Fair winds and following seas

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Sparks912, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Sparks912

    Sparks912 Been here awhile

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    Hello,
    This will be the log of my journey from Florida to Argentina. Departure date is 1-10-2017.
    My name is Allen. I am a sailor by trade and have been sailing commercially for a while now. Started out commercial fishing Cook Inlet in Alaska. Worked for the Alaska Marine Highway for several years. Also sailed with some offshore supply companies in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. Yes I was in the Arctic for a controversial project. Latest gig was hauling fuel up and down the west coast. Grew up between Alaska and Seattle. Riding dirt bikes through the yard and on our own track. Loved it. Fast forward to today and I'm packing up the last little bit to take my bike on the longest trip I've ever taken.
    The bike I'm riding is a 2015 BMW F800GSA. It's big and heavy and not a looker. So I call her Loretta. We are leaving Cape Coral Florida and headed to Denver for a new rear wheel and then to California for some training at Rawhyde on the 20th. I'm not sure if I'll end the journey at Argentina or if I'll be able to continue around the world. Only time will tell.

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    #1
  2. Dessert Storm

    Dessert Storm Dances With Drunks

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    Look forward to this!

    In.
    #2
  3. Sparks912

    Sparks912 Been here awhile

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    On the road. Was pretty tough to leave the family behind but they are extremely supportive and have encouraged me to take this trip. Couldn't ask for more than that. The route I'm on is keeping me fairly close to the gulf coast as I make my way west. Stopped for some lunch in Chiefland FL. These roads in Florida are pretty dull. Feels great to be on the move though.

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    #3
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  4. Sparks912

    Sparks912 Been here awhile

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    Picked up some ice and firewood from the rangers at this campsite in Florida. Office was a couple miles from the parking spot. Then it's a short walk to the walk-in sites.

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    #4
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  5. Sparks912

    Sparks912 Been here awhile

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    Cheers!

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  6. slide

    slide A nation with a future

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    From one who is at home on the ocean or in the saddle and also has a BMW twin (F650 GS), I'm looking forward to your narrative. Heard great things about Rawhyde too.
    #6
  7. jathkajoe

    jathkajoe Been here awhile

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    E WA
    Looking forward to following a fellow salmon choker on his journey.
    JathkaJoe
    #7
  8. Sparks912

    Sparks912 Been here awhile

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    Yesterday was a good one. Made it to Mississippi. Alabama was windy. And Florida turned out to be pretty enjoyable at the end. Still not using the highways or toll roads. 1400 miles to Woody's in Denver. Pulled in at the campsite just as light was fading away and it turned out that although there were three empty spots, those were unavailable to me because if one of the RVs lost power they would be moved into those locations. Price was way too high and they wouldnt let me throw the tent up anywhere. So I rode down to the nearest motel and checked myself in. Turns out the room was the same price as a two night stay at the campground. Smells of smoke and there are some residents in the cabinets but the bed isnt the worst I've been on. Gear is drying out and the damp tent is pretty well dry now. Met a super nice lady named Kim last night. She rides too and had an interesting story about how she felt her glasses fly off while riding over the 7 mile bridge and miraculously reached up after they flew off and saved them. Not sure how far im going today or where really. Taking off from Ocean Springs.
    #8
  9. Sparks912

    Sparks912 Been here awhile

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    A few pics from the road.

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    #9
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  10. Sparks912

    Sparks912 Been here awhile

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    Big guns and a tunnel in Mobile.

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    #10
  11. Sparks912

    Sparks912 Been here awhile

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    Crossed into Texas last night. Got to the campsite in the dark. Pretty typical. Louisiana wasn't fun. Roads were pretty terrible and no one can see motorcycles. Severa vehicles pulled out on me. As I mentioned before I'm headed to Woody's in Denver. Which is a good thing because some truck lost several bricks which were laying in the road. Car in front of me did a great job of hiding them so that when I reached the scattered mess I ran right iver the top. Put another dent in my front wheel. No flat tire though which was nice. It doesn't seem to handle any differently and I didn't notice any differences. Nice and dry when I woke up. Then the rain started. It's coming down good now and everything is soaked. I keep all my stuff in dry bags for just this reason. Tent is probably holding a pint of water right now. Unavoidable really. If I stepped out of the shower I might be dryer than I am right now. Haha that's all part of it.

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    #11
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  12. Swinefahrt

    Swinefahrt RooteR

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    I feel for you soaking at the campsite. Your observations of Louisiana roads and drivers are spot on.
    #12
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  13. everready

    everready Stuck in Ohio....Ugh!!!

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    Along for the ride. Please keep it coming.
    #13
  14. Sparks912

    Sparks912 Been here awhile

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    Thanks! I'm also taking a few videos with the GoPro but can't seem to upload them here. Been using Instagram for that. I'm terrible at video editing but will hopefully get better over the coming weeks and months. Looks like I'm three days away from Denver. Trying to find a spot to stay in northern Texas. Somewhere about 300 miles from here in Jefferson.
    #14
  15. twowings

    twowings Comfortably Numb... Supporter

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    Watch out for the ice! Following along...
    #15
  16. Sparks912

    Sparks912 Been here awhile

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    Pulled into Vernon TX last night as the freezing rain started. Wasn't going to try and set up the wet tent in that. So the gear is drying out and I'm warming up. Really quiet day yesterday. Only had a few interactions in the morning. They were intrigued by my destinations and timing for travel. Had to pull over and warm up at lunch. Rain was coming down hard and the temp was right above freezing. When I left in the morning it was around 58F. Under the riding gear was shorts and a shirt. That didnt work well a few hours later. Got some funny looks at the gas station while I stripped off my gear and shorts. Not sure if everyone else destroys hotel rooms as much as I do but the dirty soaking wet gear Wet spread all around as soon as I stepped in. Doesn't look too bad from here but thats because I couldn't get everything in one shot.
    Oh and it looks like there's some storm in the area. Not sure what that's all about but I'm headed west from here and then north to Denver. Going to look at the tent space thread for a possible host. Route and timing hasn't worked well for that yet.

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    #16
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  17. everready

    everready Stuck in Ohio....Ugh!!!

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    I've read here that most folks don't recommend camping south of the border. It's so much easier (and safer) to ditch the camping gear and just stay in hotels. A room down there costs the same as a camping spot in the states.
    Something to think about.
    Al
    #17
  18. Sparks912

    Sparks912 Been here awhile

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    So I had some trouble starting the bike. Turns out when the rain freezes everywhere any moisture in the lock cylinder freezes up. Had to heat my key up and then try and melt the ice inside. Took about ten minutes to get the key all the way in. Another ten to get the key to rotate and then it started right up on the first turn over. That shorai battery is working well.

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    #18
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  19. Swinefahrt

    Swinefahrt RooteR

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    At 1800 hours Amarillo is showing 0C and light freezing drizzle. What's plan B?
    #19
  20. Sparks912

    Sparks912 Been here awhile

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    Plan B is get on the highway for the last leg up to Denver. I just need to sort out where I'll stay before I make the run up there. Here's to hoping the ice stays off the roads.
    #20