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Old 08-10-2009, 06:22 PM   #1
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Wink Aventura Gigante 2009! (An EFME, LLC Production - No One To Blame But Myself)

Well, it's about that time of year again. Although I usually refer to this as "The Mexico Trip" to non-inmates, in keeping with the tradition of ADV RRs and all the requisite drama, let's just go with....

AVENTURA GIGANTE 2009!



I don't know how all this started. I guess it happened sometime after I bought my first street bike, the Sporty, and decided I'd take off for a two-week solo trip out west. Those were the pre-ADV days - as fifth's sig reminds me: The days before I discovered ADV and went from "casual experimenter" to "full-blown track-marks-be-damned junkie."

At the time, that trip seemed (and was) incredible to me. For my limited abilities and knowledge, it was pushing the limit.

For old time's sake, here's a pic of the girl...


The following year I needed another fix. Only one thing could do it for me so there I was. Four weeks to the top of the world and back.


But you know, the hunger always returns - with a vengeance and worse than before. So there I was earlier this year - trying to figure out how in the hell I was going to step it up for myself - again.

Flipping and surfing around...









...and with a *little* encouragement from Trice, that was that.

It was time to start planning...

Raoul Duke screwed with this post 08-25-2009 at 11:34 AM
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:41 PM   #2
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"The Mex-Bike"

In my obsessive mind, this trip absolutely necessitated the acquisition of another bike. Whether that was true (probably not) is beside the point currently.

In the end, I bid my Sporty farewell (she's probably being neglected by a pirate somewhere this very minute)....

...and a new DR650 took her place in my garage. I had thumper fever.


The last 5 months or so have been a process of "learning" this bike and attempting to make it more indestructible than I am stupid.

I usually have to learn from my own mistakes!


It met its match more than once...


But every time was a learning experience.

Here's one from Team Cheapo's Proving Grounds back in May/June.


Maybe I'll add some more about the modifications later if any of the DR650 folks are interested.

Raoul Duke screwed with this post 08-10-2009 at 09:46 PM
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:50 PM   #3
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"The Plan"

The details have changed more times over the last few months than I can possibly recount.

The basic premise has always been the same, though:

-Four weeks (approx. 30 days)
-Go south of the border
-Have an adventure

Rather than list out all of the potential destinations, route ideas, etc... I'm going to leave it at that.

Below is a map that is hooked up to SPOT through some sort of FireEagle/JasonJonas magic and will provide near-live tracking throughout the entire trip.

I leave in 18 days.
I leave in 13 days.
I leave in 4 days.
I leave in 2 days.
I leave in hours.
I am gone.
I am home!

Note: This map is interactive. Drag to pan, double-click to zoom, etc....

Raoul Duke screwed with this post 09-26-2009 at 01:20 PM
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:45 PM   #4
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"EFME, LLC"

I'm still not exactly sure why, but prepping this trip has turned out to be 10x more work than the Alaska trip.

It's taken input from a lot of people and I like to give credit where credit is due. Plus, I'm sure they'll all get mentioned at one point or another in this tale.

Awhile back I started referring to this amalgamation of knowledge and assistance as "EFME, LLC" - Evan Fahey Mexpedition Enterprises.

It should be understood, though, that all (and there have been umm...a few) problems I've encountered and will encounter are solely my own doing.

Without further adieu...

(in no particular order)

Raoul Duke - Amateur Adventurer, Humble Narrator



Ashley - Information Relay Officer, Understanding SO, Fixer


Sr. tricepilot - Presidente de Lone Star Supply Chain y Logistics, Certified Mexpert


Tbirdsp, PhD - Professor of Extraterrestrial Guidance Systems


D. Puga, Esq. - Counselor on Cultural Relations, Field Testing Supervisor


Motodisiac - Apparel Tsar


fifthcircle, FF - Training y Cerveza Coordinator


Team Cheapos - Proving Grounds Management


flyrodder - Fixer Numero Uno


Tallboy - Photography and Mud Consultant, Resident Bourbon and Seating Afficionado


J. Lowe (Ret.) - Advisor on Dangerous Animal Encounters, Post-Corporate Madman (Central and South American Operations)


M. Grote - aka The Wolf, 24/7/365 fixer (Omaha Operations)



Once again - MUCHAS GRACIAS!

Raoul Duke screwed with this post 08-11-2009 at 08:49 PM
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:48 PM   #5
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While we're waiting for this to begin you may post more pics of the beautiful Ashmeister if you please
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot


While we're waiting for this to begin you may post more pics of the beautiful Ashmeister if you please
Stay tuned for tomorrow's episode. Drama ahead!

Hint: I was *happy* to see him....



Maybe I'll toss in a pic or two of her as well.

Raoul Duke screwed with this post 08-12-2009 at 07:30 AM
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:15 PM   #7
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"La Prueba - Part Uno"

A month or so ago I called up my attorney (who also happens to ride), "August 8th & 9th - trial run to Mexico - we're doing this."

The primary goals of this mission were:

A) Complete a couple longer-ish days on the DR650 to get a feel for that sort of riding prior to setting out on the September trip.

B) Test my luggage and packing setup.

C) Have fun.

Bright and early, Saturday morning I was off - in style!









I blasted southbound amidst swarms of post-Sturgis riders. They didn't know what to make of Pablo the Travel Pinata.

Unfortunately, Pablo took his own life somewhere along I-29. Most likely, an eighteen wheeler delivered him in spectacular fashion to dangle from the great tree in the sky.

We never even got a chance to say goodbye.



The rest of the ride was fairly uneventful. Everything worked for the most part, relatively comfortable, good weather. After a long day of riding I made it.

Mexico!

I found a little cantina and ordered up a cerveza. My attorney would be along soon. He had to make a quick stop in Cuba earlier that day before joining me.





Fresh in from Cuba...


*******
LATE ADDITION:

The Puga Perspective - "Mexico: I hit city limits. It’s HOT. The first restaurant in town was a Mexican restaurant. I drive by and see this guy just sprawled out on the front patio, no shade, sun beating down on him, drinking a Corona. Then I see the black and yellow DR650. Of course that was my friend."

His full report can be found here: http://nighthawk-forums.com/index.ph....html#msg31669
*******

Riding the Nighthawk 750 (which received more than a little bit of attention from folks that weekend!)....


We set out to soak in the natural beauty.


But that was pretty much it. Back to town to screw around!






Then we couldn't resist the urge to go check out Paris. Luckily my bike had *just* enough fuel to get there. Couple blocks of pushing to the gas station. C'est la vie!

Didn't take him long to get his camera out...



Later it was time to refuel ourselves. The cook came out during dinner to ask - "Who has that sweet.......

......Nighthawk out there????"





My attorney brought several items for me - this being one.

"Our Lady of Perpetual Help" (RAM mount not included)


I don't think god found this nearly as amusing as we did. He laid it on hard the next day.

Stay tuned....

Raoul Duke screwed with this post 08-25-2009 at 07:36 PM
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:44 PM   #8
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"La Prueba - Part Dos"

The next morning we got up and parted ways. I punched in Omaha on the 60cx and cracked open the throttle.

After an hour or so of riding the slab I came across this.



At that point, I remember thinking - "Man, I bet this will be the most remarkable thing I see or encounter all day if I don't get off this crap...."

Power down GPS.

"Luke, you've switched off your targeting computer, what's wrong?"



Obviously Omaha was north and west - and I had all day to make the trip. It didn't take me long to find the good stuff.





Soon I came across this bridge and decided to take a breather and snap some pictures.



When I went to get back on my bike I noticed that one of my rubber earbud pieces was missing! I scanned around my bike on the bridge to no avail.



Wait....for the love of god - tell me it didn't.....

Yep.





So it was time to climb down there and do some fishing.

Retrieved! But I decided it would be wise to wait and wash it with some soap before sticking it deep in my ear again.



A short time later I came across this. It was a sign - literally and figuratively.



I rode on for another 70 miles or so - jogging this way and that - making my way toward home.

Not wanting to risk another empty-tank situation, I stopped for gas.

And noticed this....



EF ME indeed! Man, talk about a sinking feeling.

When I loaded up that morning I decided that I'd just toss the exo-mesh security net inside my bag. It had been sufficiently tested and I didn't see any reason to complicate packing that day. Given the tire on the back and the fairly decent weight of the bag and its contents I figured the strap over the top would be sufficient. I figured wrong - obviously!

God knows where it was but I figured I had better at least try to go back and spot it.

I back-tracked about 50 miles until I could no longer retrace my steps with any reasonable degree of certainty. No luck.

So here's what I lost:

-Brand new Wolfman dry duffel
-120L Pac-Safe security net thing
-Old cheap sandals
-Jeans
-T-shirt (that I loved)
-Toiletries
-That religious candle (obviously wasn't doing much for me anyway)
-The rain liners for my Rev'it jacket and pants
-A $20 wool poncho
-A DVD copy of Mondo Enduro

I was probably saddest to lose the last item because I was looking forward to watching it.

Frig.

And so, after taking a moment to curse my negligence, I turned back around and pressed on....



Now skip ahead a few hours.

I was about 100 miles from Omaha and it was 5:00 or so. I'd been doing a little mental inventory of the items I'd lost and thought I had identified everything.

Then I saw a huge storm moving in from the west - extending as far north and south as I could see. Oh yeah, I guess my rain liners were in that bag too! EF ME!

Rather than race head on west into the storm I decided to buy some time by shooting north on the country roads as far as I could until the weather would inevitably overtake me - then I'd stop and wait it out. I-29 in a storm with worn knobbies was totally out of the question.

I resumed my normal jog-north, jog-west routine and even flipped back on my GPS to try to keep from getting stuck on any roads that would take me too far out of my way.

That was working - for awhile.

This chapter comes to a head here:

My GPS indicated - "Intersection Ahead." As I crested a hill I glanced down to quickly survey the implications of my intersection options and before I knew it I was staring into an immediate and sharp right-hand turn that was NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!

Luckily (I guess you could say), the front yard of a farm house was dead ahead - a viable Plan B given the circumstances.

Unluckily, there was about a 4 foot deep by 6 foot wide v-shaped ditch on the side of the road that I would have to negotiate at speed and at an angle before I reached the promised land (yard).

I went down. I went up. I went up some more!

To be continued...

Raoul Duke screwed with this post 08-11-2009 at 11:09 PM
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Old 08-12-2009, 06:03 AM   #9
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oh dear.
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Old 08-12-2009, 06:21 AM   #10
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Awesome!!

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Old 08-12-2009, 06:35 AM   #11
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Since I'm...a....uh....consultant on this project (but one that should have mentioned this earlier) - bungees are the work of the scoot devil. Straps. Straps are your friend my good southbound friend.
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Old 08-12-2009, 06:44 AM   #12
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i'm in
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Old 08-12-2009, 06:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raoul Duke
At that point, I remember thinking - "Man, I bet this will be the most remarkable thing I see or encounter all day if I don't get off this crap...."

Power down GPS.

"Luke, you've switched off your targeting computer, what's wrong?"

God knows where it was but I figured I had better at least try to go back and spot it.

I back-tracked about 50 miles until I could no longer retrace my steps with any reasonable degree of certainty. No luck.

OK, why would you turn your GPS *off*? Nothing says you have to follow the damn thing. If you would have left it on you could have followed your active tracklog back and maybe found your stuff.

Items I've lost off of bikes over the years:

Big tool bag
Cell phone
My first 60Cx GPS
Filp flops
Various nuts and bolts from my KLR
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Old 08-12-2009, 07:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbirdsp

OK, why would you turn your GPS *off*? Nothing says you have to follow the damn thing. If you would have left it on you could have followed your active tracklog back and maybe found your stuff.

Items I've lost off of bikes over the years:

Big tool bag
Cell phone
My first 60Cx GPS
Filp flops
Various nuts and bolts from my KLR
Yeah, like I said. I tend to learn best from my mistakes!

Honestly, I think someone probably picked it up before I got back to it. A bright yellow duffel (probably on or near the side of the road) would be pretty attractive methinks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallboy


Since I'm...a....uh....consultant on this project (but one that should have mentioned this earlier) - bungees are the work of the scoot devil. Straps. Straps are your friend my good southbound friend.
I'm all over that now. More and better straps are in the works!

Muchas gracias!

Raoul Duke screwed with this post 08-12-2009 at 10:36 AM
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:36 AM   #15
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"This is my Glock, there are many like it but this one is mine." classic poster there amigo.

Love the picture of the "Mexico" post office. I grew up not far from from those parts. Who woulda thunk that Paris and Mexico were within easy riding distance. Of course Cuba and Lebanon are easy day rides as well. Small world we live in.

Get that luggage system worked out!

Youre off to a great start man, keep it up.
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