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Old 10-13-2012, 07:53 PM   #121
Chiriqui Charlie
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Location: Panama Highlands
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Camping

So far on my small trips I have been sleeping in cheap hotels, partly because I don't have any camping gear and partly because I hear it is dangerous to be exposed out in the CA boonies. Problem is that I can't find a hotel when I am ready to stop, so this limits where I can go. What are your thoughts on this? I realize 99.9% of folks down here are friendly and helpful, but what about the rest, especially since it is not possible to travel with 创protection创.
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:56 PM   #122
WhicheverAnyWayCan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiriqui Charlie View Post
So far on my small trips I have been sleeping in cheap hotels, partly because I don't have any camping gear and partly because I hear it is dangerous to be exposed out in the CA boonies. Problem is that I can't find a hotel when I am ready to stop, so this limits where I can go. What are your thoughts on this? I realize 99.9% of folks down here are friendly and helpful, but what about the rest, especially since it is not possible to travel with 创protection创.
I would recommend quitting around 3-4pm and start looking for a place to stay. This should allow you sufficient time to find a place. I realize it is probably inconvenience for you to stop before you are ready to stop but for your own safety this is what I would do!
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:59 PM   #123
_cy_
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good for you!! congrats on taking off...
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:57 AM   #124
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good for you!! congrats on taking off...
Thanks CY. I noticed the poll under your sig line. Points in a can on my '80 R100 never let me down. Electronic ignition is fine if you have a spare ICU. I met a really nice fellow who came to my rescue when my airhead electronic ignition gave out. So probably I would vote electronic ignition even though technically it's not more reliable.

Cheers,
John Downs
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:58 AM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiriqui Charlie View Post
So far on my small trips I have been sleeping in cheap hotels, partly because I don't have any camping gear and partly because I hear it is dangerous to be exposed out in the CA boonies. Problem is that I can't find a hotel when I am ready to stop, so this limits where I can go. What are your thoughts on this? I realize 99.9% of folks down here are friendly and helpful, but what about the rest, especially since it is not possible to travel with 创protection创.
Hi CC,

Even if you don't have camping gear and you're out in the boonies in Central America there are places to stay in small villages if you ask. If you need to feel safe and unexposed then camping probably isn't for you.

I'll know more about camping Central America when I stop by for a visit. I hear the safest place to camp in western Panama is on your couch.

Suerte,
John Downs
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Old 10-14-2012, 03:33 AM   #126
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One thing people want to know when you travel is where are you from and what do you do. So it's nice if you have some pictures of home and your job. I remembered to take some pictures yesterday as I headed south.

What rancher in Latin America doesn't like to see pictures of what the cattle look like where you come from?





I'll bet a rancher in Argentina would get a kick out of these boys herding black angus down the highway this morning with four-wheeler horses:



Things that seem mundane to you are fascinating to farmers in far off lands. A freshly harvested corn field:



Or big round haybales sitting out in a field like giant shredded wheat breakfast food for cattle:



Or the road I rode to work out in the middle of nowhere on today:



To the Rose parsonage out in the boonies:



And the church next door where I replaced the basement windows:



As a traveler wandering around the world it is easy to forget to bring along a few pics of your home and family to share with people along the roads less traveled.

Heading south tomorrow. This time on my motorcycle Can't wait!!!!

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:31 AM   #127
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I like to get pictures of interesting people I meet in my travels. I have to write down their names before I forget, so keep a small notebook and pen in my right front pocket. Because these ride reports are hard for normal people to find on ADVrider, I set up a free blog over at google so all I have to do is tell them to go to my name.blogspot.com to find the link to this ride report if they care to know more about where this ride is going. Its easy to write down and remember.

It would be nice to have some cards with my name on them to give people so I don't have to write down my name for people. Alas, the nearest printing shop is 150 miles away and I never remember in time before a long ride to order some on the internet. Although now that I think about it, that would be one more thing to keep track of. I'll probably just keep writing it down on a piece of paper. Easy.

Another thing a long distance rider with a thousand mile stare once taught me is to always put things in the same pockets when you travel. That way you can find them easily. Especially when you are in the riding zone and your brain is on autopilot it is nice to not have to think where your wallet is at the next gas station. I just automatically reach for my right front pocket.

Especially helpful if you have riding jacket and pants with 1000 pockets.

Just something that has helped me.

Best,
John Downs
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:03 AM   #128
crashmaster
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Heading south tomorrow. This time on my motorcycle Can't wait!!!!

Kindest regards,
John Downs
Buen viaje! Y no olvide escribir.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:10 AM   #129
Throttlemeister
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I think this will be one of the really good Latin America ride reports a person can learn something from. Look forward to meeting you on your way South
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:18 AM   #130
JDowns OP
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You know the feeling. Early morning and you're about ready to leave on a long adventure. It doesn't get any better than this!

It's oh-dark-thirty and 36 degrees. The bikes all packed and ready to go parked patiently in the back yard:



Although you can almost feel the Sherpa saying,

C'MON ALREADY, LET'S BLOW THIS POPSTAND!!!!!!!!!

Just waiting for the sunrise and temps to rise up a bit. In the meantime, have to drain the water lines and water heater, flip the main breaker off and bid adieu to the old house. She's gonna freeze solid. Nothing this old house hasn't seen for the last 100 winters.

Look forward to entertaining you folks this winter with more tales from the road.......

adios amigos,
John Downs
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:26 AM   #131
JDowns OP
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Buen viaje! Y no olvide escribir.

Thanks! And don't worry I'll write plenty. You need some decent entertainment this winter Se駉r Veeence and I can't imagine a better way than reading Latin American ride reports down the roads you were on not so long ago.

Suerte,
Juan
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:45 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by Throttlemeister View Post
I think this will be one of the really good Latin America ride reports a person can learn something from. Look forward to meeting you on your way South
Hope to be at Casa Throttlemeister by tommorrow afternoon. It's only 600 odd miles from here so gives me time to wander around Nebraska and Kansas. Big flocks of Sandhills cranes were flying south while I was out working yesterday. Might have to drop by the Platte River to see them massing for their annual migration south. Maybe they'll let me join the flock as an honorary member.

Best,
John Downs
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:04 AM   #133
rtwpaul
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have a great ride south and i'll see you in a month or two
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:54 PM   #134
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On the road again today. Yeehaw!!!! Riding south. What a great feeling! I enjoy riding, the destination is secondary. This time it is South America. But this ride could end up any number of ways. I can't count the number of times I have taken off riding and ended up far from where I originally thought I was going. I have always wanted to ride to South America. Will I make it? Who knows. In the mean time there is plenty of time to think about life. Gain perspective. And post pictures of the roads less traveled to those at home in between travel adventures. I am trying something different this time. I hope to visit other riders along the way and pitch my tent where possible to save on accommodation. I am short on funds but that never has stopped me in the past. The older I get the smaller the bike and the less money I can spend. Whatever it takes I think I'll make it to South America. This morning before I left the lady I worked for last week stopped and gave me 100 dollar bill and told me to tape it to the frame for emergencies. I was speechless. What a kind gesture. Really sweet lady.

Headed down back country roads. Like sailing across a lonely sea of rolling grass covered sand dunes. Nobody much lives out here so parking isn't a problem on the backroad to Burwell:



It is a beautiful day today. Crisp air and blue skies as the air warmed. Not freezing like last week. Just me and the cattle out enjoying the morning:



After 60 miles or so I stopped by this cemetery near Sargeant on top of the hill to visit my great-great grandparents. Mainly to take a pic for my relatives out west who haven't been here:



It's a tiny little one foot square granite gravestone in a pioneer cemetary out in the middle of nowhere on a hill overlooking the Loup River valley:



I found out from the nice lady at the historical society that he was a surveyor for the government who came out here from Iowa in 1879 with his cousin on horseback to homestead. Must have been nice. He would probably laugh and think I'm a bit of a Sally for taking the easy way on a motorcycle to go off exploring. I bet the people in Iowa told him he was crazy to head off into Indian territory. Just like people tell me I'm gonna git kilt by narcotraffikers. Yeah right. Not much has changed in 150 years. People read too many newspapers and don't get out enough. I imagine he smiled and nodded his head like I do. Would have liked to have met him. From what I have read he sounds like a cool dude. His cousin homestead neighbor went on to become the governor in 1900.

Rode past where his 160 acre homestead was on the Loup River. Nothing but coyotes, buffalo and a few settlers back then. Not much has changed really:




The nice thing about living out in the country is that you can collect windmills:



I love windmills. This one is a real creaker:



The older they get the nicer the rhythmic song they sing. Especially with the sandhills cranes calling overhead. They fly so high I couldn't get a picture worth posting. Riding out in the middle of nowhere with nothing but the cranes, the windmill creaking and the wind blowing through the grass is a peaceful song. The neighbors probably think Mr. Windmill collector is crazy. Like me, he probably thinks to himself, feck 'em if they don't like my garden art. Probably make a nice pic at sunset with a storm in the distance.

Stopped down the road at an abandoned ranch to use the facilities:



Wonder what blew the door off. I can only imagine.

Down the road a ways stopped at an old abandoned stone church:



Perfect place to stealth camp out back behind the lilacs if it weren't so early:



Well okay, this feller was slithering through the old Polish cemetary giving me snake eye:



So I booked on down the road.
People pay big money for old barn wood like this:



Glad they haven't torn this one down. She's a beaut.


Profound thoughts float in the background through my mind while i'm riding. By the time I open up this laptop most have drifted off. It doesn't matter. Riding can be like conscious dreaming. Just as therapeutic for me as subconscious dreaming at night. Although I think psychologists need to get out riding more. They seem to have missed the riders part of the brain. They got the logical left and intuitive right hemispheres of the brain. But what about the riders hemisphere? The hemisphere that focuses on the road ahead looking for threats while watching the world go by. A woman bending over in a field. A car drifting right and suddenly turning left. The riders hemisphere has seen that move a thousand times. A loose black angus cow standing by the side of the road looking confused. Lots of skid marks on a straight section of road near a creek with no driveways or houses indicating deer may cross here. It is an altered state of consciousness. Miles and miles of intense focus. Effortlessly calculating the best line to miss the tapestry of rocks and ruts on the jeep trail just ahead while thoughts and dreams drift by in the background.

I have been sitting here in the Ord Township Library in beautiful downtown Ord for an hour typing away. Time to hit the road and head off to Kansas and camp.

Oh, and a good thing to know while on the road less traveled is that rural libraries are great places to stop and upload photos and sit in an easy chair and type away. They are usually only open in the afternoons from like 1 to 5, so a nice way to take a break and update your ride report.

Adios amigos. More later....
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:10 PM   #135
yamalama
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Awesome.
Really looking forward to this.
Safe travels.
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