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Old 05-08-2013, 05:36 AM   #121
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Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Spain
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Keep ridin'! Keep postin'!
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:18 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by woodzrider View Post
You are doing what most of us wish we had done. Much respect for you.
Keep looking forward- don't look back.

Yesterday I was 25.
Today i'm 55.
30 years gone in the blink of an eye!

I know that's right!
Out on the road somewhere
2013 Vstrom 650
If loud pipes save lives, just imagine what learning to ride that thing could do.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:26 AM   #123
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Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Homestead, Florida
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Originally Posted by Bicyclist View Post
Earplugs will gain you a lot of sleep when yer on the road.
and an eye mask for the mornings you want to sleep past sunrise!!!!
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:50 AM   #124
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Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Tejas
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Alright, lets see if I can get this done before my laptop dies.


Didn't sleep much the night before, as you can imagine. Just ready to get on with it. Finally, about 730am, got one last look around the house, and I was off. No direction. Just north for a while... then east... then a little more north, then a little more east. Not sure why, but I just had to get outta the state.

I tend to fill up at about 175miles, and usually have burned around 4 gallons at this point. Not too shabby, for an XRR with offroad gearing.

I rode until about 2:00 and found myself in some little town called Goldonna, LA. Stopped into a gas station, and found all pumps zip tied. Odd, but apparently ON or OFF was how it was going to be. Makes it interesting to fill a bike.

The locals running the store were amazed how I had wound up in their town. It was a good ol country feel though, and had plenty of welcome.

I spent the night in Cloud Crossing Campground. I had found it online. It was a nice little place, with a cool looking lagoon. It's a solid couple-few miles of dirt road to get back to it. The price was right, at Free. I found myself the only one there, in the whole campground. It's been a solid 10-15 years since I spent a night in a tent, so it was a bit unnerving. The mind plays funny tricks on you like that.

All was good until about 11:30 when I heard a rythmic thumping off in the distance that woke me up. Eventually, it was to the point where the percussion was shaking the sides of my tent. A few minutes later Ford Escort with candy paint, huge chrome and dark tinted windows slowly creeped on by. They left, turned around, came back, and sat, music still blaring, until about 1:45.

Needless to say, I didn't sleep too much that night.

Day 2:

It was back on the road by about 7:00. I must have drove 75 miles and only seen three vehicles moving. Two of which were logging trucks. I noticed it was particularly cool this morning. As I cruised the back roads of northern Louisiana, I noticed all these black "sticks" in the road. Must have seen 50 of them. Then, as the miles ticked on by, and things warmed up, I noticed the sticks were jumping as I went by. Snakes! Not sure what kind they were. Some local said cotton mouth. Some said otherwise. I wasn't about to stop, and hang out with one to find out.

As a few of you had mentioned the Natchez Trace, I figured why not? So I hopped on the trace and headed north. I stopped at Emerald Mound, and scaled that in Alpinestars. What a workout. Better yet, coming down it without a firm faceplant took even more effort.

Onward down the trace, it is quite plain. Trees, trees, field, more trees, more trees, sportbike passes me at triple digits and I pee myself, more trees, more trees...and more trees. It's quite a lonely road, but I can respect the history and find myself wondering what it must have been like to travel it in days gone by.

I've been quitting fairly early in the day, in an attempt to find a campground and get setup before dusk. Yesterday I wound up at a place called Askew Landing. Expensive, at 19.26$ for the night, but I desperately wanted a shower, and the scenery was beautiful. There were tons of geese, and ducks about which at first seemed very cool....until about dusk when they decided they were going to terrorize each other, and it sounded something like a basket full of kittens in a blender. Thankfully, they quieted down by dark, and sleep came much easier than the previous night.

Being the amateur camper that I am, when I went to roll my tent up this morning I noted that I had apparently parked it directly ontop of an ant mound. Luckily, the Kelty did it's job and kept all the creepy crawlies out.

Today is Day 3, and I continue to head north on the Trace. I have ran around random towns and cities most of the day, trying to aquire certain electronics I need to charge this or that. I do have a power outlet on the bike, but it is a bit of a juggling act to charge gopro, camera, cellphone, laptop, and flashlight batteries as I go down the road. I need to get the hang of that.

Not too much to report for day 3. I am unsure where camp will be, because I honestly don't know where I am right now, other than Mississippi, headed north on the trace. And frankly, thats the great part. I don't need to know, I don't care to know, and it doesn't matter if I do 2 more miles today, or another 100.

Now for pictures. Some suck, because my actual camera died, and had no way to charge it until I picked up a power inverter. Good to go now, but had to use my cellphone for the majority of the two days.

As badly as I wanted to get out of Texas, I forced myself to U-turn a few times to explore some dirt roads, simply for the sake of no time limit, no daily goal. This particular road I got ambushed on. A jack russel came out of a yard, and kept pace with me on the right side of the bike, and barked as a distraction. It worked. I slowed, in fear making puppy-roadkill. Next thing I knew, a much deeper bark came from the left, and a large pitbull mix had caught up and was clearly unhappy I was on his road. Luckily, a crack of the throttle and the Pro Circuit Ti-4 exhaust was enough to ward off the pit.

Soon, I had stumbled upon Big Thicket.

This sign embodies my thoughts of the trip. Yesterday doesn't matter. Tomorrow doesn't matter. 6 Hours from now doesn't matter. My location doesn't matter. Here. Now. In the moment.

A field mouse was kind enough to stop by to take a picture of me at the LA line.

And he gave me this souvenir!

At this donut shop (I have a sweet tooth), the lady working thought I was wearing a parachute. It's actually an Ogio Flightvest, so I suppose thats not too far off. Anyway, we got to talking, she loved my story, and next thing I knew I had a whole bag full of their finest goodies to take with me, for free! A story for a meal...What a deal!

Camp, Night 1 at Cloud Crossing. Good enough, except for my late night visitor. Pea gravel is quite comfortable, surprisingly enough to me.

This chair is a godsend, and well worth the money. One of the few items I splurged on, and I'm happy I did.

Welcome to my bedroom/livingroom/study. Not currently a bathroom, but that could be one bump-in-the-night away from happening.

Reading materials to keep me company, as well as a notebook to use as a journal/logbook. I have a feeling the days will start to blend together, so it will be nice to write things down to keep them straight.

The lagoon, just a stones throw away from my tent on night 1

A neat little path which led to my campsite.

On day 2 I found myself on a ferry...well more like a tug, with a barge attached. Apparently, in northern LA, this is a better alternative to a bridge.

A rain fly doubles as a great bikecover

Doing my best to terrorize the rhododenrons

I'm a nerd, and liked the reflection

Mile one, on the Trace

Emerald Mound... much more impressive in real life, to think they built this by hand.


That stock seat is a doozy...oy

Camp night 2

Pathway to heaven. I mean a hot shower.

This island must be really was heavily gaurded by geese. Even walking past, they sounded off that would rival the best gaurd dog.

I didn't even know there was such a thing...

The fancy little frappe in a mason jar... clever. Expensive, but clever. And they have wifi.

As compared to last nights dinner (which was 1.15$ of fantastic goodness)

Now, I need some help from you guys:

Where do you guys go for free (inexpensive) wifi? I'm currently at a coffee shop, which is fantastic, but I spent more on a frappe than I did on my entire meal budget yesterday.

Also, I'm headed north on the Trace. Does anyone know of any nearby, well stocked honda shops? Or Cyclegear, or anyone that may have an XR Rear sprocket? Stopped into a dealer around here, and they looked at me like I had three heads when I asked if they had a sprocket for an XRR. As you can see in the following picture, mine has had a short life. Best guess is I'm somewhere just south of Canton MS.

Until next time...

stuntheavy screwed with this post 05-08-2013 at 12:30 PM
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:06 AM   #125
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY...really too far from the hills!
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Excellent! Will be eagerly awaiting the ride north on the Trace as it is on the agenda for me as well this summer!
If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem!
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:12 AM   #126
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Fairfield, CA, USA
Oddometer: 621

Any MacDonald's is usually good for power and wi-fi. Also you might want to wire up a car charger to the bike.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:35 PM   #127
Blue Scoot
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Joined: Jul 2012
Location: Chandler, AZ
Oddometer: 68
Looks like you're having a great time already!! Kudos to you bud and I know this is inspiration for so many of us out there! I just turned 25 on Monday and am having the feeling of wanting to get away. I am moving to the PNW next month so if ever you make it up that way and want a place to stay/eat or just chat you got a spot bud.

Keep us updated as often as you can and I believe that some libraries have some wi-fi as well as Barnes and Noble where you won't have to buy anything but can still just relax/get free wifi
No Regrets

-2011 TU250
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:16 PM   #128
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Location: Atlanta
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Mcdonald+1. Any government building after hours. Signal is usually strong enough outside. Libraries are great too.
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:36 PM   #129
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Joined: May 2006
Location: Back in the Saddle
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Originally Posted by rodr View Post

Any MacDonald's is usually good for power and wi-fi. Also you might want to wire up a car charger to the bike.
+1 What he said. That is where I go to catchup via the cyber world when traveling... they also have good coffee 1.29 Spicy McChicken

Really enjoying your Ride. It is funny how your material items just seem to fade from memory as your living in the moment.
My Ride South of the Border
Riding Nevada's Pony Express Trail May 2013

To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:54 PM   #130
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Joined: Sep 2011
Location: limerick pa / waterville pa
Oddometer: 1,406
Avoid the inverter it will suck power
It takes dc to ac then you will convert it back to dc alot gets lost in the conversion and remember 1amp at 120vac = 10amps at 12 vdc on inverter.

fat fingered on a droid
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:24 PM   #131
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Fairfield, CA, USA
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About that rear sprocket, I found a list of MS Honda moto dealerships here:

So, maybe call ahead and see if they have or can order one.
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:28 PM   #132
Trl Rdr
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Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Lincoln, NE - The Tax me state
Oddometer: 2,063
If your rear sprocket will hold a week, and your in this area, I will be at SLAP Rally Ozark AR next weekend and could bring a sprocket, primary drive steel 48T NIB $20.
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:47 PM   #133
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Location: Visalia CA
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People beat me to the punch on McDonald's.

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Originally Posted by FotoTEX View Post
Life is dangerous. Not doing what you love makes life even more dangerous...
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:54 PM   #134
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Oddometer: 448
Stumbled across you thread. Congrats on deciding to make it out on your own. In a few days you'll be in a groove and wonder what all the worry was about, you'll see. My advice on powering your equipment...If you don't already have one, install a battery tender lead (SAE battery connector) like this:

Get that along with these....It's an SAE to cigarette lighter cable. I use this with the pictured USB adapter, the same one you'd plug into a car lighter socket. Works great since most things come with a USB cable nowadays.

Also, my 2 cents: I can't vouch for off-roading in the area, but we did a few trips up to WV when we lived in Florida. We did the Cherohala Skyway, Tail of the Dragon, Blue-ridge parkway, etc, etc. To me, the absolute best roads (even better than any of those) were in the southern part of WV. We live on the west coast now and have some amazing roads around here. To me the roads in WV are comparable in their own way. Make your way to Lewisberg and take 219 north. When you get to HWY-50, head west. You can also head west along any of the other roads that are along the way, further south from 50, Like 39.
Gus M.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:15 PM   #135
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