How to get away in the USA

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by mapmaker, May 12, 2019.

  1. mapmaker

    mapmaker I like dirt Supporter

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    Thank you Lanztek. Great to trade ride stories and hear about your plans. Everyone stay tuned he is in the long range planning stage for an epic 15 day ride. He rides single track, he rides far and he rides fast. Good luck on your tour guide gig too. Thank you also because I am going to start inviting pass through ADV Riders out for a beer.

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    #61
    Bullseye and lanztek like this.
  2. mapmaker

    mapmaker I like dirt Supporter

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    Spent the last 2 nights remote camping so here is a catch up dump.

    Wound up going North into the Gifford Pinchot NF. For remote camping the forests are packed this weekend. Took a while but saw a side road off a side road that said “closed”. That works, and now I know why it’s closed. OK, this is the saddest camp ground in the world. Rained all night no fire. Warm and dry but it was medieval. I want to go see Mt St Helen. I think it blew in 80. I was teaching at UW in Seattle. As soon as the road to Spirit Lake was open I rode up there on the R100 GSPD. I Remember passing a burned out truck. I was going through the green forest and came around a corner and bam, the forest was gone. 100 foot plus trees all laid down and all in the same direction. All the branches were gone, they looked like telephone polls. It was like that for miles. The thing was the entire landscape, down trees, the road, the rocks, the truck, everything was monochromatic grey. An entire landscape was all one color. Of course the damn road to Spirit Lake was closed 2 days before June. Come on NSFS, you can do better. So this is all I got. Not bad.

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    #62
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  3. mapmaker

    mapmaker I like dirt Supporter

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    Now I’m in the MT Hood NF. East side way back on dirt roads. Again Memorial Day. Rode around remote trails for almost 3 hours looking for a site. They were everywhere, jumbo RV camps. Here is what I have noticed from 10 years ago. With the mass production of the mini buggie/side by sides more folks are out there. Use to be you only saw dirt bikes, now the back country is dominated by these things. 15, 20 years ago you met someone back there and there was a good chance they knew what they were doing because they made it back there alive. Now I see a Coors Lite cans ever eighth mile and sure enough I come across a gaggle of them blocking the road. They speed around bind turns, don’t yield when they should, rut the trails, it’s like they ruined their own back yards now on to the forests. Sorry rant over.

    Any way search paid off, you have to look for things they don’t. Old two track overgrown road. Found this super cool site. Reminded me of why I do this.

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    #63
  4. mapmaker

    mapmaker I like dirt Supporter

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    Mt Hood site. Ice on day 2.

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    #64
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  5. woodzrider

    woodzrider Long timer

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    I gotta agree with you on the S x S issue. I could rant on this for hours but I'm not going to derail your RR. Liking your report so far.
    If my back ever heals I plan to celebrate by doing a trip like this. Keep up the good work.
    #65
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  6. Mark907

    Mark907 Adventurer Supporter

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    Great ride report, but looks as though you need a adjust-a-fork!
    #66
    Joe Motocross likes this.
  7. mapmaker

    mapmaker I like dirt Supporter

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    On to the Umpqua NF. That has to be the coolest name for a forest ever. Want to pop out at Crater Lake. Working on a grant from the Park Service, my students designed a dock facility there. I sent them and didn’t go, now I finally get to see what they made. I’ll be off the grid for a few days. Here is my new series, views of the roads.

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    #67
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  8. jobysw

    jobysw Adventurer

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    :lurk
    #68
  9. Nantli

    Nantli n00b

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    Looks like alot of fun. Great pictures. Your camp set ups are great too. Beautiful views. Woo hoo!!!!!
    #69
  10. slackline

    slackline Been here awhile

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    Loving this!
    #70
  11. mapmaker

    mapmaker I like dirt Supporter

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    The bike. 2017 manual Africa Twin. New 2019 buy. Compared to the KTM 07 990. The twin will do 85% of what the 990 could do (for me). The Twin is way more comfortable to sit on for days and days. Displays, traction control and all that are great. I don’t think the 990 had gauges because I couldn’t see them. Power at higher RPM is formidable and it will lug in a higher gear until you feel bad and downshift. You have to think a little more about your line and please don’t forget to turn of the traction control off off road or you will fall off road. It stalls out the engine just when you need it. The KTM on the other hand had one solution to every obstacle, hit it wide open. The twin is more of a thinking mans bike. The KTM was like power over brains. That’s not a bad thing, just different.

    The KTM made me a better rider. Almost because you had to be a better rider to ride it off road. While the KTM would get you shorter distances faster the Twin is like the tortoise against the bunny. The biggest difference for me is the suspension and the breaks. WP and Brembo on the KTM are hands down better and that’s the 15% difference. Also at first glance, valves, oil change and air filter are seemingly easier on the Twin. But not by much.

    The bad, the front shocks, believe what you read. Front seals blew 10 days in to the trip with 6000 miles on the bike . I haven’t even been airborne (yet) and my pack is light. I hope I don’t have the internal wear issues too. Shouldn’t happen at 6000 miles. Dealer in Eugene said it’s most likely warranty but doesn’t have the part. Ordering ahead to have it it Reno when I pass through. The KTM was tall, the Twin is taller. So even at 6’ 2”, getting feet on the ground on uneven terrain can be a challenge. Think about a broom though. Put the brush end in your hand and try to balance the poll in your palm, you can’t. Put the brush up and the poll in your hand and you can balance it. It’s like as long as your moving, even though it’s tall it’s stable. Minor but could be bad, I would recommend taking the passenger pegs off for off road. A couple of times dragging my foot for one reason or another getting my ankle jammed between the rear peg and a rock. It could break your leg. All and all the Twin is a great bike with some issues to address but for the most part it’s doing just what it’s suppose to.

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    #71
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  12. mapmaker

    mapmaker I like dirt Supporter

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    So now I am in the Fremont NF. It’s starting to change, no more getting rained on in the mountain forest, now I can get rained on in the high desert. I think the high desert is my best place. Even the smell of the Juniper wood is better. The solitude and not having to worry about bears and the riding. This is some of the best riding. That last picture sums that up, let’s ride!

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    #72
  13. mapmaker

    mapmaker I like dirt Supporter

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    Finished my laundry, turned off the latest mass shooting in Virginia and going to sleep in Lakeview OR. Some random shots from the last few days.

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    #73
  14. mapmaker

    mapmaker I like dirt Supporter

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    The landscape is really changing as I get further into the high desert. These are near Riley OR. More views from the road. One is most ironic, it finally stopped raining , then it didn’t.

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    #74
    Shaggie likes this.
  15. mapmaker

    mapmaker I like dirt Supporter

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    I’m over half way into this. 16 days in. Went from LA to Canada with lots of alone time to think. Lanstek asked me a question and I gave a halfhearted answer. Why the no cell phone, solo thing was important. I told him I had 420 hours of vacation and it stopped accruing years ago. My bosses were saying, dude good job but take a break. True but. I had started to change. My answer to every issue was, well fire them. I was barking at people and sending flame e-mails without the 24 hour rule. I was cursing at work at an alarming rate. I was in all due respect becoming an asshole. I have an important job, my teams help the most deserving people in California have better access to clean and safe drinking water but it’s complicated. So I have smart people, I have people that care. I just needed to trust them enough to know that they can keep it together for a month and they can.

    I needed some time. This is that time. At work I am constantly solving problems. Brain is engaged. Out here my brain’s engaged but it’s a different kind of problem. Can I ride over that without falling? Is there any fire wood here? Is that thing going to bite me? Is there gas in Goldfield? Where am I going to find ice out here? Then I meet people like Hopper, I meet the waitress at Molly B’s who asks, how ya doing while making sure your coffee is always full and the high school kid in Oregon trying to fill the Twin’s tank while you gently help him out. That guy on a tractor just waved at me. It’s working, here is what some of that looks like.

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    #75
  16. mapmaker

    mapmaker I like dirt Supporter

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    Spending the night in Burns OR. Heading out to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada for a few days, then into Reno to get the fork seal fixed. So I’ll be off the grid for a few more days. Here are few more shots from the last few days.

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    #76
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  17. woodzrider

    woodzrider Long timer

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    I get the work thing. I am the asshole you’re becoming. I’ve got leave coming soon but it can’t get here quick enough. I’m gonna do a lot of riding for sure.
    Great report and even better pics. Keep it coming.
    #77
  18. mapmaker

    mapmaker I like dirt Supporter

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    OK, called Tuesday morning to the Reno Honda place. Need a fork seal under warranty for Friday, 1.5 hour job 4 days from now. Man, you should have called earlier it’s spring time, 3 week back log, I am disappointed. Feeling the disappointment, he then says he only has one tech. One tech in the busy spring? Riding a new Honda across the country? Please consider that response.

    Anyway, leaky seal is effecting the front break. Get on the internet, perhaps a fix. Dust seal off check, thin piece of film plastic cut to the specs on the internet, scrape the seal. Viola, fixed, still shouldn’t have happened and dealers should realize the effort and resources that go into these kind of trips and make accommodations. Just like 5 Valleys Honda in Missoula did.

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    #78
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  19. mapmaker

    mapmaker I like dirt Supporter

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    Now I’m am south of Summit Lake, NV. On my way to Gerlach. Some of the best long distance off road yet. About 4:00 I pulled off to camp. I am sitting in the bike shadow, resting a bit before I tackle camp. Watching the puffy white clouds and see a jet. I’ve flown over this desert many times going to the Federal Center in Lakewood CO. I saw all those cool places down here and imagined myself riding down there. Now I am down here looking back up at them looking down at me through the airplane window, thinking, some things are worth the wait.

    I passed a truck camping by Summit Lake. Cool rig with a bed tent. Pulled off to camp later and a ranch truck went by, the guy waved. Next morning I’m finishing packing up and the ranch truck pulls up opposite way and stops, pulling a cow trailer this time. It’s about 7:30. He gets out, I walk over. We talk about my trip, then he tells me if I need any help or anything in Black Rock he runs the Soldier Meadow ranch. Google that with satellite image. I’ll pass it in a hour or so. His name is Sam and I am pretty sure he said, far out!, when I was telling him where I had been. The ranch was epic, I’m sure it’s a hard life but man, that place was cool. Why don’t I do that instead of what I do? Sam if you are ever in SoCal and need anything…

    Then past Sam’s place well into Black Rock I stop to take a break. Cool rig is in the distance heading my way. I wait so he can be in front if he wants. Dude stops, his name is Charles and he was a deputy in the Black Rock in the mid 90’s. That’s about the last time I was here on the GS PD. Had this amazing camera and showed me the pictures of the nebulas and stuff he took last night. Showed me some back roads out of Gerlach that only he would know. He was in his Ram but has a GS too. It’s like the only 2 people I see in 2 days turn out to be 2 of the best people I’ve ever met.

    Some shots around where that happened.

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    #79
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  20. mapmaker

    mapmaker I like dirt Supporter

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    Some other shots from Black Rock, ADV Rider perfection. Wild horses and pelicans. Much to my satisfaction, there was no one waiting with a small boat to get me across the river.

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    #80
    Metalcarver, Shaggie, Pete S and 8 others like this.