"I've Been Everywhere, Man" Living the song on two wheels.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by swedstal, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. swedstal

    swedstal Been here awhile

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    OK, this post will be sort of a "home time" update. I am on the road again, having left this morning.

    The master planners, working their magic:
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    I don't think I can fully list all of the Annie updates. She's basically a new bike (other than that bent wheel rim...:nah)

    [​IMG]

    Few things are prettier than a new chain:

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    Some luggage system modifications:

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    A few more additions to my accessory circuit. I’m running out of space!

    [​IMG]


    For you perverts who have been asking for a topless picture of Annie, here you go:

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    I got to have sort of a celebrity experience when I went to AAA to get an international drivers license. As I talked to a lady named Paula, telling her my story, a gentleman named Bob came out of his office. “I know this guy…” he said. It turns out he has read my RR here. It was fun to talk to him about my trip and some other ADV threads. I haven’t gotten any press exposure in Lincoln, so this was both fun and surprising.

    [​IMG]


    Plans:
    I'm heading straight to Mexico, skipping these song stops: Wichita, KS; Oklahoma; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Hennessey, Oklahoma. These places will become part of Chapter 4, the final loop of the trip.

    This whole loop will likely exceed 25,000 miles. I have no idea how long it will take. I'm going to try to take my time.

    I'll maybe post some proposed maps later. I can't embed my google maps here.


    Darien Gap
    At my Grandma’s house, there are decades of National Geographic magazines which I usually peruse while I am up there. This time I found one from 1981 which reported extensively about Central America. Even then, the proposed road is marked as “Under Construction.”

    [​IMG]

    I both laughed and cried at this.

    The plan is to do a container share to get around the gap. This seems like the most economical method. It causes me a bit of consternation not knowing when or with whom I will cross. If there will be a wait. There are still a lot of variables. I know many ADVers opt for the Stahlratte. That looks fun, but I'm hoping to get into Colombia a little cheaper.


    Spanish

    I guess I should talk a little about this as it’s about to become a major element of the story. I’m not really sure how to rate my Spanish at this moment. I’ve never taken any formal classes, but I’ve done a decent amount of study on my own. Though I must confess, I am not at the level that I wish to be. Language comes fairly natural for me, so I hope that I’m not leaning too much on that fact.

    I am fully prepared to be completely lost for the first week or two. No amount of study can mitigate the shock of initial immersion. Stopping to take classes may be an option, but I want to see how it goes first. I believe that by the end of Chapter 3, I will be speaking Spanish at a reasonably functional level.



    As always, feel free to chip in with any suggestions, thoughts or ideas. Don't be fooled by my fancy words, I have no idea what I'm doing. :-) I have benefited so much in so many ways from this community. Thank you all for coming along. I hope you packed your sunscreen. :jkam
  2. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer

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    Glad you are beating the real cold weather. I'm curious, are you going to camp with the same technique in Mexico and points south, that you have been? I think in other Ride Reports I've followed, lodging is fairly inexpensive. I'm thinking it just might be a little safer. Good luck, and safe travels. Will be following that spot tracker. :clap
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  3. hankmoody

    hankmoody Ummmmm?? REALLY?!

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    Brett!!! RIDE SAFE! Doug and I are thinking about you and wishing you well!
    Larry


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  4. MotoBoss

    MotoBoss Bad Influence

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    On your way young man. Be safe and ride with open eyes and heart.
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  5. Romero

    Romero Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    Great question!
    Ugh stealth camping in Mexico?, can be done..
    but as said lodging is cheap sometimes including breakfast, and safe parking--onsite or a few blocks away.. Ive camped in Mexico but I was doing a documentary for HSBC.
    I believe there is a good hotel list linked via @tricepilot on the first page "Is Mexico Safe" In trip planning "Americas"
    Keep us posted..you will find plenty of ADV riders here that have plenty of south of the border experience!
    We are always here!

    !buena suerte hermano!

    Look me up if I am on your route
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  6. swedstal

    swedstal Been here awhile

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    The plan is to do mostly hostels and cheap hotels. As much as I prefer to conserve my lodging budget, now is the time to spend. Once I begin feeling more comfortable, I may begin to camp, but I will be very selective. I just don't have a good sense for how I will "feel" safety-wise yet. I have to be considerate of myself.

    @Romero , thanks for sharing that list. I think I had found it once then lost it. Camping for a documentary for a bank? I think I need some more details... :-) I don't think I will make it over quite as far as you. I'll probably be going through Santiago de Queretaro, which doesn't look too far away. Thanks for the info, hermano!
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  7. swedstal

    swedstal Been here awhile

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    I forgot to post this video yesterday. I've had a number of questions about my luggage system and general set up of the bike. This video attempts to explain all of that:
    Maggot12, Davidprej, MotoBoss and 3 others like this.
  8. WYO George

    WYO George Long timer

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    Thanks for the Tour De Annie, love the Princess Bride reference!
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  9. vicmitch

    vicmitch Been here awhile

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    So you are going straight south to the border? Crossing at Brownsville then west to Monterrey?
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  10. swedstal

    swedstal Been here awhile

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    I made it into Mexico! Stay tuned for details. :-)
  11. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

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    Feliz Navidad:clap
  12. swedstal

    swedstal Been here awhile

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    The way to the border.


    On December 20th, I left Lincoln heading south. My parents, who are following me to Mexico, in tow. So begins Chapter 3.
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    Our plan was to take 3 days to cover the 1,100 miles or so down to Laredo, TX.

    [​IMG]

    I wasn’t feeling much in terms of emotion as I rolled out of my driveway. There was some slight relief at being finished with packing and preparations, but not much else. I felt neither scared nor elated. Perhaps I was feeling both of these things in equal measure and they just canceled each other out. I guess I’ll never know.

    It was 30 degrees when we left Nebraska, but there was no snow. I'll take it! Plus, my parents Christmas gift to me was a heated vest. Wearing it really feels like cheating. Isn't riding a motorcycle supposed to be mostly pain and misery?

    We stopped at my Aunt and Uncle's place in Kansas. My Uncle Gary has a couple of vintage Hondas in his stable, a CB350 and a 305 Dream.
    [​IMG]

    He's working on a Suzuki 850:
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    A side quest of my trip has been to visit all 8 sets of Aunts and Uncles. I think I just have two left.
    [​IMG]

    In Kansas, I had to call on my support vehicle. It is with much embarrassment that I admit: I ran out of gas. Not on the Alaska Highway, not on Rte. 389 up to Labrador. No, in the middle of Kansas.

    The wind was howling from the south, causing a real dent in my gas mileage. Unfortunately, I underestimated just how bad it was. By the time I started to have major worries, we were 20 miles from the nearest filling station. I nursed Annie onwards, but ran dry 2.3 miles from my destination. It was one of the least efficient tanks of the whole trip, just under 51 mpg.

    Here is my face of shame, holding my gas in an “approved container.”

    [​IMG]

    Maybe I should be carrying a little gas can? We'll see how Central America goes.


    The next few days were pretty uneventful. When you stay in hotels, that seems to be the way it goes. Crossing into Texas marked state number 43 on the trip.

    Marble Falls, TX
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    [​IMG]

    I made sure to pick up some tire sealant in San Antonio. Now that I'm running a tube in the rear, this seems like an absolute necessity. The next time I change that tire, I think I will ask about going tubeless again and see what the mechanic thinks. (I bent the rim slightly a few posts back).

    I also talked the shop into giving me a few wheel weights. I've decided I'm going to try balancing Sonic's legs just like you would balance a tire. Sometimes he doesn't start spinning until about 35 mph because of some asymmetry.

    I also picked up another item I was lacking: A water filter. Acquiring one had slipped my mind while I was home. This will allow me to drink the water in countries with questionable water quality. As it is written: Man cannot live on tequila alone.

    Roadside picnic:
    [​IMG]
    I learned all I need to know about cheap travel from these people.

    We made it to Laredo, got some pesos, got a new insulin pen for my Dad and got ready to cross the next morning. It.......was an experience. :-)
  13. swedstal

    swedstal Been here awhile

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    Realtime update: My folks and I are having a Feliz Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) in Monterrey. I can already tell that this portion of the story is going to be a real adventure.
  14. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile

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    Merry Christmas lad!
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  15. KiwiPewe

    KiwiPewe Smelly Member

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    Feliz Navidad amigo, from down under! :wave
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  16. MotoBoss

    MotoBoss Bad Influence

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    Merry Christmas to you and yours.
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  17. vicmitch

    vicmitch Been here awhile

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    Feliz Navidad Brett.
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  18. Mofrid

    Mofrid Been here awhile

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    Wishing you the best!
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  19. Aces 6

    Aces 6 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over

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    hmmmm, Christmas Merry and safe you have....force be with you it shall (have tickets for today, can't you tell?)
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  20. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer

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    Merry Christmas! Stay safe..


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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