Port Solitaire Seeks a Storm Name of bike - Jo Jo Fly and ride a KLR 650 from Richmond Virginia to my residence in Sandia Park New Mexico. No interstate, back roads and dirt. Routes were decided every morning. I left on October 17th and returned on November 11. The journey was cold, wet and also most awesome. I was solo. I had no agenda. 3,013 miles. My ride will share my thoughts, my feelings, my perspective of life on the road and a KLR, as a total newbie - first road trip deal. I would appreciate feedback and comments. I hope readers will relate, feel the road, the weather, the emotions and I hope you will know my bike as well as I do. I want you to hear the whine, feel the thermoclines, Sidney the rut and the people I meet and share life with. I hope you will cheer for me, maybe even admire me. The report is completed and I will submit on a regular basis till the ending. It even has a few videos. Hang on till the end, it has an epic ending, I promise you won’t predict. I first have to provide a bit of an introduction. My name is Ateam, AKA Tony. I am a very under employed consulting geologist. I have now been married for 10 years. I have a step daughter in her mid 20’s and a step son who is in his first year of local community college. My life has been good, however maybe with age, drive, ambition, economy; for any cast of reasons life has recently been difficult at best. As I look into my future I am scared, worried and yet somehow I hope. As economic conditions deteriorate and marital stresses compounding daily, I looked for an inspiration, a life changing event, an adventure perhaps on a motorcycle. My plans were based on a visit with my Mom who lives in the north eastern corner of Kentucky, where Ohio and West Virginia meet. Late in 2011 I lost a very best friend and neighbor to simply old age and compounding medical issues. In May 2012 I lost my father to a long battle with heart disease and ultimately due to the removal of a cancerous kidney. So my situation in middle life have seemed to just go haywire and the recipe for a perfect personal storm was in development. Things are now so different. I have always related to this poem below. As if in storms one finds content. Lermontov, a Russian dissident A lonely sail is flashing white Amdist the blue mist of the sea!... What does it seek in foreign lands? What did it leave behind at home?.. Waves heave, wind whistles, The mast, it bends and creaks oe’r the seas... Alas, it seeks not happiness Nor happiness does it flee! Below, a current of azure forms, Above, a golden ray of sun sent... Rebellious, it seeks out a storm As if in storms one finds content! After lurking for a Honda XR650 on www.advrider.com to purchase near my mother, fly home and buy the bike to have something in Kentucky when I visited. I almost made a deal with an ADV inmate near Dayton Ohio but the deal fell through. Then I found LakeRider (Rob) near Richmond Virginia. The plan quickly fell together and Rob was willing to meet me at the airport and sell me a 2006 KLR 650. Wow, a KLR? I mailed my boots, helmet and tools to LakeRider’s house in Crossett Virginia. I flew with my large North Face bag packed with camping gear and basic clothes. I finally arrived after a flight from hell. I had maps, a GPS. my 25 year old plus MSR Firefly stove as well as my old school Eureka Timberline tent. What could go wrong? As the hook is set, I somehow decided to jump into this deal with very little fall protection. I also received my first motorcycle endorsement 2 days prior to leaving for Richmond. Yikes! After many emails and phone calls with NMTrailBoss (Curtis) who has been such the ultimate trip and logistic support guru’ I decided to do a Fly & Ride TrailBoss has more motorcycle riding experience in his little finger than I have in my whole body and I have been riding moto trials for 25 years. Curtis talked me off the ledge more than once on this trip, several times actually. So many thanks and props to TrailBoss, you are so much the bomb. Additionally my best friend for 30 years, since college is Ray who lives in Garland Texas. Together we have competed in nearly 100 moto trials nationals. During this trip Ray was my travel and weather logistics support many times. I shared a wild weather rodeo with Ray on the phone, screaming in competition with raging storm going outside my flimsy 25 year old tent. Ray knew the kind words and provided the sage advice when I needed it most. My gratitude to Ray will never end, one of a few that I know would be my pall bearer. I ask people if you were to be stranded on a deserted island for 3 months, what 4 other friends would you want with you. Ray would be my first draft pick. I don’t know how many times I was told in the last three weeks; New Mexico, that’s a long ways. My fly and ride from Richmond Virginia back home to my Mom’s house and then ultimately back home to Sandia Park, New Mexico officially begun on October 17 leaving on a SW flight from Albuquerque to Houston. From there I was to transfer to Air Trans in Atlanta and on into Richmond. I did not make it out of Atlanta Port Solitaire Airport. The following day my luggage and my weary self made it onto Richmond where I made the phone call to Rob: The Ateam has landed. <hr> Day 2 Thursday October 18, 2012 Ateam Has Landed As I waited with several large bags dragged down to the passenger pick up area, I realized that I really needed a cup of coffee. I was not prepared to leave my bags and venture upstairs where coffee could have been purchased. So I spotted an older man and lady attending a valet rental car booth. I stepped inside and politely asked if I could by a cup of coffee? The immediate response was no. Later I found Habib or whatever his name was and almost pleaded with him for one small cup of coffee. He thought about it for what seemed forever and finally said yes, like he was giving me a steak dinner or something. This is already some bad karma going on here, stranded in Atlanta, paid for a room in Richmond that I never got to sleep in and now the locals are acting like coffee Nazi’s. Rob made his trek in and found me and I was finally on the road to go meet my new bike. The weather was splendid and soon we were pulling into LakeRider’s quaint old school neighborhood home in Crossett Virginia riding in style in his family truckster and soccer hauler'; a VW Micro Bus. So Rob is giving me the dubious look about the baggage I have and how on earth will you ever get all that stuff on the bike. I made additional on the fly arrangements to mail to my mothers house extra junk that would not fit or not be needed, like a cell phone charger. So after much discussion, a cash pay off for the Kawasaki as well as a refusal to test ride the bike, I got my l eg over the bike. My manhood was suppressed and I was not comfortable but I also didn't care. I wanted to hear the sounds of this bike. <table style="margin: 0px 0px 25px;" id="post19871959" class="dg-post" align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"><tbody><tr><td style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 5px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px; PADDING-RIGHT: 5px; WHITE-SPACE: nowrap; PADDING-TOP: 5px" class="thead" colspan="2"> </td></tr><tr valign="top"><td style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 5px; LINE-HEIGHT: 18px; PADDING-RIGHT: 15px; PADDING-TOP: 5px" class="dg-post-user dg-align-center smallfont" align="center" width="175">Lakerider Gnarly Adventurer Joined: Jun 2006 Location: Crozet--west of Charlottesville Odometer: 354 </td><td style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 10px; LINE-HEIGHT: 20px; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333; PADDING-LEFT: 15px; PADDING-RIGHT: 15px; PADDING-TOP: 10px" id="td_post_19871959" class="dg-post-content"> </td></tr></tbody></table> <table style="margin: 0px 0px 25px;" id="post19871403" class="dg-post" align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"><tbody><tr valign="top"><td style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 5px; LINE-HEIGHT: 18px; PADDING-RIGHT: 15px; PADDING-TOP: 5px" class="dg-post-user dg-align-center smallfont" align="center" width="175">Lakerider Gnarly Adventurer </td><td style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 10px; LINE-HEIGHT: 20px; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333; PADDING-LEFT: 15px; PADDING-RIGHT: 15px; PADDING-TOP: 10px" id="td_post_19871403" class="dg-post-content">Klr I'll have to get a picture posted of Tony leaving with the KLR as he had it so loaded up with a tiny cockpit to sit in. He almost dumped it before he rode it as it was sinking into the asphalt:eek1 So glad all is well. And that was a decent storm that rolled through I gotta say. Keep the shiny--well its a KLR--side up and out of the ditches. Watch out for deer too Tony. __________________ </td></tr></tbody></table> I am truly an ADV rider in training now. Flights from hell, canceled and stranded in Atlanta, left my cell phone charger and borrowed a guys car at an Exxon station to make a few calls to worried folks. I only had a cigarette charger and at the time no way to charge it, borrowed a gallon of gas from 2 guys from Florida near Cass WVA, was bummed as I thought I lost my Lewisport Trials hat somewhere on the road but was found later. All this started on Wednesday. I rode about 80 miles of twisties into the Appalachia's and camped on the Virginia/West Virginia border at 3000 feet last night. Day trippin’ away on my way to find a camp spot. Short ride today. Weather should be great? Found a small little grassy road and got the tent pitched at dark thirty before a real bad rain I was soon in store for a 3000 foot mountain top storm in western Virginia. A great head lamp still sucks in the rain and dark. I made an island in the tent and called the steady class II water running through it: The River KLR. I put my tarp under the tent, this was a mistake. All equipment was stuffed inside dry bags with other gear like helmet and boots stacked on top of the dry bags. It was a crazy night of lightning, thunder and rain. I fell asleep with garbage bags on my sleeping bag bottom and my pillow in a bag, tired and apprehensive. The bike seems like a nice bike, it’s red so that means it’s fast right? As the rain was pounding on the tent my mind wandered back to my Dad. His only older brother called my Dad Jo Jo. I always thought that was cool as a child. Then and there, while the bike stood sentry leaning against a fence post, I declared that my name I decided on for this bike was appropriate. Jo Jo it is, official. Wetnessness Bad picture but this is my jacket hanging in the top. My second day of riding was a large day, over 250 miles.