Underboning the World - 2 Symbas, 1 Couple, No Sense

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Underboning, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. Underboning

    Underboning Been here awhile

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    745
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    Back in PDX again!
    I'm glad that you (and everyone else) enjoyed our trip! I am planning on doing a trip wrap-up post sometime soon that will cover expenses, mileage, and some comments about our gear. I'll try to think about what we have added to our gear list, too. Tell your wife "Sorry for the worry" from us. :lol3
  2. Underboning

    Underboning Been here awhile

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    Jul 31, 2007
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    Back in PDX again!
    Yep, we've been in Selma, NC for the past several weeks. We are suffering from an extreme case of culture shock! :lol3
  3. Underboning

    Underboning Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
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    745
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    Back in PDX again!
    I'll be doing a post soon covering the costs in detail but the short answer is that we did have a basic budget and we exceeded it for shipping and air travel and were at the low end on daily costs (about 56 USD per day). More to come
  4. Underboning

    Underboning Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
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    745
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    Back in PDX again!
    Sorry we have been gone for so long! It has been very tough adjusting to life off the road. I expected it to be much easier but I was wrong. If I knew how hard stopping would be, we might have just kept going! Not a day goes by that I don't wish we were still on the road. As our friend Alan said, "Never fly First Class, that way you won't know what you are missing." Well we know what we are missing. This trip was the best thing I have ever done in my life and I miss it terribly. Every day.

    I have been putting off writing about the last two days of the trip because I haven't wanted to think about it. But it's time. So I managed to get one day done today and will try to get the last day done tomorrow. Thanks again to all of you who enjoyed our ride, your support and good wishes meant (and still mean) a lot to us!
  5. Underboning

    Underboning Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
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    745
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    Back in PDX again!
    After a chilly night, we woke to a clear morning. Things had gotten a little damp from the dew overnight, so we pulled our tent and rainfly into the sun to dry. While we waited for the sun to do its magic, we packed up the rest of the gear. After a cup of cowboy coffee, we took a shower at the bath house and got ready to hit the road. We wheeled out of Clyde Holliday State Park and rode the ten miles into John Day, where we stopped for a commemorative sausage biscuit for breakfast (you may recall that this was our breakfast when we stopped here last August 1 on day three of this trip). Thoroughly greased up, we rode down to the courthouse, where we visited with old friends and coworkers. After saying our goodbyes, we finally turned the bikes north at around 11:00am and headed for The Dalles.

    As we made our way along the John Day River, it began to rain, gently, and the rain continued on and off for the next 30 miles. We were both quite chilly, since in addition to the rain, it was barely 60 degrees. Aahh, summertime in Oregon... :lol3 After riding through Picture Gorge, we stopped for a bathroom break at the John Day Fossil Beds. We met another couple on big bikes, and they said it wasn't raining in the direction we were heading. We continued the familiar drive toward The Dalles, albeit at a much slower pace than we were accustomed to driving it. Eastern Oregon is truly beautiful in its own way, with soaring rock formations and the John Day River.

    [​IMG]

    Shortly after we passed through the town of Spray, I signaled for Re to pull over for a photo. The picture was to commemorate us covering 24,901 miles on this trip, which equals the circumference of the Earth!

    Soon after, we found ourselves chugging slowly up the hill toward Fossil, Oregon. By the time we reached the top of the pass, at close to 5,000 feet, we were very cold. It was still very cloudy, and that coupled with the elevation made for cold hands. On the downhill side, we pulled into the Bear Hollow County Park. We found a convenient picnic table where we enjoyed a lunch of Clif Bars and fruit. I spied the remains of a campfire in one of the fire circles and decided that would be the perfect way to warm up our hands. Since the campfire had long since gone out, I brought it back to life with a splash of gasoline from one of our jerrycans and one of the wax matches we got in India. We instantly had a small fire, which we huddled over for about 20 minutes. After properly extinguishing it (House on fire! Put it out!) we continued on our way. Once we were past Fossil, the sun appeared and the day began to gradually warm. As the day wore on, we drove out of the mountains and valleys and up into the wheat fields of eastern Oregon. We didn't have to wonder why they built all the wind farms here, since the signature wind tossed us around and slowed us down.

    [​IMG]

    As we neared the Columbia River, I signaled again for Re to pull over, this time, for our 25,000 mile photo. At the Columbia River, we had to cross into Washington in order to continue westward to The Dalles, since our little bikes are not welcome on Interstate 84. The strong wind that had plagued us all day continued on the Washington side, but the beautiful views of the river helped to fill the time.

    We finally arrived in The Dalles at around 7:00 pm and began our search for lodging. Our original plan was to camp, but the high winds and cold temperatures forced us to reconsider. We found a reasonably priced hotel in the downtown area. While I unpacked the bikes, Re headed out to our favorite local Chinese restaurant to pick up some dinner. Since there ain't much to do in The Dalles, we made it an early night.



    227 miles in about 8 hours. The bikes are running well, but the wind and the mountains killed our average speed.
  6. MrBob

    MrBob Out there

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    How are you guys adapting to the American diet? Between your food photos and Jammin Jay's I thought that I was looking at the ideal diets.
    I know re - acclimating can be tough. It's good that you have one another.
  7. stitchergary

    stitchergary Been here awhile

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    Jan 9, 2007
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    250
    What an outstanding job you've done traversing the world and documenting it for all of us armchair quarterbacks to enjoy. I can understand the letdown on finishing your travels. Although nothing on your level. I rode a Ural with a sidecar around the U.S., traveling through 30 states, 10 National Parks, and covering just over 14,000 miles. Many readers could never understand how I could travel so many miles on something that traveled so slow. My average speed was about 50 MPH. Probably lightning fast for the both of you. There was hardly a time I wanted to go any faster. To me it's all about enjoying the beautiful scenery and talking to great people.
    Poor Man Uraling the USA http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=454177

    Tim and Cindie Travis started traveling by bicycle from their home in Arizona, through Mexico, Central and South America. While on the road they kept a journal and eventually got the idea of writing a book. Their first book, "The Road That Has No End" was published. They then completed two more books together, then after their divorce, Cindie completed another book on their travels through China. Their books helped them to finance traveling for about 10 years and Tim is still traveling now. You're such a great writer I could see you both financing your travels doing the same thing. It's all about marketing yourselves, getting publicity, and documenting the lifestyle you've been enjoying so much.

    Maybe you could purchase a few of these Symbas and have guided tours through areas that you enjoy so much. A travel/eat/museum/elephant park/leisure/relax vacations. Just a thought. OK, I have to pack the Kawasaki Versys for a few days riding around the New England states before my 2 weeks of vacation comes to and end. 8 more years before traveling the world. Now I've got to check out these Symbas more.....Thanks again for the great ride report.
    Gary
  8. CMS

    CMS Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
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    354
    Location:
    Southern,OHIO
    Glad your home safe and sound ,but I understand your "culture shock". Returning home from Europe after completing Military duty, I felt like I had jumped on a merry go round running at full speed. Life was at such a fast pace upon retuning. I was used to a much simpler and slower pace while in Europe and the hustle bustle of life in the US was very notable. I've adjusted, but I still maintain a slower pace than before and find it more enjoyable. I'm riding my 250cc bikes more now days, also for the same reasons. Your adventures on smaller bikes have shown me that. I'm pleased to have been an Underboning groupie and followed your adventures. Keep us all [groupies] in touch here at ADV, and again welcome home. CMS///Terry :clap
  9. Scootard

    Scootard Scraggle McSquarely

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    Still Trippin'
    Enjoying the updates :D
  10. thepackrat

    thepackrat i can ride that

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    southern Ontario
    BRAVO! adventure well done!
  11. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    Hey guys, great RR.:clap I wandered over here from the HUBB and you're right....RRs do get a lot more attention here.

    Hope you're beginning to feel more settled. I can only imagine what it must be like to stop and stay in one place after the journey you've been on. Thing I notice from RTWers is that they make friends along the way, or they find places they really love and in the end it turns out that they've kind of "globalized" themselves to the point where their great friends and memories are spread all around the world.

    Thanks again for an epic RR on an epic ride. Lessee, you guys did it on little bitty Symbas, rtwdoug did it on a chopper, and those two wild and crazy Norwegian dudes did it on a pair of 1937 Nimbuses w/ sidecars, therefore, I think between the three of you , or is that the 5 of you, you've proved "the bike doesn't matter!!!"
  12. Packer

    Packer Been here awhile

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    Scotland, wonderful biking when it's dry (rarely)
    I've followed this report from the beginning and it's been a remarkable story, great reading and fascinating images as well.

    After just one month travelling in the US and Canada I'm finding it hard to settle back into the office routine so I can thoroughly sympathise with your feelings of restlessness:D

    Where next and on what?

    Good health and good luck to you both wherever you are and whichever road you choose to travel.

    Kevan.
  13. Loud Al

    Loud Al .

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    Forest Grove, OR
    Great report and what a wonderful trip. It was nice to meet you guys at Edgefield in Gresham.
  14. Underboning

    Underboning Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Back in PDX again!
    We woke to a cloudy and overcast morning, which didn't do much for my mood. After breakfast in the room, we began packing the bikes one final time. I was feeling more than a bit wistful as I once again, completed the now familiar checks on the bikes. My bearing replacement seemed to be doing fine, so Re rolled out of the parking lot and headed uphill to the hospital. She worked at Mid-Columbia Medical Center on and off for the past several years and wanted to stop in to see some old friends. Since I knew she'd be there for a while, I hung out in the room and caught up on some reading. At around 11:00 am, I rode up to the hospital to say hi and retrieve Re. Several of her former co-workers followed us out to the parking lot to see the mighty Symbas and bid us farewell.

    We rode back down the hill and across the Columbia River, where we again turned west on Highway 14. We twisted and turned along the river for an hour or so before stopping in a local park to have lunch at the river's edge. A Clif bar and an apple later, we began the final ride into Portland. Once we reached Vancouver, Washington, we crossed back into Oregon on Interstate 205. With Judas Priest's “Breakin' the Law” playing in the background once again, we made the short two mile ride across the bridge before exiting back onto legal roads. After a quick stop at our hotel near the airport, we rode down Sandy Blvd to the Hollywood District and the symbolic end of our trip. You may recall that nearly eleven months ago, we began our journey at the Panera Cares Community Cafe (if you are unfamiliar with the Panera Cares Community Cafe, they are just like a Panera, except that all the food and drinks are free, with just suggested donations. It seemed particularly fitting that since apparently most round the world trips on bikes of a certain brand begin at Starbucks, that a round the world trip on Symbas should start at what is essentially an upscale soup kitchen :lol3). Inside, we enjoyed a bagel and coffee with our fellow members of the homeless community. After getting the obligatory photo out front, we officially pronounced our trip over.

    [​IMG]

    After drinking all the coffee we could stomach, we walked back out into the drizzly, 65 degree weather and glumly rode back to the hotel. While we have many things to look forward to in the coming days and weeks, both of us were surprised by what a letdown coming “home” is. We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening in the hotel room making plans for our short time in Portland and the upcoming drive to North Carolina. After staring at the TV for an hour, we decided to go to bed. As I lay curled up with Re in the dark, all I could think about was where we had been over the past year and how little I wanted to be here.



    90 miles in three hours, including two miles of interstate (FTP!).
  15. Dewey316

    Dewey316 Been here awhile

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    PDX
    Great report, and it was great to meet the two of you a few weeks back. Do you happen to have the picture you took with my V-Strom? It was neat to find out you were the ones who bought the bike new, I would love a copy of the picture with it and teh Symbas!

    --John
  16. sandalscout

    sandalscout blah blah blah

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    Sorry to send this trip end, but glad to read the entire thing! :clap
  17. Nanabijou

    Nanabijou Been here awhile

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    Colin and Re,

    I'm not sure I can contribute any original accolades that haven't already been expressed. Just wanted to say that I've read every word of your report (just finished it last night) and found the writing to be both engaging and captivating. Thanks so much for taking the time and effort (particularly after some tiring and frustrating days) to share your adventure with us in such an interesting and intimate way. I started reading your trip a few weeks ago and just like a good novel - haven't been able to put it down. Many nights I found myself up way too late - yet some twist or turn (or provocative photo of Re :D) kept drawing me in - and I just had to read yet another chapter. Truly - I think this is the very best, most stimulating trip report I've read on ADV rider. Hope you both enjoyed the family reunion and that your families read through the feedback on here and now better understand what a remarkable and heroic feat you both have accomplished together.

    Take care,

    Mike
  18. O'Hooligan

    O'Hooligan Ken Dodd's dads dogs dead

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    [QUOTE=Underboning;. . As I lay curled up with Re in the dark, all I could think about was where we had been over the past year and how little I wanted to be here.


    Me thinks I smell the stirrings of another trip in the future????
  19. pirate63

    pirate63 SUPA 10 PILOT

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    brisvegas,oz
    thanks guys for a great report,followed you all the way ,
    were about to set off soon and only hope to have much fun has you guys did:clap:clap:clap
  20. NitroRoo

    NitroRoo Been here awhile

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    Nov 5, 2007
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    Charlotte, NC
    I still have some catching up to do but I have been following you guys since the start. I moved to NC around the time you began your trip - crazy to think you've been "out there" all this time. If you're ever in the Charlotte area stop by Competition Accessories and say hi :D