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Old 12-17-2013, 08:09 AM   #46
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So as I sit here, the bike is all packed and I'm just thinking... "what the hell am I forgetting?"

After a little over a month in GA for chapter one of the trip, I'm finally ready (or as ready as I'll ever be) to set off. Unfortunately, Tim (my stepdad) passed away, but it was peaceful and I was able to spend some time with him (http://www.somedaynevermaybe.com/201...es-aug-11.html). He was an incredible man, and will be missed.

I'm leaving tomorrow morning bright and early for Pensacola to spend a couple of nights with a friend. Then over to New Orleans for an evening (supposed to be an evening - I was asked to stay on some vacant land and help out with an organization http://www.commongroundrelief.org - might turn into a couple of nights). Then in Houston w/ fellow ADV'er JFink (THANKS JOE!). Then the border... Then into Mehico via the Brownsville/Matamoros entrance. I'm hoping it will be relatively slow that day being that it is so close to Christmas. We'll see...

Any last minute tips and/or pointers for someone about to head out on an ADV trip that has been in the making for years? Hard to believe it is actually coming to fruition...

Anyway, I'll be sure to post along the way. Chat w/ everyone soon, I need to go give the bike a once-over after spooning on new rubber and changing the oil yesterday.

See you on the flip,

~ D

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Old 12-17-2013, 12:13 PM   #47
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It is my pleasure to host you David, but you may come to regret it. New home purchase on the 23rd, home improvement going on here. I very much look forward to you showing up and giving me a chance to escape a little bit of this drama. Do you think you be here around the 22nd? Broncos / Texans ...

Worst case for you, depending on when you arrive is that you may be drug into some Christmas party or something. Whatever happens I can guarantee some beer drinking.

Remember "less stuff/more money!"
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:26 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfink View Post
It is my pleasure to host you David, but you may come to regret it. New home purchase on the 23rd, home improvement going on here. I very much look forward to you showing up and giving me a chance to escape a little bit of this drama. Do you think you be here around the 22nd? Broncos / Texans ...

Worst case for you, depending on when you arrive is that you may be drug into some Christmas party or something. Whatever happens I can guarantee some beer drinking.

Remember "less stuff/more money!"
Should be the 21st. Looking forward to hanging with you and the team and drinking a few beers. Thanks so much in advance for the hospitality. :)
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:17 AM   #49
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Seems surreal that you are finally on your way. Best of luck my friend, can't wait to see your journey progress and join you along the way!
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:29 AM   #50
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I am in!!, all the best for your trip. You got a friend in Paraguay, hope to visit with you and show you around.
Cheers
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:39 AM   #51
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sweet! enjoy.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:54 AM   #52
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Inspiring

Stay safe, and thanks for sharing your journey (in all ways).

Best,
Matthew.
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:09 PM   #53
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Good luck, David! I'm subscribed! I hope you find the adventure you seek!
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Old 12-19-2013, 12:17 PM   #54
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Update from last couple of days (copied and pasted from external blog)...

Days 6 & 7 | Trip Officially Back ON!!!

Date: Dec 18th, 2013
Overview: Atlanta >> Santa Rosa Island
Mileage: 412
Mileage since leaving Denver: 2,163
Total mileage on bike: 5,164



So, I was able to accomplish what I needed to in Atlanta. It was strange, I spent a little over a month there and while in retrospect it seemed to go by quickly, at the same time it felt like an eternity (possibly due to everything that happened while I was in town). Tim's passing was very emotional and hard, but it definitely taught me some things.

First, you should definitely grab life by the balls... truly live! You never know when your health and body may betray you. Second, family and friends are ultimately the most important thing you can acquire and nurture. Tim had hundreds of people come visit during the final days, and it was a testament to his character and the good-hearted man that he was. I thought often about who would show up for me if I was in a similar situation, and unfortunately I don't think the number would be near as high. Not that a man should be judged by how many people show up at his funeral, but it just made me realize that I need to strive to be a better person to people, and work hard on cultivating and improving the relationships that I have.



My plan to get to the Mexico border is as follows. First, I wanted to dive south to warm up. It was 34.9 degrees when I left Atlanta at 8am. My buddy Greg offered to put me up for a couple of nights in Pensacola, which was an offer I couldn't refuse. Greg lives in a high rise resort/spa complex, so I feel like I'm on vacation while here. It is incredibly nice with a stellar view of the ocean and my own guest room w/ shower. THANKS GREG!!! From here I'll head to New Orleans tomorrow and plan to either use Couchsurfing or stay in a hostel. Following a night in New Orleans, I've been invited to stay with a fellow ADV Rider (ADVrider.com) named Joe in Houston. We've never met in person and he has offered his place with open arms and has even set up a send off of sorts w/ several of his riding buddies. I look forward to picking his brain since he has done some similar travel and share a few beers w/ him and his crew. It is amazing how tight this community can be, and can come together with stories and laughter simply by a shared passion for motorbikes. After staying w/ Joe for a night in Houston, I'll make my way to the Brownsville/Matamoros border crossing and will pass through early the following morning.



The ride itself yesterday was fairly uneventful. I meandered two lane for pretty much the entire route. I was able to listen to great music and ponder life. Although a long ride, the 400 miles ticked off relatively quickly and before I knew it I had arrived. I'm drawn to the ocean, and at first chance I parked the bike (almost got stuck in deep sand - but that's another story) and walked over to splash some Atlantic water through my hair and on my face. It was cold and refreshing. As I looked up, the sun was setting and at that moment I had a real sense that I've actually set off on my grand adventure. It was an amazing moment that I'll cherish forever. For some reason the trip hasn't really had a chance to sink in. However, at that moment it all started to come together and I realized that I'm really making this happen. I'm guessing when I cross into Mexico it will also sink in real fast.



I had a bit of vibration from the front end of the bike at low speeds during the ride. I changed the oil and spooned on new rubber prior to departure (Heidenau K60's) and was concerned that maybe I bent the buttery soft garbage stock rims with one of my tire irons or something. I peered over the front end and side of the bike while riding and it seemed to me that the rim was straight, but that the tire itself was a bit wonky. This morning I randomly rode over and showed up at BMW Motorcycles Pensacola to see if maybe they could check to see if the wheel was out of round. I pulled up and was greeted outside of the service center by David. We chatted for a bit and he agreed to help me out. He was intrigued by my upcoming trip, and wanted to help any way he could. He pulled off the front wheel, and after ensuring that the bearings were good and the spokes were all tight, put it on the balancer. Turns out the wheel wasn't 100% true, but decent enough. My suspicions were confirmed though and the carcass of the Heidenau itself is a bit 'off'. Dave balanced the tire/wheel with a bit of weight, which helped out on the ride back. He also noticed that we needed to retorque the steering head... something I wouldn't have even thought to check, and for that I'm very grateful as well. I had some great conversations with Richard and Tod as well in the shop. Everyone there is incredibly friendly, knowledgeable, and true motorcycle enthusiasts. In fact, Tod was the first person to notice the Isle of Man stickers on my bike.

Long story short, if you are in the area and need a fantastic shop for bikes, parts, accessories, and/or service, head over. These guys are great!!!



That's it for now... I look forward to more riding to/through Mississippi and Louisiana tomorrow, as well as an evening listening to some live jazz and sampling the cuisine and best that New Orleans has to offer.

See everyone soon,

~ D

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Old 12-19-2013, 12:24 PM   #55
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PS... What is the easiest way to resize images within forum posts, so I don't annoy everyone with MASSIVE pictures. Sorry, I'm an idiot.
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Old 12-19-2013, 01:29 PM   #56
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David - Appreciate the kind words sir! We're all contemplating a Christmas on the beach in mexico now, hahaha! Ride safe sir, and if you're ever in the area again first beer is on me.
-Richard
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Old 12-19-2013, 01:32 PM   #57
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Off to great start! Ride safe.

Had my F8 in for service, Demo'd that bike while I waited... way fun Gucci.

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Old 12-21-2013, 08:54 PM   #58
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First, my condolences for the loss of your step father. You've painted him as a great man loved by many. If all of us can be as lucky, we'll all be fine.

As a Denver-ite, I decided to read through your RR and just caught up. Congratulations on making this sort of trip happen!

You asked earlier for advice on a long trip. Since my Spanish ends with "No fumar espagnol," I can't help there. But, I made a two-week trip up the PCH three summers ago and experienced insufferable monkey butt. So, for my six-week trip to Alaska two summers ago I bought these:

http://ldcomfort.com/store/mens-dryline-shorts.html

It may be too late given your impending departure from the U.S.; but, if you can pick up two pair of those babies, your nether regions will thank you profusely!
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:04 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theofam View Post
First, my condolences for the loss of your step father. You've painted him as a great man loved by many. If all of us can be as lucky, we'll all be fine.

As a Denver-ite, I decided to read through your RR and just caught up. Congratulations on making this sort of trip happen!

You asked earlier for advice on a long trip. Since my Spanish ends with "No fumar espagnol," I can't help there. But, I made a two-week trip up the PCH three summers ago and experienced insufferable monkey butt. So, for my six-week trip to Alaska two summers ago I bought these:

http://ldcomfort.com/store/mens-dryline-shorts.html

It may be too late given your impending departure from the U.S.; but, if you can pick up two pair of those babies, your nether regions will thank you profusely!
Thanks for the heads up. I'll see if I can find something similar en route.
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Old 12-23-2013, 06:12 PM   #60
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Another copy/paste update after a few days of riding and fun. Looking forward to the next post as it will be from outside of the US!

Days 8 - 11 | Estados Unidos Grand Finale

Florida >> Texas | The last of the U.S. of A.



````````````````````````````````
Date: Dec 23rd, 2013
Overview: Pensacola >> Brownsville
Mileage: 937
Mileage since leaving Denver: 3,099
Total mileage on bike: 6,101

````````````````````````````````
I had an amazing time with Greg in Santa Rosa Island (Pensacola), but had to get on the road to New Orleans. I left out fairly early and had a nice ride cruising along the coast and then over the Mobile Bay via ferry to Dauphin Island. Two and four lane roads are definitely the way to go when traveling on motorbike (dirt would be even better, and I'll get my fair share of that down south). I've found interstate highways to be absolutely soul crushing, and have tried to stay off them any chance I can. Regardless of road choice, the Spotify playlists that a few friends have been creating for me have helped immensely. You know who you are, thanks for those!



The last few years I've been spoiled with nice hotels due to work travel and expense accounts. A buddy reminded me that I'm going to be camping and staying in dumpy hotels, and need to switch ASAP to money saving mode since I'm unemployed. That said, he recommended a hostel in New Orleans called India House. I showed up and it actually looked pretty cool. However, they lost my reservation somehow and wouldn't honor the e-mail and confirmation number that I had in my phone. After I explained to 'bro' at the desk how absolutely lame that was, he suggested another hostel down the street called Marquette House. I won't spend much time talking about it, but DO NOT stay there. I am surprised there were NOT bed bugs. The place was an incredible dump and was worse than ANY I've ever stayed (and I stayed in some absolute shitholes in Thailand). Too add to it, it's overrun with local drunks using it as a cheap long term hotel of sorts. Seriously, don't stay here... unless you want to cook up some meth in the kitchen, in which case you may like it.



Slum jungle hostel aside, I freaking loved New Orleans. I'd only been there once before and wanted to spend some time checking it out further. I met a really cool local named Christina. I had only gone out for a bite to eat that first night, but she offered to show me around to some great music joints, and then after hearing my hostel sob story let me crash at her place after a great night of partying NOLA style. She even walked me to this creepy old lady for my first card reading. I'll spare you the details, but Miss Cleo freaked me out when she wished me a grand adventure, and let me know that I'd end up with another girl who'd make me happy in the end (I hadn't told her anything at that point). I ended up staying one more night after deciding that a day of rest was in order, so after two nights in The Big Easy, it was time to pack up and head to Houston to stay with fellow ADV'er jfink.



I showed up around 2pm on Sunday and was greeted by Joe, his wife, and a few of his friends. Seriously, the hospitality was astounding. We chatted motorcycles for quite awhile over craft IPA. Not to mention, his wife prepared some amazing chili for the shindig. I was able to enjoy a room, shower, laundry facilities, and a garage for the bike. I was even treated to an early Christmas gift as Joe had done a similar trip a couple years back and figured I could always use another small flashlight. After blabbing about bikes for awhile, the guys treated me to a Texas tradition... shooting guns. I'm happy to say that I was able to hit close to the target and not embarrass myself too much. Joe seriously, thanks so much for the send off to the border. I REALLY appreciate it and look forward to paying back the hospitality at some point in the future. If I end up back in Colorado, I'll organize a BDR ride or something for you and the boys.



I woke up this morning and drove the almost 400 miles to Brownsville and am staying at the La Copa Inn in Brownsville. I'm approximately 5 miles from the border, and about to turn the page into the next chapter on my adventure. I plan to wake up super early to get across the border and down south with plenty of daylight. The goal is to make it to La Pesca and possibly camp on the beach for a couple of nights. Alternatively, if I can find a cheap spot to stay, I may do that. Anyway, I can't believe that the LatAm portion of this trip is about to begin. I'm scared, excited, anxious, happy, and essentially every other emotion in the book. I had an epiphany today though during the ride that gave me some peace. I passed a lottery billboard and was thinking about the two people who recently won the 'big one'. I read that they'll each receive $130mil AFTER taxes! I was thinking to myself, what in the heck would I do with that much money? Then it dawned on me, I wouldn't change a damn thing. Seriously! I realized that I'm currently in the process of living a dream that has been on my 'list' for as long as I can remember. It was quite a moment and brought out a huge smile.

I look forward to getting across the border and set up. I'll write and share more then. Until then... vaya con Dios mis amigos!

~ D

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