3000 miles on a klr :)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by johnwesley, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. johnwesley

    johnwesley wanta be

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    I have spent days pouting over maps and ride reports to find the best way to cross the miles that lay ahead. I wasn’t looking for the most direct route; instead I was looking for a bit of adventure mixed with historical land marks. Such things like the Rio Grande and the Pecos River. Having an interest in western movies and the history of the Wild West, I figured this could end up being a great little ride.
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    Today is the day that I have set to leave on a 3000 mile journey on my trusted KLR. She has been equipped to handle everything from interstate travel to single track trails, and all types of weather. Good thing too as today 2 fronts have decided to collide right over my house. When I leave It is 50 degrees and rain with heavy fog. The weather channel is full of tornado watches and general bad weather all around me. I decide to head out and hope for the best. Bad weather isn’t an end all to a trip, often it is the time that I can still away and find enjoyment in conquering the adversities. It is in this moment that I find an extreme peace. I know it sounds odd but I guess I am just twisted that way.
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    The weather seems to clear as I cross east thru Oklahoma. The sun begins to peak through the clouds mile after mile I can begin to see the weather clear. I enter a little town, in need of gas I stop and take a break. Right across the street is the town square, what a site. It has a nice old court house with a well manicured lawn. I am reminded why I take the small roads to travel. You will never see this type of scenery while on the interstate. Never get to really know what a state is like unless you go through its heart. This can only be found in quaint little towns along the road less traveled.
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    After I have taken in the air of this town I head out only to discover that I hadn’t put my ear plugs in. I try to ride on without them but there is too much wind noise. Just after I pass a state trooper I pull over to fix my problem. As I am taking my helmet I notice the trooper pulling in behind me. He had turned around to see what I was up to. I have never had a trooper be polite to me so I expected the worse. What could I have possible done wrong. I hadn’t a clue so I put on a smile and asked him how he was doing. Then the weirdest thing happened he was nice. He had pulled over to tell me that they were expecting severe weather. It should be here in about an hour. I assured him I would be gone by then head south west. I was thankful that he had taken the time to warn me of approaching danger. I was blessed that day as from then on there was nothing but sunshine and wind.
    It normally takes a several hundred miles to clear my head of all the responsibilities and pressures of life. It is for this reason that I travel without music. I like to clear my head and then focus on the job at hand….nothing. Yep I like thinking about nothing is a great subject on which to spend hours with.
    I have a new Jacket that I am breaking in on this trip. It is a blue Aerostich Darien with custom logos on the back and the American flag on the front. The right breast pocket is a great place to put a water bladder and I have one just for the occasion. This proves to be a handy device as I cross the dry climate of Texas. The wind in west Texas is 30 mph and heading right at me. I will end up fighting this till I get close to Kerrville. At times it feels as if I am going to be blown right off the bike. The KLR fells solid in the face of this wind thanks to and aftermarket fairing that I put on just before the trip. Previously the bike would wander badly and have head shake issues at 75 mph with wind. This is 450 dollars well spent.
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    As I travel along a farm road I watch sage brush and oil rigs. Then a very odd thing happens, all of a sudden I hit big sand dunes ; loose sugar sand it only lasts about a mile and then it is back to the sage and dead grass. It is about this time when I am getting a bit tired and ready for a stop and some sleep. I end up making 670 miles on the first day and that puts me at Monahans, Tx. It is a small town with a rat hole of a motel with a price of nice room. This will prove to be the most expensive room I stay in at a rate of $75 a night. After paying too much for the room I decided to check out the local Mexican food. I arrived at a place called Vickie’s Mexican restaurant. I knew better that to stop and eat, Vickie’s is more the name for a burger joint than a tex mex joint. I noticed a lot of cars in the parking lot so I decided to give it a try. It was what It looked and sounded like, an American family trying their best to cook Mexican food. I should have had a burger.


    to be continued
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
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    61,694
    If you can do something about the black on black font, it would be a lot easier to read.. if you need help, I can fix it for ya :thumb

    :lurk
    #2
  3. johnwesley

    johnwesley wanta be

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    Tks for the heads up :D
    #3
  4. flanga

    flanga Delusions of Adequacy

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    Sep 19, 2005
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    New Hampsha
    Your klr is a "she?"

    Mine will never be anything other than an it. It's a fun bike--- I was out on it today--- but it's definitely an "it." :lol3
    #4
  5. ozarkrider

    ozarkrider Discombobulated Sociopath

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    Atta boy John Wesley! Be safe and hurry home. We've got some gravel roads to try out m'boy.
    #5
  6. rockydog

    rockydog just a guy

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    okieland
    just what brand/make is that fairing? thanks
    #6
  7. mesaliving

    mesaliving Making it happen

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
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    Location:
    Western Colorado
    Good travels to you John Wesley.....looking forward to the rest of the journey. Your rig looks solid :ricky
    #7
  8. Ensey

    Ensey KLR Combat Touring

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
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    739
    Location:
    Duncan, Ok
    KLR rides are always good rides......

    :lurk :lurk
    #8
  9. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

    Joined:
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    Jennings, Louisiana
    Alright! A KLR ride report. One of my more favorite rides. I just call my '00 KLR Ole Green. Kinda fits. The DLK is Suzy. ;-). The truck is Silver. I keep it simple in my older years. :rofl
    Well bring it on. Me and Green are probably gonna head for Moah at the end of May.
    #9
  10. johnwesley

    johnwesley wanta be

    Joined:
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    mena, Ar
    I am up and out by 7:30am temps are in the low 40s this morning so I slip on the heated jacket liner and turn on the electric grips. Alright I am cozy now and ready to ride. From here I am head south to the border. Its great fun watch the landscape change under your wheels. I am on fs 1776 head toward I-10 where I join up with hwy 67. From here the scene starts to change from flat and straight to hilly and straight. The new landscape is awesome. It is mystifying to watch the mountains cropping up out of nowhere.
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    I am thinking about how much fun I am having and what’s to come on this ride as I hit the Rio Granda, when I see a odd shape out in the pasture. My head snaps back to look again as my brain couldn’t figure out what it is. I look closer and….
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    What the heck is it…it looks like a camel. I’m in Texas not Africa so I take a triple look and sure as shootin’ its a camel
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    After I get over this very bizarre happening, I got back on my back and continued south. I have heard a story of the military using camel in this part of Texas in days gone by, but I never figured I would see one. As I went south the roads got curvy and served up more great scenery. This land is a varied and vast land. Wide open spaces and the only people I saw were boarder guards.
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    I have made it to the border town of Presidio. I’ll stop here for fuel again and meet some locals who warn me of the gangs and drug runners that seem to be in an uproar. So I’ll just travel on east from here. No one would rob a guy on a KLR…Like he’d have money.
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    I take 170 out of Presidio and ride along the Rio. This is an absolutely awesome road. Thoughts of the wild west run rampant. I am having a blast riding along this historic river. This land is really indescribable with my limited vocabulary so I will lean on the pictures.
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    I travel 170 until I get to big bend state park. At the park the sign reads 10 dollars entry fee and speed limit 45 mph. Since I had limited time I decided to ride Big Bend when I had enough time to explore the park and spend some time there. From here it is off to Alpine on hwy 118. The road north is a neat road as it runs the west edge of the Texas Hill country. Wide open curves and nice elevation changes meet the riders of this road.
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    I pulled into Alpine in need of gas, as I was filling up a county truck pulled in behind me. I had a feeling these boys would know where to eat so I asked. They were reluctant at first but soon warmed up to the stranger. They told me the locals at Texas Fusion. I had to back track to the railroad tracks and then take a gravel road to the right for 1.5 miles and Texas fusion was on the left. Boy was I glad I asked. The food here was great. I had the Texas Taco.
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    So with a full tank and belly I head out on Hwy 90. It is straight and flat for the most of the way as is typical for Texas
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    This road is the closest thing to the Rio in this part of Texas. I am enjoying the solitude of the open road and thinking about how nice 170 was. When I came up on an awesome looking river the water was as blue as I have ever seen a river. I snatched my camera out and start taking pictures when I see a sign Pecos River it reads. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was crossing the Pecos. I have seen a lot of movies that took place on this river. It was just surreal to be here. I saw a road that hooked back toward the river so I took it just to get a closer look. I was amazed.
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    From here I take 277 to 377 and head for Rock Springs. On 277 I will pass my last boarder check for the trip. I am pretty tired and would like to find a camp site or a motel, but the gps doesn’t show any. I know the animals come out at night here in Texas and the head light on the klr is like holding a candle out to light the way. I would really like to be stopped by dark if I can find a place. 377 is a nice road that is full of ranches and wild life. As I am approaching Rock Springs the deer are already starting to come out and the sun light is growing dim. I start to worry a little as the GPS shows the closest thing is a camp ground 50 miles out. By then it will be pitch black. The road through Rock Springs is clay and just one lane with traffic stopped on the other end waiting for me to come through. As I near the end of this road I see a sign. It reads Sorrells Inn. Great it appears clean on the outside. As I go in to get a room the elderly lady sitting there said “Boy you look ……” I replied “TIRED”. She nodded her head in agreement and I was handed a room for 35 dollars. I was so glad to be stopped. When I opened the door to the room this is what I found
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    This is the nicest room I will stay in on this trip and it will be the cheapest. If you are ever near Rock Springs then check it out. The owners are great people and are kind to the “bikers”
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    #10
  11. johnwesley

    johnwesley wanta be

    Joined:
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    #11
  12. irishdec

    irishdec Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
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    Location:
    Toronto ,Canada
    Hey,great pic's.Keep them comming.Thats a kind of ride I'D like to go on,taking out the smaller towns etc.Good for you,keep us posted ,and please incld. the cost of all the place you stay.I was at that very bridge ,with my son last year,but the water was a lot lower as I remember.
    Regards
    irishdec
    :freaky
    #12
  13. erichthered

    erichthered Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    118
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    cleveland oh
    :lurk
    #13
  14. LovemaX

    LovemaX The Riding FreeBird

    Joined:
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    Location:
    London / New Delhi
    Wonderful pics there...
    Great ride so far


    ~m~
    #14
  15. WaywardSon

    WaywardSon Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
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    Location:
    Somewhere East of Omaha....
    Nice report...and thanks for all the pics.

    I may have missed it, but do you have a particular destination in mind?
    #15
  16. kennyanc

    kennyanc Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
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    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    Now there's something you don't see very often....a bike cover on a KLR. :lol3 Mine would probably quit on me if I put a cover on it.

    Good report, keep it coming. :clap

    Kenny
    #16
  17. heavyjeffd

    heavyjeffd Godless Heathen™

    Joined:
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    Somewhere between here and there.
    Hey, what's this?

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    Some kinda Predator targetting laser or something? :D

    Seriously, if that's some kinda remote helmet cam type thing, I want one! Details pls. ;)
    #17
  18. McB

    McB Joe 40 ouncer

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    #18
  19. johnwesley

    johnwesley wanta be

    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,790
    Location:
    mena, Ar
    I awoke with only 70 miles to my next stop, so I took time to eat breakfast and talk with the hotel owner for about an hour. He is a pretty cool dude; him and his wife do all of the work there. They check you in and out, clean and maintained the rooms. It had the best bed I have been in on the trip. MY next stop is in Kerrville for the STAR National that HASTA puts on. When I arrive at the event headquarters I find the YO Resort, “O” boy a big nice room and a chance to meet new people and make some new friends. I pull in to the parking lot and go to get my room. It is 12 O’clock and I figure it may be too early to check in but I’ll check. I am greeted by a slightly rude Lady at the front desk that tells me there are no rooms available so come back at one. So I decide to take a look around. The HASTA group has a bike wash in the parking lot and I decide to clean the ole girl up and check her out for loose fasteners. What I found surprised me, I had put new chain and sprockets on for the trip and the rear sprocket was shot. It was already starting to hook over. This will be the last set of sprockets from rebel gears. Everything else looked good. So I adjusted my chain and got her ready from some spirited riding in the heart of the hill country.
    I go to check to see if I can get a room now since it is about 1:30pm. I meet the same attendant this time I give a good smile and say “It’s me again” I get the look I expected and see looks for a room. As she does this another lady came up and informed me that “check in is at 3:30!” and storms off. Wished they would have told me that first so that I could be accommodating. I am already missing my small little hotel in Rock City. They Rock J
    I am a bit of an outcast at this event. Like a Forest Gump at the Black Panther party. I am mixed in with BMW and Honda sport touring bikes, most who keep their distance. I need a new sticker that says “don’t worry she won’t bite” or maybe it’s meJ. Either way there isn’t any who want to try and keep up with the best. I guess their scared of all the horse power. I know a very unfair advantage but I would take it easy on them. Later that day I notice a Dr650 and left a note on it to see if he’d be up for a ride, but no response from him either. Tomorrow will be better.
    I held a service on Sunday morning, which is why I am here, and I meet my friends Bill and Becky Wing. They are always up for a ride even if it is with a lowly KLR. We run the three sisters roads and there’s a few tight corners where I can exploit the advantage of a thumper. (Sorry guys but no pictures of this, my camera went dead on me and I need to find a charger) Bill and Becky are the HSTA directors for Arkansas so they know a lot of people I meet a few who spoke to the odd stranger. I did meet a neat guy on a Transalp we talked for a while and exchanged e-mails. This was the high light of my Star event.
    It is now Monday morning and by the time I eat with Bill and Get out of town It’s 10:00 quite a bit later than I like to leave, but I think I can still make some miles before evening. I know this part of the trip will be interesting as I watch Texas grow tees as I close in on Louisiana.
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    I end the day in Leesville, LA. I stayed in another 35 dollars motel room this time I get what I pay for. Bugs were free. On the positive side the ac worked, and there was a hot shower. Right next door there was a great little Chinese place. That was worth the stop. I only managed 440 miles for the day. It was time to hit the bed so here is what it looks like.
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    There were enough small black curly hairs in the sheets that I opted to sleep in my sleeping bag. The light outside was a fluorescent, bulbs hung under the eve and centered on my window. I stuffed the comforter and sheets around the window but to no avail. So 3:00am came and I was still not sleeping but in 30 min spurts so I loaded up and was gone by 4am. At this time of the morning it is dark and foggy, the KLR head light just doesn’t cut it so I try driving by others light. It works ok but there are not many cars out. Curves sneak up on me and I end up driving under the speed limit just so I can see far enough to react. Temps are in the low 50s-upper 40s and I finally give in to the cold by putting on the electric jacket. It was a smart move as it would stay on all day. There is a very different felling to see states roll by so fast. Things are close together in this part of the south and the traffic begins to pick up a little.
    After a couple hundred miles the weather starts to brake and I can pick up the speed a little bit.
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    This is just a cool picture one of the last I have of LA
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    My travel throughout LA seemed so short after spending 3 days crossing Texas. The Mississippi came quickly and I only had time to shot a few pictures as I passed by.
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    I have made it to Mississippi and it is still early morning. I have gotten back in to my traveling habit of eating a cliff bar for breakfast and lunch, while drinking from the water balder. For some reason today I am in need of more nature stops than normal, I haven’t had any coffee but the water is running through. Lucky for me MS has a lot of small side roads to take and enjoy the stop. I normally use this time for photos as well.
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    There are more barns and farms here than I expected to see. I enjoy old barns and historical buildings they seem to give depth to the time that has gone by, a since of America as she was. Things have changed a lot in the ole USA, but there are still places that seem unaffected.
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    back on the big road you can feel the rush to get to some place even though the traffic is really light.
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    I am heading to a river that I was told about on the klr forum. It was said to be a must stop place with plenty of scenic views and a nice smooth curvy road. I flew it on goggle earth just to see what I was in for and it looked to be as awesome as I was told. Once I arrived I was in awe goggle didn’t even come close to what was ahead of me. I will let the pics speak for them selves
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    This was a great park called Little River Canyon; it is just before I cross into GA.
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    #19
  20. johnwesley

    johnwesley wanta be

    Joined:
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    Location:
    mena, Ar
    I am heading to deals gap AKA "The Dragon" I am taking the long way
    #20