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Old 10-23-2012, 10:49 AM   #211
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomski74 View Post
It was great meeting you Nebraska John
I will be following your amazing thread, anxiously waiting for pictures.

When you come back I will officially submit your candidature to Dos Equis as the next Most Interesting Man in the World.
Pozdrowienia Tomski!

Good to have you along for the ride. I wish I had your CBR this morning on the Talimena at sunrise with no traffic and no cops.

Say hi to Yanush. You feel like an old friend and I only met you last week.

Best,
Nebraska John
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:52 AM   #212
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Sitting at a picnic table waiting for the sunrise not far from where I camped last night in the Ouachita National Forest at:

N 34º 40.472'
W 94º 19.784'

It was getting dark last night and it seemed a shame not to ride the Talimena Scenic Byway in the daylight. The stars are out and the air is warm. Maybe 60's. Should be another great day of riding heading down across el Republico de Tejas. The closer I get to the Mexican border, the more Spanish is coming back to me. I see signs like this and I think Muchas Curvas Peligrosas:



Throttlemeister had some great ideas. Always nice to talk with someone who has recently returned from South America. Instead of crossing the Darien twice, why not leave the bike down in South America somewhere and fly down to ride some more the next time you scrape together a few thousand bucks. There are cheap tickets from Bogota to Miami or Houston on Spirit Airlines. Hoof it home from there and fly back down to ride some more. Makes sense to me. Saves spending money on the Darien crossing north and the border fees heading through Centro America. And South America is a big continent. I could see spending time riding down there in the future.

Anyway just a thought. He also suggested shooting down to the Panama Canal and hitting South America sooner rather than later if you're on a tight budget. Makes sense. Lot of nice riding in the Sierra Madre Orientale this time of year though. Might be tough. We'll see.

I've only been out a week and just getting my long distance travel mojo working. So far life is good. I've either camped or stayed at TM's and haven't spent anything on lodging so far. Lugging along a tent, sleeping bag and thermarest has saved me a pile so far.

I brought a backup camera that my sister had in a drawer and wasn't using. Good call since my cheapo camera bit it in the mud at Zombie fest. I stopped at a pawn shop yesterday and they had a nice Canon for 15 bucks but it used stubby batteries instead of AA. Having the GPS, camera and Steripen all using the same rechargeable batteries seems like a good idea so I passed. Probably find something in Texas. Electronic consumer goods are quite expensive south of the border due to high import tariffs.

My thoughts for the morning.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:57 AM   #213
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Rode the Talimena Scenic byway from Mena Arkansas to Talihina Oklahoma this morning. Great motorcycle road. 50 miles of hairpins and tight curves as the road rides the ridgeline of a spine of mountains through the Ouachita National Forest. There were clouds swirling and misting, autumn leaves blowing across the road, beautiful glimpses of the colorful trees in the valleys far below. I didn't stop to take any pics. Having too much fun. You just have to ride it the next time you're in the area and see for yourself.

Trainspotting in southern Oklahoma:



Crossed the Red River into Texas and saw my first armadillo roadkill. Didn't stop for a picture. Pretty gruesome though. Was kind of missing Oklahoma until I stopped in a gas station and they were playing a country and western song titled, "Tequilla Makes Her Clothes Fall Off." Sounds like Texas might be a friendly state after all.

Most commonly asked question in Texas so far is, "Don't yore ass hurt ridin' that thang?"

Why yes. Yes it does.

Ooh la la. Finally made it to Gay Paree:



Even saw a sign pointing to the eifel tower in Paris Texas but didn't see anything sticking up out of the trees so kept riding. Heading down the road to central Texas. Was going to visit KrazyKooter in DFW but he doesn't respond. Must be out riding. So I'll camp somewhere tonight and go visit SchizzMan in Austin tomorrow.

gotta go…..

Best,
John Downs
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:19 AM   #214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stitchergary View Post
I just loved, loved, loved your last ride report and I'm expecting this one to be even better. Really like
the minimalist traveling style. Glad I caught this at the early stages of the adventure.
I know how much time it takes to do a ride report and appreciate your efforts. Wish I could give
you 10 stars. Hope you get the paypal going soon so I can put a few gallons of gas in your tank.
Gary
Hi Gary,

Glad you are enjoying the ride. I put a paypal button for gas money on the blog at the bottom of my sig line. I will ride this pony to Tierra del Fuego if I don't run out of money before then.

I have been writing down the names of folks on my gas tank that donate a place to sleep or paypal gas money :



So they can come along for the ride in spirit. I will report back how much money is donated since I am curious myself. Most people don't like to talk about their finances. Not me. I know I like it when people report back how much stuff costs.

Best,
John Downs
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:23 AM   #215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswwright View Post
This thread was the inspiration for me to finally sign up after lurking for a few months. I just did my MSF course last week and bought a Super Sherpa over the weekend and hope to do a trip like this within the next year. I'll definitely be following along with your report. Good Luck!
Hi James,

Congratulations! This ride report should be a good preview for you of what to expect riding a Sherpa to South America. It's a good little bike.

Welcome aboard.

Best,
John Downs
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:04 PM   #216
RayAlazzurra
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Finances

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post

Most people don't like to talk about their finances. Not me. I know I like it when people report back how much stuff costs.
I am now officially along for the ride in spirit according to paypal. I agree that the financial information can be interesting and useful. The info about the affordable hotels and dentist in your last report was much appreciated. I like the way some riders will give a total of each day's expenses. Perhaps that is a bit too much info, but it is nice to know what you are getting into. There are always unplanned expenses.

I think the frugal aspect of motorcycling was part of what interested me in bikes to begin with over thirty years ago. Since then there have been several bikes, tons of tires, a few track days, and a lot of fun so I can't say that being interested in motorcycles has ever saved me money. We own a Sherpa similar to yours and it is a great all 'round bike. The trip you are taking brings back to me all the reasons I liked bikes in the first place.
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:42 PM   #217
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Next stop: ¡Viva Mexico!

Hey John, on another note, remember Frederike in Guatemala? I'm headed to Berlin in a couple of weeks.
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:43 PM   #218
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayAlazzurra View Post
I can't say that being interested in motorcycles has ever saved me money.
Aint that the truth!
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:28 AM   #219
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crashmaster View Post
Next stop: ¡Viva Mexico!

Hey John, on another note, remember Frederike in Guatemala? I'm headed to Berlin in a couple of weeks.

Ahhhhh! Frederike in Xela!! How can I forget her. She was missing you. I think she needs more Crash courses.

Say hi to her if you see her. She is aces in my book.

Suerte,
Juan
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:49 AM   #220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayAlazzurra View Post
I am now officially along for the ride in spirit according to paypal. I agree that the financial information can be interesting and useful. The info about the affordable hotels and dentist in your last report was much appreciated. I like the way some riders will give a total of each day's expenses. Perhaps that is a bit too much info, but it is nice to know what you are getting into. There are always unplanned expenses.

I think the frugal aspect of motorcycling was part of what interested me in bikes to begin with over thirty years ago. Since then there have been several bikes, tons of tires, a few track days, and a lot of fun so I can't say that being interested in motorcycles has ever saved me money. We own a Sherpa similar to yours and it is a great all 'round bike. The trip you are taking brings back to me all the reasons I liked bikes in the first place.
Hi Ray,

Thanks so much for the gas bux! I'll go out and write RayAlazzurra on the side of my gas tank now that you are an official corporate sponsor of the South America or bust Sherpa Foundation.

I will try to give a better accounting of daily expenses so people can know what to expect if you travel as frugally as possible. The key is to not spend money on anything unnecessary without being a pennypinching dick about it.

Yesterday I stopped twice for gas for a total of 15.83 and bought 7.63 worth of food at an Alco store. Stayed in a free camping spot on a lake in east central Texas. So a total yesterday of 23.46.

But I am traveling on a shoestring and ride a fuel efficient bike that gets 60-70 mpg. And gas is cheap in Oklahoma and Texas. 3.09 in Tulsa and 3.25 or so in North Texas. I was spending 20 dollars a day on gas in rural Kansas and Nebraska back where regular goes for 3.60-3.80.

And not everybody can eat out of grocery stores. I eat to ride and don't mind eating mixed nuts, yogurt, bananas, sardines and crackers, that sort of thing. I will eat in roadside stalls once I get to Mexico, but some folks like cooked meals and better cuisine than I can tolerate.

Anyway, thanks again, and nice to have you along for the ride!

Best,
John Downs
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:07 AM   #221
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First Paris, then Bogota. I'm a world traveler and I haven't gotten out of north Texas. Well okay, the a should be an o.


My house for the night. (Mi cassa por la noche):



Fish Hawke point on Lake Hawkins east of Mineola Texas. GPS waypoint:

N 32º 37.151'
W 95º 15.021'

Camped at the end of the penninsula. Nobody else around. Nice free park. Not marked. No signs, so without freecampsites.net I wouldn't have found it. Very peaceful tonight. The lake is smooth as glass except for fish jumping and turtles poking their head out of the water. The water is clear and I saw a two foot long fish on the bottom maybe ten feet off shore. Tried to get a pic but reflections nixed that attempt. Now just stars and half moon reflections on a glass lake.

This morning an older fellow pulled up in his boat just offshore and I asked him what he was fishing for. Crappy (pronounced croppy). Very peaceful way to spend a morning.

Anyway, if you're in the east central part of Texas and need a nice place to stay this place will do. Nice clean bathrooms, garbage cans, mowed lawn. Somebody takes good care of this place.

Heading out to wander around rural Texas and eventually end up at SchizzMan's place in Austin. More later….

Best regards,
John Downs
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:04 AM   #222
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John, did you check for gators before you pitched your tent?

I am enjoying your report. Take care.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:14 PM   #223
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Just finished the Guatemala trip RR a little while ago, now caught up on this one. Can't wait to see this one get hot!
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:32 PM   #224
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I like your style John and am subscribed

I have similair ideas for travelling. What do you do about drinking ? It seems on our trips eats up a lot of money! Especially if you get in with others, every stop turns in to a party.

We too don't want to look like cheapstake Dicks but all the party time proves to be costly. Also when folks want to 'eat out'. We try to do our own meals, but if you stop at someones house they often want to go out.
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:29 AM   #225
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Texas is like a whole other world. A welcome change from Nebraska fall weather. 80 degrees, puffy white clouds, green grass and trees, gently undulating roads. No wonder so many people live in Texas:



Not much traffic on the four number county and farm roads:



There's even flowers blooming along the side of the road:



I spotted this taco shack under the trees. I must be getting close to Mexico:



$1 breakfast tacos the sign said. I ordered two:



Dos tacos de desayuno con chorizo, huevo, cebolla y queso por favor (two breakfast tacos with sausage, egg, onions and cheese please}

I passed through Athens and Palestine (pal-uh-steen) appropriately located in the middle eastern part of the state. Stopped at the library in Palestine to PM tricepiilot about Tejas brisket tomorrow for lunch. I was wondering what the dude looks like who parked this '73 slash 5 toaster ratbike outside the library:



Soon enough I found out. Turns out the 92.000 on the odometer is the third go around and C.D. rode this bike all over Texas back before he retired from working in the oil fields. You can't judge a book by its cover. CD was a very interesting fellow:



I was chatting with CD about life and riding and all the things he had done to the /5 to keep her running. Changing timing chains, rebuilding transmissions, that sort of thing when a hooligan rode up on a ZX12R and parked next to the library entrance to return some books. He unstrapped his cane and came over to talk bikes:



Meet Babb. That's him on the right. He just turned 81 and this is his current ride:



He got 9 speeding tickets on a red ZX and turned it in for this one and hasn't gotten any tickets since even though he rides like a hooligan. He says he's an adrenaline junkie. Nothing wrong with that. His friend clocked him with a radar gun doing 160 on his new bike. Quite a character.

If I had a fast bike in Texas I think I'd lose my license or get a radar detector.

I headed off down the road to the Austin area where I am currently at Casa Schizzman. He tells me there is a campout that starts tomorrow called "Road of Bones" with possible dual sport riding on goat trails. Don't think I could pass that up. Especially after all the fun I had in Oklahoma with the Zombie Apocalypse riders.

But first, have to head to San Antonio to meet tricepilot and experience Texas cuisine at its finest.

I rode around 300 miles and stopped for gas twice for a total of 16.83. Plus 2 bux for tacos. Total of 18.83. But these numbers are skewed low since when I got to town last night JD fixed me dinner. I still think 30 dollars a day is about as low as you can go long term. I will keep reporting back though and see how this develops. I am just as curious to see what happens south of the border where free camping will be more challenging.

Best,
John Downs
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