Wherever I May Roam - One Woman Livin' on a DR650

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Feyala, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

    Joined:
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    N.V.I, B.C.
    Sounds like your pretty independent in the computer world and are well organized, best off not to mess with what works ...

    I have had my pics replaced by bandwidth exceeded symbols a few times on Photobucket so I know what your talking about there, but other than that it has worked OK for me... If I was to run a more high end camera I might try something else that would bring up cleaner clearer images...
  2. Ed~

    Ed~ What, Me Worry?

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
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    Bisbee, AZ
    Yeah... we know. :freaky
  3. gottago

    gottago oompapa

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
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    38
    Location:
    So Oregon
    Speaking of "new" DR. Thanks again for my "new DR". Loving it.
    Heading for Utah in a few weeks.
    Nancy
  4. Ed~

    Ed~ What, Me Worry?

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    332
    Location:
    Bisbee, AZ
    :D

    It's all about fun bikes and lovin' life!
  5. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Wandering...
    I awoke from my slumber to the sound of everybody else already puttering around. Slowly I pulled myself out of my tent and began the process of waking up. Somebody offered me some coffee, which I gratefully accepted, and I offered him some sugar from my spice kit in return. As I worked out the stiffness in my back from sleeping on my gear, I mentioned my predicament, and lo and behold, Russ/Got2Moto offered up his Big Agnes pad for me to have, if I liked. He said that it wasn't right for him. <strong>AWESOME</strong>! Thank you!! I told him I'd give it a try. Gotta be better than sleeping on lumpy gear, right?

    Eventually plans condensed and a lot of us left in one big group. I wasn't entirely sure what the route was, but I figured it'd be fun anyways. After making our way through the town of Enterprise, through the pastoral countryside past Joseph, we turned onto a small, winding forest service road. For a while, we stayed mostly in a somewhat cohesive whole, but the further we went down the forest service road, the more spread out we became. We ended up splitting into at least two groups, and I was in the slowest one. The forest service road was very fun, lots of twists and turns, many hairpin 15mph curves, with bumps, lumps and potholes aplenty: exactly the stuff I go slow on.

    Eventually it was down to three of us. Mark/s1marks rode ahead, found somebody else who told him what they thought the "fast guys" were planning, so he suggested that we go down Hess Road to catch up with them. There was some confusion about what was going on, so we ended up going back and forth a bit. I was mildly annoyed at the miscommunication and planning, but it's hard to stay mad with a beautiful day and gorgeous views.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/bikechat.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=492&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a></center>

    When we got to the turn off for Hess road, there was freshly graded gravel. Mark advised me to make sure I stayed in the ruts - the built up parts could be deep and would mean the death of my traction. Needless to say, this was scary, but I held on and made it through.

    Hess road wandered through the trees, then broke out and became a series of hairpins dropping in elevation along the steep slope of the mountain. The views were phenomenal. I rode my brakes a lot, because I have issues with building momentum on downhill slopes, the thought of careening over the cliff an ever-present threat. Both of the beemers' rear brakes stopped working effectively, and only later returned once they'd had a chance to cool down. Thankfully, my brakes stayed intact.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/hesstrees.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=483&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/flowerview.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=478&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/hessdownme.JPG"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=482&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a>

    <p style="font-size: x-small; text-align:center;">Spot the bike!</p></center>I stopped frequently to rest/stretch my clutch hand and take photos. I was terrified, but extremely excited to be out here doing this road. I felt that if something were to happen, at least I wasn't alone - we would fix whatever went wrong. It was comforting. I probably would not have attempted this road solo, but I learned a lot.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/hesswinding.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=487&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/hessdown.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=479&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/hessdown2.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=480&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/hessdownhairpin.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=481&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a>

    <p style="font-size: x-small; text-align:center;">I really like this one because it shows just how steep the road actually was...</p><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/determination.JPG"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=493&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a>

    <p style="font-size: x-small; text-align:center;">Determination.</p></center>Toward the end, the last mile of Hess road got a lot more challenging. For the most part, even though the road was hairpinny and had small rocks and gravel, the corners were navigable. In this last mile, the corners were full of fist-sized rocks, making it extremely difficult to turn sharply while maintaining traction, especially because I was too afraid to stand up. I managed to get it done, dabbing once or twice as the bike started going where I didn't want it to go.

    We made it to the bottom, the road became flat and washboarded. There were a number of campers along the river, and we dodged a few pickup trucks barrelling down the road toward us, kicking up lots of dust.

    We got to the gas station in Oxbow. They didn't have any regular fuel, so I took a look at my fuel level and decided to chance it. I had the unfortunate experience of trying to remove underlayers in a port-a-john (the day had started quite chilly, but I was now overheating). I don't recommend it.

    After discussing routes, Mark decided he was going to go back up Hess Road. The other gentleman decided he was going to go back on pavement. I was not yet ready to call it a day, and we had no idea where the fast guys were. I weighed my options, and decided, well. Fuck it. I might as well go right back up that scary mountain.

    Most of the experience of going uphill was a lot easier than going down it. Mark alternated between following me and jetting on ahead, riding at his own pace, only to wait for me later on.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/hessup1.JPG"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=484&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/hessup2.JPG"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=485&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a></center>

    We were passed on the way up by some guys in the fast group.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/fastgroup2.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=476&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/fastgroup.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=475&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a></center>

    I was able to actually cruise along in first and occasionally second, except around the corners, where I used the clutch to creep myself along below first. The rocks in the first mile were definitely the worst part of coming uphill, until I almost got stuck in a rut. I had been paying too much attention to the area around my front wheel and not enough attention on picking the route ahead, and the shade hid the rut. Stupid.

    I stopped the bike, and managed to not drop it. Ineffectively wishing that my legs were a few inches longer, I paddled and yelled back to Mark, asking what he thought I should do. He advised to go forward, but I knew I didn't have enough traction, the bike would just fishtail and fall over. I slowly, ever so slowly backed it up to the area before the rut, and then slowly, ever so slowly, pointed the bike in a slightly different direction than the rut and gassed it forward in short little bursts, gaining a few feet of ground between sliding backwards. If I had more confidence, faster speed, or had been standing, this rut would not have been a challenge at all, but stability is not the best when you're creeping along.

    Once we got to the top, past the fresh gravel (which was fairly harrowing going uphill too), we stopped for a bit to relax, hydrate, and had a pretty awesome conversation. Mark decided that he wanted to try exploring the dirt road near the lookout, where we'd begun venturing earlier in the day, as he'd heard there was a route down there somewhere that led to Imnaha.

    We stopped and appreciated the view. The mountains in this area seem to go on forever.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/lookoutpoint.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=488&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/lookoutpoint2.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=489&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a></center>

    After Hess road, I didn't find this road nearly as scary, and actually managed to make it up to 30-40mph here and there along the gravel, standing up in places as I tried to mimic Mark's riding. There were a few areas where he gestured for me to slow down, the traction was worse. This road wound down among the trees, lots of half-buried rocks and tree roots, occasional puddles of mud.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/lookoutroad.JPG"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=490&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/lookoutroad2.JPG"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=491&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a></center>

    We found the end of the line, and decided to venture on a couple of horse trails to see if we could find the route he was thinking of. One effectively ended a few hundred feet down the line, necessitating a truly embarassing dozen-point u-turn. I eventually gave up and got off the bike to push it around. The next one we tried had these huge, terrifying rocks. A bit larger than fist-sized, if they'd stayed still it wouldn't have been an issue, but it was like riding in a dry creek bed, constantly shifting. At my low speeds this Was Not Working.

    Eventually we gave up on our quest and decided to head back to camp. The forest service road was quite fun, and I pushed myself a little bit more around the corners. Mark gave me some advice about not fully leaning in, leaning the bike but staying more upright myself, which I found helped me a bit. Especially in the lumps and bumps.

    I got phenomenal gas mileage. Apparently this bike likes going slow, even if I'm working the engine harder to go up mountains, because I got almost 60 mpg.

    After we got back to camp, Mark took a look at my tires, which had cupped a lot over the day. I'd known they were a softer compound, I believe they were 90%/10% dirt/road Kendas, but he expressed concerns that the tires were not going to get me home. I found it odd that they hadn't shown much wear over the 90mph day, only now that they were used for their intended purpose. Rocks and debris I guess? I decided I'd keep an eye on them and see how bad they were at the end of the rally.

    I felt pretty proud of myself that I managed to go through the day without dropping the bike, falling headlong over the cliff, or caving into my fears. I am very grateful to Mark for babysitting me all that day, I know that I am much slower. He assured me that he was the same way not that long ago, that it just takes practice and eventually I would be as good as he is, helping out somebody else who's new. He also took a bunch of photos and video of me, which is great, because I mostly tend to ride solo and don't get many pictures of me riding.

    There was a fire and everyone enjoyed the blaze for a bit.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/fire.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=477&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a></center>

    I slept well that night. The Big Agnes pad was a miracle after so many nights on the hard ground.

    After much futzing, I finally managed to cut the footage Mark gave me into a video! I had to update the video drivers, but eventually Windows Movie Maker came through for me. Enjoy!

    <center><object width="800" height="450"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/YielT6CKKqA?version=3&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/YielT6CKKqA?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="800" height="450" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object></center>
  6. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Wandering...
    F-I-N-A-L-L-Y! :baldy

    I am not doing that again anytime soon.

    I am sure it comes along just fine with practice, and about 90% of the problem was in getting the tools sorted out, but damn. I think my RR is just going to be snippets of video when appropriate from now on, I don't think there's a way I could have done that on my droid. Oh well, I don't have a helmet cam anyways, no worries.

    PSA: If you want to edit movies on Windows, the Movie Maker is actually pretty simple, has decent features, and is free, it took me maybe 3 hours to actually edit that video. I also had to take a day or two to find some creative commons music for the background. If you find yourself in similar straits I suggest http://www.incompetech.com, http://www.jamendo.com/en/, and http://www.danosongs.com/ which all had some pretty good tunes, it was difficult to pick just one that had the right sort of lazy-day mood. Using Creative Commons, if you don't know what it is, means that you are abiding the obnoxious copyright rules on sites like Youtube, so your video won't get muted or spammed with ads. You just usually can't sell the video later without paying royalties, depending on the license, which I think is fair.

    On the up side, I've got a TON of entries written now. Tomorrow I will catch up on responses, fix some pictures, and maybe if I feel really frisky post some more entries.
  7. Horton

    Horton Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
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    447
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    Niederrhein
    In. . .
  8. adventurebound9517

    adventurebound9517 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Oddometer:
    342
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, AZ.
    Fey
    It's good to see you in the saddle again. The video was great and Mark did a great job of getting you coming and going. Just 1 question, is that your DR that you are ridding? I don't remember it being red. :ear
  9. jguerin77

    jguerin77 I ride my own

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    415
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    Texas Hill Country
    Wow, I am impressed! You are eloquent and driven. You must have some pretty cool parents.

    I am in!

    :clap
  10. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Wandering...
    Yeah, I definitely suspect it's lean. Most people that hear I have the TM-40 are shocked when I say I usually get mid-50s MPG wise, and there are some days I crack 60. My plan is to futz with the fuel/air mixture next time I have the problem, but it's been gorgeous and sunny for the last few months, so no dice. The TM-40 afaik does not come sealed when you buy it as an aftermarket part, but I'd heard about doing something like you suggest with the stock BST. I've turned it a bit richer than I like currently, the summer heat plus being stuck in bumper to bumper traffic meant it was cooking my right leg. I'll lean it out a bit again once I get away from the city.

    I've removed the kickstand safety switch, cleaned the carb again, actually removing the main jet, which had some crap on it, installed an inline fuel filter, and inspected the wiring as well. Both plugs are firing. We shall see if the behavior returns.


    :clap


    Most of my jobs last about 3 months, at that point I usually have mastered whatever task I have been presented with and it becomes just performing the motions, like a robot. I crave novelty. I've only had two jobs for over a year, one of which was inventory - constantly changing locations and hours, but the work itself was droll, and working at GoDaddy, which was the first time I've ever been paid (and paid well) to think and solve problems. Even that feeling of accomplishment wasn't enough to keep me grounded though.

    I've considered working for myself but I generally only hear what you've said above, that it's stressful, eats up your life, and you get less for doing more than working for somebody else. I've considered freelancing as a solution, and as long as I'm not stationary my expenses are minimal, but I don't know.

    I am glad you like my words. :)

    You may like this essay I recently stumbled upon. It's certainly got some contentious opinions, but I like the central premise:
    http://www.t0.or.at/hakimbey/tourism.htm


    "Own less live more" indeed. The things you own end up owning you. Cliched but true. Or from the song that the title of my RR comes from, "The less I have, the more I gain". There's a certain peace I've found that comes from having less stuff.

    I admit a bit of surprise that the philosophy has been so well received here. I tend to compartmentalize - I have friends that I share a great deal of philosophical similarities with, but they don't have much interest in bikes, for example, so to some extent I assumed the converse was also true. Especially given that a vast majority of the folks on here do have very different lives from mine, as you suggest.

    I suppose I will attempt to keep the amount down to avoid distraction from the RR but maybe be less apologetic about it.


    I got through the angst back when I was a teenager, I figured out the system early. I was furiously angry at the world for a good number of years. Like finding out that there is no easter bunny, except that everybody you meet sings his praises. Even still, I couldn't see another way, had no role models for anything other than a career. At 17 I was on track with a boyfriend who was 8 years my senior, I planned to have an interesting job as a big cat trainer and to settle down with a house and possibly kids.

    Something kept crawling around my hindbrain though, and would not let me rest. I kept thinking "I wish I'd been born a few centuries ago, a thousand years ago, when there were still things to explore, but now unless I explore the seas or space, there is no more uncharted territory." I thought about the job I had planned, imagined I was doing it for a year. Five years. Twenty. Would I still find it as fascinating? No. Was there any other job that I would find interesting over that span? Probably not. So I decided... well. Fuck it. I might as well explore and see what I can see, even if others have been there before. I have nothing to really lose. If I decide to settle down later, I always can. If I come across something I want to do that requires a college degree, I can go get one. And here I am. It's been 11 years now, and I only feel like I've scratched the surface.

    I've considered doing travel writing or writing code on the road, for sure. Like you, I don't really know anything about actually getting those jobs though, so I figure I'll keep my ear to the ground and if it's meant to be, something will present itself.


    Depends on the juristiction, I think. I spent a few months with a guy working on the Boston Harbor Islands end of season and we... were hooligans at times. We rode quads around the island, broke into part of a civil-war era fort that burned in the 70s and explored around, stood on the edge of the island during a nor-easter and watched the huge swells, and sat around playing GTA while intoxicated. I have no illusions that the letter of the law makes being a ranger very strict business, but I have friends who are rangers currently, and it seems incredibly laid back in practice, at least where they are stationed.

    One friend of mine works at Yosemite, and most of his job is explaining things to tourists and trying to make sure that people don't kill themselves with their own stupidity. He also hikes trails making sure that nobody needs help. I don't doubt that there's a lot of stupid paperwork they don't tell me about, but getting paid to be outside and do useful work for a season and travelling the rest of the year is very appealing.


    Living cheaply is definitely a useful skill, and it's one I wish they'd teach in high school. I wish you good luck in getting rid of the student loan.

    I would suggest that you look at this site if you want to do ranching: http://www.coolworks.com/

    It lists jobs at guest ranches, national parks, ski resorts, etc. Might not be what you want to do, but it's a door into something different.

    My best advice to you is to write down a list of things that make you truly happy. If you didn't have to work, what would you spend your time doing? Then go from there and figure out how to bring more of those moments of happiness into your life. The only way to be happy working, IMO, is to be doing a job you would do for free out of passion. Otherwise you're just going to end up staring out the window and wishing you were somewhere else, and that's a miserable way to let the precious years of your life dribble away.

    I don't think there is a job that I would happily do for free, if there is, I haven't found it yet. Pay attention though, if you do find yourself envious of somebody else's job, take the time to investigate why. What is so cool about it? How did they get there? Is there a chance you could do the same thing? People don't really think about it, but there are lots of weird, awesome jobs, and everybody got those jobs somehow... nobody is born as a skydiving instructor.

    Man, stay safe out there! Hurricanes and tropical storms freak me out.


    Hey, thanks! I'm glad you like it! I'd definitely like to see more of Colorado, and I'll hit you up when I'm in the area. It probably won't be this year, summer's fading fast and the idea of hitting snow on those mountain passes scares the shit out of me.


    This sounds fascinating and right up my alley! I will definitely give this a watch when I get some free time.

    I definitely agree with all you've written here. I would say we are not even treated as well as beasts of burden though. It might not be politically correct to say, but I tend to agree with the sentiment that at least beasts of burden and slaves are generally cared for, tended to when they are sickly, fed and sheltered, which is more than I can say about wage slavery. With wage slavery, you are rented, not owned, and if you 'break down' they can replace you with another one just as easily.

    This is not observed quite as readily when you get into white collar work, stuff that pays a living wage, but anybody that would lose their home if they missed a week of work knows what I'm talking about.

    The largest cause of personal bankruptcy in this country is medical bills.


    I love the Story of Stuff! I use it all the time to explain the problem with the foundation of our society/capitalism being based on endless consumption. The stuff comes FROM somewhere, it goes TO somewhere, it does not just appear fully-formed on the shelves and magically disappear when the trash man takes it. Every "thing" you buy has a direct impact on the world around you. I try to buy less, which having less helps with, but I still have a ways to go.

    That was great! I definitely agree. I also think a lot of people get caught up in "what is good for individuals" vs "what is good for society". How does having a few extremely wealthy billionares while people are starving or sick without care help us as a society? Desire to become those billionares is an incentive, but an incentive to what? Consume more stuff? Spend more time working to get more money, and then what?

    I am reminded of this joke:

    Good point! I will try to do so...


    There will be many more to come! :clap


    Thank you! :thumb


    It's never too soon to drop out! :rofl

    Congrats on getting out, and good luck in staying that way!

    "Time is a wicked master, put your life into it's hand... close your eyes and it will crush you..."

    I hope so too. It'd be great to not have my "money making time" be a slog of misery, but at least it's a small slog.


    I still have a few motorcycle bits that need sold off but I'm not too worried, if it comes down to it I'll put an ad up that they're free and they'll disappear instantly. Right now it's just finishing those stupid mermite cans and painting the bike.

    Sadly I don't think I'm going to be out of here in time for Wasteland Weekend, but there's always next year.


    Thanks!


    Yeah I never understood that either, especially with how narrow and specialized jobs tend to be. It wouldn't be as bad if there were some variety, but it's always the same task, day in and day out, until I feel like I want to claw my face off to break the monotony, to feel like I'm alive.

    I'd considered truck driving, but other people drive like shit, and it seems like a pretty demanding job. Not much time to really sit and enjoy the new area before moving on to someplace else either. I do find there's a lot of overlap between truckers and people who ride though, which definitely says something.

    I am glad you are getting the opportunity to catch up on road trips. I haven't worn a watch in over a year, and it is fantastic. I don't even know what day of the week it is most of the time anymore.

    Ride safe, and maybe I'll see you out there!


    Oh no, spoilers! Haha, just kidding. It was great seeing you, and I will get to that entry soon.


    No problem! Time is one thing I have plenty of! I am glad you enjoy it. :)


    Removed the kickstand switch recently. Hopefully with this shotgun approach to maintenance, if it wasn't one thing it'll be another thing that I fixed.. we'll see come the first rain!


    There will be much more to come! :nod


    I'll probably try to streamline the process a little bit, before I go I will try to write at least one entry on the droid and see where my plan fails me. What's easy on a computer is not easy on a mobile sometimes...

    I've heard good things about smugmug, but I can't rationalize the extra expenses when I already have webhosting that I'll be paying for regardless...


    Patience! :lol3


    :clap


    I am glad you liked the video! It was a bit hard to make it interesting, because I had basically a half hour of footage of me riding around, and Mark jetting on ahead - which was fun for me to watch, because he goes much faster, and seeing how somebody handles terrain you find challenging is always interesting, but not so much to other people.

    And yep, bike's been red since I bought it. Not so much anymore though...


    Thanks! My parents are pretty cool. They've been supportive through all of the crazy crap I've done, including flying to Denmark to live with people I'd only known from the internet and dropping me and a friend off at the pacific crest trail to stay out there for an indefinite period of time. (Though granted, I've always been headstrong, so I would have done these things regardless.) We definitely have our differences, and they don't really do anything dangerous, but they did foster an environment growing up where I could explore and do my own thing and I'd certainly have a lot more difficulty breaking out of lockstep if I didn't have that foundation.
  11. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Wandering...
    Whew! Man, let that be a lesson to me in not letting replies pile up! :eek1
  12. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    I was admiring you for replying to everyone.
    I have to admit that I have occasionally let it slide. Hope they don't feel neglected now!
  13. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Wandering...
    Yeah, I let it slide too sometimes. Priorities and all. I do feel bad when I don't reply though, these are people that have taken time out of their lives to read something I've written and voice their thoughts on it, the least I can do is acknowledge and respond.

    I hope that I can still manage to reply individually when all I've got is the droid, lol.

    My plastics are painted finally! It took like a week but they look gorgeous. Now it's down to those stupid mermite cans...
  14. breakouttathemould

    breakouttathemould rather be ridin

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    UK
    I think that's the key ...

    Love your attitude. Love the RR.

    More please!

    :happay
  15. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Wandering...
    Today was a day I had been looking forward to! John/asrvivor had generously offered to lead a group of us newbies to Dug Bar, a fairly infamous dirt road. I had been assured that after Hess, Dug Bar would be absolutely no problem, and I was beginning to gain a bit of confidence off road. This ride was intended to be leisurely, plenty of stops to take photos, and sounded right up my alley.

    We gathered in front of the office and John explained the rules: try to honk if you want to pass somebody, if you hear somebody honking, try to get to the side if you can. Fair enough! We even had a "sweep" on this ride, so nobody got left behind, a concept I liked quite a bit. John had some extra gas he was carrying for some of the smaller displacement bikes - it was around 140 miles round trip. I was happy this wasn't a concern for me!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/briefing.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=494&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a></center>
    We rode in a thundering horde to Imnaha, where we regrouped along the side of the road.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/waiting.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=501&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a></center>
    Much of this road was quite gentle. There were some spots for sure, sharp curves at the bottom of an incline, or a few rocks here or there, but I seemed to be doing well enough. Dodging trucks and other vehicles was... annoying, to say the least, but them's the breaks. I took lots and lots of pictures. This area was gorgeous in it's own sort of harsh, dessicated way.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/hellsign.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=499&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a></center>
    The road hugged the side of the mountains, dipping down to follow the river. There were various campsites along the way. I wondered how long the stay limit was. There were also a few residences, if I am not mistaken. I thought about what it would be like to live out here, 70 miles away from the nearest gas station, back in Enterprise or Joseph. I guess some folks enjoy their solitude. I wondered what it was like in the winter, with snow.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/dugvalley.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=497&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a></center>
    Along the way, at one of the many stops, we ran across the "fast group" on their way back up. They looked like they were having a blast as they zoomed past, and some stopped to chat. One member of our group dropped behind, he was having mechanical issues, and our sweep stayed behind to make sure he got help. Eventually Brian, one of the owners of the Log House RV Park where we were all staying, was summoned. He picked up the guy and his bike in his truck for nothing but the cost of gas. He ended up doing this a few times over the course of the rally for various folks, what an awesome guy! Take that, AAA!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/dugsnaking.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=496&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode="/></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/dugfast.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=495&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a></center>
    In the last mile near the end of the line, the road went to hell. As seems to be the case with this sort of thing, I was too busy holding on for dear life to stop and take photos. The road until this point was fairly well packed dirt with some rocks here and there, big rocks, small rocks, mud puddles, pfft whatever. It turned into two ruts stuffed full of fist sized rocks with a narrow six-inch or so strip of dirt and grass in the middle.

    I mentioned the cliff with the drop-off in case of failure right? Yeah.

    I clung to the tiny patch of grass like I was walking a tightrope. On a motorcycle. Sometimes it would fling me off into the rocks, and I'd have to restrain my terror and try to creep back on to the center strip again. By this point I was second to last, PNW Buttercup/Sabrina was also taking her time and we stopped to admire the view together while I let my clutch hand have a rest.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/feypnw.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=503&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/dugview.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=498&amp;width=520&amp;height=440&amp;mode=" /></a></center>
    Eventually we made it down to the river to meet up with the boys. It was getting pretty hot, especially in full gear going slow! I took my gear off and went to the river, stripping off socks and shoes to rest my bare feet in the ice cold water. BRR! Even still, I kind of wanted to swim, it was a great day for it! I soaked my bandana and socks and returned to the others.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/dugbar.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=502&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/snakeriver.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=505&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a></center>
    Soon, all too soon, everybody started getting restless and preparing to go. I felt like we'd just gotten there! Usually when I fight to get to a place as nice as this, I spend a few days relaxing and enjoying myself. But, there was more riding to be had, and I didn't want to be stuck facing those nasty rocks by myself, so I geared back up and we got underway.

    Usually, going uphill is easier than going downhill. You have more direct control over your inertia. These rocks had a different plan. I found myself skittering all over the road, and even my attempts at riding the Grass Line of Safety didn't help. Everybody tells me to loosen up, which I understand the concept – the tire needs to pick it's own path through the debris and will tend to pick the most stable one, whereas if you force it to go the way you choose, it will be less stable. However, I will say that after almost getting flung into a cliff wall by these rocks (better than the cliff edge, I suppose!), if I hadn't been keeping a firm handle on the bike, I would have dropped it or worse. I had to pause for a moment to adjust my line more than once, because at times any attempt at steering while in motion just bounced me closer to the wall.

    Eventually, I met with success, and stopped for another break. We met some mountain goats that absolutely didn't want to get out of our way... I blared my horn at them and they just stared at us like "What? What are you going to do about it?". Eventually they sauntered off. John got a great photo of them!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/goats.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=504&amp;width=320&amp;height=240&amp;mode=" /></a></center>
    Back at the bridge, I stopped again to cool my feet and bandana. I was wishing I'd brought along my water filter. All that nice, cold river water and no way to drink it. One liter was not enough, but I hadn't been expecting it to be quite this hot. When I returned to my bike, one of the others had gotten a flat tire and John was teaching him how to fix it. It occurred to me that I still don't have a patch kit, and I had left all my tools back at camp. Fat lot of good they'd do me there! I wasn't able to help without tools, so I left them to it.

    I ran across Sabrina resting in the shade. She took this awesome picture of me:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/pnw.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&amp;pid=500&amp;width=520&amp;height=440&amp;mode=" /></a></center>
    I was out of water at this point, so I told her I was going to the Imnaha store, and hurried along.

    At the store, I had a mini pizza and some delicious ice cold beverages. Sabrina eventually joined me and we chatted a bit. I had wanted to take Camp Creek Road back, with the others, but I was pretty exhausted from the trip and didn't see John, so we opted for pavement instead.

    Everybody seemed very proud of me for making it down Dug Bar, which helped boost my confidence, and I was proud of myself. It was not an easy road for that last stretch. It's difficult to gauge your progress when most of the others around you have been riding dirt for years. I felt fairly out of control, like the bike was riding me, and I didn't like that. I do need to work on letting go, but I also felt like maybe the bike was veering more than it should. I mentioned this to the others, and they suggested that it might be deflection.

    I enjoyed a nice free hot shower and passed the hell out.

    Thanks John, for all the work that went into this ride, planning, taking photos of us, carrying gas and fixing flats! :clap
  16. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Wandering...
    Your wish is my command! Haha.

    Thank you! :thumb
  17. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,105
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Hells Canyon looked like fun! I was riding toward the lucid dreaming conference at that time, otherwise I would have gone there. Now I kind of wished I had.
    Well, if I don't make it to Alaska next year, then I will.
    Great job on riding the dirt! I still feel Spirit controls me too, but I am slowly starting to let her and trust her.
  18. Prodje

    Prodje n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    Ljouwert, Fryslân, The netherlands
    I'm in :D
  19. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Wandering...
    Prior to the gathering, I'd been talking with a gentleman who volunteered to meet up to help me check and adjust my valve clearances at the rally, as I didn't have the required tools. After managing to wake up, I met up with "Smiling Jack"/Dave and we got down to work.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/valves.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&pid=513&width=320&height=240&mode=" /></a></center>
    This was the first time I'd done anything like this. DR650 owners will laugh, because adjusting the valves is dead simple on these bikes, just some feeler gauges and patience, but believe me when I say that this was A Big Deal to me, and that I'm grateful Dave was able to let me do the work myself and step back. Because he did things this way, I was able to gain confidence that I knew the procedure, and I feel like I can do it completely by myself now, which is awesome and empowering.

    A bit of a confession: I am routinely afraid, sometimes paralyzingly so, of "fucking things up", especially when it comes to the bike. I realize that a lot of this is due to unfamiliarity, I don't really have much experience with the mechanics of it. Some of it is definitely due to fear that I won't be able to fix it and I'll have to pay somebody else money I don't have to do so, or be stuck somewhere, etc. I'd like to be able to tear my bike down and put it back together from memory, but I just don't have the experience yet. I'm trying to learn. I'm slowly getting there. So if I appear enthused by some terribly mundane procedure, well, that's why. Like most women, I didn't have a whole lot of experience with learning how to take things apart and fix them growing up. I frequently find that guys will want to fix stuff for me, instead of teaching me how. I don't like feeling reliant on others for any reason, especially because I am so frequently alone.

    While adjusting the valves, my speaker wire exhaust mount was noticed and commented on. It worked better than nothing, for sure, but Dave suggested that we make an exhaust bracket that would do a better job, especially with all of the off-road riding I'd been doing. After a few trips to the local auto parts store, we rigged together a fantastic bracket out of a large hose clamp and a swinging muffler mount (which will appear in a later photo).

    I took the opportunity to clean my chain, which looked like it had started to grow fur with all of the dirt caked to it. Gear oil makes a pretty fantastic chain grease - better than the waxes I've tried, but it sure does me no favors with dirt.

    Adjusted and secure, I headed out for a lazy ride with Dave and "TheFluffy" up to Hat Point. I was cautioned to make sure that I just stayed in first and kept off the brakes on the way back down - it was a fairly steep, but predictable grade. I went for the views and I was NOT disappointed!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/hatlandscape.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&pid=510&width=520&height=440&mode=" /></a></center>
    At a couple of points I actually started to get a bit more confident. In some spots I stood up, sometimes I was going 30-40mph. I always sat back down and slowed way down for the curves though. More work to do I suppose... I understand the ideas behind steering offroad in low traction, but that's another one of those things where my brain says to do one thing and my body does something else entirely!

    We stopped often to admire the landscape. It was gorgeous.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/feyfluffy.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&pid=516&width=320&height=240&mode=" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/hattree.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&pid=511&width=320&height=240&mode=" /></a></center>
    We got to the top and climbed the fire tower, which was pretty awesome. I remembered that they still hire folks for fire watch duty and thought about what it would be like to live up there for months. I offered the others some trail mix and we listened to the wood creak as the tower swayed slightly in the wind.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/firetower.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&pid=517&width=320&height=240&mode=" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/hatlandscape2.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&pid=518&width=520&height=440&mode=" /></a></center>
    This area did not escape the motorcyclists unscathed. "What does that say? AOL? Oh. ADV!"

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/advrocks.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&pid=514&width=320&height=240&mode=" /></a></center>
    Our bikes looked so small from up there. The lifeless trees in the distance provided a grim reminder of the purpose of the tower...

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/bikeparking.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&pid=515&width=320&height=240&mode=" /></a></center>
    On the way back down, I actually did well! I didn't ride the brakes, and I felt in control. I probably could have gone faster, but I didn't want to push it too much, I was enjoying the more laid back ride.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/hatriding.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&pid=519&width=320&height=240&mode=" /></a></center>
    At one of the breaks we took, I found that an entire swarm of butterflies had descended on the remnants of a campfire, and busied myself with a game where I tried to see how many of them I could get on my hand at the same time. I think my record was 7 or 8? I love certain bugs, I find them fascinating.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/butterflies.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&pid=507&width=320&height=240&mode=" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/firebutterflies.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&pid=508&width=320&height=240&mode=" /></a></center>
    We arrived back into camp just in time for dinner! Catering from a local restaurant, Leo's, had been arranged. Brian and Margaret had been gracious enough to inform him that I was vegetarian, so he made a vegetable linguini just for me, while everybody else had pork sandwiches and beans. I was grateful that they went to such effort for my sake! I think this is also the night that we took the group photo:

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/groupphoto.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&pid=509&width=320&height=240&mode=" /></a></center>
    My memory is failing, but I think that this was the night that Sasquatch did a super informative talk about suspensions, explaining how to check if it's set up appropriately, and what to do if it's not. I admit that I had no idea what the hell sag or deflection were prior to this, and it made me consider that my aftermarket springs might be a bit stiff for me. Better too stiff than too soft, for sure, but maybe all of my bouncing around WASN'T normal. Hmmm... I guess we'll see how it rides when it's loaded down with all my stuff!

    At the fire late that night, after most of the normal folks had gone to sleep, Jettn' Jim and Parepin/Alex showed up. Mark suggested I would get along well with these two and indeed, we had some great chats. Jim had a lot of awesome thoughts about energy, the universe, etc, and we found a lot of common ground. Alex was a nomad like I was, eschewing building "an empire", as he called it, in favor of chasing dreams.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/hellscanyon/satfire.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/index.php?callback=image&pid=512&width=320&height=240&mode=" /></a></center>
    Eventually I stumbled into bed in the wee hours of the morning.

    Thanks to Dave for helping with the valves, leading the Hat Point ride, and taking photos of me along the way! Thanks to John for some of these photos too! :clap
  20. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    358
    Location:
    Wandering...
    Thanks! I highly recommend this rally if you are in the northwest next June, the people and views are phenomenal. It's an old saying that photos don't do it justice, but when you're actually out there and can see for what feels like a hundred miles, it's really breathtaking. There isn't much drunken tomfoolery, everyone was super nice and helpful, etc.

    Awesome, glad to have you along! :clap