North American Road Trip

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

  1. PsammonOfDoubt

    PsammonOfDoubt Adventurer

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    Tennessee
    a very enjoyable RR!
  2. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2017
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    371
    Thanks man. I appreciate it!


    Here are is my RR for the last few days

    Friday:
    I left Westlake at around 9:30 in the morning. The weather was great. Not too hot, not too cold and there was a tiny breeze. I was going to meet Walt from adventure rider in Eunice, Louisiana. Walt generously offered to let me stay at his place for a couple of days, in order to work a bit on my bike and rest from the last few weeks. The ride to Eunice was pretty nice. I took some of the smaller country roads north of the I-10, until I hit the 383, there I turned left and then right in order to get to the 165, which I followed north. Finally I turned east on the 190 all the way to Eunice. I met Walt at a Drive Inn. Big guy, southern accent, funny and very willing to help me out with all my bike and travel issues. He immediately treated me on a meal and made some phone calls for an oil filter that I needed. There is a KTM dealer in Lafayette, which is not too far out of the way from the route to Walt's house, so we rode there and picked up the oil filter. From there we continued to Walt's bunk house near Gloster. On the way there Walt treated me on a Crawfish Boudin Ball. I had never eaten nor heard of this before, but it was so good. Apparently it's a normal thing to eat in this area, but to me it was very special. It was a bit spicey compared to the food that I am used to, but it was very nice. Walt was surprised by how fast I finished it haha.
    After a short ride we arrived at Walt's bunk house. It was really cool. It's in the woods and has its own shooting range and shop. It was full with toys for boys and Walt let me shoot one of his shotguns and his AR-15. We found out that my shotgun skills are non-existant. Good thing I could redemp myself with the AR-15 right after that.
    We dropped off my camping stuff at the bunk house, so that the ride to his river house(!) would be a bit easier and not as heavy. The river house is located somewhere between Magnolia and Tylertown. It is spectacular: the Bogue Chitto river borders their property, which is a very clean river. Apparently in summer it is great to jump in in order to cool off. The river house is big and very nice, not anything like the little cabins on the water like we have in The Netherlands.
    I met Walt's wife Denise and her friend Michelle. All three were very interested in my travel plans and very helpful and more than willing to give me advice on where to go and what to do. I learned alot about southern culture in the last few days and I ate so much great food that can't even remember all of it, but let's say that it mainly consisted out of sea food and super tasty, but unhealthy things. Denise is funny a great cook, who knows exactly how to feed Dutch people.
    The first night I got to see fireflies. I knew they existed, but I had never seen them in real life, only in the movies. After that Walt made us a bonfire. He wasn't too happy with the result and promised to make up for it the next day. I went to sleep with a (very) full stomach and I was really tired of the last two weeks, so within minutes I fell asleep.
    Saturday:
    Today Walt and I went to collect some fire wood from a tree that fell down during the last storm. Beech wood is apparently very suitable to make good fires, so we got quite alot of it. In the afternoon we cooked some crawfish, deer, bass and squash. I ate so much that I could barely move... But there are no regrets.
    In the evening Walt lived up to his promise about the bonfire. It turned out really well and the four of us had some drinks snd good talks.
    I am kind of ashamed, but just before going to bed I had this big piece of the lemon pie that Denise made. It was great and it definately shortened my life expectancy by a few weeks, but again: no regrets...
    Sunday:
    Like yesterday we had some biscuits with jelly for breakfast. Walt generously offered me his GPS to use during my trip, so I had to put in all my addresses. I misplaced my older one (that happens all the time), so it took a while until I found it and was able to transfer the saved addresses. Ofcourse it was in the most obvious place of all: my tank bag. The new GPS is very nice and it has a big screen. It will definately be a big help on this trip.
    This afternoon I am riding to c17load from adventure rider. He also lives in southern Mississppi, very close to New Orleans and I am looking forward to meeting him.

    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
  3. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

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  4. BELSTAFF

    BELSTAFF ADV NOMAD

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    Location:
    Arizona--Semper Vestibulum
    BTW, now that you're in Louisiana, did anyone happen to say anything about serial killers ?
  5. DWalt

    DWalt **** The Beans....

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    At the Dew Drop Inn.
    I don't know about cereal, but Ben can kill some biscuits!!
  6. dravnx

    dravnx Been here awhile

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    santa rosa, ca
    Ben, Glad you got to experience fire flies. It's one of Laurie's favorite things in the whole world.
  7. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

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    Hi guys,

    Thank you for your replies.
    Here is my ride report for the last few days.

    Sunday:
    The ride from Walt's place to Tim was amazing. I started riding on some very nice country roads, until I got on the 27 which turned into the 25 in Louisiana. I took a left on the 438 and a right on the 424, which eventually turns into the 62. On the 10 I turned left all the way to Bogalusa. Out of there was a smaller road which I followed: the 26. Then I took the 43 all the way until I had to turn on a small country road. The weather was perfect. As long as I kept riding, I didn't get too hot in my riding gear. When I was almost there I was checking the map on the side of the road, when a car pulled over. In the car were Tim's wife, Heidi and his daughter, Jessica. I didn't know this yet. They asked me what I was looking for. When I told them the street name and house number that I was looking for, they said that I was looking for them. They drove the car back to their house with me following on my motorcycle. A couple of minutes after we arrived both Tim and his son Drew arrived as well. We almost immediately went fishing in a nice pond, closeby. When the all the fish collectively decided not to bite, we gave up and Tim asked if I wanted to go shooting. Ofcourse the answer to that was yes. Tim's neighbour, Mr. Al, took to a suitable place and we shot a couple of rifles and handguns.
    In the evening Tim grilled some very nice pork and vegtables and I was introduced to this thing called s'mores and two different ways of making them.
    Monday:
    On the way to his work Tim dropped me off at the edge of the French Quarter in New Orleans. I spent most of the day there: eating some Cajun food, looking at the river, walking around and so on. I could see why some people love this city, but for me this was not really the case. In general I am not a big city person, but this was something of a whole different level. I found it kind of disgusting there. It was a place that I definately had to see, because it is so unique, but I wouldn't go out of my way to see it again. I had a good time though.
    When Tim came to pick me up in the afternoon he took me to see some alligators. For me it was really special to see a dangerous animal in the wild, especially from so closeby. We spotted a few small ones lurking in the water.
    When we arrived back at the house, Heidi had made a great dinner.
    I really enjoyed my time with Tim and his family. They are all very friendly people and great hosts. Thank you so much for your hospitality and I hope to see you again.
    Tuesday:
    I started riding towards Walt's bunk house at sun rise. The ride was amazing: great weather, no traffic and small country roads. With the new GPS it was easy to find and I arrived pretty early. Walt was there already, getting his boat ready for a fishing trip.
    For most of the day we worked on the bike. Never knew that changing the oil on a KTM would be so complicated. We had to take half the bike apart. The majority of the time was trying to figure out which bolt goes where and finally after several hours, we could continue with changing the braking pads, which only took a few minutes. Also Walt installed this nice USB dash plug for me. This way I won't have to use two adaptors and all kinds of extensions in order to charge my phone.
    Wednesday:
    In the early morning Walt and I got ready to head out to the river house. The final arrangements didn't take long, so soon we were on our way to the river. Walt was leading with his truck (he was also towing the trailer with the fishing boat). After eating a nutricious breakfast (donuts) at the river house, we headed towards Venice, Louisiana. Denise and Walt were in the truck and I was on the motorcycle. Walt has a little cabin just south of Venice and it's right on the water. On the way there we stopped at a restaurant where we ate some amazing sea food: oysters, soft shell crabs, fish and much more. The food was really, really good. The problem was that we had more than 70 miles left to go and I was so stuffed that I got very tired on the bike. Good to know for the next time: if I eat alot I won't go riding right after that.
    When we arrived at the marina where we would let the boat into the water, it was around 4pm, so we still had a couple of hours of daylight left to do some fishing. Denise drove the truck to the cabin and Walt and I (or actually Walt, because I was just looking out of the window) took the boat there as well. After sorting out the equipment we went fishing at a very nice spot. It didn't take long before I found out that fishing here is completely different than in Holland. It's definately not a patience game like there.
    In the evening we ate sea food at the marina and called it a day. The next day would be a long one.
    Thursday:
    We woke up in the morning to find the fishing boat stuck in the mud. The tide was low, but with the help of a couple of guys who work next to the cabin, we were able to pull the boat back into the water. At around 8:30 we were well on our way to some nice spots.
    Although the fish didn't really want to bite (except for like a thousand cat fish for some reason), the entire day was really nice. The weather was great and we had a good time on the boat. We went all the way to the gulf of Mexico. It is really beautiful in that area. We spotted an alligator, for me exotic birds and at the end of the day we even got to see some dolphins. When it started to get dark, we decided to go back to the marina. There Walt and Denise taught me how to eat crawfish and when we arrived back at the cabin we said our goodbyes. Walt and Denise and camping on the boat somewhere on the marsh, because they didn't want the same muddy surprise tomorrow as they had today. I am sleeping in the cabin and tomorrow morning I will head out on my motorcycle again.
    Walt and Denise, thank you so much for the last couple of days. I highly appreciate all your help and generosity. I had a great time and I really hope to see you again. I feel you sort of adopted me haha

    As you might have noticed, I haven't done much riding the last few days. On friday however, I will start the real deal. I will start from the cabin next to Venice , Louisiana and I will follow my planned route as much as I can. Over the next few days I will also post pictures from the past week.
    Also I got my phone and internet (sort of) figured out.
    My number is +972-58-455-5151. Preferably whatsapp.

    Ben
    i4bikes, rubline and KryzHatch like this.
  8. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

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    20170320_182710.jpg 20170321_121531.jpg 20170319_180923.jpg 20170321_114344.jpg As promised some pictures from the last few days.
  9. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

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  10. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

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  11. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

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    Yesterday I left Venice at around 8:30 in the morning. I slept well and long, so I was full of energy and ready for a long time of riding, although it was hard to say goodbye to all the comforts from the previous days. I took the 23 north and then the 90 to Raceland. The scenary wasn't too interesting, mainly industrial and agricultural. From there I took a small country road to the 24 to Gray. I saw some swamp sort of landscape and while riding I was wondering if there were any alligators in there. My questions would soon be answered when a pretty big alligator decided to run across the road not too far in front of me. I had to break pretty hard and at first I didn't understand what it was, because it was so high on its legs and running much faster than I thought an alligator could run. Only when it had crossed already and disappeared into the tall grass I realised what I had seen. That was pretty cool!
    I took the 182 to Patterson, which turns into the 87 later. The winds were pretty strong here, so the ride to New Iberia wansn't too fun. There were some beautiful houses there though. Some looked alot like those old plantation houses.
    For some reason I had marked St. Martinsville as an interesting place to visit. I might have missed the interesting part, but the area I rode through was a serious ghetto and I was anxious to get out continue as soon as possible. I took the 347 to Cecilia and then the 31 to Opelousas. Opelousas is a nice town with short streets and little beautiful houses. The riding there is pretty nice and easy.
    From the 104 I continued on the 10 to Oakdale. It was getting pretty late, so I quickly continued to this campground that I found in Kisatchie National Forest. A few miles after turning on the 112 I arrived at around 17:30 at the Ahtus Melder campground. First thing I did was set up my tent and getting everything ready to be able to go to sleep. When I saw I had a bit more sunlight left, I decided to take care of the bike: lubricated the chain, checked the air pressure and pumped up the tires, checked the oil and how the new break pads were holding up. After this there was still a little time left until dark, so I cooked myself a hot meal with rise and chicken. I was surprised by how well it turned out and satisfied I closed my eyes and fell asleep.
    After midnight I was woken up by strong winds, thunder, lightning and rain. Walt had warned me about the weather, but I never thought it would be this bad. Fortunately, when I woke up again at 7:00 am, the storm was over and I was able to break down my camp and load everything onto the bike without any problems.
    Today I did a nice loop through the Kisatchie National Forest and at the end of the day I would go to Jeff's place in Port Allen. I took the 112, turned right on the 121, left on the 28, right on the 118 and right again on the 8 to Flatwoods. I arrived in Natchitoches by taking the 119. Natchitoches is a very nice town. I liked how it looked, I think it is a mix between a historic and a college town. Really cool.
    I took the 6 to the west and then the 117 south to Kurtwood, the 465 past Sieper and then the 112 south all the way to Elizabeth. The 10 and then the 104 to Opelousas. Finally I turned on the 190 to Port Allen. The entire day there were dark grey clouds and I was afraid I was going to get soaked, but fortunately I only got a few drops of rain. Obviously when I arrived at Port Allen the sun started shining...
    There I met Jeff from tent space and his family. They are very nice and hospitable people. I hung all my wet gear to dry in the garage and then Jeff took me for a little tour around the campus in Baton Rouge. It was a really cool place and on the way back to the house we drove through a very nice neighbourhood with beautiful houses.
    Thank you so much for your hospitality, I had a great time and the food was great!

    Tomorrow I am going to head to Natchez and start part of the Natchez Trace Parkway and meet with King from tent space in Vicksburg. I am looking forward to it!
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  12. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

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  13. Deckyon

    Deckyon The Raven

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    Location:
    Louisville, KY - USA
    Very cool. It is always nice to see one's own country from a visitor's point of view.
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  14. Maddevill

    Maddevill Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2014
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    26
    Hi Ben, really enjoying your trip report. I know you have family in San Jose, but , on your way back,if you need a place to stay I live in Hayward. I'd be honored to take you on a nice day ride too.

    Steve
  15. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

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    371
    Hi guys,

    Thank you for your replies.
    And thank you, Steve for your generous offer. I will contact you when I am in the area.
  16. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2017
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    371
    Sunday:
    I left Port Allen at around 7:30 am, said goodbye to Jeff and the first thing I did, was cross the river into Baton Rouge. It was really foggy, but the temperture was very nice. I picked up highway 61 through St. Francisville, which is a nice little town. I continued over the same road and slowly but surely the weather started to improve. It started with the clouds letting through a bit more sun and a few hours later there would be only a few small clouds left in the, for the rest, blue sky.
    When I arrived in Natchez, I took a little tour through the historic part and then rode to Silver St, which is on the river. There I took a little break and ate my breakfast. Natchez looked like a very nice town with a rich history. From Natchez I picked up the Trace.
    image.jpeg
    It is beautiful. Almost no other traffic, good tarmac, little creeks every few miles, nice trees, pretty green grass... Also by now the weather was really nice. I got really lucky. I turned north on the 27 for a little detour: 61, 1, 465 (gravel for a large portion). On the 61 I turned south again to Vicksburg, where I met King and Sandy from adventure rider. They are nice and hospitable people who were really helpful and gave me lots of good travel advice. When they came to meet me, they were together on a Honda Gold Wing and I was kind of jealous of their comfort.
    I followed them to their home: we crossed the river to the west and picked up the 80 from there. We turned on the 65 all the way to Lake Providence. This place is really cool. King and Sandy live right on the lake and the view is stunning.
    In the evening King took me on a boat ride on the lake with some of his family. It was really nice, because we picked up the food by boat from a restaurant and ate it on the lake on way back to the house. I had Cypress Wings and Alligator bites, both very different, but very good. Even after a month in this country, I still get to eat new things every day. It is true what they say: alligator does taste like chicken!
    20170326_183419.jpg
    Thank you so much for all your help, King and Sandy. I highly appreciate you hosting me.
    Monday:
    When I woke up King checked the weather forecast for me. It looked like I would be ok, maybe I would get a few drops, but that was fine by me. So at around 8 in the morning I was on my way to southern Tennessee, where Bobby from adventure rider lives. I rode north on the western bank of the Mississippi river on the 65 into Arkansas and crossed the river at Greenville. The bridge there is very neat. From there I pick the 278 north to Clarksdale. Obviously I stopped at the crossroads of 62/49 where, according to the legend, Robert Johnson made the deal with the devil.
    image.jpeg
    From there I continued over the 278 to the east and at Tupelo (Elvis' birthplace) I picked up the Natchez Trace again to the north. When I passed highway 4 it suddenly started raining heavily. I had to put my GPS in my tank bag, because it isn't waterproof. I would take a look every few turns and remember what roads to take. There was lightning every few seconds, I had never seen a storm like this in my life. In the meantime I had crossed into Alabama and a while later I also crossed into Tennessee.
    image.png
    It took me a while to find Bobby's house, which is just a few miles off the Trace. It is a very rural, but beautiful area. I didn't quite get to enjoy the nice view and roads for the last part of the ride so much because of the weather, but fortunately (or unfortunatrly if you will) it stopped storming a couple of minutes after I arrived.
    Bobby is a very nice guy, very helpful and he has a very nice family. On request he showed me a small part of his gun collection and almost immediately after that he asked me if I wanted to take a ride to Florence, which is the biggest town nearby and just over the border with Alabama. He took me to 3614 Jackson Highway where Lynard Skynard, Cher and The Stones have recorded! Very cool! After that Bobby took me to a big hydroelectric dam on the Tennessee river. I had never seen anything like it, it was very spectacular.
    Shortly after we got back to the house, it started raining again and Bobby told me to come take a look outside. It was a huge storm: thunder and lightning every second and apparently that is normal in the south! I had a great southern country style dinner with Bobby's family and shortly after I gave in to my fatigue and went to sleep.
    Tuesday:
    I kind of overslept today. I woke up at 8 am, but I had slept very well. After breakfast Bobby joined me for a ride through some nice country roads and asked me if I wanted to tell about my travels at the local middle school. I am not one to go out of my way to do this sort of thing, but I was more than willing to tell the kids a bit about my home country and my riding experiences so far.
    After this I said goodbye to Bobby and was on my way to Nashville.
    Bobby, thank you so much for hosting me. I highly appreciate it. I had a great time and learned so much about American and southern culture. Please send your family my regards.
    I took the 13 to Flat Woods and then the 48 to Hohenwald. From there I wanted to take the 20 back to the Natchez Trace, but there was a detour that took me over Big Swan Creek Road and the 412 to a more northern part of the Trace. It was a nice detour with some nice scenary. Also the Natchez Trace got nicer and nicer the more north I got on it. The flowers in the trees were blooming and the roads were more curvy.
    I followed the Trace all the way to Nashville. Although I am not a city person, I really liked what I had seen jn this city. There are lots of trees and little parks. Also the architecture was nice, it didn't have the look of a huge city. At the Vanderbilt campus I rode around a bit and had a sandwich at a cafe. From there I took the 100 to where Tony from adventure rider lives.
    I had no problems finding Tony's house and he lives in a nice house with a big yard. Tony is a friendly and hospitable gentleman. We had a good talk today over a great supper that his wife had cooked. I want to thank you in advance for hosting me before I leave tomorrow morning. I really appreciate it.
    Tonight I will have to order new tires. I will get some more road oriented ones, because I don't expect to do alot of dirt until I get to Baja. I was thinking of the TKC-70 tires. All advice is welcome.
    Tomorrow I will do some touring in southern Kentucky and then head to Glasgow, Kentucky where Luke from adventure rider lives. I am looking forward to it
  17. DWalt

    DWalt **** The Beans....

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
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    3,918
    Location:
    At the Dew Drop Inn.
    Hey Ben!!
    Looks like you are having a blast
    We are still on the boat. We caught 50 big trout this morning! image.jpg
    KLRalph likes this.
  18. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

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    Very nice, Walt!!! You started catching those rascal the moment I left, didn't you? Haha
    Please send Denise my regards.
  19. Sanguis

    Sanguis Been here awhile

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    Feb 5, 2017
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    371
  20. qman8

    qman8 15 GSA / 16 WR250R

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
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    1,551
    Location:
    ohio
    Great trip so far! If you get to eastern Ohio, look me up! Might have a overnight spot for you!