Americas - All the way up, all the way down...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gpothoven, May 26, 2006.

  1. gpothoven

    gpothoven whatever

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    So, here it goes, first ride report. Hopefully it will be a long and continuing one, as the planned route is Miami-Alaska-Tierra del Fuego, with the only schedule being <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:State w:st="on">Alaska</st1:State> in August, and <st1:place w:st="on">Tierra del Fuego</st1:place> in December. No set route either, I'll be seeing which way I take from one day to the next.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Left <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Miami</st1:place></st1:City> on May 17<SUP>th</SUP>, in 90 degree heat and pouring rain. Took the “scenic” Florida Turnpike out of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Miami</st1:City></st1:place>, to get out of the rain as quickly as possible. It finally let up around <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Melbourne</st1:place></st1:City>. Kept going as I wanted to get to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Daytona Beach</st1:City></st1:place>. Nothing to report there, I’m sure you’ve all seen plenty of it and I was generally unimpressed anyway. Rode on to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Flagler</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Beach</st1:placeType></st1:place>, where I found a motel and dinner for the night. Used the time to pack and re-pack, and try to get things to fit a little better on the bike.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    On the 18<SUP>th</SUP> I was planning to ride to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Savannah</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">GA.</st1:State></st1:place> Always wanted to see it as I had heard good things. Halfway there while stopped for lunch I got on the laptop to check emails and see what was up on ADVRider. Much to my surprise, the 2006 Eastern Rendezvous was scheduled for the weekend. Really didn’t want to miss the chance to meet some of the people there, and ditched the plans for <st1:City w:st="on">Savannah</st1:City>, and headed fast for <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Hot Springs</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">NC</st1:State></st1:place>. Made it to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Clinton</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">SC</st1:State></st1:place> for the night. More re-packing to make things fit.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Next morning it was off to <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Hot Springs</st1:place></st1:City>. Made it there by noon or so. R1100Rick was there setting up, and was kind enough to let me set up camp within his reserved area in the campsite. The inmates started arriving shortly. I was talking to someone about how the locks on my cases were keyed differently than my ignition, when JohnTM said he could re-key them for me, but I’d have to fetch him beer all weekend. Seeing as he didn’t look like the type to ever wonder too far from the keg, this seemed like a good deal. I promptly agreed to be called “PissBoy” all weekend, and he got to work. Not 15 min. later he was done, and I was pumping the keg. Thanks JohnTM!

    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Rained cats, dogs and more cats Friday night. Soon found out the <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Eureka</st1:place></st1:City> 3xtsomething tent doesn’t like too much water. A few minor leaks, but a few more leaks than I expected on a new tent. It was a <st1:place w:st="on">LOT</st1:place> of rain though. Next day was uneventful, at least for me. Many went on rides that turned out longer, rougher and more accidental than expected. I just hung out around camp and town. The evening was lively, and it seemed the campfire grew as the kegs shrunk. Funny correlation there.
    [​IMG]

    Packed a lot of wet gear on Sunday morning, and took my time getting out of <st1:City w:st="on">Hot Springs</st1:City>, with no set destination, kind of thinking of heading south to <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Savannah</st1:place></st1:City>, which I had skipped a few days ago. As I left <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Hot Springs</st1:place></st1:City>, I was passed by DazdConfsd and BlueLghtning, on Aprilia Caponord and V-Strom 650 respectively. I tagged on behind them, as they seemed to know where they were going and I didn’t. A few miles later I found they were headed to <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Atlanta</st1:place></st1:City>, so I followed along. As I was tailing and not navigating, I’m not sure which back roads we took, but they were awesome. Scenic twisties all the way. A good part on the <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Blue Ridge Parkway</st1:address></st1:Street>. Loved it. DazdConfsd was kind enough to invite me to stay at his house in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Atlanta</st1:place></st1:City>, and I was more than happy to oblige. Next day I headed again for <st1:City w:st="on">Savannah</st1:City>, but made a short stop at Blue Moon Cycles in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Atlanta</st1:City></st1:place> to pick up a few things for the bike. Mostly a BrakeLED light, a socket to hook direct to the battery and an oil cooler protector. Well, DazdConfsd has a well stocked garage, and I invited myself to return to his house and use a few tools. As expected, the work took longer than estimated, and I stayed another night. DazdConfsd and his girlfriend both ride a lot, and seemed understanding of the situation. Thanks guys!! [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>That night I found out that my parents will be in <st1:State w:st="on">Michigan</st1:State> (from <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Argentina</st1:place></st1:country-region>) in a couple of weeks, and decided to start heading north the next morning to meet them. <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Savannah</st1:place></st1:City> was not to be, for now.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Tuesday morning I made a stop by BMW Atlanta, picked up some boots and a jacket, which I was lacking, and moved on. Not sure which way to take, I followed one of the suggested rides in Gary McKechnie’s “Great American Motorcycle Tours” book. He calls it the <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Georgia</st1:place></st1:country-region> Hills Run, and it did not disappoint. It starts in <st1:City w:st="on">Dahlonega</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">GA</st1:State>, going north on 19 to Suches, then to 180 and 17 to Helen, on to Clarkesville, up 441 to Clayton, Dillard and 106 to <st1:place w:st="on">Highlands</st1:place>, NC. I went a little further on 64 to <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Franklin</st1:place></st1:City>, where I called it a night at a quiet campground.
    [​IMG]


    <o:p></o:p>
    This morning I headed to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Asheville</st1:City></st1:place>, where I took the <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Blue Ridge Parkway North</st1:address></st1:Street>. Great ride. Made it as far as the 16, where I headed south down to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Charlotte</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">NC</st1:State></st1:place>. Will report again soon. Still figuring out how to put up pictures and else, and lacking fast internet connections, so be patient, I'll get better at this report stuff.
    #1
  2. Hayduke

    Hayduke ///SAFETY THIRD/// Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    :lurk
    #2
  3. DRglidarn

    DRglidarn Panzer pilot

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    494
    Location:
    Trollhättan, Sweden
    and thanks for reporting! :lurk
    #3
  4. jp4evr

    jp4evr I'm a dad, have a ceegar

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    345
    Location:
    Sac-O-Tomato, CA
    great start.... Cant' wait to see more roads like this one in your story...

    If you come down through CA on your way from AK to TDF... stop by Sacramento. there are plenty of inmates here and I know my wife and I would like to reminisc about Argentina... travel safe.

    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. B12Teuton

    B12Teuton Thumpwhore

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Oddometer:
    250
    Location:
    Acworth Georgia
    There is only one Wolfpen Gap Rd.!!!:clap

    Keep 'em coming:ear
    #5
  6. gpothoven

    gpothoven whatever

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,130
    Location:
    Quito, Ecuador
    A few pics of the Blue RIdge Parkway in NC...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Does a 1200GSA fit in a motel room? Yes, not easily, but yes.
    [​IMG]

    I tried to trade rides with Herman Munster coming into VA, but he would have none of it!
    [​IMG]

    Rode up the Skyline in western VA.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then it was east to Washington DC
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    And back west to WV.
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    Awesome roads in WV, both paved and gravel. Completely miscalculated the time it would take me to get through the mountain and gravel roads. Finally got to a motel at 1am, lost, soaking wet, but had a blast.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Left bike running and in neutral while taking the cheesy "Welcome to X" pic. Bad idea on a 9% grade as I found out!!
    [​IMG]
    But it was all good, got help, and got someone to take a pic.
    [​IMG]

    Rode through Ohio with little to report. In Indianapolis I thought I'd check out the Speedway. There was a "small" gathering of 99.99% Harleys for a local charity event.
    [​IMG]
    ROde with a few for a while.
    [​IMG]

    And then on to Chicago...
    #6
  7. PackMule

    PackMule love what you do Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
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    19,485
    Location:
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    Outstanding! I really like your format. :thumb


    :lurk
    #7
  8. gpothoven

    gpothoven whatever

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,130
    Location:
    Quito, Ecuador
    In Toronto now, leaving for Newfoundland/Labrador in two days. Anyone know if TKCs required for there, or can I stick with the Tourances? Where can I get some around here? Thanks.
    #8
  9. ghostryder

    ghostryder Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
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    6,374
    Location:
    Atlanta
    :lurk
    #9
  10. Snuffy

    Snuffy Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
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    1,084
    Location:
    Tucson
    Nice pics and story.:lurk
    #10
  11. PackMule

    PackMule love what you do Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    19,485
    Location:
    New Hampshah

    May want to post this same question in the Canada forum.

    I've been to Nova Scotia, and street tires are fine there, but can't speak to NF. Sorry. (Though my guess is the Tuarances will get you most places)


    Cheers,
    #11
  12. Chanderjeet

    Chanderjeet IndiYeah !!

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,918
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Very nice pics. I love those bends. And yes that trike is sweet. :wink:

    Btw, Mr. Packmule, i love those 46ers
    #12
  13. gpothoven

    gpothoven whatever

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,130
    Location:
    Quito, Ecuador
    I did, actually before posting here. No responses yet. Thanks.
    #13
  14. Deuce

    Deuce Crazy Canuck

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2001
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    3,183
    Location:
    Vancouver Island, Bitchin' Columbia, Canada
    Tourances will be fine for 90% of your tour until you hit Alaska. The roads are paved on the 'Rock' (Nfld) ya know. :1drink
    #14
  15. 805gregg

    805gregg Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
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    1,628
    Location:
    Ojai, Ca
    I don't know about back east but out here in the west the front TKC has been back ordered since Jan.
    #15
  16. gpothoven

    gpothoven whatever

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,130
    Location:
    Quito, Ecuador
    Good 'nuff. Will head north on the Tourances. Thanks.
    #16
  17. yogesh

    yogesh Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    244
    Location:
    New Delhi, India
    good pics and commentary, waiting for more :lurk
    #17
  18. gpothoven

    gpothoven whatever

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,130
    Location:
    Quito, Ecuador
    So, where’d I leave off…? It’s been a while… Right, Chicago. Cool town, really cool town. One of the few cities so far where I’d say I’d actually live in (as soon as they’re done with all the highway construction, total traffic nightmare!). Fun city, good atmosphere, variety of neighborhoods, fresh water beaches, and great talent everywhere… What else can you ask for? Good riding roads? Yeah, I guess you could ask for that. No place is perfect.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Just to prove I was there…

    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    And the obligatory Sears Tower picture.<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><ST1[​IMG]</st1:place>.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    Here’s one of a rider caught in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Chicago</st1:place></st1:City> traffic…

    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>
    Spent a week with my Dad between <st1:City w:st="on">Chicago</st1:City>, <st1:City w:st="on">Detroit</st1:City> and <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Holland</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">MI</st1:State></st1:place>, on business trip. Slept in respectable hotels, and ate at decent restaurants. What a change! Thanks Dad!
    Meanwhile the cow got it’s 6000 mile physical at Chicago BMW. She passed with flying colors. New oil filters and else, all ready for another 6000 more miles. It was weird being in a car all week…
    <o:p></o:p>
    So, after Dad left and I got the cow back, headed on practically an all nighter to just short of <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Toronto</st1:place></st1:City>. I was moody and just got in a groove and kept on riding. Pretty cold, but the iPod was playing the right songs, and the rusty gears in my head kept grinding. The road brings deep thoughts… most of them pointless and forgotten the following day, but deep nonetheless. Several dead deer on the side of the road and several cups of coffee kept me alert!
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>

    Also, saw Dominique, my first girlfriend… when we were 5 years old!! She moved away back then and hadn’t seen her since. What a trip! She had never been on a motorcycle, so we went on a nice ride. At least I think she enjoyed it. Looks like it…

    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>
    Of course I am sticking to my strict schedule and projected course…not. Decided that since I was so close (about 1000kms/600 miles) to <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Newfoundland</st1:place></st1:State>, I’d go take a look. Headed north out of <st1:City w:st="on">Cambridge</st1:City> to <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Ottawa</st1:place></st1:City>…
    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>

    And Trois Riviers…

    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    Camped just north of there.

    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    Next day it was <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Quebec</st1:place></st1:State> (city). Wow! What a cool place. A little piece of <st1:place w:st="on">Europe</st1:place>. Just amazing.

    <o:p>[​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    </o:p>
    You know it’s a great city when even the stoplights are cool!
    <o:p>[​IMG]

    </o:p>
    View of <st1:State w:st="on">Quebec</st1:State> on the ferry to <st1:City w:st="on">Levis</st1:City>, east of <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Quebec</st1:place></st1:State>.

    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>
    Then east across <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">New Brunswick</st1:place></st1:State>, looked like things were starting to get interesting…
    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>

    Saw a trail off to the right and followed it for a while…

    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>

    Until…

    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>
    How do you say “Bad Idea” in le French?
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    No I didn’t cross, but it would come back to haunt me....
    <o:p></o:p>
    Temporary shelter from the rain in <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">New Brunswick</st1:place></st1:State>.
    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>

    And then <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Nova Scotia</st1:place></st1:State>.

    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>

    Great roads and great riding here.

    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>
    Followed some trails…

    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>

    What’s wrong with this picture? According to GPS I am sailing...

    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>

    Another trail leading to a “beach”…

    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>

    Lighthouse at <st1:place w:st="on">CapeD’or</st1:place>. No idea why they would need a lighthouse here!

    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>
    And then things went downhill. Remember how I said not crossing the bridge would come back to haunt me? Well after sitting at the bridge for 15 min. trying to figure out how to cross it without breaking our necks (cow’s too), I decided that it was a bad idea. Then I rode for many miles thinking how I was getting old, as 10 years ago I wouldn’t have given it another thought and just done it. So this led to following all sorts of trails and else all day long, which led me down to this beach…
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    Where I promptly got stuck…

    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>
    And where the tide started coming up rather quickly…

    Did I just say beach, or did I say deserted beach in the middle of nowhere? Well, it was the latter…
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    The cow was stuck bad. I removed all the cases, tires and duffel, carried it all up the beach, and begun trying to find a way to get out of there. Digging didn’t work (when you’re in a whole, stop digging). Sticks, rocks, brush under tires? Nothing, no go. Interesting fact about <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Nova Scotia</st1:place></st1:State>: the tides are massive, quick and drastic. Yes, the water kept coming up. You know those stories you hear about parents finding super human strength to lift a car off their trapped kid or something like that? Well, I think my motivation came from not wanting to be a permanent “stupid tourist story” in <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Nova Scotia</st1:place></st1:State> (“Hey Larry, remember that guy in 06 that got his bike stuck down there and the tide came up? Yeah, you can still see the windshield coming out of the sand. I tell you they just get dumber every year these tourists!!”). So I resorted to lifting the rear out of the whole, pushing it for 10 feet until stuck again, lifting out of whole, pushing, stuck, lifting, pushing, stuck…you get the idea, for about 300 feet.
    <o:p></o:p>
    This is where I was stuck 1 hour earlier!!!
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    By the time I was almost completely out, I ran into these two guys drinking a few beers not far, they had seen me earlier and thought I was camping!! At least they helped me carry the gear onto solid ground and helped with the last push.
    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>

    I was exhausted and ready to get out of there. Rode out on the hard packed dirt road with a thin layer of gravel. Wanna know how a 600 lb. bike on street tires handles on that surface? Find a cow (preferably with mad cow disease) put some roller skates on it, and take it out to your favorite parking lot. Jump on it and try to get it to go where you want. All that just to say that I crashed, not fast, but hard. Bike was mostly ok, but my knee, ankle and wrist are killing me. Nothing broken, but sure as hell sore and swollen. The riding pants with knee guards, the reinforced boots, and the jacket with elbow and shoulder guards just paid for themselves. Three times at least. Same two guys from earlier helped me and the cow back on our feet. Rode to a B&B about 45 miles down the road, took some advil, and got about to 3 hrs. of sleep.

    <o:p></o:p>
    Rode east across <st1:State w:st="on">Nova Scotia</st1:State> today, where I caught the ferry from North Sydney to Port aux Basques, <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Newfoundland</st1:place></st1:State>.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Left at 9pm about an hour ago, should be there by 2 or 3 am. Right now I’m tired, sore, bruised, beaten and battered. Probably nothing a hot shower, beer and good sleep and rest won’t fix, but it’s not easy to lick your wounds on the road.

    And the next day...

    Went to the hospital this morning. Well, turns out I was wrong, it's gonna take more than the medicine above. I am now in a cast, stuck in a motel in Port aux Baques, unable to walk or ride... Guess the ankle was worst than I thought.


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    #18
  19. RoyB

    RoyB Dartmouth, Massacusetts

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,578
    Location:
    Dartmouth, MA
    AND THAT"S IT! You leave us hanging like that...........Come on.we goota know! What happeniong with the ankle and such........Hope you are OK!
    #19
  20. MrEndo

    MrEndo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    449
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Great adventure so far! Wishing you the best. Keep us posted with your recovery.
    #20