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. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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    Austin, Tx.
  2. donniemac

    donniemac Adventurer

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    Topanga, Cali
    Johnny Boy! A big welcome home to you! Wow what a deal! Okay so I need to get caught up. Did you have a wreck? I am not able to track it all back on your blog, but I see that you came back...not on your bike? Love to know. My email is...donniemackenzie@gmail.com

    Good to have you back! See you in South America!
  3. Dooga

    Dooga Adventure Tourer

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    I would love that info for my own XR650L!
  4. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    I've been back in Bassett for 10 days now and the lawn's mowed the bills are paid and I still have some gas money. Throttlemeister has graciously agreed to let me borrow his KLR to take over to Arkansas to the SLAP ADVrally. So even though I am bikeless, it looks like I can ease back into a non-riding lifestyle.

    I am testing that theory anyway. Headed out for Oklahoma this morning. Shortly after passing through Funk Nebraska and crossing over the Republican river into Kansas I saw a sign for the world's biggest ball of twine. Had to check that out:

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    They actually have a bench for sitting and pondering the twine. I can think of stranger things to do I suppose, but none come to mind.

    Across the street was an old time gas station from the thirties:

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    I remember stopping in stations like this in rural America back when they had pumps between the pillars before there were interstate freeways.

    I passed a rather nice large mural in Western Kansas on the side of an historic brick building and thought about taking a pic. I drove on by and got to the edge of town when Huey Lewis came on the classic rock station and started belting out "The Heart of Rock and Roll is Still Beating." I took it as a sign from the prairie photography goddess and turned around and got a pic:

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    The temps are in the high 90's today:

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    It's hard for me to pass up taking a picture of a sign with my last name on it:

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    Or a water tower for that matter:

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    These kinds of pictures have absolutely zero interest for anyone but my immediate family. And yet I can't stop posting them.

    I checked out the city of Downs Kansas pioneer cemetery. There was a large central memorial dedicated to the two dozen founding families. It was alphabetical. Nobody named Downs between Joe Boomer and Elmer Fink so I guess they named the town for the vast green meadows like Churchill downs.

    I'm currently at a McDonalds somewhere in central Kansas a few hundred miles northwest of Throttlemeister's place. The plan is to meet him tommorrow and head over to the SLAP rally this weekend. It seems fitting that some of the first ADVriders I met when I started out towards South America last October will be there.

    Should be fun. I will report back what I find.

    Adios amigos,
    Okie Juan Kenobe
  5. nvklr

    nvklr Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Nice John! When you can't be there, you find a r/r to some else that can! Can't wait for you to get back on the road though.
  6. TrevorHeath

    TrevorHeath Roaming the World

    Joined:
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    Casa Grande, Arizona
    Stranger than the bench for pondering the twine would be the fact that the twine receives fan mail and replies to it....eh what you say?

    Check out the mail box in the image :)
  7. MikeS

    MikeS For sure! I'm game for it

    Joined:
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    Location:
    South of the Border on the Minnesota Riviera
    It seems the Midwest, and especially the NORTH is "tied up" with the hot competition to create the largest ball of twine. Like the Cawker City one, the one in Wisconsin holds the claim as being rolled by only one man. The difference, "JFK" the "ballmeister" from Wisconsin is still alive and able.

    The competition and the play by play (read it all, it's a slow moving sport):
    http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2128

    Here's the stats of the individual players:

    Lake Nebagamon, WI
    James Frank Kotera (sole ballmeister)
    - 19,920 lbs (estimated)
    - unknown circumference
    http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/10970

    Cawker City, KS
    Frank Stoeber (d. 1974: added onto by others)
    - 17,980 lbs
    - 40 ft circumference
    http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/8543

    Darwin, MN
    Francis Johnson (d. 1989: sole ballmeister)
    - 17,400 lbs
    - 40 ft circumference
    http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2128

    Branson, MO
    J.C. Payne (and possibly others)
    - over 12,000 lbs
    - 41' 5" circumference
    http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/23134

    As a Midwesterner, I've eagerly pursued careful scientific study of this slow moving competition. Over the last 10 years, I've seen two of them in person. It's time to complete the whole tour. I hope to get the study done in the next 10 years or so.
  8. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
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    It's great to be in Oklahoma and back on a bike. I am on Throttlemeister's KLR this weekend:

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    I can hear my Sherpa down in Al's garage in Colombia singing, "Your Cheatin' Heart."

    Joe flew in from New Zealand to continue another six months riding around North America. He goes by joeblogs here on ADV:

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    He's riding his trusty DR650 with a Safari tank:

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    Joe is a great guy. So if you see him wandering around make sure to say hi. He took off this morning on the left hand side of the road, but he's slowly getting the hang of the Yank way of doing things.

    Here's a pic of Throttlemeister from this morning at his office checking out ADVrider on his laptop:

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    His T-shirt says it all. Blue sky, beautiful weather, time to head to the SLAP rally in Arkansas and ride our brains out. Oh Yeahhhhh!

    Of course he had to get the GPS hard wired on his recent addition to the stable. XR400 is a sweet bike:

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    more later.......
  9. BeachGuy

    BeachGuy Lost in paradise!

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    Sandy Beaches in Alabama!
    That can't be John's bike, its to clean.........
  10. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Passing ADV Stalkers in California
    If Joe passes through San Fran Bay Area and needs help/parts/tools for his DR650 or a place to work on it, have him get in touch here or on BIG DR650 thread. (I have no PM's here)

    I have random DR parts and expendables: tires, tubes, chains, sprockets, brake pads and lots more ... all used but good ... and most free! Same offer for you John ... but DR650 stuff won't fit your bike! :D

    Did Joe leave his bike somewhere after S. America? ... fly home, then return to USA to continue his journey?
  11. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
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    Hi Adv Grifter,

    Thanks for the kind offer amigo. I will pass it along to Joe. He should be over your way in the next month or two. He left his bike at Throttlemeisters house for the winter and flew back to New Zealand to make more money. Similar to what I'm doing in South America.

    Best,
    Ozark John
  12. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
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    Arrived at the SLAP (Squeal like a pig) ADVrally over here in Arkansas today in razorback Ozark country. The weather is beautiful and people say it's hot out. They haven't been stuccoing in 105º weather in Arizona or in 95º weather on the Colombian coast with 100% humidity, so I think hot is all relative. To me the weather is fantastic.

    Signing in at the rally is Throttlemeister, New Zealand Joe chatting with Celtazon.

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    Located the Tulsa contingency and pulled in next to them:

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    Walked around the campground. This place is NICE! Especially liked this FJ with KTM stickers and a moto bumper carrier:

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    Nothing better than a KTM, a tent and a full can of gas. What else do you need out here in the sticks?

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    108 folks here but it's spread out along this inviting looking river with a custom pyramid:

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    Rode over to Oark in search of buttermilk pie and found the historic Oark General Store:

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    Went up to the front door and saw ADV sticker. This must be the place Throttlemeister was telling me about:

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    MMMMMMmmmmmmm good. I recommend the pie as well. Mighty fine!

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    They even have wifi. I am the first person who has ever asked. He turned on the router and I am delivering this update from the middle of nowhere. Gotta hit some back tracks before the sun sets. More later....
  13. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
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    Plenty of nice folks here at the SLAP rally today. Good food this evening and not a cloud in the sky. Plus great back roads anywhere you look:

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    Beautiful streams:

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    Lots of nice looking bikes:


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    I like this minimalist KTM camper:

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    The Ozarks are beautiful, the riding is great, the food is good and lots of ADVriders. I think I might have to come back again next year.

    Reporting from the Ozarks,
    Your pal John
  14. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    glad you made it to SLAP safely ... wish I was there ...
  15. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Nice bonfire last night:

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    Sat around until nobody else was around. Slept like a log and got up this morning. Got in the breakfast line:

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    for some scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy:

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    lots of other folks chowing down this morning:

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    Met Ulybrad and his wife. Last time I saw them was at the Roll the Bones rally down in Texas last fall on the way to Mexico. Those folks get around:

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    It takes five ADVriders to change a front tube. One working and 4 supervising:

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    Rode back up into the Ozark National Forest. Fresh air, not much dust, and cooler temps today:

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    Ran into Throttlemeister and New Zealand Joe at a crossroads and followed them for a while:

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    Joe had never seen Armadillo roadkill before so had to stop and take a pic:

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    more later........
  16. Tomaso

    Tomaso Adventurer

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    A lot of folks haven't seen that type of road kill. Including me, being an east coast Yankee. Wish I was there, to see a dead armadillo, taste the buttermilk pie, and hang with you around the fire awhile! The whole weekend sounds really great, John!
  17. SavannahCapt

    SavannahCapt Long timer

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    Best cheeseburger I've ever had was at Oark. I went for the fresh coconut cream pie however. :D
  18. optikalilluzion4

    optikalilluzion4 Okie Dokie

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    Brandon, Mississippi
    Hola Don Juan De Sherpa,

    Hey man, I have been reading your report since the beginning. I have to say it has been a great ride and I was not physically there. If I were a small guy, I would have me a Sherpa. I think it might be a little under powered for a 260lb dude. That SLAP ralley you were at is not to far from me. Venture down into Mississippi and I'll make you a pizza. I am getting myself prepared for my short ride journey in two weeks. I am heading to Orlando on my 2001 R1150GS. Ok, not very minimalist here, but love the thought of spending time on the road by yourself with nothing but you, the bike, and the road. Glad to see you made it back to your house that was still standing.:D

    Kindest Regards,
    Stephen
  19. Dooga

    Dooga Adventure Tourer

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    Arlington, VA
    Still loving it, even sans Sherpa and outside Latin America.
  20. Dracula

    Dracula Dilettante

    Joined:
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    Hey John,

    I wanna be like you when I grow up.
    Just came back to NY from beautiful North Carolina where I put a deposit on my next home! It is small and beautiful and will cost me allot less to maintain than where I live now. I'll be moving there this summer, downsizing and saving to have time to RIDE!!! Already had a nice ride coming back over Blue Ridge parkway and some secondary roads in Appalachian mountains. Arkansas rocks, been there two years ago and enjoyed the roads thoroughly but didn't know of any nice trails at the time. Hope the tornadoes didn't mess up folks rides in the area.

    Muchas gracias for continuing to post.
    Vic
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