The lost, the bumbling, obviously I'm Norwegian.

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Toten, Nov 21, 2017.

  1. MotoMigrant

    MotoMigrant Been here awhile

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    Get the DR 650. All you need to do is change the oil every 5000 miles and clean the airfilter, cheaper too. Nothing against the KTMs (I had a 950 for years and have a 500 I ride weekly) but they are more expensive to maintain, that said, I love them but there's less to go wrong with a DR. Of course, if you want to have a bitch'n time, get the 690 and if something breaks, you can get any part you want within 2 days. I sold my 950 after I had to pick it up a few times in one day in a sand wash in the Black Dragon Canyon, part of the old TAT in Utah. Big heavy bike and my friends on 650s were getting double the gas milage, so I also had to carry 2 extra gallons of gas. Of course, I also had 100hp :1drink . We've since ridden our DR 650s (my wife has one too) from the east coast down to Panama and back, then this summer rode up to Alaska/down to Baja and back (I had to replace rear wheel bearings & fork seals on my bike & rear brake pads on hers, thats it in 15,xxx miles). You will find camping is much easier in the US than say EU, look on the map and anywhere its green is usually a State/National forest and you can always find some stealth camping, especially out west (much easier). We spent 2 months riding to Alaska this summer and didn't get a hotel till Baja. Decent food is to be found everywhere for making meals at camp. For cell service someone else will chime in, but I think you can get a month-by-month plan with data from T Mobile pretty cheap? And there seems to be WiFi everywhere. Use the tent space here on ADV (great for meeting people) or iOverlander App for camping/food/gas (free) and I would suggest the OSM+AND for offline maps, just download a few states at a time and you're good to go for directions.
    #21
    Toten likes this.
  2. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    I suggest the old way will help you plan a route. When a simple, cheap, road atlas is used to get the big picture you'll see more then can tailor the route based on specific local information gained here or underway. I buy the Walmart Atlas because we travel with an RV trailer and sleep in their parking lots as they allow at most locations. We get the GPS address from the atlas. To find the better choices of maintained public roads is easy peasy with an atlas and a great way to plan your attack a day (or two,etc.) at a time. In the whole USA just look for the solid red lines with the most kinks in them.
    Bakker pretty much nailed the private road thing. They can get harder to tell sometimes but pretty much every state has every public road numbered and with signage. Road signs in the USA tend toward the best I've encountered in the world.
    The camping fuel discussion I agree with using what you have but a more detailed discussion(there are plenty right here!) will say the canisters will leave you hanging with no supper if you don't carry a spare, so if your gonna be in the wild for days at a time a spare become a must have or go with gasoline capable.
    Google will quickly show you what sorts of places have WIFI but the basic tendency is if there's lots of people then ther's WIFI. I live in an area where it's not around in spite of my entire multi county area being on a fiber optic network-there's just no businesses here. I'm and old "flip phone fart" and when I travel on MC I use email to keep in touch -now and then- unlike most everyone around me... If that works for you then WIFI is all you need except a handy phone for other stuff.
    Some great threads here on stealth camping and I suggest reading them as a camping spot can be hard to locate or expensive if that's the main plan, thus it's an easy fallback. Simple enough is asking a farmer/rancher or ask around.
    Starting in California will spoil you as it's the land of milk and honey compared to much of the USA... When I go there (many times in fact) I get culture/economic shock every time! The shear multitude of population, money and "other stuff" overwhelms me! Much of the USA lives in urban areas but the rest of us who don't travel long distances for everyday needs, more so in the west. Once you get your fill of the Californian cornucopia, I'd head for southern AZ, NM and Texas and some reality until the other stuff thaws out. You can generally stay below I-10 along the gulf coast and enjoy spring as it unfolds very early down there. You'll mostly think it's already summer in east Texas, lower Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Coastal Carolinas and Florida Emerald Coast compared to your home! The motorcycle issue with those places is they have no elevation/curves,etc., near the gulf so not much really interesting road wise but the cultures are vibrant indeed!
    I'd work your way up into the Appalachians as spring unfolds (arguably the best time here where I live as things burst into life again-like you know about already!) then ride back west into the Rockies as weather permits-that would be my plan as I envy your ability to do this while young. Bring shoes to walk! That's the only way to really see the bumfuck places you long for.
    #22
  3. Toten

    Toten Adventurer

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    Main reason I want some data is simply to communicate with family that I'm OK, and send some pictures to make them even more jealous!

    I'll definately try out the "old way", I've never been good with maps.
    Plan for the first few weeks is mostly just get used to the bike, travel around in CALI and head eastwards. Maybe attend the DVNoob Rally in march.
    Some days I'll just hop on a dirttrack and keep running it until it ends or I have to turn around, use the tentspace thread and ask for general directions of where there is some interesting roads.

    Stealth camping is what I'm mainly planning to do, or tentspace if I know where I'll be a few days ahead of time.
    Maybe I should buy a camouflage tarp.. :hmmmmm

    I plan to have an extra gas can with me, as long as space allows it. Haven't testpacked yet since I don't know what space I'll have avaible, and if it takes too long between finding a new one, I'll buy two so I'm safe!

    I've been looking at weather maps for the past few years, and think I've roughly got a directional heading most of the way.
    What I don't know is how much time I'll spend in areas, if I fall in love with it I'll probably bumble about for longer than necessary, and if I find it boring, I'll just hoof further away.

    I hope I'll be able to start the TAT by mid-may at the latest, depending on weather, I've read people use a rough month on it, so I plan two, so if I'm fast and use less, I'll see if I can squeeze in an alaska tour, mainly so I can said I've done that aswell.
    I've also started scouring the maps'n navigation forums, I'll probably download alot of routes that I'll consider taking if I'm in the area.
    (If someone's got a few tracks they want to share, send them to me! I'll stick them in the respective folder and see if I'm in the area to bumble through it!)

    What I hope to bring when it comes to packing/stuffing on the bike is: BMW Atacama set and a Mosko Moto 40l Duffel, a camelback and some waterbladders.
    And probably a few extra liters of gas, just in case :kumbaya
    #23
  4. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    An easy way to deal with the phone issue might be to get a "Trac Fone" at Walmart. The phone is cheap, and you just add minutes as needed. They offer everything from a flip phone to a smart phone.

    Staying off the interstate, the DR650 should be fine. You may even be able to find a used one with an aftermarket seat and/or panniers, since it is such a common upgrade.

    As you head east, be sure to check out southern Utah. There is some amazing scenery out there very different from Scandinavia, and lots of dirt roads to explore. Native American lands are generally off limits for recreational off roading, and will be marked.

    You'll be able to find a variety of food appropriate for moto camping very easily. Our grocery stores often have some of everything. Sporting goods stores will have the fuel canisters for your stove, freeze dried food, MSR bottles for gasoline, etc.
    #24
  5. tonymarchman

    tonymarchman Been here awhile

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    [ I want to suggest a Kawasaki Versy 300x. It seems to be a very capable bike on the road and mild trails. 4 + galleon tank and 70 mpg at sightseeing speed. Some dealers are unloading 2017 models at $4,000 plus whatever I am sure. 40 hp and 6 speed with slipper clutch make it a great all arounder. http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/kawasaki-versys-x-300.1185562/

    Tony in Tn (Who is 70 years but wishes I could do this kind of trip)
    #25
  6. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Hey Tony in TN, why not? 70 is the new 50?:lol2 The motorcycle does all the work...


    Toten, no need to be a "map expert" to use paper maps, we're not talking about military topo maps, just seeing it all on one paper space.
    #26
  7. Toten

    Toten Adventurer

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    I'm aiming for an aftermarket one, as much farkle as I can get my hands on. I've read the suspension is in need of an upgrade for extended off road riding.. and thats what I'm aiming for.
    Currently on the hunt, TUCKERS is helping me!

    Hm, the Kawasaki 300 looks nice, but I wonder how it'll live after being dragged around fully loaded with a heavyass driver and his luggage. Also I'd prefer buying something that's broken in, well known and easy to work on. Which the DR650 screams out that it is, after 20 years of abuse :)

    Hardest part with a map for me is realising which way is up.
    After that I have to try again since I moved around..

    I'm a member of the spoiled generation, growing up with gps and smartphones, I don't need no map!
    #27
  8. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    The GPS should work in remote areas, but there are a lot of places with no phone coverage.

    US roads, unlike someplace like the UK, have signs at nearly every intersection. The signs say the name of the road, rather than where the road leads. That makes it possible to know where you are, rather than just where the road leads. Because of that, paper maps work OK, and GPS is not always needed. A good GPS is still the easiest way though.

    The value of a paper map is that they often show attractions, without you having to type in a search for something like "National Parks". Butler maps also show the most scenic routes recommended for motorcycles.

    The best way is still to talk to anyone with a truly dirty motorcycle and ask them if there is anything interesting to see nearby. The riders on the clean motorcycles can point you to the nearest coffee shop.

    [​IMG]
    #28
  9. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    The man doesn't want a MAP! :lol2 It's not about being spoiled, or not! A good paper map can show far more detail, in a highly portable space, it always "works", adjoining terrain matters not, than can be seen on a tiny screen.
    Try looking at any state in the USA, all at once on a GPS screen and see how little detail is offered. With a map your eye can follow a road across an entire state or continent in one motion, then go back for more detail. The road patterns visually stare back at you to make a plan on how you can cross an area, or a to b or how to avoid a city.
    That's why a map, with it's portability is so useful for planning. When a detour or other change of plans, comes up the GPS may not offer you a solution which a map makes easier to see.
    It also has, besides the roads numbers (which do change and can be seen ahead on a map thus a heads up) road characteristics-I-road down to dirt, campgrounds (literally thousands of them) historical sites, how curvy a road might be, if it's designated as scenic or not, miles between every junction or city and on and on and easily seen in advance of a days, weeks or months journey...

    Factoid of the day: On a GPS or a map- any that I've seen the top is north... :thumb

    I get it that the OP is from the button pusher/smart phone generation. I also "get maps" cause they *still* work in certain ways.
    Never shall I mention a map again in this thread, I promise!:bow
    #29
  10. boatpuller

    boatpuller Long timer

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    Then let me: Open maps on a café/coffee shop/diner/gas station table to plan your route, and you'll get more local interaction and advice than can be gotten from either maps or GPSs. It's a great way to experience the country and its people.
    #30
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  11. holckster

    holckster dougholck

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    Agreed
    Worldwide, folks see you staring at a paper map and often engage you.
    Sit there staring at your cell phone and they walk right by.

    Maps.me works with NO cell service.

    Whatsapp gets you FREE world wide communication both ways.

    I'm on the Tent Space List in Nor-Cal Wine Country, stop and stay a few days

    Safe Travels
    #31
  12. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Toten , come onnnnn!!!!!!!
    If you have learned to read ( you proved that by posting here) then you can easily enough discern which way the letters are written- if the letters on the map's town names are upside down you can realize the map is upside down ... can't you?
    Or:-) do you find yourself at road side ,looking at traffic signs and wondering why they have letters upside down :muutt ? :lol3

    Okay here is the BIG SECRET - any official printed map that is worth its name will have NORTH at the top. West is to the left side ,East is to the right side SOUTH is at the bottom of the sheet . And they will include a thing called a LEGEND where it explains what all the little symbols and lines mean and ,by golly ! the letters are all correct- side-upward so you don't need to stand on your head. And there will also be an actual indicator as to what is North etc ..
    Learn to read and understand the map WITHOUT TURNING IT AROUND SO THAT YOU SUPPOSEDLY ALIGN IT WITH THE SITUATION ON THE GROUND .
    I repeatedly see people who, for example , when looking south rotate the map so that the" north " edge is at their belly button, then when looking west they move the "east " edge to their belly . Then they probably bitch that they cant read the letters easily .
    These are the same folks who draw out a map to give route instructions by taking the place and direction of their nose at the time as a starting point of their lines with no regard for establishing N-E-S-W, ; usually they refer to left- right and forward which makes everything useless after the inevitable first wrong turn.
    Likewise these are the folks who get their electronic display map to rotate so that their direction of travel is at the top of the screen regardless of where North is . No wonder they get lost when out of signal range.

    This excuse of not wanting ( knowing how ) to use a paper map does not hold . You are looking at the same stuff that you would see on an electronic screen , but in a much wider context .
    I see this excuse as a lame effort to not use paper -- and to actually THINK . I know some people who are so reliant on electronic screen " bottle feeding " of location and directions that they DO NOT KNOW how they arrived at a particular point and could not retrace their way back out along the same route if their electronics went dead ( tot ) .
    I know you were joking ( at least I hope that was so) but you really do need paper backup if you are heading into what for you is unknown territory and off the main roads. Get paper map literate .

    As for carrying extra gasoline , do so if you think you need it for the TAT , or whatever remote trek you are unsure of, but any bike with a reasonable sized fuel tank should make it between filling stations on most public roads IF you READ THE MAP and have a grasp of how far the next stop for gas could be . No matter how much extra you carry you could ride until it is all used up and still get stuck out there somewhere . Take the small effort to detour to places where gas is sold.
    #32
  13. Toten

    Toten Adventurer

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    Map this map that!
    Leiv Eiriksson didnt have a map when he found the island you call home!:bubba

    Obviously I'll bring some maps, look smart and beg for help when my gps inevitably fails me, or I fail it, depends..
    I continiously forget that sarcasm doesnt translate well to writing :doh
    Doesnt mean I'm good at reading maps..

    Part of the adventure though will be about bumbling about, taking a turn into a sideway I don't know where leads, keep an eye on the fuel tank and then drive on until I either need gas or stop and navigate myself, or stop for the day and enjoy the view :)

    So to avoid a complete railroad of the thread: Yes I will, and always have planned, to bring some maps (and probably become alot better to read them than I am currently, which is a very very neglected and forgotten skill). Suggestion for which brand to go for in which states will be noted, probably forgotten until I reach that state, since carrying maps for every state will take too much room.

    Probably going to bring a marker and mail the used maps back home as a souvenir :)
    #33
  14. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    I wish they''d change "that holiday" to the right guy, meaning your guy! :thumbup
    If Leif, or anyone else back then :nod had owned "one" he would have saved some time and trouble :nod
    As recently as the early polar explorations xxx's were crappy and even one of the world's xxx experts from Germany, he and his company just guessed at the features.
    As a curmudgeon I do get sarcasm and employ it as much as I can.:-)
    FWIW, I taught military xxx reading. So just maybe it's a hangup of mine?:wink:
    The "free brand" that most states give away @ rest areas nearest the borders can be very good.
    My Walmart version is thin but large overall and the cheapo place to buy one, hands down-like $7 or so @ the front checkout.
    Lots of data inside and they come out each year, Rand-McNally-made in Kentucky near me.

    No railroads of this thread, your a good sport and it's fun to play here. Norwegians have the gift of language skills which will make your trip enjoyable. I did Spanish school with a young Norwegian couple who spoke a bunch of languages- made me look like the idiot of the class too!

    Over the recent holiday I had a house full of screen watchers, between Black Friday and other crap it was sort of a smart phone asylum?
    One son showed me a picture of kitchen counter they were considering and the screen offered enough detail to see that it was a kitchen, not much else:lol2
    Yep, I'm a flip phone man...:gerg
    #34
  15. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    That's the spirit!

    I can tell you are going to have a great time. It is hard to get lost when there's an ocean in every direction.

    [​IMG]
    #35
  16. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    image.jpeg
    I visited L'Anse Uax Meadows this past summer , the recreation of the Viking settlement at the north tip if Newfoundland . Interesting exhibit with costumed actors demonstrating and narrating stuff - but no Vikings.
    Seems the Vikings who started the settlement had quite an eventful time, a fair bit of bloodshed among themselves when Ericson's daughter ( or some such relative, slipped my mind now as to who it was ) took over leadership for a while .
    And they met people already living there who they labelled as" Skralings" . Does that name or description have a translation into current English ?

    If you have enough time in North America do the Trans Labrador Highway , no map or GPS needed , it is the only road
    #36
  17. Toten

    Toten Adventurer

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    Man I hope I get the time to visit that place, I'll try to make good time ;)
    Translabrador Highway is not something for this trip, maybe next time :):), If I manage going that far north pre-tat I've gotta burn rubber back down south.

    If I remember the spot correctly there was constant fighting with the "Skraelings"(??) which were the natives.
    For some reason they didnt understand that annoying Vikings wasnt good for a prolonged healthplan :jomomma
    #37
  18. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    That is pretty cool. I knew Vikings are thought to be the earliest visitors from across the Atlantic, but didn't know there was such a place displaying it on this continent. I really enjoyed visiting some of the old Viking displays in Scandinavia when I was there, so would love to see this too.

    I looked it up, and apparently the Skralings are thought to be the ancestors of the Native American Inuit people. So basically they are 9th century Native Americans. About the same time Mesa Verde was thriving in southwest Colorado.

    [​IMG]
    #38
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  19. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    The bloodshed I noted was Viking on Viking, the lady had a bunch of them murdered in one of their settlements for some reason .They did kill some natives too no doubt.
    But what did Skraling actually mean in Viking Nordic language ? Does it have any surviving Norwegian explanation still in use?
    I like finding such connections , might be related to Dutch words I know which might have been donated by Vikings way back . " Skroal " in my neck of the polder means lean , skinny.
    #39
  20. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Per google there is no "skroal"?
    #40