Hacking our way North by Northwest…

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Abenteuerfahrer, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. tony the tiger

    tony the tiger Long timer

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    secret owner of a Parmesan cheese factory
    Might get you that extra little bit of traction when you need it.
  2. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

    Joined:
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    Prescott, Arizona, USA
    We truly did not want to leave Moab...there are so much more to see & do!!
    Sidecarjohn: True that it is unfortunate many of us (citizens) do not realize that USA is a beautiful country and there are so much to see and do! We saw a lot of foreigners traveling in our journey out west and quite few of them were in Moab!! We decided to take the southern route and headed for Durango (already traveled through Colorado Springs 2 years ago and didn't feel like getting anywhere near Denver).

    Tony the tiger: ugh....carry chains?? nah, don't think we'll add any more weight to the sidecar! Elmer just need to effectively execute his route around those gulleys :lol3

    Ok, here are some more pictures of awsome scenery...USA never ceases to amaze us...some more beautiful than others. We DON'T WANNA go home!!

    Left Moab this morning taking in sights to be forever etched in our mind...until we return soon
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    what the heck?? desperate signs pointing to a restaurant & pub for those leaving MOAB
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    few miles out of MOAB...the scenery begins to change
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    we're in Colorado and smoke from forest fires fill the corridor on Rt 491 somewhere near Dove Creek. It's been a very dry summer out West and in Alaska...they all report shortage of rainfall.
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    Colorado mountains in sight...
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    Chic town...wouldn't mind living here!! Durango is famous for white water rafting, kayaking, canoeing and its fly fishing waters. It is also home to the annual summer Music in the Mountains festivals.
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    Main Street...
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    Elmer forever in search for his mile high Starbucks. Give this to him and he's a happy man...
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    They built large buildings in 1887!:eek1
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    reflections...
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    abandoned ranch...
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    Chimney Rock as seen from Rt. 160...
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    no snow in the rockies...
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    up up and away....this was taken at about 4,000 elevation
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    still going up...towards Hayden/Wolf Creek Pass. This was taken at 9,000 feet...
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    at the Continential Divide at Wolf Creek Pass....10,709 feet (Elmer must have been high on altitude as he didn't want to stop for me to take pictures)
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    nope...that's not snow you're looking at up there...it's just gravel, limestone, etc.

    ok...we're comin' down the mountain...
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    went thru 2 tunnels...
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    more construction...
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    the end of dragonfly's life...:cry
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    snow-free mountain
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    it never cease to amaze us seeing homes in the middle of nowhere...
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    ahhh....taking in the sight knowing we won't be seeing this for a while after today
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    arrived at Walsenburg, CO...not a very pretty town but yet surrounded by all this beautiful mountainous state!
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    Tomorrow is to historic Dodge City, KS.
    Your Royal Couple on the road...:beer
  3. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

    Joined:
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    Hi all....

    It took us about 2 days to finally get some good internet connections.
    Finally made it out of Colorado....we were supposed to run along rt 160 from Walsenburg, CO to Dodge City, KS but somehow were misled by our malfunctioning GPS...ran along rt 350 instead from Trinidad, CO...Rt 350 is a neat isolated road until you get to the bigger towns...

    Colorado Mtn's fading away.
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    A town in the middle of nowhere...
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    This is the TOWN....
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    Further down the stretch another long lonely ride until....
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    Again further down Rt 350.....
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    across the Commanche grasslands...
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    The Town of La Junta...
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    cattle pens in the heart of downtown La Junta...
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    Another stretch down Rt 350...
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    Pulled into Lamar, CO for lunch...
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    The squak box for the hearies....
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    Ain't field friendly for the deafies...
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  4. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    2,310
    Location:
    Prescott, Arizona, USA
    More lonely roads....to....Dodge City.....

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    If only trees could talk....
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    Before we saw Ingalls Feed Yard we noticed but missed taking picture of a sign that said.."Scenic Overlook"...with that in mind we pulled over...
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    and saw this....:eek1 :eek1 :eek1

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    We were told that 10,000 heads of cattle are slaughtered a day passing through Dodge City to the slaugther houses...

    NO MO BEEF FOR ME...!!!
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    Taking a rest stop after seeing all those poor cattle gonna die...for a steak?
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    Grain towers all over Kansas...
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    Along this lonely dangerous stretch .....
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    we met this paraplegic guy and wondered what he's up to and where headed..?? Offered him water but he was well provisionned..

    He under his arm power..rode from Virginia and is headed to Seattle, WA. What a human spirit..."riding for cancer.."
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    We're currently in Stilwell, KS doin' some R&R at our daughter Gina's home for a day or two before heading to Cincinnati to visit our son Leon, who has just come home from Iraq for a 2 week vacation before heading back.

    The motorcycle has been purring along fine and so has the sidecar with the "fuggly" wheel..so far so good...reported our success to Jay at Dauntless

    Cheers, Amigos until the next post...:freaky
  5. OlyRider

    OlyRider Long timer

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    I'm glad you two finally checked in! I wasn't worried, but curious as to where you are, and what you're seeing.

    Good news that the new part is holding up! It doesn't look like the roads are much of a challenge for it, though.

    Surprising that your Zumo would go on the blink so close to its home in Olathe. I figured Garmin would have those roads mapped pretty well!

    I forgot to tell you earlier. The night we met for dinner in Seattle was one of the most glorious night-rides I have enjoyed. It was a beautiful, full-moon perfect temperature, no-traffic slog to Olympia. I don't usually go out of my way to ride at night, but this showed me what I'm missing.

    Continued safe journeys!

    Olyrider
  6. Bozola

    Bozola Complete Bastard

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
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    Waitsburg, Seattle and Biscuit Ridge
    So you should have just enough time to come back to Walla Walla for the big picnic up on our property in the Blue Mountains this Labor Day. It's not that far out of the way.

    ;)
  7. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

    Joined:
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    Hi all....

    While we basically are still on the road and are currently in Ohio visiting our son who is on furlough and will return to Iraq this Thursday. Our high adventure has ceased and there is nothing more exciting to report. We have been slabbing the Interstates making haste to Ohio and as Charles Kuralt said, " Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything.” That's exactly what happened...and for this we thinks it is appropriate that we close this post when we get home to our destination(NC) and summarize what worked, what didn't and some highlights. Until then...

    Cheers, Sharon & ELMER:freaky :clap
  8. koifarm

    koifarm Twas ever thus!

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  9. hondachopper

    hondachopper Adventurer

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    Jun 26, 2008
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    Ahhhhh...Bummer!!!
    What am I going to do now???

    Tom
  10. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

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    We'd be glad to take a DONATION so that we can start another epic trip report for you armchair or adventure wannabees..(just kiddin') :lol3 :lol3 :lol3

    Thinking of doin' the "over the hill gang" TAT...(trans America trail) next summer... on skinny bikes..uh, maybe on

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  11. Sidecarjohn

    Sidecarjohn Been here awhile

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    Yorkshire, England
    :clap Thoroughly enjoyed this cyberspace sidecar adventure. It has added another dimension to my perception of the worldwide sidecar community. If only we could bottle it, the rest of humanity might just benefit from a dose.

    Well done Lady Sharon and Sir Elmer.:clap
  12. AceRph

    AceRph Affluenza Free! Administrator

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    Elmer & Sharon,

    Thank you updating us so frequently. I've been a few long trips & did the same thing. I appreciate the effort it took to do it.

    I've enjoyed your pictures & commentary very much. This kind of report is a shining example of what makes ADVrider such a special motorcycling site and the Hack forum one of the best anywhere.

    Looking forward to your next adventure.

    Roger
  13. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    Absolutely! A great ride report for sure. Thanks to Sir Elmer and Sharon and also to this site ! !
  14. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

    Joined:
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    2,310
    Location:
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    The road leading HOME...

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    Good Bye WEST..hello East...we'll miss you...

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    Home safe....

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    North by Northwest: What Worked, What Didn't Work



    2005 BMW R1200GS.....Before we left we did change the clutch to a Sachs ceramic clutch from Touratech . While doing this clutch-ectomy we also changed every imaginable seal that can be had. I can't say enough good things about this/our motorcycle. We were more worried about bike breakdowns: final drive, seals, clutch, electronics, etc, instead it was the sidecar that gave us problems.

    Often dubbed the "Swiss Army Knife of Motorcycles," I think that's selling the bike a bit short. By calling it the perfect do everything motorcycle, you imply that it does everything well like a multi tool you carry so that you don't have to carry a variety of tools that would actually do the job right. However we did carry a multitude of tools for the bike but none were used. Our GS pretty much did everything right. The riding position is extremely comfortable and natural, both when sitting and when standing up. Power of 100 hp and performance is good. It handles well on and off road with the sidecar properly aligned and trued. Easily tops over 100 mph with the sidecar when pushed although the sidecar might “fly” a bit at that speed. The servo integrated brakes are excellent and come in handy when the whole rig crosses 660 kilos; love those ABS; can be shut off when descending a gravel road so as not to brake from the front. Great suspension, thanks to the HyperPro shocks.

    Low maintenance ++++++.

    Although not so good was the gas mileage with the sidecar and this was expected: gas mileage (25-30 mpg). I honestly can't think of a better motorcycle for traveling long distance with a sidecar attached, especially where road conditions might be less than ideal. I might go so far as to say if I could only have one motorcycle, the GS would be it ... But for most riding situations in addition of the sidecar I can't think of a better, more versatile mount than the R1200GS or any 1100; 1150GS. Also (for whatever this observation's worth, motorcycle with sidecar or not), most of the bikes I saw in the Great White North were BMW GS. GS’es were 5:1 compared to HD’s; Quite a few KLR 650’s; Suzuki 650’s; Yamaha 650’s; Vstroms..quite a few KTM’s. And of course a few sightings of Urals. Honda Gold wings were primarily glued to the asphalt like all HD. Oh sure, there were some stragglers on these bikes that went through extremes but this was rare. Although the 1100-1200 GS are on the heavy side…most riding was of course on the slab, where they provided really luxurious comfort a long distance rider would want after days on end on gravel…this is not so on thumper bikes. Mine now has over 47,000 miles not counting the 1000 mile detour by Ferry. So we basically rode 12,524 miles.

    With a good scrubbing, some scheduled maintenance and she'll be ready to go on another adventure come 2010!

    Parts replaced on the GS:

    Three frontal light bulbs..2 low and 1 high(failure probably from severe rough road conditions)

    1 oil change (Mobil1- 15/40 synthetic

    1 oil filter
    1 air filter


    METZLER TOURANCE

    What a great tire! Although not the best tire for a Hack, I’ll be changing them to car tires with a VW rim/wheel which is more appropriate for Hacking. The Tourances handled everything admirably. With the sidecar the rear Tourance that got me home had 3585 miles on it and can go another 500 miles. The one I changed in Watson Lake, BC had about 3700 miles. The front can go about 7000 miles. The sidecar Tourance if not changed to the pusher could go about 10,000 miles. Gravel roads and speed on slabs as well as overload seems to kill them early. Of course the motorcycle sidecar motorcycle tire is totally inappropriate for touring. Moto tires are round and the wear is in the middle..while car tires are much more flat giving it much more surface area for better grip and longevity.

    1 front tire
    2 rear tires

    ROK STRAPS

    ROK Straps rock! I'd heard good things about these straps, but couldn't see spending nearly $20 a set for them, not when bungee cords are so cheap. Finally decided to try a set and three of ROK straps for this trip, though, initially buying one set to test, and then going back for two more. For the Alaska trip, I used two sets and carried the third as a spare. These straps are great: easy to use, never worked loose, shock-corded at one end for easy adjustment, attach really well to the bike, etc. Love 'em and will not leave home without ‘em.


    CAMERAS

    We carried two cameras with us, Sharon’s Canon Rebel XSI SLR and a Panasonic Lumix 10x. Most of the wildlife shots, especially those taken at a distance, were taken with Sharon’s Canon. We carried two lenses, an 18-55mm and a 55-200mm, generally using the bigger lens. I cannot say enough good things about the Lumix and that it’s the best camera for shooting as you can see the view instantly using a Helmet compared with the Canon where you have to remove the helmet for shooting through the view finder…

    TANKBAG

    I love my Wunderlich tank bag. There's one on nearly every motorcycle I own. Fits great, doesn't get in my way, and holds plenty of stuff. Love the flip-over map pocket…My only complaint about Wunderlich is that one must use a rain cover : despite the near constant rains endured on the Alaska trip, the things in my tank bag remained mostly dry. Yeah, there was a bit of dampness, but never enough.



    TENT

    If I were to do this trip again, I'd leave the camping tent behind. We never camped: too rainy; too cold; tent too low. Remember were deaf…so Bears within..Bison stampede…Caribou migration…we’d never hear them coming. So, we Motel’ed most of the way at great $$$. As for the sleeping bags… used them once in Enumclaw, WA in the RV camper Jay provided us with. Not carrying the bag wouldn't have saved a lot on weight, but it would have freed up a large space on the back of the bike. We could have done without the sneakers we dragged along - so those are a couple other items that would have lightened my load a bit and freed up some space on the bike. We, of course, sent a lot of stuff home when we thought Sharon will fly home due to the sidecar incident and I ride solo home. We shed about 30# of stuff.

    GERBINGS ELECTRIC VEST

    The best investment ever made bar none! If you keep your core temp up, your heart keeps sending warm blood to your extremities. It's as simple as that. I never travel anywhere where it might drop below 40 degrees without my electric vest. It got used a LOT on this trip, especially Sharon since she mentioned that she gets a lot of windage around her in the sidecar. We utilized a Odyssey PC535 battery for the entire bike as well as a transfer power cable to the Centech fuse panel in the sidecar. Full riding and fog lights…electric vests…ABS..servo brakes…GPS, etc were run from this battery…but always at proper rpm so as to give the 600 watt alternator sufficient output for this draw, however cruising in Town..my vest was turned off and the bikes fog lights were extinguished. Regarding illuminating yourself on isolated roads: there is so much daylight about 18-22 hours of it depending on the month you ride there, there is no need to light yourself up like a Christmas tree….you’ll be seen creating a dust trail…plus our bumble bee colored outfit is pretty conspicuous!

    RAIN GEAR

    Over the years, I've come to the realization that there is no such thing as wet and cold as long as you have the right gear…. As inmate Mikepa remained me by sayings of a famous Norwegian moto world traveler...."There's no such things as bad weather, just bad weather gear"...How true!

    Our rain gear was the BMW heavy duty full suit rain gear which was the ultimate outfit come hell or high water, although cumbersome when trying to fit it on while wearing a full set of riding apparel…it requires some assistance putting it on. We also carried the el-cheapo Wal-Mart light rain gear that suited us just fine for light drenching but the fluttering in the long run wore out its anti-permeability.


    BOOTS

    Our BMW boots used to keep my feet nice and dry never failed us on this trip. The same goes for the Olympia cold weather riding pants and liner. The BMW summer riding pants are another god send piece of clothing that we cannot live without although pretty worn by now. My well worn BMW Rally Pro II is another godsend piece of gear I will not live without. It’s heavily armored and very well ventilated once you move; fairly water proof as it has lost its water resistant coatings over time: needs to be re-coated! The Rally Pro can be unlayered for hot weather and heavily layered for cold weather. Sharon gave up her hi-visibility Columbia Jacket in Seattle, WA..due being too stiff and was modeled for style not utility which encumbered her ability to sit comfortably in the sidecar. She exchanged it for a Rev’it! #109267 and wore it through thick and thin was happy as a clam! All our apparel gear is armored…we ride ATGAT at all times, fully clothed, no bare skin exposed; even in 110 degrees. Remember when you ride in extreme heat..It is important to retain some body moisture and replenish yourself with an occasional drink of water..Never gulp 500 mls at once, you pee it out in no time, but take it at about 5 minute increments. We had an array of gloves that might make my HD riding friends wince…gloves for every occasion…rains..Cold..Heat…extreme heat…snow…thermal gloves…deerskins, etc. All served their purposes. We rode not in style but function and form; had no body aches nor butt aches or fatigue….easily rode 300-680 miles a day.


    NOLAN & HJC HELMET[

    I developed something of a love-hate relationship with the Nolan helmet. Helmet fits me fine but since I wear a hearing aid and must wear it due to directional balance and maybe sound directions I had to cut out a large portion of webbing and foam coatings to accommodate my aid. Occasional hearing shrill feedback does occur when the Helmet inner wall gets too close to my aid. The first Nolan had a sun visor externally build which was of little use when opening the front shield for ventilation. So after 2 years I discarded it …again in Seattle, WA. Exchanged it for a Nolan 102 with built in pilot sun visor...much better and now love it. Still no one has ever solved this dilemma--when it pours like hell….heavy rains do penetrate and stream down the face shield inside the helmet. Also the new anti-fog approach of the pin-lock double face shield insert does some good but is not fool proof…Sharon’s HJC seems to suit her fine but lacks some sun vision block…she had this sun blocker but it flew off somewhere on top of the world highway. If found please use it or return..??
    We also use modular Helmets so that we can immediately raise it for lip reading and sipping some water or munch some energy bars…at low speeds of course! Ventilation was excellent but helmets aren’t designed to be behind motorcycle windshields…not even the ultimate Helmet will ventilate your head in its capacity if you block the airstream.

    IPF OFFROAD LIGHTS

    Great lights…lasted the entire trip...plenty of light and conspicuity, but after Dauntless rewired my fender lights the sidecar wiring is not doing the lights justice. We now have some flicker and the Canbus light failure is not on. Got to find what the matter is and we’re home…! The headlight bulbs in the GS went out as well. Three bulbs to be exact...one high and two lows. All these could be found in any automotive store even in Canada..just make sure they’re equivalent in wattage and have socket connections

    BEAD POPPER

    This funny looking spade like appearance has its wonders. It&#8217;s made of plastic and I obtained it from Aerostich for breaking the beak. Wash it several times around where the tire beads to the rim with an ax head or rock. Do it several times again..presto the bead loosens. If you're doing tire changes by hand, you need one of these. It's sure a lot quicker than a lot of insane jumping up and down, running over the tire with a vehicle. Get real 15&#8221; tire irons from Pit Posse&#8230;! Forget the punny small ones that come in a tire kit&#8230;won&#8217;t do. Get the 15&#8221; or bigger...plenty of room in the sidecar.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>[


    GARMIN ZUMO GPS

    What an awesome piece of technology, Yes&#8230; Don't leave home without a GPS, Yes. It&#8217;s only a backup for the maps remember&#8230; had a lick of trouble with mine ... well, &#8230;.the membrane became touch sensitive and refused to let us insert way points&#8230;quit directing&#8230;..went to sleep&#8230;.lost all data, way points and froze in the cold of rains. So switched to wet maps in the tank bag.. and picked up new maps in every State&#8217;s visitor center. The Zumo eventually came back to half-life when entering the warm climes on the Moab. I must admit Garmin&#8217;s map sucks&#8230;wish you could load a real Rand McNally or MapQuest&#8230;.

    Off to the shop it goes&#8230;tomorrow&#8230;tomorrow&#8230;


    FREE WIRELESS INTERNET

    More prevalent than you might think, even in the Great White North, but also intermittend. The real problem on a trip like this is finding the time and energy to use it. I also brought along a book to read ... never opened it. Sharon went through 3 books&#8230;picked up 2 free books that were available at the ferry terminal.


    Ingrid the sidecar..

    For some inexplicable reason, the sidecar gave us the most perplexing problem&#8230;three swing arms&#8230;

    One in Seattle, WA after we had to divert from Great Falls, Mt due to lose bearings.

    Another swing arm failure in Carmacks, YK, diverted to Whitehorse, YK

    Another near disastrous spindle shearing near Klukshu, BC

    Since the bearings we&#8217;re not field serviceable an entire swing arm had to be sent for ease and speed of installation.

    The sidecar and its sub frame and mainframe were great. The seating was comfortable, visibility good&#8230;protection also good..but better rain containment would be welcome. Inmates Litewait + Ihop have the right setup for inclement weather. This will be our priority once all is settled. Drainage and ventilation are high on our list. Trunk modification is also underway as well as better windshield design. Since we are contemplating going the car tire way..the fender will be re-modified to suit as well will the rear BMW decorative splash guard. Currently we are running on a temporary set up with spoke wheel until Dauntless is ready to ship the car tires.


    And finally about the passenger&#8230;.my Princess, Lady Sharon....


    I am a lucky guy. I'm lucky because I have a wife that doesn't balk when I tell her I would like to make an assault on the great White North and am going to take her with me on a motorcycle/sidecar ride for 10000+ miles just to see what's there. This is in spite of the fact that motorcycles are not always something that agrees with her. I'm lucky because I currently have the financial resources to jump on that motorcycle and my IQ is low enough that I don't always even think twice about doing it. I'm lucky to have made it around Labrador solo last year and back in one piece. I'm lucky to have had no mechanical problems along the way, except the few minor, he,he... sidecar mishaps. Having gone there and back, as some have already done, my feeling is that there is nothing greater than the anticipation of what you will discover. Just the feeling that you will be an adventurer out discovering new things and experiencing what real freedom must be like. I am a lucky guy&#8230;.Now Alaska&#8230; and with her in a motorcycle sidecar next to me telling me to watch the animals and watch speed. The eventful happenings to the sidecar did nothing to her spirit and disappointment. She with full glee enjoyed the roughness of it, come rain, come snow, come mud, come bugs, nothing mattered but the adventure of it and be with me. I am lucky to have her as my sidekick who on occasion when I am down let&#8217;s me rest my heavy head on her shoulders for consolation. Nothing is greater when returning home with her to discover that the most beautiful women you've ever known is still there in my(her) sidecar and still appears to accept me regardless of how low my IQ is. Life is good, Ain&#8217;t it?


    Ces&#8217;t la Vie !!



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    Au Revoir..Auf wiedersehen...Hasta la Vista...Good bye with a Yakima Red to you all we toast...

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  15. Daleah

    Daleah Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    101
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    East Iowa
    Congratulations. Looks like you had a great trip. Tell me, where did you cross the Mississippi river on your way home. I am guessing you passed somewhere South of the Quad Cities.
  16. AceRph

    AceRph Affluenza Free! Administrator

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    Where the stupidest people on earth run things
    And to you! :freaky
  17. Bozola

    Bozola Complete Bastard

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    Jul 9, 2006
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    Waitsburg, Seattle and Biscuit Ridge
  18. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
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    2,310
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    Hola IOWAKZ...

    We crossed Ole' Miss via I-270 near Dunn, MO. Mighty River.

    Cheers, The Royals...
  19. Sidecarjohn

    Sidecarjohn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    755
    Location:
    Yorkshire, England
    From here in Yorkshire, UK, absolutely fantastic presentation. Awesome photos, and written accounts to match.

    As if titles of Sir and Lady were not enough, I reckon a Nobel prize for literature. Brilliant.:clap
  20. koifarm

    koifarm Twas ever thus!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,800
    Location:
    Saint Augustine, Florida
    Well guys, it was a great end to a wonderful trip, glad you are both home safe and sound...
    I've really enjoyed following your trip, all the delightful posts, food pictures, scenery and most of all the Spirit of two lovely human beings....:cry:raabia
    Your journey is unforgettable, and will remain for all of us to review and see all those great pictures whenever we get the urge to travel.
    I salute you both :beer and thank you so much for sharing your journey with me and everyone everywhere....
    Elmer, your tribute to Sharon is heartwarming, your love for each other is obvious and shows in all your posts...you are a lucky man.....and Sharon is lucky to have found you (or vice versa) You guys are the finest example of a truly blessed relationship.
    Enough mushy stuff....now, where are you going next?
    And.....what's for dinner????:lol3
    Bill