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Old 05-08-2013, 10:22 AM   #2536
Dracula
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
When I last left off I was heading back home to Nebraska:

[

Turning off the freeway at North Platte and heading the last 150 miles through the Sandhills I left behind the frenetic freeway and slowed down through the backroads lined at first with rows of newly emerging pale green. What a change from Colombia and Arizona. I stopped to take this picture and there was no traffic, no people, no sounds except the wind blowing across the prairie:



Nobody much lives out here. Climbing out of the Platte River valley there is nothing but miles and miles of rolling grassy sand dunes and lakes. It was snowing last week so the landscape is still rather tawny. Nobody lives out here so it is peaceful and quiet. Springtime is just starting to green up the edges of the road with the first signs of green grass:



This was my greeting committee as I neared Bassett:



and the sun slowly set on another great adventure:



It was much less euphoric arriving at my house this trip. I remember making it back from Panama a couple years ago on the Sherpa in the freezing cold and I was hootin' in my helmet as I made it back safely after an 11,000 mile trip. This time I was pulling up in a pickup and it was still satisfying, but in a different way.

The house was still standing. I turned on the water in the basement and as the drained water heater and toilets filled with water the plumbing all worked and nothing blew. Always a good thing. It was the weekend and I had to wait until Monday to get the electricity turned on. But that is never a problem. I ran an extension cord over from the neighbors so I could charge the laptop and have some lights. I fired up the wood stove and soon had the house heated up to the 90's like it was in Arizona when I left. It was 30 degrees out the next morning. Pretty chilly for May in Nebraska but that weather system has passed and it's back up in the 40's at night now.

On Monday, I mowed the lawn and took care of all the things one has to attend to after being gone for 7 months. Picked up my mail. I don't get much mail thank goodness so the pile was only about a foot high. There was nothing much of import except a credit card to replace the expired one that I last used to pay for the deposit on the bike to get into Mexico. And my property tax bill which is only 80 bucks every six months. Everything else was junk mail or credit card statements.

Being one of the few contractors in town means that everyone I see at the grocery store, post office or walking around town has something they need done.

But before I get sidetracked with work I think I'll head down and visit Throttlemeister and head over to the SLAP rally in Arkansas next week. I had so much fun at the Zombie Apocalypse Training Camp last October, it would be a shame not to go visit the ADVrider crowd.

I'll be taking my camera and update this thread next week.

In the meantime I have been rather busy as one is when they return from a long foray vagabonding around the world.

Best,
Sandhills John
Hi John,

I am still following along and enjoy every post of yours.
Nebraska looks so peaceful, I can see myself stopping somewhere on those roads, listening to the grass growing and taking a nap.

I am glad your home is still standing must be a good feeling coming back to a mortgage free home.
As my home is sold and I will be homeless in few months, am trying to find such a home myself low cost and maintenance - so I can save and take off few months every year. Since I'll still need to work likely until I retire, I have my mind set on near Raleigh area NC -Fuquay-Varina or other near by towns - seem to have some decent housing prices. Might even meet few ADV riders in the area hopefully.

Cheers!
Vic
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:30 AM   #2537
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John:

welcome home.

thank you for those photos. I hope to see those views with my own eyes, in a couple of months as I head East on my own Journey.

Not so adventurous as yourself. I'll be sure to wave in your direction as I pass Bassett

bob
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:26 AM   #2538
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
Hi John,

I am still following along and enjoy every post of yours.
Nebraska looks so peaceful, I can see myself stopping somewhere on those roads, listening to the grass growing and taking a nap.

I am glad your home is still standing must be a good feeling coming back to a mortgage free home.
As my home is sold and I will be homeless in few months, am trying to find such a home myself low cost and maintenance - so I can save and take off few months every year. Since I'll still need to work likely until I retire, I have my mind set on near Raleigh area NC -Fuquay-Varina or other near by towns - seem to have some decent housing prices. Might even meet few ADV riders in the area hopefully.

Cheers!
Vic
Hi Vic,

Best luck in your travels. I enjoyed the backroads and byways in rural North Carolina when I visited there. It is a beautiful state with lots of friendly folks.

If your wandering brings you through rural Nebraska you always have a free place to stay here in Bassett if you need to take a break. Great place for listening to the wind blowing across the prairie and checking out the billions of stars in the milky way on a new moon.

Kindest regards,
John
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JDowns screwed with this post 05-10-2013 at 09:34 AM
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:37 AM   #2539
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Sounds good, let's go!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bESS View Post
John:

welcome home.

thank you for those photos. I hope to see those views with my own eyes, in a couple of months as I head East on my own Journey.

Not so adventurous as yourself. I'll be sure to wave in your direction as I pass Bassett

bob
Hi bob,

Good luck on your trip. Should be fun. Free camping down next to the rodeo arena in Bassett if I'm not in town. Otherwise look me up.

Best,
John
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:42 AM   #2540
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Hektoglider has a ride report up:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=885887

more South American Sherpa action with Kary and Rose in Ecuador at the moment.

Saludos,
Juan Sherpa
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:22 AM   #2541
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:09 PM   #2542
donniemac
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Johnny Boy! A big welcome home to you! Wow what a deal! Okay so I need to get caught up. Did you have a wreck? I am not able to track it all back on your blog, but I see that you came back...not on your bike? Love to know. My email is...donniemackenzie@gmail.com

Good to have you back! See you in South America!
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:25 PM   #2543
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawk62cj5 View Post
Ive been using it to find and map out dirt roads here in VA hopefully to have a route thats at lest 50/50 dirt/backroads for dual sports to cross Va on.
I would love that info for my own XR650L!
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:22 PM   #2544
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I've been back in Bassett for 10 days now and the lawn's mowed the bills are paid and I still have some gas money. Throttlemeister has graciously agreed to let me borrow his KLR to take over to Arkansas to the SLAP ADVrally. So even though I am bikeless, it looks like I can ease back into a non-riding lifestyle.

I am testing that theory anyway. Headed out for Oklahoma this morning. Shortly after passing through Funk Nebraska and crossing over the Republican river into Kansas I saw a sign for the world's biggest ball of twine. Had to check that out:



They actually have a bench for sitting and pondering the twine. I can think of stranger things to do I suppose, but none come to mind.

Across the street was an old time gas station from the thirties:



I remember stopping in stations like this in rural America back when they had pumps between the pillars before there were interstate freeways.

I passed a rather nice large mural in Western Kansas on the side of an historic brick building and thought about taking a pic. I drove on by and got to the edge of town when Huey Lewis came on the classic rock station and started belting out "The Heart of Rock and Roll is Still Beating." I took it as a sign from the prairie photography goddess and turned around and got a pic:



The temps are in the high 90's today:



It's hard for me to pass up taking a picture of a sign with my last name on it:



Or a water tower for that matter:



These kinds of pictures have absolutely zero interest for anyone but my immediate family. And yet I can't stop posting them.

I checked out the city of Downs Kansas pioneer cemetery. There was a large central memorial dedicated to the two dozen founding families. It was alphabetical. Nobody named Downs between Joe Boomer and Elmer Fink so I guess they named the town for the vast green meadows like Churchill downs.

I'm currently at a McDonalds somewhere in central Kansas a few hundred miles northwest of Throttlemeister's place. The plan is to meet him tommorrow and head over to the SLAP rally this weekend. It seems fitting that some of the first ADVriders I met when I started out towards South America last October will be there.

Should be fun. I will report back what I find.

Adios amigos,
Okie Juan Kenobe
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JDowns screwed with this post 05-14-2013 at 07:41 PM
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:44 PM   #2545
nvklr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
Hektoglider has a ride report up:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=885887

more South American Sherpa action with Kary and Rose in Ecuador at the moment.

Saludos,
Juan Sherpa
Nice John! When you can't be there, you find a r/r to some else that can! Can't wait for you to get back on the road though.
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:11 AM   #2546
TrevorHeath
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post



They actually have a bench for sitting and pondering the twine. I can think of stranger things to do I suppose, but none come to mind.
Stranger than the bench for pondering the twine would be the fact that the twine receives fan mail and replies to it....eh what you say?

Check out the mail box in the image :)
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:09 AM   #2547
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Largest ball of twine

It seems the Midwest, and especially the NORTH is "tied up" with the hot competition to create the largest ball of twine. Like the Cawker City one, the one in Wisconsin holds the claim as being rolled by only one man. The difference, "JFK" the "ballmeister" from Wisconsin is still alive and able.

The competition and the play by play (read it all, it's a slow moving sport):
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2128

Here's the stats of the individual players:

Lake Nebagamon, WI
James Frank Kotera (sole ballmeister)
- 19,920 lbs (estimated)
- unknown circumference
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/10970

Cawker City, KS
Frank Stoeber (d. 1974: added onto by others)
- 17,980 lbs
- 40 ft circumference
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/8543

Darwin, MN
Francis Johnson (d. 1989: sole ballmeister)
- 17,400 lbs
- 40 ft circumference
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2128

Branson, MO
J.C. Payne (and possibly others)
- over 12,000 lbs
- 41' 5" circumference
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/23134

As a Midwesterner, I've eagerly pursued careful scientific study of this slow moving competition. Over the last 10 years, I've seen two of them in person. It's time to complete the whole tour. I hope to get the study done in the next 10 years or so.
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:19 AM   #2548
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It's great to be in Oklahoma and back on a bike. I am on Throttlemeister's KLR this weekend:



I can hear my Sherpa down in Al's garage in Colombia singing, "Your Cheatin' Heart."

Joe flew in from New Zealand to continue another six months riding around North America. He goes by joeblogs here on ADV:



He's riding his trusty DR650 with a Safari tank:



Joe is a great guy. So if you see him wandering around make sure to say hi. He took off this morning on the left hand side of the road, but he's slowly getting the hang of the Yank way of doing things.

Here's a pic of Throttlemeister from this morning at his office checking out ADVrider on his laptop:



His T-shirt says it all. Blue sky, beautiful weather, time to head to the SLAP rally in Arkansas and ride our brains out. Oh Yeahhhhh!

Of course he had to get the GPS hard wired on his recent addition to the stable. XR400 is a sweet bike:



more later.......
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:59 AM   #2549
BeachGuy
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post


I
That can't be John's bike, its to clean.........
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:03 PM   #2550
Adv Grifter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
Joe flew in from New Zealand to continue another six months riding around North America. He goes by joeblogs here on ADV:



Joe is a great guy. So if you see him wandering around make sure to say hi. He took off this morning on the left hand side of the road, but he's slowly getting the hang of the Yank way of doing things.
If Joe passes through San Fran Bay Area and needs help/parts/tools for his DR650 or a place to work on it, have him get in touch here or on BIG DR650 thread. (I have no PM's here)

I have random DR parts and expendables: tires, tubes, chains, sprockets, brake pads and lots more ... all used but good ... and most free! Same offer for you John ... but DR650 stuff won't fit your bike!

Did Joe leave his bike somewhere after S. America? ... fly home, then return to USA to continue his journey?
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