South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure

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

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  1. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    Wait, the meister of throttles is back in the states?
  2. thorzite

    thorzite Ok, Hold my beer ...

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
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    North a Tucson, South a Flagstaff
    I'm in!
  3. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
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    Another nice day in Oklahoma. Went over to visit Throttlemeister's friend to see about getting some parts that I didn't have time to pick up since I left early. Eldon has an old school motorcycle shop:

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    He dug around and found an RK X-ring chain, spare clutch cable, brake shoes and a couple extra oil filters. Everything I needed really. Pretty amazing what he has stacked in the back. Stuff that would be hard to find and expensive to buy south of the border.

    So I rode back to TM's shop/mancave and put on a new chain, brakes, sprockets so I don't have to carry extra weight and bulk around. Should be good to go for the next 20K miles. The old sprockets weren't very worn at 15K miles and the brake pads were only half gone. Will take the old front sprocket and leave the rest.

    I am trying to eliminate excess stuff as I get my minimalist groove on. Bought a needle and thread for 1.50 to sew up the hole in my riding pants pocket and I will leave it. Anything I can buy on the road I don't need to carry.

    Throttlemeisters friend came over and helped him get his Honda 4 wheeler and XR in shape for Zombiefest this weekend:

    [​IMG]

    The day went by and it was time to go feed the cattle out at the farm:

    [​IMG]

    By the time we came home it was dark and time to load up GPS maps of the TAT and Ozarks for tomorrow's riding.

    More later……

    Best,
    John Downs
  4. craftsmanjoc

    craftsmanjoc In for the long haul

    Joined:
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    Good luck. Have fun. Be safe.
    I'm headed to da bottom of SA from Colorado.
    Buuuut not till spring. So I'll follow ya in the meantime.
    Thanks for the extra insight you share.
    JC
  5. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi JC,

    Nice to have you along. I hope you will find some things in this ride report helpful for your future travels. I will continue to report back any insights I have that may be of use to future travelers.

    Best,
    John Downs
  6. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
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    Yesterday this ride report had five stars and today it has three stars. Somebody must have given it one star rating. Ouch! Its important to stay positive and not let stuff like that bother you when you're out on the road. Its only a ride report from a dude trying to make it to South America on a little bike.

    I will continue stopping to report back what I find since I know how many useful travel ideas I have learned here on ADV. But I think its important to give encouragement to riders who are out there solo taking the time to stop and upload pics and stories from the road. Its not as easy as you might think. And that's all I'll say about that.

    This morning it is dark thirty and I'm sitting in TM's carport catching some wifi waiting for sunrise to head out to the Ozarks.

    More later……

    Kindest regards,
    John Downs
  7. VTbeemer

    VTbeemer Traveler

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    Looking forward to this...

    Look star rating already "fixing" itself:clap:clap
  8. Sourjon

    Sourjon TAT'erd

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    Agreed. Sometimes I dislike all the added comments in RR's but for a real time report it's got to be comforting to know somebody is keeping an eye out.

    As far as the stars I'd never investigated to see how those ratings were done. Now I know and I have voted!

    John
  9. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
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    +1

    Its a great feeling to have folks following you, encouraging you to ride and write, because the writing and posting is a lot of work.

    As far as the douchebaggery of giving someones report one star......:ddog If you dont like it, dont read it. No need to piss on the author.
  10. SparkyL

    SparkyL Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Dirty North Joisey
    Hi John. I'm in. Stars, schmars! I'm enjoying your RR, and you're still bopping around the USA. I'll be following along as you continue south. Keep those photos and stories coming, please. Thanks.

    Dave
  11. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
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    Seven Springs NC
    Yeah, sounds like someone is jealous or hopefully it was a honest mistake accidently hitting the 1-star or something.. and beside where do I give you a 5-stars? :evil

    Let me make sure I understand you correctly? Are you hoping to wait until you get to Colon and then look up for a bargain deal with a Cargo ship getting you cross the Caribbean Sea to Colombia for about half or 1/3 of what Stahlratte may be charging you? If I am correct then I am all game and :ear !!!

    And Meister of Throttle's welcoming committee look almost like mine!!! (Face)

    [​IMG]

    Mine (on the left):

    [​IMG]
    And when he was a puppy playing with my mom's Pitbull
    [​IMG]

    Ok ok sorry to hijack your RR so back to your RR!
  12. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    The Ozarks are awesome at this time of year! It was a bit nippy as the sun was coming up. Maybe 40's. But quickly warmed up as the road climbed into the mountains. I never saw the White Rock that the sign pointed to up this 4 digit county road over the state line in Arkansas:

    [​IMG]

    But it was a beautiful gravel country road with one lane bridges through the tree tunnels of fall foliage:

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    Now you're talking my language. Bring it! :

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    You'll just have to imagine what it was like dropping down the mountain leaning into 10mph hairpins riding in dappled shade through more colorful tree tunnels with leaves falling and blowing across the road. The road was too narrow to stop and take a pic. But I guarantee Arkansas 23 south of Brashears through the Ozark National Forest will bring a smile to your face. This road had more curves than the entire state of Kansas.

    Didn't have a map of Arkansas so I just rode around down any road that looked good. Squiggly lines on the GPS are good. I finally stopped in the nice town of Ozark and dropped by the tourist information center:

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    These places are a goldmine of info for the moto traveler. Great source of free maps and information. Very helpful guy behind the counter gave me Arkansas and Oklahoma state maps as well as this great 4 page set of maps of gravel roads in the Ozarks called Traveling the backcountry...a guide to designated off-highway vehicle routes:

    [​IMG]

    He also pointed me to the free wifi here at the Franklin County Library to send back more postcards from the edge.

    I'm heading back tomorrow to Throttlemeister's to help him load 4 wheelers and bikes and then its off to Zombie fest. Should be fun. I hear there's skeet shooting.

    Shotguns, motorcycle racing, mud and camping. I'm so in!!! These Oklahoma ADVriders know how to have a good time.

    Gotta head down the road in search of Buttermilk pie. I know. I thought the name didn't sound too appealing either. But Throttlemeister was singing its praises, and he is a straight up great dude so I'll take his word for it.

    Oh, and never mind about my last post. You guys are great. It's all good.

    Signing off from the Ozarks,
    John Downs
  13. wanderlost

    wanderlost Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    182
    Have enjoyed your previous ride report and this one. Basically just lurk and learn, but wanted to let you know that this is definitely 5 star material.:clap

    Have a 2001 Sherpa myself and hope to replicate some of your trips in 3 years after "semi-retiring" when I can travel slow and cheap instead of high speed blasts on my Tiger.

    Safe travels

    Paul:D
  14. DHC-2

    DHC-2 Adventurer

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    Toronto, Canada
    I know it takes a lot to effort to write a good RR, just want you to know that like so many others, I am IN! Thanks and have a great trip!
  15. Eagletalon

    Eagletalon Been here awhile

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    Apopka, FL
    Nice RR so far man. it seems like you and Mr. Throttle are having a good time. Keep your head up and don't let someone who is not doing the trip ruin your ride. Gave you 5 stars just in case!!! hope you can make it to SA!!

    Later
    John
  16. Dirt2007

    Dirt2007 Long timer

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    NEOK
    Nice meeting you Tuesday at the pub crawl. hope you are enjoying Arkansas. Great time of year to be on two wheels over there. See you at Zombie fest:ricky
  17. Sunday Rider

    Sunday Rider Adventurer Wanabe

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
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    Location:
    North of T.Ho., Ontario
    Lovin' your ride reports and appreciate how hard it is to write and post from the road. I find it tough enough to stop and take pictures. Awesome writing style and great eye for pictures. Best wishes for a safe journey.
  18. norseV4force

    norseV4force Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Plymouth, UK
    but registered just to congratulate you on a wonderful ride report. Superbly written with fantastic perspective and wit which is keeping me well and truly engaged. Safe and happy journey John.

    Regards,
    Martin.

    P.S One star? Pah!
  19. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    Wow John, I love the Ozarks. Grew up there, havent been back in over 25 years. Might need to do that someday. I forgot what a real fall season is like. In SoCal we have summer and the other season which is like summer but the surf is way better. In Alaska we have winter and something not quite as dark as winter with good fishing. :lol3

    I think he is planning crossing on the Pacific side via various small cargo boats, kind of like Nick on 5 bucks a day, and Cruthas. I'm sure that's a blast, if a bit uncomfortable. Still will probably wind up costing $400 to $500 bucks though.

    hey John, if you do that, you need to get off the boat in Bahia Solano and say hello to my friend Enrique.
  20. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
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    Had a great afternoon riding in the Ozarks today. Headed north towards the Missouri border and into the Madison County Wildlife Management Area. Took a gravel two track out in the middle of nowhere. Nobody around as I headed to what a sign said was Kings River overlook several miles down the road :

    [​IMG]

    Sounded promising, but ended down a steep rutted trail at a hiking trailhead with an abandoned road that led off to the right till it ended here:

    [​IMG]


    One nice thing about a small bike is that it is easy to turn around when you hit a dead end. I didn't bring a chainsaw and it looked like a nice place to camp so I set up my kiddie tent appropriately named Ozark Trail:

    [​IMG]

    It packs small because it is small. It keeps my boots and gear out of the weather although I have to sleep diagonally since it's lilliputian. Electric blue isn't the most stealth color unless you're on a beach in the Yucatan. But it's hunting season so probably better than camo in this neck of the woods. I suggest not watching the movie Deliverance if you want to sleep in the Ozarks without listening for banjo music in the distance.

    My nearest neighbor was somewhere down under this tree next to the tent:

    [​IMG]

    Hopefully he's a late sleeper and has fur and not scales.

    According to the handy GPS my friends Jim and Ann sent me I am at:

    N 36º 13.419'
    W 93º 39.228'

    Thanks you guys. I am using the hell out of this thing every day. It's nice to have paper maps for the big picture. But I liked just riding around all day and stopping to click a button to see where in the heck I was.

    I checked my email earlier at the library and my dear sister let me know that option 0 (zero) on a Mac or Alt 0 on windows is the keystroke combination for º degree for typing GPS waypoints. Thanks!

    It's rather nice to be typing up ride reports in a tent in the woods out in the middle of nowhere with only the crickets chirping and the stars overhead. Well okay, the coyotes are howling up a storm on a ridge across the way. Hope they knock it off soon so I can get some sleep. I am slowly getting used to waking up every morning and wondering where the heck I am. And then remembering I don't have to go to work and can ride my brains out all day. It's nice.

    I don't know if you remember back when you were a kid in grade school after the last day of school. You'd wake up the next morning and then realize, Wow!, I don't have to catch the bus and go to school and can go out and play all day with my buddies.

    It's like that.

    I forgot what day of the week it was today. That's always a good sign.

    I'm back at Throttlemeisters after a beautiful morning ride 150 miles back from the Ozarks. I never did find that buttermilk pie he was raving about. That may not be a bad thing though. It turns out he said Oark not Ozark. I asked a lot of big women who looked like pie afficianados where to find buttermilk pie in Ozark and none of them had heard of it.

    Next time.

    Off to help TM fix bikes and load 4 wheelers. Might be off the grid for a couple days at the fiesta de zombies. I'll tell you all about it later.

    Best,
    John Downs
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