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Old 03-22-2014, 10:00 AM   #3991
olymax
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JDowns is the Dick Proenneke of Adventure Motorcyclists

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Old 03-22-2014, 01:18 PM   #3992
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olymax View Post
JDowns is the Dick Proenneke of Adventure Motorcyclists
Had to look that one up on Wikipedia. 30 years in backcountry Alaska living a simple self sufficient life and hand building a log cabin sounds good in theory. I remember seeing a documentary about Mr. Proenneke on PBS years ago.

I tried living a simple self sufficient lifestyle in the woods out in the national forest in my younger years. I got bored after a year and wanted to do something more creative in my life so moved back to civilization.

Similar to my experiences travelling on a moto. After wandering the earth exploring the backcountry I need to get back and do something productive with my time or I start feeling like a hobo. I find six months of travel and six months of work is a perfect balance.

Saludos,
Tio Juanito
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Old 03-22-2014, 01:43 PM   #3993
olymax
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self reliant, a builder. Good observer. Mr Proenneke kept a journal and made films, you keep a journal and take photos. An open and inquisitive nature. Of course he was a loner and you clearly are not.

It's high time you started revealing your bad habits or you'll start to grow a halo
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Old 03-22-2014, 02:18 PM   #3994
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Joined: Mar 2005
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Saddling up the three Sherpas this morning getting ready to leave Mendoza and head for the Andes:



Heading down the long lonely highway on a rolling South American Sherpa rally:



Full tank of gas, a couple liters of water, some snacks and camping gear heading up into the Andes on switchbacks on a beautiful clear warm day. It doesn’t get any better!



Up and up the switchbacks went straight up into the Andes. This is looking straight down into the valley:



Met some local riders at a switchback taking a break under the trees. I like the guy on the red VFR who threw caution to the wind and joined his dual sport buddies for the day ride:



They told us there was no way we would get past the rock slide up the way. Well okay it did look pretty hairy:



Hektoglider was all for lifting my bike up on the rock wall and rolling my Sherpa along the top and leaning it out to get around the large boulder laying on the top of the wall to squeak around. I took a look at the 1000 foot vertical drop on the other side of the rock wall into the canyon below:



Hmmmmm. I don’t think so. Not after we got my Sherpa running like a top. It would be a shame to see it cartwheel down into that canyon. So we whipped a u-turn and headed back down the switchbacks. Can you see the two motorcycles rounding the bend down below?



more later……
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Old 03-22-2014, 02:35 PM   #3995
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Saw a fox down in the bottom of the canyon:



and stopped at the tourist info center oasis. They didn’t have much information other than to tell us that the hot springs and the large stone hotel had been closed since 1978 since it was so remote and hard to get workers to come up here:



my office for the evening is at Camping Suizo:



tent camping with wifi and hot showers is 85 pesos for the night ($8.50). It’s a pleasant campground right outside Mendoza Argentina. GPS waypoint is:

S 32 51.311’
W 68 53.818’

Saludos,
Tio Juanito
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Old 03-22-2014, 06:55 PM   #3996
George 99
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Good on youse guys for the maintenance. I'm a big fan of shim under bucket as they need little maintenance. Can be a PITA when maintenance is necessary tho. Glad ya found what ya needed.

Beautiful photos again, John. Thanks for taking us with.
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Old 03-22-2014, 08:08 PM   #3997
jimtoe
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Have been following your ride report for some time now. Wishing I had the time to travel like you do. Well retirement is not that far off and I have the Sherpa already.

Have to admit I was a little shocked when Kari called and you were the first face I see. Hoping one day our paths cross. Maybe a bit of the travel bug will rub off on me.

Thanks for the great ride report.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:51 AM   #3998
Animal Instinct
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Thanks for turning back at the rock slide. It took me a while to recover from the last JDowns-death-defying rock slide wrestle. This one just might have put me over the edge.....

Man, that road was a beauty -- you lucky dog.
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Old 03-23-2014, 03:32 PM   #3999
Hawk62cj5
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The rock slid looks like fun untill you look off the edge . When I saw that first pic I was thinking if I was there on the jeep I would put a wheel on the mountain and up on that first bolder and go on over .... then I saw pic number 2 and said never mind .

Glad the sherpa is running great for you and yall are having fun .
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:02 PM   #4000
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Joined: Mar 2005
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Left Mendoza Argentina with Thorne and Hektoglider this morning. A lot of straight line riding east through the wine country. We headed down side roads paralleling the freeway for a while through olive trees, vineyards and fruit orchards. But after a while there is nothing but the freeway to the edge of the province. Here is the gateway to the next province of San Luis:



Stopped just past the gateway and met a couple Harley riders that were heading back to Buenos Aires after the big Mendoza Harley rally this weekend. They passed us on the highway earlier. A really flash candy apple red chopper and a custom cruiser. One of the bikes lost it’s coil and they were waiting for a trailer to come give them a ride home. Here is a nice pic of a Harley/Thorne/Harley sandwich:



Really nice guys. They gave us all stickers from the rally. I put mine on my tank so the Hell’s Angels in Buenos Aires will give me some respect. I have nothing in stickers compared to Hektoglider. His Sherpa is decked out and he has a killer sticker collection to put on his door at home. Some really beautiful stuff he's collected throughout
Latin America.

I lost Hektoglider and Thorne later today when i had to take a farm exit and use the bushes. I don’t mind taking a leak on the side of the road. But when it comes to pulling my pants down, I like a little privacy. Never did see them again. They are probably camping within 50 kilometers of me I imagine, so probably catch up to them in Cordoba if not before.

My valve cover gasket is 12 years old and when I buttoned up the engine after adjusting the valves it started leaking like the Exxon Valdez. I have wind blown oil spray on my pants and the motor. It only lost 1mm on the sight glass, so probably 1/2 a teaspoon per hundred miles. I’ll have to put some washers under the valve cover bolts to allow it to cinch down tighter and maybe use some hi-temp gasket sealer I have in the panniers to slow down the flow. Maybe tomorrow. I’ll have to bring down a new gasket next year.

You can tell it is getting to be autumn down here with the leaves turning:




I cut north from San Luis into the mountains. Really pretty country as the road wound up into the foothills of some mountain range. I don’t have a map and my GPS basemap doesn’t have anything for Argentina so I’m kind of flying blind out here. Which is actually the way I like it. Nice roads heading north:



Past beautiful lakes:



With the late afternoon sunshine glistening on the pampas grass below:



I came into the small pueblo of Volcan in the foothills of the mountains. It is one of those charming places that just says pull in here. Stopped to talk to some stone masons that were building a stone wall and they pointed down the road to a nice camp spot:



It’s called Camping 15 de Diciembre. Swimming pool, wifi, really nicely landscaped, stream babbling down along the side. The nicest campground I’ve stayed in here in Argentina. Cost is 100 pesos ($10.00) for me the moto and my tent. But well worth it if you are in the area I think. The GPS waypoint is:

S 33 14.974’ W 66 11.287’

If you copy and paste that into maps.google.com and switch to satellite view you can see exactly where I am under the trees next to the swimming pools.

I love the fact that Argentinos are so into camping. There are great campgrounds everywhere. And the Argentinos are so warm and friendly. I really like this country. I look forward to coming back next year. This place is HUGE. It will take a while to explore it from south to north and everywhere in between.

This area has some kickass roads. One and a half lane narrow winding paved roads. I headed down the way to get some groceries at sunset. Wish I had taken my camera. Really beautiful area.

Saludos,
Juan Argentino
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:32 PM   #4001
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimtoe View Post
Have been following your ride report for some time now. Wishing I had the time to travel like you do. Well retirement is not that far off and I have the Sherpa already.

Have to admit I was a little shocked when Kari called and you were the first face I see. Hoping one day our paths cross. Maybe a bit of the travel bug will rub off on me.

Thanks for the great ride report.
Hey Jimtoe,

Nice talking to you last night. It is amazing to me what Kari and Rosie can do with those little iPod Touches that they carry. They are like little computers. Calling Winnipeg Canada from a campground in Argentina on a little iPod is pretty amazing.

If I'm ever up in Manitoba I'll be sure to look you and your Sherpa up. I see you've got a 305 Honda Dream as well. Boy, that takes me back.

Your ADVpal,
Juan Peg
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:37 PM   #4002
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawk62cj5 View Post
The rock slid looks like fun untill you look off the edge . When I saw that first pic I was thinking if I was there on the jeep I would put a wheel on the mountain and up on that first bolder and go on over .... then I saw pic number 2 and said never mind .

Glad the sherpa is running great for you and yall are having fun .
Hi Hawk62cj5,

Nice to hear from you. It would have been possible to make it past that rockslide I think. But sometimes you have to weigh the consequences and know when to say when. There is a fine line between fearless and foolish.

Your ADVpal,
Juan Tonto
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:42 PM   #4003
JDowns OP
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Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,652
Quote:
Originally Posted by Animal Instinct View Post
Thanks for turning back at the rock slide. It took me a while to recover from the last JDowns-death-defying rock slide wrestle. This one just might have put me over the edge.....

Man, that road was a beauty -- you lucky dog.
Made me laugh. And yes, it was a fantastic road that Hektoglider and Thorne found. It was a great ride. Their Sherpas have a nose for good roads. I can't wait to read their ride report when he finally gets home. They have taken some great pics. I got a slideshow of some of the backroads they have ridden. Pretty awesome stuff.

Tip of the helmet to Hekto for emailing me so many useful tips on roads and campgrounds as I followed in their tire tracks.
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:48 PM   #4004
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,652
Quote:
Originally Posted by George 99 View Post
Good on youse guys for the maintenance. I'm a big fan of shim under bucket as they need little maintenance. Can be a PITA when maintenance is necessary tho. Glad ya found what ya needed.

Beautiful photos again, John. Thanks for taking us with.
Hi George 99,

It is my pleasure and duty to keep you entertained as spring arrives.

I'm with you on shim under bucket valve adjust. I went 30,000 miles without checking them. Bad on me. I know Hektoglider was rolling his eyes going what an idiot. I'll bring some shims down next year since they are rare as hen's teeth down here.

But with his help and shims, the Sherpa is purring now. Probably good for another 50,000 miles.

Saludos,
Juan Sherpa
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:48 PM   #4005
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olymax View Post
self reliant, a builder. Good observer. Mr Proenneke kept a journal and made films, you keep a journal and take photos. An open and inquisitive nature. Of course he was a loner and you clearly are not.

It's high time you started revealing your bad habits or you'll start to grow a halo
Hey olymax,

i assure you I am no saint. Just ask Hektoglider. I'm just an old man riding a little bike exploring the world less travelled.

Nothing special really. You could do it. The hardest part is getting off the couch and out of the driveway. Which is why I keep posting these ride reports, to egg you guys on and show you the warm beaches and awesome winter South American weather that you could be enjoying in December if you bail from your cubicle.

You will get no support and encouragement from friends, relatives or normal people. They will point to the newspaper reports of chaos and mayhem that is reported daily.

I am just here as a small voice to say the newspapers are wrong. The people in Latin America are the best. Warm, inviting, helpful, and all around good people.

I have noticed in my travels that the people who travel down here don't listen to the naysayers and pay little attention to the dire newspaper scaremonger headlines.

They know better from first hand experience. I am no different. I don't listen to anybody, plus I'm stubborn, persistent and don't take anybody's opinion or advice for much. I make my own impressions based on the reality that I see. And I'm here to tell all who read this that the people and places I have travelled through are nothing to be scared of. The folks here in Argentina are the best. Smiling, laughing, joking, hugging, warm and friendly kind of folk. If that sounds threatening to you, then stay home. Otherwise I say get on your bike and head down here. It is AWESOME!

Saludos,
Juan Argentino
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