Bakery Quest - a year hacking the US with our kid and dogs.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by szurszewski, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. Golden955

    Golden955 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Subscribing late but enjoying the ride so far.
  2. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    Oh he'll remember alright - if he wants to or not ;)

    Also, in other matters: Thanks for your help with the thing!

    You have Christmas over there too? Awesome! We had a very good Christmas, and we hope you did too - thanks for the wishes.

    Laura and Jeremiah say Merry Christmas to you and Linda as well, and so do I. I hope you're enjoying your holiday in CA as much as we've been doing.

    Not late at all - welcome - don't be shy about posting!
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  3. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    Good morning!

    I'll get an update tonight or tomorrow - we're currently back in the Phoenix area for a few days, and we're trying to decide if we want to head down into Mexico to visit with a friend. He's pretty far down (1300 miles or so south) in Barra de Navidad, Jalisco, and I started a thread in the regional forum asking for input as we've been unable to make up our minds. If inclined, please check it out:

    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/family-in-sidecar-rig-with-dogs-to-jalisco-should-we.1195159/
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  4. Foiler

    Foiler Adventurer

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    bmwLT.com is a great resource for the LT. Hope to meet up and hear some stories!
  5. Foiler

    Foiler Adventurer

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    Well today my lovely wife Foilchick and myself had the pleasure of doing a little riding with these fine folks and we both agreed that they are way cool! Their son Jeremiah is an absolute RIOT! A brilliant young gentleman with a passion for storytelling. Highly intelligent and very entertaining. A very nice way to end our year.
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  6. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    One of the problems I have keeping this thing updated is when I sit down at the end of the day, I want to talk about that day...but then I realize I'm behind and feel like I should catch up first so it doesn't get all discombobulated ... and that seems daunting, and then I just scroll through the new posts in hacks, and then I go to sleep.

    So today, for the last day of 2016, I'm going to just write about today and I'll get back to the rest of it later.

    We're in the Phoenix area again returning from the west coast, and I spent yesterday putting on the new front shock (again - spoiler: this time it fit!) and replacing the exhaust. Those were about the extent of our plans here, and we were quite pleased to get an invitation to go out for a ride today with Foiler and Foilchick. They met us on the northern edge of town and took us out to Bartlett Lake. After a stop for cocoa at a closed restaurant that was kind enough to hang out long enough to serve us, we headed back into town and into a beautiful sunset. I tried to get some pics with my Sena helmet cam comm thinger, but it's still being a pain in the but and it somehow didn't save them. Sigh.

    I did get a couple of pics with the phone though -

    IMG_2441.jpg

    As we rode through New Year's Eve traffic across the sprawling metro region, Laura and I talked about how it was truly a great way to spend the last day of 2016 - we got to meet some new friends, Jeremiah got a new set of ears to talk off, and we went someplace beautiful that we never would have wandered to on our own. Couldn't be better.

    (finally having new shocks and being rid of the exhaust rattle didn't hurt either :) )

    ...maybe I'll get this backfilled next year ;)
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  7. Nixels

    Nixels Face fears - live life

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    Josh: Great reporting!

    I hope you make it a policy to just do the day's report if you're tired and catch up a few days later. It's better to read the present stuff even if there's a gap. And it's easier to backfill later on. A ride report shouldn't feel like a chore!

    Happy New Year!
  8. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    Noted. Maybe I'll try to go back to just using the direct upload feature which limits me to four photos per post - that helps keep me succinct.

    What really makes me feel guilty though is that this is my favorite one to update ... probably because I get the most feedback and interaction here ... and the one that's really behind is the one my family reads... sorry moms! (<--- of course they won't see this...)

    Happy almost new year!
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  9. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    So, alright. It's really hard for me to not start every post with one of those words. Darn brain. Not too much to report on for New Year's Day other than a terse almost argument about what we should start the year with this morning. Probably my fault, but we went out in the rain, walked the dogs, climbed some rocks, had some waffles...and when we got back to our friend's house she'd made an excellent dinner with black eyed peas, kale, ham and all kinds of New Year stuff. So with that and some coffee and adult beverages in me, and having the chance to build some things (trunks we turned into litter box hiders) I am in a better state of mind. Early this morning I assuaged my guilt by updating what I now refer to - in my head at least - as the moms blog, and I can now happily update you all here. Where the heck were we anyway? Christmas!

    Somehow, despite my having almost the same ability as my mom to keep a secret (that would be zero or less), we managed to not tip our hat to Jeremiah and he thought up to the morning of Christmas that we were going to spend the day at the beach. Now, most of you don't know Jeremiah so let me explain to you that he LOVES the beach and always has. I was honestly a little worried that when he found out we'd be going to Legoland, which he'd requested several times, he'd actually be disappointed that we weren't going to the beach instead. Fortunately, he wasn't. Legoland was Legoland, and you can read all about it on the internet, but let's just say we had a good time, the employees were all VERY nice without seeming like they were doing it because they had to, the guests were pretty ok too and some of the models were VERY detailed.

    Grand Central Station:
    IMG_2293.jpg

    We spent the full day there and rode everything we wanted to ride - Jeremiah is newly fond of roller coasters and got Laura to go on all fo them as well, so that was pretty cool.

    We decided to ride CA 78 east through Julian in hopes of more pie, but found that EVERYONE was already there (literally five miles from Julian the GPS upped the ETA to 57 minutes; I thought it must be a fluke, but we encountered a stopped line of traffic four miles out of town and took to the hills where we found a bunch of snow but a beautiful road - in town there was no where to park and huge lines for everything - it was about 42 degrees and we could have really used some coffee and cocoa but we pushed on ...) and we ended up going to Brawley where nothing interesting was open for dinner and then down to El Centro mostly because the Motel 6 there was 2/3 the price of the one in Brawley. We introduced Jeremiah to someplace new for dinner -
    IMG_2366.jpg
    Laura had fries and a shake. Outside. Because it was quite busy. Quite.


    I'd picked Brawley (which became El Centro) as our stopover because I wanted to check out the Salton Sea the next day. I know a little about it, though not much, and I'd never seen it and thought it would be interesting. It was. For those of you who know less than me, and who are too lazy to google it, it was once part of a large inland sea like Death Valley. In fact, the floor of the sea is about the same elevation at Badwater Basin (Death Valley's lowest point) and the surrounding topography is similar. Apparently in human times the sea was dry until we accidentally flooded the place just over a hundred years ago. Oops. Now it's full of very salty water, and since it has water coming in but now outflows it's pretty polluted with farming runoff and such. They've introduced a bunch of fishes over the years (hey - I hardly ever get to use that word!) but what's mostly left is tilapia that sometimes die in large numbers and wash up on shore. Eww.

    IMG_2375.jpg

    After wrestling a couple from the dogs' mouths, Laura decreed it time to leave the beach and head north. There's not much along the south east part of the sea, but there are a couple of communities - one of which is Bombay Beach. We drove through there. It was weird. Lots of trailers laid out in a big grid with a berm around the place. Many looked abandoned but some were well landscaped. We saw ZERO signs of life though. Weekend places? I don't know. At the north part of the sea there is a lot of farming - tropical fruits and palm trees and peppers and such. We stopped for gas in Mecca, which seemed to be a hopping town, and took the backroad that goes direclty to/across I10 to the southern entrance of Joshua Tree NP. I wish I could get my dang helmet cam to work - or rather, I wish I would spend time trying as I haven't really - better, but saddly I have no pictures of that road. I really liked it as it was all wound through weird piles of sedimentary rock. It's called Box Canyon RD and there appeared to be tons of those - lots of 4WD tracks and we got to see a Baja Bug catching some air down one.

    Since we were there, we climbed rocks in the Park again until sunset

    IMG_2389.jpg

    and found a really nice, actually LARGE, room at the 29 Palms Motel 6.

    The next day was 270 miles through the desert with a hundred of them being between 29 Palms and the next gas station to the east, and it was about the best weather you could ask for to enjoy such a trip. We stopped in Parker and had a much better time that before - great coffee and cocoa and a super nice waitress. She spotted Jeremiah's Legoland wrist band and asked him about it - said she'd been wanting to take her grand kids. Legoland was doing a promotion where every paid admission through Christmas got a ticket to return between 1/2/17 and 3/17/17 - or something like that -so we'd ended up with three tickets we weren't going to use but weren't sure what do with. Jeremiah decided we should leave those along with our tip, so we did; I hope she gets a chance to use them.
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  10. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    If you follow the ADV SS hullabaloo maybe you already saw that our SS gifts caught up with us here. If you don't follow it, you probably don't care, so I won't prattle on about it other than to say that I think it's cool and that we brought a number of our gifts from last year's super generous Santa along on the trip. What also caught up with us here was the actually correct front shock. So, I spent our second day here, after a quick trip to the BMW/Ural parts shop (which is to say, Tractor Supply) taking off plastic and more plastic and more plastic to get to the top nut on the shock, and then wedging the new sucker in there. On our first day here we managed to drive 160 miles without leaving the metro area, 'cause it's just that freaking huge, and did a bunch of errands. One was to get new boots for Jeremiah because we realized in Carlsbad that ALL of his shoes are now too small (oops!) - in fact he went from size 2 boots to 4 and those will maybe be good for the rest of the trip. Maybe. Our last stop was to pick up a replacement exhaust from a very kind eBay seller who agreed to meet us in person rather than shipping the monstrosity, and knocked a substantial chunk of his listed price. Cool.

    So in addition to the shock I got to remove and replace the exhaust. I really missed Al and Jack on this one as I spent about 12 hours in the garage mostly alone. The resident dog Rocky did come out and ask for a hack ride, and Laura and Jeremiah came out to help me align the exhaust (later models attach at the headers, near the cat and have a hanger in the back - ours just uses the headers and the hanger and it's a bugger to get in by yourself - or was being that way for me anyway). By the time I finished it was pouring rain. Fortunately our friend had already called it a night and I didn't know where her keys were, so I just had to leave her car outside and the rig in the garage. So sad.

    Screen Shot 2017-01-01 at 10.09.52 PM.png IMG_2431.jpg

    The next morning I hauled the exhaust and all three old shocks to the scrapper. I'd never been before and was just hoping they'd take the stuff. The guy who came out insisted I put it all on the scale and accept my payment. There are MANY folks in the Portland area who try to make a living scrapping, and I've always assumed they don't make much -now I have proof. I'd say I'll stick to my day job...if I had one!
    IMG_2439.jpg
    Regular readers might remember how Jeremiah had wanted so badly to go swimming when were here a few weeks ago. Well, he was playing with the dogs out by the pool, reached in for a ball...and....
    IMG_2437.jpg

    I was in the dining room and saw him go in - it looked cold and he said it was. I said, well if you want to swim you should do it now. He said ok, got back in for about ten seconds and then went to take a shower. If you look closely you'll see some swanky new kicks on his feet. They made it exactly three days from new before being dunked in the pool. Pretty funny.

    The new shocks and exhaust are great and got a good workout with Scott and Jenny as pictured a few posts up. We really like our friends here in town and it's great to get to stay with them again, but our afternoon with Foiler and Mrs. was absolutely the highlight of this stop. It looks like tomorrow we may get to see some old friends, and then it's time to move on. Still waffling on Mexico. We really want to go and it's SO close, and who knows when we'll have that chance again, but we also really want to be moving east... Mostly I'm trying to fully appreciate how lucky we are to be in a position where the hard choice of the day is between such excellent options, and to not worry so much about which one might be the "better" choice.
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  11. rubline

    rubline Coddiwomple

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    it's really cold (14 degrees as I write this) and snowy (18" of fresh snow) here this morning. Not sure how far East you want to travel this time of year.
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  12. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    I mean, that actually sounds fabulous - other than us having the wrong vehicle and gear, but I was thinking less Sail Rock or even Eastport, and more ... I don't know, Key West or Botany Bay.

    You know, more this
    upload_2017-1-2_8-25-47.png

    than this:
    upload_2017-1-2_8-25-58.png


    ...though now I really want to be in both of those places.
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  13. Nixels

    Nixels Face fears - live life

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    :eyes Mexico :jkam

    :deal Florida! :happay


    :pot
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  14. Dirt1st

    Dirt1st Adventurer

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    Just got back from California yesterday, and found Jeremiah's postcard from Joshua Tree National Park. Thanks for thinking of us. We've been there a couple of times and the rocks and Joshua trees are really neat. Sounds like you finally have all the new bits for your rig, and they fit like they are supposed to. It is about 15 degrees now in Denver, looking forward to about 6 to 8 inches of snow tonight (ha ha) and a high of about 10 tomorrow. Safe travels and Happy New Year.
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  15. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    Glad the postcard made it (and it probably hasn't been there that long - I think a stack of those went out, finally, along with our ADV SS package on the 21st or so). I now people who live in so much snow have little patience for me when I say things like this, but that sounds absolutely wonderful! Probably should be taken with a grain of salt as it's t-shirt and no helmet riding weather here in Arizona*, but I think I can honestly say I never complained about the cold or the snow the ten or so years we were in Alaska (I do complain about the heat, A LOT, though...).

    Yep - bits are great - shocks probably could do with some fine tuning, but I need to read up on that more before I start playing - trailer got new tires today and the bike gets a new rear on tomorrow (current trailer and rear have been on for 10,000+ now and still had some life left, so we should be good for some time to come), and the front looks good still, though it's finally starting to show some wear. The steer lite front end mod made steering a lot easier, which is good because the electric camber device is toast - I've got it set at the middle range and it's good for up to about 60mph before it starts to pull right; I figure we won't get much if any chance to do more than that in Mexico anyway.

    Laura just put a coat of epoxy on the top/front/rear of the trailer and we're packing up camping and cold weather gear to send on to Texas since we won't be camping in Mexico. I think we'll probably send a box or two of stuff back to live with the rest of our crap in storage in WA, and probably put together a Goodwill box to drop off on our way out of town as well. Trying to be as light as possible in preparation for topes and potholes and who knows what else.

    Oh, and the rig no longer has a center or sidestand; they have been replaced by a josh-built-it-in-someone-else's-garage-with-limited-tools-limited-time-for-about-$50 "skidplate". Fun stuff. Hopefully I'll get a better update here before we head out - planning to leave Phoenix in the AM on the 5th (tomorrow) and stay closer to the border that night so we can get across as early as possible.

    Lots to do, lots to do!
    josh
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  16. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    Well you aren't getting a better update preMexico (unless they won't let us across the border!) because we are set to roll that way in an hour or so.

    Skid plate is on but not tested (though we would at the gas station last night for sure but we cleared the curb like driveway apron amazingly).



    IMG_2461.JPG


    Trailer and rear tires are brand new, the sidecar tires is new from Wildomar, and the front is just starting to show some wear with about 9000 mikes on it.
    IMG_2465.JPG
    10,000 vs 0 miles. If we weren't going to Mexico I would have pushed it to see how long it would last, but I'm happy with 10,000 as it is.

    IMG_2477.JPG

    We did a bunch of errands in and on the way to tuscon yesterday and we are feeling pretty excited today. Dinner with noshoes last night was absolutely the perfect finish for the day.

    IMG_2478.JPG

    If all goes accordingly or at least close, sunset will find is Guaymas, which I really should learn how to pronounce properly.
  17. noshoes

    noshoes soñando con México

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    Why-mus...
  18. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    Thank you Neil!

    LONG time at immagracion (sp) as the computers were very slow. All else is good.

    We are about 100 miles from Hermosillo at1:30pm.
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  19. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Today's weather forecast for Guaymas. Looks awful--

    Guaymas  Mexico Weather Forecast and Conditions   The Weather Channel   Weather.com.png

    ¡Buena suerte, amigos!
  20. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    We are 40 minutes north stopped for gas and a stretch. It's 80 here already. Looking forward to tacos y cervesas. Or whatever they call them here.

    IMG_3594.JPG
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