South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,149
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Hi Burro driver,

    Thanks for the invite. I headed east and am now in Trinidad. I was hoping for a tropical paradise, but it turned out to be a town in southeast Colorado.

    Maybe next year. I lived in Flagstaff when my Dad got out of college and got a job teaching at the university there. That was in 1955 when I was two and all I remember is being bundled up in a snowsuit and my sisters pulling me around on a sled out in the snow. Also my Dad driving into the water to ford Oak Creek in an actual 1953 Ford to get to the good swimmiing down in the canyon. Oh yeah, I remember another fond Flagstaff memory. I was breast fed and remember getting hungry looking at the big breasts on the secretary with the red phone who lived down the way. It looked like there was a lot of milk in there. I still have a soft spot for well endowed blondes with bright red phones ever since I left Flagstaff. Maybe that's why.

    Always nice to have a friend in Flagstaff.

    Best,
    Johnny Colorado
  2. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,731
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    John ... seems your are back in the states again... are you headed home?
  3. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,149
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Hi KLRmonkey,

    Thanks for the kind words. I will have to self publish a minimalist touring book. Much of what I know is spread around in my ride reports, but I can see the value of a condensed more organized version. Maybe sell it for 99 cents as an ebook or something as a service to fellow riders who are long on desire and short on funds.

    I know I learned a lot from older riders back in my younger years about the dos and don'ts of long distance motorcycle travel. You don't get much encouragement from non-rider friends and family. They all think you're nuts. I think it's important to balance that out with stories of riding on a limited budget to far off lands. As well as pictures of gravel switchbacks climbing into the clouds off in the distance. Anything to keep the fires of my fellow riders imaginations stoked. I'll do my part to keep the dreams alive.

    Best,
    Juan Cuentista
  4. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,149
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Hi _cy_,

    Yes, I should be home in Nebraska tomorrow. I was going to swing by and visit Throttlemeister and you guys on my way home but ended up goofing off in Arizona for a few weeks and now I have to get home and mow my lawn. It's been 7 months.

    You'll be hearing from me.

    Best,
    Nebraska John
  5. BeachGuy

    BeachGuy Lost in paradise!

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    532
    Location:
    Sandy Beaches in Alabama!
    Damn John, don't they have goats in Nebraska? Mowing a lawn sounds like work.
  6. TrevorHeath

    TrevorHeath Roaming the World

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    78
    Location:
    Casa Grande, Arizona
    Haha....
  7. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,225
    Location:
    Okie near Muskogee
    Damn man, I was going to have some work lined up for you and a bike to ride to SLAP. See you around.
  8. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,149
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Hi TM,

    Wow, sorry, I didn't know. SLAP isn't for a couple weeks and I've sort of turned into a migrant laborer so it's not too late to swing down to Oklahoma. If there's gainful employment and motorcycles, I'm in. I can be there in 12 hours or so. I just got home and will mow my lawn tomorrow morning. Let me know.

    With head hung low,
    Nebraska John
  9. Keithert

    Keithert Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,090
    Location:
    NW suburbs of Chicago, IL
    I'd buy that for a dollar! Obligatory 80s movie reference. Seriously I'd buy it for real even if it were $10.
  10. Up&Downer

    Up&Downer Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    Calgary
    Hey John, loved the ride report and look forward to the next one. Was just at a dealer and found a Super Sherpa in for repairs and then sale. so I pulled it out into the middle and sat on it. WOW you must be one light guy, I swear I could have bottomed it by bouncing it. I am a pretty big guy and they were laughing saying I looked like I was on a kids bike! That little bike, so many miles, my respect for you just went up another notch.:clap
  11. Packer

    Packer Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    356
    Location:
    Scotland, wonderful biking when it's dry (rarely)
    After a long gap from the thread I've finally caught up. A great report John.

    Now get your head down to some serious stone masonry at elevated rates of pay so we can all selfishly look forward to the segunda parte de la historia Colombia and onwards to VZ etc.................

    One of the best part of this thread for me was your observations from a professional point of view of the central American temple stonework and the reconstruction efforts. Fascinating.
  12. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    12,662
    Location:
    The Shenandoah valley of Virginia
    I enjoy how you keep us up to date with your riding and related capers while continuing into your sabbatical. How was everything upon reaching the JD abode? I trust all is well. Do you have any bike there or must you wait to go to Oregon for your XR? Will be interesting if you get to TM's for work and get SLAP happy. I know you won't leave us hanging.
    All the best. Take care,
    fellow old man Jorge
  13. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,149
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    When I last left off I was heading back home to Nebraska:

    [[​IMG]

    Turning off the freeway at North Platte and heading the last 150 miles through the Sandhills I left behind the frenetic freeway and slowed down through the backroads lined at first with rows of newly emerging pale green. What a change from Colombia and Arizona. I stopped to take this picture and there was no traffic, no people, no sounds except the wind blowing across the prairie:

    [​IMG]

    Nobody much lives out here. Climbing out of the Platte River valley there is nothing but miles and miles of rolling grassy sand dunes and lakes. It was snowing last week so the landscape is still rather tawny. Nobody lives out here so it is peaceful and quiet. Springtime is just starting to green up the edges of the road with the first signs of green grass:

    [​IMG]

    This was my greeting committee as I neared Bassett:

    [​IMG]

    and the sun slowly set on another great adventure:

    [​IMG]

    It was much less euphoric arriving at my house this trip. I remember making it back from Panama a couple years ago on the Sherpa in the freezing cold and I was hootin' in my helmet as I made it back safely after an 11,000 mile trip. This time I was pulling up in a pickup and it was still satisfying, but in a different way.

    The house was still standing. I turned on the water in the basement and as the drained water heater and toilets filled with water the plumbing all worked and nothing blew. Always a good thing. It was the weekend and I had to wait until Monday to get the electricity turned on. But that is never a problem. I ran an extension cord over from the neighbors so I could charge the laptop and have some lights. I fired up the wood stove and soon had the house heated up to the 90's like it was in Arizona when I left. It was 30 degrees out the next morning. Pretty chilly for May in Nebraska but that weather system has passed and it's back up in the 40's at night now.

    On Monday, I mowed the lawn and took care of all the things one has to attend to after being gone for 7 months. Picked up my mail. I don't get much mail thank goodness so the pile was only about a foot high. There was nothing much of import except a credit card to replace the expired one that I last used to pay for the deposit on the bike to get into Mexico. And my property tax bill which is only 80 bucks every six months. Everything else was junk mail or credit card statements.

    Being one of the few contractors in town means that everyone I see at the grocery store, post office or walking around town has something they need done.

    But before I get sidetracked with work I think I'll head down and visit Throttlemeister and head over to the SLAP rally in Arkansas next week. I had so much fun at the Zombie Apocalypse Training Camp last October, it would be a shame not to go visit the ADVrider crowd.

    I'll be taking my camera and update this thread next week.

    In the meantime I have been rather busy as one is when they return from a long foray vagabonding around the world.

    Best,
    Sandhills John
  14. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,149
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Hi Packer,

    Glad you are enjoying the reading. Scotland is one of my favorite countries. I seem to be running into a lot of Scottish folks lately.

    Kindest regards,
    Ian MacSherpa
  15. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,149
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Hi Up&Downer,

    Yes, the Sherpa is like a motorized mountain bike. Probably too small for a big guy, and even for me it seemed small when I first bought it. But its a great travel bike if you can adapt to its limitations. You appreciate it more when heading straight up a rocky jeep trail or lifting it into a canoe.

    Best,
    Sherpa John
  16. Dracula

    Dracula Dilettante

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Oddometer:
    9,213
    Location:
    On a Guzzi, somewhere in North Carolina
    Hi John,

    I am still following along and enjoy every post of yours.
    Nebraska looks so peaceful, I can see myself stopping somewhere on those roads, listening to the grass growing and taking a nap.

    I am glad your home is still standing must be a good feeling coming back to a mortgage free home.
    As my home is sold and I will be homeless in few months, am trying to find such a home myself low cost and maintenance - so I can save and take off few months every year. Since I'll still need to work likely until I retire, I have my mind set on near Raleigh area NC -Fuquay-Varina or other near by towns - seem to have some decent housing prices. Might even meet few ADV riders in the area hopefully.

    Cheers!
    Vic
  17. bESS

    bESS Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    304
    Location:
    wet coast, bc
    John:

    welcome home.

    thank you for those photos. I hope to see those views with my own eyes, in a couple of months as I head East on my own Journey.

    Not so adventurous as yourself. I'll be sure to wave in your direction as I pass Bassett

    bob
  18. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,149
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Hi Vic,

    Best luck in your travels. I enjoyed the backroads and byways in rural North Carolina when I visited there. It is a beautiful state with lots of friendly folks.

    If your wandering brings you through rural Nebraska you always have a free place to stay here in Bassett if you need to take a break. Great place for listening to the wind blowing across the prairie and checking out the billions of stars in the milky way on a new moon.

    Kindest regards,
    John
  19. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,149
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    Hi bob,

    Good luck on your trip. Should be fun. Free camping down next to the rodeo arena in Bassett if I'm not in town. Otherwise look me up.

    Best,
    John
  20. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,149
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.