One Day at a time - Riding the Americas

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by RangeRoad, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. RangeRoad

    RangeRoad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    The Prairies
    In less than a week I will point the front wheel South and begin my journey across the Americas. I have spent many years thinking about my escape from the Alberta prairies and now I have the opportunity to make this dream a reality. Money has been saved, belongings are stored and the cubicle is soon to be nothing but a distant memory...or maybe a recurring nightmare.

    I plan to use this thread to keep friends and family up to date on my travels and coordinate meetups with other riders along the way. As always with the ADV community, everyone is welcome to join in the conversation. I don't expect to post every small detail, but I hope to share some stories and pictures of where I am and what I am doing.

    The Bike :
    Lola is a 2015 Triumph Tiger 800 with 30,000kms on the clock. Affectionately named after the song, (https://youtu.be/LemG0cvc4oU). Don't overthink it though, there is no hidden meaning. I just thought Lola was a good name for a Tiger.

    The Plan:
    Drive south until I run out of road. Ultimately that should be Ushuaia, through the U.S., Mexico, Central America and finally South America via the Stahlratte. Other than my booking on the Stahlratte there are no set dates or plans. I will have camping gear and will camp when it makes sense, but hostels, and Air BnB are likely my preferred accommodations.

    Me:
    Born and raised on the grid roads of the Alberta prairies, I have spent the last 8 years on a bike touring all over Alberta, BC and the North Western US. I have been lucky enough to ride a Ducati on the Amalfi Coast, A Harley through Daytona Beach a scooter in South East Asia and countless rides through the spectacular Canadian Rockies. I have been working as an accountant for a power generation company where I have been blessed with some amazing opportunities and have worked with some great people.

    But starting next week, I will be taking my life on the road. I hope you will join me.

    Enjoy the ride!
    I know I will.

    RR
    #1
  2. RangeRoad

    RangeRoad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    The Prairies
    Shakedown ride

    In order to test my packing my parents and I took a ride to meet some family in Invermere BC. It was about a 1,200km round trip, we took the long way to get as much time in the Rockies as we could. It was my mom's first multi day motorcycle trip and she was soaking it all in. Cold in the morning, big gusts of wind, the smell of pine trees, the stunning blue lakes and glaciers of the parkway and 15 degree temperature swings as we dropped down into the valley.

    The Icefields parkway and Kootenay national park is a pretty damn good first trip and constantly reminds me just how lucky we are to have it in our backyard. For so many that is a bucket list ride and she gets to do it on her first run.

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    It was also the first multi day trip for Dad's new F800 GS, welcome to the adventure bike club! I know it doesn't have cruise control or a stereo but it makes up for it everywhere else.
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    Other than a few changes to my packing and my constant paranoia about the rattling sound when the bike is cold, (a really slight rattle at 2500 rpm as the revs drop... I think its the cam chain) Lola is in good shape and ready to roll. Now just have to make it through the last day of work and should be on the road Saturday afternoon.

    RR

    Attached Files:

    #2
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  3. RangeRoad

    RangeRoad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    The Prairies
    Forgot to mention I had the chance to test out the camera I bought on Kijiji. It is cheap and waterproof but otherwise it's a piece of junk. At least I don't have to worry about it in bad weather, dirt or getting stolen.

    Here is a comparison shot between my phone and the camera. On the left is the Samsung S7 camera and on the right is the Fuji point and shoot. I really can't believe just how much less detail the point and shoot captures... and it can't make phone calls, surf the web and play music.
    [​IMG]

    Attached Files:

    #3
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  4. chudzikb

    chudzikb Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    648
    Appears like you have the makings of an epic journey. Safe travels. How did you get out of the rat race? A noble goal for all.
    #4
  5. SafetySteve

    SafetySteve adventurey

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can't wait to follow along, so proud, have the time of your life!!

    k
    #5
  6. True.North

    True.North Have bike wil travel

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    34
    Location:
    Ardrossan, Alberta
    Range road have a great trip I will be subscribed.
    #6
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  7. Cycles

    Cycles Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Alberta
    Followed your link from Alberta Dual Sports. Hope you have a fantastic adventure.
    #7
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  8. FlatLanderRed

    FlatLanderRed n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2017
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Alberta
    This trip: amazing! How lucky am I - first big ride and with my son just before he set out on this epic trip. When life hands you a gift, you say thanks and just smile. It was challenging for me for sure and at times my family wondered if I was having any fun at all through the stressed look on my face, but IT was spectacular. "If it challenges you, it will change you" -RLAG....Thanks RR
    #8
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  9. FlatLanderRed

    FlatLanderRed n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2017
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Alberta
    IMG_20170909_171655.jpg Can't wait to see where you and Lola GO! #ridingtheamericas
    #9
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  10. clumsy_culhane

    clumsy_culhane Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Oddometer:
    180
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I'm in. Currently a month or two ahead of you and it's been nothing short of spectacular the whole time! Bien viaje :)
    #10
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  11. MightyDuc

    MightyDuc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2013
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Nebraska, USA
    Subscribed. Looking forward to the adventure.
    #11
  12. RangeRoad

    RangeRoad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    The Prairies
    A noble goal indeed. I have been very dilligent in saving cash each paycheck to make this a reality. It helped that I had a good job and that I don't have a mortgage.

    Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk
    #12
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  13. RangeRoad

    RangeRoad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    The Prairies
    Maybe I'll catch up At some point!

    Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk
    #13
  14. RangeRoad

    RangeRoad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    The Prairies
    Days 1, 2 and 3

    Three of us met to begin the journey. My brother, riding a KLR and my buddy riding an AT. They will be joining me for some of the ride in the States.

    It was a bit of a shaky start to the journey. My twin brother and I celebrated our bday the night before we left.... which made for a late start to say the least. The three hour bomb down the Qe2 was as fun as always. Made worse by the pounding in my brain, can't blame the road for that though. When we stopped for gas, the first problem was found.

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    The cover on the side of my helmet flew off in the wind in the first 100kms. I have done 30,000 kms with this helmet with no problems and day 1 of my trip this happens. Oh well, a little tape to keep the rain out and it's good as new.

    The next morning was beautiful, just that perfect golden glow through the mountains. By the time we hit the boarder it was sunny and warm, we headed to the west side of kookanusa reservoir. It's not a popular road but fantastic on a bike. There was a lot of slippery pine straw this time but still a great road, especially on and Adv bike.
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    It ends at libby dam. A spectacular sight on it's own. I am quite fond of power stations, especially hydro. I guess working in the industry for the last 5 years has something to do with that.

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    We met an interesting guy named Robin along the road. He was riding an older Honda shadow that had recently gone for a slide through the ditch. No matter, he straightened the mirrors, let the road rash heal a bit and was right back on the road. I didn't have the heart to tell him his minimum 1 road beer policy probably had something to do with the crash. Even though we lead very different lives and I don't agree with all his choices, the common bond from motorcycling allowed us to connect.

    Day 3 was a ride through the iconic Lolo pass. What an amazing road. 200 miles of curves from Lolo Montana to Lewiston Idaho. Lots of places to stop and learn about the original trail. By the time we got to Lewiston it was too hot to keep going so we stopped for some wifi and snacks.

    [​IMG]

    Tomorrow my brother heads home.

    And then there were two.

    Gmyawo and I will start making our way to the coast, through Oregon or southern Washington. Can't wait for the sunshine and beaches.

    Thanks to everyone who is following along from home. Your love and support means a lot to me.

    RR

    Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk
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  15. SafetySteve

    SafetySteve adventurey

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Edmonton
    woops, my bad! looks awesome so far!!

    #15
  16. RangeRoad

    RangeRoad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
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    Days 4 and 5

    Day 4 started with my brother packing up early and heading out as soon as the sun came up. It was great to get to share the first few days with him. Unfortunately duty calls and back to the office he goes.

    Gmyawo and I started early to beat the heat. Our route took us through the rolling hills of southern Washington and along the northern bank of the Columbia river. Keeping with the power theme, there were thousands of turbines scattered over the hills. They are great for photos but I understand why people are hesitant to have them in their back yard.

    [​IMG]

    We then made our way south into Oregon towards Mt Hood. From the southern side, the mighty volcanic peak wasn't visible through the dense layer of smoke. There was a wildfire in the region, apparently started from a firework. The guy responsible was apparently found an charged but that can't ever replace the damage being done to the landscape.

    As we approached the base of the mountain the silhouette of the mountain appeared through the smoke, towering over the landscape around it. Unfortunately no good pics of the south side but the north side of the mountain is still spectacular.

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    That night we were camped near the base of the mountain. After dark, I was walking back to my tent when my headlamp lit up two starring eyes in the bushes. The eyes moved through the trees, almost stalking us as we sat in our campsite. We debated what it could be. Looked to be a small cat of some kind. Maybe a lynx? or a Bobcat? Too small for a cougar... at least that's what we were telling ourselves. Ten minutes later I turned around to have another look, and the eyes were back, staring at us from the neighboring campsite. As it slinked away we knew it was definitely feline, but what kind? Another ten minutes go by and I turn around for a third time, this time it is sitting fifteen feet behind us, eyes glowing in the light. It was just a large house cat.... how the little guy got out there we don't know but hopefully he finds his way home soon.

    Day 5 started with a 40 or 50 mile ride that ended abruptly when the road was closed due to another forest fire. The detour turned out to be a wonderful road that snaked along the banks of a river for 60 miles.

    We made a run to the coast and were enjoying the sun and surf in a couple of hours. Just in time to celebrate Lola's 20,000 mile birthday!


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    Our campsite was right in the middle of the Oregon dunes. The dunes are massive, some of them at least 40 feet tall, maybe more. Great way to end the day and watch the sunset over the Pacific.

    Attached Files:

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  17. RangeRoad

    RangeRoad Been here awhile

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    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
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    [​IMG]

    If you look close, there is a person standing on top of the dunes next to the two trees on the left side of the image. It is really hard to shot the scale but that is about the best I can do with my very limited photography skills.

    Attached Files:

    #17
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  18. RangeRoad

    RangeRoad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Day 6
    Started with a run through the dunes. What a great way to start the day, although running on the fine sand was a hell of a workout. I had the whole coast to myself.

    I am starting to settle into the rhythm of the travel, although I still feel like I have to turn around and head back to work. I'm sure that will go away soon.
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    By lunch time we were in Port Orford where I had to break my rule of not eating out. The crazy Norwegian has the best fish and chips on the coast and was a highlight of the trip last time I was in Oregon. It didn't dissapoint and my riding buddy was kind enough to cover my lunch. Thanks G.

    [​IMG]

    The delicious food kept us going all through the afternoon as we crossed into Calfornia and the towering redwood trees. Driving and walking through the redwood forests is surreal. The trees have this almost haunting quality to them with their immense stature and trunks covered in burns and scars from a thousand years of growth. I could have spent at least two days just walking around the forest.

    Mom, this one is for you, I know you have a thing about hugging big trees, they don't get much bigger than this one.

    [​IMG]

    We ended the day camping on the lost beach, about 40 miles off the main highway. There we met Zee. she has been riding and camping all over North America for the last year. she invited us to stay with her and we spent the evening hearing about here adventures. She takes a very different approach to travel, making it her lifestyle rather than a break from realty. Not sure that I could ever commit like that but seems to be working for her.

    RR

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  19. RangeRoad

    RangeRoad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
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    Location:
    The Prairies
    Day 7 was a big push along the highway to get to San Francisco. We crossed the Golden Gate about mid afternoon and spent an hour or so at the warf. Gmyawo had travelled 3000+ kms to get an In-N-Out burger only to find the one on the warf was closed for renovations. What a let down.
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    We then continued south in search of the elusive burger. I have to say, for fast food I was impressed when we finally found an In-N-Out just outside of San Fran. More than the burger, I was impressed with the operation as a whole. They must have had 40 people working in the back, all with perfectly clean and pressed uniforms.

    This was also the last supper for our little team.

    Gmyawo continued south, heading back to the coast and to LA. I went to Sunnyvale where my friends Gerard and Caroline offered me a place for the night. Thanks to them for a great dinner and breakfast this morning and just being wonderful hosts.

    RR

    Attached Files:

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  20. FlatLanderRed

    FlatLanderRed n00b

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    Alberta
    Tree hugging fills ones soul! Hug those bad boys everywhere you go - and that one's a doozy. A millenia of energy in that forest :)
    #20
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