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Old 09-28-2013, 07:26 AM   #766
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis
Oddometer: 2,322
Thank you!

Thank you for taking good pics and expressing yourself so well in words.

I like to travel North. It is different from traveling south. I think you would enjoy Alaska and the Yukon.

Personally, I plan my adventures for many months in advance. It is all part of the overall "trip" and it is a great way to keep this world in perspective.

Long day at work? While you are bone tired and emotionally drained, think about where you would rather be. That helps clarify a destination for me.

In my experience, work will always be there for you when you get back.
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:53 PM   #767
Joined: May 2013
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Laugh love it!

Originally Posted by JcbKarl View Post
I really appreciate the effort you guys went to posting this report while on the road. Reading this report got me so psyched for my Colorado trip this summer. I was reading your posts about California Pass the night before I headed out and was reliving those videos in my head the whole way across Kansas. I hit the San Juan's three days after you guys were there and the timing was great with the snow and all.

I guess I'll have to follow Tesla now and in 10 years, when you are a VP and doing a public unveil of the Tesla 650 kwh XRR Stuntheavy TAT Special Edition motorcycle, I will cheer for you.

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Old 09-30-2013, 08:18 AM   #768
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Atlanta, GA
Oddometer: 37

Hey guys, Austin here! Thought I'd give you a little update on what happened since I left the road as well.

Getting into Houston, I could see Chris's ears perk up that first night at the bar when Tesla was mentioned by someone already 10 or 15 drinks into their night. I was more than a little jealous when he started pulling on that string and landed himself a job. I'm an Elon Musk fanboy of the highest order, I guess a bit of it rubbed off along the way. The search for satisfaction was the reason we both took this trip. I hope this job it goes great for him and gives him that satisfaction he was looking for.

I left Houston after two nights for the 2 day ride home to Atlanta. It was a melancholic feeling of freedom to be on the last stretch of the road home. I felt like a compass spun like a top, slowing to the magnetic pull of home. I'm a southern man too, and it was nice to be welcomed back by the deciduous and rainwashed green arms of a the South. I posted up for a night in Alexandria, LA. I woke up early the next morning for what I thought would be one last slow cruise into home. I had no idea the last curveball the trip would throw me.

Leaving Alexandria, I rode into Mississippi and got on the Natchez Trace. This road is FANTASTIC. It was one of the best pure driving roads I've ever been on. There are no lights, no intersections, no neighborhoods or local traffic, absolutely nothing to stop your flow. What resulted were 200 completely uninterrupted miles of 2 lane riding with zero traffic and zero cops. I had the throttle pegged at 80mph with my feet resting on the crash bars in "cruise position" the entire way. 200 miles of tree tunnels, hay fields, lazy turns, and no one but me. I probably passed three cars the entire time. I'm sure I had my tongue happily wagging out my mouth the entire time. Consequently, I made great time and got off when I neared Tuscaloosa, AL and took the interstate into Birmingham. It was also great fun, when someone at a gas station or lunch place asked where I was riding from, to be able to say, "Mexico City, by was of Oregon, by way of Atlanta."

Along the way, I was happily keeping tabs on my bike maintenancewise with everything I had learned over the course of the previous three months. Before the trip, I knew precious little about motorcycles. I could change the oil and a tire, but mostly I felt like a monkey with a computer trying to type Hamlet. I felt a little like Chris looked in Mexico whenever someone asked him something in Spanish But I'd learned a lot from the master mechanic I rode with, and I was very in tune with the bike I had spent the last 12,000 miles with. Noticing a little chain slap, I tightened the chain up (the one I'd bought in Mexico City... quality, um, dubious) in Tuscaloosa. Then, two miles past Birmingham, the chain flew off the rear sprocket. Dodging 18 wheelers, I pulled off to the side of the road and confidently put the chain back on - like I feel like I've done two dozen times now. It was getting late in the evening, and I'd been in the saddle 10 hours already, and I was only 2 hours from home. So. Close. I was hoping this would be the last headache of the trip.

Not 4 miles later, my chain was thrown again. This time, catastrophically. It came completely off the bike and was thrown in the far left lane of the interstate. I coasted to a stop once again just as the sun was going down. Playing frogger with traffic, I hopped over to my chain and pulled it to the shoulder of the road for an inspection. It was dunzo. Broken and mangled. I quickly took stock of my situation. It was dark, I had 5% battery left on my phone, a bungled chain. My options were to call in my free AMA tow and hotel it up and get a new chain in the AM, or call my parents to bring my truck to me. I decided that after three months and 12,000 miles, I was going to sleep in my own damned bed that night. I made the call, letting my parents know exactly where I was just as my phone was dying and sat down to watch traffic for the next two hours. Sometime near 11pm, I see my truck pull up to a stop. I had a reunion with my mom on the side of the interstate and quickly loaded up my bike in the back and insisted that I take the wheel. I was going to finish the journey myself. We pulled into the house sometime just before 2am tired, exhausted, elated, and satisfied.

I spent the next four days doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. I slept in my own bed, I watched movies. Then I got bored. I can't do nothing for very long without feeling like a worthless bum. So late Thursday night I started the job search. I had a list of companies I really admired and wanted to work for. Most were in California. Tesla was one of them. Unfortunately, none of them had positions I was interested in available at the time. I'm not a wrench monkey, I'm a talker. I had posted on Facebook that my job search was back on, though, and the next morning a good acquaintance of mine commented that I should call him. He owns a successful marketing company and suggested we get a beer that afternoon. He said he had a new venture he was working on and wanted me to come on board. I could work from home - or wherever I wanted to, make great money, and never have to crunch numbers again (so long, insurance!!). I accepted right that moment and haven't looked back. Its been fantastic. Low stress and fun. And since I can work from anywhere with a decent wifi connection, I've got a lot of travels planned for later this year to visit friends in cities near and far.

My funds depleted after three months of travel, I also sold my KLR. It was gone a week after I got home. But two days later, wouldn't you know I got the itch to ride again and began cruising Craigslist with longing. I knew I wouldn't be taking another long distance trip again in the short term, so I started looking at road bikes. I've always loved cafe racers and Chris has made me a real Honda fan. I stumbled on a CB750 cafe'd out in great condition and a greater price and was picking it up two days later. After selling the KLR it was nearly an even trade. I ride it every day. I rode it to the Starbucks I'm doing my job from right now.

I don't know where life will put me tomorrow, but today life is fantastic. It so much better than it was a year ago when I was toiling at a job I didn't feel anything for. I'm constantly proud that I made a decision to make myself happy and do something I love. I learned so much about myself along the way. I learned that if you are good to the universe, the universe will be good to you in ways that will constantly surprise and inspire you.
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:29 AM   #769
Trane Francks
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Wow, Austin. That's one awesome ending to that phase of your journey and an even better beginning to the next one. I'm genuinely smiling at the thought of how well things have worked out for the two of you.

Well done!
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:21 AM   #770
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Location: Middle of the Mitten
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I'm so glad that after reading this adventure you both ended up in wonderful places.
Always looking for a place to ride !
13 F800GS
09 Concours 14 ABS (sold)
02 Nighthawk 750 (sold)
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:23 AM   #771
RIP Lilolita
Joined: Jul 2013
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Great to hear you had a happy ending too Austin! What a journey! Sounds like you are enjoying the spoils of the path less taken
Current: '13 Tiger 800 XC, '09 Subi WRX, '11 405hp Sti (wifey's) Past: '74 Honda CB 360, '81 Yamaha 650 Special II, '01 Bandit 1200S, '07 Bandit 1250S
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:31 AM   #772
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Originally Posted by rodr View Post
The Trace is about history, wildlife and solitude. There's nothing else quite like it. You won't enjoy it if you're focused on the motorcycle. I understand the part North of Tupelo and into Tennessee is the most interesting.
+1 and Elvis's childhood home is neighboring it (Tupelo)

KTM EXC - in 530 flavor
'10 Concours14 with >85,000 miles and ticking'
'99 ZX9R Ninja - rolling retro style
'99 ZX9R - because I like the other one so much
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:31 AM   #773
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Location: Indiana
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Man, that's some good motivation for me right there. My life currently looks a lot like yours did at the beginning of this thread. 4 year relationship went south, returned the ring, unsatisfying work....I'm definitely not in the place I thought I was going to be, that's for sure. Looks like I need to do some trip planning then....
2005.5 KTM 950 Adventure and 2012 KTM 200 XC-W
1991 BMW 318is turbo track car
1989 Chevrolet Caprice Classic Wagon sleeper tow car
1992 Subaru SVX daily
3 Months Exploring the US on a 950
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:38 AM   #774
RIP Lilolita
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Hidden amongst the celebrities of CT
Oddometer: 1,026
Now all you need is some Buffalo Trace to sit back and reflect

(It's my favorite Bourbon, and fitting for the locale)
Current: '13 Tiger 800 XC, '09 Subi WRX, '11 405hp Sti (wifey's) Past: '74 Honda CB 360, '81 Yamaha 650 Special II, '01 Bandit 1200S, '07 Bandit 1250S
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:50 AM   #775
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Joined: Aug 2013
Location: Left Coast
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"Travel. It will humble you. It will change you."

excellent words and so true .... love a good road trip ....
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:09 AM   #776
Jettn Jim
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Location: NE PA Some... PNW Some... On HIGH ADVENTURE Most!
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Great ending to the ride maan just great!

Thank you.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:47 AM   #777
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Glad everything is going well and thanks for the update!
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:01 PM   #778
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Simply Awe Inspiring.
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:50 PM   #779
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Location: Magalia, CA./ Butte & Siskiyou C.
Oddometer: 1,810
I finally got back to this RR...

...and finished it. What an awesome ending for both of you. You did a fatastic job documenting your ride and thank you for giving all of us the opportunity to follow along. Nice to see a couple of "younger" people have such a great attitude towards life. The impression you both leave me (I'm sure others as well) with is that you'll both be extremely successful in your lives. Ride on and don't ever lose you passion for life and living it to the fullest.
No, I don't know where that road goes, let's find out!
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:44 AM   #780
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Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Canaduh
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Absolutely fantastic ride and report.

From a selfish stand, I cannot thank you enough for writing this report and sharing it with us. As I am going through a terrible phase in my life, this report was a bright light that has also brought me to plan a similar path.

I especially love your writing, the new-found friendship and respect between you 2 as newly established ADV heros.

Will share this report and possibly reread it!

All the best with the new jobs.
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