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Old 05-15-2010, 11:22 AM   #1
nicomama OP
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Solo Chick Nicomama Zips on Over to Overland Expo 2010

How life unfolds and the people and events that are placed in our paths to help us reach our dreams still amaze me. This 3 day Overlanding event known as Overland Expo 2010 was a prime example of people coming together to inspire and be inspired by adventurers who shared stories, education and products that encouraged us to explore our worlds, both inside and out.

The one inspirational woman responsible for pulling together such a motivational exploration event is director Roseann Hanson. Roseann takes pride in presenting the first event that encompasses education, conservation, and inspiration, while getting families and women involved in huge numbers. I was so excited to meet the woman who single-handedly corralled a great team of volunteers, educators and vendors, all the while spreading awareness of the conservation of our land. But, what I was equally excited to find was that Roseann in person is one of the warmest, most caring and wonderfully positive woman I have ever met who has pulled off such a huge event. Here she is with her husband, Jonathan Hanson the executive editor at Overland Journal, one of the large supporters of the Expo...

This exciting one-stop three day event was on April 16, 17 and 18, and was the second year to provide a large venue designed to educate and inspire people to get out and discover the world. This year the venue was located at the Amado Territory Ranch in Amado, Arizona, south of Tucson...

This was the perfect location for the event, and I was not the only one to feel the "magic" of the event in unison with its surroundings.

I appreciate your patience in receiving this ride report. I hope some of you see inspiration in how my life is unfolding right now, because I do at this point. As soon as I got back from this wonderful event, I was given the news that I lost my home to foreclosure as we were in the middle of a loan modification process. It is all meant to be as we choose to see these events as blessings sent to us to shake us onto the path we are meant to be on.

Welcome to the next ride and chapter of my life...the magic of the Overland Expo, 2010.

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Old 05-15-2010, 11:56 AM   #2
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Oooh that sounds like a great event! Totally subscribed and waiting to hear all about it.
2012 R1200GS Rallye - Gypsy
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Life is dangerous. Not doing what you love makes life even more dangerous...
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Old 05-15-2010, 12:58 PM   #3
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First time poster here, so please forgive my n00bness if I don't know proper etiquette or bring enough beer and sammiches! I've followed all your ride reports and have greatly enjoyed your style, wisdom and positive outlook.
It saddens me to hear of your recent news from the heartless banking industry. I've never experienced foreclosure but have come close enough to know that it can be a very tough thing. I know that your open heart and mind will allow the universe to provide what you need, however .

I will definitely be looking again at some of your dual-sport products and I hope that you see great success with your designs and business ventures.

Even as a complete n00b, I think it's safe to say that you have a lot of sincere friends on this site.

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Old 05-15-2010, 01:11 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear about the house You'll bounce back, though, for certain.

Looking forward to this RR, as we all have with all your others!
Txt msg with Dan right after he was paralyzed:
Me: Hey Dan-O. Just wanted to say howdy and Love ya!
Dan: Howdy and Love you too. Doin' good and feeling good.
Me: Give 'em hell, little Bro!
Dan: Roger that.
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Old 05-15-2010, 01:36 PM   #5
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I was glad to see the starting of another one of your RR's. I have followed and enjoyed each of the others you were kind enough to post here. Please accept my sincere sadness at hearing of the foreclosure on your home. I truly don't understand the reasoning behind so many of them, but you have the right attitude and I am sure things will work out for the best for someone as talented and self assured as yourself. I wish the best for you.
Ks-Rydr.... Two-lane blacktop isn't a highway, it's an attitude !
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:47 PM   #6
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Happy to see you riding and reporting, I'm sorry to hear about the house. I've been in business for 21 years now and I can tell you there are highs and lows, I'm sure a Lady with your talents will make a pretty quick comeback. I was ready to call it quits a few years ago, but decided to hang in the fight and now am closing on a commercial property and opening a garden center. Dig in and fight for the life you want and it will come. My best to you and your family.
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Old 05-15-2010, 10:11 PM   #7
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Chattin' it up with my peeps

My Dear Sara, Rackemcrackem, East Coast Rider/Mike, KS-Ryder and RockJohn/Mike,

I so appreciate your undying support and well wishes for this next chapter of my life. What's funny is that I see things happening for a reason. With this downsizing to a 2 b/r apartment, I see an exciting fresh start with new energy and new adventures. Boy, is it liberating to donate old "junk" to become someone else's treasure. Things that were no longer used can now help someone else in need. And, now I am free with a more minimalist environment, yet still surrounded by my sanctuary.

As my ex, Pablo/Espi (on ADV), and I told our kids when we had the "talk" about the move, it's times like these that bring people together to support and love one another. No matter where we live the love and fun remains. Now, the kids and I are in a more intimate setting where we can cozy up together and show each other what is truly important in this world. We are doing just fine ; )

So, grab your coffees, beers or drink of choice and come along for my ride...
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Old 05-16-2010, 01:13 AM   #8
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Taking two days from LA to Amado, AZ on Jack

Here I was, so excited about this six day adventure with two travel days to and from this wonderful Overlanding event. To all who are not familiar with the term "overlanding", of which I was one before this event, it is "the self-reliant overland travel to remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal." This goes hand-in-hand with how I like to view my adventure rides. It's the journey and not the destination that is the most fulfilling.

I had packed Jack, my bike Jack B. Nimble for those just joining us, the night before. So, that Wednesday morning April 14th, I dropped off the angels at school...

And, filled myself up with my favorite morning drink of choice, homemade green juice...

Which is spinach, parsley, celery, kale, carrots and Fuji apples to make it yummy. It's the best drink I know to physically kick start my motor

So, I excitedly throw a leg over Jack and am ready to hit the road...

For those of you familiar with mounting a loaded bike, I think it would be fun to do a study on the grace of the mount. Yes in the beginning when I was stretching and a bit more flexible, I threw my right leg over the whole kit and kaboodle. And, I did it without getting a cramp in my butt. But after riding for awhile, I daintily grab my right foot and help guide it over the saddle. How many of you have been snagged up mounting your steed? Fess up.

What you can't see in this fuzzy pic is the fact that I have a totally blown out left ankle. Crazily enough, I had pushed an hour long run the weekend before the trip and pushed right through a bum ankle. It has never been the same since the abuse I gave it on the High School basketball team at Pali High in the L.A. area in '82...

It wasn't going to get in the way of my adventure, so I stuffed it in my boot and took off...

My ride from LA towards Palm Springs was just what the doctor ordered. Sunny with little traffic. After some time in the saddle, I stopped for a restroom break at a rest stop. How appropriate. And, ended up chattin' it up with a fellow traveler who enjoyed reminiscing about his good ol' days on his motorcycles. I never realized that he would be a repeat character in my play in the next act.

Pulled into a gas station to fill Jack up and enjoyed meeting Lee from Wisconsin, a Harley rider doing the US circuit with all his needs in his dry bags and panniers. Just look at the smile on his face and you can tell he knows the secret to life: just get out and do it...

It was after that tank of gas and hitting the Arizona boarder, the 75 mile per hour speed limit, where I would start the next act of my play that would put a smile on the face of one of my favorite readers, RWPeebles/Richard. So Richard, what do you think happened to me between two distant cities in Arizona?

Jack wanted to pull over anyway just to get a better view of the beautiful Arizona landscape...

The only problem was that he didn't want to pull back out. Damn, outta gas again. Mind you this is the third time I run out of gas with a 4.5 gallon tank. I got 275 miles to it in the city, no load. 200 miles to it on the highway, loaded with headwind and now 147 miles to it loaded going 75-78 miles per hour. So, there you have it. For those who just got new aftermarket tanks, please learn from me. Expect very different outcomes for mileage under varying conditions. That's how you learn right? Plus, it's all part of the adventure. Hey, I would never have met the following people if I had listened to my inner voice.

Enter Antoine. Who pulled over to help after 20 minutes of waving a piece of yellow tablet paper reading "GAS". Maybe those 20 minute passers-by just thought I had beans for lunch...

"You want me to call the CHP for you?"

"Actually, that would really help out. Especially, since I left my AAA card at home." Note to self: spell out the really important cards and docs on the packing sheet. Obviously, I missed that one as I scrambled to pack the night before.

So, as Antoine was calling CHP, who else happens to pull up? None other than mister rest stop reminiscing, or Daniel as I would then find out.

"I knew I would see you out on the road after you hauled off and passed me on the highway."

"Boy, am I happy to see you. Don't suppose you have a AAA card?"

So, Antoine passed the gas baton to Daniel...

But, what's so hilarious is what Daniel offered me while we were waiting for AAA...

Yes you guessed it, Life Savers candy. Coincidental? I don't think so.

So, in the end how many guys does it take to save Jack and I on the road? Just 3.

The AAA guy shows up and says he only has 3/4 of a gallon to give me. He suggests to turn around and go back to the previous city's station since it's closer...

But, Daniel is sure that Jack can make it to the next town, which is 30 miles away. He says he'll follow me with hazards on to make sure. "And, this time don't go 75 miles/hour."

Ha, just two miles from the next station I run out of gas again. Laughingly, I have Daniel help me tilt Jack over to the left to get the extra gas in the side with the pet cock. And after that, Jack starts right up and gets me to the next station. Thanks Daniel for the first bit of excitement of my adventure. Now that you can leave me to fend for myself, I bet you'll get to your big chef's gig on time...

The rest of that day's ride is uneventful. Except for the fact that I can't find the Gilbert Ray campground in Tucson, AZ, after 530 miles of riding that day. After 11 hours of riding and seeing the sign "state prison" at the exit where I was going to camp out, I opt for a roadside hotel.

All I need from the Quality Inn at this point is a bed...

The Grecian wallpaper and Southwestern art are just added perks when my eyes are closed. Exhausted.

The next morning I was rested and ready for adventure after my morning tea and granola with powdered milk. It was a leisurely morning knowing that I was only 46 miles from Amado and didn't need to be there until they opened Thursday at 1p. I welcomed any off road leads to adventure and found a beauty from the highway. A gorgeous white structure lurked off into the distance. It was the San Xavier Mission just waiting for exploration...

I marveled at the history I was about to touch...

The current church dates from the late 1700's, when Southern Arizona was still part of New Spain. In 1783, Franciscan missionary Fr. Juan Bautista Velderrain was able to begin construction using money borrowed from a Sonoran rancher. He hired an architect, Ignacio Gaona, and a large workforce of O'odham to create this masterpiece...

I was in awe of the peace I felt surrounding the grounds. Even this Saguaro cactus shows its respect for the reverence that was felt...

The details of the architecture were stunning. Just imagine the time it took these artisans to hand carve this exterior...

I was not alone when the power of its interior washed over me and brought me to tears...

After meditating off in the corner, I arose to find others with wet cheeks, as well. We shared a moment as we passed each other in silent acknowledgment and carried on with our days in different directions.

It was at that point that I climbed back on Jack and knew that the rest of this weekend was going to be filled with magic. And, it was. The goosebumps never lie.

As soon as I pulled into the expansive venue of the Amado Territory Ranch, I was greeted by an old friend whom I had only known through wonderful emails since my Grand Canyon trip six months prior. Ara Gureghian, best known for his soulful blog "Oasis of my Soul" was going to be one of the solo rider guest speakers...

Of all the people I have met in this industry, this man is the one that stands out above the rest as being touched by the "bigger picture" meaning of life on the road of adventure. He asks big questions and is in search of big answers. He demands that humanity rise to the occasion and is the first to offer his heart to help others.

The following connection of two souls will illustrate what I witnessed first hand...

Ara lost his only son at age 26 to cancer six years ago and has been "on the road" ever since with his beloved dog Spirit looking for answers.

He and I were both deeply touched by Phil Golden and his quest to raise awareness of ALD, Adrenoleukodystrophy, a genetically determined neurological disorder that affects 1 in every 17,900 boys worldwide. Boys develop normally until the onset of symptoms occurs. Symptoms typically rival those of attention deficit disorder before serious neurological involvement becomes apparent. The symptoms progress rapidly and lead to vegetative state within two years, and death anytime thereafter.

This is the discovery of two fathers sharing a common bond...their sons.

Phil is a young father who has been personally affected by this disease within his family. He has made it his quest to pour everything he is about into raising public awareness through his heartfelt expedition called "Expedition Awareness" ...

This one meeting summed up what this whole weekend was about...the coming together of a people united. Yes, vendors were there to sell products. But, there was an underlying feeling of commonality between many of the participants involved in this weekend of adventure and hope. I felt it in the air and spoke of it with others. There was a magic involved in this weekend. And, I have faith in humankind that we as a people will take care of individuals who need our help like Phil.

When individuals like Phil are faced with such adversity it really makes us take a step back and re-evaluate where we place our priorities and where we see our blessings.

It is in times like these that we are coming together to help each other rise above. I feel it and know it.

This was just the beginning of my introduction to a sweeping feeling of unity within our industry all within a packed 3 day weekend at the Overland Expo.

Stay tuned my friends.

nicomama screwed with this post 05-16-2010 at 12:04 PM
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Old 05-16-2010, 04:24 AM   #9
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Camera position about right--check.
Set timer for 10 secs--check.
Jump on bed and pretend to be asleep--check...The things ADVers will do for getting good/goofy/funny pictures to put in their Ride Reports!!

Glad some folks stopped to help...outta gas on a highway in the middle of the desert doesn't sound like fun. Three cheers for Antoine and Daniel!
Txt msg with Dan right after he was paralyzed:
Me: Hey Dan-O. Just wanted to say howdy and Love ya!
Dan: Howdy and Love you too. Doin' good and feeling good.
Me: Give 'em hell, little Bro!
Dan: Roger that.
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Old 05-16-2010, 05:15 AM   #10
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Wow.. every one of your reports gets better and better!! And the pics are awesome too!!

ADV decals, patches & flag? Here
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Old 05-16-2010, 05:16 AM   #11
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I'm ready ...

Great start, Nicole!

Thanks for pulling this together ... I love the pics and the story line so far. I have to agree, there are a bunch of really neat people out there - interesting, kind, friendly, funny, and many with some tough stories they've lived. It's wonderful how people can and do support one another.

I missed seeing the Mission on my last trip to Tucson, but had it on my "this looks interesting" list. Now it's on the "must see" list. And, without cheating, I did correctly guess what happened to you out on the lonely road. You were right - it made me smile. This time, however, it's hard to say "tsk! tsk!" ... it's not fair when your fuel economy drops off that much!

You are inspiring in very many ways. And your angels are still WAY too cute!!! I love that picture of them at their school.

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Old 05-16-2010, 05:39 AM   #12
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Nicole, if you don't mind a complete stranger saying, you are quite a remarkable woman. I expect I'll always be aboard for your adventures.
I'd rather be dragging a club than clubbing in drag.
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:17 AM   #13
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Phoenix area

Dang, wish I'd of known about this as I'm a short day's ride from there.....
I've always enjoyed reading your things Nicole, and am always on the lookout to seeing more. Thanks for taking the time. Stay safe! Gary
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:21 AM   #14
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You never fail to please, as someone already noted your reports just keep getting better. If you would, shake Ara's hand for me, I hope to one day meet him. Loved the fake sleep pic, what a Ham .
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Old 05-16-2010, 08:18 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by nicomama
Pulled into a gas station to fill Jack up and enjoyed meeting Lee from Wisconsin, a Harley rider doing the US circuit with all his needs in his dry bags and panniers. Just look at the smile on his face and you can tell he knows the secret to life: just get out and do it...

Ha! Small world. Lee's my Brother-in-law. He spent the night here a few weeks ago on his way west. Lee's a great guy and has ridden everywhere from up to Alaska to well down into Mexico.
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