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Old 12-08-2009, 07:00 PM   #1
HighFive OP
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Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Okiehoma
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The Other Side of Nowhere!

In the Pie of All Knowledge, I reckon I've got a pretty small slice. So, I'm always looking to enlarge my little piece. Call me an opportunist...

Last year, while freezing our toes off on a brutal winter dualsport ride in the Kiamichi Mtns of Oklahoma, my Texan friend Monty painfully suggests, "why don't we go down to Big Bend National Park next year....where its a whole lot warmer on the Mexican border?" Hhhhmmm....warmer...never been there....loooong ride from home......I like it. Let's go!

For various reasons we selected a departure date immediately following Thanksgiving Day. And with a year to plan, you'd think we'd easily be ready by departure date. Well actually, I was! But Monty had "issues". Its 4 days prior to departure and I'm ready to roll:

But Monty's bike looks like this:


For reasons only he can explain, Monty decided to have a looksee under the hood just prior to our departure! Oh well, sure hope he makes our rendezvous point in West Texas on Day 1. I'll be 400 miles to get to that point. Won't be too much waiting (on either of us) before moving on. And NO....I don't need no stinking trailer to haul my bike down there. This is gonna be a KLR Ride....All The Way, Baby!!! It was time to spread some love around my stable. My little blue Yamaha WR250R has been getting all the attention for the last several months. But I digress...

The scene at Rancho Highfive following Thanksgiving dinner:

Monty or No Monty....I'm ready to go!

Day 1:

Here I am waiting on clearance from the Tower after filing my flight plan.

Wheels up at 5:49 am. Woohoo ! ! !

But golly its cold....REALLY COLD. About 28 degrees at departure. But I wasn't going to let that discourage me. After all, I was heading South. It HAS to get warmer going South....right? Wishful thinking anyway.

I wasn't about to miss my first sunrise of the trip:

Question: Why does it always seem to get COLDER right after the sunrise? I tell you I was fine until this point. But the next hour of riding was brutual....totally brutal. I felt like a popsicle in a freezer by the time I rolled into McAllister, OK just 2 hours from home. Had to make a stop at McDonalds to thaw out. During this pitstop, I made a new discovery....Yup, added something to my piece of pie:

As they say, Necessity is the Mother of All Invention. Well, "they" ain't lyin. While I stood here warming my "insides" an old man walks into the Restroom and gives me a strange stare. Then, he smiles and says, "I never thought of that before". My simple reply was, "Me Neither".

Now let me see....I've only got 280 miles left to go to reach the Rendezvous Point. Ho-chi-momma!

'13 Husky TR650 Terra, '11 Husaberg FE390, '10 KTM 450 XCW Six Days, '12 BMW R1200GS
The Okie-Dokie BDR Terra-izing the CDR Bergs Over the Rainbow
Texas or Bust! Rocky Mountain HighFive The Other Side of Nowhere
Athena Big Bore Project

HighFive screwed with this post 12-12-2009 at 12:53 PM
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:57 PM   #2
I just....don't know
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Location: Outer fringes of the Puget Sound Region
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Lookin' good so far!
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:51 PM   #3
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:01 PM   #4
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Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Fairbanks, AK
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"We wish your trail a long one" - Darlene "Sid" Dowd ~ Never run out of traction, ideas, and real estate at the same time.
2008 Yamaha WR250X
Eastern TAT 8/2009 ~MD-Key West-Oklahoma 4/2011~Maryland to Alaska 3/2012
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dave6253
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:40 PM   #6
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Location: Texas
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When HighFive told me he had never ridden the desert before, I immediately suggested a trip to Big Bend, and HighFive immediately agreed. I had almost forgotten about it until the annual Clayton dual sport ride in October when the plan was reaffirmed. KLR's or other supertanker types only. No puny 2 gallon tanks allowed, we will need long ranges.

Unfortunately, some overzealous riding in Clayton caused 2 bent rims which had to be dealt with. Not to mention the major oil leak which started on the third day of the ride. Then there was the major oil usage issue, separate from the leak. Oil was blowing out the airbox. Meaning the top end needs to be rebuilt. The thing has got almost 50K miles by now, so no big deal. And Ive got almost 2 months to do all the work, or so I think.

A couple of weeks go by. I ordered some parts but did not do much else. Then HighFive calls me up wanting to move the trip up to Thanksgiving week. I checked my schedule and we decided to leave the day after the holiday. Oh crap, now I've only got 3 weeks to get ready!

I start tearing down the top end. I send the cylinder off to Oregon for machine work. Talking to the shop, if it ships 2 day air both ways, I should have it by the Friday before we leave. Then I sent the front wheel to Woody's in Colorado for straightening. The rear rim was not bent as badly, and I was able to get it somewhat straight.

While waiting for those parts, did some other work. New clutch springs, swingarm service, etc. Pulled the subframe to repair the airbox. And cleaned, and cleaned.

With about a week and a half to go, I talked with the machine shop. The new piston and cylinder should be at my house on Friday. A friend is going to come by on Saturday to help me install the cylinder onto the piston. I was expecting the front wheel back on Monday. Which, by the way, could not be straightened, and had to have a new rim laced up.

Friday afternoon, I get home from work to find the UPS man had left one wheel sized box, but no cylinder/ piston sized box. So after checking tracking, I find my cylinder is somewhere in Tennesee for the weekend. There had been some computer problems with the FAA, and flights were delayed all over the country. The piston and cylinder would not arrive until Monday.

I am meeting HighFive on Friday morning. Thursday is Thanksgiving and I'll be with family all day. I have to be ready by Wednesday, including a couple of oil changes and 300-400 miles in several sessions. That gives me a little over 48 hours. Oh well, what else did I have to do?

Monday rolls around, and I am done with work for the week and home by 1PM. The UPS man shows up at 2. It's on.

I worked on it until about 11, then started it the next morning. It started right up and I rode it and tuned the carb, changed oil, and fiddled with it the next two days. It ran great except for some backfiring and an intermittent turn signal problems, which I thought I had fixed.

I was ready to go, just barely. But, looking at the weather forecasts, it seemed as if we were in for some weather. But its too late now, the train has left the station!
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:46 PM   #7
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Loud Sucks! <- for all your electronic cigarette needs
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:11 AM   #8
Sherpa-ing around
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I'd rather die living than live dying.

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Old 12-09-2009, 05:41 AM   #9
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Location: Okiehoma
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Before leaving, I got an idea from another forum post and bought a $2 face shield from Harbor Freight. A little velcro....and I had a nifty windshield extension. This did a good job diverting most of the air flow away from my chest. I was sooooooo thankful for this little mod by the time I was passing thru southern Oklahoma, as it was still so very cold this day.

That's when it happened. In a flash, a gust of wind ripped the little windshield extension off the fairing and sent it whooshing into oblivion.
Now I realized just how effective this little device was. Even though I was dead on schedule to hit the rendezvous, I had to divert into Home Depot at Gainesville, TX to devise a replacement. 30 minutes later, I'm all fixed up, and the improved replacement model would hold out for the duration of the trip!

No photos in transit, cause the real trip didn't start until after the Rendezvous Point. That was the only real plan we meet at Braums in Weatherford, TX for a burger and a celebratory milkshake toast. But that's where the Plan ends and the Adventure begins. No schedule, No maps, No problems!

Amazingly, Monty is waiting on me when I arrive. I've just ridden 5 hours and need a break. However, he only gives me 21 minutes and 32 seconds before ordering "mount your horses, we've got to ride! Its a big state, we've got to hurry!!"

Oh well, off we go....into the beautiful Texas Hill Country. Apparently, we are going to ride All of it. Take the Loooong way down to Big Bend.

This is Monty's country. He's Trailboss now. I'm just enjoying the ride and some "warmer" weather.....I think it was up to a balmy 40 degrees. I was starting to sweat.

We went south from Weatherford toward Fredricksburg and hit all the good stuff. Really...REALLY...beautiful roads through there. And I was so pleased to discover the Fall Colors were still "in" across this area.

I'm poking along, taking in the scenes, while Monty is WAY out front playing Scout. That's when I make another discover....yup, add a little more to my slice of pie:

Hit the Brakes and skid to a stop! And I do what it says...

And this is where Monty finds me....300 yards ahead in front of this entrance...when the Search & Rescue backtracks to my location:

I mean, Hey, its not every day you find a "Motorcycle Friendly" spot like this. I think we need to go check this place out. "Nothing doing", says the Trailboss, "we're in a HURRY".

Huh? I've got all week....maybe more. I ain't in a hurry! No Plan, No Schedules, No Problems....remember? Besides, how can you honestly "hurry" across the full length of the largest state in the mainland USA? Hhhhmmmm........

'13 Husky TR650 Terra, '11 Husaberg FE390, '10 KTM 450 XCW Six Days, '12 BMW R1200GS
The Okie-Dokie BDR Terra-izing the CDR Bergs Over the Rainbow
Texas or Bust! Rocky Mountain HighFive The Other Side of Nowhere
Athena Big Bore Project

HighFive screwed with this post 12-09-2009 at 05:57 AM
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:47 AM   #10
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Another KLR adventure!

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Old 12-09-2009, 06:11 AM   #11
HighFive OP
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With darkness approaching, I soon learn why Monty was in such a hurry. At Llano, Texas, he diverts our route into this special pitstop:

Looks mighty fine to me, as I reeeeally need a break. I've been 12 hours in the saddle today and covered over 600 miles. This is a nice reward:

This joint has the most unique & effective menu system in the whole free world. You go up to this guy and he does this:

You pick out what you want and he plops it down on a tray which you take inside to be weighed. They throw it on a big piece of butcher paper, and you go find yourself a table.

Mmmmm....good. Truly a lovely experience. But don't expect any Wait're on you're own. Sort of a Survival of the Fittest contest. And you know you're getting closer to Mexico because they have big jugs of Jalapeno Peppers waiting for you across every table. And I really did it two of them! Muy Bueno!

Now, I'm ready to find a campsite and get some rest.

'13 Husky TR650 Terra, '11 Husaberg FE390, '10 KTM 450 XCW Six Days, '12 BMW R1200GS
The Okie-Dokie BDR Terra-izing the CDR Bergs Over the Rainbow
Texas or Bust! Rocky Mountain HighFive The Other Side of Nowhere
Athena Big Bore Project

HighFive screwed with this post 12-09-2009 at 06:32 AM
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:01 PM   #12
Wandering around
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Joined: Aug 2004
Location: St. Bethlehem, Tennessee
Oddometer: 337
Really great RR and Pics too...

I'm heading down that way to explore BBNSP myself in February '10. Taking both my Versys and '83 XL250R Honda[with 4 gal tank]....since retired; nothing but time on my hands to Vagabond and BoonDock. My start location will be in Grove, OK.
I'm retired. Go around me.

2008 Kawasaki Versys
2009 Suzuki DRZ400S
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