed, tasty little brezze:
* This what happens when I travel solo all the time, the mule is the real star of the show
I made it out to western KS that afternoon before I decided to try and find a swimming hole to cool off and clean up a bit. I went North off I70 to St. Francis to get some drinks and pretzels for the evening and then head over to Bonny Res. to see what I could find.
Not much like could be had their, the water situation in eastern CO is very sad, and was show in the res. Water lines where dramatic like out at Mead.
Water normally here leading up to spill way:
The other side that hasn't seen water in years:
Did some hot laps up on the dam having a look around before coming to the park to inquire, yelp $14 bucks for primative is BS and the lake was so low swimming would be difficult for $6 bucks along to get wet so I passed and inquired about the free mosquito pond that I settled for, I went to bed dirty but not thirsty here on my private bad + free mosquitos and red marks to prove it, Slept well watching the stars sans tent.
Aug 8th The morning after:
Loaded my gear on up and head West on smaller roads back to HW36 where I rode till Starsburg where I showed up little bit early for their hometown parade where I was offered a spot but declined having to make time to the West. Got some oj and breakfast burrito and was off before they where all lined up for the start of the parade, looked like it would be a good small town parade with great weather to boot. Gotta get to Carbondale.
What I like so much about the big mule is the tank and the road manners, this bike can chop some open road miles in a hurry, if I had much off a bigger motor I would be in real trouble, sometimes I want more right hand but legally should not be allowed any more at all. Needless to say we blasted on throuh Denver and started our way up into the moutains and the crazy weekend traffic that we had to gut.
Typically I'm not a fan of interstate system of the US but in the case of I70 it has got some awesome engineering feats and I mean great riding in the canyon section and some cool tunnels to add, and nothing needed to be said about the perfect weather.
Made it out to Carbondale and easily found the Latin Rally thanks to Rick's great little signs, good to see all those people again plus many more that I hope to meet again.
Big mountain right outside of the rally entrance, this was a good place for this:
Didn't take many picture on the 8th but there was a long fest something like a four hour feed that keep your tounge watering the hole time even if it was cooked on old t-posts, good stuff.
B-man's pig, only went in the fire once or twice, me and redone had side bet on it, we took the same side thou so no many changed hands
Early pig along with the obvious chicken and beef ribs not well seen
now late pig, less consumed chicken ribs and piles of corn that worked well with nothing:
Looks kinda like he's burning in hell but it was just Al foil with hot coals on top, yep he was tasty- I could never be a Jew, only just saying, there where many other non-Jews there by the looks of it.
Had some evening entertainment, little fire dancing and singing, only had minor burns from fire dancer, I hope that coonass does alright, I felt bad for the guy. Many good stories where told around the fire. Ross (Redone), Jason (the goodguy cohost/owner of the spread), and myself shut the festivites down around 3:30 the next morning and I threw my bag out on the ground and stay somewhat reasonable until the sun really came out next morning. It was to be a short stay for myself as I have many places to and little time to stay in CO. The rally site morning I left.
The Danish riders (M&M riders I think) where a cool lot, gotta love girls that give er hell.
My little paradise:
Log chopping station:
Mt Elbert became out of the question, will be leaving that for a later undetermined date but a nice soak in a hot springs was more logical so that's was the start for the early afternoon. Thanks for Rick hooking be up 7 miles down the rode from the Latin Rally.
Was some nice scenery for a while, BS with a few from Denver and another who hooked my up with some routes down to the south. Nice little soak hole good flow coming in a cool flow coming down the river, Crystal maybe??
No head shots this time, only toes:
Two pots, one kinda warm the only much nicer. Note to take foldable shovel to make better next time. I'm still living good thou for now.
The newly accuried routes from my one of my soaking buddies was continue south on up McClure and then break off to Kebler pass and make way into Crested Butte which was exactley where I should be. It was fine ride going that way, nice and easy.
My pictures can't do it justice, here's me trying although it was much more fun riding in it.
Came on down into CB and got a big bite of pizza to eat. Also found Izzy's other place out in CO, (I just bought some stuff from the Izzy AR):
Mule looking good in downtown CB:
That previously mentioned pizza, pineapples and CB in CB, OC was tasty stuff:
I'd went back out to the bike and this fellow was checking it out and then we started talking routes and since the man's a rider he hooked me up with some. Good guy named Clark N. from CB who does lots of mountain biking and some restored motorbikes too.
Gave me a nice hand drawn map and sent me on my way for a wonderful afternoon back up to Ohio pass then almost down to Gunnison before bypassing on 8 mile road to Almont then up to Taylor Res. for a nice senic ride to finnish up the afternoon.
Taylor neat alpine lake I guess you would say, cool damn with a cracked open gate valve.
Rest of the big wall damn:
Cottonwood Pass is neat, Tincup will be for next time around. I heard some from dudes up at creats that an older 3 series BMW holes the oil pan going on Tincup and was trying to get a wrecker, would have been fuuny to get that picture. Scenic riding in the area to be found, Taylor lake at speed:
From higher up above now
Up at the crest I left the mule to continue on up to look at the two halves, my proof, standing in a hole that I had been resting in-haven't got the lungs yet for the high climbing yet:
The mule left down below with a pair of rented stroms:
One other picture from up top Cottonwood of a lesser known pond:
After sweating so heavily I was cooled and ready to get down low fast where I headed to Salida for the night to look for Hayduke or some other place to crash.
I dropped out in Buena Vista off Cottonwood and needed a Slurpee after warming back up and went to gamble a little and it paid off, thought it was 200x2 before I could read the lines but still got $4 out of the deal and a cold slurpee. I'm really a lucky bastard:
Went on down into Salida after getting some local advice about a McAkees or something or other that I found and it was packed so I pull up to the Vic down by the river right as two Bandidos come in front of me with Beaumont banners and I starting to wonder a bit.
Turns out they are cool as hell and when I tell them I'm riding to SA they say "Hell I buy you a beer then" and it was on. It was TugBoat and TomTom and they'd been at the National in Pueblo and where headed up to Washington for a run with another chapter out there because of 10 year member ceremony. Turns out TubBoat has a house down in Belize where we're going to try and met up in Oct a have a little fun.
Met Kurt (or possible Kirk) who tended the bar and BSed about Rainbow trail and XR400 and he loaned me the bar net to search for Hayduke cause I was looking for a place to crash that night.
After a few more rounds the three of us headed to the Tenderfoot bar for some pizza and cold drinks before calling it a night.
The coolest thing about Salida it the big floating 'S' up on the hill overlooking the town, looks like they are calling for superman to show up. At night it looked totally suspended not being able to see the mountain behind it, sorry no picture of that one, just believe.
Kurt had mentioned and I'd seen early before going into the Vic that I could squeeze between the posts across the river and ride the tracks and find me a spot to lay for the night, again just little cool for my little sleeping bag that I was running sans tent. I had to sleep until the sun warmed me up enough. Here's my spot the morning of the tenth.
The floating S is on the mountain with the little white shack on top in the background.
More of 10th in next post
:cry Just hit the back button and wiped out few hours worth of work here, more after I sleep for a bit. Damnit
Off to a great start!
Sweeet!!!! Love the report John. Will definitely stay tuned.
One thing you can do to get away from the back button woes, is write it up in wordpad first, then add pictures once you post it to the website. Might save a few hours work sometime in the future. Just an idea. :beer
Silver- I was using the MS Word and when I started cutting and pasting the report from Word and then changing the font it ended up leaving all kinds of parathesis in my report preview so I went free had and lost my work.
Will try the wordpad instead and see how that goes:thumb
Working on the 10th some more.
Back to my screw up earlier this morning. Before leaving Salida I wanted to drop by and meet Hayduke and Bonnie who I attempted to find the night before while I was at the Vic. Stopped by the shop little before opening and got me a little Safety Third sticker for the mule and had early lunch across the street.
Here's Duke's tee shop and the previous floating 'S' off to the left:
Loaded up on some fuel and then hooked up with 175 out near the new hosptial and headed somewhat NE out of town and into some beautiful country with wide open spaces looking like something straight out of Lonesome Dove.
Eventually got onto County Road 53 I think and it dumped me out right south of Hartsel. At Hartsel I went looking for and asking around for the hotsprings that the Garmn said where near by. Found out that they where full of sludge and no longer used. Damn shame those people don't get out there with a trachoe and fix the place back to its former glory, could be a real money maker.
From there went down to Spinney and 11 mile lake area and then crossed over to Florissant where I ran into a hellasish traffic jam that made me break many laws riding the left lane until I saw a trooper and then jumped back right side and creeped along the edge to the first turn to the right that brought me down to Cripple Creek, not intending but it turned out.
Saw a nice tribute to the forces made from some sand:
And saw a rare motorbike for this country, I think it was a Honda Varadero that had been kitted out extra fuel and bags on the crash bars, looked to be from GB if those are the right plates, anyone one here??
Never did see the riders
Downtown CC on the move here:
After milling through down I head on to Victor where I ended up on the best part of my day today. Hooked up with the Goldbelt Tour through Phantom Canyon here: http://www.goldbeltbyway.com/phantom.htm and it turned out a nice easy way to spend part of the day. TomTom, one of the Bandidos that I met at the Vic in Salida was the one that actually told me about the road and I happen to fall right onto it right outside of Victor.
Very nice views all over the place, hard to believe the narrow guage RR once plowed through here:
They had some nice p facilities along the route for your needs:
with some more history and cool old photos of what once was:
Some of the neater parts to me where the newer wood topped curved bridge looked straight out of Alaska to me:
Then nearer the end two of these which I really dug:
After this it led me out HW50 near Canon City where I hung a left and head to Peublo because I needed to get my super tracker startraxx updated for my trip. I'd screwed off to much during the day and showed up near 5pm in town and started looking for some free wifi, thought I found it at a McD and then also found you got to pay to play.
At this point I thought it was just best to find a cheap hotel with fast internet and I ended up with the motel 6 in the late afternoon, took a nice quick cool swim and then went in for a siesta.
The mule even got a decent spot to avoid the rain that I didn't know was coming:
I wanted to get the RR kicked off so I got back up around 11:30pm and decided to hoof it down the street for a little late night Taco Bell where I could practice some spanish. Turns out the goofy devils won't let you walk up to the window and order and since the bike was so far away I thought I'd be a tricky little bastard and flag down the next person coming through the line and ask a favor.
Sure enough shortly later a guy happened by on a S. Intruder and I offered to buy his meal to help me and we where good to go, me just feeling smug getting my order handed over- big freaking deal. Really feel sorry for the poor homeless person who scored a few bucks and was hoping for a late night taco because he is just screwed unless he pulls my trick.
The guy's name was Thomas I think and he was partially disabled guy, back trouble, who enjoyed riding in the evenings around Pueblo becasue of the nicer temperatures. He'd laid out on an earlier thunder shower that rolled through and now while we where enjoying our food on the front patio the rain return. We quickly finnished and then he offered to haul me back to the 6 up the road, I think because I let him have the rest of the Jackson. Kinda weird riding on back after always being up front, but it sure beat walking in the light rain.
Got back to 136 in time for the local mexican mafia wannabes to start circling the local hotel parking lots dropping m80s off in selected sites. I stayed up most of the night uploading pictures and starting this report and getting to realtime just now, after screwing my earlier post with a back arrow screw up and now have taken the advice and used wordpad for most of this go around, never seems the same each time you write something up, I guess we'll never know will we.
As my favorite saying goes "It's always something and it never quits"
Today I will be in Pueblo fooling with this Satellite tracker to see if I can get it set up for the rest of the trip. Would like to blast back to T-town in OK to have a cold beer with the boys from OK at the Colony this evening if at all possible. I'm going to go consult mapquest and check the possibilities.
More to come when I get back home for the next go up to the northeast, ferry from Sydney to Argentia is coming fast, I thought I got away from time scheudules when I quit my job...like a say it never quits.
Looking forward to more fun on the road:deal
I love Salida and the Vic. Here is a pic of the big S.
Maybe I can buy you a beer sometime. We're practically neighbors.
What have you got for a camera? I forgot to ask. I also forgot to show you the elkskin ropers. They were pretty gross after grabing the pig and the meat, but they cleaned up fine with some soap and water.
To keep from losing work, try smaller posts. What happened to you- losing all your work- ...if I had a dollar...
What I usually did, from the road, is make a post, then add to it by using the "edit" feature.
Once you get into Latin America, you might have to use a public computer again. Make sure to write-protect your memory card before uploading photos.
All the way home yesterday and today I was wishing I was headed up to Nova Scotia with you!
This is going to be an awesome report.
Looking good man. :thumb buen viaje.
Just made it back in after stopping over at the Colony for uno Blue Moon cervasa to celebrate the trip to CO.
Was little unsuccessful with getting the tracker going and didn't accomplish anything there while in Pubelo, oh well.
Had a time of a ride out in the pan handle and western OK where I'm planning on keeping two county coffers in the red.
Had a nice time at the latin rally and had little over 2000 miles on the long weekend.
Ordered some fresh shoes for the mule for the trip North that's coming up quickly, first ferry is one week and ~8hrs from now:eek1
I needed a warmer bag instead of my little one that I had with me and my CO trip would have been perfect + sans tickets from the OK troopers out west. Guess I will be camping even more to recover the cost of those two:wink:
This keeps on coming at me. Tomorrow some pictures of the way home.
If you remember my gloves smell like chicken and pig, mum good. I will be stopping at the stich house at some undetermined point to shop.
Check on memory cards
going to play more posting, it sucks to loose it. I thought I might have woken the whole of motel six about 4am yesterday morning.
One of the new tires won't be here until Friday sometime so that's when I'll take off for the ferry up in Nova Scotia at Sydney on Wed evening. Going to use the TKCs for the most part but put on a anakee for the mostly road ride North and carry it for a spare once I put on the fresh TKC before the boat ride.
One of the few good things about riding long stretches of interstate is the unusual things people haul down the road and how they go about it all. Proof here looks to be headed to Mexico best I can see:
His paint job almost makes him camo'd for driving the interstate and he will have to pay attention at the drive through for sure and maybe some low underpasses.
Here's some shots from the way back to northeast OK. Was a hot ride going across the panhandle and I looked forward to the setting sun at my back.
Got one last pass in CO bagged as I dropped South out of the state:
It was like riding with the AC on the weather was so nice but that would change as soon as I near the panhandle of OK.
The Cap. Volcano is interesting to see how far you can see it riding towards and away from it.
Here's one at speed from some distance:
Had a nice burger burger at the local burger shop in Guymon, OK after getting the first ticket of the day, those where some tasty o-rings:
And some miles down the road getting another ticket didn't make me feel any better but at least I'm still riding. I missed the usual adv crowd at the Colony in Tulsa but I had one to celebrate a successful return.
Its a nice place with a good spot outside in the evening air, still don't know how this camera works. Gonna have to call this the No Camera Skills ride instead of North Central South. I will get lots of practice.
Good ride back home.
Up to date for now. Next go around starts sometime Friday.
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