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Old 05-04-2013, 09:11 AM   #1
davey1212 OP
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Location: Somerset, UK
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Grumpy Travels the Americas !!

4th May 2013
Hi all. After reading everyone else's travels here and on Horizons sites I am now just about to start my own.
Two days ago I left my Tiger 800xc at Heathrow and on 7th May I then fly out to JFK to collect it. From there I will be travelling west, up to Alaska then, if all goes to plan, to Tierra Del Fuega by end of November 2013.
Like many others, I will be attempting to keep in budget by camping as much as possible and hope to use the "Tent Space" offers if they are still available.
I will try to document my trip on this forum but am certainly not a high tech guy so will do the best I can.

Bike at James Cargo ready to be crated !!

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Old 05-04-2013, 12:57 PM   #2
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Welcome to the colonies. Remember we do it on the other side of the road here and some of them act like they own both sides of the path.
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Old 05-04-2013, 01:44 PM   #3
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About to do the same

Gday mate,

Only a couple of weeks to go for me & I'm doing exactly the same thing as you. Land in LAX then head north on the west coast.

See ya on the road.
Hodgo Spot
My North America Trip
RD07 Africa Twin, KTM 950 Super Enduro
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:26 PM   #4
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I'm from the same part of the world as you, and a trip around the colonies is on the bucket list.

Looking forward to reading this report as it happens, good luck.
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Old 05-04-2013, 05:02 PM   #5
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Location: Sacramento
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Subscribed and living vicariously.

Welcome to the States Grumpy! I hope you have a safe, wonderful and memorable trip. If you need a layover, bed or tent space, shower, laundry and/or a stable for your steed while in Central California (Sacramento) on your way through, give me a shout.

Happy Trails,

"There's a race of men that don't fit in,
A race that can't stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will...."

Spell of the Yukon by Robert Service
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:45 AM   #6
davey1212 OP
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6th May 2013
Only one day left before I set off for New York to collect my Tiger and nerves ARE setting in.
Yesterday, Jayne arranged a surprise "sending off"party which was wonderful as a number of friends & family had travelled quite a way, and on a Bamk Holiday weekend, to wish me bon voyage ! Almost as importantly they brought large volumes of superb food, wine & real ale......the weather also did its best to help as we all ended up a bit pinker than we started.
To cap it all, Jayne even provided Grumpy Cake just so everyone knew who this "grumpy travelling the Americas" was. Yum !
Thank you everyone (esp Jayne)for making the day special.
I pick the bike up from JFK customs on 8th May then head to Naugatuck, Connecticut to stay one night with a distant relation who I last met in 2000 when I was in NY for the marathon. From there I ride to the Adirondaks, then West with the exact route undecided but will avoid Interstates where possible.
After 23 years with the last company (hence the grumpy) it was time to do something different and this is it. The Pan American had always appealed and with Jaynes help the decision was made. USA, here I come !!!
Grumpy Cake

A great send off !

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Old 05-06-2013, 02:47 PM   #7
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In for this one mate. Good luck, enjoy and ride safe.
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:53 PM   #8
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Welcome to the the Yousay!
2009 R1200GS, 2007 DRZ400, 1996 XL1200

"The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced." - Frank Zappa
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:59 PM   #9
Joined: Oct 2012
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I'm in....Safe travels
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:00 PM   #10
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Thumb Safe travel

Have a safe fly and welcome to the U.S of A
As other mention, make sure ride on the right the other right
Looking forward to your RR
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:23 PM   #11
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So Far, So Good !!

For some reason I have am having a problem downloading photos from Photobucket to this site but am able to do it on Travelpod ?????? It IS me but I am seeking assistance from a younger person.

Getting the bike released by Customs at JFK was fairly painless even though they reacted as if this was the first time EVER this had been done. They asked ME what paperwork they had to complete !!!
The rain had been really heavy all morning but luckily stopped while I took the bike out of the emergency exit of the cargo building and packed the panniers etc. The heavens then opened and the ride north via Manhattan was testing to say the least. Very poor visibility, heavy traffic, large slippery metal plates over potholes and a GPS that couldn't make up its mind made the initial ride very memorable. After some two hours or so the scenery and the traffic greatly improved and Connecticut was a delight despite the rain.
I wont bore anyone with my stay with my second cousin but I was made VERY welcome by a fantastic family and felt obliged to enjoy the food, wine and beer. The things we must do for international relations !

Today I left Naugatuck and rode West to NY state the up Highway 22, east of the Adirondacks, passing through the likes of Berlin and a beautiful small town of Hoosick !! The scenery has been stunning so far, the roads almost empty and the weather until the late afternoon great. As I approached Lake Placid I was on the lookout for for a campsite but passed a Ski hostel with wi-fi etc. No brainer for me as the price is good and has great character. Also I get a bunkroom all to myself. Rain is due tomorrow and I have to head west as have 7,500 miles to cover by 27th June.
I will add the photos asap.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:05 PM   #12
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Anchorage, AK
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Subscribed. Looking forward to following you. I'm planning a similar trip in 2015 although I live in Alaska so will start up here. Shoot me a line if you need anything in Anchorage.

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Old 05-10-2013, 08:57 PM   #13
One more time
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Location: New Mexico (yes it is a State)
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I'm jealous

If you make it to southern NM you have a place to stay, safe travels
Fear not death, but rather the inadequate life.
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:58 PM   #14
davey1212 OP
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To Niagara Falls

11th May 2013
Mileage at New York 9928
To Naugatuck 97
To Lake Placid 233
To Niagra Falls 320 10578
After a quick toast n coffee breakfast I left the hostel at 9-30 in light rain. This soon changed and the heavens opened making my progress slow-ish as visibility was not great, the roads bendy-ish and the scenery still worth watching. The Adirondacks are very green & the lakes are large so they require water to keep them that way.......well, approx 2/3rds of a lake fell on me in the morning but it is still a beautiful place. The winter olympics were held there many years ago and appear to be ignored by the Brits.
The roads, as with most so far, were quite deserted and the surface moslty good despite the rain. There was a warning sign with a picture of a deer so a very large bird decided to "walk" right in front of me. Honest ! Not sure what is was but looked vulture-ish and I had to swerve to avoid hitting the damm thing as it could have done sone damage.
I did not take many photos due to the weather although the scenery was great. The temperature dropped and the wind increased in the afternoon but I put off wearing my heated inner jacket as it was buried at the bottom of the pannier. Eventually I relented, it was great, and 10 mins later the sun came out !!!!! I will remember that one !!
Travelling west I eventually rode along Lake Ontario. It is called a lake but it must be an ocean ! Beautiful and huge it really is a sight and I cannot o it justice here. I passed through many towns, some with strange names and many were beautiful, very neat and one had the Stars& Stripes outside every house. Memorable.
I decided to stay in Niagara (still in NY State) as there was another hostel. The road took me through areas of boarded up houses, dumped cars and rough roads; enough to make me not want to stop at red lights. The hostel was full so I found the cheapest hotel (Passport Inn....don't bother !) at approx 20-30 and discovered that you can see the falls from the American side !!! Didn't know that. How dumb am I ??
There were lit up & spectacular ! Photos don't do them justice but I will take more in the morning.
Still having a problem loading pis so if you wish to see them, please click on the link to the blog.

Also, thanks for the offers of encouragement and help. Greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:58 PM   #15
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Col n Windy Day !!

Miles today 191 841

Not a good nights sleep as guests in another room somewhere decided to find the TV funny at 03-30 in the morning and room was cold. Also, I forgot to take a photo of what appeared to be a bullet hole in my bed headboard which I would swear was not there when I went to bed !!
Walked down to the falls to take pics in daylight and have some breakfast hence a late departure at 11-30. It was freezing ie. approx 5 degrees c and VERY windy. Decided to get some miles in and set the GPS to include Interstates as I had this switched off. Hard to describe, but I spent most of the 191 miles fighting with the wind, gripping the handle bars and avoiding being blown into the next lane. There were sudden gusts that caught me by surprise and some scary episodes when going over bridges. Again though, the scenery for the most part was fantastic and I travelled through NY State, Pensylvania and into Ohio where I now reside.
Rode alongside Lake Erie which is VAST !
Due to the cold, wind and feeling knackered I decided to find a cheap hotel (as oposed to camping) early and not leave it late lake the previous night. Had to Skype Jane and catch up on the blog.
Get a smoothie in the McDonalds, use their internet, find the cheapest hotel using Travel Supermarket and book it !!
This one is cosy n cheap.

Photos are in Blog below.
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