Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Epic Ride Reports
User Name
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-01-2013, 06:49 AM   #16
Dillard's Avatar
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: 'Bama
Oddometer: 72
A solo ride into western desolation. Who doesn't love that?

Keep it coming.
Wisdom through painful experience.
Dillard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2013, 11:11 AM   #17
LandLeftBehind OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Maryland, 'merica
Oddometer: 159
The hot springs are perfect. One can feel all stress, anxiety, and physical tension dissipate into those magical waters.

A little community was sheltered in these mountains, and from speaking to its inhabitants I discovered there was gas station well within my range. Now I really had no reason to worry.

I speak to a fellow who told me about his adventuring days on a kz440 (my first bike ). Mentioned he used to tie hankerchiefs to the handle bars so that he could lean back on the sissy bar and reign the bike "like a horsey" . He then mentioned the accident which almost killed him. Somehow it all made sense...

Another fellow rode up on his bicycle while I was packing the bike for departure. We get to talking and I discover he is a bike enthusiast himself. He works as an arborist - a very important job in these parts due to the danger posed by wild fires. A man of rugged self-sufficiency, he gives me a personal tour of his homestead which he and his wife masterfully constructed.

An old motoguzzi sits in the car port. Im then surprised to find a beautifully customized La Mans in the workshop. A truly one-of-kind bike, he explained how the gorgeous specimen fell into his lap by chance. After kindly putting a gallon or two of gas in my tank from his own supply ("Not that crap up the hill" he says), I bid him a grateful farewell.

Ruins by the hot springs.

I took this picture not knowing I was standing on a colony of fire ants. Managed to scramble and flick them off just in time.

The picture doesnt do this landscape justice. This valley held a primal, sacred beauty. The river snaked through, eminated a lushness distinct from the arid chaparral around it. Had I found the Garden of Eden?

Hello Arizona!

Apache/Sitgreaves Nat. Forest

The aftermath of the fires that raged through.
We have left the land, and have embarked...

LandLeftBehind screwed with this post 06-20-2013 at 04:37 PM
LandLeftBehind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2013, 11:15 PM   #18
LandLeftBehind OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Maryland, 'merica
Oddometer: 159
Raising Arizona

Those highland valleys in New Mexico left a certain euphoria that boosted my confidence to an unprecedented level. I no longer needed a map, a plan, or a destination. I was a true traveller, a master of the impromptu, an explorer of the unknown...

Of course, sometimes we need to be knocked down a notch.

I had been doing quite well finding camping spots to crash and save money. I had very limited funds for this trip, so it was a critical strategy. Thanks to overshooting my original destination campground, largely due to my romantic self-image, I found myself in a motel in Springerville. Luckily, there were a few travelling cyclists at the nearby coffee shop, and I had nice night of conversation and route advice.

Flagstaff bound, I was!

Arizona came, and it came fast.

Sedona valley was gorgeous, if not a little crowded. Despite my smile Im a bit frazzled from the sluggish traffic through the valley.

I found my friend in Flagstaff and got the tour of the town . I found it to be a fun, eclectic city. I can enjoy any place with good beer and classic bikes (there were plenty of airheads rolling around ).

She even took me on a personalized tour of the valley.

Friends are also good for their knowledge of 'secret spots'
We have left the land, and have embarked...

LandLeftBehind screwed with this post 02-09-2014 at 05:28 PM
LandLeftBehind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2013, 10:51 PM   #19
LandLeftBehind OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Maryland, 'merica
Oddometer: 159
and the desert continues

Getting some R&R in Flagstaff prepared me to cross the Mojave into California. A feeling of deep excitement began to bubble inside of me. Traversing the barren nothing to reach the coast would be an accomplishment in itself. It further excited me to know I would soon be within close proximity of BMW shops, BMW riders, and, most importantly, family.

I took 89 to cut down south towards southern California. It was great road with fun twisties leading out of Prescott.

The highway eventually opened up to expose a great panorama of the desert below.

The nerd in me was dancing at the sight of the unique desert flora. At times I felt I was cruising through a landscape created by the great Dr. Suess himself. The picture above is a less flamboyant example of the strange plant life.

Only one way to go...

Up until now, the desert wasnt so much hot as it was dry. The bitter heat of I-10 was an exception to this; it felt like I was riding into a blow-dryer,
even with the stock fairing removed on the bike.

Aside from the barren desert, I-10 features a 60-80 mile stretch where motorists are not allowed to stop due to a nearby prison (a max security one I imagine). My mind wanders to thinking about the possibility of flaws on my uninspected bike. I swallow the thought and keep riding.

Eventually, no-mans land ends and I pull off to a highway gas station. I had been coating my nostrils with aquaphore, but that did not prevent the gushing of blood that ensued as soon as I took my helmet off.

After using a tree's worth of paper towels from the gas station bathroom, my nose stops bleeding and I travel just a few more miles down the highway to my destination.

A turn off the highway and I head into a break in the mountains.

Joshua Tree National Park

Peeping the wildlife.

Sometimes an 8 hour ride through the desert is worth it...
We have left the land, and have embarked...
LandLeftBehind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2013, 02:22 AM   #20
Old Motorcyclist
achesley's Avatar
Joined: Mar 2003
Location: Jennings, Louisiana
Oddometer: 3,477
Keep it coming. Just ain't nuttin like the west to go get lost on a motorcycle. Then on an airhead .
A14 KLR 43k miles ,07 1250S Bandit 75K miles , 03 Chevy Truck 80K miles '43 model me. Simper Fi
achesley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2013, 09:05 PM   #21
LandLeftBehind OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Maryland, 'merica
Oddometer: 159

A quick ride through the "Date Capital of the World" and I ascend the San Jacinto Mountains

Coachella - an island of green in a sea of brown

It was hard not to feel on top of the world. I had made it across the most remote areas on my trip without a major catastrophe. Kamikaze animals, a wheezing starter on its death-bed, slippery mountain passes, hidden gravel patches, nor fuel scares in the lonesome desert could stop me.

As I rose away from the hostile desert into more temperate climate of Southern California, an immense feeling of victory took over. I was one with the motorcycle, swiftly navigating the twisties through the beautiful hills.

Motorcycles are inherently dangerous, any sane rider will agree. However, while the machine and road hazards present a tangible danger, it is within the machine where an even more pernicious danger lies. It does not exist in the physical sense - one could take the machine apart and never find it. However, upon riding the machine, it manifests itself into the mind of the rider and, like the deadly fumes of a carbon monoxide leak, it can sneak up on the rider without him or her realizing it. It grants the rider a feeling of euphoria; one could almost feel as though they were immortal.

That sense of euphoria is the most dangerous hazard; reckless driving ensues. It just takes one turn too sharp and a motorcycle going just a little too fast, to discover the reality of this fundamental truth. I very briefly lost control of the motorcycle, just enough to cause the motorcycle to skid in the opposite lane. I quickly recorrected my course and continued on, much more carefully.

The experience left me shook up and humiliated for being so careless. I imagine other riders pull a similar move at some point, and I was lucky enough to be part of the percentage that doesnt pay for it. However, as I cruised through the beautiful California valleys, it was hard to not still feel a bit giddy.

I would be staying with my grandparents for a few days, simultaneously visiting relatives. Getting pampered for a few days would be a drastic, and welcome change to life on the road.

I hadnt visited Vista in a few years, but it didnt stop the flood of reminiscent memories as I cruised through places familiar from my childhood.

The younger me always admired this unique house. I had to snap a shot of it.

As an arrival gift, my grandparents and aunt took me out to a swanky supermarket to "buy anything I wanted". My grandmother had a fear that I might "go hungry" at any point during my visit. After a few weeks of eating mostly oatmeal and lentils, I was very happy to graciously accept their hospitality.

After a few days of catching up with relatives, playing tourist around San Diego, and lounging by the pool it was time to depart yet again. I was bound to meet some friends in Los Angeles!

Samosas at Venice Beach!

Nearby was a place where you could pay $20 to get your "medical marijuana" card. Gotta love Cali.

Somewhere around the Malibu/Thousand Oaks area - a very different feel from the city.

We have left the land, and have embarked...
LandLeftBehind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2013, 10:04 PM   #22
LandLeftBehind OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Maryland, 'merica
Oddometer: 159
A harsh beauty

See you later Southern California!

It was maybe 2 hours north of LA where I encountered the unexpected: the Pacific Coast climate. At first, it was just a slight drop in the temperature. It eventually progressed into a numbing coldness which I would become well acquainted with for the next 1000 miles.

While its colder than I imagined, the scenery is just as I imagined it. I had found the west coast I was looking for!

Despite my smile, I am a bit numb from the cold in this photo. Notice the riding gear interlaced with rain gear sitting on the ground.

Big Sur is quite beautiful, although I find to have no options for low-cost camping. I pull into Andrew Molera State Park just before night.

It would be my first night camping with a sleeping bag (I had mine shipped out to my grandparents house). It was a good night of sleep - enjoying the warmth provided by the sleeping bag and listening to the Pacific waters wage never-ending war on the rocky cliffs.

I leave at the dawn, before the park attendants arrive.

Riding through the fog is even colder. A fellow in Santa Barbara had mentioned the "June Gloom" common this time of year.

Apparently I had only traveled about 9 miles since leaving Maryland.

There is no shortage of beauty in this place. The less-than-ideal coastal climate supports a lovely diversity of wild flowers and brightly colored chaparral.

This is where I start to curse. For those of you who plan on riding through Big Sur in the future - if you find a side cover for a R100RT, you will know who to send it to.
We have left the land, and have embarked...

LandLeftBehind screwed with this post 09-02-2013 at 06:25 PM
LandLeftBehind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2013, 08:09 PM   #23
LandLeftBehind OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Maryland, 'merica
Oddometer: 159
I continue up the coastal highway through fog and the bitter cold, short one side cover. The cover had fallen off several times prior (thanks to a PO's jerry-rigged mounting fix), so I was hardly surprised. At least it found a majestic end on cliffs of Big Sur.

The PCH alternates between coastline, agricultural areas, and maritime towns. I stop off in Monterey to check out the famed aquarium; the admission price puts me back on the highway.

Artichokes in Santa Cruz. I stop for coffee nearby to warm up. A bodacious surfer chick takes a look at my license plate and asks me how sore my butt is.

The gloom carries on and I ponder my unease. The couchsurfing host I had made plans with prefers to meet me at a local cafe rather than her place. Its a completely reasonable request, considering she had never met me in person before, but I fear an interview situation so far from home with so few alternatives. What if she doesnt like me? Or decides that Im a creep? She carries and irritable tone over the phone, and I wonder whether I made a poor choice for a couchsurfing host. I have no alternative but to swallow the fear and trudge through the damp, cold fog.

Although I really didnt have much to worry about, the damp coldness weighed down on my thoughts and turned anxieties into fears. My mood continued to spiral down until I came to a sharp bend in the highway, and a tunnel which spit me out on the other side of the coast cliff. The fog immediately cleared and I found myself in a warm forest with moss hanging from the trees. It reminded me of forests I had seen in Georgia and Mississippi, but unique in its own way - like none I would ever see again on my trip. I then dipped down into a sunny valley occupied by a beach town. Coming out of the valley, I could see the view of the entire area. The town was a cove sheltered from the harsh weather of the Pacific. At my back was the cliff I had just ridden from. The fog I had just spent several hours riding through formed wisps as it smashed against the cliffs and was burned up by the sun. My spirit rekindled by the beautiful sight, I cracked a smile and flew to the city.

Soon thereafter San Francisco came into view with all its big-city glory.

I rode into town to meet my to-be host. Upon arriving at the coffee shop I promptly fell over on the bike. I hadnt quite mastered the acrobatics of mounting and de-mounting a fully packed bike (nor was I smart enough to figure out that I could use the pedal as stepping point). It was a grand entrance indeed.

Instead of walking into a gale of laughter, I found the typical coffee shop scene: folks buried in their labtops, their caffiene-laced attentions narrowly focused to the intensity of a laser. My host was sitting in the back buried in a resume. Rather than the cold encounter I feared, she immediately gave me a warm hug and engaged me in a friendly chat. Not only was she warm and friendly, but she insisted on getting a motorcycle ride. Whatever fears I had before had dissipated just like the fog burning off the cliff.

The goal now was to find a helmet. I spent some time looking through my BMW anonymous book and even posted an ADVrider thread, but in the end the helmet came to me. A random fellow approached me as I stood by the bike, flipping through the pages of the anonymous book. An obvious enthusiast of bikes, he invited me to his place to collect a helmet.

Little did I know I would find a 1940's military Indian Chief and a 1934 Harley "hill-climber"!

*Pictures courtesy of the owner, as I lost mine.

Now we were set. The night (which happened to be the 4th of July) was spent dining on mexican cuisine in the Mission, and cruising down Van Ness to the view of fireworks between the skyscrapers.

The city isnt so big and intimidating when you have a friend to share it with.
We have left the land, and have embarked...

LandLeftBehind screwed with this post 09-30-2013 at 08:25 PM
LandLeftBehind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2013, 07:07 PM   #24
52 Weeks of warm
patrkbukly's Avatar
Joined: Sep 2002
Location: Miami, FL.
Oddometer: 1,261

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Mae West
patrkbukly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2013, 11:41 AM   #25
Joined: Oct 2013
Oddometer: 2
Enjoying your Journey. Keep-em coming.
Bigbadwolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 07:45 PM   #26
LandLeftBehind OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Maryland, 'merica
Oddometer: 159
Being somewhere

OK - so its been offically way too long since I last updated this. Sorry, life got in the way. But now Im in between jobs and have some free time on my hands :)

I snapped this shot just as I was leaving the city. San Francisco etched itself as my favorite city and was one of my overall favorite places on the trip.

Sad to leave but happy to go.

Big deer.

Big Trees.

Big Beautiful Trees.

The redwood forests leave you with a spooky sense of sentient presence, like you are in the company of a intelligence not quite comprehendable to the human mind. I definitely will visit this magical place again one day.

Thanks to a tip from a friend, I found this campsite off the beaten path. Yet another victory for the Awesome Adventure at a Discount Plan.

The next day marks my final leg of the trip before hitting the farm I had arranged to work on. It filled me with a very strong sense of accomplishment. I was looking forward to a change too. I had been spending all of my time no where in particular, and now I was about to be somewhere.

Traveling on the road makes us realize and appreciate those little miracles.
We have left the land, and have embarked...

LandLeftBehind screwed with this post 02-12-2014 at 09:12 PM
LandLeftBehind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2014, 08:33 PM   #27
Gnarly GnOOb
kenbob's Avatar
Joined: May 2009
Location: Beverly Hills, Mt -swimmin pools,movie stars
Oddometer: 605
Most excellent report

Keep on keepin on, man . You are doing a great job , at this !

Thank you, for putting forth the effort .

kenbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2014, 09:07 PM   #28
LandLeftBehind OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Maryland, 'merica
Oddometer: 159
farmin and '

it was fun!


Oregon Country Fair!

'sploring Oregon!
We have left the land, and have embarked...
LandLeftBehind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2014, 09:28 PM   #29
LandLeftBehind OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Maryland, 'merica
Oddometer: 159
It was nice to spend a few weeks relaxing, gardening, brewing, and being an all around salt-of-the-earth hippy . Little did I know how the course of my trip was to be dramatically altered by the unexplored insides of my motorcycle.

I had made great time since my departure a month ago from Maryland. The accident that delayed my departure several weeks did not prevent me from traversing the awesome mountain passes, foggy cliffs, and bustling cities I desired to see. However, it did prevent me from really looking at the bike as I should have before any large trip. So upon getting to the farm, it was high time to have a look at the bike, and perform some basic maintanance.

Through the BMW anonymous book I found a fellow in Coquille who was generous enough to let me use his garage space, tools, and even walk me through the basic maintenance tasks. We changed fluids, serviced the spark plugs, and took a good look at the bike. Things were going swell until the cylinder head nut torquing. As I worked through each nut in a criss-cross pattern, I noticed one particular nut was loose on the stud! As I attempted to torque it, it immediately began to pull the stud out of the crank case.

A pulled cylinder stud: it was a scary realization to have 3000 miles from home. My host and I left it alone, set the valve clearances, synced the carbs, and I waved him a grateful, yet bittersweet goodbye. His departing words: "You could have problems in ten thousand miles, or at the next rock."

I called the nearby BMW shop, a very well respected shop in the area. It was mainly to humor myself - the cost of shop work would undoubtedly be out of my budget. I was expecting to get an estimate of 2 grand, but I was a little surprised when they reluctantly told me they couldnt help me period. Understandable, as they had a business to run, but it made the situation seem all the more hopeless.

The ADVrider community has a penchant for turning the impossible into possible. I put out another SOS, and it didnt take long before I was connected with a local mechanic near Portland, one with a great reputation and who was willing to help a stranger in a situation. After a month of living on the farm it was time to pack up and continue my way up the Pacific Coast.
We have left the land, and have embarked...

LandLeftBehind screwed with this post 03-30-2014 at 09:29 PM Reason: Stormy seas ahead
LandLeftBehind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2014, 03:36 PM   #30
bpeckm's Avatar
Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Road Island
Oddometer: 6,054
One of the our "fellow" ADV'rs (hardwaregrrl Jenna, a good friend of your Atlanta buddy blake) just posted your ride report in the Airheads... man, you just made my through the entire report, and wishing (vicariously!) to be doing what you are doing. Good on ya' for setting out, far too often we plan so freeking meticulously that we lose the JOY in just... doing it. You have my respect and gratitude for what you do...

...put the cell phone down and go out and feel what life is about, amen!

XS650 becomes a VT BackRoadRunner
Loving the 80ST
I love projects that take twice as much effort as should be needed. Should be an Airhead motto. (disston)
bpeckm is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Times are GMT -7.   It's 06:53 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2015