A curious journey - 1

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by curiousthomas, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. curiousthomas

    curiousthomas Adventurer

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    it's been too long since my last update... I have pages and pages of notes which I need to cull into a coherent post(or two or three) for you guys.

    but until I get back to doing that... here's where I am, TODAY.

    http://youtu.be/vQdi0YN6c-I

    will be camping tomorrow night as well (Thursday) so I can enjoy some snorkeling in this tropical paradise :)
    #41
  2. kitesurfer

    kitesurfer Long timer

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    KW? yes, you do have a lot of catching up to do! if you come up the east coast thru jacksonville, give me a shout. between jacksonville and fernandinabeach, there is Hueganot park--camping on the ocean @ $12 per night.
    #42
  3. curiousthomas

    curiousthomas Adventurer

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    @kitesurfer - just north of key west. ill definitely give you a shout. I'm heading to Orlando tomorrow at dawn.
    #43
  4. curiousthomas

    curiousthomas Adventurer

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    well... yes, that vid is down on key west. I'm camping on Bahia Honda.
    #44
  5. curiousthomas

    curiousthomas Adventurer

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    I'm going to do a couple of these shorter format updates until my log here is caught up to real time again. thanks for hanging in everyone!!

    JOSHUA TREE / SALTON SEA

    the day of riding out of palm desert was beautiful. I was finally in firmly good weather (in the desert, imagine that). bike was running well and there were some nice curvies.

    I started off by backtracking west on interstate 10 before cutting north on CA62 through the Morongo valley to reach the entrance to Joshua tree state park.

    motorcycle entrance fees were $5, and it was well-worth the cost. a very different kind of beauty from the west coast forests and greenery.

    rugged, sandy, large rock formations, and spiky self-defensive weapons for plants.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ursula had packed me a sandwich for the road, so I pulled into a little scenic area called "live oak" in the park to enjoy a snack and take some pictures.

    [​IMG]

    after munching the delicious sammy, I recorded this video and then set off for salton sea.

    http://youtu.be/JW7TqQAHxEE

    I had been told a little history of salton sea by my cousins in Anaheim. apparently the area was mostly a failed resort community. the body of water is extremely salty and catches much of the runoff from nearby agriculture. a few decades ago developers built houses hoping people would come to vacation and sun themselves next to the stinky water... it didn't work.

    there were lots of abandoned homes in the area. relics of the dreams that never came true.

    I just enjoyed the riding, and lack of police :)

    it was a quick little section, I was happy to make good time after the crawling pace of the California coast.

    [​IMG]

    the last stop i made before leaving the south Eastern California desert was at salvation mountain in Niland.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    you see the guy there in the hi-vis vest? that's john. he's taking care of the mountain while the creator, Leonard knight is away for some health reasons. john was telling people visiting about a party down the road happening that night at some of the desert hot springs nearby.

    he also showed me a video of a previous party... they appeared to be lighting off some big explosives and throwing them over a cliff... seemed like an awesome time, but I opted to not attend. this is my only regret on the trip so far. not going to that party. ah well, next time ill listen to my gut a little more I guess and go for the experience.

    I did explore the mountain fairly thoroughly though...

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    with daylight running out fast, I headed east toward Yuma.
    #45
  6. curiousthomas

    curiousthomas Adventurer

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    THE BIG BANG IN YUMA

    after the surreality of salvation mountain i was ready to get to Yuma. the sun was setting fast, and I made one last stop to watch it go over the Arizona desert.

    [​IMG]

    I'm not a big fan of riding at night. but this was I-10 riding. well lit. straight easy.

    until I did a shoulder check to change lanes...

    I ran over... something. I don't know what. a piece of wood I'm guessing. it was a total brown pants moment, but I rode it out just fine, and took the exit I had changed lanes to take.

    as I decelerated on the off ramp I noticed that a couple drivers in cars behind me were giving me bewildered looks. and all traffic had given me a lot of room, apparently it was as sketchy looking as it felt.

    the bike seemed fine so I got to my hotel, ordered a pizza and went to sleep.

    the next morning while giving my usual inspections, I noticed my license plate had been impacted by the rear tire. it was badly dented and folded underneath the tail of my bike. I lost the cover on my tail light as well... all pretty cosmetic, but was a testament to what ever I hit being sizable enough to max out my rear suspension.

    thank goodness I didn't see whatever it was. would have tried to avoid it... I can only imagine how than might've gone down had I been swerving or braking.

    I awoke the next morning with a plan to leave Yuma, and make the short trip to Tucson to stay with my sisters friend.

    I've found that the short skips to stay with friends and family are often worth it, even if I'm not putting on a ton of miles.

    somewhere in the middle of the desert I stopped for gas and a sandwich. the guy inside was curious about my bike, and I said what it was.

    "all you guys up there in Washington ride the little rice rockets!" he exclaimed, jokingly.

    "that's because we actually have curves in our roads!" I shot back.

    he seemed to see the logic, and I went outside to enjoy my cold case sandwich.

    I got a message. my second cousin, tara, who I hadn't seen since I was a toddler had responded to a message. she is in Tucson as well and was happy to have me... oh, and she had a pool... rad :)

    I canceled on my first stop (I see her often enough to not feel too guilty, but still, sorry Brooke!), checked in with tara and made my way to the new destination.

    when I arrived I said hello to an unfamiliar face. she knew me, and my parents well. my dad an her used to hang out and party when they were younger.

    [​IMG]

    it's always fun to get the dirt on your parents shenanigans.

    we swam around in her back yard oasis. met her husband, don. had a couple beers, and called it a night. I had a great nights sleep and woke up early before tara left or work to chat a bit more.

    we made loose plans to meet up again at the grad canyon and / or Las Vegas in may. hopefully it happens on the way back through.

    her husband, don saw me off after tara left. he had been quiet the night before, but with tara gone he kept a nice conversation going while I did my checks and loaded my gear.

    that's when I found this...

    [​IMG]

    yep... that's an extra long staple straight through a brand new pilot road 3... fuck.

    I just can't have nice things :(

    I was on the east side of Tucson by about 30 miles... I was ready to hit the road... I decided to limp along on the wounded tire to El Paso for a replacement.

    I gingerly mounted up, and hit the road slightly paranoid for west Texas.
    #46
  7. BikerGeek99

    BikerGeek99 Horizon Chaser

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    This kinda reminds me of Sly's epic ride report...

    In.

    :lurk
    #47
  8. curiousthomas

    curiousthomas Adventurer

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    @bikergeek99 - I'm new here. neve written a report
    #48
  9. curiousthomas

    curiousthomas Adventurer

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    argh... I'm sitting here sweating my ass off in the Florida keys... let me try that again...
    @bikergeek99 - I'm new here. never written a report like this (started riding in June) so I'm not familiar with sly's report. will try to find it though... I hope that means you're enjoying it :)
    #49
  10. TK-LA

    TK-LA SoCal Rider

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    First off, good report. Makes me itchy to get out riding again.

    Joshua Tree: It's almost impossible to take a bad photo out there, isn't it?
    #50
  11. BikerGeek99

    BikerGeek99 Horizon Chaser

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    You're doing great. Keep up the good work!

    Here is the link to the RR I referred to:
    Amblin' about North America - half a year with a 2-wheeled home


    Same here!
    #51
  12. curiousthomas

    curiousthomas Adventurer

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    AN ULTRA QUICK CATCHUP
    here are the cliffs notes to catch me up to present day. Today I leave Myrtle Beach. Sorry for the lack of pics, but hopefully this will be an opportunity for me to start fresh :)

    Austin - with family, BBQ taste tests in Lockheart, backyard jenga, a fan club of 4 kids between 8 and 15. Some new fans of motorcycles :)

    Houston - with new friends, a weird and wonderful household, a planetary geologist, and a visit to NASA's neutral buoyancy lab where I got to see astronauts being lifted out of the water and people doing helicopter escape training.

    New Orleans - an expensive night at the sheraton on canal street. Confusion on bourbon street and some unwanted attention from a lady of the night deftly deflected onto someone more receptive. Getting lost on the way home, and paying for room service with canadian currecy.

    Mobile - A new friend, amazing food, live music, some wicked storms, and falling in love with an unexpectedly awesome place.

    Biloxi Beach - Sugar sands and sweet tea

    Florida Keys - Camping in paradise, met an aquatic adventurer 100+ days into a stand-up paddle board trip after being double-booked on the same camp site, snorkeling in blue bath water, the southern most point of the united states!!!

    Orlando - First friend from sounddrop (google it, it's music and awesome), happy earth day, downtown orlando, being a wingman

    Myrtle Beach - Second friend from sounddrop, and adult store, a pinched nerve, fitting in good times while working hard...
    #52
  13. curiousthomas

    curiousthomas Adventurer

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    REFLECTING ON MYRTLE BEACH

    well today is the day that I "turnaround". it has been an absolutely amazing journey so far.

    I set out ready for the open road, and the new experiences I'd find along the way. I knew there would be low points. and I have to say the worst so far was the west Texas underpass... however even that experience was unique and mostly positive in hindsight. plus I got to watch some cool storms!

    I knew there would be highs too... and thankfully there have been too many to recount here in a FB post.

    the biggest thing I hoped was to affirm some things about my world view... and I'm happy to report those things have happened.

    the world, and the people in it are not as scary as many folks think... for me, relying on the kindness and hospitality of strangers along the way has not lead me astray.

    this experience has proved to me, that when you meet new people with respect, honesty, good humor, and prove quickly that you're trustworthy nearly everyone will enjoy that, loosen up a bit, and can quickly become a new friend.

    we go through our lives so often with our heads down. keeping track and care of those closest to us. there's nothing wrong with that, of course... but there's so much more we miss.

    sometimes the most delightful person, or new friend is the stranger sitting right next to you at the restaurant. or passing by you on the street.

    be curious about the people and the world around you.

    cheers everyone!
    #53
  14. curiousthomas

    curiousthomas Adventurer

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    in Augusta Georgia. getting ready to venture into the smokies. I'm happy that ill be hitting most of these roads during the early part of this coming week. less traffic and competition for campsites. I can't wait.

    anyone available to do some riding Monday?
    #54
  15. kitesurfer

    kitesurfer Long timer

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    BLUERIDGE MC CAMPGROUND, 276 NORTH off the parkway a couple miles...very good riding from there in every direction.
    #55
  16. curiousthomas

    curiousthomas Adventurer

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    thanks kitesurfer!
    #56
  17. curiousthomas

    curiousthomas Adventurer

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    made it last night to the blue ridge mc campground. met a bunch of folks on the time warp retro bike run. good times on the back porch of the office. Phil knows how to put it on!

    [​IMG]
    #57
  18. kitesurfer

    kitesurfer Long timer

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    yep, BLUE RIDGE is the place! if you head north on the parkway, camp at meadows of Dan , Va at WILLVILLE--1/2 mile off the parkway. good rideing in that area too...good bluegrass music nearby in Floyd.
    #58
  19. curiousthomas

    curiousthomas Adventurer

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    @kitesurfer - I've already split. Phil told me about n.c. 208/209 as a route to Louisville - holy crap, a stunning set of roads!
    #59
  20. kitesurfer

    kitesurfer Long timer

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    you made facebook today...blueridge mc campground page.

    you could have spent 2 more weeks in those mountainis without riding the same crookid road twice! ride safe and keep the reports coming!
    #60