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Old 04-15-2013, 11:40 PM   #1636
dirtydaug
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Your trip I can never do

I followed your trip from the start to the finish and you almost became part of my family. Anyway keep us posted on your future exploits and good luck.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:43 PM   #1637
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Glad to hear you made it back to Oregon, hopefully the mustache survives the trip home. Although if it made it this far, I'd be surprised if a bit of turbulence shook it loose. If you're in Portland and visiting Justin, let's get a bite or something.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:04 AM   #1638
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulyses View Post
...I'm still working on a conclusion post. Unfortunately, it's been hard to force myself to get on the computer. After posting nearly everyday for six months, the last thing I want to see right now is a computer screen!
No doubt! Nothing wrong with taking your time to ponder your voyage from a distance while enjoying the creature comforts of home. A conclusion probably shouldn't be too hasty, anyway, as thoughts mature - yet the flip side is that details eventually meld into generalities as maturity progresses. But then again, it's been a six-month trip! I imagine if it were me, I'd probably remember very few details of the first part. I bet an interesting experiment would be to compare immediate thoughts post-trip to those manifested after reading through your thread.

Glad you made it back safely and hope the bike arrives in no more pieces than how you packed it!
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:31 PM   #1639
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Bryce;
just wanted to say thanks for all your effort in keeping this RR going... I've done a couple of RR's and they are a lot of work and can become a task master at times... thanks for sticking with it.

I also have to say that this has been one of the most informative, and honest RR's I've ever read... some of the best information on CA and SA I've seen. It has shown you to be an honest, straight forward guy who isn't perfect, makes mistakes, does dumb stuff, and overcomes all of it to achieve your goal!...

your youth and sense of invincibility is refreshing!

it's been fun and interesting... again; thanks!
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:00 AM   #1640
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Should be back on Thursday!
Cool. Your brother has my phone number.
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figures...my stud was rusty I played with my nuts a little and it cranked right over
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:51 AM   #1641
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That was an AWESOME! RR. it helped pass some long midnite shifts at work Makes me miss my 98 XR650L I sold last year.
Between reading your story and telling my wife about it, she's been getting a little nervous that I'll be taking off on a trip like yours! Glad you made it home safe and full of great memories. Thanks for letting us snowbound riders tag along.
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:15 PM   #1642
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulyses View Post
Man, that is so cool!

And yes, you should definitely go down to Florida street and do the currency exchange. You would be crazy not to.
Hey - we did the deal today and all went well, we had to pay for 5 bikes! Yikes, quite a wad of cash. Thanks for blazing the way. We met Suma (http://whyweroam.wordpress.com/) at Dakar with the broken hand. She seemed in good spirits.

Now a few days to hang around BA before our flight home on Sunday. Thanks to your suggestion I was covert about my pictures at the shipping office. The Aduana girl was checking up on us.


Loved you ride report. I saw a familiar face, this woman made my day!



I got an e-mail from our down rider from Portland, seven broken bones in his elbow, OUCH! He's 70 years old, a rock star in my book.

Two of our group will be presenting at the BMW rally in Redmond this summer. FYI. Let me know if you are in Seattle and in need of a beer.

Donn
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:02 PM   #1643
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Originally Posted by Ulyses View Post
Well, I've been back for a few days now. Still waiting on the bike to get in. It's about a week behind schedule. I've called United and they said that it would be in Portland on Tuesday. Since I have an interview with a prior service recruiter in Portland on Wednesday, I'll probably be heading back down then.

I know alfabc and a couple of other inmates have expressed interest in meeting up for a beer; if you are in the PDX area and want to get together, hit me up through the thread and maybe we can all meet up somewhere!

I'm still working on a conclusion post. Unfortunately, it's been hard to force myself to get on the computer. After posting nearly everyday for six months, the last thing I want to see right now is a computer screen!
I hear you about the posting.

We have finally gotten back on the road after taking a two month 'vacation' for personal reasons, back in the States. I think Chuck and I are facing the most difficult part of our trip, trying to make it from Northern Brasil through French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana into Venezuela. We are in Belem, Brasil now waiting for the ferry to cross the Amazon. I have said on my blog that we are like old stable horses returning to the stable at this point.

But, I find keeping my blog up to date one of the most difficult challenges. Kudos to you for making your blog very interesting and keeping it pretty much real time. Good luck to you in your future endeavors.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:00 PM   #1644
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Lunch with Bryce!

I had the pleasure of meeting Bryce today in Portland OR and having lunch with him. I told him via this site I'd buy him lunch and a beer. Glad I had the chance. What a genuinely great and humble guy! Glad to see him home safe, especially after hearing of the issues with his buddy and the smashed femur and other troubles in country. I had so many questions, that I forgot to ask most of them. Really easy going and a true lover of life.

I've tried to encourage him to put his photos and memoirs into a presentation to share with as many riders that would listen. Hoping he does and that he takes his show on the road to motorcycle dealers and gatherings around the country or world. We would all be richer for it.

Best to you Bryce in all you choose to do!

Cheers,

Bill

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Old 04-18-2013, 09:37 AM   #1645
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Great ride, great report, great pics!

Thanks for sharing it with us.

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Old 04-19-2013, 04:02 PM   #1646
Ulyses OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brown Falcon View Post
Cool. Your brother has my phone number.
Quote:
Originally Posted by donnh View Post
Hey - we did the deal today and all went well, we had to pay for 5 bikes! Yikes, quite a wad of cash. Thanks for blazing the way.

Loved you ride report. I saw a familiar face, this woman made my day!




Donn
Wow! Did you guys do the black market deal for the cash?

Did you buy that Honduras Aduana lady a coke?
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:52 PM   #1647
DiggerD
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Corvallis place to be 1st Wens of every Month

Hey Man,
Nice ride report. Still not finished yet but jumped ahead to see if you are out an a bout in my home town..Corvallis. It would be cool if you could ride your bike down town for a locals meet at the down town American Dream on 2nd St. It's a mish mash of uuummmm, want to be bikers of sort. It is what it is, you know how some of these internet sort are Anywho there are usually 20-40 bike to look at. I did see me mentioned in your report...I was one of the fast guys from the Beanery days, and the unlucky one who found Paul up against a DougFir. Use to scratch our times on a road sign up the Peak, when the road was good. 9.7 miles 9:30min was a respectable time. Wow! 20 years ago. I will be on one of my KTM's at the Down Town Dream. Not many about. Hope you can make it. Beers and Pizza on me. Just yell out pizza for DougFir to find me and I will buy the beer and what ever.
Cheers man and glad you did what ya did. Now back to page 86

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Old 04-19-2013, 06:31 PM   #1648
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In Conclusion....

Total Days: 175 (October 16, 2012 - April 10, 2013)
Grants Pass, Oregon to Buenos Aires, Argentina
Total Trip Mileage: 20,056

For starters, I took a couple of days and re-traced my route on Google Earth. I just needed to see on a map what 20,056 miles and 15 countries looked like:





My final few hours in BA consisted of getting to the airport and finding my freedom plane back to the USA:



After getting on the plane I was pretty bushed. The fatigue of six months of travel and the emotional come down of having literally nothing to do finally caught me. I didn't mention this at the beginning of my report, but when I was in Mexico, I ended a two year relationship with a girl that I had been dating. Even though I knew it had to end, I was pretty devastated. I spent a lot of days blasting down Mexican highways bawling my eyes out and blowing snot rockets into my helmet visor. One of the main reasons that my reporting was so spotty and infrequent for the first month was this serious depression that I was in. And then, just as things were starting to get better, I got ran over by a boat, accidentally fed a bunch of Marijuana, and watched Justin get hit by a truck.

The stress of those first few months was so overwhelming for me that I developed a serious pain in the right side of my chest that didn't disappear until Colombia. The pain was so bad that at times I was convinced I was about to have a mild heart attack; I went to a couple of doctors and they told me that I just needed to relax. Sure enough, after spending a week in Medellin just chilling, things went back to normal and started feeling better.

As I was sitting in my seat contemplating this and thinking about how far I had come, a nice stewardess came up and asked me if I was in the military. I told her that I had just gotten out a few months ago. She thanked me for my service and then told me that beer was on the house for the rest of the trip! She smuggled me three Buds and a bunch of pretzels. I slept for a while and then woke up and looked out the window. Contemplating the last six months at 30,000 feet, I found it incredible that I was covering the entire length of my journey in a few hours.



After about 30 hours of flights and layovers, I finally arrived in Portland, Oregon. I called United Cargo and found that my bike had not come in yet. My awesome younger brother drove up from Corvallis to pick me up and we went back to his place before going to a local brewery and consuming massive amounts of IPA.

The next week was spent applying for jobs, visiting my family, getting a track on my finances, and trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life.

My bike finally arrived in Portland, a week late. I had an appointment with a Marine Corps prior service recruiter in Portland and inmate alfabc had told me that he would take me out to lunch, so I figured that I could knock out everything in one shot.

Alfabc treated me to an awesome lunch at the Side Door Cafe downtown. He's a stand up guy! We talked about motorcycles and bicycles and life and had a good time. Thanks a ton man!

Afterwards, I went to the joint Navy/Marine/Coast Guard base to see if I could get some temporary work with the Marines for the summer. Things were going smoothly until I started filling out the paperwork and came to a question asking if I had used drugs since I had been out. I knew I could just lie and say no, but I decided that honesty was the best policy in this case; besides, I had already posted the whole incident up on the internet for everyone to see. Realizing that I was probably about to disqualify myself from ever returning to the Marines, I put down my pen and told the recruiter that I had a funny story for him. I related the whole Space Gravy incident to him, explained that it was unintentional, and waited for the verdict. Sure enough, he told me that since I had verbally told him that I had used marijuana (even though it was unintentional), I was now permanently disqualified from returning to the Marines and that an annotation would be placed on my record should I ever attempt to rejoin through another prior service recruiter. He was nice about it and he seemed to to understand the situation; still, rules are rules. I understood; I had to deal with a lot of drug pops for my Marines when I was in. There is a zero tolerance policy on drugs in the Military and sometimes people try and beat a drug charge by claiming that they were given narcotics without their knowledge. Even if it's a legitimate accident, it's hard to prove in a military court and most people that try that route get separated.

I was pretty discouraged. I didn't need to go back to the Marines, it was just one option among many. Still, I had a heavy heart. Even though it was an accident, I felt like I had let someone down. I left the office depressed and drove to the airport to pick up my bike.

As I pulled into the shipping office at the airport, I got a call from the Forest Service saying that they had received my application for a fire fighting job and were going to try really hard to hire me, despite being overstaffed. I guess god closes some doors and then opens new ones. That lifted my spirits a bit. The sight of "El Senior" all wrapped up in plastic wrap lifted them even more.



With a little help from the guys at the loading dock, I re-attached the front wheel and loaded the bike up in the back of my truck.



I drove down to Corvallis, dropped off the bike in my brother's garage, then headed for the supermarket to get some dinner and a drink. This being Oregon, they had an entire refrigerator case dedicated to micro-brewed IPA's. God bless the United States!



Staring at all of that hoppy goodness, I remembered something that I had seen on a fake obituary: "I spent the majority of my money on beer, gas, and motorcycle parts; the rest I just wasted!". So true.


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=--=-=-=-=-=-
And now for the numbers:

Money Spent: $20,000
- Bike Shipping from Buenos Aires to PDX: $1,200
- Plane Ticket Home (BA to PDX: $1,100
- Sail Boat from Panama to Colombia: $1,000
- Other Misc Ferrys and Boats: $350
- Bribes and Payoffs: $130
- Oil: $350 approx
- Tires: $850 approx
- Chains: $500 approx

Countries Visited: 15
- USA
- Mexico
- Guatemala
- Honduras
- El Salvador
- Nicaragua
- Costa Rica
- Panama
- Colombia
- Ecuador
- Peru
- Bolivia
- Chile
- Argentina
- Uruguay

Front Tires: 3
- Avon Distanzia
- Pierreli Scorpion
- Metzler Sahara

Rear Tires: 5
- Avon Distanzia
- Pierrelli Scorpion
- Chinese made knobby (only used for the Lagunas route in Bolivia)
- Metzler Sahara
- Metzler Sahara (purchased used from Dakar Motos in Buenos Aires, used for the final 300 miles in Uruguay)

Flat Tires: 2
- 1 Front
- 1 Rear

Chains: 5
- Factory O-ring chain
- EK Gold non o-ring (ruined by overtightening in Medellin, Colombia, changed out in Lima, Peru)
- DID x-ring (ruined by incorrect install by mechanics in Lima, Peru, changed out in Rio Gallegos, Argentina)
- DID non o-ring (ruined by overtightening in Ushuaia, Argentina)
- Tsubaki o-ring chain

Oil Changes: 10
- Oil Filters used: 5

Chain Sliders: 2.5
- 2 OEM XR650L Chain Sliders
- 1 Self-Fabricated out of cutting board type nylon material

Front Sprockets: 2.5
- 2 Moose XR650R 15 tooth (the first lasted about 10,000 miles. A friend brought the second one to Arequipa, Peru when he flew in to see his girlfriend.)
- 1 OEM 14 tooth (used only for the Lagunas route in Bolivia.)

Rear Sprockets: 1
- 1 OEM 45 tooth (It's still got some life in it!)

Luggage Rack Breaks: 6
- San Diego, CA (probably due to excessive weight of Ammo Can panniers)
- Guatemala (following a long day of gravel roads)
- Ecuador
- Peru (after being hit by a car)
- Bolivia (second day of hard off road riding on the Lagunas route in Bolivia)
- Argentina (not a full break, just a crack. Re-welded by Javier at Dakar Motos in Buenos Aires)

Other Problems:
- Cracked Lugs on oil cooler (fixed with JB Weld and zip ties in Oaxaca, Mexico. No further problems.)
- Broken fuel tank mounting tabs on frame (re-welded in Punta Arenas, Chile)

Accidents, Wrecks, and other Misfortunes: 5
- Hit by a boat while Kayaking in Guatemala
- Crashed on slick road in Guatemala
- Ran into bus in Guatemala
- Hit by Car in Peru
- Hit and broke side mirror on car Lima, Peru

Cops looking for bribes: 4

Bribes paid: 1

Thanks to everyone for reading my ramblings. The community on advrider is incredible. From technical advice, to humor, to donations, to emergency help, to free meals, I've received so much support from people on this forum that I can't even begin to thank you all enough. The generosity of total strangers united by a pastime like motorcycling continues to amaze me. And to all of the people that I met on this trip, who shared meals and laughs and adventures with me, con todo mi corazon, muchas gracias!

Vaya con dios,

Bryce
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:43 PM   #1649
Kawidad
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De nada.

Semper Fi and thanks for such a good RR. The best I've read here on ADV. Well done sir!
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:26 PM   #1650
chasbo
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Great conclusion! Sorry the Marines are a clsoed door for you now man, but think of the ones that are open! I am guessing you will have more than your fair share of adventures in the future, good luck with all of them and in all of your endeavors Bryce. Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us, I can't tell you how enjoyable it was to read. Peace...
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