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. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,631
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    Quick wrap up of Santa Fe

    Our dogs are kind of weird - maybe all dogs are kind of weird, but do your dogs ever do this? Returning from Taos Pueblo we found only one dog in our motel room. Hmm. If one of them was to somehow escape it would be Eddy, but he was there. Culprit, being an Aussie and not being able to hear, is usually positioned in such a way that you can't enter or exit a room without stepping on/over her...but she's getting old and sometimes goes to sleep in odd spots - so, check the bathroom, check the closet, check under the desk and behind the TV and...wait - what's that by the foot of the bed?
    IMG_1725.jpg

    Thursday we did, like many of you I'd wager, a lot of cooking. Well, my dad and Laura did a lot of cooking - the rest of us mostly just ate.
    IMG_1729.jpg

    We usually do pretty much everything from scratch for T-day, but being condo bound this year my dad opted for a lot of stuff from Trader Joe's, Costco and Whole Foods; that included two Costco boxes of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, and Jeremiah baked every single one of them.
    IMG_1732.jpg

    I was pretty proud of Laura, being a baker specializing in breads and laminated doughs, for gamely eating many of said rolls. Here's her taking a well deserved rest in the park the day before we skipped town:
    IMG_1736.jpg
  2. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,631
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    Leaving Santa Fe Saturday morning we'd intended to eschew the Interstate and head down US 285 - unfortunately I somehow missed that turnoff and didn't notice until we were almost half way to Albuquerque, so we just continued on I-25 until Socorro where we hopped off for gas and a snack - we found there the Twisted Chile Brewing Company ... and not much else in the way of food. But, that may be all you need - their menu wasn't huge but it had some good stuff and we opted to split a couple of small pizzas three ways. They probably could have stood another 90 seconds or so in the hot oven, but they fine and the service was excellent. I have a fairly strict drinking and driving policy, but they had a black ale on their taplist and that's hard for me to pass up, so Laura and I split what has to have been the smallest taster I've ever seen - 1.5oz at most. All the same, the beer was excellent, and if we hadn't already been saddled with all the leftover beer and other bits from Thanksgiving, I'd have picked up a growler. No pictures, damn it!

    I do have a couple from the parking lot of our motel in Alamogordo. Remember the little plastic bits Russ and I fashioned to get the front, front fender off the tire? Well....
    IMG_1741.jpg
    It actually broke some days ago - maybe even before we were in Altus? - but I kept forgetting about it until I was busy doing something important like being inside or drinking or both.

    My parking lot solution isn't quite as elegant as the plastic (we'd talked about aluminum first anyway, but the plastic bits happened to be closer to hand), but I do now have enough material to make roughly 99 more brackets.
    IMG_1743.jpg

    With that bit of repair done, and some motel room breakfast in our bellies, we sought out White Sands National Monument.

    IMG_1782.jpg IMG_1778.jpg
  3. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,631
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    If you've never seen White Sands, it looks sort of like this
    IMG_1761.jpg

    We had a fantastic time and would have liked to have camped there a night or two if we'd had more appropriate gear (or if the weather had been a bit less cool and windy - the only sites are "backcountry" {a mile or so hike from the parking area} and there was no way I was going to let two sandy dogs into our tiny tent, nor was I ready to make the sleep out in the blowing sand). Other than the uniform beauty of the place and the fun times sledding down the dunes, we appreciated being able to take the dogs basically anywhere we could go (most of the parks we've been to in the National Parks system relegate dogs to areas accessible by car and restrict their use of trails and such, but not here).

    IMG_1759.jpg

    They do require dogs to be on-leash at all times, and we were happy to comply with that rule (though we didn't necessarily have a human on the leash all the time).
    IMG_1748.jpg

    Laura was in such good spirits she even opted to drive back out of the park.
    IMG_1789.jpg
  4. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,631
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    Today! (<-- excited because I'm actually caught up here, and with my paper log/journal...now I just need to update the other two things that are circa 11/6...)

    We started the day in Las Cruces - I made a little "sculpture" in honor of our trip to White Sands
    IMG_1799.jpg

    I know what you're thinking - and Jr Ranger Jeremiah would be quick to back you up (he got another badge at WSNM) - but we didn't intentionaly remove anything from the park. I swear all this sand came out of Laura's pants. Serioulsy. (And just her pants - not anyone else's pants, or boots, or hair, or EARS, or any of the other places we were carying the fine, soft gypsum sand.)

    Jeremiah was quite fascinated by the local flora

    IMG_1796.jpg IMG_1802.jpg

    and because of the wind there was a LOT of it moving around - we took out a few good-sized examples with the rig as we motored south and then west. We hugged the border as much as possible - Verizon kept thinking we were in Mexico and sending us text alerts about calling features and data options - but didn't get all that far because of the wind. Our day is ending in Lordsburg, NM - there aren't many dining options here and Laura did something Jeremiah has never seen her do: choose to eat here:
    IMG_1807.jpg

    I think the ability to get breakfast all day makes it a little more palatable - I mean, who doesn't love those little hashbrown patties?

    Tomorrow we'll either head up toward Phoenix or down toward Tuscon. Probably.
    Mofrid and Nixels like this.
  5. Prmurat

    Prmurat Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,748
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Funny : we'll be in Scottsdale next Tuesday with a Uhaul and my Can Am preparing our move. Will you go to one of the best air museum in Tucson??


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. Drumhawk

    Drumhawk Lurker

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    NorCal
    Should have gone with the aluminum! Curious how many miles you got out of the scrap plastic? And..... Nice choice on the new helmet. Looks just mine but I got the AT version :drums


    Russ
  7. draperg1

    draperg1 PapaBear

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2013
    Oddometer:
    437
    Location:
    Martinsville, VA
    I have a r1100r rig and I use a Bridgestone Battleaxe 130/70 17 rear tire mounted bbackwards and currently have 7k without any show of wear. A friend has a 1150 rt with same tire with 10k and showing only minimal wear. I am building an LT rig and am planning on same tire.
  8. KTM Mike

    KTM Mike Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,465
    Location:
    Atlanta, Michigan
    I have not had a chance to read through your report other than a quick glance - and kudos to you and your family!

    My wife, two sons and myself did a total of about 50,000 miles in a sidecar rig together (1986 Kawasaki Concours ZG1000 and Motorvation Formula II). We absolutely loved it. It exposed our sons to a fantastic life experience that has helped them both become the great young men they are today!

    Now back to reading your report!
    noshoes and Nixels like this.
  9. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,631
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    Hi Russ! I don't think I've seen you here before - I may need an explanation of the avatar...or maybe I don't want to know. Anyway...

    I'll have to check my notes, but we're at around 6k miles now, so they must have made it a couple k... It's not exactly unusual now for the fender to contact the lower edge of the front fairing, so I'll be curious to see if 1) we break the plastic bracket on the other side, and 2) if having stronger brackets just results in damage to the fender or fairing (when they hit and there's no plastic bracket to break instead).

    My helmet came with the peak visor thing as well, but I abandoned it at Cycle Gear...or is there another version as well?


    Yep - I think that size will be what I go to when we wear this one, and then I can just put the fender - hopefully - back where it's supposed to be. Of course, that will require me to wear this tire out, which looks like it will take considerable miles!

    Hello! That sounds really fantastic. I looked at some of your early posts here and I'm inferring that your boys were both 16 or a bit older back in '09 - how old were they on the trip? I don't know that we'll cover that many miles, but I guess we might - as per above, we've done around 6k in two months, but I think we're moving too fast much of the time... too many days moving and not enough time looking around what not. Anyway, it's still a great time :)

    If you've got any overall advice/experience from your trip, please don't hesitate to share!
    josh
  10. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,631
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    How many air museums does Tuscon have? :drums

    Seriously we have no specific plans for Tuscon, but that sounds like fun - I'll put it on our possibilities list. First we have to make it there though - spotted a couple of things online between here (Sierra Vista) and there that look worth checking out....
    josh
    Nixels likes this.
  11. Prmurat

    Prmurat Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,748
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    When in Tucson I always dream to go and sleep there.,,. Always full: http://theshadydell.com


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    olderigetfasteriam likes this.
  12. noshoes

    noshoes soñando con México

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,786
    Location:
    Douglas, AZ
    Lunch break in Tucson. Thanks for stopping by.

    [​IMG]
    szurszewski, larryboy and Nixels like this.
  13. KTM Mike

    KTM Mike Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,465
    Location:
    Atlanta, Michigan
    Josh - sorry I guess I worded my post poorly - we didnt do those miles in one big trip (would have been great!) rather that was over a period of about 5 years or so. Each of those years we did one "big(er-ish)" trip plus a lot of local stuff. Living in Michigan, our riding season is fairly short unfortunately. My youngest son was 11 months old, and the oldest was 3 at the start of that time period - so 6 and 8 ish at the end. What drew it to an end was a combination of factors - the boys were getting bigger, so didnt fit in the hack so well, and become more interested in riding two up with me on my regular bike (VFR750 through much of that time period), and the fact that off road riding became another family activity.

    You are on the right track regarding having ample time to look around - to me that is key, and certainly was for us. You have to be flexible and go with the flow. In the early years, the boys would often fall asleep - so our rule was no matter how bad we needed to stop (other than for gas) if they were sleeping we stayed on the road! We home schooled our boys (who both simply loved learning) and would turn the most routine seeming things into great learning opportunities and fun (proud Dad moment: we cant complain with the outcome as both had full ride academic scholarships for their undergraduate degrees, and one has gone on to a Masters and now Phd - and we have paid ZERO tuition!).

    At some point there is a good chance your son might get bored in the hack. Games etc only go so far. Be creative to keep him engaged. Swap him and your wife between the bike and the hack (I am assuming your wife is on the bike with you?).

    I really admire the journey you have set out on and am eager to read more!

    Mike
    noshoes and Nixels like this.
  14. richamor

    richamor like that when I got here

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    322
    Location:
    Lancaster, SC
    You won't be on this side of the country for some time I would imagine. BUT when you do there's all the comforts of home here in rural South Carolina and ya'll would be most welcome. Tent space, camper, or guest room.
    noshoes likes this.
  15. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,631
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    Plenty of availability right now, but it seems they don't allow "kids" under 15. There's a place like that outside Portland (in McMinnville maybe?) but I think it's all trailers - I noticed that Shady Dell has a Chris Craft as well!


    Probably more my poor reading than your wording :0 I bet they have great stories from all those trips. Jeremiah is making more of a push to ride on the back of the bike (someone posted and then removed a question about whether or not he ever drove; he has traversed a few parking lots {no trailer attached} but the clutch and brake levers are a not easily within his finger grip), but his legs aren't quite long enough to really reach the pegs - I have some blocks we put on them but it's still a stretch. He used to sleep quite a bit in the hack - most of the time I'd say - but I only see him taking short naps now; mostly he's in there talking to himself or singing his own songs.

    We're doing our best to slow down - we had a coupld of need to be there by then dates, but those are all done now so there's really no reason to move quickly. :)




    I am looking very much forward to that part of the country; I've driven up the east coast once - on our honeymoon in 2003 - but didn't really stop between Key West and DC, so it hardly counts. We'll happily take you up on that offer come spring or so :clap
  16. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,631
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    You're thanking us for stopping by? Ha! We were MORE than happy to do so - hopefully we will get the chance again (and I'm not just saying that because of the delicious chicken!) before too long. Thank YOU so much for inviting us, even if @Nixels did put you up to it! I was saving pics for an update, but I'm throwing this one on now instead - Culrpit and Eddy particularly say thank you and want to return

    IMG_1813.jpg

    I will get an update on here today I think, but suffice to say we made it to Phoenix and sorted out - I think - the issue with the camber control on the sidecar (combination of some iffy wiring connections and low voltage - wiring fixed and a new battery today if I get off my butt and go get one).
    noshoes and Nixels like this.
  17. noshoes

    noshoes soñando con México

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,786
    Location:
    Douglas, AZ
    :lurk So, uh, what's happenin?
    Nixels likes this.
  18. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,631
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    Right - updates (been trying to catch up the bmwst and trycheckthis pages, and being generally pretty lazy)!

    First, the folks at American Bike and Trike were very helpful and generous, and they have lots of gorgeous stuff in the shop. I should have taken pictures of all of it, but of course I didn't. I did get this one though, in an attempt to convince Laura she should claim it for her own.

    IMG_1826.jpg

    One of the guys there, Kyle, and I pulled the tub off and cleaned things up a bit. After some poking around we came up with a fairly loose wire within the connector for the actuator - once that was replaced with a soldered connection the camber control worked again as it should. Until we put it all back together. Sigh. Pulling the wheel to see if anything was binding revealed that the top of the shock mount was sometimes contacting the body, but nothing was touching now. We pulled the next upstream connection and wired it directly to a battery, and that worked fine. So we cleaned up that connection as well and so far, over the last three days, it's only stopped working once. Again, sigh.

    But, we also did some other fun stuff here in the sprawling Phoenix metro region...like, for instance, introduce Jeremiah to another "traditional" Amerian restaurant
    IMG_1824.jpg
    which he seemed ok with.

    Upside to living in Portland: lots of great restaurants. Downside to living in Portland: our kid knows what Cambodian, Peruvian, Korean, Japanese, Ethiopian, and whole host of other "world" foods are like, but up until Thursday night he had no idea what a Waffle House was (nor, as you may recall, had he ever been to a Denny's prior to this trip; turns out we're terrible parents after all).

    And we went for a mini-hike in the desert (we would have gone on a longer one but it was like SEVENTY degrees - can you imagine?);

    IMG_1870.jpg

    and we got to hang out with one of Laura's friends from college, whom she hadn't seen since college, and said friend's family. I think Jeremiah got the best part of that deal (not to say they weren't great folks!) because he got to hang out with three kids his age (ish) for an evening.

    IMG_1850.jpg

    Can you see him trying *really* hard to give someone else a turn to talk? If you've met him, you can imagine the will power this required.

    Most of the time we've spent here though has been devoted to stoically relaxing at our friend Bridget's house.

    Jeremiah tried valiantly to go swimming, but being an unheated pool and about 60F that day, he only made it slightly deeper than this
    [​IMG]

    Eddy made a new friend (hard to imagine if you know him as Eddy is not a I'm going to go and play with these other dogs kind of dog, but after trying to eat Rocky a few times and realizing that just wasn't going to work, he decided to play with him instead)

    [​IMG]

    Bridget made two new friends
    [​IMG]

    Jeremiah and I rebuilt some rather convoluted shelves -they'd been assembled with fresh lumber that obviously came from a much less arid climate and had twisted rather ominously -
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And Laura tried to sleep in as much as possible.
    [​IMG]

    My first dog was one of those dogs that would sit at the side of your bed and sort of stare you awake (which is one of my favorite things that Frances the badger does - and if you don't know who that is, you should look it up), and I guess I'm kind of like that too. Of course, I don't have any recollection of Baxter ever arranging my hair in a majestic pattern, and staring at Laura doesn't really wake her up, but I keep trying.

    Tomorrow morning we'll be heading to Joshua Tree NP and then on toward SoCal. As always, to-do suggestions and routes are very welcome.
  19. RedtoBlack

    RedtoBlack n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2016
    Oddometer:
    2
    Location:
    Altus, OK, USA
    Read the first page and saw Altus, OK... immediately blown away this town was mentioned here. I should be heading to phoenix in early January but hmu if you need a place to stay and wind up riding through while I'm there!
  20. Nixels

    Nixels Face fears - live life

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,796
    Location:
    HayWeird, CA
    I'm glad y'all hooked up with @noshoes - Neil's a great guy and a food maestro!