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Old 10-09-2007, 07:11 PM   #61
funklab OP
high plains drifter
 
Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Day 23 Monday September 17

I decided this morning not to go anywhere. It was raining and I was SORE.

I wandered around town and did some errands today, trying to stay out of the rain as much as possible.

Got some wool socks at walmart. Wool is the best, I can wear these things for several days before they start to smell!
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Old 10-09-2007, 07:31 PM   #62
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Day 24 Tuesday September 18

I left town without filling the tank. Thought I was gonna run out of gas but finally found a station. My makeshift gasket had been distorted by the gasoline, and fell all the way into the tank.

Luckily this morning I had bought a roll of gasket material from the radio shack/hardware store where I also replace my broken ipod charger.

Off the side of the road again I fabbed another gasket and threw it on.

I saw a fun road off to the side of the highway and took it. A few miles down it said that the road was out further along. Sounds like a challenge to me!




a guy off to the side (construction worker maybe??? wasnt doing much work) said I could probably make it. He didnt know what the other side was like though.

I went down the ditch. It was kinda loose, but I woulda made it if I didnt slow down so much at the bottom ( i got scared of a big ol rock) didnt have enough momentum and dumped it going up the other side. I picked it back up and walk/clutched it up the last 20 feet of the washout.

Cool, it turned out to be a pass, and the first time I've seen the Continental Divide. As you must, I took a piss on both sides of the continental divide.


This friggin gate was on the other side though, much harder to get around than the one on the other side. Actually this isnt the gate, its just the warning sign, the gate was 150 yards or so down the road. Had to give it the ADVrider salute


some nice views on the other side of the little pass




See I was there. Damn rock wont keep the camera level though


Wound my way down into a town called Salida (I think, thats what I wrote in my journal anyway, correct me if I'm wrong). Just to the side of this city is a very symettrical little mountain with a road spiraling all the way to the top. I gotta hit that. I actually failed to get a photo of it thought, but here is one from the top, you got no depth preception, but thats three spirals down of the road you can see.


Met a nice couple at the top, who rode their mountain bikes all the way up. They took a pic of me and the bike.


Then off down some other dirt roads. Came to this creek.


I walked downstream about 50 feet or so and found a fast moving, shallower place to cross. I was proud of myself that I didnt dump it here, as I had to ride through a combination of soft sand, mud, and hard baked mut ruts, then across the water.

Roads got kinda boring after that point. I hit some little town for lunch/dinner. I got there just before closing at 4:00 , I guess they dont have much business there.

Ended up in Pikes Peak National forest or something like that.


decent place, only $10, restroom, but no showers.
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Old 10-09-2007, 07:44 PM   #63
funklab OP
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Day 25 Wednesday September 19

I was a little paranoid about bears last night, because I was the ONLY one at the campground, and Mr. Ed's stories about his tent being broken into in the middle of the night by hungry bears combined with all the bear warning signs posted in the campground didnt make for a great night of sleep.

Plus it got cold.


a lady at the visitor center told me it was only getting down to 39 degrees or so. I guess she was wrong.

I didnt get a good shot of it, but the sun coming up thru the trees was pretty cool.


I got my fire started again and tried to warm up before packing up and hitting the road.

As I came out of the campground, I turned onto the highway right behind one of those new BMW's what is it, X-challenge or something, the dirtbike ones. He turned off after a little while, wierd bike, with only one little alum pannier, and foreign plates (they turned out to be german).

I followed a sign for Pike's Peak, but ended up going the wrong way. No problem, the road that I was on turned out to be an old railway line that was abandoned after the gold rush ended.


it went thru some canyons, pretty cool road.


Eventually I ended up finding my way to Pikes Peak.

Good God, $10 just to ride a road for 18 miles???? Oh well, when am I gonna be here again.

The road was very scenic. It was around 80 degrees at the bottom. They annnounced that it was 37 degrees. And somebody had built a snowman!


It's crazy being up that high, I had trouble thinking clearly and felt mildly buzzed the whole time.

In the parking lot, I saw the BMW from earlier today. Inside the gift shop I saw a guy in the BMW powerranger suit. He turned out to be a German guy doing the trans am trail, and then to Copper Canyon, then maybe a ship to Peru, so hopefully we run into each other again. Good luck Eric, wherever you are now.

Proof



it's 40+ degrees warmer down there!



It looks fun, but really its so tight, and theres so many suvs and cars, that its not much fun. Great views though!






Ended up in Castle Rock for the night.
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:01 PM   #64
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Day 26 Thursday Septemeber 20

I left early this morning, since I was supposed to meet up with Matt at the dealership and get my barkbusters.

I ended up not being able to have them put em on, and just took em along with me. Matt wasnt there, apparently his kid was in the hospital or something, hope everything is okay.

As I left Denver, I almost killed myself. I was stuck in traffic, waiting for a redlight. I decided to go into the left turn lane. I didnt signal, but I did check my mirrors, and I cant remember for sure, but I always actually turn my head and look too. As soon as I pulled out I hear tires screeching, for a split second I thought I might be spinning my rear tire. Then I see an Audi doing a nose dive in my rearview mirror RIGHT UP ON MY ASS!!

He pulled up beside me at the light, and I apologized, he let it go. I didnt though, I almost got squished, I gotta be more careful.

I went back thru Idaho Springs. When I pulled off of the road, a minivan pulled up beside me. Apparently the guy had seen my Kilimanjaro Jacket, and he was a First Gear salesguy or something. He had all the brand new jackets in the back of his van. He showed them too me. Pretty nice, I guess, cool guy though, even gave me some good advice for roads, but I wasnt able to follow them.


it was a nice time of year to be in Colorado.

I ended up stopping in Glenwood Springs. I was in a shitty mood, and didnt feel like camping. Didnt really feel like riding, but you gotta get where you're going.
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:03 PM   #65
funklab OP
high plains drifter
 
Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
***update***

I actually found a internet cafe in the United States!!!

that's crazy right??? in the US you're supposed to have your own laptop, right??

Funny enough, its owned by a Mexican, and seems just like the internet cafe's in Mexico.


I am in Santa Barbara right now, heading south. Hope to be in San Diego by Friday or so to pick up a package and have some work done to the bike.

Maybe I can even find an internet cafe in San Diego and get up to date before I hit Mexico. That would be nice.

Thanks for riding with me!

Josh
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:22 PM   #66
Randman
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Great Report!! Be safe...
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Old 10-10-2007, 10:24 AM   #67
ST4Fun
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Location: SoCal
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Awesome ride of a life time Josh...keep it comming I'm really impressed with how well your doing on that lightly rigged 650...good way to go IMO!!!
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Old 10-10-2007, 11:00 AM   #68
funklab OP
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by ST4Fun
Awesome ride of a life time Josh...keep it comming I'm really impressed with how well your doing on that lightly rigged 650...good way to go IMO!!!
Yeah... Ima give yall a shot of my melting right side plastic that keeps getting squeezed up against the exhaust... and now I think my bike is leaking a little oil. So there's better ways to do it and better bikes to do it on... just not for me
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Old 10-10-2007, 11:10 AM   #69
funklab OP
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Day 27 Friday September 21

I felt much better this morning than I did yesterday.

This was at the side of the road on 133 I believe.


The past few days I've been thinking "man I dont know if it can get much better than this" (it can)


I wound my way around to Grand Junction and to the interstate.

Now we all know that I despise interstates, but my map really didnt show any other road that I could take (well it was one of those free maps from the visitor center).

So I get on the interstate and am promptly greeted with a sign that says "next services 54 miles" wow, thats a long way.

I do about 40 of those miles, and then decide to get off on an exit, I cant take much more. Luckily the exit actually ends up to be heading where I am trying to go, but this sign is right after I get off of the highway.


Glad I filled up in Grand Junction!

This road turned out to be much much better than the interstate.






I find a BLM campsite off the side of the road for $5. Dont bother to even throw the rainfly on tonight, as it is warm and clear. Pretty cool to be able to look up out of the tent and see the stars.
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Old 10-10-2007, 11:18 AM   #70
funklab OP
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Day 28 Saturday September 22

This morning I decided to hit Arches National Park. Pretty cool place, $5 to get in for motorcycles and bicyclists.






thats a pretty massive set of arches, see the people climbing up


All in all, a pretty cool place. A bit too touristy for me, but if you're in the area, you might as well check it out.

I went into Moab and got some grub, saw a movie, used the internet and did some laundry.

As I cam out of the theater


I ended up heading back to the exact same camping spot, and getting my tent up before there was too much rain. I was dry.... when I went to sleep.
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Old 10-10-2007, 11:25 AM   #71
funklab OP
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Day 29 Sunday September 23

I woke up early this morning, feeling something wet.

Apparently during the night, I had been using the Camelback for a pillow, without turning the bite valve off. So almost a full 2 liters of water had soaked everything inside my tent. It ruined an off road map I had bought the day before, and soaked my journal and one of my books. Surprisingly my sleeping bag kept the water off of my, and I keep my clothes and whatnot in dry bags, so it wasnt so bad. I tried to get as much water out as I could with my sock.


yup there was some rain too, it wasnt like that when I parked it!

My footprint for the tent was covered in mud. I put it back in its own bag and tied it to the outisde of my bike. When I got into town I realized that the footprint had ripped thru the bag and god only knows what happened to it.

I had installed my bark busters last night, but was missing a hex key to tighten up some of the bolts. I hit a local autoparts store and it was only 75 cents. Sweet.

I checked in to a hotel for the next two days, so I can leave my gear as I go hit some 4wd trails tomorrow.

It is VERY hard to find a restaurant in Moab on sunday afternoon. At a closed Pancake Haus, I parked beside a GS. He told me the restaurant was closed. He was from Seattle and said "oh, i guess you came farther than I did" that surprised me. I'm closer to Seattle than Charlotte??? Seattle seems so far away.
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Old 10-10-2007, 11:34 AM   #72
George Papadopolis
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Inspiring
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Old 10-10-2007, 04:13 PM   #73
funklab OP
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 319
Day 30

A month on the road. Its really not all that hard to get used to. I could do this for a long long time.

I got up and threw some water in my tank panniers, leaving the rest of my luggage in the room. i think I dropped a little over 100 pounds off of the beast (that's kinda becoming her name... except in mexico it will be la bestia) feels a lot better in the dirt.

***damn this damn library it wont let me right click, so i wont be able to add the photos right now, and i gotta smash the space bar to make it work--- I will add photos later when I get to a better library***

The road started out like this

it quickly wound down to a small water crossing. i splashed thru.

then i came around to a deeper wider water crossing. Shouldnt have been a problem, but I've been paranoid about water crossings since I crashed it in Iowa (or Minnesota, or wherever that was). I waited, and a few pickups came thru, one guy said he didnt have 4wd, but he had a cabin back there that he went to all the time. Some dirt bikes ran thru with no problem, so I went ahead and splashed thru. I took a high line, so that i wouldnt have to get into the ruts that the trucks were making, and had to smash thru a 18" high mud wall on the other side... it was fun.



Lots of photos today, because there was lots of stuff to take photos of. And very few people to be in the way when you take photos.











I went all the way out to Chicken Corner and walked around it. The height probably woulda scared me a month ago, but Colorado basically removed most of my fear of heights. I climbed up on the rocks on top of Chicken Corner and just took in the view for a little bit. Waaaay down in the river you could see a couple of boats floating down.




On my way back I took the other fork at one of the intersections that my map had on it. It said the track was DD (their most difficult rating), but I figured I'd ride it til I felt like turning around.


I did, and somewhere along the lines i took a wrong turn. The track kept going over slickrock and up dry creek beds, and I eventually lost it and got turned around. I realized that the only tracks I was following were my own, and every time I doubled back I was just making more of my own tracks to confuse myself with. At one point, I thought I was still following my own tracks, but it seemed a lot steeper and more rocky than I remembered. I crashed a couple times, once on each side for good measure.

After the second crash I decided to walk the trail and figure out where the hell I was. I walked up the trail about a mile or a mile and a half, to where it got really high, and I could see the way out. I hiked back down and turned the bike around. Apparently where I had went wrong the trail makes a sharp left turn which you cant see very well, and there is a very obvious track straight ahead that goes nowhere.

All in all I was lost from about 11:30 to 2:30 and durring that time I didnt see or even hear another vehicle. Made me glad that I brought extra water even though I didnt need it and coulda walked my way out at any time. Kinda makes you think though.

I found this spot to ride my bike out on for a pic. It was just a narrow strip of canyon wall, with 1000 ft drop off on every side.


pretty chill spot


On my way back towards Kanecreek Rd, my bike started feeling really wierd. I thought it might be a flat, so I pulled over. I could smell my brakes, and the front was locked up. As soon as I pulled off, this guy on an AtV with his wife pulled over too, and he helped me figure out how to get back. I just opened the bleeder valve to release the pressure.

On the way back out I stopped to take some pics of the petroglyphs off to the side of the road. They were pretty cool.


I went into town and got on the internet to ask all the helpful ADVriders out there what I broke. There were lots of opinions.

When I had dinner at a chinese spot, I ran into the AtV guy again.
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Old 10-10-2007, 04:19 PM   #74
funklab OP
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Day 31 Tuesday September 25

I woke up kinda sore, which i guess is understandable considering the fact that I was off road for around 6 hours and I hit the ground HARD a couple of times.

ADVriders had pointed me towards Arrowhead Motorsports for some help. I rolled in there, but it turned out to be a store, they dont do service, and the guy seemed a little annoyed when i started by asking him what might be wrong. He sold me a bottle of brake fluid and I was out.

Went back into town and got on the internet. One of the smarter ADVers told me that i was a dumbass(well he didnt say that part) and my bark busters were interfering with my brakes (he did say that and was right). Took about 2 minutes to bend the bars back into shape.

I figured since my pass to arches national park was good for 7 days I'd head back and see the parts that I missed the first time around.

I hiked to Delicate Arch in my riding boots (shouldnt have) it was a 3 mile round trip hike, and I got some small blisters on my heels.

this used to be somebody's house, right near delicate arch.


more old school grafiti


Delicate Arch


A big ass bird that flew in and sat down right beside me. He wasnt scared at all.


This is kinda what its like in this area. Cant decide whether to look in front of you or in your mirrors.



Got a Mole Burrito at a Baja restaurant. That joint was gooood!



I could spend a long long time around Moab, but I've got places to go, and Fall is kinda catching up with me, so I headed out.

The sunset or moonrise, or a little of both.



Ended up in Monticello, UT for the night.
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Old 10-10-2007, 05:23 PM   #75
Zeeowh
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Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Melbourne
Oddometer: 359
Suggestion..

Enjoying your ride report and love that your doing it on the bike that you are. Just goes to show you can do it on whatever you want/have.

Can I make a suggestion or ask a favour as an non-US reader? When you put the date and day in the subject heading you also add the state/area where you are. As an Aussie i wouldn't have a clue where most of the towns you are talking about are but would like to follow and also add into my trip planning places that I like the look of. (I am planning on 18 months from early 09 in North, central and Sth America).

Be safe and have fun.
Chris
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