Learning one trip at a time in Southern Georgia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by drklynoon, Oct 26, 2020.

  1. drklynoon

    drklynoon Adventurer

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    My first overnight trip was on the 3-4 of this month. I went out on my trusty Honda with half a plan and little expectations. I'm glad for the low expectations because things reallllllly didn't go all that well. My first mistake was to not plan beyond a short stop for breakfast, this led me down the road of destination fixation and little adventure or experience. My second mistake was to not have a good grasp on how to integrate my electronics. I had no idea how to really use my gopro so the footage was mostly useless. My ear buds killed my ears and my phone died before I got to my camp site. I was using my phone as my navigation device, oh and I brought the wrong charging cable. My third mistake was having no way to secure my luggage while I was away from the bike so I couldn't really enjoy the destination and hike because I was worried someone was going to jack my stuff. Oh, and I left my keys in my bike while I went into the park because I was to worried about thieves lol. My tent wasn't water proof, no camp chair makes for a wet ass in the morning, no table for unstable cooking set-up, sleeping pad was junk, and I had a freaking blast.

    I say all this to tell you that I am beginning to plan for my next trip in two weeks and I hope to learn from all of these lessons by buying some better gear and doing things a bit smarter but man o man even a poorly planned mess can turn into a great time. This was my first motocamping adventure. I was only about 3 hours from home but for me it was the perfect way to get my feet wet.

    What did your first overnight adventure look like? Did you just jump right into a week long BDR or did it naturally evolve from other camping trips. Thanks for letting a noob like me participate on such a knowledgeable forum, you folks are aces.
    Nathan
    #1
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  2. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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  3. drklynoon

    drklynoon Adventurer

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    Packing light can be an art form for sure. I had a fair bit of survival training for a previous job and multiuse and packing light is the name of the game. I have since got a smaller yet waterproof tent and am going to be getting a touratech waterproof bag soon. I love learning as I go and figuring out what best works for me and the situation. I picked up Tim Colling Motorcycle Camping book but haven't had a chance to really get into it.
    #3
  4. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    Lots of threads and ride reports on ADVrider. You didn't say what bike you have and if you are doing off or on road. Might make a big difference.
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  5. drklynoon

    drklynoon Adventurer

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    ah well, I'm on a Honda Shadow vt600. The only dirt I do is dirt roads and the access roads at the wildlife management areas. I'm saving to buy a CB500x this spring and doing more dirt. I think I'm going to be around 70/30 for the next year or two but I do want to build my skill set for heavier bikes in the dirt. My goal for 2021 is a MABDR in the Fall. My background is in heavy trail riding dirt bikes but that has been some time ago. Oddly enough I'm not worried at all about over packing. I tend to pack light anyway. Right now I'm more concerned about getting some decent gear that will stay dry in the rain and planning my trip so I can really relax and enjoy it. What all kind of riding do you get into around Arlington?
    #5
  6. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    Sounds like you have a good plan. The Shadow should be fine for cruising backcountry paved or dirt roads. Some 50/50 tires would help. The CB500x is a capable bike in the right hands and set up nicely. One of our crew has one.
    Here he is on our last trip to the NM rockies this Sept. He keeps up with the dirt bikes just fine. :D
    [​IMG]

    Building your skills is good but heavier bikes and dirt don't mix well. My KTM450xcw in the pic above is 265lbs ready to ride (without gear). The MABDR should be a fun ride and mostly do-able on either bike, set up right.
    Good gear is important, and you don't have to spend a ton on it either. My riding suit is from Cyclegear. I could buy any gear I want, but this stuff works good, so..... https://www.cyclegear.com/gear/bilt-explorer-adventure-waterproof-pants
    Nobody I know rides in the rain on purpose. We try to plan our trips in good weather. In the NM and CO Rockies that's early Sept. If you get caught out in the rain/snow/sleet, just deal with it best you can.

    Arlington is right in the middle of the Dallas/FT. Worth metromess so ride at your own risk. But an hour southwest of here is open farm and ranch country full of small towns and cruvie backcountry paved and dirt roads... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Hill_Country ...
    #6
  7. drklynoon

    drklynoon Adventurer

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    The MABDR seems to be less challenging than most of the others so it will be good for my first I hope. I've been able to sit on the CB500x but haven't ridden one yet. The dealerships around here are pretty weird about test rides so I have to wait for a demo day.

    I finally got some good summer gear this year and it was amazing. The Klim Dakar jacket with some added armor was a joy to ride with. I've used leather for the past 6 years and it just cooks you at stop lights. I still don't have any pants or boots but they are on the list. I've been looking at a set of SIDI adventure boots but we will see. I typically wait for sales before I buy anything lol.

    I agree about intentionally riding in the rain. Man I got soaked to the bone a couple months back. It was a nice day when I set out but on my way back it rained about as hard as it can. In just a few minutes the water on the road was up to my pegs and I was skiing while riding. I was pinned between two cars that I know couldn't see so I wasn't going to slow down or anything just keep my place and slowly go with the traffic. It took almost a whole week for my leather jacket to dry.

    The next purchase for me is the Touratech waterproof duffel. I really would like to keep my camping stuff as dry as possible if I get caught in the rain. Right now I am risking it and if I get in a down pour everything including my sleeping bag is wet so a good bag is the next thing. I'll be getting that later this week and then trying it out on the 7th for my next trip hopefully.
    #7
  8. chardog1971

    chardog1971 Adventurer

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    Years ago, I was an aimless vagrant hitchhiking around the US. On my first venture @ 15 years old, I bought one of the first internal frame backpacks. I loaded it with a canvas military mummy bag, a camp stove, some pots and pans, some clothes etc.
    I'm sure the whole mess weighed 75 pounds. First night I got soaked in a rainstorm. Bag must have weighed 20 plus pounds. I never cooked anything. Rarely used any of the stuff that I thought I needed to carry all over the place.
    I have yet to do any over night trips on my bike as we usually take the van somewhere and do loop rides. Sleep and such @ the van. My wife and I aren't into sleeping in tents so we won't be doing any 2 up overnight action. At some point I will probably start doing some solo trips and for that I have a bivy sack rather than a tent. An ultra light bag. Sleep in all my warmth layers. Today's backpacking gear is super light . Looking forward to spending more time out there
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  9. drklynoon

    drklynoon Adventurer

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    Chardog, It is funny how things develop and morph. I have my military canvas mummy bag and while I would probably want it along for an end of the world situation it stays at home due to its size. I'm going back out this weekend coming up and have made a few upgrades to my kit. I really like to keep things pretty minimal but I also appreciate that I need sleep and am not in my 20's or 30's anymore so a bit of padding goes a long way. I'd love for my wife to get involved in these adventures and she may some day but I think camping is a little out of her comfort zone so it may take a van situation or something similar to get her out.
    Nathan
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  10. chardog1971

    chardog1971 Adventurer

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    Yeah, the van is the way to go. We do alot of riding that way. We will go to a new area here in Montana find a camp site and ride loops from there. That way we're not out all day and if the weather goes south, we're not going to be cold and wet all day. Often I'll go ride and the missus stays @ camp exploring or what not. It is a great option and a good night sleep.
    I recently had to replace our van. I got one that can pull a trailer so, we can now take two bikes. 3 actually when I put the front carrier on it. Looking forward to next season but I have a winter trip to the south planned.
    #10
  11. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    we went on our first van-bike camp this fall. We installed a sleeping deck where much of our tubbed kitchen ware and clothes go below. pulled a HF trailer for the bike , water-gas cans, tables and chairs and footlocker.
    WE stretched a 15x 20 foot tarp over the van supported with 5 foot emt poles , on one side, with 6 inch nails and washers to secure the tarp and anchor the orange tie ropes.
    worked great.
    We have a hf winch when needed which is stored in a foot locker along with the other tools and fluids.
    7 days in moab, 2 in monument valley and three at escalente.
    Years ago our first trip on a bike taught us much about packing, first items needed should be to be last in.
    . Now with the van, pack at night and leave in the morning, just make up the bed while the coffee is being made.
    #11
  12. chardog1971

    chardog1971 Adventurer

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    Yeah, we pack more than we could possibly need but, I sleep well @ night.
    I think I'd probably bring way too much on my bike.
    #12
  13. drklynoon

    drklynoon Adventurer

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    I just got back from an overnight and it turned out that I packed way too much but only because the rain drove me to the motel rather than the campsite. First time for that but probably not the last. I resign myself to the fact that rain will happen when I am camped and I will live with that no problem but trying to set up camp in a storm well thats how I end up in the days inn. lol
    #13
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  14. drklynoon

    drklynoon Adventurer

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    20201107_105304.jpg
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  15. drklynoon

    drklynoon Adventurer

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    A couple weeks back I bought an upgrade for my luggage. I wanted something versatile but spacious. I decided on the Touratech Extreme waterproof dry bag. It is a 50L duffel. I also went out and bought a tent on Amazon Prime day for a total of $6 after points and such. Lastly, I got an air mattress from Amazon branded Sable for $27.69. I spent a bit but nothing too crazy so this weekend it was time to try everything out.

    After learning a lesson from last trip, I decided on two destinations one for day 1 and one for day 2. By doing this I was hoping to stop myself from getting destination obsessed and enjoy my second day. Day one's destination was Kolomoki Mounds State Park in Blakely, GA. In addition, I planned a stop at the Early County Museum, the Coheelee Covered Bridge, and for lunch Blakely Chicken.

    Kolomoki trip.PNG

    The covered bridge was very pretty and the creek was nice as well. I didn't get too far from the bike to explore which was probably a mistake. Unfortunately the bridge was closed even though it looks like it isn't always closed so I'm not sure if this changes from time to time. A picture of the bridge is in the post above.

    The Museum was closed so I went off to Blakely Chicken for lunch. The service was drive thru only which is always a bit of a cluster on a bike but I got through it and boy was I glad that I did. They gave me an extra piece because "ya'll get wore out on them bikes so you need some more energy". The chicken was just amazing and the best I've had in years.

    The star of day one was Kolomoki. This park is so underrated IMO. I had never heard of it and only found it through searching the parks website. The particular page for this park oes not do it justice and I am really looking forward to the next time I can get over to it. The park had lots of space for kids to run around, trails for everyone, a lake for swimming or Kayaking, mini golf, and the greatest prize of all are some of the oldest and largest native mounds in the South East. The largest of which is 56 feet high and is built much more like a myan pyramid than a typical mound. Each face is flat with the east/ west aligned being longer than the north/ south sides. The top is also flat, well mostly flat there may be a slightley elevated portion that could have been a chiefs house but its hard to tell at this point. The on site Museum was small but effecient in telling you the story of the people that once inhabited the land. I was just blown away.

    20201107_135711.jpg 20201107_150918.jpg 20201107_151430.jpg 20201107_151510.jpg 20201107_144540.jpg

    Well As I was leaving the park one heck of a storm blew in. I got wet, the bike got wet, but all my stuff stayed dry as a bone. I checked the weather as soon as I could get under cover and the storms were going to keep coming through until dark. I then made a managerial decision and rode to the Days Inn. There I watched Hallmark Christmas movies until I was asleep.
    20201107_173321.jpg

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  16. drklynoon

    drklynoon Adventurer

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    Day Two started off a tad late. I had the whole bed to myself and moving from there before 0800 seemed like a waste of a good opportunity. Once I got on the road I had my first meh day of riding in a long time.

    First thing I wanted to take as many back roads as I could but everytime I put my phone in my jacket pocket it lost GPS signal so that was annoying. I have no idea why it does this but it was a problem on the last trip. as well. The second issue was the weather. No it wasn't raining but the wind, oh my god the wind. My bike has no fairing or windshield so I am use to a certain amount of being pushed around but this was a new and fresh hell for me to experience. You see in south east GA everything is pretty much farm land broken up by the occasional wood line and even more occasional towns. All of these farm lands create alleys for wind so it comes from all directions simultaneously. I'm sure you have all experienced this and I'm just being a NEWB but it reallllllly wore me out and made the riding for the day more like work than it has ever been. I'd rather ride in a lightening storm than high winds from all directions.

    The destination for the day was Seminole State Park. You will notice a lack of pictures for this leg of the journey. I did get one cool picture at a graveyard I checked out but the rest of it was occasional video that I will cobble together sometime this week.

    When you look at Lake Seminole on the map it is huge and with that comes a certain expectation for Lake Seminole State Park. This is a failing of extraordinary magnitude. They should have named this park anything else like silver lake would have been better because the park isn't on Lake Seminole, its on a small tributary lake. Don't get me wrong it's a pretty little lake but it pales in comparison to expectations so much that it almost blew out the whole visit. The lake is really nice but that is about all there is there so I rode around it and headed off towards home.

    I got a strong case of destination fixation from here on out. I did catch a few back roads on my way home but they were ones I was already familiar with. The wind killed me and I even changed my mind on lunch and just stopped at a chain diner. When I got home I just sat on the bike for like 10 minutes. Man that was some tough riding. My neck, sides, and back are really sore today but I still have a smile on my face. It turns out that even with meh weather, not getting to camp, and a dud of a destination, any adventure is better than no adventure and I'm super glad I went out and did the thing.

    20201108_102741.jpg
    #16
  17. Dennyf

    Dennyf Been here awhile

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    Check your power management features on your phone. You have to enable permission for your nav app to operate in the background.
    #17
  18. drklynoon

    drklynoon Adventurer

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    Dennny, I looked through my power management and couldn't find a permission for my map to run in the background but I did turn the battery saver off and I'll try that. It's really odd the phone just tells me GPS signal lost and stops tracking me. I'll keep looking through the settings.
    Thank you
    Nathan
    #18
  19. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Gotta have the funk

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    I'm still no expert but my first trip was packing overkill. I brought way too much stuff and struggled to get it all back on the bike during the return trip.
    I also had too much weight up high so the bike handled like a cow.
    Subsequent trips found me bringing less and less. Learning about what I really needed (or not) has been the only way. Problem is, what works for one person is a disaster for someone else so you just have to persevere and find your own way.
    1. I like to cook so that part of my rig is always going to be large. 2. I dont do anything but sleep in the tent, so its tiny.
    3. Gotta have a tarp and the skill to use it. It is my #1 accessory and helps with #1 and #2 greatly. Especially when the rain comes.
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  20. drklynoon

    drklynoon Adventurer

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    8track, I haven't been packing a tarp so far. I may do that in the future. I pack pretty darn light. I usually have:
    One change of clothes, Sweatshirt, fleece
    small cooking stove/ fuel canister
    one or two packs of dehydrated food/ oatmeal/ three instant coffee
    one military canteen w/ metal cup full of water
    one Nalgene bottle w/ charging cords, ear plugs, pillow case, wet wipes, and general nonsense jammed in it
    Multitool/ survival knife
    2 man tent
    air mattress
    sleeping bag
    camp chair
    tri pod
    camera stuff
    camel back w/ 2 liters of water
    That is about everything I think. Due to SERE training and my youth spent in the woods I'm pretty decent about not carrying stuff I won't use but this last trip I didin't camp so most of it was useless lol.
    #20
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