Around the World in 800 Days

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by flyingdutchman177, Jun 20, 2012.

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  1. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Edventurer

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    I was really looking forward to visiting Zion in Utah. I have been there a few times and I was wanting to spend some time there hiking up Angel's Landing and the Narrows. But the Zion I remembered is no more. The first thing that had changed was they no longer allowed you to drive back in to the canyon on your own. You had to wait for a shuttle to pick you up, packed full of octagenarians and then drop you off back in the canyon. The speed limit in places you could drive was only 25 miles and hour anc it was almost 100 degrees so I needed the airflow thru my jacket. And it seemed there were park rangers around every corner there to enforce the speed limit. And there were even unmarked Ford Explorers with hidden light bars and radar patrolling the park to nab you. But it didn't matter anyway because Grandpa driving that 40 foot Winnebago was only going 15 MPH and holding everyone up. And the whole park was double yellow, so you couldn't pass (legally). I was sooooooo out of there. I stopped by the visitor's center to get a permit to hike "The Subway" the next day (outside the park) but the ranger said they already issued all the permits for tomorrow (maybe about 15). He asked if I wanted to go the next day and I said "yes". And he said ok but I would have to come by the office tomorrow because the permits are issued not more than 24 hours in advance! Fuck that shit! I just spend the past 7 weeks in some of the most remote parts of North America and now I am trying to be controlled and I didn't like it. I left the park and went hiking that afternoon to the Subway with a permit and here's that story.............

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  2. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Edventurer

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    oooops, here's the Zion pic

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  3. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Edventurer

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    The Subway is a hike I have always wanted to do. Last time I was in Zion, it was closed due to flash flooding dangers. The hike starts out hiking down in to the canyon. At the start, the canyon is wide. But the further back you go, the more narrow it becomes. At places, the canyon walls are only about 2 feet wide but the canyon is over 2000 feet deep. If it were to start raining and flood, a wall of water would come thru the canyon so fast, you would never know what hit you. Here is a shot hiking in to the canyon
  4. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Edventurer

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  5. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Edventurer

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    Click on the picture below to see the video
    I started the hike too late in the day but I just wanted to get out of the park and away from the rangers.
    As soon as I started the hike down to the bottom of the canyon, a big thunder storm rolled it. I saw a bolt of lightning out of the corner of my eye. The explosion of sound thru the canyon was incredible and scary at the same time. The time between the bolt of lightning and the thunder was less than half a second which meant it was less than 500 feet away........a close one. The thunder in the video was a small one compared to some of the others I heard. People that were finishing the hike were running out of the canyon and everyone thought I was crazy for heading in to the canyon in to the storm. I hiked for about an hour and I was the only one down there. The river started to turn red from the sand and clay running off from the mountains. I started to rethink things and got the hell out of there too. I would try again first thing in the morning


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  6. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Edventurer

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    I had always wanted to visit Antelope Cyn in Northern Arizona. If the name doesn't sound familiar, I am sure you have seen pictures from it. The classic shot is down deep in a slot canyon........ The walls only a few feet wide. And the opening at the top is so narrow that only a slim beam of light can shine in and lights up the floor of the canyon. It looks like God is shining a light beam down on you. So I get there and I find out it is on an Indian Reservation. The Indians have turned the beautiful canyon in to a Disneyland Attraction. First thing I find out that you have to pay a fee to enter the reservation. And then you have to do a guided tour to see the canyon. The fees were amost $50 total!!! Aren't the Indians making enough money from their Casinos?
    They pack all the tourist in to the back of pick up trucks and drive you almost all the way in to the canyon so every grandma and grandpa with $50 burning a hole in their wallets can do the hike.......I mean tour. I didn't want to go with all the tourist and didn't want to play by the Indian's term so I found my own way in even though there were signs everywhere saying it was against tribal and federal law to trespass. And they caught me and scolded me and called me some names. But I did get this picture. They caught me before I could climb down in to the very narrow canyon where the best pics are taken

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  7. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Edventurer

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    Most of the hike is done walking in the river bottom. Getting close to the Subway, the walls start to narrow and you start to climb up some cool little waterfalls.

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    Here's a great shot of the Subway. You can see how it got its name
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  8. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Edventurer

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  9. HeyWhatever

    HeyWhatever HTFU !

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    Wow.

    You are fearless.

    You need to learn another language, like French, so you have an excuse for trespassing if you get caught! :evil
  10. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Edventurer

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    This is looking up stream from the subway. The canyon narrows to just a few feet and you must wade thru waist deep water to the waterfall. This is where most people turn around but there is some cool stuff beyond it as I found out

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    Here's a shot up from the waterfall.

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    There is a second waterfall to climb past to get to this point. The canyon become so narrow that you must swim thru this narrow passage to a third waterfall. The water is cold and the canyon is 2000 feet deep at this point. I ran in to some people doing a guided canyoneering trip and the guides were "very impressed" that I made it up that far without ropes and by myself.

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  11. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Edventurer

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    CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO SEE THE VIDEO. IT SHOWS ME WALKING THRU THE NARROW CYN IN THE RIVER. BETTER THAN ALL THE PICTURES COMBINED

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  12. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Edventurer

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    CLICK ON THE PIC TO VIEW THE VIDEO OF ME SWIMMING THRU THE MOST NARROW PART OF THE SUBWAY. THIS 2000 FOOT DEEP CANYON NARROWS DOWN TO JUST A FEW INCHES AND YOU MUST SWIM THRU COLD WATER TO GET THRU

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  13. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Edventurer

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    Click on this picture and walk up thru the Subway with me

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  14. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Edventurer

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    My Austrian friend makes some good points. Life is full of trade offs.
    I couldn't imagine doing this trip just a few years ago.
    I was married, big mortgage, job, cars, motorcycles, responsibilities, etc
    Then the perfect storm hit and set me free.
    First, I got divorved. My ex wife is a very nice woman, we were just not meant to be together. We were not a good fit and it only took me 15 years to finally realize it. I never thought I would get divorced but I reasoned that I had a second chance in life to find the person I was meant to be with.
    Then the economic downturn hit. I was in Commercial Real Estate for the past 20 years. In the past 2 years I found myself working and not making any money. I did pretty well up until just a few years ago.
    One day, I got a flyer in the mail. It was an advertisment for a round the world, first class cruise. The price of the cruise was less than what I was paying per month on my interest only loan for my house! I thought, you mean I can travel the world, live and eat like a king and do it all for less than I am throwing away in to this money pit I called my home? And considering I was hardly ever home, it was a wake up call. My house was just a place I slept and stored my toys. It owned me! It reduced my flexibility. The house needed to go.
    There are many reasons not to go. All it takes is one and travel becomes a deal breaker.
    Life is full of trade-offs.
    At the end of the day, you have to be happy with the decisions you've made because there is no "reset" button in life.
  15. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Edventurer

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    Yeh, sometimes I break the rules.
    Sometimes I ride a little faster than the posted speed limit and sometimes I camp places where I shouldn't be.
    But if no one is worse off for it or no one would ever know about it, then what is the harm?
    The hiking permit is a good example.
    I tried to get a permit to hike the Subway, but the park service limits the number of people in to the Subway each day. I think if there is trouble, they have a certain number of people that they can handle to help. I didn't see the harm of one more person in the canyon, especially someone like me that can help themselves. I also reasoned that I would get up early and be the first one on the trail. No one would even know I was there until I headed back thru the canyon. I really didn't think the rangers would patrol the canyon, but as luck would have it, I ran in to two rangers as I was heading back. They asked me how far I made it and they were surprised I got as far as I did. I think the guy was the same guy that told me that their were no more permits available for that day. The gal ranger hiking with the guy asked to see my permit and the guy spoke up and said that I "was good" and that he remembered issuing my permit. I will always wonder if he was mistaken or if he was covering for me. I am hoping the latter. I want to believe that their are others that believe it is ok to break the rules every now and then if no one else gets harmed along the way but someone can benefit.
  16. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

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    I'm totally with you regarding the breaking of stupid rules. I think those are sometimes called, "Victimless Crimes." Like, rules for the sake of rules. There are so many STUPID people who don't have the first clue how to survive outside of a metro area that the nanny state (e.g. State and US Gov't) has to try to protect them. I say screw it. Stop charging us so much money, post it LOUD AND CLEAR that if you go someplace, you're on your own. You can call for help if you need it (and can call), and we'll help if we can, but we're not gonna track your ass. Then again, the $$ from the permits also feeds the budget.

    I could go on and on about that crap, but I don't want to hijack your thread. I'm very much enjoying reading your report.. I hope to do something like this myself in a few years.

    Rob
  17. Luckies_AUT

    Luckies_AUT Adventurer

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    You're doing a great job and I thank you very much for those great pictures! I wish we had the time for hiking as we were in the US. But never say never ... time will come and I'm looking forward to it.. ;)

    My highest priority right now is to buy back my freedom! A few days ago my colleges told me about the possibility to take a year off. Yesterday my wife and I talked about the future ... about retirement. I've absolute no idea how the future will look like, but sitting around - because of no money - and waiting to die is no option for me.

    I think the coming years will be very interesting, in Europe and USA.

    Fu.. now you made me jealous!! :D
  18. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Edventurer

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    While hiking out of the Subway in Zion the other day, I came across a young couple. The gal was leading the charge up the canyon. She asked me how much further to the Subway. I said maybe 15 minutes. She turned to her "man" and said........did you hear that honey, 15 more minutes, do you think you can go another 15 minutes? I just laughed and shook my head in disbelief!
  19. HeyWhatever

    HeyWhatever HTFU !

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    "Owning shit" and having "job security" are both highly over-rated! I was just about to buy a house when I got laid off in 2008. I finally crawled out of the financial hole when I got a good job in 2010, only to be laid off eleven months later. The second to last job was a nightmare, however the job in 2010 was just wonderful. But I had to let it go, because I had no choice in it.

    Around mid December 2010, I got rid of half of my crap, broke my lease, put my other crap in storage, and bought a one way ticket to San Francisco from Wisconsin, and shipped my bike out.

    I took ten weeks by myself, in the middle of one of the coldest winters on record and meandered across the southern US on my Buell (nicknamed Piglet). It was easily the best ten weeks of my life!

    Right now I am still looking for a job, while I live in NC. If there is no job by July 1, 2013... and I can sell the rest of my shit... I am taking off again on the bike. I had four years of Spanish in High School. Next Tuesday I am starting Spanish class again. The only difficult part of that trip was actually STOPPING before I was entirely out of money.

    The best thing about traveling on the bike alone, without a watch, without any real destination, and without ANYONE to answer to... was that it became a practice of living entirely in the moment... which is something I tried for years to do. The other fantastic thing about it was being able to be entirely open to whomever I met.

    Yeah, there was one toothless cajun dude with a weiner dog in his overalls on a Beemer that sort freaked me out... but, hey, that is part of life. If any of you are really bored, you can see my blog on badweatherbikers. I do not like what is happening on the site in other areas... but the Tale Section board has the best record of the trip as it happened.

    I also got to stay with a lot of great people. Some I knew for ten years... others not so much. It was just a great time. I want to do the northern route of the US in three months next year and then I will decide if I am moving somewhere else, like Los Angeles, or not. I dream of some day taking a trip across South America or Africa. I would need an entirely different bike... but it will happen eventually if I keep it in sight and keep working toward it.

    Now, I do like the videos you have been putting up. As far as breaking dumb rules... that is your business. Some rules are dumber than others... I just cannot afford any more speeding tickets as the State of Wisconsin had me tapped out. My insurance was obnoxious up there after three 19 mph over in five years. Now I am good in NC... and known as one of the biggest slow pokes in my riding groups... but I don't give a crap... my friends crash but I don't.:eek1:eek1:eek1

    If you go to this link: http://www.badweatherbikers.com/buell/messages/6817/611694.html?1345944148 , you will need to go to the Archives at the top of the page and scroll down to the oldest one to see the start. Have fun! Keep posting, Ed! :evil
  20. flyingdutchman177

    flyingdutchman177 Edventurer

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    HeyWhatever gets it. But why wait to find a job. You will find a job. But why put off your dream trip(s)?
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