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Old 08-11-2009, 02:42 AM   #1
Throttlemeister OP
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33 1/3 N C S + Cuba

Update: I left out of Caracas on July, 2012 with a bunch of metal in my leg and headed back home to rest up for the next go around. Bike is still in Venezuela with my good friend SS. Thinking I will be heading back to VZ to get all this metal pulled out at some point. Hopefully will get this ride report back up to date one of these days


My time has come.

Some short history: I started riding dual sport bikes in 2006 and turned out to be such a great compliment to traveling solo that I just knew it would be the best way to get around and have good adventures and meet great people almost any place you go. I would have enjoyed going practically anywhere but the most accessible place for me on a big trip would be going to North, Central, and South America (maybe a rough 33.333 of the world) because they are all connected and I would not have to get the pricey carnet to go to those other places I was also really interested in, those will have to wait for now. I have no official limit on time the only limiting factors being health, money, or my family's health so I'm sure its going to be one wild ride

The plan became to travel and experience as many countries as I could all around the Americas. It was hatched by this site and I thank all the people who took their time to post of their trips which would be the valuable information that I used to help me with my journey.

Thankyou ADVrider and all those who make it what it is

This thread and site are two of my primary resources for researching and learning from others as I do this ride so please feel free to offer any hints/suggestions/spots as this goes along. I look forward to meeting many of you ADVers down the road and sharing rides and beers (or water if you like).

Procrastinator that I am I could not even get the bike that I wanted to take ready to go in time. I’ve found that it is almost easier to keep working in the same grind than to stop it and go crazy as it sounds. Fortunately I have a good ole brother who bought a bike right after I bought my first six fidy and he had the foresight to by a big boxer that I have grown to love and that will God willing carry me through the first part of this trip. Once I finish the trip North I will come back home and rig my poor little Dakar that has been resting in pieces over the last couple of years.
This trip has been unlike any other trip that I have ever taken in that I have never so much time to think about and gather up so much stuff that I may or may not ever use for this trip.
I kind of over whelmed myself somewhat with all the work that was needed to add all the stuff and make ready the little Dakar bike so I took the easy out and did a little less work to the big mule (aka 1150Adv) to make ready the first part of the trip.
My brother has been so busy with his business that he can’t make the time to ride like I do so I’ve been running his gs quite a bit over the last few years and taken it under my wing per say and have maintained it, although not cosmetically as those who have seen it know well. It may not look pretty but I love the bike and it’s been very good to me for what we’ve been through together.

I have planned to try and keep an updated near realtime RR as I go but being a camper I’ll just have to see how the wifi stuff works out for me on the first part of the trip, thinking it will be easier as I get south. So now here I sit in the first hotel (for some wifi) of my trip at Tom Bodett’s pride here in Pueblo, CO at 3 am in the morning (I slept a large part of the afternoon away) working on this adventure.

It really began on Aug 6 when I had to do a little rewire work on the mule to get it ready take to CO to start off with the Second Annual Latin America Adventure Rally outside Carbondale that was on the second weekend of Aug +/- few extra days. Had to wire in a centech unit to help control my hunger for power and keep it distributed. My brother was nice enough to get a good sonic burger dinner and get me some much needed zip ties before the trip began.


My good brother Thomas and the bikes, burgers and stuff:



The new unit installed mostly:


And some much needed shark, it was a long night getting some stuff caught up and anyway I never slept well the night before getting ready for a big one:


And yours truely in action:


Had to ride the scooter a little that day getting more stuff, great little machine, saw a guy out at St. Francis, KS lives near Little Rock touring on his, this was my first two wheels and how I learned to ride:


Got every thing pretty much buttoned up on the sixth and looking forward to leaving on the 7th hopefully early to head to Colorado for the Latin Rally.

Getting long so I'll post tommorrow in another...lots more coming from here

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Old 08-11-2009, 04:43 AM   #2
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Aug the 7th the takeoff

Had a late night finnishing up the big GS and got up pretty early to load some clothes and other stuff for the trip up to CO. As usual I didn't get gone early enough and as Aug weather goes for OK and the middle states I just hauled up the big roads to get there as fast as I could. I orginally hope to make WF but it was out and I was leaving behind schedule to make very much of the second latin rally.

Carrying a laptop for the first time:


Was feeling pretty good on the bike until I got up to Salina, KS and ran through the heavy winds and warm temps out to Hays. I think the winds where so high they couldn't even let the big windfarms turn due to fear of overspeed, I saw more stop than spinning needless to say it was windy and I was wanting to run a lot quicker than I could. DQ was needed about every 100 miles but only one would be allowed, tasty little brezze:

* This what happens when I travel solo all the time, the mule is the real star of the show

I made it out to western KS that afternoon before I decided to try and find a swimming hole to cool off and clean up a bit. I went North off I70 to St. Francis to get some drinks and pretzels for the evening and then head over to Bonny Res. to see what I could find.
Not much like could be had their, the water situation in eastern CO is very sad, and was show in the res. Water lines where dramatic like out at Mead.
Water normally here leading up to spill way:

The other side that hasn't seen water in years:

Did some hot laps up on the dam having a look around before coming to the park to inquire, yelp $14 bucks for primative is BS and the lake was so low swimming would be difficult for $6 bucks along to get wet so I passed and inquired about the free mosquito pond that I settled for, I went to bed dirty but not thirsty here on my private bad + free mosquitos and red marks to prove it, Slept well watching the stars sans tent.

Aug 8th The morning after:


Loaded my gear on up and head West on smaller roads back to HW36 where I rode till Starsburg where I showed up little bit early for their hometown parade where I was offered a spot but declined having to make time to the West. Got some oj and breakfast burrito and was off before they where all lined up for the start of the parade, looked like it would be a good small town parade with great weather to boot. Gotta get to Carbondale.

What I like so much about the big mule is the tank and the road manners, this bike can chop some open road miles in a hurry, if I had much off a bigger motor I would be in real trouble, sometimes I want more right hand but legally should not be allowed any more at all. Needless to say we blasted on throuh Denver and started our way up into the moutains and the crazy weekend traffic that we had to gut.
Typically I'm not a fan of interstate system of the US but in the case of I70 it has got some awesome engineering feats and I mean great riding in the canyon section and some cool tunnels to add, and nothing needed to be said about the perfect weather.

Made it out to Carbondale and easily found the Latin Rally thanks to Rick's great little signs, good to see all those people again plus many more that I hope to meet again.

Big mountain right outside of the rally entrance, this was a good place for this:

Didn't take many picture on the 8th but there was a long fest something like a four hour feed that keep your tounge watering the hole time even if it was cooked on old t-posts, good stuff.

B-man's pig, only went in the fire once or twice, me and redone had side bet on it, we took the same side thou so no many changed hands

Early pig along with the obvious chicken and beef ribs not well seen


now late pig, less consumed chicken ribs and piles of corn that worked well with nothing:

Looks kinda like he's burning in hell but it was just Al foil with hot coals on top, yep he was tasty- I could never be a Jew, only just saying, there where many other non-Jews there by the looks of it.

Had some evening entertainment, little fire dancing and singing, only had minor burns from fire dancer, I hope that coonass does alright, I felt bad for the guy. Many good stories where told around the fire. Ross (Redone), Jason (the goodguy cohost/owner of the spread), and myself shut the festivites down around 3:30 the next morning and I threw my bag out on the ground and stay somewhat reasonable until the sun really came out next morning. It was to be a short stay for myself as I have many places to and little time to stay in CO. The rally site morning I left.

The Danish riders (M&M riders I think) where a cool lot, gotta love girls that give er hell.

My little paradise:


Log chopping station:


Mt Elbert became out of the question, will be leaving that for a later undetermined date but a nice soak in a hot springs was more logical so that's was the start for the early afternoon. Thanks for Rick hooking be up 7 miles down the rode from the Latin Rally.

Was some nice scenery for a while, BS with a few from Denver and another who hooked my up with some routes down to the south. Nice little soak hole good flow coming in a cool flow coming down the river, Crystal maybe??

No head shots this time, only toes:


Two pots, one kinda warm the only much nicer. Note to take foldable shovel to make better next time. I'm still living good thou for now.

The newly accuried routes from my one of my soaking buddies was continue south on up McClure and then break off to Kebler pass and make way into Crested Butte which was exactley where I should be. It was fine ride going that way, nice and easy.
My pictures can't do it justice, here's me trying although it was much more fun riding in it.


Came on down into CB and got a big bite of pizza to eat. Also found Izzy's other place out in CO, (I just bought some stuff from the Izzy AR):

Mule looking good in downtown CB:

That previously mentioned pizza, pineapples and CB in CB, OC was tasty stuff:



I'd went back out to the bike and this fellow was checking it out and then we started talking routes and since the man's a rider he hooked me up with some. Good guy named Clark N. from CB who does lots of mountain biking and some restored motorbikes too.

Gave me a nice hand drawn map and sent me on my way for a wonderful afternoon back up to Ohio pass then almost down to Gunnison before bypassing on 8 mile road to Almont then up to Taylor Res. for a nice senic ride to finnish up the afternoon.
Taylor neat alpine lake I guess you would say, cool damn with a cracked open gate valve.


Rest of the big wall damn:


Cottonwood Pass is neat, Tincup will be for next time around. I heard some from dudes up at creats that an older 3 series BMW holes the oil pan going on Tincup and was trying to get a wrecker, would have been fuuny to get that picture. Scenic riding in the area to be found, Taylor lake at speed:


From higher up above now


Up at the crest I left the mule to continue on up to look at the two halves, my proof, standing in a hole that I had been resting in-haven't got the lungs yet for the high climbing yet:




The mule left down below with a pair of rented stroms:


One other picture from up top Cottonwood of a lesser known pond:


After sweating so heavily I was cooled and ready to get down low fast where I headed to Salida for the night to look for Hayduke or some other place to crash.

I dropped out in Buena Vista off Cottonwood and needed a Slurpee after warming back up and went to gamble a little and it paid off, thought it was 200x2 before I could read the lines but still got $4 out of the deal and a cold slurpee. I'm really a lucky bastard:

Went on down into Salida after getting some local advice about a McAkees or something or other that I found and it was packed so I pull up to the Vic down by the river right as two Bandidos come in front of me with Beaumont banners and I starting to wonder a bit.
Turns out they are cool as hell and when I tell them I'm riding to SA they say "Hell I buy you a beer then" and it was on. It was TugBoat and TomTom and they'd been at the National in Pueblo and where headed up to Washington for a run with another chapter out there because of 10 year member ceremony. Turns out TubBoat has a house down in Belize where we're going to try and met up in Oct a have a little fun.
Met Kurt (or possible Kirk) who tended the bar and BSed about Rainbow trail and XR400 and he loaned me the bar net to search for Hayduke cause I was looking for a place to crash that night.
After a few more rounds the three of us headed to the Tenderfoot bar for some pizza and cold drinks before calling it a night.

The coolest thing about Salida it the big floating 'S' up on the hill overlooking the town, looks like they are calling for superman to show up. At night it looked totally suspended not being able to see the mountain behind it, sorry no picture of that one, just believe.

Kurt had mentioned and I'd seen early before going into the Vic that I could squeeze between the posts across the river and ride the tracks and find me a spot to lay for the night, again just little cool for my little sleeping bag that I was running sans tent. I had to sleep until the sun warmed me up enough. Here's my spot the morning of the tenth.

The floating S is on the mountain with the little white shack on top in the background.

More of 10th in next post
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:32 AM   #3
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Just hit the back button and wiped out few hours worth of work here, more after I sleep for a bit. Damnit
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:01 AM   #4
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Off to a great start!

Ride safe.

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Old 08-11-2009, 09:08 AM   #5
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Sweeet!!!! Love the report John. Will definitely stay tuned.

One thing you can do to get away from the back button woes, is write it up in wordpad first, then add pictures once you post it to the website. Might save a few hours work sometime in the future. Just an idea.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Silver
Sweeet!!!! Love the report John. Will definitely stay tuned.

One thing you can do to get away from the back button woes, is write it up in wordpad first, then add pictures once you post it to the website. Might save a few hours work sometime in the future. Just an idea.
Thanks Krabill and Silver, if I can swing it I will try to make the Colony tonight but its loooking iffy

Silver- I was using the MS Word and when I started cutting and pasting the report from Word and then changing the font it ended up leaving all kinds of parathesis in my report preview so I went free had and lost my work.

Will try the wordpad instead and see how that goes
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:44 AM   #7
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Added to the Latin America Ride Report Link Thread. Eventually you'll make it. For now I figure anybody thinking about a trip like yours might like to see how you're planning.
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:54 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SmilinJoe View Post
The video's are frickin hillarious!!! You represent us well John!!!You left out the "you sure got a pretty mouth"! "Now squeal like a pig"! You are having a great time!!! Be safe my friend.
He starts with that talk and I'm going for my knife.
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:24 PM   #9
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that was great Johnnie, makes me want a heated mud pit for the Soiree
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:41 AM   #10
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Feb 13, 2012 -->

Back to the main report back in Quito, Ecuador in Febuary 2012:

I was staying the last night with Raul & Karla and sleep on their comfy couch in their apartment after Hector ditched me at Casa Helbling

There are two interesting stories that came from meeting Raul & Karla I want to share with you all.

The first is that some of you may recognize this living room and adjoining dining room in their apartment:




I thought right off the bat that the paneling in their living room was pretty cool and it also seemed that one of their film producing friends thought the same too as he used it as a set in a Nat Geo film production shoot that happened the night before when we all returned from our day ride. Turns out it was one of those series "Locked up Abroad" or something of the like where the scene was a guy working as a drug mule came into the apartments to cut some coke and do a few lines off the glass table. Raul and Karla's friend doing the shoot had remembered the room well and thought they had the perfect place to do the scene so they rented out the place for the shoot to make a little on the side. I thought it was interesting and also a cool place, I liked the looks, especially the wood paneling around the fireplace. Raul was the brains behind the design of the cool glass table and other neat features in the apartment as he is a trained architect/designer and it showed with his nice works.

The other story involves none other than our current President of the United States, Obama Turns out a friend, or daughter, or wife or somebody close to Karla's boss who works in the Ecuadorian government at her current job used to work in the United States, probably Chicago area from the sounds of it some years back. That said person working in the US at the time was involved in a car wreck of some sorts, no one was injured but car damage was involved with that said person's vehicle and the other person at fault was not interested in involving his insurance company and wanted to settle the matter in cash. He presented his business card and it turned out to be Barack Obama. He apparently took care of business out of pocket and was nice enough about it as the story went, never did understand or find out if he was carrying liability insurance or not at the time of the accident Small world as it goes around

Raul and Karla where both involoved with their daily business and I had little more to do than a little bike works mainly trying to fix my leaking fuel connections and repair my broken headset I use for skyping and listening to music on the computer which had snapped off one of the speakers from the headset. I had the morning free to work, only trying to stay out of the rain in the backyard of their apartment complex where I was working.


My little work area out back:


Protection for a bald head and cool temperatures


My problem, fuel was leaking from here, one of these pins was bad:


You can guess which one it was, looks like it got hot at some point


From what I found JB weld was supposed to seal up well enough for gasoline so I gouped a lot on and also fixed my headset using the same. I gouped them all for good measure


I needed a drill to make a hole in one of the front tanks trim pieces that was starting to split out and with the help of the friendly apartment security guard found a guy next door at an auto taller and bought him a Bud for helping me out, he liked it even if it was early in the dayI put a ziptie stich in my trim piece to remedy the situation and was done with my morning mechanic works.

First Budweiser in qutie some time, it was a nice cool reward for finishing up.

About the time I'd finished up with my work Raul had also finished up with his morning stuff and came to fetch me to take me to met up with Karla at a wonderful Italian place for a late lunch. It was some tasty food, we ordered a few plates of different dishes and split the lot between us all for a nice selection and then some nice deserts:





I really love it when the locals show me all that is good to eat and drink

Terry-me-Sue IIRC, it was nice too!


We where planning on going to the beach on the weekend and Raul was busy with his work and his bike was in dire need to new rear sproket and I volunteered my services as I was more than happy to help with the repairs since I had such wonderful accomadations and some many nice meals

I think he got every last mile out of this one, I remembered hearing it jumping and slapping on the ride the other day

Had a few teeth bigger rear sproket for replacement and I hooked his up with nice spare RK chain I happened to have on had and got him well sorted for the upcoming ride.
Just buttoning up the final touches right before the heavy rains came, perfect timing:


Pleasant work area in the backyard of the apartment:


The following morning Feb 14 was a normal work day for Raul & Karla and I was up for a little tour around Quito and wanted to make a stop into to a fellow ADVer's named Guido's place for a little visit to see if he was in this time. It was nice to met up with the guy and have a beer and some papa fritas on the house, Thanks Man!
Him hard at work:


After that I'd planned to ride down South out of town a little ways to a waypoint Raul had given me to his new project out on his family's finca. He was building up a new little resort/lodge finca out in the nice hills.
All I had was a waypoint and managed to get pretty darn close to the entrance only to wrap around the countryside to the other side of the property with no road access. I ended up stopping a few locals and getting them to call Raul on their mobile to get me sorted out where he could come down to the main hw and get me led in to he property. I was close but no cigar.
Here getting recused in the overcast and light showers getting led up to the resort in progress:


It is quite the project in the making and he is planning to open soon, with anything the delays stake up when trying to get something done on time and in budget. Beautiful location up in the rolling hills West of the PanAm.


He had put in some beautiful gardens on the property and a nice winding pathway that loops back into itself, a zen-like garden with beautiful flowers and plants:


Pistol IIRC from my botany days:


The name of the Hacienda I forget but was grown with flowers in the lovely garden:


Raul's latest big project undertaking in the back with a storage and outdoor recreation type area under heavy construction with lots of steel reinforcement in place:



from Bogota posted before I lose it over this shitty connection
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:12 PM   #11
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I see you are from Pryor OK

I used to stop at that BBQ place south of town. They have th best broasted chicken and potatoes there I have ever eaten, along with thier hot BBQ sauce. I remember when it used to be at the sale barn. I am sure you have eaten there many times. I had a leg break very simular to yours, 1st dr jacked up my leg, 2nd dr fixed it best he coulf, consider how jacked up it was. I ride now with an extra wheel......I am planning to go to Baja Cali next year, I figure the big Goldwing hack will make it there and back.



Fixed
by the bad dr.



Took a year and 3 surgeries to fix it, been back to riding for about a year now. I am now medically retired, wifey still has to work, I can ride. She and I are planning our next long ride, and she says to me, why don't you take a trip by yourself to Baja.....oh heck yeah!!!! Baja for next year.

So when I say I feel your pain, on the leg injury, I mean it. I also had some of that bad skin crap going on. It took forever to finally heal up. One time I thought I was gonna pass out on some of that crap, but never did. Well get back out there, I am sure you have by now, riding that is.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:46 AM   #12
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I used to stop at that BBQ place south of town. They have th best broasted chicken and potatoes there I have ever eaten, along with thier hot BBQ sauce. I remember when it used to be at the sale barn. I am sure you have eaten there many times. I had a leg break very simular to yours, 1st dr jacked up my leg, 2nd dr fixed it best he coulf, consider how jacked up it was.

Well get back out there, I am sure you have by now, riding that is.
Yep I know the old place and the new one well, Est, 1976 the same as me I'm surprised you don't remember how good the beans where. I took ADVer DaveG there, he has been trained as a BBQ judge, or so he says and he was pretty impressed with the joint especially the beans and sauce. I usually take travelers there who are passing through, I can only handle it every couple of months. Used to know the original owners before they sold out, the sale barn was the real authentic JL's

Sorry to hear about the screw ups with your repair, mine got done up right the first time, its just coming up on the year and this stuff needs to be pulled out imho. I've been getting around pretty good but not over doing by any means, I want to heal up right as it's going to be a long time before I slow down all the way.

Goodluck with your travels, Viva Mexico
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:27 AM   #13
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Ah JL's, that's the name

I was trying to remember the name.....JL's.......the other guy I ran 2 man team with (truck driving days), if we left at the right time.....we'd look at each oth and say "JL's?". I don't remember the beans as much as the chicken, potatoes and the hot BBQ sauce in the crockpots. I have been intending to just make a ride out of going up to Pryor just for the BBQ.
All of my hardware will stay in place, dr didn't want to chance anything else going wrong. As it was a workers comp injury, they have spent over $300,000 to date on it. That's why I have added an extra wheel. I have a project bike sitting out there in the carport that will stay 2 wheels though. A Honda CBR 600 F4i, it was rolled in a ball with only 1,900 miles on it. I am gonna dual-sport it, and just make a fun little bike out of it. I have too many toys, gonna have to shed a few for the next chapter. I am finding it very hard to part with them though, but I know it's gott happen. It's just the wife and I , we have 2 trucks, 2 cars, and 3 bikes.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:55 AM   #14
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I have been intending to just make a ride out of going up to Pryor just for the BBQ.
Come on up Sandsman and we can go eat some JL's; I'm about due,

I last took Charlie Coons aka cwc and company back a couple of months ago as they stopped over in town on their way down from MN to Mexico.

I got a spot for you to sleep in the RV at the ADV shop, just let me know when you want to make the trip.

As far as everything goes, it's a shame;
So much to do and so little time, hard to make the choices sometimes.

Good luck with your endeavors and your repaired leg!
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:17 PM   #15
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Sounds like a ride in the planning.......sometimes planning is,just grab a bag and throw some clothes in it and hit the road.
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