|09-14-2014, 11:36 PM||#1|
Joined: Feb 2013
Two Ukrainians on a ride across the USA
I planned this trip for couple of years maybe. Well, not specifically ‘planned’, but at least I kept it in mind. One thing was almost certain from the very beginning: the time when I want to go. It was August-September 2014, this is because my visa to the US expires in October this year.
I started planning the trip more specifically in winter this year. But then all this shitstorm with Russia broke out. Ukraine economy went down. Nothing was certain. I wasn’t sure if I had enough money, because ukrainian currency went down, I wasn’t sure whether I will be drafted to army, nobody was sure whether Putin is going to go completely nuts and launch full-scale invasion. So I almost gave up the idea to go to the US.
But then, all of the sudden, the company I working for offered me to go to the US on business trip, with it ending exactly in August. (The company I work for has a contract for some software development with a company in Tampa bay area, Florida.) What a miracle! So, I decided that if I am going to be drafted to army and killed by Russians, that is going to happen after I ride the US.
After arriving to the States, I spent couple of weeks acclimatizing and then bought ‘08 Suzuki DR650. I rode it happily for a week, a couple of Polish guys took me to a place called Croom Motorcycle Area on Sunday. A place full of soft hot sand and nasty spiders. You can check out my lame riding skills on this video. :)
But then on monday… the bike refused to start. At all. It took me and my Polish friends a couple of days to figure out that the problem was with pickup coil. And Suzuki does not sell those coils separately, only in full stator assembly, which costs freaking $700. Lucky for me, there is this website regulatorrectifier.com, which sells a lots of electricity-related stuff, including pickup coils for $40, but you have to do soldering yourself. In the end I spent more time swimming in gasoling trying to get rid of old gasket, than actually fixing the original problem.
The bike was fixed and never gave me any problems since then. So now, with the bike running, I started preparing it for the longer ride: luggage racks, new tires, etc… In the meantime, I went to a beach, countless times…
...rode two-wheeler without an engine…
...tried to windsurf without a success…
…but was successful in taking pictures of those, who succeeded in windsurfing…
...went to a museum with a girl...
...to appreciate some art...
...flown on a small aircraft…
...did a couple of skydives…
...chased and forcefully fed squirrels…
...rode on a train…
...I have no idea who is this and what they are doing...
...and obviously I rode around a bit.
And then, in the middle of August, my friend from Ukraine arrived...
|09-15-2014, 10:25 AM||#5|
Joined: Feb 2013
So, in August my friend Ian arrived. I had already inspected a number of bikes for him, so the only decision he had to make - was the color of the bike: green or blue?
(Some pictures will be in this crappy quality - because sometimes I was too lazy to get out my proper camera.)
After some discusion we decided that blue is not proper Kawasaki color and then we bought the green one for Ian. It had one drawback though - full exhaust. Laud as hell, not something you want to have on a long ride. Lucky for us, previous owner gave us stock exhaust, and Ian was able to find some folks who changed it couple of hours before we started our journey. It was Wednesday August 13, approximately 3pm we packed and set off in the direction of Flagler Beach on Atlantic coast.
First night of our trip we camped in Gamble Rogers recreational area.
Ian before swimming in the Atlantic ocean.
Sunrise above the ocean.
Camping in a tent in Florida in August? Well, NEVER AGAIN.
We barely slept that night. May be a couple of hours of nap.
Florida air itself is too humid usually, it was like three times that humid inside the tent.
And you can't open it because tent will be full of f--king giant cockroaches in a matter of minutes.
And you can't take away rain cover, because, well, that's Florida.
Or giant spiders.
Well, next four days wasn't particularly interesting. We just rode and rode to get as fast as possible to the Western states.
Second night we spent in Montgomery at inmate Mill's place, whom we found using ADVRider Tent Space thread.
His place was awesomely decorated using parts from his previously wrecked bikes.
(Excuse me again for this crappy quality.)
Somewhere in Alabama and Mississippi.
Third night we spend in Little Rock at inmate Dogjaw's place, whom we also found using ADVRider Tent Space thread.
He and his whole family are absolutely awesome. We spent whole evening discussing where should we go in Colorado and Utah (they just did similar trip a month before that), they also helped us with maps, some equipment and they changed Ian's almost worn front tire to something a bit fresher.
We were absolutely amazed by such hospitality. :)
How many bikes you can see on that picture?
Cheap motel in Elk City.
This is our neighbor, who saved us from starvation by giving us directions where we could have something to eat.
On fifth (or sixth, if you count first halfday) we finally reduced our pace and started looking at some sights. The first one was Capulin Volcano.
From the top of Capulin Volcano itself you can see smaller volcanoes.
An eagle (or some other bird of prey) soaring above volcano emphasized how big open space around me was...
Later that day we entered Colorado...
qvasic screwed with this post 09-15-2014 at 10:47 AM
|09-15-2014, 11:25 PM||#6|
Joined: Feb 2013
So, after a little bit of New Mexico we entered Colorado. Here is our approximate route through Colorado, click to enlarge.
Next stop - Great Sand Dunes.
Pretty strange place. I always thought that dunes belong to deserts. It was very strange to see such great amount of sand concentrated in a corner of a valley up in the mountains, surrounded by huge rocky peaks.
Campground wardens. Dogs' names were Bonnie and Clyde. I asked whether they rob anybody and the answer was: "yes, us." :)
After setting up a camp, we went into the dunes. It was fairly difficult: lack of oxygen, steep ascent and soft sand. We barely made it to the top of the first ridge.
But when we made it, we immediately knew it was worth it: sunset was gorgeous. Dunes, mountains, clouds, thunderstorm to the south... one can watch this endlessly...
Some folks set up a tent right in the dunes.
Next morning I went on a short hike up some trail (Mosca Pass?). Nothing special, but very quiet and nice place with almost nobody around.
County road T, if I remember right.
We barely escaped this rain.
Cochetopa Pass Rd and later Los Pinos Pass road heading to Lake City.
Raven's Rest hostel in Lake City. Pretty neat place, and the owner rides KLR!
Pet friendly! :)
A bit of Lake City.
After having some coffee we packed our bikes and set off in the direction of Engineer Pass...
|09-16-2014, 01:28 AM||#9|
Aventurer by Trade
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Point Hope, Sitka & Biorka Island- all in Alaska
Awesome report, keep it coming!
2008 KLR 685- Iron Butt Association #44803
Trippin' in the Yukon & the AK!
"I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth" - Steve McQueen
|09-16-2014, 02:57 AM||#10|
Joined: Mar 2003
Location: Jennings, Louisiana
Fantastic!!!!!!!!!! So glad ya'll made it to explore the US a bit. Will be following your journey. Love hearing other people's thoughts and comments on our country and you're in a beautiful part.
A '00 KLR 650 40,000 miles, A '07 1250S 74,000 , A '03 5.3L Chevy Truck 78,000 + '43 style dude , Simper Fi ;-)
|09-16-2014, 05:07 AM||#11|
Back in S. Korea
Joined: Apr 2006
Location: Western NC
Hey, Vasilij! I'm in, and reading! Please check your PMs, quick! :P
My TAT trip in 2014: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=998193
|09-16-2014, 06:44 AM||#12|
One more time
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: New Mexico (yes it is a State)
Enjoy your trip and your youth. Safe travels
Fear not death, but rather the inadequate life.
|09-16-2014, 07:15 AM||#13|
Earthbound Misfit, I
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: South of Gorman
A good friend and I rode around Colorado and Utah last month for 9 days, and as soon as we get our photographic act together, there will be a thread posted too!
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