South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by JDowns, Oct 2, 2012.

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  1. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    First Paris, then Bogota. I'm a world traveler and I haven't gotten out of north Texas. Well okay, the a should be an o.


    My house for the night. (Mi cassa por la noche):

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    Fish Hawke point on Lake Hawkins east of Mineola Texas. GPS waypoint:

    N 32º 37.151'
    W 95º 15.021'

    Camped at the end of the penninsula. Nobody else around. Nice free park. Not marked. No signs, so without freecampsites.net I wouldn't have found it. Very peaceful tonight. The lake is smooth as glass except for fish jumping and turtles poking their head out of the water. The water is clear and I saw a two foot long fish on the bottom maybe ten feet off shore. Tried to get a pic but reflections nixed that attempt. Now just stars and half moon reflections on a glass lake.

    This morning an older fellow pulled up in his boat just offshore and I asked him what he was fishing for. Crappy (pronounced croppy). Very peaceful way to spend a morning.

    Anyway, if you're in the east central part of Texas and need a nice place to stay this place will do. Nice clean bathrooms, garbage cans, mowed lawn. Somebody takes good care of this place.

    Heading out to wander around rural Texas and eventually end up at SchizzMan's place in Austin. More later….

    Best regards,
    John Downs
  2. Merlin III

    Merlin III Long timer

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    John, did you check for gators before you pitched your tent? :D

    I am enjoying your report. Take care.
  3. sandalscout

    sandalscout blah blah blah

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    Just finished the Guatemala trip RR a little while ago, now caught up on this one. Can't wait to see this one get hot!
  4. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    I like your style John and am subscribed :D

    I have similair ideas for travelling. What do you do about drinking :freaky? It seems on our trips :1drink eats up a lot of money! Especially if you get in with others, every stop turns in to a party.

    We too don't want to look like cheapstake Dicks but all the party time proves to be costly. Also when folks want to 'eat out'. We try to do our own meals, but if you stop at someones house they often want to go out.
  5. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Texas is like a whole other world. A welcome change from Nebraska fall weather. 80 degrees, puffy white clouds, green grass and trees, gently undulating roads. No wonder so many people live in Texas:

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    Not much traffic on the four number county and farm roads:

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    There's even flowers blooming along the side of the road:

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    I spotted this taco shack under the trees. I must be getting close to Mexico:

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    $1 breakfast tacos the sign said. I ordered two:

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    Dos tacos de desayuno con chorizo, huevo, cebolla y queso por favor (two breakfast tacos with sausage, egg, onions and cheese please}

    I passed through Athens and Palestine (pal-uh-steen) appropriately located in the middle eastern part of the state. Stopped at the library in Palestine to PM tricepiilot about Tejas brisket tomorrow for lunch. I was wondering what the dude looks like who parked this '73 slash 5 toaster ratbike outside the library:

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    Soon enough I found out. Turns out the 92.000 on the odometer is the third go around and C.D. rode this bike all over Texas back before he retired from working in the oil fields. You can't judge a book by its cover. CD was a very interesting fellow:

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    I was chatting with CD about life and riding and all the things he had done to the /5 to keep her running. Changing timing chains, rebuilding transmissions, that sort of thing when a hooligan rode up on a ZX12R and parked next to the library entrance to return some books. He unstrapped his cane and came over to talk bikes:

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    Meet Babb. That's him on the right. He just turned 81 and this is his current ride:

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    He got 9 speeding tickets on a red ZX and turned it in for this one and hasn't gotten any tickets since even though he rides like a hooligan. He says he's an adrenaline junkie. Nothing wrong with that. His friend clocked him with a radar gun doing 160 on his new bike. Quite a character.

    If I had a fast bike in Texas I think I'd lose my license or get a radar detector.

    I headed off down the road to the Austin area where I am currently at Casa Schizzman. He tells me there is a campout that starts tomorrow called "Road of Bones" with possible dual sport riding on goat trails. Don't think I could pass that up. Especially after all the fun I had in Oklahoma with the Zombie Apocalypse riders.

    But first, have to head to San Antonio to meet tricepilot and experience Texas cuisine at its finest.

    I rode around 300 miles and stopped for gas twice for a total of 16.83. Plus 2 bux for tacos. Total of 18.83. But these numbers are skewed low since when I got to town last night JD fixed me dinner. I still think 30 dollars a day is about as low as you can go long term. I will keep reporting back though and see how this develops. I am just as curious to see what happens south of the border where free camping will be more challenging.

    Best,
    John Downs
  6. Tsotsie

    Tsotsie Semi-reformed Tsotsi

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    A slight correction - ADV "Roll the Bones Rally" out of Hamilton, TX. this WE

    See you there - riding in from Houston tomorrow - blue KLR.
  7. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Tuckers,

    I don't drink so I don't have that problem. I have found it is easy to hang around folks who like to drink though. People don't seem to mind. I don't drink their beer and am always on call as a designated driver. Sitting around the campfire watching people get wasted is kind of fun actually.

    If people want to go out to eat you just have to go with the flow and order what you can afford. I normally travel solo and don't really have this problem. Since I am taking the time this trip to meet folks along the way I know what you mean though.

    Best,
    John Downs
  8. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Tsotsie,

    Roll the Bones. Got it. It's got a nice ring to it. Look forward to meeting you in Hamilton.

    Best,
    John Downs
  9. VooDooDaddy

    VooDooDaddy Been here awhile

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    Hey JD,

    Glad your trip is going smashingly well. I really enjoyed the pix of the two young/old dudes. That is who I want to be in another 40 years (assuming I'm still here). As has already been said, I appreciate you posting your daily costs. Of all things to consider for my upcoming trip is predominately cost(s).

    All things being perfect on my trip, I would like my oldest son to go along with me on a bike of his own. A Sherpa would be perfect for him along side me on the DR350. So knowing relative costs is great information.

    Later........
  10. motomom

    motomom n00b

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    Hi John, a friend sent me the link to this ride report because I also have a super sherpa 250; and hve the same dream to travel to south america on it. why take anything bigger and heavier right?. i will be keeping close tabs on you to see how you are getting along! I just need to figure out how to suscribe to this report :-) also, you bought your sherpa from my boss here in Blaine, wa remember me?
  11. FatBob

    FatBob aka blinkerbob!

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    Great report John. subscribed.

    Good meeting you in OK

    Bob (from Zombie fest ZATC)
  12. BeachGuy

    BeachGuy Lost in paradise!

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    Sandy Beaches in Alabama!
    It look as if that's his regular parking spot from all the oil dripping on the ground. He probably does not change the oil, just adds some when he notices that it has stopped leaking.
  13. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    :dg

    I think you have the photo of the peerless brisket and the ribs at Ray Harmon's BBQ in Cibolo.

    Here's our man John with owner Ray Harmon himself after an outstanding plate of Tejas' finest 'Q anywhere

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    Searching for ingredients for dessert. Pumpkin pie it is.

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    A celebrity spotted in San Antonio:

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    :freaky
  14. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Motomom!!

    Of course I remember you! Long time no see. How are you folks doing up in Blaine? Glad to have you along for the ride. I will be the guinea pig for you to watch run through the maze on my way to South America. So far the Sherpa is trouble free. Just passed 23K miles with just the usual maintenance. Will be interesting to see how long that lasts. I will report back what I find. I have not been kind to the poor bike, but kept up routine maintenance and it has been a trooper so far.

    Kindest regards,
    John Downs
  15. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Headed out of the Austin area this morning after Señor ShizzMan fixed a delectable omelet for breakfast. But not before I had him sign the Sherpa gas tank.

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    Thank you JD! No bones about it. I'll see you tomorrow up in Hamilton.

    So I headed down the way to San Antonio and arrived at Casa Tricepilot. Five minutes later in wheel Tricepilot and Tricewife. He is on a health kick and they are both looking good:


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    Went to Ray's for the best BBQ brisket and ribs I have ever tasted:

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    Had a great afternoon shooting the breeze with Roberto and I assure you he is just as funny and outgoing in person as he is in his entertaining ride reports.

    Heading out to camp tonight somewhere on the way to Hamilton Texas wherever that is. Somewhere west of Waco I think. I don't have a map of Texas, but its pretty hard to get lost. North from here a couple hundred miles I think.

    I finally figured out how to downsize photos for faster upload to smugmug on a mac. Comand shift 4, brings up a cursor, drag and select the area of the photo in preview and it is saved to the desktop as a low res image less than 1 meg for fast upload to smugmug. I am now using my sister's 8 megapixel canon and the file sizes were taking forever to upload until I figured this out. Now it is fast. Especially useful for areas of low bandwidth.

    More later….

    Best,
    John Downs
  16. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    now that's some good looking BBQ!
  17. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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    Yep. Although I gotta like the way John heard it. "Road of Bones"...:rofl
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  18. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    I'm getting the hang of this vagabond camping lifestyle. So far its been fun waking up every morning wondering where the heck I am. Camping and staying with fellow ADVriders means I haven't spent anything on lodging for the past 10 days. One thing to consider is what to do with the hours of time each day before sunrise. If I could sleep longer it would be nice. But I only sleep six hours a night and when the sun goes down at 7pm and dawn isn't until 7am or so, that leaves 5 or 6 hours. Normally people spend that time watching TV, reading, wasting time checking out ADVrider, cleaning the house, puttering around in the garage that sort of thing. When you're out in the wild those possibilities are gone and you have to entertain yourself. I am slowly coming up with ways besides sitting here tapping away on a laptop. I started downloading podcasts to listen to at night. I think a kindle e-book reader would be a good travel reading device. Excellent battery life and packs small. Maybe next time.

    Writing a ride report is a pleasant evening pastime. I imagine it would be harder to do if you are traveling with friends who like to drink beer and chat around the campfire. But I type fast so it doesn't take much time to write these reports and download pictures for uploading when I get to a wifi hotspot. .

    Tonight I'm camped at Owl Creek Park. Another Corps of Engineers free park on a reservoir/lake out in the middle of nowhere at:

    N 31º 13.029'
    W 97º 13.831

    I rode all the way down to the end of the road through the park down to the boat launch. There's a picnic table under shelter, fire ring and grassy lawn for the tent. Nobody is out here. The only sound is crickets and a north wind blowing hard through the trees and sweeping across the lake. I'm the only one in the park. Very secluded and peaceful. Another great free place to camp in central Texas if you're riding through. Maximum stay is 14 days according to the sign. So if you lose the deed to your house in a game of Texas holdem' this might work for you until you get back on your feet.

    I have found McDonalds to be very convenient for free wifi. You don't have to go inside. I just pull into the parking lot, flip open the back case lid and use it as a standing office for the laptop resting in the bottom section. Worked a treat last night for doing a mapquest search to find directions to SchizzMan's house. And this evening to find my way to a campground close to Hamilton Texas as well as upload a ride report.

    I spent 15.58 on gas today traveling about 250 miles and that's it. But this is an anomaly. The kindness of the Texas ADVriders meant I had breakfast at SchizzMan's and a kickass lunch/dinner courtesy of Tricepilot in San Antonio.

    I still think 30 bucks a day is about as low as you can go traveling solo to South America even though I've been spending less than that lately. There will be unexpected expenses I think, although I'm not sure what those are. It will be interesting to see. So far this is the most economical moto trip I have ever taken and it isn't as hard to do as I thought it was going to be. We'll see though when I get to Mexico in a few days.

    My thoughts for the evening.

    From deep in the heart of Texas. Where Lone Star hospitality continues to amaze me.

    Kindest regards,
    John Downs
  19. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    Hola Juanito,

    You'll be getting by really cheap in Peru, Bolivia, and Venezuela as well. In Bolivia on non-riding days I was spending about 10 bucks a day, that was for a nice private room with en suite in Sucre and all the food I could eat from the local markets. OTOH, Brazil and Chile can really break the bank if youre not careful.

    Naturally, you will have some unexpected expenses, but as good as your preventative maintenance is, I would bet that you will have a minimum of them. Keeping up with care of the bike is a daily chore, but it does pay off big time IMO.

    By the time I was on the road about 6 months, I was really into my traveling groove. The moto vagabond lifestyle felt like normal life, and that was a really cool feeling. Once you get a taste of that its very difficult not to want more.

    Saludos, Vin
  20. RayAlazzurra

    RayAlazzurra Stuck in the Eighties

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    I have never spent days at a time as a motorcycle vagabond, but I have spent a lot of nights on the road. Old radio shows, e-books, and audio books are a great companion.

    Here is a radio show link: http://archive.org/details/oldtimeradio

    I tend to get bored by the old comedies, but some of the writing for mystery and sci-fi shows like X-Minus One was really clever.

    I don't want to hi-jack the thread since I'm sure there are dozens of ADV threads about electronic stuff, but I am curious as to what you are using... A laptop computer or better yet a little netbook is great, but battery life is limited. One can always wire a little inverter to the Sherpa battery for charging. My wife has a Nook e-reader which is easy on the eyes and has long battery life, but does not have a lighted screen so you would need a candle lantern. (much better than flashlight) I used a company i-phone for a while and it was a fine do it all device except for the tiny screen. My wife has an i-pod touch that she has seldom touched. It is an i-phone without the phone. (It still plays music, audio books, and has wi-fi internet connection, etc.)

    I don't know what I would take if I were doing a trip like yours. Probably a cheap netbook and a good old fashioned paperback or two. A lot of libraries in little towns will sell used books or even give them away. The amazing thing is how enjoyable it can be to have no TV or internet for hours. I get used to hearing crickets.

    I took the dog for a walk at a small campground near horseshoe lake in southern illinois today. The campground was closed and I'm not sure why? The dog did not care. Have you run into this little problem with your free camping plan? My guess is that no one would have noticed if I had pitched a tent at the little campground I found today. I think they just want to keep the motorhomes out for part of the year so they don't have to clean the showers and bathroom.
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