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Old 03-17-2013, 06:39 PM   #1
straightenarrow OP
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How they party in the South? Wisco to Key West! First ADV ride! #greenheadADV1

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On the move through...!
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Beautful Countryside!
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Historic Towns!
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...and the OCEAN:)
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Go easy on me as this is my first ride report! I am excited to document my adventure here as you all were the inspiration for my fantastic experiences and ride with your RR's! This trip was Fall 2012! I am not much of a linguist so this report will be photo heavy!

My Brief Background:

I am from Wisco, graduated college a couple years ago, flew aerial survey in AK and the lower 48 a couple years. With that job I have been North of Barrow and in Deadhorse, Alaska which is as far north as you can go on roads, so the basis of this trip will be to take me as far south in the United States roads offer!

I now work engineering at a city water utility. I finally picked up a KLR650 after about 8 different bikes since I've had my license. I have never had an enduro ADV type. Love this machine as opposed to the crotchrockets and cruisers I've had in the past. It's the only machine I can put 12 hours on and not have a killer neck problem. Got geared out with the help of the gear board here ( s3 helmet, roadcrafter suit, wolfman baggers, etc) I am into live music and picturesque views..... along with flying, golfing, bowhunting, fishing, metal detecting, shitty vehicles, canoeing, spearfishing......blah blah blah. I found myself to have time all to myself so I am planned to make it count the best I can!

My plan:

I've had off the 8th of September to the 23rd of September - I got a tent and sleeping bag with only one real intention. Reaching the Southernmost Point in the US of A.


The gist of it will be going from Central Wisco through to Chicago area to stay with a good friend. Onward to the mountains Then on to Knoxville, Tennessee for the state fair. Then finnaggling through the Appalachians. The previous owner has a sticker on the bike for deal's gap so I intended on hitting that road. From there I am going to run down the east coast. A stop in Orlando on a good friends free Westin hotel stay. I may move all the way down to Key West to go as far south as roads can take you in the US!

I've read a ton of RR and take all the advice and suggestions. I am going to pack like I am going on a backcountry elk hunt. Anything even remotely non-essential stays home. I installed new kenda tires for the trip. The bike was at 10k miles so I had the valves checked and the bike looked over.

I hope you enjoy my journey!

-Ryan @ryanb0ll

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straightenarrow screwed with this post 06-18-2013 at 11:42 AM
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:19 AM   #2
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:24 AM   #3
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Look forward to more.
What windshield set up is that ? I have not seen one like that on a Klr, it looks to fit well.
Is it pretty solid, or does it dance around alot at speed ?
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:32 PM   #4
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Looking forward to the tale. I assume the "cheese wedge headgear" is non essential.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:12 PM   #5
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Wicked Gearing up and Day 1

While the details are no longer fresh, I will do my best to document the my travels from Wisconsin to Key West and Back with as little embellishment as possible. Feel free to ask questions, I will answer the, and that will allow the next inmates trip to be as enjoyable as mine was, because this forum provided the spark and the instruction for this trip. This was my first trip but definitely not my last. I am already “planning” a 3 week trip this July to the west coast or Alaska. I use the term planning very loosely, it can be described best as picking a general direction and going. I made no reservations or plans except the destination of Key West, and that was even a last second decision. I made this trip solo, and essentially used my smartphone to find campsites, take photos, record gps tracks, find entertainment, and keep in contact with the world.

I've never actually taken a trip like this on a motorcycle, but I have spent my fair share of traveling out in unintended places with little gear in remote Alaskan bush towns. Typically in my experience I usually ended up in good accommodations just an unknown destination. It was the nature of the aerial survey business (ie what you see on google earth simply put)... you fly to clear skies. I've done a few backpack archery hunts which is a good model for packing a ADV ride. So for this trip, while much less remote, my accommodations would be a tent and sleeping bag. I followed most of the inmate advice on these forums with regard to packing. I tried to pack as little as possible and I still over packed I felt. Specifically on clothing. That aerostich suit can make up for a ton of different weather conditions. The wolfman bags and the pelican case would have nearly been enough storage had I packed really tight, but I had a sealline backpack drybag that I used for my clothing. That was the best backrest a guy could ask for bungied in front of the pelican case. A few tools, cooking equipment, tent, sleeping bag, and some other odds and ends rounded out my packing.

Prior to departing I read a lot of threads on ADVrider that would not only inspire, but prepare me for this journey. I outfitted my bike with a few “farkles”. Although not necessary they made a much more enjoyable experience for me. The madstadt windshield is a beautiful solution, it is very stable and I echo the sentiment of nearly everyone that has purchased one! I really think this is the difference maker for my typically hurting neck on other bikes. I also loved having a bluetooth connection through a comfortable helmet in the Schuberth S3, music makes my life go round. The famous DOO was done on the KLR. I through some new Kendas and a valve adjustment on the bike. I sourced a pelican case and some wolfman bags through the gear forum here. I packed my Elk hunting mountain gear (tent, sleeping bag, stever stove, and a few tools) All in all I was prepared. I even had some extra time to rig up the mallard decoy to my headlight housing, and I swore if I forgot anything I would blame it on the time I spent mounting the mallard to my bike!

Geared Up.
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Day One was to be simple.

I was departing straight from work to head down to Chicagoland by a good friends house! Turns out the weather was rainy and windy as hell. It was a 6 hour trip that had tested my nerve right from the get go! My good friend and I enjoyed some whiskey and conversation. We survived a metal concert at a local bar and met “the president” of a South American country. He had the handshake that never ended, and his slur was that of a foreign language. I never can get in and out of Chicagoland area fast enough... so it was a quick whiskey and breakfast layover!

16 days of freedom from work!
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The Whiskey was on my good friend Karls...
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...and Breakfast from my good friend Kristin!
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First big day, It starts :)
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Beginning Mileage
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straightenarrow screwed with this post 06-18-2013 at 10:58 AM
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:46 PM   #6
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Gotta see more !
I got tired of being here, so now I'm there
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:56 AM   #7
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Your off to a good start.... How about some more.
Gravity is your friend, don't let it get you down.

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Old 03-20-2013, 06:24 AM   #8
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Nice.... More
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Honda 550x4 to Mexico - ADVrider
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:49 PM   #9
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Laugh Day 2 – Saturday, September 8th 2012

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Day 2 – Saturday, September 8th 2012

Chicago, Illinois to somewhere in East Kentucky

Quite possibly the weirdest and craziest day I encountered was this day. I slabbed the 4 lanes for the better part of the day looking at cagers and windmills. I initially just wanted to see the Appalachain mountains (glorified hills if you ask me), beautiful nonetheless, and sometimes moreso! I passed through Illinois, Indiana, and entered Kentucky. I've heard the stereotypes of Kentucky, people and place, and its funny how stereotype's are true in most cases! It was definitely beautiful as I progressed through the state and the elevation steepened as the sun sank! I made it to eastern Kentucky ask dusk approached and I realized I had nowhere to stay, my gas tank was nearly empty, and they didn't build cell towers in the area of Crocketsville that would tell my phone how to get to accommodations. The most glorious thing then happened as I weaved down the county roads and a valley opened up to a hillside of tents and fire! It appeared as if thousands of people were camping out way back in the sticks, everyone armed with a four wheeler. I strolled in and was informed that it had rained inches all day, but I was more than welcome with my motorcycle and tent to camp in the alfalfa field with everyone else. As I was setting up camp I could hear the distinct bass of a concert brewing. I took a closer look and there appeared to be a huge stage rivaling that of any I've seen way down in the valley. I am drawn to concerts so after I threw a change of clothes on I headed down the path about a ˝ mile to the stage. Getting closer the music started to sound familiar as I recognized the lyrics of “Daisy” by Halfway to Hazard. Wheelers lined up all around in front of the stage people were singing and dancing and passing around the contents of their coolers. For a dry county I was amazed at the amount of alcohol present, I guess it was no different than the stash a 16 year old in Wisconsin carries... both were prohibited to possess alcohol. The next band was Montgomery Gentry whom I had seen in Wisconsin a few weeks earlier! The crowd was having a great time so was I. I shared some shine with the locals, swapped stories, and through the language barrier I found friends in these Kentucky hillbillies. Fantastic people! As I retreated to my tent after plenty of whiskey I still feared for my life the entire night as the drunkos on the 4wheelers continued to bomb within feet of my tent! I woke up to a brand new “ranger” style wheeler flipped over 30 yards from my tent. In the sober light of day the story became that this festival was a benefit four wheeler ride that was annual. The stage was full log. And I finally met real “hillbillies”. They are fantastic people!

My view as I setup the tent in Crocketsville, KY
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The stage as Montgomery Gentry sang “My Town”... this song now makes more sense know this is where they grew up!
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The fog in my head was still strong in the morning, aftermath
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A sticker gift from my Kentucky National Guard friend, and breakfast:)
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An abandoned store nearby Crocketsville, I like the dog on the front step!
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Thanks for the interest:)
Stay tuned for more...


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Old 03-25-2013, 06:52 PM   #10
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Day 3 - Sunday, September 9th 2012

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Day 3 – Sunday, September 9th 2012

Mountain bendies throughout Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and ending in a mountain campsite in Tennessee. It was a Sunday and the only thing that perturbed me was I couldn't find a bar with the packers game, hell not even a bar. Where I come from this is not a problem... at all... not even close!

Just out of Hazard, KY the mining was evident, and the hills and roads were magnificent riding!
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Mountain Riding
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All these roads in the hills required heavy excavation!
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Dirttaay River
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Following a rain on the river bend
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This is what the mining in these hills brings, West Virginian Coal... near the hatfield and mccoys feud
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I was amazed by the amount of stray looking dogs running around the hills
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The music of this area draws me
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The mountains overlooking West, bet the fall colors are amazing!?
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The steps leading to my nightcap
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My first mountain campsite of the trip, where a river flows out of a cave
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Stay tuned for more TN and NC in the next couple days!

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Old 03-26-2013, 06:54 PM   #11
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Day 4 - Monday, September 10th 2012

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Day 4 – Monday, September 10th 2012

Featuring Smokey Mountain National Park that transitioned into road racing on the Tail of the Dragon. Finally commencing in a great Kip Moore Concert at the fair in Knoxville, Tennessee.

En route from camp to the Smokies!
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In Smokey Mtn Park
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Within Smokey Mtn National Park
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This trail unknowingly led to Deals Gap
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I wanted to end up on this road because the prior owner had a sticker on the bike referring to it although never made the trip. I didn't expect to when I did although, and definitely not in the middle of a race...
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I had the KLR so low in the corners the skidplate caught and almost sent me into the pickers. I ventured down a gravel trail out of Smokey Mtn Park and I ended up on Deals Gap Road!
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Intense road racing, the crotchrockets admired the KLR's handling
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The rest stop well needed following the Deals Gap road course
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Downtown Knoxville is happening, with great food! Recommend!
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The chicks and I at the fair..
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My fav artist “Kip Moore”, met the cutest mom and little girl that loved the song “hey pretty girl”
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Enjoy! :)
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:54 PM   #12
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Day 5- Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

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Day 5 – Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Back through the mountains of Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Made a pit stop in Eric Church's hometown.

This day was relatively carefree and relaxing... just a nice long windy adventure. Made some phone calls and took in the perfect weather. The nightcap with some great Southern hospitality made my day. The camp hosts let me in late to the park, offered me a great campsite, and made me dinner. We talked for hours. This made up for the man that aggressively wanted a tip to get directions to this fine South Carolina state park!

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Blending in!

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The Mountain Reflection Shows true this early morning route from the Knoxville side of the hills

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Another beautiful day for riding!

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Flying down the mountain roads!

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The mountain roads were conducive to these little shacks! I'd love to live in one, except the thought of a drunk driver might keep me up at night!

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A little side trip to Eric Church's Stomping Grounds

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I am not sure I would've survived the long days without the lemon drops on this trip!

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Ending the day here with great conversation from the camp hosts at Lake Greenewood State Park. They brought me to there site and made me a southern dinner telling me the ways of the south. I listened for hours. So nice. Again the southern hospitality stereotype's hold true:)

Another great day!

Thanks for enjoying!


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Old 04-04-2013, 04:06 AM   #13
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Great ride report, thanks for sharing...
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:49 PM   #14
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Day 6 - Wednesday, September 12, 2012

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Day 6 – Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

This leg featured extremely salty ham and grits, the best peaches ever, cotton fields, and THE OCEAN!!!! I am in love with big water, especially the ocean so it is always a treat to put my feet in it! I ended the day at one of my favorite parks, Fernadina Beach State Park in the NE corner of Florida.

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The next morning the ducks woke me up!

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I always try grits when in the south only to remember why I don't eat them in the north.

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Never get to see cotton fields up in Wisconsin... and I've never seen it this time of year.

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I was pretty pumped to see my first palm tree!

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My partner in crime! Still hanging on to this day!

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A roadside peach stand, had to stop!

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The peach man tried ripping me off by charging me a dollar for this peach... I offered him a quarter and told him he was getting a good deal. It probably was worth a dollar after tasting it!

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The Ocean! In Savannah Georgia.

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Beautiful Every Time!

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I dig how the trees overhang the roads in the south, and palm trees!

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Fernandina Beach State Park, there were tons of deer in this park.

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Overhanging trees in the park road.

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Storms were moving through on and off all night.

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A smattering of seashells... amazing colors

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My new friends taught me how to throw nets for mullet. We caught a few but not enough for a meal so we donated them to the other people fishing on the pier and ended up catching a shark at dusk!

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I didn't say how big the shark was...

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Accommodations for the night

Another beautiful day with fantastic people making the experience richer!

Thanks for tagging along!
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:36 PM   #15
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Great RR, keep it coming! BTW, grits are an acquired taste, I being from Florida have acquired the taste!
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