North American Road Trip

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Sanguis, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. DantheDuck

    DantheDuck Been here awhile

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    NorCal
    Woohoo that's awesome! Good on you dwalt!

    Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
  2. KingFishman

    KingFishman Flatland wanderer

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    Northeast Louisiana
    Great news! You da man Walt!

    King
  3. 1stgenfarmboy

    1stgenfarmboy The Sherpa Man

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    southern tip of ILL
    Walt is my hero.....

    What you are doing for Ben is a truly wonderful thing.

    There will be a reward for you sometime somewhere.
    torch, Project Mayhem and LadyFish4 like this.
  4. Carl Stark

    Carl Stark Adventurer

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    Apr 11, 2006
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    Sheridan WY
    Ben and Jerry were a treat to host here in Sheridan, WY! Just getting to reading about your problems with the KTM and sorry to hear. Wish you would have called, we would have come up with something to help. Glad to hear someone is now helping you so that you can finish your ride.
    Take care and we will see you down the road, Jonnie and Carl
  5. Deckyon

    Deckyon The Raven

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    Louisville, KY - USA
    Very good to hear! Look forward to the continued journey.
  6. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

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    3,714
    Location:
    northern Arkansas
    A sighting in AR

    IMG_0005.JPG
    ChicoProf and KingFishman like this.
  7. BELSTAFF

    BELSTAFF ADV NOMAD

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    Arizona--Semper Vestibulum
    The world is full of good & decent people, fortunately a good percentage are Adventure Rider Inmates, DWalt being one for sure.
  8. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2017
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    371
    Thank you guys for all your kind replies. I really appreciate your support and generous offers. I safely arrived at Walt's and Denise's place yesterday and over the next few days I hope to catch up on my ride report a little bit.

    Wednesday:
    Today I didn't go to the motorcycle shop. I had to think about what to do with the bike. I couldn't really come up of a good solution.
    Jefe's son, River, asked me if I wanted to play some Call Of Duty, so that is what I did during most of the day. It was nice to be distracted from the bike for a little while.
    In the evening Jefe cooked an awesome dinner. Just before falling asleep I checked Adventure Rider and saw that Walt offered me his motorcycle to finish the trip. He is a hero! I was already mentally prepared to go home, so at first I was hesitant in accepting his super generous offer. But when I thought about it for a few minutes I thought to myself: are you nuts?! I might never be able to do a trip like this again; I have to finish it and it would be insane to pass up this opportunity.

    Thursday:
    In the morning I went to the shop and inquired what price they would give me on my KTM. Well, they didn't want to buy it from me at all haha. This pretty much narrowed my options down: I am going to rent a U-Haul truck and take everything to southern Mississippi, where Walt lives.
    I hung out most of the day in the shop and talked to the people that worked at the shop. Really nice people and I was actually enjoying myself.
    U-Haul will only rent me cover pick-ups for out of state, so it is pretty pricey, but at least i get to keep the bike...
    dvmweb, mac w b, ChicoProf and 2 others like this.
  9. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

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    You will sort it out, you have sorted everything else out, thus, I am confident!
  10. 1stgenfarmboy

    1stgenfarmboy The Sherpa Man

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    So glad you decided to take Walt up on the offer, if you had turned it down it might have robed Walt of the blessing of helping you out.
  11. DWalt

    DWalt **** The Beans....

    Joined:
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    3,918
    Location:
    At the Dew Drop Inn.
    image.jpg image.jpg We fattened up the Dutch invasion with some bounty from the woods and bayous...
    Prepped the Strom and sent the boys off in the rain to keep them ahead of the remnants of Harvey
    I just got word that they arrived safely outside Little Rock
    We really enjoyed having the Dutch boys over!!
  12. DantheDuck

    DantheDuck Been here awhile

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    Apr 19, 2016
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    NorCal
    Hey Ben you got on a vstrom after all! And it happens to be one that I've ogled the lights on many times! Can't wait to hear what you think of the bike.

    Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
  13. Guri

    Guri Adventurer

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    Dec 12, 2014
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    California
    Best luck, guys!!
  14. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2017
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    371
    Friday:
    The next few days won't be a ride report, but a drive report. I will be taking my broken down KTM to southern Mississippi in a U-Haul truck. The circumstances are unfortunate, but I am glad that I get to experience a cross-country trip in a truck.
    In the morning I loaded all my stuff in Jefe's truck and he dropped me off at the U-Haul place. Within 15 minutes I was driving the truck to the motorcycle shop. Man, the truck is slow and makes a lot of noise over every bump in the road...
    When I got to the shop the guys helped me load up the bike and I moved everything from Jefe's truck to the U-Haul.
    Jeff gave me a bunch of straps to tie the bike down; they wouldn't let me pay for anything: straps, diagnose, labour time. The didn't let me pay one dollar. Jeff also gave me a t-shirt as a souvenir.
    Over the last few days I had spend a lot of time in the shop and got to know some of the people pretty well; ofcourse Jefe and his family who had hosted me, but also Jeff, who is the head of the service department. All of them are great guys and I can truly say that I made good friends over the last few days. It's funny how even a shitty situation can have some pleasant surprises.
    After saying goodbye I drove out of town and took the 44. I wanted to see Mount Rushmore and I didn't want my bike braking down get in the way of that, so I drove there. I turned on the 385, then took the 16 and 16a through Keystone. I saw the monument from the road and noticed the huge line to get in... No way I was going to wait that long and then pay ten bucks for parking, so I continued and got to see it a few more times when I driving around the twisty roads that surround the area. Definately something I wanted to see, but not as grand as I expected. Still pretty cool and glad I took the detour.
    I continued driving over the 244 and then somehow got back on the 16 and 16a. When taking the 87 and 385 to Hot Springs I rode through Wind Cave National Park. I hopped on the 18 and then 385 and entered Nebraska. I had heard stories about Nebraska being flat and boring; I was looking forward to finding out for myself. I took the 20 going east and drove through Chadron. Just after Valentine I took the 83 south. After a while I got to the 2 and turned east. So far I was actually really enjoying the views. Nice farm land, low rolling hills... It was beautiful. I wouldn't want to communte it for dozens of miles every day, but to just drive through it once is a nice experience. No, there are no spectacular mountains or impressive rivers, but the corn fields and kettle farms are very pleasant for me to look at.
    My original plan was to just drive all night and get to Mississippi quickly, but I was enjoying the views too much and didn't want to just blast through it. I decided to keep driving till dark and then just pull over somewhere to the side of the road and start driving again at sunrise.
    Anyways, I turned east on the 2, which was an even nicer drive. I drove through tiny little one-shop towns. It is really, really nice here. Also the people are very friendly and everybody waves at you. I made it a point to wave at everyone I saw (it wasn't too hard, there weren't a lot of people...)
    At Grand Island it started to get dark. I turned south on the 281 and then east on the 34 untill I got to Aurora. The bugs (or what was left on them) on my windshield were starting to annoy me. I was being blinded by every little light that hit them, so I decided to pull over in a gas station and clean the windshield. I noticed a little alley behind the gas station, so checked it out: seemed like a good place to spend the night. I parked the truck and put my rolled-up sleeping bag between the two seats, so I would have a somewhat flat surface to sleep on. I was pretty tired, so I was looking forward to get some sleep before I would drive for another day.
    Sorry for the lack of good pictures. Taking pictures from a car is not the same as from a bike... Also, pulling over in a car every few minutes is a bit more difficult.

    Saturday:
    About half an hour after midnight I was woken up by bright lights and knocking on my window. "Sir, please open the door." "Huh, what? Yes, one moment..." Not going to lie, I was pretty disoriented at first. Untill I remembered where I was and got up from between the two seats (obviously the sleeping bag was completely flattened out...) a few seconds had passed. I was blinded by the lights that were shining on me through the side windows, but I looked through the wind shield and saw a cop car. I unlocked the door and opened it. There were two guys from the local Sherriffs department. "Good morning, sir (Morning?! It's 00:30!), sorry to bother you. We know you are just trying to get some sleep, but the lady at the gas station was closing up and she got nervous when she saw a guy sleeping in a truck behind the station..." "No problem, you want me to move to a different spot?" "We can't really make you, but there is a truck stop about three miles down the 14." "Ok, I will go there."
    They asked me some standard questions about who I was, what I was doing and what I did before I came here. I noticed that if you mention that you were in the military the tone of most officers changed; both cops and customs officers. They know that you are not there to make trouble and they will treat you differently.
    They wanted to do a quick background check, so I handed one of the guys my papers. One of them looked like he was 14 years old (I will call him Babyface) and the other cop was a big guy. And with big I mean that he really-likes-french-fries-with-mayonaise big.
    While Babyface was doing the background check, french fries started talking to me. He asked me what I was hauling. Quickly the conversation was about motorcycle travelling. He was super interested: wasn't Alaska cold?! You went to Baja?! You rode how many miles?!
    After a few minutes Babyface came back and handed me back my documents. "I am all good to go?" "Yes, sir." They were super friendly, but still professional and really didn't make a big deal about me sleeping there. They definately saw my can of bear spray in one of the cup holders, but they didn't even mention it. I told them that I would put on my shoes and be on my way to the truck stop.
    I turned on the 14 and started looking out for a truck stop. I turned around a few times, but couldn't find it. Then I realized that my nap was good enough to get me through another day of driving. So I drove back to the 34 and continued my way. I guess that I am back to my original plan of driving all night...
    I drove south on 112th, then all kinds of small roads: 105th, Adams, 84th and Van Dorn Street... I got on Nebraska Highway and then on the 2. That road apparently took me into Iowa. I will just have to believe the gps that I as in Iowa, because it was pitch dark. I drove for some hours and then finally saw a truck stop where I closed my eyes for an hour or two. I believe this was still in Iowa... I drove south on the 59 and then through Missouri into Kansas on the 136. Again, it was really nice and not at all boring like the stories. The small towns seem great and the countryside was lovely. It does look like Kansas is a little bit poorer than Nebraska. I got that idea, because Nebraska was a bit more tidy and there was less abandoned stuff on the side of the road. The houses also looked in better shape.
    I took a lot of roads through Kansas, because I was driving diagonally. Most roads are pretty much either north-south or east-west, so if you are going south east like me, you have to turn every few miles: 67, 73, 159, 73...
    At Horton that turns into the 159 again; Edwards Road, 116, 159, 4 for a few yards and then the 59. It was a nice drive and I got to see a lot of the country side.
    I will just list the roads that I took from here: 24, Lecompton Road, 600th, 40, 1600 Road, 250th, 251st diagonal, 550th, then west on 56, 75, 39, 59, 400, Wallace Road, 150 into Oswero and then south on the 59. At Welch the 59 turns east and after Dotyville I got on the 69. Before Afton I got on the 59 and at a town called Kansas I turned on the 412 east and drove into Arkansas. I took that road all the way to Mountain Home where Jim and Cathy live. I stayed with them a few months ago and it was great to see them again. We caught up and had some good laughs. Cathy made us an awesome dinner and it was great to sleep in a nice bed again. I was really tired and decided not to set an alarm. I would just wake up when I would wake up and then hopefully be rested enough to drive in one go to Walt's place the next day.
    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
  15. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    371
  16. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    371
    Hi guys, thank you for all your replies.

    Sunday:
    I woke up late, Cathy jokingly said that she was worried for a bit, because I woke up only at around 10 am. But I left rested and good to drive to southern Mississippi. Cathy made a great breakfast and around 11 I headed out.
    Jim and Cathy, thank you so much for hosting me again. It was great to see you and catch up!
    I drove over the 5 out of Mountain Home, took the 341 and at Salesville I turned on the 177. It was a pretty nice drive and the weather was good. I drove south on the 223, east on 56 and then south again on the 9. It started to flatten out slowly but surely. At Melbourne I took the 69 and then at Batesville I drove over the 167. The little towns started to change. The hills from the Ozarks were replaced by swamps and bayous. I remembered the weird smell of the swamps and when I got out of the car to gas up, I was surprised by the humidity.
    I took the 64 and then turned south on the 1. I needed to get across the Mississippi, so I took the 49 east and then got back on the 1 on the east side of thr river.
    I took a bunch of roads to Walt's and Denise's river house quickly, but the roads were pretty cool and took me through some typical Mississippi country side: 322, 61, 278, 61, 27
    I drove through Tylertown and it started to get a little dark, but I was close; I would arrive before real darkness. I took the 48 and turned to where Walt's river house is. I got out of the truck and was greeted with Walt's and Denise's thick southern accents. It was great to be back here!
    Dirk, who has a ride report and is a fellow Dutchman was visiting at the same time. What a coincidence!

    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/motorcycle-trip-across-the-usa.1239121/

    http://advrider.com/index.php?threa...s-of-a-dutchie-in-the-south-emoji631.1251312/

    We made a plan for the next two days and decided to relax for the rest of today. I had been on the road, so hadn't heard anything about the entire Houston situation. The bad weather was heading our way, so we planned on heading out Tuesday morning.

    image.jpeg

    Monday:
    After an amazing southern breakfast we headed to Walt's man cave in Gloster. On the way we stopped at the court house to sort out Dirk's registration. When we got to Gloster we unloaded the bike, we shot some guns (I am still terrible with a shotgun) and then Walt took us in his "Ol' Blue" to drift around in the mud a bit. This is awesome! Why don't we have this kind of stuff in Holland?
    Then I followed them in the U-Haul to Woodville where we dropped it off. When we arrived back in the river house, we got the V Strom ready to go. An oil change takes about 5 minutes, which was unbelievable to me after dealing with the KTM oil change for 6 months...
    In the evening we ate some deer and then decided to call it a day. We would ride in the rain the next day for at least a few hours, so we wanted to wake up early and get ahead of the storm as fast as possible.
    MarkVeeMarkADV and chudzikb like this.
  17. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    371
    Tuesday:
    It was raining pretty hard in the morning. Dirk and I decided to ride north together and hopefully get out of the rain within a few hours. Dirk is travelling through the south and I am on my way to Minnesota before heading east. At some point in the next few days we would go our seperate ways. We said goodbye and rode off in the rain. Walt and Denise, thank you so much for having us over. Walt, you have no idea how much I appreciate you lending me your bike to finish this trip. Hope to see you in a few months! The bike will have some more miles on it...
    We took the 48 and then a small road to the 98. This way we avoided riding through town. We took the 27 all the way to the 61. I had driven the 27 a few days earlier, but I didn't mind at all. Honestly I didn't even recognize any of it.
    It stopped raining and we hopped on the 1. A little detour on Grace Road took us through some quiet country side before getting back on the 1.
    We took some smaller roads: 454, 278, 82 and at Hamburg we got on the 425. Dirk had contacted John from adventure rider and we were welcome to stay at their place that evening, so we headed for Little Rock. We rode over a bunch of nice roads that took us through peaceful agricultural land: 8, 160, 189, 63, 189, 8, 9, 222, Grant 4 Road, 229, 46...
    Slowly but surely we got back into the more hilly area and left the swamps behind us. We took the 190, then 167 and N Springlake Road. We started to approach Little Rock and it was actually really hot out. Totally different from the weather that we had this morning. We took the 367 and 338 to Scott Hamilton road into Little Rock. Little Rock is a bigger town with a lot of history. We rode through most of the town over W 65th Street, S University Avenue, W Markham Street, N Mississippi Avenue and eventually on the 10. We had some difficulties finding John's house, but after some coaching over the phone we finally found it.
    John wasn't home yet, but his wife Deana welcomed us and showed us around. A few minutes later John arrived and all of us shared travelling stories.
    In the evening we had an amazing dinner that Deans had cooked and we met the rest of their family. We were all having a great time and we helped Dirk decide where to go for the next few days.
    image.jpeg
  18. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    371
    Wednesday:
    Dirk decided to head up north with me for another day before heading west into Oklahoma. John and Deana, thank you so much for hosting us! It was great getting to know you and your family.
    We rode out of Little Rock over the 10. At the outskirts of town we got some gas. Dirk called the lady attendant "sir". Twice! I was having a good laugh, but I don't think the lady was haha.
    We continued all the way to Perry and then got on the 9 and rode all the way to Choctaw. At Clinton we got on the 16 and at Shirley we got back on the 9. After Mountain View we got on the 14 and then the 5, which we followed all the way through Mountain Home. The ride was nice. The roads here a pretty curvy, so it was a good opportunity to get more familiar with the bike. I am still in the progress of getting used to it, but it is going better by the hour.
    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
    Guess who we went to visit in Mountain Home. Exactly: Jim and Cathy.
    I got there about half an hour before Dirk, so Jim helped me flushing out the clutch fluid and we topped it off. When we were done with that Dirk also arrived.
    We had some good talks and a lot of good laughs over an amazing dinner. I will be staying in Mountain Home for an extra night to rest from an hectic week and catch up on some things. Dirk will be heading out towards the west tomorrow. He is in for a good ride through the Ozarks.

    By the way: I am figuring out what to do with my GoPro. For now I attached it on top of my helmet. If I am happy with the results I will keep it there, otherwise I will have to think of something else. Any suggestions?
    ThatDutchGuy and chudzikb like this.
  19. 1stgenfarmboy

    1stgenfarmboy The Sherpa Man

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    6,368
    Location:
    southern tip of ILL
    My son has his on the top of his helmet, but I would need it on the side as I would rip it off with trees.

    just a thought.
  20. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    371
    Thursday:
    I was woken up with the smell of biscuits and gravy. Awesome! Dirk was going to head out towards Oklahoma through the Ozarks, but I was staying at Jim's and Cathy's place to hang out and relax. I also had some catching up to do on my ride report. Finally I wanted to rearrange the gear on my bike. I kind of threw everything on there when we were at Walt's, because we were in sort of a rush to get everything ready before Harvey would get to us.
    Today I enjoyed Cathy's delicious meals and Jim's sense of humor. I had a great time. Tomorrow I will continue riding north and hope to make it pretty far into Missouri.