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Old 09-28-2012, 03:47 PM   #106
Tex76
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Amazing story and so elequently told. Feels like its being told around a campfire . Enjoy every second and safe travels!!
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:55 PM   #107
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:37 PM   #108
ben2go
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You two are really putting down some miles.I am blown away by the photos.They capture your adventure in great detail.
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:59 AM   #109
duncanmac
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Like many others, I have been following you since your trip started. We are entranced by your story and enthralled by the the photos. We will keep watching, with prayers for your continued safety an enjoyment.
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:03 PM   #110
wegimex
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So much enjoying your report. Hope to meet u one day maybe in Mexico. When in Mexico City let us know if you feel like having some company for a day in the city. Me and my wife totally share your passion. We also will be at the Mexican BMW Rallye in Uruapan, Michoacan Mexico October 24 to 27 if that is on your route somehow. In your case they might even accept a VStrom :-) Keep writing ! Loving it.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:26 PM   #111
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The New World II.10 – Good bye California

Good bye California: 13-20 September
“Hi Alex, I’ve been following your ride report and I would like to invite you to come and stay with us in Monterey for a while”
This is the first part of a message I received on ADVrider while we were still in Oregon. We are always happy when we receive this kind of messages and it’s less important if the invitation comes from a place that is not on our “route”. I checked the map and Monterey was not quite on our way. We were planning to go East after San Francisco towards Yosemite.
We remembered then what we promised ourselves when we started this journey. We will have a long way to go, indeed, and time won’t be patient. We have to accept that there is no way we can visit all the places in our way but if we are offered the chance to meet new people we should do our best to honor the invitation. Let’s go to Monterey then, let’s head South a little bit more.
We leave foggy San Francisco.
Weather changes and as we get away from the coast we discover the agricultural California.
We didn’t think of it at first but we were pretty close to fancy Hollywood and all we could see around were fields of vegetables, legumes, strawberries and other goodies. True countryside life. We see more machineries than we are used to though.
We keep going and we are even more happy about choosing to go to Monterey. We get the cance to meet Doug and his wife, Teresa. Wonderful people living in an wonderful place. House on top of a hill, close to Laguna Seca, great view of the valley.
And since we had a “stable” address it was time to order new tires.The old Anakee s were almost gone, or at least that’s what we thought. We order a new set of Anakees and since they were supposed to arrive in 3 days what else could we do but relax. Hard times….
We ended up spending 5 days in Monterey, having a great time and meeting many more people than expected. There is a lot to tell of our time there but words would kind of diminish the experience and that would be a shame. We can only say this: when we left Monterey we felt like leaving home all over again. Thank you for everything. Hope to see you soon, Teresa and Doug.
Not only Doug and Teresa took care of us while we were there but made sure to “pass us on” to other friends in Fresno (mhm, Clovis) and Utah. And this is how we end up with a route to take for a few days without any effort and worries. Great! Let’s go! Ok, we go, but the old tires wouldn’t give up, they were still good to roll. Doug suggests to take the new ones with us, on top of our luggage. Is this possible? With some organizational tips from Teresa here we are, ready to roll. You can barely see the bags under the tires.
Gunnar is holding up, he is heavier than usual but know what he has to do. I must admit that we are not as light as we should be for this type of road:
But the views are worth it and we almost don’t realize that we are slow and outside is VERY HOT.
We may have 4 wheels but only 2 are facing down so we can enjoy the mountain curves.
It’s really hot and we get lazy. We are slow and we stop for details.
We were supposed to pass by a “cow farm” on our route. I heard about these “factories” and really wanted to see one. Thousands of cows, sitting one next to the other in open air.
The scattered roofs are their only protection, no place to move, maybe only when some of them are taken to the butcher and the only grass they see is beyond the wires.
They get food and water but only for them to grow faster and turn into hamburgers. A “cow field” as far as the eye can see.
We didn’t enjoy what we saw so we moved on. We are on the way to Fresno and we are enjoying the sunset over the plain.
Wayne is waiting for us in Fresno, hosts us and helps us change the tires. The old ones might have lasted for another 1000- 2000 kilometers but I didn’t want to carry the new ones with me anymore. And I wasn’t sure when I would find another garage and someone to help me change them. It’s time for Gunnar to get new shoes.
We visit Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park. Yosemite is beautiful. But it is full of tourists. I feel like I’m on a crowded boulevard.
We pass the entrance gate… and nothing changes.
We get in the middle of the park and still a lot of traffic.
The views are great. It is one of those places that you can’t really write about, you have to feel it.
It was hard to take a picture without people. Or at least find some who really fit into the scenery.
We are not fair to complain about the number of people. We are, after all, one of them. We were smaller than the cars though. And we wouldn’t have been there if the cars were not allowed. Is there another option? We will tell you later about Utah’s approach. Meanwhile we go to Sequoia National Park. We notice along the way that there isn’t much time until the elections.
We don’t get involved in politics so we go meet Sherman, the largest tree, by volume, in the world.
We learn of different ways to take pictures of the General. Some try really hard.
We liked Sequoia National park but, maybe because of too much human touch (stairs, posters, fences, etc) or too many people, we enjoyed more the ride through the less crowded Sequoia forests in Northern California.
It’s amazing how fast the scenery can change in US. In Canada and Alaska we had to go for hundreds of miles to get from one place to the other or for the landscape to change. Here is different, we are now in a sequoia forest and 100 miles later we are here:
Tomorrow we will be in Nevada but today we find a camping spot. We spent the first night in California by the ocean, under clear sky. Our last night in California we sleep also under clear sky but among high and silent mountain tops in the Rocky Mountains.
Next time we travel from 2800 m to 72 m below sea level, we cross Death Valley and arrive in the city of lost souls. Stay tuned!
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:18 AM   #112
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The New World II.11 – Death Valley and the City of Lost Hopes

Death Valley and the City of Lost Hopes: September 14 – 15

It is the first time on this trip that we wake up early. Very early. It is 8 AM and we are ready to go. Ready to cross the Sierras and head to Nevada. Again the road we take is our kind of road:
If it is not recommended for trucks and buses then for sure it is recommended for motorcycles. It’s early in the morning and we are stuck in traffic. A different kind of traffic.
We gain altitude pretty fast and we are soon at 9200 feet.
The American passions are here also. The picture is straight (check the trees, they are vertical), still the sign is not straight and it’s full of holes. Hmmmm, I wonder why….
If we look closely, we find other interesting marks.
But we will not this ruin our morning. We stop pretty often and without a certain purpose. We are just enjoying this wonderful day.
We get to the other side of Sherman pass. We are still up and we get the big picture. We can see the desert in the distance.
The landscape changes fast, on the East side we were in the middle of the forest, here everything is dry….
We promised ourselves when we left home that if we stop enjoying a great road at a certain point or the people we meet we would stop and rest for the day. And if we will still feel the same way then it is time to go back home. Hm, how are we today….
Yap, it’s ok, big smiles on our faces and Gunnar is joyfully leaning on the mountain road’s curves. We are not coming back home just yet.
While waiting in line the other day because of the road works we chatted a little bit with a flagger boy. When he heard we are going to Death Valley he only said: “No man, don’t go there… it is so hot”.
We were about to find out today hot it can be. We get enough water, fuel up and get some food. We are going to pass Death Valley. Oh well, it is very hot! We cannot tell in pictures how hot it is but you are simply melting in your boots. Oh yes, you are wearing motorcycle boots. And motorcycle gear. You don’t know if it is better to keep your vents closed and feel like you are in the oven or open them and feel like you are in the oven with a hot air fan.
We stop for 2 reasons: to take a picture. Here is the picture taken by a French guy in flip-flops, t-short and shorts.
And to pick up a stone for Andrei from the lowest point in North (86 m BELOW sea level). Eh, we took the stone from 72m below sea level.

The road is a nightmare, one of those dreams that you cannot wake up from: straight, endless, deserted. At least it is not dark.
I see all this emptiness around me and it is so hot and I cannot help thinking that it is not a big deal what we are doing. We are tarvelling with 100 km/ hour. Driving a car with AC would have been just another trip.
I cannot help thinking that for others before me, for those who named this valley it wasn’t so easy. You can drive through in 2-3 hours if you are in a hurry but with horse and carriage, without a road it is not that easy. Nothing grows here. Not even a cactus.
For those before us “Death Valley” was not a name given by the marketing department. For those before us this name was reality.
We arrive in Furnace Creek (appropriate name) and we make bets on gas prices. We both loose. It’s more than what we come up with….
Hmmm, I guess when you have gas in the middle of the desert you can afford to ask 25%-40% more for it.
We have enough gas to take us out of here so we ride on.
An hour later we stop to check out our map next to a famous hotel whose glory days are long gone.
It seemed to have free rooms…
…but we decide to ride on. The day is young and we were supposed to book a room at another hotel, still in the desert but a little bit further: Las Vegas. And we needed internet for that. No matter how hard we tried we couldn’t find any signal near the cactuses….
But we do find an engineering masterpiece:
I am waiting for my telecommunication friends to figure out what kind of antennas were hanging from the poor tree. Meanwhile we manage to book a room at a hotel in Las Vegas.
After almost 2 years of working as an expat and staying at hotels in Turkey, Italy and England my time has come to use my loyalty points in a Hilton hotel. Las Vegas, here we come!
We spent there an evening and a day. And it’s hard for me to decide what kind of image to portray, of a plastic and cardboard world or a city of lost hopes. So I will let you decide.
The place where golden is not made of gold, and the Statue of Liberty does not stand for freedom.
Alter your reality, come to us!
It’s dark and we are wondering the crowded streets. Tourists, party people, gamblers and hundreds of people working for them.
The small wheels of the industry are moving non stop. You can find everything on these streets. Paris two steps away from Hollywood.
Only one credit card away from a gondola ride.
Everything is bright, everything is colorful. This is the home of extravagance….

…although it’s only a mirage.
We get lost in the crown, we ride the roller coaster and watch the show.
We like it. It’s fascinating.
But sometimes I feel at the zoo. You walk the alleys, admire the animals but you also feel bad for them being trapped there.
Of course, these people are free. There is no cage around them. And they all can leave without looking back from these casinos where they waste their money and their time.
Of course, the lonely ladies siting in front of the gabling machines, waiting for a jackpot that never comes are doing this for pleasure. And the lonely wine glass next to them is always half empty
Time passes anyway and everybody is using it as they know best. We are leaving this lace in the morning, our jackpot is somewhere else…
Next time we visit Zion and the Grand Canyon and then get closer to the Mexican border.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:11 AM   #113
Merlin III
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Good observations about LV! I have been there (passed through) once. I guess I missed the post on your background such as careers etc.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:14 PM   #114
AnjinSan OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin III View Post
Good observations about LV! I have been there (passed through) once. I guess I missed the post on your background such as careers etc.
Regarding our backgournds... I am not sure we even wrote this part here. Some information can be found on our webpage. I am an IT consultant working for Accenture. I took a sabbatical year off to undertake this journey. Andreea has a major in foreign languages (well, foreign for us: English and French). She had to quit her job as there was no way to take time off.

We do not know what we will do when we will return home but we hope that at this trip would help us know better at least what we do NOT want to do.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:00 PM   #115
FotoTEX
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As an American I find it refreshing to view this awesome place we call home, through a foreigner's eyes. You are doing a great job. Enjoy every moment while here. Sounds like you are. If you are in the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas area, give me a PM and you can stay with us along our home on the Brazos River.

Ride Safe. Ride Far....

Thanks for sharing your EPIC Ride.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:47 PM   #116
ben2go
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Very exciting update.We hear horror stories about death valley over here in the southeast.We also hear horror stories about fortunes lost in Las Vegas.

The photos that you two take are worthy of a book.Maybe you should consider writing about your journeys here in the Americas,or possibly take up photography.To me,anything is better than working all day inside a building for average wages.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:18 AM   #117
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Loved your description of Las Vegas.
Great report

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Old 10-04-2012, 08:47 PM   #118
AnjinSan OP
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Help needed

Hi guys,

we need some help. We had today a very ugly flat tire on the road to Creel, Mexico from a metal blade. We managed to patch it after several unsuccessful tries (due to the big cut in the tire, I had to use 2 sticky strings side by side). For today we crawled slowly to San Juanito, Chihuahua but I am a little uneasy about the patching and we are assessing our options:

1. try to go tomorrow morning at a local tire repair shop. But I am not sure what else can they try to do except patching it again with a sticky strings (if they have them). One guy today was mentioning an applying an inside patch (vulcanized) but is this doable for a tubeless tire? My Spanish is not so good and I am not sure he understood that we have tubeless...

2. If in the morning we find that the air holds, try to reach Chihuahua. If you have any contact, friend, or suggestion that might help us in the big city would be of great help. We do not know anybody there.

Any good advice is welcomed!

Thank you,
Alex
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:03 PM   #119
Turkeycreek
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Sorry to hear of your difficulties but the answer is yes, the tire guy can patch the tire from the inside and it will hold for you until you can get it replaced. Front or rear and what size?
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:23 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by Turkeycreek View Post
Sorry to hear of your difficulties but the answer is yes, the tire guy can patch the tire from the inside and it will hold for you until you can get it replaced. Front or rear and what size?
I agree.A tube can also be installed in an emergency AFTER the tire has been patched.Adding baby powder or powdered talc will help keep the tube from chafing on the patch.
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