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

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

  1. Candiya

    Candiya Been here awhile

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    Oofff - I just found your report last week and finally finished all 48 pages. :norton Your writing style drew me in, and I found myself staying up later than normal night after night, trying to read "just one more post" before bed.

    As others have said, thank you for the time and effort you put into these posts. And thank you for being open about your struggles as well as your successes. It is inspiring to read your story. While I don't have the courage to go as far solo as you, I'm planning my first small solo trip in a few months. Seeing your reactions when things don't go as planned has reassured me that, while life isn't always perfect, we can make it through the unexpected when armed with patience and a sense of humor.

    Wishing you all the best as you continue your journey. I'm subscribed and happy to be (virtually) riding pillion with you! :clap
  2. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

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    Hey Fey, glad to finally hear from you, was getting worried there!!
    I wished the Hells canyon ride was earlier so that afterward we could meet up and have you go with me to Alaska.
    Did you get a passport yet???Careful with those tornadoes, Iowa is awesome, I love it there!
  3. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

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    I still have no idea what I'm doing after the HC rally. I'm not opposed to heading up to Alaska, but I'm not set up to deal with bears either. It'd be neat to ride with you again though! You're good company.

    My old passport was considered "damaged" because some water got on it, even though it was completely legible, so they are making me apply for one from scratch. :baldy I had my parents send me my birth certificate with my registration so I am hoping to figure something out on the road. There's a passport acceptance facility in Seattle, I could probably just camp in the woods nearby until I can get that sorted out. I wonder what they need for "proof of travel within 5 days" for the will-call service... perhaps campground registration confirmation would count instead of a hotel? I wonder if they call the hotel to check? Hmmm...

    Oh, and I am outside of Lincoln, NE. Tomorrow's going to be a looooong day, but I hope to be in Denver by the end of it. :clap
  4. Warin

    Warin Retired

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    Hotel bookings
    You can always book a cheap hotel - pick one that is popular .. then cancel .. you may get a cancellation fee .. check before you book. But officials have been known to be human and accept that I'm camping and not traveling with a group. Some places officially want an exit air ticket .. bit difficult if your riding out on the bike.

    Passports... 'they' may take the old passport as part proof of identity. Here in OZ they just take the money for a 'fast' service. If you want faster than that then you have to explain the reason/s why ..

    Good Luck.
  5. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

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    In the interest of expediating 7 pages of replies, I am going to skip the "how to ride" posts from page 42. I DO appreciate all the advice though. I'll get it one of these days, I just need more practice, and I need to find a safe spot to do drills. Some singletrack experience on a lighter, unloaded bike would also do me good, but I'm limited somewhat in my options because I live on the bike and have to carry all my stuff around. The Hells Canyon rally should be interesting.

    Oh I've been up to quite a bit...

    Thanks Gary! You're quite welcome! I enjoy reading all of the replies, and so far having an "audience" has been a really positive influence. Whenever I feel a bit down and ask why I bother, I can look at people's support and it brings a smile to my face. Smiles are worth their weight in gold some days!

    Glad to have you along! I'm glad you are enjoying it and I'm sorry it's not more up to date.

    I was going to visit a friend who I think lives in Sarasota, but it got to be too hot so I fled northwards.

    Yeah, I really enjoyed my time at the Springs and I kind of regret not staying longer, but I didn't want to be a mooch. Everybody was super friendly and supportive.

    It's nice that they came together for your friend, ouch! Breaking a hip somewhere remote is a real nightmare scenario...

    I've actually seen that before and I thought those people were just insane. The more you know!

    Hey man, sorry I didn't reply, I was ridiculously busy, then I had some kind of tonsil plague and was laid up in a tent for a week or so. Oz was stubborn and didn't want to get it treated, but.. well. Not my problem anymore!

    Sounds like good times! I definitely enjoyed the Gathering and wouldn't be opposed to going to another one! Some of them were space cadets but there were some people there who really 'got it' too.

    I seem to miss all the good flamewars... well, at least somebody was paying attention/online more than I was!

    I love dissenting opinions when presented respectfully, but it can be a bit overwhelming to come back to a page and a half of bickering when I can't spend much of my time online in a given day. I'm kinda glad somebody's watching when I'm not.
  6. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

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    I still plan to do this myself for the two crazy sideways ones I have going on. Maybe this fall or winter when it cools down a bit down there.

    Awesome! Every time I hear about my writing distracting somebody from work I take it as a minor victory. Bwahahaha.

    Glad to have you along!

    Yeah, if I don't go to Alaska I might go to Nationals, which are being held in Montana this year. I've heard I should definitely go, but I feel it may be a bit overwhelming.

    Thanks for the advice! I think that Oz is actually eligible in Illinois for free dental care too once he no longer has an income, but that's on him now.

    It's chilling, and it's a shame so few know the story.

    :clap

    Awww, thanks! I may take you up on that someday! I love the northwest.

    It must have been terrifying for them to have been uprooted like that! Gives me shivers just thinking about it, brrr.

    It's definitely worth a stop, even if you don't spend all day there taking photos like I did. They've got a little 20 minute movie that's pretty compelling that they show too, but I couldn't find a version of it online.
  7. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

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    They held up surprisingly well, all things considered. I wish we had some kind of testing service, like they have for helmets, showing what you can expect so we could make accurate decisions instead of relying on word of mouth, anecdata and brand preferences.

    Aww, don't throw them away! Donate them to.. uh. The homeless gypsies? :rofl

    No problem, and thanks for reading!

    Well, if you've gone 12 years without one, you must be doing something right! I'm at about one accident per year now. (2 accidents in 2 years of riding) Hopefully that trend doesn't continue.

    I have thought about it, but they tend to be expensive. So maybe someday that I have extra cash to throw around, but not now.

    Yeah, seriously. As soon as I stopped sliding I booked it to the opposite shoulder, I could think of nothing but those semis I'd JUST passed and how they take at least a few blocks to stop from highway speeds...

    Definitely a lucky escape!

    Glad to have you along!

    :thumb

    It was a wisdom tooth, so it was bound to be screwed up anyways. It only recently emerged, was growing off center out towards my cheek, and I'm pretty sure it was festering under the gum, partially exposed, for years before it bothered to come out the rest of the way. I shall shed no tears for that evolutionary throwback.

    Hey now, that was just mean. :cry

    For what it's worth, I've never had any other cavities. Ever.
  8. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

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    When it isn't ridiculously hot! :D

    I can't believe I've gone this long in my life without hearing "hardly-ableson". :rofl

    I'm not sure I'm qualified to say what makes somebody a wannabe, I think that people should just follow their Will. There's some deep part of everyone's being which knows if something is good or not, and I've found that joy is a pretty good indicator if I'm on the right track or not. If I'm ever miserable it's a good time to stop and see where I've gone wrong.

    Amen to that.

    Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. - Henry David Thoreau

    Obviously it's always best to just replace it with fresh rubber, but I got the idea from over here. Better than it flopping around, anyways...

    Thanks for the compliments! Yes, the photos are taken with my smartphone, a now-outdated Droid X2. I have an application there which merges 3 different exposures (sometimes it fails to actually merge them), but it's the only form of exposure control I have, and the results can sometimes be pretty nice. I have a small Kodak point and shoot, but I mostly only use it for macro shots and in the dark, because it has a slightly larger sensor than the smartphone. Hope to see you at Hells Canyon!

    Hey, thanks for your compliments, and I applaud your persistance in getting through all those pages!

    Everybody starts somewhere. I tend to leap into things face first, but your solo trip should be a good beginning! Like everything else, it's a set of skills that take practice. I remember on my first real motorcycle trip, right after I got my license, I ended up riding for literally 24 hours straight because I couldn't figure out where to camp for free and eventually broke down and paid $50 for a motel room. I really wouldn't recommend that approach.

    For your first time, use freecampsites.net or scope out a route that will take you through national forests (or set some money aside for staying in a campground). Having a place to sleep that you can rely on, but that you aren't rushing to get towards, is really the most important part to your psychological well being, and even after being on this trip over a year now, it's the one thing that still causes occasional stress for me. You learn to just roll with the punches, but no matter what else life throws your way, you'll be much better prepared to deal with it if you get good sleep!

    Good luck on your trip!

    Hmm, thanks for the ideas! I'll let it percolate a bit and see what I come up with. I don't trust the officials here to be human, and I don't want to risk rejection, so I will try to be prepared.

    It's an additional fee for even seeing a human instead of applying via mail, but since Oz was still waiting to receive his passport when I left Illinois, over four months later, I'm NOT going to try that.
  9. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

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    Whew! Man, I should never have let those pile up like that. Sorry everybody. I actually feel worse for not replying to all of you than for being behind in the ride report, I really appreciate everybody taking the time to read my ramblings and reply. :raabia

    And now I need to scoot and grab a campsite before it gets dark :clap
  10. ben2go

    ben2go Moto Flunky

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    Holy hell!That's a heck of quoted posts.I couldn't pull it off. :clap
  11. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

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    Me neither!!!:lol3
  12. 8lives

    8lives Dharma Bum

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    We are all just glad your scooting along and that we are all interested and care about as though we have met,keep bringing us along.Oh and thanks for the link about the Cush,funny I was a inmate at that site when I had a Ninja250.
  13. kitesurfer

    kitesurfer Long timer

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    you must have really had a slow day! for future reference, no reply is needed for me. I just reply every now and then to show you i'm still riding along with you...stay safe!
  14. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

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    Greetings from Nebraska!

    [​IMG]

    ... Not going to make it to Denver tonight. Hahaha.

    I saw some weird clouds and decided to hang out at a McDonalds. At least I'm inside...
  15. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

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    Well Dorthy, You're not in Kansas anymore!!!:rofl
    Ride Safe....justjeff
  16. smash81

    smash81 Been here awhile

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    Glad you decided to stop, that's NOT worth it!! Today is much nicer here. Cool, cloudy and not so windy. I hope you enjoy it!
  17. Bluebone

    Bluebone half band

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    havent even gotten past the first page and now i'm hooked.......i'm fascinated!:lurk
  18. boulderbean

    boulderbean Been here awhile

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    If you are considering Mexico check out Mata Ortiz and Casas Grandes. Only a few hours from Douglas AZ or Columbus NM. Interesting stuff and on the way to Barrance del Cobre or at least on one of the ways to Copper Canyon.

    If you are considering the Copper Canyon area these guys are a wealth of information, they worked with me before we headed to Mexico by email and again once we were in Creel. Gave us advice on where to stay, what to do, how to get there, maps etc. I asked what we owed them and they just asked that we pass along their name. http://www.amigos3.com


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mata_ortiz

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casas_Grandes

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barranca_del_Cobre
  19. Feyala

    Feyala Been here awhile

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    I'd like to say that my bags were packed the night before and claim to be the pinnacle of efficiency, but to be completely honest I repacked the bike several times. Up until my room was completely cleared out, I was still finding things I'd forgotten.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/bikespacked.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1272__320x240_bikespacked.jpg"></a></center>
    We left in the late afternoon as a result. Whoops. But hey, at least we were on the road! FINALLY! There was an emotional goodbye (there always is), and we made our way to the freeway.

    I had one last errand before leaving town, so I visited my friend to return the splint I no longer needed. We spent some time catching up, and this delay meant that we had barely left city limits before it got dark. But that was okay! We were out of Phoenix! A blood-red moon peeked over the mountains at us as we made our way east.

    I'd spotted a patch of public land on the map, a few miles west of Superior. This was Oz's first dirt road on his new bike. He did well, though it was very easy, well-graded smooth dirt.

    We found a good spot a bit away from a cattle watering hole, set up the tent, and ate leftover curry. The night was peaceful.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/superiorcamp.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1273__320x240_superiorcamp.jpg"></a></center>
    The new day revealed this awesome view! Spring rains had given the desert a light carpet of green.

    Without much potable water, I tried to wash the curry pan in a muddy puddle, which seemed to make things worse. I did what I could. We had woken up late and lacked motivation to hurry along, so we didn't break camp until early afternoon.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/superior.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1276__320x240_superior.jpg"></a></center>
    Superior didn't seem to have much worth stopping for, just boarded-up old buildings. On our way to Globe, we passed some snow alongside the road (sadly, nowhere to pull off to take a photo), and once there, stopped for some fairly mediocre Mexican food.

    Most of the view this day was simply desert, or shrinking small towns that had seen better days. I did enjoy these mountains in the distance. Look! Snow! I don't know why it surprised me to see snow this far south.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/mtsnow.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1275__320x240_mtsnow.jpg"></a></center>
    While taking this picture the lump under the bush stirred and started shouting at me. I'd accidentally woken up somebody trying to get some roadside shuteye without even noticing they were there. I sped off.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/desertmnts.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1274__320x240_desertmnts.jpg"></a></center>
    We picked up a few groceries in Safford and aimed for a spot about eight miles east of town. By this point it was dark. I didn't see any good spots along the main dirt road, so we doubled back, exploring a side road that was a bit steep and rocky. I felt bad for dragging Oz down it, as a complete newbie, at night. He found it somewhat scary. I would later joke about my “nighttime riding clinics”.

    We followed some ATV tracks and made camp out of the way. It was REALLY COLD this night. So cold that our water froze. Even layered up, I was still chilly and did not sleep well.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/saffordcamp.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1278__320x240_saffordcamp.jpg"></a></center>
    We got up early for once! The mountains not too far away were blanketed in snow… no wonder it was so cold! We must have been at a higher elevation than I'd anticipated.

    Oz heated up some clam chowder with the rest of the leftover mashed potatoes for breakfast. I wasn't really hungry. We left around noon.

    Last night's hill did not challenge Oz nearly as badly in the daytime. I had told him to keep on the gas and just throttle through it.

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/nighthill.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1279__320x240_nighthill.jpg"></a></center>
    Before long, we were stuck in construction on our way into New Mexico. A Harley rider struck up a conversation, and related that he was on his way to Daytona. Long way to go!

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/az2nmhwy.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1280__320x240_az2nmhwy.jpg"></a></center>
    We passed through Lordsburg and continued on the 10 for a while. At a rest area, a guy in an RV randomly invited me to drag race. Uhhh. No thanks?

    <center><a href="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/phxrecovery/joshuatreerd.jpg"><img src="http://www.feyala.net/wp-content/gallery/cache/1281__320x240_joshuatreerd.jpg"></a></center>
    Near sunset, I tried to find a spot to camp online, but came up empty-handed. We simply continued on into the night. We stopped briefly in Las Crusces, and Oz mentioned that when he was here a few weeks ago, the student union building was a good place to warm up. We were both freezing, so indulged in an hour-long break. Afterwards, we aimed for the Organ Mountain National Recreation Area.

    This Recreation Area was closed at night, with a spike strip and barricades. We took a different dirt road and found a steep, loose, rocky pullout. This was too close to the road, sharply angled, rocky, and dangerous to make for a comfortable night's sleep. Oz had an exciting time getting back out of it.

    Eventually we found a smaller, rocky trail that wound up into the hills. There was a primitive fire ring and a flat spot, so we called it home for the night. The lights of the city sparkled in the distance, and the moon danced over the mountaintops. It was beautiful.

    The amount of traffic on the main dirt road surprised us. At nearly midnight on a Thursday, there were cars passing every 10 minutes. Where were they all going?! This made us nervous, we were almost certain that camping was not allowed here, but we had no better options, and bundled up for another cold night.
  20. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Yup, I'm a girl.

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