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Old 12-14-2009, 07:15 AM   #61
HighFive OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDogAdventures.com
Why the 350 watt alternator of the WR250R would have fried his electric vest
No doubt... .....Want to guess how many times I thought about that?

Just didn't have enough fuel range on my little R-squared to pull it off this time around. And the KLR stator is just too stinking small to run ANY of my heated gear.

HF
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:41 AM   #62
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:49 AM   #63
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Sounds like winter/ early spring is the best time of the year to be riding
down that way even though it's cold. I'd imagine it must be like an inferno
out in those hills late spring into summer.
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:17 PM   #64
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HighFive!

You rock! Great report and awesome pictures! Its on my list too!
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:32 PM   #65
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Day 8



The snow continued to fall overnight.... 3 inches in all, I'm told. But the biggest problem was the solid sheet of ice covering the ground.



That kind of put the brakes on my travel plans today. Wasn't hardly any traffic moving in these parts. First time in my life, I'm stranded on my bike! Snowed in....in South Texas on the 4th day of December, 2009. Who'd ever thunk it? In fact, this is even worse than the conditions we faced on that famous Winter Dualsport Ride in the Kiamichi Mtns of Oklahoma last year....when Monty schemes up this brilliant idea!

Oh well....time to chill (I mean bake) in the motel room for a day. No problemo, I've got resources for just such an unexpected event:



A good book and a fresh bag of crispy Cheetos....just to make Monty Jealous! Lots of free room coffee too.

After a bit, I decide to gear up and go exploring. Discovered an Ihop about a 1/3 mile behind the motel....so I go have breakfast there. Along the way, I see some things that amaze me. Something I'll likely NEVER see in my lifetime again. And here they are:





Fresh bloomed Roses and Daisies in SNOW.

Found some more cactus too...



My feet stayed warm and comfortable on the long hike because of these:



Well that and some really good socks. These are Sidi Discovery Rain boots. BigDog had recommended them in one of his recent RR's. I've always used my leather Garne Trials Boots for dualsporting. Love em! But, have felt the need for something a bit more protective at the higher speeds we DS ride. Can't say enough good things about these boots. They were brand spanking new 5 days before my departure. I was worried about the lack of "break in" time. But that was never an issue. They were comfortable from the git-go. Completely waterproof, and broke-in extremely fast. I've never worn a stiffer riding boot (like this) that was so comfortable to walk in. These are EVERYTHING BigDog claimed....and then some. Worth every pretty cent of the $320 purchase price. Probably last half of forever.

Found a nice Movie Theater by the Ihop. "Twilight, New Moon" is the only thing playing. Decide I'll go see what all the hub-bub is about.....I never get out to the movies. I watch the first showing at 3:30pm. Kind of slow and boring....I don't "get it". Guess I'll stick to making and reading RR's. It helps grow my pie a little larger.

The sky is clear, but I can't go. I would only ride into the storm. This is the same storm that covers most of Texas and hits Houston with the earliest snow storm ever recorded in Houston, Texas history. It was all the News across the USA. Never happened like this before through these parts. Figures.....just like that old song: "if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all..."

I can't handle another night in a soft motel bed. Fear its making me soft all over. That's bad....as I've still got about 750 miles to cover to get back to Rancho Highfive. Then, I get an idea.....an awfully goooood idea:



Problem solved! I'm back in business....camping again.

HF
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:43 PM   #66
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Funny Stuff

Your killin' me---what could possibly happen next

I'm not sure really what the phrase "Endeavor to Per-ser-veer" means (hell I can't spell that).
But I think it applies to you HF.

And Indian in "The Outlaw Josey Wales" said that-------sounded impressive as hell !!!!


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Old 12-14-2009, 05:57 PM   #67
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yep a bed will make you soft


look like you had a great RR
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:01 PM   #68
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Really great RR and Pics too...

I'm heading down that way to explore BBNSP myself in February '10. Taking both my Versys and '83 XL250R Honda[with 4 gal tank]....since retired; nothing but time on my hands to Vagabond and BoonDock. My start location will be in Grove, OK.
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:28 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDogAdventures.com
Your killin' me---what could possibly happen next

I'm not sure really what the phrase "Endeavor to Per-ser-veer" means (hell I can't spell that).
But I think it applies to you HF.
Reckon that's about right...

Deeper snow and COLDER weather... Hhhhmmmm.....glad I'm going to only READ about that one, after what I've been experiencing here. Well, let's wrap it up and get me home then!

Day 9:



I shouldn't have....but I did. I dug that Temp Gauge out of my tank bag just to see if I had already gotten as soft as I was thinking I had. Shucks! It really is as cold as I think it is: 21 degrees F. But the sky looks clear enough, so I mount my shivering Pig at 8:00 am and head North.

Rancho Highfive or Bust! I can make it....I can make....I can....I.....I got to pull over and stop. Quadruple Ho-chi-momma, I'm freezing! I don't think I've ever had a "Quadruple" before. I made it all of 30 miles to Rankin, TX before stopping at the convenience store. Admittedly, the very first town & store I passed through. This could be another loooooong day.

I thaw out with some more lousy gas station coffee, but in the presence of this fine crew:



This here is the one & only bona-fide Biker Gang of Rankin, TX. They be the grand total of the local Goldwing Chapter of the GWRRA. One's got an '82 model, another an '85 model, and the oldest of the bunch has the youngster at '91. I know they're in their 70's, but Looks can be deceiving. These boys completed a 6,000+ mile adventure over 16 days all the way up into Canada just last summer. Let that be an inspiration to you all.

But after seeing me come in this morning, they've decided they aren't nothing but little 'ol School Girls (that's a quote). One who's lived here 34 years in Rankin, said he's NEVER seen it this cold and NEVER seen it snow in December and NEVER seen this much snow at once. And I start singing...."if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all..." Funniest part is they all join in with me on the 2nd chorus, and have a good laugh about the good ol days of "Hee Haw" the TV show where that came from.

Its really hard to bid farewell to this fine bunch. I honestly didn't want to leave. Not because of the fine fellowship, mind you. It was the darn COLD. My Temp Gauge now read 18 degrees. I decided to put it back into my bag....for good.

40 miles and a stop at a fine Texas Saloon:



50 miles and I'm sick & tired of Wind Farms....especially on top of pretty hills:



These things are really littering up the country side down in these parts. I don't EVER want to hear an environmentalist tell me how Motorcycles damage the beauty of our environment again. This windmill stuff is an atrocity to the scenery. Put them where its flat as a pancake and ugly as sin. Not all over the pretty views on the horizon.

60 miles more, and conditions have improved enough that I can keep the throttle twisted. Man....Texas is a big state to cross!

Somewhere near Big Spring, I come cruising around a corner at 75 mph and nearly smack an Ostrich. That's right.... a freaking OSTRICH!

Here's his buddy....the one that "didn't get away"....wondering where his friend has run off to in such a hurry.



For a minute, I had to clear my head. I seriously start thinking the cold had gotten to me, and I took a wrong turn....in a bad way.....somewhere.

This is the last photo I got to snap. My camera went dead.

I hit Wichita Falls, TX about 4:30 pm and was thinking I can make it home...just 5 hours further. By the time I hit Ardmore, OK it was pitch dark, sleeting, & I'm guessing (not looking)....just guessing the Temp is south of freezing again. After one of those epic self-talk arguments, I finally admit to myself, "I can't make it". The cold had won....beat me into submission.

So, I turn North and head up I-35 (the only Super Slab of my ride home), heading for Norman, OK. Its an hour ride more, but my Father-in-law lives there. But, much more importantly, and my sole inspiration to make it my new destination....is Jo's Pizza in Purcell, OK. I can ride through anything to eat at Jo's Pizza!

Enjoyed a fine dinner why lots of patrons looked at me with amusement wondering what kind of CRAZY IDIOT is out riding a motorcycle in these kind of conditions. Of course, I play it cool.....JO COOL....naturally.

Make it to the In-Laws, in time to watch the referees steal the game from Nebraska and hand it back to Texas. Honestly, I wasn't too fond of Texas weather at the moment, so I was pulling for NB. Just sayin.


Day 10

A wonderful ride home today! Really!! Nice freezing rain all the way. Not that I should expect anything better. I'm actually used to it by now. Pulled into the drive at 2:30 pm, Sunday, Dec 6th. She's back in the stable:



2,368 miles this trip:



Brand new set of D606's just 10 days ago:




Now, I'll be putting a new sticker on my KLR. This one has been well earned:



Pig is gonna wear it with pride! Its a big decal....bigger than I'd prefer. But that's a BIG Ranch, so I accept that.

This trip has changed me. Its redefined some boundaries in my perspective on the passing scene.

I've decided that I'm going to stop measuring my life by the number of breaths I take, and simply begin counting the moments that take my breath away!

HF

The End. I hope you enjoyed the ride!
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Terra-izing the CDR Bergs Over the Rainbow Texas or Bust!
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HighFive screwed with this post 12-14-2009 at 07:56 PM
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:44 PM   #70
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Awesome, just awesome!!!!
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Old 12-14-2009, 07:57 PM   #71
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What a tale

It's all clear to me now.

You 2 guys were going to put this old dog out of his misery on this ride weren't you. And you may have very well accomplished just that.

You had me freezin' here in my computer chair---had to get my fuzzy slippers and my blanky
Hard to type with gloves on !!!
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:57 AM   #72
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I was just starting to wonder where HighFive was. Hadn't seen him around in a while--but figgered he was too smart to be out riding in the arctic weather we were having...


EPIC! Thanks for sharing HF!


Makes me feel like a wuss for wearing the long johns under my slacks for a 20min ride in 40deg temps to work this a.m.
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:57 PM   #73
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What Gear Did HF Wear?

I've received some questions about my gear. How did I survive the cold? What did I wear etc....?

Shoei Hornet Helmet. Figured I needed the little bill for a sun visor since I was riding into the Southwest and expecting LOTS of sun. I actually removed the visor for my departure leg. But put it back on later because the wind noise in my Hornet is actually quieter with the visor on than off. Interesting discovery. Left it on the rest of the trip. Doesn't really pull my head back either. Just a great design, I guess.

I wore a pull-over head mask that has a cut-out of the eyes and goes down my neck. It was made a long time ago by a company called "Damart". They used to be the #1 preferred cold-weather undergarment by the NFL, back in the day...when men were tough and played football "outside". Some of warmest long underwear ever made, and very lightweight. But its too warm to ride in, I just get to hot in the shirt and pants if I'm moving around "working" the bike. Don't know if Damart is still in business or not. Haven't seen it for years. But I still use the facemask, the glove liners, and the socks when riding in the cold.

Joe Rocket dualsport jacket....waterproof with the felt winter liner zipped in.

Fieldsheer dualsport pants.....waterproof with the felt winter liner zipped in. These are new 2009 model. I didn't like the "fit" of older version I had tried on. Bought these last summer at my local Yama dealer. Very pleased with them. They were very dry and warm with the liner. And they have much nicer padding than before, with "hard" knee protectors that have adjustable positions to fit my knee location. Works well enough for me, I don't have to wear additional strap on knee pads.

"Hot Chillys" thermal under garments. This is the BEST stuff I've ever owned for active-wear. Bought it at a local sporting goods store in Tulsa. You can Google it. It was developed for runners and bicycle riders, as I understand it.....triatheletes. Its thin, lightweight....kind of a lycra style pair of long-johns. So thin they fit comfortably under regular clothing. But WOW do they work terrific! I put them on and never took them off. They breathe so well, I don't really sweat too bad. If I do, it wicks right away. never gets heavy and stinky. Amazing stuff for Dualsporting in the cold.

I wear the Hot Chillys like a 2nd skin. Makes nights in the sleeping bag so much warmer. None of those brief moments changing completely out of clothing in 19 degree F temps. That helps a lot.

So, on bottom I usually just had my Hot Chillys and Fieldsheer pants. I did ride with padded bicycle shorts on too. That helps the backside not fatigue.

Up top, it was Hot Chillys, Tee-shirt, Fleece pullover, and Joe Rocket jacket.

Damart sock + Thicker winter hunting sock (Bass Pro Shop, I think) and my Sidi Discovery Rain boots.

Damart glove liner + some nice waterproof Winter gloves I bought from my Yamaha/Kawasaki shop one day cause they looked smart. I'll have to double check the brand...show a photo. They are terrific too. Quite warm, but also with a built in pair of "Lobster Claws" that come out of a zipper and fit over the glove. This is to help with wind and rain protection. I played lobster a lot on this trip.....mainly on the paved roads, not on the Ranch in the dirt.

I sat on my "Airhawk" pad during the long slab rides. You can probably see it on my seat in some of the photos. The Airhawk works so well, I NEVER got butt fatigue.....not once. And I sat in the saddle 13 hours the first day (going), and 12 hours the 9th day (coming home). Many times in-between too. But I don't use it off-road in the rough stuff....at least not intentionally.
If you've ever not been comfortable on an Airhawk, then I assume you might not have been using it correctly....over inflated or under-inflated. When you get it set correctly....Wow, its just great. You don't feel anything at all. Its simply some of the best money I've ever spent for my comfort on the bike.

Tent: I use an Apex Pinnacle 2XTA. Compact and lightweight, yet very comfortable and spacious with 2 large vestibules for gear. My good riding mate....Krabill....turned me onto this tent. Its been bulletproof, for the most part. But I did start having some zipper troubles on one of my vestibules this trip. Maybe I've worn it out......its sure been used an awful lot.

Sleeping Bag: Western Mountaineering 15 degree down sack. Weather resistant and very warm! I think the very best sleeping bag company in existence. Made in USA. Top notch stuff. Expensive....yes. But sometimes, you actually do get what you pay for (in a good way). Learned this one the hard way, after many cold, wet nights sleeping on the ground.

Sleeping Pad: Big Agnes Aircore (with the foam insulation in it). Really compact when packed up. Very comfortable when sleeping on it. This one, you have to let some air out....maybe halfway....to find maximum comfort. Seen lots of riders using these. Monty has one too....so it must be good.

Bags: This was my inaugural field test for a new pack system. "Helen 2 Wheels" bag systems. These are the big tailbags I'm packing on this trip. I have a large horizontal dry bag, a medium tent bag, and a chair bag strapped on my seat. Every H2W bag is waterproof and near bullet proof. Its sooooo nice to get into my large dry bag (horizontally) without having to dump everything out and restuff (like I'm always doing with a DrySeal bag).
The H2W bags have a very well engineered strapping system....big nylon straps that connect to frame through a self-loop on one end, and a D-ring attachment on the other (like a helmet strap). Every bag has a series of web loops along its entire length. Just thread the nylon strap through all the aligned loops and cinch tight. Voila! Only 3 straps were used to hold my entire load flawlessly tight, without fail, through sun, rain, & snow.

I LOVE MY HELEN 2 WHEELS waterproof bag system! Finally found what I've been looking for. Something like I would design if I did it myself. These are made by Marsee Products & sold through RPW (Racer Parts Warehouse).

Also used set of Ortlieb Thin Drybags over the saddle. Plus a Wolfman Explorer Light Tankbag. Just love that Wolfman stuff too!

Everything was waterproof except my Wolfman. But its easy to quickly install the rain cover over the tankbag....so that's not an issue.

That pretty much covers it. I have the grid-type heated panels beneath my grips. Though that didn't seem to help a lot when the Temps fell into the 20's (Farenh) and below. But I'm sure every bit helps. Used a Cramp Buster throttle rocker too. That little jewel gets the MVP award for a trip like this. Doubt I could have kept my grip on the throttle through so much cold, wet, long distance riding.

Beyond what I wore, I only took a few extra clothes: 2 pair of regular socks, 2 undershorts, 1 extra Tee-shirt, extra lightweight rainsuit, a swimsuit, & a pair of camp loafers (shoes).

Never got to use that swimsuit....

Jetboil unit and several Mountain House freeze-dried gourmet meals. Mmmmmgood.

A 2 liter MSR Dromedary + 1 liter Platypus for extra water.

Some tools and a spare set of inner tubes, hand levers, & an extra shift lever. None of which were EVER needed. Monty did all the wrenching on this trip (if you didn't notice). I only had to adjust my chain tension once and lube my chain a few times.....thanks to Monty's WD-40.

I also got to use my Pro Moto Billet Fastway F5 Footpegs for the first time on my KLR. After 4 years of searching, I've finally found the Ultimate KLR Footpeg solution. Its wide, comfortable, & grippy.....with a mounting system that let me move the peg postion further back and down. That's EXACTLY what the KLR needs to give more room for your foot around the shift lever. I use an '07 model shift lever, as it has a bit different spline spacing allowing the lever to be raised one half position from stock....just enough (my bike is an '05). I had IMS pegs, but they were to high and too close to the shift lever. I've tried the DR pegs and not found those comfortable to my feet, and too little foot grip (traction).

If you're frustrated with your KLR peg position &/or comfort, try these Fastway F5's. You might be popping champaign after you do. I stumbled upon these quite by accident.....that's a whole story for another day. Use them on my Yamaha WR250R too.

HF

Any other questions, just ask....
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Old 12-15-2009, 01:09 PM   #74
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Seriously great report, one of the best this year. You are a lot braver and tougher than I am. Nice job, glad you made it home safe and sound. Thanks for the pics and the laughs.
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Old 12-15-2009, 03:40 PM   #75
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Another great ride report HF!!!!!!!
To bad about the weather, but it made the adventure that much better.
Great Pics also.

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