ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-02-2012, 09:24 PM   #76
FINNDIAN
Mine goes to 11
 
FINNDIAN's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Wawa, ont, Canada
Oddometer: 1,731
Thanks for taking us along Travis.

Looks like your having and excellent adventure.

Safe travels on the return trip.

ps. take your time. It's Ccccold up here.
__________________
The more side roads you stop to explore, the less likely that life will pass you by. ~Robert Brault. 2004 KTM 950 S GO!!!!(Blacked out),03 Beta Rev3, 1973 Rokon Trailbreaker 2x2, 1999 Intruder 1500, 08 Aprilia rxv450, 90 DRBIG 800,79GS850
Ride Reports
FINNDIAN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2012, 10:27 PM   #77
chevmekanik
Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: West Kootenays
Oddometer: 50
Nothing but admiration and envy, I've read this journey at least twice in it's entirety.
chevmekanik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2012, 04:17 AM   #78
Hamon OP
I just like riding
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: BC, Canada
Oddometer: 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpadge View Post
Hamon,
I had to join the site after reading through your journey. It was great having a couple of beers with you in San Fernando Mexico. It was a great pleasure hearing all about your journey it really makes me jealous. I would love to take that much time out of my busy schedule to enjoy life that much, but the drilling rigs need me. It was good to hear you made it in to Texas ok. I hope you got your deposit back.
Man, I'm so glad to hear from you! I thoroughly enjoyed my time hanging out with you guys and I definitely have an admiration for what you do. When you were talking with one another, you made the rig setup, movement, and drilling operations sound so casual, while I just sat back, amazed to think that you're talking about tons, if not hundreds of tons, of equipment, miles of underground drilling, and risky operations where a wrong move could kill a guy in the blink of an eye.

We all live different sorts of adventures, and although one adventure may seem more desirable than another at certain points, you've also gotta realize your adventure is also providing (financially, but also physically, mentally, and emotionally) for a family, something that would be impossible on mine.

As for the deposit, I just checked my credit card account and found myself once again $300 richer (actually a little more: the deposit was taken out in pesos and I must've gotten lucky on the exchange rate). I treated my deposit as a bonus and used the money for my netbook.

Anyway, I hope all is well for you too, and I hope you made it back safely on Sunday like you were hoping (if I have the right guy)!


madeouttaglass, good tip! I crashed again in a motel (life is rough) after riding 4 hours through thunderstorms yesterday afternoon (the day after I bragged about not seeing rain for 50 days... funny how those things happen), but when I start camping "for reals, yo," I'll keep that in mind.

FINNDIAN, good to hear from you, man! The bike looks a little different than when I brought it over to your shop almost 4 years ago, but she still runs strong-ish. As for the weather, I'm just hoping to find an opening in late April/early May that'll get me through and back home... Otherwise, I may need a little extension on my vacation... Wouldn't that be a bummer...

chevmekanik, the admiration and envy goes both ways. The part of my heart dedicated to loving twisty roads lives in the Kootenays, and it pains me every time when I have to leave those beautiful highways to get back to the madhouse that is the Fraser Valley.
__________________
Two wheels and half a brain.
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=355243 <- BC to ON and back: KLR650
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=485653 <- Inuvik 09: KLR650 and DRZ chronicle
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=762691 <- 3 months of moto fantasticity
Hamon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2012, 11:38 AM   #79
Hamon OP
I just like riding
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: BC, Canada
Oddometer: 288
Cursed and blessed with electrical issues for the last day and a half.

Cursed 'cause they're electrical issues: the worst kind of issues. I would rather a bearing seize (please don't), a rim get destroyed (please don't), or a carburetor fail (please don't) than have to deal with electrical issues. Heck, if I had six flat tires, I'd repair every single one of them with a s___-eating grin on my face, knowing I didn't have to track down frayed wires.

In the last 36 hours, I've stripped off the luggage and taken off the seat twice, once taken the fairing off to get to my headlight fuses, and today the final straw was to get right down to taking the tank off in a Piggly Wiggly parking lot.

Yesterday I had my main ignition fuse blow as I passed through a drive-thru ATM. A new fuse and a cleaning of my clutch switch and I was back on the road, only to find that my headlights weren't working. The signals, brake lights, and ignition circuit were all operational, which meant it was headlight-related. Off came the fairing 20 miles down the road in an Autozone parking lot and the melted fuse replaced. Both these fixes lasted me 'till the end of the day yesterday in Ashville, AL.

This morning I hopped on the bike and got rolling, only to have my ignition circuit go down again. The Piggly Wiggly became my workshop and I almost looked like I knew what I was doing as I hauled all my gear off again, deftly undid bolt after bolt to attend to my fuse box, and replace my fuse again. This time, though, a flip of the ignition switch melted the fuse again. And again. Off came the tank and I got diggin'. I finally tracked down the problem to frayed wires connected to my signal light relay which were shorting on the frame. This subsequently melted my relay, so for the next thousand miles (till New York), my blinkers are all manual!

A few wraps of electrical tape later, and I'm back and rolling. Here stopped at a McDonald's to get a relay shipped to my brother's place so I can replace it in a week.

Blessed 'cause of the number of people that stopped to see if I was alright. Whether it was JR Jordan yesterday who checked on me on his way to pay some bills, Jay today in the middle of making sales calls, Art who I'd met yesterday (who had recommended my campsite for the night at Horse Pens 40) who saw me in the parking lot and checked on me, or the guy (I forget his name) who stopped to take a picture of my KLR in a million pieces, then forced me into taking a set of handwarmers and cash for lunch from him, I'm thoroughly convinced that there's something in the water down here that makes people extra-kind.

I'm going to always remember the Southern United States as one of the friendliest places I've been. Northern USA, you've got your work cut out for ya.

Anyway, I sure do need to get some miles on the tires, especially since I enter Eastern Standard Time today too.

Pictures eventually, but not at McDonald's.

Hamon and redbike, out.
__________________
Two wheels and half a brain.
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=355243 <- BC to ON and back: KLR650
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=485653 <- Inuvik 09: KLR650 and DRZ chronicle
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=762691 <- 3 months of moto fantasticity
Hamon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2012, 04:54 PM   #80
proudauntofTravis
n00b
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Oddometer: 1
Reading you Blog......

Travis --- I am so enjoying reading your blog. You are having an amazing adventure!! and a good deal of that is because of who you are, how you think and the goodness in your heart (smartly used!!). I am so proud of you!

Loved your tales of travel in Central America. It sounds like you have met some awesome people wherever you have travelled. Sooooo cool!!

Was also interesting to hear your perspective on the people that you have met in the southern part of the USA. Tom, DJ and I found the same thing when DJ went to LSU. People literally opened their homes to us and invited us to their tail gate parties without hesitation and always an attitude of how they could be of help to us as we travelled back and forth to see DJ. DJ still contemplates moving to Baton Rouge when he is done with his baseball career because he so enjoys the people, the hospitality and the generally more laid back approach to living.

Gotta run now.... looking forward to more blogging!

hugs to you.....stay safe!!

Love,
Joan

"proudauntofTravis"
proudauntofTravis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2012, 05:52 AM   #81
Hamon OP
I just like riding
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: BC, Canada
Oddometer: 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by proudauntofTravis View Post
Travis --- I am so enjoying reading your blog. You are having an amazing adventure!! and a good deal of that is because of who you are, how you think and the goodness in your heart (smartly used!!). I am so proud of you!

Loved your tales of travel in Central America. It sounds like you have met some awesome people wherever you have travelled. Sooooo cool!!

Was also interesting to hear your perspective on the people that you have met in the southern part of the USA. Tom, DJ and I found the same thing when DJ went to LSU. People literally opened their homes to us and invited us to their tail gate parties without hesitation and always an attitude of how they could be of help to us as we travelled back and forth to see DJ. DJ still contemplates moving to Baton Rouge when he is done with his baseball career because he so enjoys the people, the hospitality and the generally more laid back approach to living.

Gotta run now.... looking forward to more blogging!

hugs to you.....stay safe!!

Love,
Joan

"proudauntofTravis"
Thanks Aunt Joan, and thanks for taking the time to join this site!

Just watch out... If you browse this site too long, you may just end up having to get your own bike and gallivanting around the country.

As for DJ staying put in Baton Rouge, I would definitely understand. I love the lifestyle down here, although I will say that the mountains of North Carolina are drawing me even more. The mindset is slightly different, but still amazing!

Thanks again for the place to stay in Los Gatos! That seems like so long ago, wow!

Travis
__________________
Two wheels and half a brain.
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=355243 <- BC to ON and back: KLR650
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=485653 <- Inuvik 09: KLR650 and DRZ chronicle
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=762691 <- 3 months of moto fantasticity
Hamon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2012, 06:24 AM   #82
Hamon OP
I just like riding
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: BC, Canada
Oddometer: 288
Alright, let's talk trip first, bike second.

After Eunice, I set off northeastward once more with my hastily-scrawled list of state routes and highways guiding my path. The pictures for Louisiana were few and far between, I think mainly because a lot of the scenery was the same, plus it can be a bit difficult to take a good picture of the bayou unless you're in it (redbike opted out of that choice).

As the landscape changed from swampland to gently rolling hills with large estates, I stopped for lunch at truly "the place" in Jackson, LA. It was a drive-in that had a packed parking lot even at 1:30, the tail end of the lunch rush. A quick glance over the menu board and the decision was quick: I'd never had catfish in my life, so we'll try a catfish poboy on for size:


That worked. I'm lovin' the tea down here too.

Mississippi was next,



and at my first gas stop, I soon learned that friendliness doesn't stop at state lines. I could barely get out of the gas station with people continuously coming up, curious about where I'd been and what kinda bike it was. I still had a few miles to get through, especially after a late start, and I'm glad I left when I did.

The skies were changing.



And I dodged this storm cell just barely,



but hit 3 more before my final stop in Waynesboro, MS. The normal wet weather routine began.

Hang up the gear,

wring out the gloves,



and get full use out of the heater overnight.






The next two days were a mix of taking the bike apart,



crossing state lines,



and trying to stop to smell the flowers.





Rinse and repeat (although the fixing led to less flower smelling),








You meet the nicest people when your bike's in pieces in a Piggly Wiggly parking lot.





By the end of the day, after having just crossed from Georgia into North Carolina, it was getting on in the day. The clock said 7 and the sun was waning. I hopped on a larger highway to Murphy,



and although there were lots of places to stay, I was hoping more for camping. I chased my shadow further, along highway 64,



eventually arriving in Hayesville.

Well, funny thing 'bout Hayesville, they don't have much there, so I pulled into the Valero gas station to get some recommendations for places to stay. I got a few tips that weren't too far away, so as the sun set and dusk set in, I hopped back on the bike,

turned the key,

only to have my headlights go down again.

I can honestly say that before this, I was having an alright time pulling the bike apart to dig into the electonics, but by this point, I was fed up. I was exhausted (actually, just thinking about this experience again makes me utterly spent), and had there not been a bundle of folks around going about their evening activities, a loud expletive would've thundered into the air and echoed off the mountains.

Off came the fairing once more, this time revealing an un-blown fuse. Loose wiring was the culprit instead, so some quick connector-pinching with the trusty multitool got me back and running. As I was buttoning things up, a friendly octogenarian rolled up in his pickup, but that story will wait 'till next post.
__________________
Two wheels and half a brain.
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=355243 <- BC to ON and back: KLR650
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=485653 <- Inuvik 09: KLR650 and DRZ chronicle
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=762691 <- 3 months of moto fantasticity
Hamon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2012, 07:18 AM   #83
Hamon OP
I just like riding
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: BC, Canada
Oddometer: 288
Before I get too far ahead of myself, though, there are a couple stories I just have to get out before they get lost in the bike repairs.

April 3

The first day of repairs (starting in Waynesboro, MS), was actually one of my favorite days of this entire trip. As I hung out in the grocery store parking lot, I chatted with a few folks. None stick out more than JR Jordan, though. He had a heart of gold and as we talked, I learned more and more about his life. Married twice, has a son that lives near the coast and never calls, and is taking care of his 85-year-old mother 14 miles out of Waynesboro (he moved out of Waynesboro because it got too bad, "because of the crack" he says). In the midst of errands and bill-paying, he still found the time to pop over to the convenience store and pick up a coke for me. These are the times that I just have to pause and realize how blessed I am.

Next up was lunch at some general store in true Podunk Nowhere, Alabama (the corner of 10 and 69 between Butler and Linden).

This place had character.



Everywhere you looked.



And among the tractor parts, axe handles, cleaning supplies, and rakes,



they were just finishing up serving hot lunch.



The fried chicken, cornbread, turnips, and tea were all incredible, but the real gems of this place were in the people. I'd actually originally just come in to see about a map, which in half a dozen other gas stations in Alabama, they couldn't seem to track down. Here, they had plenty. In fact, the lady that was helping me said, "What kind of convenience store would we be if we didn't have maps?"

I couldn't agree more. As I stood at the till waiting to pay for the map, that same lady asked me, "Why the heck are you standing there?"

"To pay for this here map, I figure." I replied.

"They're free (I'm pretty sure she'd have called me a dumbass if she knew me better)"

And this little exchange solidified my resolve that this was the right place to have lunch. I could've spent the day here, just talking with these characters who had obviously lived here a while. The slow pace of life and letting thoughts and words linger are bits of the South that I'm really starting to love. It's a lot better than rushing through thoughts, words, and life, to the next item on the agenda, just to get to the next one after that.

I rode away, grinning like an idiot.

Finally, that same day, I made it to Ashville, AL (not to be confused with Asheville, NC, a much larger place), scoping out places to stealth camp. I found a few potentials as I neared town and stopped by a corner store to pick up some dinner supplies. Well, I happened to ask 'bout camping, and that's when Art and his buddies let me onto a little place called Horse Pens 40, just 10 miles or so away. As art put it, "The guy who runs it is a bit of a curmudgeon: carries a piece, but he's a good guy."

Sounded like an adventure, so after getting some directions from them, I wound my way up a mountain to a neat little campground, walked into a small store, and was greeted by a very cute young lady who took my money and set me on my way to the campground. I'd heard that there were rock formations everywhere and it was a bit of an Alabama rock climber's Mecca. At 8pm, it was too dark to see anything, so I cooked up some chili and hit the hay.

April 4

This is what greeted me in the morning.







And this is what greeted everybody else in the morning.


Glad I'm not everybody else.

Anyway, it was an excellent time there at Horse Pens 40. Met some more interesting folks (including a troop from Louisiana who were there for the rocks), and as I pulled away, I was thankful for Art and company's strong recommendation.

That wasn't the last time I'd see Art, though. Another fuse blew which led me back to the Piggly Wiggly in Ashville. As I'm elbow-deep in colored wires, none other than bald-head-gleaming, always-beaming, Art. His office was just across the road and he popped by after seeing my bike (I guess I stick out a bit) in pieces. Well, after I got things back sorted out, I stopped at his office just to let him know I was back on my way, and on my way out of town, I also stopped by the convenience store I'd first stopped at to say goodbye to the guys there and Jay, a new-found friend from the Piggly Wiggly parking lot.


As Jay said, this is a sandwich of two true Alabamans with a California transplant in the middle. Jay, the one in the middle, has taken full grasp of the Southern accent though. So much so that he made fun of my funny talkin'. Oh poor mistaken Jay... I don't have an accent. Everybody else does.



But I digress greatly. Where were we? Oh yes, Hayesville and the octogenarian.


He has a name. It's Jimmy Johnson.

And he has a heck of a heart. As I was at the end of my rope, fed up with my electronics and without a place to stay for the night, Jimmy stops in his old Mazda pickup truck and offers a flat patch of land to set up a tent at his house just half a mile down the road. I said I'd think about it, but when I got the bike back together, it was the easiest and best option for this tired soul.



I probably could've slept anywhere at this point, but I was glad to have a safe spot with some pretty phenomenal people in a house not 20 yards away.

As the sun rose,



I was beckoned in for a cup of coffee and a donut, where I met Marilyn, his wife, Garland, his son, and Sylas, his great-grandson. As we sat and sipped our coffee, Jimmy flicked his dentures around as he told me about his times as county commissioner, his friends who used to run moonshine and how they outwitted the po-lice. He was a self-proclaimed hillbilly, and I loved every second of communication with him.

I sure do feel at home down here, especially now that the mountains of NC give me that familiar sense of enclosure that I grew up with in BC.
__________________
Two wheels and half a brain.
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=355243 <- BC to ON and back: KLR650
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=485653 <- Inuvik 09: KLR650 and DRZ chronicle
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=762691 <- 3 months of moto fantasticity
Hamon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2012, 07:35 AM   #84
Hamon OP
I just like riding
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: BC, Canada
Oddometer: 288
And so, yesterday, I was introduced to North Carolina, which has been a bit of a destination, partially because of the roads, and partially because I have (or had) a weepy shock that had originally come from this fine state in the first place.

First, though, the roads.


There's a reason I'll be sticking around this state for a day or two. Although we have twisties up in BC, I don't know if we have the inundation of them that North Carolina is plagued with. Might as well take in the sickness while I'm here.

The views ain't bad either.



And that was my morning. The afternoon was spent like this:



To change this,



to this:



And this,



to this.



First, the tire. That Shinko 244 I think I had somewhere near 5000 miles on it before I started this trip. I've since put on just about 10,000 MORE miles on it, and finally, it's had enough. The new rubber on the rear should last me till BC, barring any catastrophic failures (which Shinkos have been known to develop). I love these rears though. This is my third? Maybe it's my fourth. They're like 50 bucks and if you can get that kinda mileage out of them, I'm sold.



Second, the shock, and more importantly, the people behind the shock. I purchased this shock second-hand from Johnwesley, who some of you might know on ADV. It was operating alright, but I ended up blowing out the oil on a FSR somewhere in BC. It was a bit of a nightmarish time getting it rebuilt by a local guy, which ended up taking 2 months to have happen, only to have it blow not long afterwards.

I sent it out to Rick at Cogent a long while before the start of this trip and it was in good working order when I started, but the abuse of Mexican, Guatemalan, and Belize roads ended up working it pretty hard. It was time for a rebuild, and Rick was incredible in letting me stop by to get this shock rebuilt. I learned quite a bit about suspension dynamics while I was there, plus he let me in on some recommended routes for the next couple days. In all, I am thoroughly impressed with Cogent Dynamics, their follow-through, and their product.

Rick and Joyce, you guys rock!!!

Speaking of that shock, although I've only been on it for an hour or so, it is set up in a gorgeous fashion. Now I'm realizing some of the weaknesses in my front end.

But, that's enough waiting out the rain. I'm headed West for half a day, into the land of the Dragon and other equally supreme roads.

For now, Hamon,


(overjoyed that I'm not toting a spare tire with me anymore!!!!!!)

and redbike,



out.
__________________
Two wheels and half a brain.
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=355243 <- BC to ON and back: KLR650
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=485653 <- Inuvik 09: KLR650 and DRZ chronicle
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=762691 <- 3 months of moto fantasticity
Hamon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2012, 01:23 PM   #85
Aienan
n00b
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Edm, AB, Canada
Oddometer: 4
Further Hatred... & Love

So, I've had the pleasure of talking with Travis a few times on Google talk throughout the trip, and usually the conversation includes some version of me stating my hatred (ie Jealousy) of what he is doing and seeing. So, I figured the community would appreciate what he sent me yesterday:

FYI, you would really hate me if you knew the roads I've ridden in the last 4 days. :)

Looks like the next updates should be pretty good ladies and gentlemen.
Aienan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2012, 06:33 AM   #86
Hamon OP
I just like riding
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: BC, Canada
Oddometer: 288
The next order of business after getting ol' redbike into proper running condition was to put it through the paces in a shakedown run, if you will. This shakedown run has lasted 4 or so days on some of the most sinuous roads that North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia have to offer.

On Day 1, as I neared the fabled Dragon and the bike concentration grew higher and higher, I pulled into a gas station (Piss Stop or some other typical biker name), fueled up, and eyed a pair of gleaming GSAs basking in the sun. As my inspection of fine German engineering continued, I checked the plates: Quebec. Aha! Canadians! In the land of southern drawls, a conversation with some fellow Northern folk was just what I needed. Long story short, Patrick and JF (I think... It was Jean-something for sure) were down for a week to exploit some crooked highways and our routes just happened to match up that we tackled the Dragon together.

The typical shots that everybody takes:







At the north end, we hopped off the bikes and engaged in the regular "Holy bleeping asphalt that was incredible" and other such exclamations one has after riding the Dragon, especially on a fairly quiet day. After a bit of chatter, we parted ways and I turned back for one more dose of Gappy goodness.

Patrick mentioned that I should pop by on my way through Quebec. We'll see what comes of that. Thanks for the ride, guys!



After winding my way back into North Carolina, it was time to think about gameplan. I knew I needed to find camping, but as I whizzed by a bike shop I realized this was probably as good a time as any to get an oil change. Redbike was due, and the shop looked like a nice independent one that would let me change oil in the parking lot. They were exactly that, and more. If you're ever in the Deals Gap area and you need a tire, an oil change, or really anything else bike-related, check out Wheelers! They're good people and they don't charge stealership prices.



Whilst twirling wrenches, another KLR showed up and a scruffy-looking older gent took off his helmet. Well, obviously, I couldn't help chatting bikes with him and heard about his experience swapping from an older GS to the KLR after the BMW cost of ownership at 70K miles started getting rough. He introduced himself as Dave and we continued chatting as I distractedly got my bike back together and topped up with oil.

As we chatted, another feller popped by, this one in a Toyota pickup. It turns out a BMW F650 Dakar that was parked beside my bike belonged to him and he'd seen some miles on it, from South America to Africa, to other parts unknown. He was Roger, and as the three of us continued our chatter, it came up that Roger had a place for me to stay for the night. The only catch was, I'd have to eat at the Huddle House in town since he was the franchisee there. Well, that seemed to be a fair deal, and as we started getting set to go, we said our farewells.

As Dave left and Roger and I were left to chat, it was made known to me that I just unwittingly met a TV host. Turns out Dave is none other than Dave Despain, a Speed Network host. Well, not being too into Nascar and not getting Speed Network at home, I hadn't a clue. Roger found this all quite amusing... Myself, I guess I did too. I mean, to me, he was a friendly guy that enjoyed motorbikes. In my books, that's just dandy.

Anyway, supper time came and in the parking lot of the Huddle House, one more rider joined our ragtag crew of evening festivities. James from Texas (originally from Colorado) had just picked up a new Super Tenere (sweet bike!) in Florida and was on his way (on a slightly wayward path) back home to start a new job. Well, he didn't have a place to stay either, so Roger opened his home again and our group became three.

Roger's a bit of a motorhead I guess you could say..


This is one of 4 Datsuns in one of his shops.



And along with his Dakar, he has a few other bikes including a sweet XR650L that he'd use that night.



The next morning (after a wonderful evening of beers and a campfire along a quiet river), James parted ways as he had friends to meet up in Virginia, while Roger offered to show me the sights and some twisty roads along the way. Who can say no to that!

And so, the day was a bit of this,



a few of these,



a sprinkling of this,



and a few postcard shots along the way:





In Tellico Plains, we ran into some riders belonging to the CMA (Christian Motorcyclists Association). I figured, since we were in Tennessee, it was possible that some of these folks knew John, known here as johnwesley, who I'd bought the rear shock from that I was running now. It just so happened a friend of his was among the group, and after a few dialed numbers, he put a phone up to my ear and I chatted with John, whom I only knew from my email dealings and what I'd seen from him on ADV. It was a cool little experience to go along with all other cool experiences that day. Afterwards, the CMA crew blessed my bike.


The sticker reads "Blessed in 2012." Boy, it's only 3 months into 2012, and "blessed" is by far the best word I could use for my life this year. Every day, I consider myself lucky to be on this journey.

Anyway, the riding day ended in Hendersonville at Roger's ex-wife's place. It seems they still have a fairly good relationship, which is awesome.

The next day was breakfast in Asheville while taking in the sights,




(With Roger, the pace is set at fast: pictures aren't taken into account much.)

and, as mentioned, Roger's a motorhead. He's got a new Sertao too, which he was kind enough to let me ride!



Impressions: the first word would have to be, "Smooth." It's probably just 'cause I'm hopping off that ratty KLR onto something more refined, but for a thumper, the Sertao purrs. Power delivery is crisp, clutch control is friendly, and most importantly, it still feels like a dirtbike. Granted, it's a a road-sprung, heavy dirtbike, but the wide bars and lanky suspension make for a nice whippy dirtbike feel.

Thanks Roger and Linda for the hospitality!



These last days stressed to me the importance of flexibility in travel plans. If I'd kept on my own way, I'd never have seen some of the sights that I did, learned the history of these places that I was riding through, or even known about the tornado in Tellico Plains that had come through only a month ago and wiped out several houses and an RV park. Obviously, I have the luxury of time these days, which makes flexibility possible. I'm going to remember that lesson in the future though, even for my smaller trips.

But, all good things come to an end. Roger, Linda, and I parted ways, and I was back to flying solo.
__________________
Two wheels and half a brain.
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=355243 <- BC to ON and back: KLR650
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=485653 <- Inuvik 09: KLR650 and DRZ chronicle
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=762691 <- 3 months of moto fantasticity
Hamon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2012, 06:48 AM   #87
Hamon OP
I just like riding
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: BC, Canada
Oddometer: 288
Now, although all good things come to an end and I was no longer riding with ol' Roger, that's not to say new good things can't start immediately after the ways are parted. I don't have too many stories for the last 2.5 days, but I have a picture or two.

We'll divide it into a couple groups...

Scenic Vistas


Overlooking Tennessee after coming up over a mountain ridge




The Virginia Highlands. Miles of rolling hills and quaint farms. I felt so at home in this country. It seemed like easy living with endless outdoor offerings from hikes to kayaking to bicycling to some relatively fantastic motorcycling...


The Potomac, a few miles outside Bath.

State Lines







(I missed Tennessee even though I think I crossed the state line 5 times, and I couldn't stop for Maryland either as it was on the bridge over the Potomac)

Sinuous Roads









And an Ostrich.


Why? Because he existed along some highway in West Virginia. That's why.

Hamon and Redbike,







out.
__________________
Two wheels and half a brain.
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=355243 <- BC to ON and back: KLR650
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=485653 <- Inuvik 09: KLR650 and DRZ chronicle
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=762691 <- 3 months of moto fantasticity
Hamon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2012, 06:45 AM   #88
Hamon OP
I just like riding
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: BC, Canada
Oddometer: 288


Ahoy mateys! Quick photo update here!

After Greencastle, I had a day and a half to get to New York. It was pretty easy riding, although I realized as soon as I crossed the Mason-Dixon line that traffic got a lot heavier, the concentration of stoplights and congestion was more dense, and riding enjoyment had to shift from blazing twisties to enjoying the scenery.

This, luckily enough, was easy to do.


Gettysburg


Lancaster County


Princeton

After Princeton, it was time to put the hammer down (more figuratively than literally: the traffic continued to thicken to a pudding-like consistency) and cross some water bodies by bridges and tunnels. As the day grew to afternoon, a hulking mass of concrete, steel, and glass loomed ahead.



And after being extorted out of $11 (with the wind taking another Washington as a tip), being told I couldn't have my video camera running, and driving through some cave-like construction, I arrived in a cacophony of steel bodies and sound.



NYC! What a fun place to ride! It reminds me a lot of riding in Central America. Once again, the traffic flows organically and you know that space will be taken up quickly if you don't act decisively. Assertive riding is key, as is a head on a swivel.

My brother and his girlfriend live on Roosevelt Island (if you tell this to any New Yorker, they typically respond, "Where?") which is in the East River and is a bit of a calming oasis just outside of bustling Manhattan. It's a bit convoluted to get there, but the reward is worth it, especially if you like bridges.









[Knife nut content]

Denver and Naomi promised a surprise on Saturday and I was treated to something only a knife nut would find interesting: Cut Brooklyn: http://cutbrooklyn.com/home.html

Joel is a self-taught knifemaker that specializes in kitchen knives of carbon steel (he's working in 1095 and 52100 these days) and, like most knifemakers, is constantly looking at new ways to expedite processes and make things run smoother. He's recently moved into a larger shop which has opened his horizons when it comes to equipment, and I expect many more good things from this rapidly developing fellow (especially with a trip for him to Japan coming up within the next couple months).

I was able to take a peek around the shop and sample some of his wares too! Knife heaven, truly.






Laminated Damascus billet created through forge welding. This one was laying on the anvil of Moriah Cowles (www.moriahcowles.com) who is also working out of Joel's shop and doing forged kitchen knives that are super thin and show a lot of promise!



Thanks so much to all the folks at Cut Brooklyn for the shop tour and the knife talk. A healthy dose of steel is just what the doctor ordered.

[/Knife nut content]




The rest of my time here has been spent doing normal New York sights,











eating some grand food,





and hanging out with my favorite Denver and my favorite Naomi.




All about the cat love.

I also took some time to give redbike some lovin'. The front tire was a-cuppin' so I ordered and installed a new TKC shoe while here, and that signal relay arrived at the same time, so my ambers once again are blink-tastic. Unless other issues arise, I think the only other piece of the puzzle I'll need to get home is a set of chain and sprockets. The chain's looking surprisingly good, as is the rear sprocket, but the front sprocket is getting a bit long in the tooth. We'll see what I get out of it!

With my body also well-rested, my garments laundered, and my belly filled, I depart this beautiful city in search of more adventure. The next few days will take me into New England, Atlantic Canada, and to the far reaches of a land inhabited by strange creatures called Newfies. I hope to return alive, but tales of cannibalism in Newfoundland still ring across the Great White North.

In all reality, my main concern is snow. In a perfect world, I'll be preparing to roll across the Trans-Labrador Highway in a week, but weather looks to be trumping that goal. I'm going to keep my ears open for weather conditions, and if at all possible attempt a crossing. That would definitely cut out a long ferry ride back to Nova Scotia and the included backtracking through New Brunswick, plus tick off another "to-do" on the list of northern Canadian roads to traverse.

So, we'll see what comes of it. Until next time,

Hamon,



and redbike (don't worry, you'll be free and on the road soon!),



out.
__________________
Two wheels and half a brain.
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=355243 <- BC to ON and back: KLR650
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=485653 <- Inuvik 09: KLR650 and DRZ chronicle
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=762691 <- 3 months of moto fantasticity
Hamon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2012, 01:15 PM   #89
Fronnzy
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Fronnzy's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Canada
Oddometer: 339
This is a killer ride report dude. Thanks for taking the time to log so many updates.
__________________
_______________________

British Columbia, Canada

"How hard can it be?"
Fronnzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2012, 01:19 PM   #90
Eagletalon
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Apopka, FL
Oddometer: 367
Thanks for that last installment. Stay safe and keep on riding.

later
John
Eagletalon is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 10:00 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014