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Old 05-15-2013, 04:35 PM   #1
scarysharkface OP
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KLR takes a circuitous route to Big Bend

The original plan was to ride from west-central Indiana out to Utah for a week. Snow between here and there kind of screwed that up, so instead I hauled the KLR past the snow to my nephew's place in Tulsa and rode from there. I did not make it to Utah.

Day 1 on the bike drops me into the lovely Alanreed, Texas, zip code 79002. A guy working on fences in the area tells me that the snakes are worse this year than he's ever seen them, and to watch my step after dark. My decision to fleabag it for the night is instantly validated.



The room is clean and quiet.



Beer and a Snickers for dinner, and I think I'll sleep with the window open.



Even with the late start (cold and raining in Tulsa today) I still make some decent progress towards whatever it is I'm progressing towards.


John
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:43 PM   #2
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And yes, I most likely have brought way too much stuff. I've got a chair, tripod and two complete camping setups packed (tent stuff and hammock stuff) in that red duffel, not to mention enough clothes to last a week without wearing anything twice. The Camelbak is empty except for water and sandals. I've got spare tubes, gear shifter (me learns from experience eventually) and other miscellaneous things I don't really need but that somehow fit on the bike without much protest. I've got my Canon dslr and a couple of lenses, as well as some electronics..

John
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:14 PM   #3
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After solving the world's problems with one of the locals over a cup of coffee and a yogurt, I head out across the flatlands. I pass the cars-sticking-out-of-the-ground-thing outside of Amarillo and make a mental note to stop if I'm in the area again later.



I make it to Winslow and make it a point to stop and check out the corner.



Again I fleabag it and take a walk in search of dinner.



It's May 5th, so that presents some challenges but I find an open restaurant even on this Sunday evening.



Next door is a storefront church..



A better view with better light..



I thought this building was neat. I believe it's the visitors center..



Better numbers today..



John
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:51 PM   #4
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Great pics!
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:41 PM   #5
Zojirushi
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How's the wind out there this time?
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:55 PM   #6
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Go John Gooo!
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:20 PM   #7
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Day three on the bike is mostly just me trying to get to somewhere warm and not forecast to be rain in the next day.

I froze my butt off riding through the Flagstaff area, but as things warmed up I did grab a burger in Seligman, Arizona.



I considered taking the Route 66 tour towards Vegas, but my phone showed rain on the radar so I just kept heading west..



Then south.



A Shell station in Needles for lunch as YES played on the speakers at the pumps was a nice break. The trip south continues.

North of Blythe I checked out some camping, but the fees were of the fleabag hotel magnitude, so I moved on.. The river was pretty though..





The Dutt.



Splendor..





Some pics from my walkabout.



Dinner.










John
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:28 PM   #8
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By the way, just to throw this out there, I'm using Mobil 1 synthetic oil, a Shinko 705 on the rear, an Avon Gripster up front and I countersteer.
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:54 PM   #9
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you definitely travel at a faster pace than I do. and you don't seem too loaded down. I keep trying to downsize my bags because there's lots of room in those big-ass bags so why not throw in an extra pair of pants and a t-shirt, and more socks, a pillow, and another couple of t-shirts...

heading west and south, alone on your bike. bravo brother, that's good stuff.
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:39 PM   #10
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It's a new day (not sure which one and no reason to really care at this point) and I cross back over into Arizona. I'm curious and head over to the Kofa NWR to take a look-see.



The riding is nice and being here is relaxing..



High-speed packed dirt and gravel for the most part, as I approach the actual NWR.



Beauty shot..





Information.









The office..



I opt to backtrack to the Interstate and put some miles on, rather than solo it through the refuge.

I ride some back roads through Gila Bend and such, through Ajo and Why, Arizona..



A fill-up in Why, and the face shield gets a good (if not sloppy) cleaning before I sit down for a tea and snickers bar.





Somewhere east of Tucson..



Camped in New Mexico..

John
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unstable Rider View Post
Great pics!
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zojirushi View Post
How's the wind out there this time?
Lots of wind and a fair amount of rain every day until I hit California. And cold up until I got near Nevada. Strange weather everywhere it seems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdon View Post
Go John Gooo!
Hiya Don!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateSeaCaptain View Post
you definitely travel at a faster pace than I do. and you don't seem too loaded down. I keep trying to downsize my bags because there's lots of room in those big-ass bags so why not throw in an extra pair of pants and a t-shirt, and more socks, a pillow, and another couple of t-shirts...

heading west and south, alone on your bike. bravo brother, that's good stuff.
That's the thing, I suppose. I want to get the stuff I'm not particularly interested in behind me as quickly as possible. Once I'm where I want to be I do slow down considerably. Some days the KLR is perfect, some days it's too much of a dirt bike and some days it's too much of a street bike. And always it's too much of a pack-mule!

John
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:19 PM   #12
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Great report! Man, you are covering some ground. I love the unique town names in Arizona.
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:18 AM   #13
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The sun is up and my skills at staking a tent in the wind are lacking.



Not a whole lot to see as I head east, my sights set by now on Big Bend. I guess it's become my safe place of sorts, because whenever I just show up things just seem to work out. But I've got some riding to do to get there.

Texas Welcome Center just north of El Paso..



Wonderful lunch in Van Horn..





Quick stop just outside of Valentine..











While there, a couple from Iceland pulled-in for pictures. I took their portrait in front of the place then we hung around and chatted a bit. I had never noticed the business cards lining the east side outer wall..





I let the day end in Marfa..





My pics are a bit out of order, but I believe these are today's numbers..



John
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:58 PM   #14
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Al from Marfa Public Radio joins me for breakfast and picks up the tab. Great conversation about many things and it's just reaffirming that people are good.

Heading towards Pinto Canyon Road..









Eventually pavement ends..







The cactus are blooming..







Sights from the road..





I'm told that if one experiences difficulty along Pinto Canyon Road one only needs call out and someone will be dispatched to assist. Once being "the" route for smuggling, it's widely believed to have microphones and other monitoring devices placed pretty much up the whole length of the road. I don't know if that's true or not, but I wouldn't be surprised.



Pretty soon I'm in Ruidosa and low and behold the road is paved. Figure I'll see how far the pavement goes and I end up riding to Candelaria before turning around..





That fence at the bottom? That's the border. This area is isolated enough and monitored enough that it's not a problem.



This road is either curves or hills, and fun. I only got air twice, I promise.







Off to Presidio for lunch and petrol..

John
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Old 05-19-2013, 09:14 AM   #15
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A quick lunch and fuel then I'm off along the river road FM170. I stop at Closed Canyon for a look-see and a walk..



It's warm here.



It's a neat little slot canyon feeding into the Rio Grande..



Just a short walk off the road and very easy to access, it's pretty neat..





Plenty of reptile life here..



Then it's back on the bike and off to the porch..



I'm not a cola drinker by any means, but owe it to myself to enjoy the real thing. Yes, it's good stuff..



Many places are defined by the quality of the rest room graffiti..



Neat old Jeep parked out front. I do believe this is an original Bantam..









Before too much of the day is gone, I head out to El Punto Coyote to visit with friends..







I hang my hammock under their ramada. Not a bad view to be had..







Today's numbers..



John
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