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Old 10-03-2009, 05:15 PM   #46
rockjohn
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More please.
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Old 10-03-2009, 08:01 PM   #47
WB-PDX
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Thanks for the little bags you left here, they will come in handy for tools in my tailbag.

I feel really bad you came during a time I was so busy. Normally, I don't have nearly that much going on. I also feel bad we discussed almost purely motorcycles while you were here. Next time.

I'll be watching this thread, and I'm glad Oregon was mostly positive for you.
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:42 PM   #48
T.H.E OP
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Wade, you are very welcome, i'm sure you can put them to good use. Thank you again for the help and the couch. we'll cross roads somewhere again, get that 600 back on the road.
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:44 PM   #49
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Oct, 2nd – Oct, 8th. Rogue Wilderness Crossing

When I was in Beaverton, I asked Todd if he knew a road that went from the coast to Medford avoiding major highways and he said yes. “There is a road but you don’t want to take that with a loaded bike like that”.
The road that goes from Gold beach to Merlin is indeed a challenging road. I know that because I rode it. It passes through the Rouge Wilderness and Kalmiopsis National Forest and is 50 miles long. It is a one lane road with two way traffic, with blocked sections due to slides and loose gravel patches. It is a gorgeous ride through some the oldest forests in Oregon that goes from sea level to 4500 ft at the Bear Camp Pass. The wind was so strong that at times I thought I would get blown off the ridge and the temperature dropped by the minute.
To begin with, at the junction in Agnes, I took a wrong turn and I was officially lost. After riding for 40 minutes, I got to the conclusion that there was something wrong. The map showed that the road was paved and heading east but my compass kept on pointing north and the road turned into single tracks.
For the second time since the start of the expedition, I fired up the GPS. (I used it once to tell Todd where I was in Portland but I wasn’t lost that time). My GPS is not a mapping unit so I had to match the coordinates to the map and figure out my location. The problem with the map that I have is that the latitude markers are not very precise and had to be divided into minutes and seconds so I could get an exact fix on my position. With no ruler to measure, I did a good job of dividing degrees and to my horror, I found myself about 12 miles north of my intended route. My compass was right, I was going north indeed.
I backtracked to the junction and found the sign for 23E to Merlin. At Bear Camp Pass, my thermometer showed 29 degrees Fahrenheit in full sunshine. My hands where frozen in my summer leather gloves and I could swear I had an icicle hanging from my nose. All I wanted was to get to lower elevation quick and be out of the wind but the road didn’t go down. Instead it kept on going at 4000 ft for another 5 miles before descending down. It was getting late in the day and I had to find a camping spot but I had no water. I saw a truck camper in the woods and approached it to ask the guy for drinking water.
The man in the camper; John Scullion turned out to be one hell of a nice guy and in all strangeness; he was from South Carolina, where I lived for few years. We knew the same fishing spots and beaches and had a lot to talk about so I pitched my tent next to his camper and got down to talking.
I made chicken cacciatore with Basmati rice for dinner over the fire and he told me what gold mining was all about which I found very interesting. He even showed me some of the gold nuggets he found and we got along pretty good. The next morning, after a mushroom omelet, (regular mushroom that is) I hit the road to Medford.In Medford, The Rogue Regency Inn sponsored my accommodation for two days while I went around the town looking for sponsors. The hotel was clean with indoor pool and spa and friendly staff.
Motorcycle Superstore headquarter is located in Medford and I wanted to get those guys on-board. I have not call me back yet but I hope they do. While in Town, Kurt Beckman from the Bike Barn Motorcycles did sponsor me and Medford was all good again. Bike Barn is on the N. Pacific Highway in Medford and their focus is on dirt bikes but nevertheless, it was a cool shop. He had some Husaberg dirt bikes which you don’t see around very often along with some cool Moto Guzzies. Thank you Kurt for your Support.
I left Medford this morning and will stay in Ashland tonight with Gib (we finally caught up again). I will head south tomorrow towards San José to meet up with Tom, another member from GSresources to do the final adjustments to the bike before crossing the border into México.
P.S. I have not received a penny in donations for Centro de Bethania. Get moving guys. I’m counting on you.






For better pictures, visit my website at www.motorcyclememoir.com

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Old 10-15-2009, 08:34 PM   #50
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Oct,8th – Oct, 13th. The Unfettered Life

First off, I would like to thank fellow Gsers Rob and Lisa Hayward for their generous donations. The GS resources website has been a great help on mechanical issues and is still holding first place on donations. Thank you for everything guys.
My reunion in Ashland with Gib was bitter sweet. I stayed with him for 3 nights and left for California on Sunday. He gave me my last million-dollar haircut with his Hikari scissors which are unbelievably sharp and expensive. They are handmade by the Samurai people and the smallest scissor is sold for around $600!
He wanted to buy a laptop and I wanted to get a smaller one so we made a deal and I exchanged my 15.4” Dell for a 10.1” HP that he paid for. This machine is very compact and portable but it’s like an “Etch A Sketch” compared to my old one. We flipped a coin for the farewell lunch and after feeding me for the last time, I was on my way to California.
I took Todd’s advice on the California Hwy 96 and what a great route it turned out to be. California has the best roads in the world in my opinion, and 96 was no different. With all its twist and turns, it passes through the Klamath National Forest which is breathtaking. I was hoping to camp somewhere along the way but I kept on pushing toward Eureka. At around 8pm I decided I had enough and wanted to camp but there was no camp spot around and I was approaching more populated areas. In Hoopa I found a campground that was closed but I figured I would poach it anyway.
Hoopa is on an Indian reservation and the whole place looked kind of iffy but it was already dark and I had no choice. Plastic bags and trash all over the place, this campground was a true dump but if that wasn’t enough, two Indian guys in a truck rolled in and stopped where I was going to camp. They shouted something that I didn’t understand and drove off and parked about 100 yards away. They started howling and making war noises (I used to watch a lot of western movies so I know what that sounds like). After a while they got in their truck and started approaching my site still making noises. It was pitch dark and no one else around so I didn’t take their noises as a friendly gesture. I got my hatchet out, opened my Kershaw knife and got the bear spray out of the sheath. I turned on the bike headlight and stood with an axe in one hand and pepper spray in other behind the light, waiting.
The truck stopped right in front of my campsite and the guy in the passenger side started putting on black gloves! At that moment I knew I was in it for more than a friendly talk. I gripped the axe handle harder and stood still, but he never came out of the truck.
The driver stepped on the gas and the truck took off with a screeching noise and they left the area. I really wanted to camp there but I didn’t want to be surprised in the middle of the night with a truck full of angry Indians so I rode my bike like I stole it.
For the first time since the start of this trip, I rode at night and the Hwy 96 became my nemesis. With my crappy headlight I could barely see the turns let alone the flat spots to pitch my tent and the night dragged on. I was getting pretty tired and my eyes were hurting from concentrating on the road and not a single spot to camp.
I got to Eureka at 10:30 and went straight to a Super 8 Motel and checked in for $59. I was mad at myself for getting in a situation like that and risking my life when I could have easily camped out at 6 pm for free in day light. Never again.
The next day the hell broke loose and Northern California experienced its first storm of the year (it was on the front page of the San Francisco news). Rain came down in sheets and oily roads turned into skating rink. I took it easy all the way and stopped to check out the giant Redwoods of Northern forests along the way. Ranging from 500 to 2000 years old, these threes are about a size of a submarine! Standing next to them I felt like little people in Gulliver’s stories.
That night, I stayed with Harrison and Elizabeth, my couch surfing hosts and was out of the rain. I had a great time staying with these two love birds. Both smart and athletic, we talked about climbing, current politics, stupid things and drank some fine scotch out of Harrison’s collection. He gave me a picking tool and a practice lock and lectured me on how it works but as much as I tried, I never even came close to picking it. But I’ll keep trying.
I’m staying here for another night, then meeting Tom in San José for the bike maintenance. Stay tuned…




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Old 10-20-2009, 03:55 AM   #51
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I like this stuff

Your heart is in the right place.

I'm not working at the moment but am still supporting my World Vision child
(or project) so can't manage to help your cause.
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:54 PM   #52
T.H.E OP
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Werewasi,
You are doing great. It's not my cause, it's their life. Thank you for supporting a child. Enjoy the reports.

Chris
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:55 PM   #53
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Oct, 13th – Oct, 16th. San Jose, CA

First off, I would like to thank Chuck Williams and Hari Crowder for their generous donations. The month of October is almost over and the goal has not been reached. If you are enjoying these posts, please take a time to donate a few bucks for the cause.(www.motorcyclememoir.com)
Under the torrential rain of San Francisco, I walked through downtown wearing my rain suit and 75 liter pack. I could see a stream of water coming down from the top of my hood every time I stopped moving. A black guy approached me and offered me a sandwich, I was dumbfounded. I realized I looked like a homeless person standing under rain shouldering a backpack with no umbrella.
The rain finally stopped and after farewell with Elizabeth and Harrison I left for San Jose. In San Jose, I met Jessica Cover and stayed with her for the next two nights. Jessica was one of the most interesting people I have met on this trip. At age 27; she is an accomplished young lady with a bright future as a chiropractor. Even though she was preparing for her exams, we talked for hours and had a great time.
As I have mentioned before, Rob Eberle the owner of Cycle Recycle Parts II has sponsored this expedition and generously shipped the much needed parts to Tom Murphy’s house in Berryessa. Located in Indianapolis, The Cycle Recycle Parts stock an impressive inventory of used and new parts for classic Japanese motorcycles. Shipping is cheap and fast and Rob is a knowledgeable guy to talk to. It is nice to find a shop these days who you can actually talk to the owner rather than answering machines. The box consisted of a new high chrome fender, valve cover gasket, oil filter, inner tube, clutch cable, speedometer cable and a set of progressive fork springs.
At Tom’s house, we changed the front springs, made the new fender fit and fixed the kickstand on the bike. Chuck and Ray, two of Tom’s neighbors and bob, another GSer showed up and the party started. Over some beer and pizza, courtesy of Tom Murphy, we speculated on the best way of fixing the stand. Ray brought his welder over and welded the top surface of the bracket to raise the stand. In the mean time, Tom looked for his missing 14mm wrench for two hours and accused everyone of stealing it. It turned out he had it last and left it on the shelf!
Tom, Chuck, Ray and Bob are all great guys and their help was tremendous. We had a great time and lots of fun, but I had to be in Los Gatos for the night so I said my goodbyes and made plans for the next day to meet up in town for a ride in the mountains.
Chuck rode out with me on his Harley to show me the way. I was enjoying my new fork springs until we got to the exit ramp. I tried to lean the bike but nothing happened. I pressed on the handle bar and almost wetted my pants from what I saw. The handle bar was moving but the tire wasn’t! Somehow, between four “Certified Mechanics”, we forgot to tighten the fork pinch bolts and all that was holding it were the headlight ears.
I got off the curved ramp god knows how, and tried to catch up with Chuck (I had no idea where we were heading and didn’t want to lose him), but I couldn’t go as fast for the fear of losing control of the bike. Finally I caught up to him and flagged him to stop and we pulled over in a restaurant. Out of 6 bolts, 4 were finger tight and the other two barely hanging on. I escaped yet another fatal mistake…
I met up with Tom and Chuck in town the next day and we rode up on a twisty road going to the top of the mountain to kill some time at the Alice’s restaurant. This biker bar was a cool place and there were hundreds of bikers from all over. The ride was great and besides witnessing a motorcycle accident scene on the way, was without a glitch.
Tom treated us again to burgers and beer and we basked in the sunshine, talking and enjoying the view. Bob and chuck took off for San José and tom and I rode on highway 1 south for Santa Cruz. We said our goodbyes and I headed south as usual and tom west to San José.
I had a great time staying in Silicon Valley and made some amazing friends. California has been good to me so far. Next Stop; Monterey and Carmel…








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Old 10-22-2009, 09:14 AM   #54
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Timely article in today's NY Times, highlighting your cause:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/22/wo...html?th&emc=th

best wishes -
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:27 AM   #55
T.H.E OP
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Thank you for posting that. Very well written.
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Old 10-23-2009, 11:45 AM   #56
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Oct, 16th-Oct, 20th. Monterey, CA

I would like to thank Thomas D’Acquisto and Garrett Dulaney for their generous donations. Please make a donation of any amount for the month of October and let’s reach this month goal.
Andy Pogany, another GSer invited me to visit him if my travels took me to Monterey. Monterey is a small town just north of Carmel, on the coast of California. Famous for its fisheries from the years gone by, it was also the first capital of California.
I met Andy and his friend Dennis around 6pm at a shopping center near his house. Since it was getting dark, we exchanged a few words and started heading back towards his place. The road kept getting narrower and I started to doubt whether there was actually anything at the end of the path but sure enough, at the end of the road stood a beautiful house on top of a hill surrounded by oak trees.
After a great Hungarian dinner and lots of wine, we played Crokinole, a Canadian board game which was a lot of fun. You cannot beat Andy in that game and I was glad to be his partner. I went to bed around 2:30 and that set the precedent for the following nights.
The next day Andy took me out for a ride around Monterey and showed me much of the town. From fisherman’s wharf to local hotspots, we covered anything that was worth seeing and did some shopping for the bikes. We spent the rest of the night working on our rides, turning wrenches while listening to country music (according to Andy, a necessary activity).
We wired up a coil relay for Andy’s GS750 and fixed his broken mirror mount and later took the rear wheel off of the 850 and greased the splines which was overdue after 8000 miles of hard use. One thing led to another and when I looked at my watch it was already 4 am and we were still talking about cars and our various fruitless attempts to re-invent the wheel in our pasts.
My plan on leaving the next day came to a halt when I woke up at noon and could barely stand straight, so Jollene and Andy offered me to stay another night so we could see the State Parks and the town of Carmel.
We left for the coast rather late waiting for the morning rain to clear but still managed to see a lot of the places we intended. We toured the Carmel area in Andy’s old (1996) Porsche 911 which I was privileged to drive. Now I know what all the fuss is about when people talk about this German beauty. As Andy puts it, it’s a classic car with 6 angry Germans pushing in a trunk. My camera died when we were in Point Lobos and we were bummed that we couldn’t take more pictures and we felt really stupid later when we realized we both had our camera phones with us and didn’t even think of that.
After having dinner in a little Italian restaurant in Carmel (with a horrible “100 year old family recipe” garlic bread – Andy forced me to add this) we headed back to Monterey and made a promise to go to sleep early that night. It was all going as planned until we started talking about guitars and the last night of my stay turned into a jamming session that lasted until 3am. Andy pulled out his guitar collection and hooked up the Amp and we played everything from Persian folk songs to old blues. What a great night.
My stay in Monterey was memorable and although seemed like a vacation with no progress on the mission, it laid out a lasting friendship with a great couple. The exciting news is that Andy will be proof reading my journals which will save you some headache trying to figure out what I’m trying to say. Andy and Jollene, thank you both for your hospitality, I had a fantastic time.

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Old 10-24-2009, 10:37 PM   #57
ILYA77
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total map?

T H E , I wish U good trip.
Can we see a "global map of the rtw"?
something like this
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...ld-map2009.gif

Just like to know, where are You probably will go.
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:48 PM   #58
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Oct, 20th – Oct, 26th. Coast to Desert

If you are enjoying these updates, please support the cause by making a donation. As I have mentioned before, I will pitch in $2000 out of my personal travel funds if the collected donations surpass the $1500 goal for the month of October. All donations for this month will go to the “Centro de Recuperacion Nutricional Infantil Bethania” in Jocotán, Guatemala. It is a private medical center that treats about 400 malnourished children each year. They are desperately underfunded and your help is a matter of life and death.
I’ve been in need of a set of practical riding gear which would be waterproof, light weight, comfortable, not too flashy and most importantly 4 season. San Luis Motorsports had just the thing and after 5 hours of trying on different gear, I narrowed it down to Tourmaster jacket and riding pants. Steve Myrack, the owner of San Luis Motorsports, was generous enough to provide the gear for a deeply discounted price. If in San Luis Obispo, don’t miss this shop, they have a great selection.
The weather is changing as I travel further south, it is getting dryer, warmer and the population seems to grow by the mile. Now I know why so many people move to California. You can’t find nicer weather anywhere else.
I left SLO for Bakersfield on Friday and rode the Hwy 58 west. In 3 hours, I went from deep blue waters of the Pacific to the barren outskirts of the Mojave Desert. It reminded me of my beloved birth place Shiraz. There is something about the solitude in the desert that is hard to describe; the sunsets, the wind, the ever-changing sky line… I’m in love with it all over again.
I met Bill Rea, another GSer in Bakersfield, and stayed with him for two days. For the last 4000 miles, I’ve been trying to find a place where I could do my valve adjustment. I was getting more concerned every day, and I turned out to be right.
Out of 8 valves, 5 were so tight we couldn’t get a feeler gauge in to measure the valve lash (i.e. gap) and the other 3 were out of spec as well. We measured the shims a few times and got 6 of the valves to spec with what we had but we needed two more shims. After calling around and a look around the city, all we found was one shim and were out of luck on the second one.
It might sound horrifying to some “By the Book” mechanics but we had no choice other than to grind one shim down, fractions of millimeters at a time, to get the perfect clearance on the #2 Exhaust valve.
A Dremmel, a cutting disk, and patience like Bills did the job as he made the meticulous cuts and fixed the problem. We also fixed my wandering speedometer, tightened the steering, fixed the kickstand switch, and re-routed the throttle cable behind the forks. Bill also is a great cook – hence his username “Chef1366”. It was an honor to be their guest and I appreciate their hospitality.
I have a lecture in Barstow so I will be heading South/East for a while, stay tuned…

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Old 10-26-2009, 11:03 PM   #59
WB-PDX
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What is the diameter of those shims?
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:20 AM   #60
T.H.E OP
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Wade,

I think 25mm but i can be wrong. the thickness was 2.45mm.
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Visit the expedition website to get up to speed: www.MotorcycleMemoir.com
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