RTW the Jamie Z Way: Winter Hiatus

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Jamie Z, Nov 29, 2020.

  1. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Around Denver
    I guess this started back in July in Sturgis before the ADV Rally when I met Bryan and John at breakfast.

    20210715_105056~2.jpg

    At that time I was still holding out hope that the Canadian border would be opening soon and I could go north to the Arctic as I’ve wanted to for so long. We all agreed that it was unlikely that the border would open.

    I think it was John who said, “You know, it’s not too hard to find a job nowadays.” And he brought up the idea of stopping somewhere to work over the winter and starting out again next year. Bryan agreed.

    I listened, but brushed off the idea of going back to work mid-trip. I’m fairly goal oriented, and I left home with the goal to ride around the world.

    But my goal also included Alaska and the Arctic. It’s a part of the world I’ve never seen, though I’ve wanted to for decades.

    Over the next few weeks I spent countless miles thinking it over in my head, sometimes talking aloud to myself in my helmet.

    It makes sense.

    Borders in South America are still restricted. I don’t know the situation in Central America very well. We’ve been seeing rising case numbers for covid, and most of the world is still struggling to get access to vaccines. I misunderestimated how long the pandemic would last when I got on the road in December.

    Continuing my trip right now makes seeing Alaska next year logistically problematic. Who knows where I’d be in the summer?

    If I stop for the winter, I can restart in the spring the way I intended. I hope to take a paddling trip with a friend in Ontario. I want to go to the Arctic Ocean. I want to see the Northern Lights. I’m going to paddle out to see glaciers and experience the midnight sun.

    I’ll be able to refill my savings account, at least partially and I’ll get a chance to reevaluate my gear, replacing items that didn’t work out like I expected, or going through my gear list to remove things I didn’t really need or add items which I could have used.

    And most importantly, maybe this pandemic will have subsided by next year, at least enough to make it fun to travel again.

    So right now my plan is to stop for about six months, find a place to stay, get a job. I still have a few things in Denver, and hopefully I can get my old job back. I’ll have to search for a short-term furnished apartment, with access to a garage. I’m not locked into Denver, so if you know of a good opportunity somewhere, let me know through a private message.

    In the meantime I’d like to do a series of mid-trip gear reviews in this thread, mods willing. And when the time comes I’ll continue with my trip, this report, and life on the road.
    roadcapDen, levain, AngusMcL and 61 others like this.
  2. borderlinebob

    borderlinebob Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Oddometer:
    651
    Location:
    CANADA-100 ft N of International Falls, MN
    I guess it’s time to disclose a secret.
    I’m the “unknown mod” and you have permission. :hide
    krax, newcastlebob and Jamie Z like this.
  3. ozmoses

    ozmoses persona non grata

    Joined:
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    Bear with me-

    I was recently watching an interview with the cast of the Sopranos on its 20th anniversary.

    To a one, they all felt it was the best working experience they'd ever had; some knew it was a Golden Moment at the time, others realized it in retrospect.

    They all seemed sad that the experience was over but glad that it had happened.

    All of which got me to thinking about human nature and perceptions.

    What if the Sopranos cast, along with everyone, stopped viewing our lives as a series of events which begin and end and, instead, viewed life as a continuum ?

    Which dovetails with where you are at present.

    I'd say your trip is not even on pause at the moment; further, that it actually began longer ago than last December.

    This, right here and now, is a part of the continuum.

    You aren't stopping now, nor will you be restarting later.

    This is the trip.


    FWIW
  4. BarryB

    BarryB Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    Interesting way to look at it. I like it.
  5. Themastermike

    Themastermike Think you caught me in a coma Supporter

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    Gear review and potentially expenditure review?

    Wondering how nine months on the road worked with the budget you had in mind.
    sieg, Animo, SilverAdvRdr and 2 others like this.
  6. KickerBTC

    KickerBTC n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2021
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    colorado
    Hi, I'm new to this site and adventure riding. I have a garage/storage unit (with electricity) in downtown Denver you can use if you'd like. I pay 200/mo, you can just pay me what you can if you're strapped on cash or trade me some knowledge on working on my own bike.
    bjor1978, levain, RozzyCat and 9 others like this.
  7. FL_Riceburner

    FL_Riceburner n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2016
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    7
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    St Augustine
    Jamie,
    I have enjoyed your writing, photos and travel that you have shared. What kind of job are you seeking?
  8. Cafeguzzi

    Cafeguzzi Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    222
    Location:
    frisco
    central america is a game of uncertainty.
    i planned riding down to nicaragua early december for surfing. i checked all the official websites, forums, etc..
    theoratically it's possible although it's a logistical challenge with all the required timed covid-19 tests. but everything could change in an instant.
    i don't feel like being trapped in guatemala or honduras, most likely i postpone the riding adventure and fly down.
    Jamie Z likes this.
  9. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    11,395
    Location:
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    That's a good hypothesis. I've had some border people ask me unusual questions in the past, like the other US official a while back who questioned why I was traveling from Memphis to Minnesota by way of Ontario.

    It's why I stopped!

    Radiation detectors... hmmm.

    I plan to continue this ride report. I will consider it the same ride. Unless someone tells me it's not allowed.

    Are you in Golden?

    In retrospect, I should have known that restrictions would continue. There's no good treatment, even now. Vaccine rates, excepting a handful of wealthy countries, is really low. And the virus continues to evolve. It's just so outside our daily routine that it's hard to understand. I suppose that's why there are so many people resistant to the vaccine or masks, because it's hard to understand. It's why I think so many people don't believe Lee Oswald shot and killed President Kennedy; it's so hard to imagine that one insignificant man can change history.

    What the #@$% am I going to do? Good question...

    It's this one: https://www.selfrelianceoutfitters.com/collections/stoves

    Bush_Pot_Stove_with_BP_Stacked_Thumb_1024x1024.jpg

    I've never used a woodburning camp stove, but for the price, I think I might give it a shot. RTWPaul convinced me to leave my cook kit behind. Despite all the time, effort, and money I spent to make it as small and versatile as possible, it was still too big. I can find kindling almost anywhere, so maybe I can cook with it, too.

    I should have been more specific. For me, it's the rear that feels loose. I've had the rear tire slide out to the side in wet, off-pavement conditions. Nothing dangerous or scary, but I've felt it. Perhaps when I get confident enough to gas it a little and drift the bike, maybe then I'll talk about how easy they are to control. :lol3

    They do seem to be long-lasting, and that may be my number one criteria.

    I did quite a bit of research into typical climate in the places I planned to go. Unfortunately, this is the only picture I have:

    20201113_234515~2.jpg

    The Post-It notes on my map tell the best time to travel in each particular location based on the data from https://weatherspark.com/ In time, my map had about 30 or 40 tags on it all around the western hemisphere, though I never got a picture. My aim was/is to maximize my weather odds, but it's not always possible. The earth has oceans and currents and mountains and deserts. It's not a linear progression from the equator to the poles.

    I feel like I should explain the photo. This was taken about a month before my departure. I was chatting with a friend who was moving to Mexico and I was asking him about stopping by to visit. He was trying to explain to me where in Mexico the little town was located. So I sent him this picture with the caption, "You're talking to me like I don't have a world map duct-taped to my wall."

    No family issues. No great opportunities. Just life.

    I had a strange incident a couple weeks back, unrelated to anything else, so I thought I'd bring it up now. It was while I stayed a couple of days in Dawson Creek. One night, after I went to bed, around 12:30am, my phone rang. It woke me up and I looked at the screen. It showed the call coming from "Jackie," a woman I dated a long time ago, who I haven't had any contact with in more than ten years. Given my state of sleep and my confusion about the origin of the call, I let it ring out. Then my phone rang again. Same number. I ignored it again and went back to sleep. My phone rang a third time some fifteen minutes later and I didn't answer. I had to double-check in the morning that the calls actually happened and that the number was actually from this old flame. I can't imagine why she'd try to contact me now.

    Later that afternoon, I got a text message from an unknown number, one with a Colorado area code. "Do you remember me?" The number didn't come from Jackie, but I immediately thought that it must be related. I responded that I didn't know who it was. Followed by a few more texts from the same number, though I was never able to identify the sender. I haven't heard anything since.

    I don't know if any of that is related, but it sure felt like someone trying to mess with me.

    I got hooked on Wine Gums and Mars bars. We have Mars bars here, but I didn't realize how hard they are to find in the US.

    For what it's worth, I almost never have felt drained. There are sometimes when I feel aimless... that is, I don't know what to do or where to go next. Sometimes covid restrictions were a bummer.

    You're right that it's been a terrible time to travel, but given my options last year, I think I made the best choice.

    I appreciate that. I've tried to be honest and transparent on this ride, and I plan to continue to do so. One thing that surprises me is the occasional oddball negativity I've gotten. "You missed the good stuff." "Why did you take that road?" et al. I am very open to suggestions--that's half the purpose of keeping up real-time--and I try to be as patient as I can with criticism. I can always learn new things. Fortunately the mods have been very good about weeding out the whiners, and I can (almost) always ignore the naysayers and move on with my life.
    Thanks. Truth is, that's how I've always viewed it. People say it's "vacation" or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But I've always just saw it as my life.

    But this report is on advrider. This is about motorcycle trips. And they should have a beginning and end. (Read the rules!) So that's how I've presented it.

    Gear reviews, while time-consuming, should be pretty easy and straight-forward.

    Can't say the same about budget. I really didn't keep track. I could take a couple of wild guesses.

    Oh wow, awesome.

    I'm not sure what I'll be looking for. Ideally I'd find a small, furnished apartment with an attached garage which allows a six-month lease. But that won't happen, so I'm going to figure out my best option. As long as I can get a job, money won't be a problem, and I'll only need enough space for my bike, and an occasional day to work on it.
    Cloud-9, falcofred, gpfan and 18 others like this.
  10. Kiwi Canuck

    Kiwi Canuck Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    168
    Location:
    Langley, BC
    Love that picture of you with the map and the story behind it, brilliant.

    David.
    liv2day and Jamie Z like this.
  11. KickerBTC

    KickerBTC n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2021
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    3
    Location:
    colorado
    Just let me know, feel free to send me a PM and I'll give you my contact info. I'm not sure what kind of wage you're looking for, but I could probably help you get a job at a pawn shop I used to work at. The pay was crap, but it was of the most formative jobs I've ever had and really enjoyed it and learned a little bit about a lot of things. It's a great place to get first dibs on anything at a very nice discount and make some extra money reselling things you buy there (just don't make it obvious). I work a boring office job now for double the pay doing half the work, but still miss working at the pawn shop.
    SixryMile, liv2day and fasttortoise like this.
  12. joefromsf

    joefromsf Dark Happens Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
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    I can see a new thread by Jaimie, "The Pawnshop Chronicles". :clap

    That should hold us over for his trip report pause.
  13. KickerBTC

    KickerBTC n00b

    Joined:
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    3
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    colorado
    Hahaha it's a very interesting place to work and fun to troll people trying to pull a scam. I have so many good stories, such as the crackhead that brought in a box of snow to sell (with a great sales pitch); "it's a garnish for shrimps".
    newcastlebob, 1ggy and joefromsf like this.
  14. CuberBob

    CuberBob Lurker/roamer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    176
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    Obligatory Grateful Dead reference here: What a long strange trip it has been!
  15. Earache

    Earache Hola!

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Oddometer:
    530
    Location:
    Black Hawk, Colorado
    I got your beers and dinner if you're gonna be near the Hawk or Golden. Lemme know.
    Bedroom for you if ya need to stay over night due to being over served.
    Jamie Z likes this.
  16. HandCanonShootr

    HandCanonShootr Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    635
    Location:
    So. California
    Great write-up Jamie, loved every part, esp your great commentary. The E07+/E10(front) combo works really well on my CBX, on my 3rd rear, 2nd front. I use the non-Dakar versions. That back is still a 50/50 tire, and the extra wheel spin off road to be expected. If I'll be off pavement for more then a few hours, then I'm aired down to 25psi they are much better. Front E10 as well, planted in turns. (this taking into acct, she is a street-bike at heart, even if Rally-Raid did It's best) But the mileage of the E07 front also a good thing for continental travel.

    Also those big radiation detectors are for Semi Trailers, for spotting Nukes coming in. the SanPedro (CA) port has them, placed so all containers coming out of port drives past.

    Look me up if you want to hiatus in So CA, or if you ever pass thru...
    Mike B
    liv2day, Jamie Z and Mofrid like this.
  17. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,794
    Location:
    Eastern Washington, USA
    You can find kindling almost anywhere but kindling that is dry enough to light can be elusive at times.
    gpfan and Klinc207 like this.
  18. fasttortoise

    fasttortoise Smartest Idiot Here

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2013
    Oddometer:
    554
    My $.02… it was a good call to hit the road when you did and a good call to stop for now. I’d call it a tactical retreat.

    Appreciate the mods for letting this thread continue unbroken (within the rules). It’s obviously important to Jamie and I think he’s earned that. I’m confident he’ll be back to finish this RTW and entertain us keyboard warriors.
  19. red bud

    red bud alky w/motorcycle problem Supporter

    Joined:
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    jaw ja




    :stupid
    ZGirl likes this.
  20. wetwider

    wetwider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
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    191
    Location:
    northwest
    Thanks for that weather here & there app, Jamie - way cool tool!