[Solo Female] Lost my job due to covid - only one thing to do: 48 state USA motocamping trip!!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Spindr, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. Spindr

    Spindr Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2020
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    28
    Location:
    Yellowstone
    Hi inmates! I discovered this site only days ago - it's so good to find my fellow community! The story: I had a rear tire blow out in Yellowstone with no motorcycle support for 100 miles. I was in a proverbial pickle and my brother suggested I post on this website (never heard of it!). Asylum angel @jonz reached out and offered to help. Once my new tire was delivered, he scooped up my rig and we got to work in his garage!! Thanks to him I am back on the road!

    Here is the legend himself:

    IMG_20200724_152734.jpg


    In my original SOS thread, I was told about this epic rides forum so I thought, heck - maybe you lot are interested in what I'm up to?? Here goes:

    I was laid off my job in San Francisco in May due to corona, and after processing the loss of the future I thought I had, I decided to use this as an opportunity to do something I've wanted to do my whole life...visit all 48 mainland states in USA. Why not up the ante and motocamp the whole way? If you're doing this, go all in, I told myself. I had done a 3 week motocamping trip across Mongolia with my brother the year before, which equipped me with the mental resilience and confidence to feel like this wasn't an entirely wacky plan.

    Below is my very vague route, including current location and intentional direction. I learnt quickly not to bother planning too much, as flexibility and adaptability are two main ingredients to a happy moto trip. Expectations are a wiley companion, best left as broad & open as possible.

    Map dotted line.png


    After a lot of contemplation I decided to take my 1996 Suzuki Savage. She was my daily commuter in SF and had 33,000 miles on the clock already so I wasnt sure how reliable she would be. But she's only cost me $1600 so I figured if worst came to worst, I could ditch her if she caused me problem and buy a new rig while on the road. So far though, she has been incredible!!

    Here she is below (fully loaded) in Glacier National Park (Going-to-the-sun Road is my favourite road yet!)

    115708282_1192179504453835_1717653338085600209_n.jpg

    Off I set on June 11 with the goal to visit every contiguous state in the USA before winter set in. In a way, I'm also trying to figure out which state I want to call home next. But the main goal for me is to see what life as an American is like in different states - I immigrated here 3 years ago (I'm a New Zealander) and had only experienced life in California. I'm creating a mini-series about each state along the way, which is giving me a creative outlet and project to work on while I move. I use my go pro and drone to capture footage, and interview people at gas stations along the way.

    It is an awkward time to be travelling, I admit. I am keeping to myself mostly, and adhering to all local health advice (wearing a mask, sanitizing, wearing gloves when pumping gas), camping as much as I can and mostly avoiding big cities. As you will see from my map, I haven't made it that far in the last 6 weeks (7 states in 45 days eek, slooooow), because I am so enamoured by all the places I go. Currently, the east and south are not looking too hot corona-wise, so I'm not in a hurry to get there. I am of course ok with not going to a state if its too risky.

    Do I feel safe? Yes. I have a rule to either camp around a lot of other campers, or no one at all. I carry bear spray, and an air horn. I've found people to be incredibly kind, warm, welcoming and curious.

    Have I had any dodgy moments? There are a few leery people, but none more than my regular life in SF.

    Bike issues? Other than my rear tire blow out in Yellowstone I've been golden. The riding community is truly phenomenal, people are always willing to help out other riders on the road. I carry basic tools with me and do regular oil changes/maintenance, but my biggest hurdle has been finding mechanics on the road who can help me with the bigger jobs that I don't have the tools/skills to do myself. The large majority only work on Harleys, and the others seem to be booked out for months. They tell me that corona has seen a ton of people buy bikes and therefore need help with them!

    My can't live without items:
    1. My set of Butler motorcycle maps (no they didnt pay me to say that!!) - I'm sure most US based riders know about these, but they highlight the most scenic and best motorcycle roads in each state - google maps can't help me with that! They're also waterproof and tear proof.

    2. My inverter. I have a cigarette lighter on my handlebars that I can plug the inverter into, which allows to charge one wall input & two usb inputs at the same time.

    3. I love my Garmin In Reach sat phone (I used this to text for help when I blew out in Yellowstone and had no service). My family can also always see my GPS location no matter where I am - peace of mind for us both.

    4. I also keep my emergency information taped to the back of my helmet. If anything were to happen to me, people can easily find out my emergency contacts, medical information and insurance details.

    If anyone is interested, here is my packing list: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Yn2QTm4fvh6q_CmpUNrP4FKcjihcZnMd-ns0eAgMq2U/edit?usp=sharing

    This post is in not intended to be about me promoting myself. My hope is to inspire other people who are contemplating doing a trip like this - especially other solo female riders. If you wish to follow along my details are as follows:

    Instagram: @ kiwicruisette

    And my youtube is: LunchCutterProductions. On here I have motocamping tips + my mini-series

    Huge shout out to this community, as I said before I am so glad to have found you all!! Here are some of my fav motocamping pics so far:

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    South Beach Campground looking at the Pacific Ocean in West Washington State ($15 a night)


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    Dispersed (free) camping in Diamond Mountain range, Nevada


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    Finding the perfect riverside camping spot (free!) in Wyoming, outside of Yellowstone


    115969493_378960626405689_8150642372491751243_n.jpg

    Camping outside of Area 51, Rachel, Nevada ($5 campsite)


    115994775_334720161023729_7303620268853614564_n.jpg
    Camp Mazama, outside Crater Lake, Oregon

    I'll wrap this up with a story about one of the serendipitous things that seem to happen when you're solo travelling:

    I was fuelling up at a gas station outside of Yellowstone when I spotted a fellow motocamper, also at the gas station. Naturally we got chatting - comparing setups, and giving each other camp site recommendations. We then wished each other well, and went our separate ways, only to get stuck in road works together 10 mins later! We decided we'd roll through Yellowstone as a team, along the way managing to get a bison stuck between us hahaha

    115929196_719656628605837_7439261016611148698_n.jpg

    Anyway, we start chatting about drones and it turns out we have the EXACT same drone. Why is this exciting you ask? Well, its next to impossible to get good footage of oneself when riding alone...of course you can do active track, but that gives you precisely two angles, and the drone frequently loses you if you move faster than 15mph. And you cant just trust any old joe blogs to man your drone, so your options are limited.

    We swapped SD cards and were able to capture once in a lifetime footage of each other driving Beartooth Pass, which is rated the #1 road in America by some publications (lots of stunning hairpin turns and switchbacks - climbing 5000 feet through alpine lakes, glaciers and wildflowers..phwoar!) I did a little 30 second edit of that if anyone needs convincing its a must do bucket list road:



    I'll keep this thread updated if people are interested, not sure if that is how this forum works? Thanks for listening to my ted talk :-)
    #1
  2. jkam

    jkam Nomadic Man

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    Welcome to the asylum.
    You are off to an excellent start.
    #2
  3. CanadianRocky

    CanadianRocky No Bucket List... a Bucket full of Lists

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    Good for you... looks like it will be one hell of an Adventure... subscribed.
    #3
  4. Kemary

    Kemary Adventurer

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    In! Keep it up.
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  5. kiwiroyalenfield

    kiwiroyalenfield n00b

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    Keep it up for us kiwis on the sight!
    #5
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  6. BadgerND

    BadgerND Adventurer

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    I'm in.
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  7. Bigguy136

    Bigguy136 Been here awhile

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    I love Bear Tooth Pass and agree it is a must. Some great remote camping along Chief Joseph highway.
    I live in Big Lake, MN (northwest of the Twin Cities) if you need a place.
    Enjoy the ride. So much to see.
    #7
  8. Spindr

    Spindr Adventurer

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    Appreciate that, thank you!!
    #8
  9. Spindr

    Spindr Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2020
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    Ah Kia Ora Cuz!
    #9
  10. JLA49

    JLA49 Adventurer Supporter

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    I'm in, thanks for bringing us along. Ride safe.
    #10
  11. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    Should be an epic adventure. When coming through Alabama you may want to swing up through Birmingham and visit the Barber motorcycle museum.https://www.barbermuseum.org/ Large city, though, and off your route, but well worth it.
    #11
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  12. OttoHagg

    OttoHagg Lost

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  13. Vacillator

    Vacillator Adventurer Supporter

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    I'm in too.
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  14. jadl1

    jadl1 n00b

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    #14
  15. Burro driver

    Burro driver dba John

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    In! This looks like fun!
    #15
  16. Lone Stranger

    Lone Stranger Been here awhile Supporter

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    :super
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  17. sonoran

    sonoran no diggity Supporter

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    Best COVID plan yet!

    Enjoy and ride safe!
    #17
  18. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper Supporter

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    Following along.
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  19. Spindr

    Spindr Adventurer

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    #19
  20. Spindr

    Spindr Adventurer

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    This is awesome!!! Thank you so much. All of these are now bookmarked. And harmonyon2wheels pointed me to a couple of moto podcasts that I never knew existed - excellent! In need of some new helmet audio!
    #20
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