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Old 10-15-2014, 03:47 PM   #1
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Apr 2014
Oddometer: 124
TAT, Continental Divide, Tour of Idaho, WABDR, ORBDR, El Camino Del Diablo Ride

I wanted this write up to be more than just reporting on the things you see or encounter while puttering along down the trail. I wanted to melt who I am and my mental take on the ride, then somehow join it into a ride report format.

I couldn't figure out how to do this at first but as I wrote, the story started to take shape and go in a direction that I liked.
With this story I'm hoping you learn a little about about me and how I see things. I'll be doing the Rorschach Test (search it) on myself based off what I encountered over the past 49 days. My writing will be about what I see in the picture.

My material will be from a notebook, camera, video camera and memory.
Being here at home, I'll write the information, apply a situation from my life then interoperate thoughts based on my views.
As you read you may find that you don't agree with the things I'm saying. I'm not a writer.
I disliked school and did very poor in most of the classes. What I think I'm writing may come off 180 degrees from what I'm
really trying to convey....It may also be center mass.
I aint banging on nothing. Hate it, love it and all in between.
Just trying to tell a story.

If you have read the planning portion of my post you'll be up to speed with what's going on.
If not, I'd suggest that you start there before continuing.

Photographs and video are from a several year old $90 Sumsung sports cam. While reporting I'll also be learning editing, and posting
techniques. I'm new to all this and am only using what I can find for free.
My intent is to have the story bracketed into sections of about 4 days. I'll then attach a Flicker link that has supporting photos and or videos covering those days in a desiginated folder.

I'll keep this going until the story is over or, no one shows interest.

The trip starts on July 22nd 2014.

Day One:

Karen drops me off at the San Diego California airport for the red eye flight to Wilmington, North Carolina.
I didn't sleep very well during the flight so I arrive on the tired side.
I flag a cab and we talk guns and weather in the Midwest. 15 minutes pass and I'm at the Carolina Coast Harley-Davidson.
I arrive at 9:15am. They opened at 0900. This requires and A-Team quote "I love it when a plan comes together"

Next was to see what condition the bike was in and to verify if all the gear had made it.

I introduced myself to Jeremy Jacobs who was the contact that I had been dealing with for the past few months of planning.
After a short chat (he was already busy with customers) he took me back into the service area and pulled my bike out from the maze of chrome laden super freighters.
My rubbermaid container of riding gear was there and all I had to do now was to slap it together.

I had until 10:30 to get everything sorted. At this time Kerri was supposed to be meeting me at the shop.
Kerri?? This is a young Lady who wil be meeting me to ride the TAT. Our schedules were almost exact so we decided to at least
start out together. We had mailed several times but never met. She was from Maryland and had rode to Wilmington several
days earlier and stayed with some friends near the area.
Before starting I had discussed that I wanted to adhere to my posted schedule as best as possible and she relayed
that if either of us were moving to quickly there wouldn't be any issues separating. Fair nuf.

As this ride got closer to D Day my excitement began to fizzle. I really enjoyed the planning portion of it. I had worked hard by going through all the small details to try and make it as smooth as could be.
I think two things really brought me down.

First was the lack of response by other ADV'ers (aside from those who know me)
and secondly was the lame Moto Transport Company that bailed on me last minute.
*Read about them in the planning report so you don't make the same mistake*
I had to step back and really give some hard thought as to why I was doing the ride and what I would be OK with
once it ended. Now keep in mind I had already worked out all the other obvious issues. Examples being, time away from Karen, money,
safety, and so on. My mind is wired to meet an objective. I needed to have that base line drawn before starting so that when the end
arrived, I wouldn't feel like I was shorted or be left expecting more out of it.
After self sorting I found what I was looking for within. A Kinks song says it best "I'm not like everybody else"
I'm now good and ready to roll.

...continue Day one...
She (Kerri) shows @ 10:10am excited, 20 minutes early and ready to ride.
She's riding an older KLR with some tires that made me nervous right out tha gate. Without asking, I'm certain the tires were not
purchased in the past 10 years. I live by the "run what ya brung" motto. My prep is finished so off we go for gas.
She follows and I pull otta the shop and right away go the wrong direction. GPS arrow takes a second to sort itself and we
flip a U-ey and find a station nearby.
While gassing up she trys to power up her GPS and for whatever reason it does not come on. Nada problem; follow me and we
can sort it out tonight when we make camp.
The weather is humid, muggy, and feels hot to me. The weather report threatened rain. Some already fell earlier that morning.
We had about 60 miles of slab before hitting TAT actual up near Jacksonville.
Off we went, her in trail. The route was near the Coast and each bridge crossing brought views out into the Ocean.
Traffic was mellow; stop and go with a lot of traffic lights.
Upon reaching the TAT we stopped at a small grocery store to take a moment to readjust any last minute items.
Departing the store it was paved country road for several miles then turning to dirt running through a logging area.
This portion of NC was flat as flat can be and damn near at sea level. I'd call it a swamp but that's just my unofficial terminology.

Soil was gravel mixed with clay at first. Trail was a wide dirt road with ditches on each side that turned wet and into full clay quickly.
There was grass down the center line and along the sides. The grass provided a bit of false traction.
We may have been going 15mph when I happen to look in my mirror to see how Kerri was doing only to see her front wheel pushing out from under the bike.
She makes a correction, it grabs and starts back across the road toward the other side. Another correction, but this time also some
throttle. The rear begins to overtake the front of the bike and then panic forces more throttle. The bike chooses its final direction
moving sideways at this point. Before looking away I see her ejected toward high side.
I stop as quickly as I can but before I can even look back, she is standing looking at what just happened.
This is generally a good sign. I find a spot that will support the kickstand. Clay, water and grass does not offer much stand support.
Walking back to check on her she already has her camera phone out and is taking a photo.
I gave the general "you OK" and in response, a quick; yup.
For a low speed crash in soft terrain the bike was really beat up.
I move to upright the bike and find something to prop under the kickstand to support it.

At this point I focus more of my attention to her. She still has on the helmet and it has a small amount of mud on the right frontal lobe area and also some smeared around on her jacket.
I ask the normal questions. Pain, vision OK, feeling sick??? from her answers all seemed well.
She asked what happened.
You could pretty much see the story written like a book right there on the ground.
Just keep following the tire tracks over to here where you landed. A few jokes about it then I started to work on her bike.

Windscreen was destroyed and hanging on by one fastener, tank had a hella big dent from the crown twisting. Fortunately the tank didn't puncture.
Dashboard, (odo, tach, speed-o) was smashed and pulled out of its mounting seat. Broken I should say. Bars twisted in the clamp and
had been forced rearward.
One of her bags mounting straps tore out so it had to be secured another way. Shift lever bent quite a bit but didn't harm the case
nor did it break bending it back to a useable position. Throttle cables bent at the guide near the throttle, hand guards broken, GPS cracked...

While I look all this over and start figuring what needs to be done I get this question....again. "What happened, how did I crash"?
Dude, I just told you. You sure you feeling alright. You're not feeling sick or anything are you? Not sick, maybe a little fuzzy.. What
happened, how did I crash? Seriously.... To shorten this part of the story. I was asked these questions many times, over and over again.
Her favorite thing to repeat was that she was sorry. I'll bet I heard that 200 times.

She didn't know me. Didn't know where she started. Didn't know anyone else's name. OK...didn't know anything.
On top of that I could tell her something, turn my back and she would ask the exact same question 30 seconds later.

At this point I did what any hard core ADVrider would do. Jumped on my bike and took off. She's not gonna remember anyways right!
Home free!!

Here's where it starts to rain (hard)

After trying to get her mentally sorted and doing a physical assessment to ensure she was not in a foreseeable life threatening situation
I started in on her bike. She didn't know if she had tools and if she did, she had no idea where they were.

I have the tools required to fit my bike but not everything to work on all bikes. Out comes my kit.
Some "in the field" make shift stuff happens for about 30 to 40 minutes. All in the pouring rain, all while answering the same questions
over and over again. By the time I get her bike willed to move again my backpack was floating on the ground. My tool bags are under water
and everything that is not in a dry bag, is NOT dry.

Her bike runs! She's not dizzy or sick so I start to feel her out to see if she can ride out of the area to the next main road.
At least make it to something where we can better sort her health.
She feels she can so I pack up all my crap and we try to set off.
This does not go well. Factor in that she is nervous from the crash,
the conditions are 100x worse now due to the rain, her mind is doing whatever It's doing and her bikes components are bent up all
over the place; we don't make it very far very fast. Even the baby step method is a fail at this point.
The final show ender comes when the carb float decides to just start letting gas flow freely into and through the carb and onto the ground.
Bikey no more run. It's done and she's done.

I try to sort out where the next place is that could help us. I can see on the GPS there is a Country Club about 6 miles away.
I try to ask her who she knows. Your BF? People who you stayed with last night? Mom/Dad?? Nothing.
I have her call the last person who she spoke to on the phone. A friend in Maryland... This does not go smooth as she is unable to tell him anything that makes sense. I take the phone and am instantly the devil because I have not called for emergency help. She didn't want SAR nor did the symptoms indicate that she needed one... but I get it.

What I really need to know is who do I need to contact so she has someone who can come and take care of her.
After a bunch of talking he convinced her to seek medical attention. The next step is finding it and then getting her there.

Shortening it a little. She takes what she deems important off her bike and I dump everything I own on the side of the trail.
I leave a note with her bike and ping it with the GPS.
She jumps on back and two up, we are off to find help. I find the Country Club and ask a guy where medical is. Emergency's about 15 miles away. I'm off.

We arrive and I check her in. I tell them the story and then try to get her to find someone who can help her.
Call everyone in your phone and have the Hospital talk to them if necessary.
I gotta ride back to get my stuff off the trail before it gets rolled on. Ride back (in the rain), all is there. Whew!
On the way back to the Hospital I figure I had better get a room so that if she gets discharged and has not found anyone to get her at least she would have a place to stay. I find a room close then make my way to the Hospital. She was there in a room waiting for a scan.
She did find the person who she stayed with the night before and they were on their way to get her. Good news!
She went in for the scan and I waited for her to come back to the room.

We were waiting for the results but I had not slept since the day before. I left the Hotel name and my info so if she was released before her
friend arrived they could contact me and I'd come get her. I leave for the motel.
I was only at the room for about a half hour when she arrived. I guess her friend arrived at the emergency room right as I was leaving.
They were planning on staying the night before driving out to the bike in the morning. I gave him the location, road names
and a description of where it was. She had no idea where she was let alone ever finding the bike again.

Several times during this ordeal I was worried about ending up in jail.

Once was when the nurses asked her if she had urinated and she said no.
I said yes....she did, 3 times. I got the worst looks ever. You could just sense their thoughts. WHAT WERE YOU DOING TO HER OUT THERE!
The other was when she couldn't find $200.00 and swore it was in a bag she was carrying. Of course who else would have taken it right?
That part sucked bad.

Well the pee thing was simple. She was like "I gotta pee" and went off and did it. Just couldn't remember doing it.
The money...??? She found it the next day still with the bike.

I went to sleep with about 70 actual miles for the day. Not quite the 250 I had planned for. Her ride was over for now but I guess she was going to be fine as they had discharged her from the emergency room.

Day Two:

Things kick off at about 8am. I work to dry my gear by hanging it on the bike like It's a clothing rack. Some are draped off the trash can
sitting outside my door. The rest just claims whatever spot is left available on the ground that is not currently standing water.

Bike maintenance goes down. I clean and lube the chain and give a good once over to all the mounting bolts that are holding the beast together.
Some areas can be glanced at every few days, others are once and sometimes many times per day events.

As I ride through North Carolina I notice one thing the State has an abundance of. Any guesses??? You come up with a guess and I'll give you the answer in a second.
Weather is nice today. When I say this, translation is; NOT raining right now. It could be 1400 degrees or 1673.15 Kelvin but I'd still give it the
nice rating as long as its dry.
The riding is flat and passes along many farms. If the ground will allow for it; something's being grown for agricultural purposes.
When I say allow, I'm referring to anything that is not; straight up swamp.

Let's get back to that question I asked earlier. So what has there been a lot of so far???? Cemeteries!
North Carolina has more Cemeteries than Seattle has Starbucks. No joking, there has to be at least one every mile.
I wondered about the reasons why this could be as I ride along. One thought was that since the East Coast was settled first, people have
inhabited the area longer resulting in more burials naturally. How about the Civil War?
Maybe It's the fact that here in California, it was unlawful to be buried in certain cities not all that long ago. San Francisco, 1920s... Illegal.
As I sit here right now I'm not even able to think of a cemetery nearby. This may be the answer. Out of sight, out of mind.

When you start rides like this do you wonder if your riding will be up to it? I thought about it a lot before setting out on this trip.
Do I have the skill, is my gear right, is the route I setup going to work out... I always wonder what that one thing will be that's going to own me
while underway.
I quickly found our where I sucked and what I was not ready for.
Stop signs. You're like: really...?? Aaaaannndd how long have you been driving??
Here's the deal dude.
Since owning this bike, I've not really ridden much on the roads. I like trail ... I ride trail. If I do accidently get onto a road around here, they go on for a long damn ways until something needs to happen. Generally, I slow down and merge onto another trail. Not much stopping required around SicVics hood.

Apparently I didn't have the skills required for the 1 mile square type of riding. I never found myself ready for them. After a few blown intersections it became my quest to not aggressively use the rear brake. This heightened awareness worked for a few but some were just retarded tricky.
I know you're thinking I'm a quack but I'm tell'n ya... whack sheet happened to some of those signs out there.
Some signs looked as if they were used at the county fair for playing the "shoot-em-up" game and had so many holes you can't even tell the color.
Trees or vines had completely grown over others. A few had the post but the sign was gone; likely being used as a "roof fix" in somebodys trailer.

Lastly, I blame insane placement. Like 16 rows deep into the cornfield kind of insane.

Whatever was happening; combined with my lack of stoppage skills, I found myself many a times blasting into an intersection waiting
to get detonated by a potato truck.
Don't get it all twisted like I'm doing 140 mph across this State either. 56 mph is the fastest I went the entire way. All 49 days and that was top speed. I rode short Freeway stretches rated for 80 mph only doing 50. Those stories later.
Random people would wave at me while riding... Now this was kinda neat for several reasons. Being raised as a Dairy Farmer and living in a small
town you waved at just about everyone. First because you knew most of them and secondly it was a greeting form of respect. Example: An elderly
person. You wave to respect their age. Person on a tractor, wave to respect their work. Another car on a dirt road; move to the side allowing room to pass and the wave is respecting each others space.

I graduated High School (let's call it that) with 88 kids in my class. It was a small School for a small town. You didn't need to be taught to wave or what it meant.
How was it that by riding this Motorbike I had earned the wave? This is a question that kept returning to me as it would happen many more times along the journey.
I miss that wave now that I'm back home and people generally look at me as if I'm toxic trash.
A guy I worked with many years back named Ted used to call it the "gay wave of dismissal". He was from PA and this was his descriptive name for the way some people would pre judge him only based on his looks. His witt was lightning quick and he could just ruin those types. He was a good dude.

Animals are always a worry when riding a moto. Little did I know that North Carolina has dragonflies that could easily be confused for a crow.
They quickly earned great respect when the first one hit me in the face and almost removed my head. I also had to escort several turtles across the road.
They need to do some serious gene splitting to help those little guys out. I know slow and steady wins the race but when that saying was invented, there was no such thing as PeterBuilt.
That slow and steady thing is out tha window when it comes to that race. I did my part and several will live on to fight another day.
I also did my part thinning out the Drago Flies. I know this because I had to shovel them from my radiators every evening.

I shut down the day at about 6:10pm. I could have pushed a little more but the sky was angry in the direction I was headed.
I asked the Owner of a small gas station if I could camp aside his building in the grass under a large pine (maybe spruce). He agreed and advised me the store closed at 21:30 and would open again at 0500.

Logging 307 miles today was great but I also need a good day tomorrow to reclaim some of that distance I lost on the first day.
Weather report is working against me but It's not raining yet...OK, It's raining now.
I setup my shelter tarp and toss my gear underneath it. I'm under a fair sized tree that provides some rain disbursement.
Intermittently, I manage to cook a little without getting wet.
As the sun sets and darkness falls the fire flies come out of the woodwork.
I'm camped on grass but close to an edge row of taller weeds. They must have been waiting for me to arrive before starting the show.
I tried to catch a photo but only ended up chasing them from side to side. Finally I just kicked back and enjoyed.
It was dope!

Day Three:

I awake early as cars start to arrive at the gas station. It's around 6am. I crawl out of the shelter and start to reassemble my gear for the days
Mostly packed I go into the store to pick up some small items. I introduce myself to the girl who's working. Her name is Kitty. The only other person
in the store is a guy named Samuel. We talked about Alaska and similarities between our Military service. He had served in the late 60s
and had spent some of that time up in Alaska.
We shared a few Military tales and he confirmed some stories I had been told in regards with what happens to vehicles due to the extreme cold.
We finished up and I went out to final the bike.

Before taking off I saw Samuel sitting on the bench in front of the store so I went for one last see ya.
At this point I was informed that I was in the Bible Belt. Much more conversation followed, mostly on his part.
I had heard of this term before but had completely forgotten about it since I had not been back in that area for many years.
I listened as he spoke. When he finished I took the literature booklet he handed me.
I have it sitting here in front of me as I write. I'll quote the first line for you... The Cross "There have been few methods of execution
more torturous or more excruciatingly painful than crucifixion-and the Romans mastered it"
I myself do not know much about religion. Honestly I really couldn't tell you the detailed differences between one to the next.

On my first Sunday at boot camp we had to attend church. We had two choices. I chose the larger of the two groups with the thought that I would be less likely called out for doing something the Drill Instructors didn't approve of. I'm thinking that more Recruits would help me blend in better right.
This was my first lesson on Religion.
The larger group loves to stand up, then sit right back down... over and over and over. It was a good workout and I didn't get thrashed for anything.
I do remember asking the other group about the standing thing and I recall the guy saying that they did not do it as much. I though about trying to
change teams the next week but the Drill Instructors had the numbers from the previous session. Oh, another thing was lots of singing.
I was lost in the sauce for that. Not even one of those songs was by Johnny Cash.

Throughout the trip I encountered many people who wanted to speak their thoughts on religion. I listened to all who wanted to share.
After 49 days I still think back and wonder. Everyone who spoke directly regarding a religious belief was telling me to do something.
You must do this to be saved, you have to ask for something, you have to give something, fight the gays, (yes, I was told that) and much more.

When I look back I wonder this. What if the one thing they were looking for was standing right in front of them? What if during the time they
were telling me what I needed to do, they missed out. Going back to that first line about the cross... My thoughts are; why carry the anger to another when all you have to do is be happy yourself. It seems strange that someone would feel compelled to tell a stranger what they need to do to be happy.
I have my own thoughts and I take responsibility for my actions.
I sleep pretty darn good at night running that system, however, I'll continue to listen if you have a story to tell.
Samuel and I shook hands and I thanked him for the conversation.

Off I go, farther into the intensely green North Carolina country side. Roads are two lane but rarely occupied. I travel along enjoying my victory having stopped the night before just shy of of the rain. Clouds are high and everything smells fresh as I cruise along through the rural landscape.

At some point the elevation starts to ascend and I quickly find the clouds were not high enough. As I gain, the clouds turn into heavy fog.
The highest elevation I saw during the day was about 2500'. The moisture in the air was ridiculous and visibility was rated at "you will hit it before you see it".
Winding up the two lane hill I stayed as far to the right as I could during the sweepers.
This paid off several times as Mr. Dodge and Mr. Ford would have certainly cleaned me out.
Eventually the sky opened and although I'd not really ridden in rain, I might as well have. All non-waterproofed items were damp.
Moving along on dirt through the lush green hills I'm enjoying everything around me. I can tell that the storm I avoided had really
worked things over in the area. Lots of loose brush on the road and some deep wash along the sides from the rapid rain.
The ground handled the water well and the top layer was not sticky.

While rounding a sweeper I'm greeted by a fallen tree. I had really not expected blockages this early in the ride. Idaho on the other
hand; I was prepared to do some serious cutting out there.

This was a large tree that fell nearly flat to the ground. The threes that fall about two feet off ground are tough. To low to go under and a
hernia waiting to happen when lifting over.
I carry a 21" Sven Folding Saw across my bars. This little gem is a life saver when conditions try to take control of your ride.
I was not able to bypass this fall due to the uphill side climbing nearly vertical. The other side was a 20' deep wash that looked ground level
due to all the vines that were blanketing the forest. In this case, the only way was straight up the middle.
I upholster the Sven and shed some gear. This is not a two branch job.

Not long I start whishing I had a chainsaw...then I think of a story of when I was young.
My Dad always had John Deere tractors on the farm. He took stupid good care of them. Part of this care involved the exterior of the tractor as well.
They would be lovingly washed at the end of the season before winter set in. The care did not stop there. After the fields were plowed and the grounds grew solid from frost, he would drive the hedges of the property and trim any branches from the trees that even looked like the may reach out and threaten the green paint on any of the equipment.
The best way to do this was to use the loader tractor. It could reach everything from low to high. No branch was safe from him.

Two people made this job a lot faster. One drives, one operates the saw. This guy right here was the one who always ended up in the bucket balancing between life and limb.
As I cut away on that downed tree in North Carolina I started to think that it was amazing that I had even made it past childhood with both arms in tact.

Me, maybe ten years old bouncing across a plowed field that was frozen from a cold Michigan winter; using a chainsaw with a bar longer than I was tall, while riding in a bucket elevated 15 feet above the ground being navigated by a man who was yelling and pointing at which branches "had to go".
As that thought ended, I happily went back to enjoying my hand saw while keeping my feet firmly planted on the ground.

About 30 minutes or so passes and enough branches are removed to allow an attempt to bump over the downed trunk.
The crossing goes well and after suiting up I'm on my way. The good news is that... It's raining again...intermittently.

Upon reaching a small town I kept my eyes open for a business that may sell 4T oil. The gas station told me about a Napa nearby.
It was only four miles off track and had what I needed. My travels are still early in the game but I was quickly seeing the importance of;
get it while you can.

Oddly I didn't add this to my notes but I think I was pulled over by a Sherriff right about here. This would be my only run in over the entire trip.

I know why it happened too. I had just passed through town and was riding along an uphill, curved, 2 lane paved road. Right before the crest of the hill I stood up to give relief to the ole corn hole.
Right then is when I met him. I'm sure I looked like Evil Knievel minus the cape.
He flipped a shitty and had me at the next left.
My bike is fine out in the dirt but everything to make it legal for the street is all clapped out. Plates is all bent up and torn. Signals are playing the minimum to get by game.
He points out the condition of my plate and asks for the registration.
I dig it out from the Ogio flight vest. I thought I had it waterproofed along with my insurance and $40 inside a zip lock baggie all taped up.
Not so much. It was all there inside the bag but, the solid rain from the day before had turned it all into a ball of mush.

He let me go but advised me that I was sure to pulled over again due to the plates. He also wanted me to use hand signals for turning along with
the signals. No problem as I do that most of the time anyways. Thank you Sir, have a safe day. I'm off like a prom dress.

Today had much more dirt than days prior. I've crossed over two passes and everything is getting even more green and densely covered with some type of vine.
I crossed into Tennessee and I think I may have ventured into Kentucky as well.
Here is how the Patriotic "chain of command" works in that area.
The top flag and the largest is "Stars and Bars". Next down you have a Hank Williams Flag. Following that is there is room left, you have the American Flag.
This is just one of many configurations that I documented as I traveled. The individuality is astounding if you take the time to recognize it.

With the day ending I find a obscured fence line along a farmers field to call camp. I setup, warm some Ramen and climb in the Uber Bivy for the night.
I don't have an exact on the temperature but I'd guess mid seventies. The humidity caused sweat to basically pour from your body even when standing still.
Aside from an occasional Mooooo, Tennessee has some kind of insect (guessing) that makes an absurd amount of noise when the sun sets.
The best I can tell, it must live in the trees. I wouldn't mind an answer to this one if you live in the area.
Good night.

Day Four:

Today looks like it will be a short ride day. I'll be stopping at Andys who has agreed to support me for my first maintenance stop.
I found him on ADVRider back during the planning phase. After making contact he offered his place and also offered to accept the package that Karen would be sending in advance filled with my oil, filters and snackies. The 1st of 8 boxes.

At about noon and a 120 miles later I arrive at his farm.

He has about 500 acres that has been in his family since the late 1800s. He had a lot of workable farm land but much of the acreage was covered with the dense trees that are local to the area.
Aside from the main residence there are also several large pole barns which house his farming equipment and such.
Prior to showing up I had contacted him with an estimated time of arrival.

Winding down the long gravel driveway that lead to the buildings I find him standing there. He already had the shed door open with an area ready
for the bike. I'm certain that the shed could have held about 700 bikes. It was a monster!
After introductions and some conversation I started to unload my gear laying it out onto the cement ramp leading to the shed.
The sun was shining and I wanted to take advantage to dry it out. Between the rain, dense fog and intense humidity over the past
few days my stuff was soggy at best.

After setting up the "yard sale" I began to work on the bike. Andy and I exchanged stories. He did a majority of the story telling while I drained
oil, changed filters, scraped away at rock hard mud and basically gave the steed a once over.
He allowed me usage of a catch pan and had one of those "tool stools" to sit on. Also had a foam type mat to lay on when working under the bike.

His stories covered all types of subjects. It was cool that they were all based on the local area.
I asked a lot of questions about things that I had been seeing along the way. One question pertained to white signs painted with red letters
that read something to the effect that "If you start Meth it will finish you" (something like that). They were about the size of a 4x8'
sheet of particle board. It seemed as if they were just stuck off on the side of random dirt roads. The vines had overtaken most and they
didn't really have an official city backed look. Still, there were many of them.
His response was; oh yeah, Meth Heads and Pot Heads. It was one of those evils that lay hidden in the shadows within those parts.
With the stumbling economy and the ability to be discreet due to the natural terrain, the tree covered hills were a haven for this type of activity.
He noted that if you ventured out into some areas you could find yourself having a very bad day. I guess they stick to themselves but
will do whatever necessary to protect their investments. This would help explain the nervous feelings I got several times as the tracks narrowed.

He talked about the History of the area and knew massive amounts about the land.
I enjoyed listening about the Native Americans that had once lived in the rolling hills. His family had also owned a quarry and they had
mined a specific type of stone that was indigenous to that area. It was used on many of the buildings within the town.
Later in the afternoon we went out for lunch and he pointed out the structures that had used their rock for construction.
It was crazy to see how much was being used after he had brought it to my attention. Before he mentioned it, the buildings just went unnoticed.
Strange how that works huh?
He explained the many ways the rock could be carved or cut and polished to give it different looks. Some styles were even hand finished.
Using a chisel and a hammer designs were fabricated along the edges. Really cool stuff.

I ordered a pizza for lunch and I boxed the rest for breakfast. After eating we drove around in the pickup. He talked and pointed out interesting
facts as I listened.
He insisted on buying dinner. Thanks again for that Andy!

After touring the country side for a solid hour and a half we headed back to the farm. He followed the headland that eventually lead into a woods.
The road was steep and filled with tree roots that had been beaten from rain wash for decades.
At the bottom we rolled into a meadow. A short drive across and we reach a basic open walled, covered shelter that sat aside his pond.
Pond was his term. I never did see the other end of it and when you can't see where water starts or stops it becomes a lake in my book.

They had dammed it up years ago. The dammed portion of the "pond" was about 20' wide and rose above the water by another 4' or so.
Andy had setup a gun range along this portion of the dam and had targets located at the end.
Remember that covered area back in the meadow? That's were you bench rested. Pond, dam, gun range.... What more could you ask for!!!
Life is good in these parts.

After sitting down there for more stories, we head back to the pole barn. OK... one last story.
Along the meadow there was an old rock wall about 2' tall. It was easy to go unnoticed having been covered by decades of growth. Story goes of an old home back in the day. This hand laid rock wall surrounded that home. The owner passes and a relative is told about, searches for, then finds a tin filled with silver coins stashed within the rocks along the property.

I enjoy the fact that he trusted his money to be safer stashed under a rock rather than have a bank hold it.
Just another institution that's as crooked as a three legged dog.

In my younger Military days I used to stash my cash under the soles of my shoes. The $309.00 paycheck ensured those shoes would never fill up.
Eventually the Military wanted to get away from issuing out hard checks and make the move to direct deposit.
You can only hold out for so long against the big green machine and eventually I was forced to go get a bank account.
Funny how I've never lost .01 using the shoe method but have had several investigations due to theft or shortages from my past bank accounts.
I think the world would be better going back to the can method. If you look inside that can and see the bottom; you're done spending.
In my case it would be, when the shoes are empty I'm done spending.

Back up at the shed I final some gear and setup the hooch. I camp there in the yard near the shed. Sun sets early behind the cover of
the tree line. Air is moist when the sun sets.
I sleep well.
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Old 10-15-2014, 04:16 PM   #2
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*Cracks knuckles*. Okay. Let's get to it!
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Old 10-15-2014, 04:25 PM   #3
Some call me...Tim?
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'Bout time Vic, looking forward to this!
'01 plated WR250F - '07 990 adv
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Old 10-15-2014, 05:17 PM   #4
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Good story, Vic. Can't wait for the next installment.
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Old 10-15-2014, 05:28 PM   #5
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Awesome part 1 Vic! Can't wait to see the rest!
BMW F800GS, KTM 200EXC, Backseat of a Crown Vic
IBA #59085
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Old 10-15-2014, 05:38 PM   #6
Formerly H20Pumper
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Great start, well for you!
Sorry about your riding partner.
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Old 10-15-2014, 07:19 PM   #7
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I am in.
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Old 10-15-2014, 08:00 PM   #8
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Awesome read!
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:08 AM   #9
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Mega Hot

This story is like that mega hot chick you saw ur coffee shop the other day....
She's stuck in your head and everytime you go back you're hoping she's there for another glimpse.

Dont forget about either. She will return and I WILL get more of the story posted.

It's the little things that keep us going.

Thanks for reading!
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Old 10-16-2014, 08:55 AM   #10
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
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Rock on Vic.... enjoying your detailed and unique RR.
Thanks for taking the effort to share your journey. I'm in and looking forward to see how this all unfolds.....
Happy Trails... Ride On! GC Ride 2015
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Old 10-16-2014, 11:09 AM   #11
Still Standing
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Scott Walker Hell
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Just got myself some better reading glasses and I'm in and ready.
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a ride!!"
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Old 10-16-2014, 11:17 AM   #12
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: South Central Wisconsin
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If you remember my TAT partner and I met you in Preston NV at the cafe. We were seated inside eating "dinner" when you walked in and introduced yourself. We must've talked for an hour or so. Too bad we were heading in opposite directions. Anyway it's good you arrived at the end of your journey safely. We arrived in Port Orford sept. 8 I think. 12 days of riding takes a toll on a guy. Your journey was far longer. Bet you were glad to get it done. Yet, when I look back at my pics, I wish I were still out there!😀😀😀
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:52 PM   #13
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Trail less traveled
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Okay, I'm through day 1 and just got called for dinner but this story is looking great so far SICVIC and I'm definitely IN!
I'm not day dreaming, I'm prerunning

21 days exploring Baja
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Old 10-16-2014, 10:09 PM   #14
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:47 PM   #15
Space cowboy!
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In for the long haul!
"What whiskey will not cure, there is no cure for." - Irish Proverb
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