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A ride without a destination

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by wittyusername, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. wittyusername

    wittyusername This is the spot for my custom title

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    My dad and his wife (mom #2)drove up to my house in Central Florida this weekend. It was a 4 hour drive from South Florida. They told me that they drove up so they can work on their house. I'm fairly sure my dad instinctively knew I needed his help. No matter how old you are, your parents somehow always know when you need them. My mom is the same way. She called me on the day that I decided to move forward with this trip and asked what I was planning to do. It's like somehow she sensed a disruption in our connection. This weekend...I needed some solid dad time this weekend.

    I don't know many other 41 year old men who still look up to their dad like they're a super hero. I still do. It's not because he's the biggest or the strongest. Not at all. It's because my dad is the most selfless person I've ever met. I've never met someone with a heart as big as his. He's constantly trying to make other people more comfortable or help them fix whatever they needed. He constantly sacrifices his own happiness or comfort for others. He'd do anything for anyone and that's a rare character trait.

    I think the movie Rambo First Blood solidified his superhero status for me when I was a kid. I was 9 or 10 years old when that movie first came out. I didn't know much about Green Berets until I saw Rambo First Blood as a kid. My dad is a retired Green Beret. That movie had an impact on my because I realized that....holy shit...my dad is like Rambo...he's a Green Beret. After all, "Those Green Berets are real badasses."

    He came over to help me work on my Green Monster Truck this weekend. One of the major tasks is to get my truck running so I can store it at his house. His house is 45 minutes away. I haven't been able to get my truck started for a few weeks. I simply didn't have the time to turn wrenches or try and diagnose why it wouldn't start. I knew it was the carburetor, but I didn't know how to fix it. I know a lot of things about a lot of things...but I don't know shit about carbs.

    We worked on my truck for a few hours. My old man is still taking me to school. We were able to get the truck started and idling perfectly. This was a big ticket item that needed to happen this weekend. I need to make smart use of my usable hours and this completed task was a giant weight of my shoulders.

    Wheels up in 17 days.

    Thanks Pop!

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    Did anyone else recognize the Coyote Cal's t-shirt? I'm looking forward to spending time more time there this winter.
    #21
  2. wittyusername

    wittyusername This is the spot for my custom title

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    Most definitely. Let's stay in touch.

    I have the identical plan. Low budget. Low speed. I don't want to have a destination or a timeline. I think it'll be easier to reconnect with ourselves once we disconnect with the rush. I want to enjoy the ride and not look forward to the final destination. To me, I don't have a final destination. I want to enjoy the now.

    "It's not until you lose everything that you are free to do anything"

    I'd love to read what you wrote. I plan on doing a lot of writing on this trip. I want to discuss a lot of things...but one of the topics are veteran issues. I'm having a tough time out here and I think a lot of combat vets are going through the same thing. I'd like to educate people on veteran issues and what's going on. There's a lot of stigma out there.

    Check out an app called "CouchSurfing." I haven't tried it yet but it comes highly recommended by a guy I know. It's a place where people offer a free place to stay for travelers.
    #22
  3. X-wing fighter

    X-wing fighter Do or Do not, There is no try!!!!!! Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Ester, Alaska
    Couchsurfing, tent space lists (there is one on this forum somewhere), national and state parks and forests (cheap or free), and stealth camping (lots of great ideas on here) are my lodging plan. I imagine stopping at a store, stocking up on cheap light food, and then disappearing into the woods for a week or so to write. However, I have a couple of book ideas that I need to be around people and veterans to write about. So maybe I couch surf and interact with people while going through the U.S. and then take all my notes and compile the book(s) as I continue my travels...……..But this is what I have to decide over the winter. I know I need to go, for my sanity and my families sanity, but what direction do I travel and what story do I need to tell still eludes me.

    I know this much:
    1. I'm riding my little KLX250 (which should be a 300 and have a reinforced subframe by spring)
    2. I will begin my journey as soon as the Dalton highway is clear in the spring and I will "shake down" the bike and gear in Alaska for a few weeks before crossing into Canada
    3. 19 June I will be in Dawson city for Dust 2 Dawson
    4. I will spend a month in Texas with my parents, kids, and grand babies
    5. I would like to touch South America, Australia, and Antarctica (so I can selfishly say I stood on all continents)
    6. I will write
    7. $500 per month budget!

    That's my trip planning to this point.
    #23
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  4. TropicalDale

    TropicalDale The Adventures of Peter Pan

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    :lurk
    #24
  5. FutureMan

    FutureMan Adventurer

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    Orlando, FL
    I'm in Orlando and willing to lend a hand if you need help getting prepped or if you need someone to check up on stuff while you're away.
    #25
  6. wittyusername

    wittyusername This is the spot for my custom title

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    Oh wow man. Thank you. That's incredibly kind of you.

    I don't think I really need help with anything that requires more than 1 person right now. Aside from all the personal stuff...my next big ticket item is to have a huge garage sale. That's planned for this weekend.
    #26
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  7. wittyusername

    wittyusername This is the spot for my custom title

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    Wow...thank you. I appreciate the offer. That's super kind of you. I might take you up on it.
    #27
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  8. wittyusername

    wittyusername This is the spot for my custom title

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    I took a 20 minute nap after work then jumped in the pool to wake up / shower. I drove 30 minutes to BMW Eurocycles of Daytona to pick up my new Klim helmet today. I was looking forward to it all day while at work.

    Man, I was excited to try it on and wear that thing around the house tonight.

    They mixed up the order and I drove 30 minutes for nothing. That was 60 valuable minutes wasted where I could of used somewhere else.

    No big deal. I could tell that the dude behind the counter was embarrassed. It’s not his fault. He was super cool and was interested in my trip.

    I’m trying this Zen thing out and kept a genuine smile on my face. “No worries...just mail it to my house.”

    I have 15 days till wheels up and I’m not sweating this minor speed bump.

    I did, however, pick up a Ram Mount and new charger adapter for my cell phone while I was there.

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    One of the next big hurdles is to finalize my tool kit / tool roll.

    As I use tools on my bike, I started to put blue tape on each tool. I’ll eventually put a screwdriver, socket, or wrench to every nut, bolt, and screw on bike and then mark it with blue tape.

    This serves two purposes.

    1. It identifies the tool as necessary kit for my bike. It’ll prevent me from packing unnecessary tools.

    2. If I’m working with someone on my bike and we are both using our tools, then I’ll be able to identify my tools once we’re cleaning up.

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    #28
  9. Ibraz

    Ibraz Been here awhile

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    A vague description of your budget would help me.
    Kind of a weird work/health situation.
    I don’t have a lot of belongings but 500/month could have me on the road for two years. Just curious on how it adds up.
    #29
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  10. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    I'm in on this. I feel I've been spinning my wheels for some time. I need a reboot.
    #30
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  11. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

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    +1 on $. I am frugal, but I spend at least that on petrol and a tire/oil change, etc.
    #31
  12. X-wing fighter

    X-wing fighter Do or Do not, There is no try!!!!!! Supporter

    Joined:
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    500 a month is very very tight and not much riding. So here is my tentative plan.

    My insurance and communication needs are taken care of before I start. I am leaving my wife to take care of those "joint" bills. If she decides I'm a crazy ass while I'm gone and divorced me, my budget jumps to 2000 a month.....but I love my wife and I will only have access to 500 per month. I will have 2 credit cards that I can bail myself out of an emergency as well.... but charging takes me backwards, so it's emergency use only.

    I will start with 1500 in the account and the first of every month I will get 500 deposited into the account. That's 16.67 per day! Rice, beans, lentils , oatmeal, cous cous and other dry goods will be my Staples. Salads and fresh veg when available.

    Now I am going to be writing so a slower pace is better for me. Hit a grocery store, head to a national Forest, and just write and relax in one campsite for 2 weeks. Then move a few hundred miles to the next campsite.

    Why do I want to live like that? There is a second part of my "journey" that I haven't quite worked out yet........I want to seek out disadvantaged veterans and lend a hand. That could be putting my tent in an old man's yard and giving him 2 solid weeks handy man work for just food and companionship. It could be volunteering at a soup kitchen. It could be going on patrol seeking out homeless vets in crappy areas. I want to be able to look in their eyes and feel their hardship in ways I haven't felt before. It's easy to write about things like this, much harder to have lived through it.

    This is a forum about our love of Riding though.....so my 500 a month budget isn't a true Hardline 500 bucks. But hopefully I use it well and maybe change someone else's life for the better as I work on mine. And if I'm frugal and lucky, maybe I keep going.....The U.S.A isn't the only place where men and women put on a uniform to defend their countries only to find themselves in a bad place later, and just need an understanding hand to help them back on their feet.

    I gave my life to my country as a kid.....now I feel like I need to give myself to my bothers and sisters in arms for a while. Better to crawl in their foxhole to help for some, because they won't/can't come out for help on their own.

    But this will be in my ride report when I get started in the spring.
    #32
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  13. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

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    Sounds good, gas use is a big wild card so you will save a bunch as planned. Around here and on my trips through other parts of the Country blessed with strong farming I find amazingly good fruits, veggies and even summer sausage, jerky, etc. at crazy low prices at roadside stands and farmer's markets in small towns. Best of luck, local VFW and barbershops around here will almost guarantee good advice and helpful area suggestions.

    Cheers
    #33
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  14. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    This should be good. I'm on a fixed income for life now and have to be careful in the supermarket - or with any expenses for that matter. I have a Hostels International Lifetime Membership which really helps with affordable/clean/safe accomodation and you meet some cool people from around the world. Wifi and breakfast are fairly certain.
    #34
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  15. X-wing fighter

    X-wing fighter Do or Do not, There is no try!!!!!! Supporter

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    Yeah at 16.67 per day, filling up the tank blows the budget for the day.
    In no way shape or form am I well off, but I have the comfort to not have to choose which daily staple is most important.

    Knowing that a social evening with steak and beer means rice and chicken bullion cubes for a week, and a crappy motel 6 hotel room for one night is 3 days budget gone, will change my perspective on life very quickly!
    #35
  16. Ibraz

    Ibraz Been here awhile

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    Thank you for your detailed answer.

    I’m glad that you can make this happen!

    My plan isn’t as refined as yours yet, just know that I own a DR that is a big tank, rear rack and a tune up away from being ready for a big big trip.

    I’ll be eager to read your posts.
    #36
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  17. X-wing fighter

    X-wing fighter Do or Do not, There is no try!!!!!! Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Ester, Alaska
    Well this is @wittyusername ride report, I just got a little carried away a little too early.

    A Brother in Arms ride without a destination is a great thing to see. I'll be following and trying not to add to much to distract from his journey. He's getting on the road first, I still have 6-8 months to prep.

    I think we're on the same mission though, get our heads right and to help our brothers and sisters that haven't had the good luck we have had. It's deeper than that, but close enough.

    @Ibraz after 24 years working for the military, I don't even realize anymore that I plan that deep....I had to reread my posts to see it. I'M 6 months out, have a daily budget and I'm menu planning....damn I need a vacation!
    #37
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  18. wittyusername

    wittyusername This is the spot for my custom title

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    This is beautiful stuff man. I wonder how many other vets are experiencing these kind of feelings / thoughts. It sounds like our plans are identical. There's so much I want to say and share but I just popped in to give a few updates.

    I'm navigating multiple high-stress life events right now. I'll tell you all about it as soon as the noise quiets down. Right now, my moments are being utilized as efficiently and effectively as possible. Here's something interesting that I'm observing.

    When I tell people what I'm up to, their jaws usually drop. People can't fathom it. Almost everyone tells me how envious they are. I'll usually hear something like this, "Oh, it's going to be beautiful to see the sights and travel...bla bla bla." Then they'll tell me about their love of travel. No one understands that I'm taking this trip as a defense mechanism. I'm putting myself together and pulling the emergency brake on my crazy life. It's a reset. So...I'm always a bit sheepish or play coy when they press for more info. Sharing this kind of personal information with people is extremely difficult to do - especially face to face. But, one of my goals is to expose you (the reader) to the challenges veterans face when we try to integrate back into civilian life.

    I am usually tight lipped about my service to the country. It's not something I like to talk about with strangers. There's a gentlemen who I work with knows that I served with 2nd Rangers. He knows what it means to be an Army Ranger and has always sought me out for conversation. He's genuinely intrigued and interested in learning about my service with the Rangers. He's just being a curious patriot. I answer his questions because I'm polite a man who respects his elders. I don't elaborate my answers and I generally give vague details. Last week he asked me some questions and I think he could tell that I wasn't comfortable. It's weird because I didn't want to make him feel uncomfortable.

    He found out that I was leaving next week. When I saw him this morning he gave me a gift for the road. Now...I usually loathe when people thank me for my service. I never know what to say. I think 'loathe' isn't the right way to explain it. I'm mostly irritated because they don't understand how disgusted I am with how this country is treating its veterans. The only thing holding me together at times is my boiling rage. I'm simply too disciplined to let people see it.

    He showed me this coin he recently bought. I could see that he was walking over with a military challenge coin in his hand. I was thinking that it was too early to answer military questions. He handed it to me. "Sure, I'll take a look at it. Yeah man, it's a cool coin." Then I tried to give it back. I didn't realize he was giving it to me. I've never received any kind of gift like this. I was bewildered when he said it was for me. It didn't register at first. I'm not into collecting these coins or anything. But, it was the gesture that was so moving. I looked up from the coin and gave him a solid handshake with direct eye contact. I could tell that my posture changed. With all the sincerity I could muster, I said thank you and truly meant it. I don't think he realized how significant this gesture was at this time in my life.

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    My gear list is nearly complete. My suspenders arrived yesterday. I don't know why all ADV pants aren't sold with suspenders. They make the pants so much more comfortable. I decided to wear / bring a neck brace on this trip. It, too, arrived yesterday.

    Helmet should arrive tomorrow.

    I'm planning to do a final gear layout this weekend. I'll post pictures.

    Oh...I was offered a slot in Colin Edward's Texas Tornado Bootcamp at the end of this month. Good friend of mind is the founder of www.Raceforthewounded.com and invited me to camp. More later...
    #38
  19. NoHorizons

    NoHorizons Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Hudson NY, Washington DC
    Best of luck getting things in order.
    If you head out the panhandle way give me a shout I'm posted up in Santa Rosa Beach on a break from my own meanderings. I can at the very least offer free beer and a place to camp.
    #39
  20. wittyusername

    wittyusername This is the spot for my custom title

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    I added a few iron-on patches to my jacket.

    If I have time for this then there’s not much left to do. Updates soon...

    Why is the American Flag backwards? It’s not. It’s a right shoulder combat flag. Imagine a flag on a pole that’s advancing towards an enemy position. The stars will always be leading the charge no matter what side of the flag you’re looking at.

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    The last bit of moto kit arrived before my final layout. Thanks Touratech

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    #40
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