South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by JDowns, Oct 2, 2012.

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  1. bigdon

    bigdon Long timer

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    Well Crap!
  2. JettPilot

    JettPilot ADV Rider

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    I don't count him out yet !!! Nothing is done until its done, and given Johns attitude, there is a good chance he gets through this quicker than anticipated, and is able to resume his dream. NEVER GIVE UP :D :D :D

    Mike
  3. Max Wedge

    Max Wedge ADVenture mowing

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    Jon,
    People make mistakes. I know I have. As long as you and everyone is intact, it can just be a pothole on the road. Things will get sorted. We will be here. Your integrity shows.
  4. BMRDOUG

    BMRDOUG GSA Rider

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    John, sorry to hear about your new Adventure.
    I've been following your RR for more then a year, when I read your post I felt like I was the one charged. Really feel for you.
    Keep your head up, you'll get through it ( althou you know that)
    Maybe the Judge will need some Reno's done. " I sentence the defendant to tile my bathroom"
  5. prsdrat

    prsdrat Been here awhile

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    Hang in there John, at my body weight I'm illegal if I smell a beer. I drive
    in fear every week when I have A beer or A glass of wine, at dinner with
    friends. I have, in past, overindulged and been very lucky and I grew
    up in the Houston area, with my fake ID where it was said that, ( because
    in the "Bible Belt" a mixed drink was almost impossible to buy, yet package
    stores had drive-in windows), "in Texas you couldn't buy a drink, you had
    to buy a drunk". When we went to clubs, you had to bring your own bottle,
    which in true he-man, she-woman style meant you didn't walk out of the
    club with a partial bottle. After all it was an "open container".

    Now, before everyone starts jumping on my case, I'm not defending my
    actions, I'm just stating a fact of how/why some actions are induced into
    our societies. We are, so they say, products of our environments.

    I don't know the details, John, but I sure as hell support you.

    Ride on, 'bro.
  6. Dracula

    Dracula afficionado Supporter

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    John,

    We are not robots, everyone makes mistakes. And somehow know that what is in one man's heart beyond pretty pictures and stories can't be understood or put in words. But you have proven otherwise and shared it all with us. This is just one of life's blows which you had not deserved. Many of us get them, it's just a mater of time when we let our guard down. It sure as hell sucks when it happens. But my trust is in you that will overcome it.

    My best wishes and know I always read more in your reports between the lines.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/e-LVXR6rjXs?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  7. Caymen8

    Caymen8 Been here awhile

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    Best of luck to you John. I appreciate you posting your situation as a reminder to all of us that mistakes can, and do, happen to the very best.

    I've really enjoyed your report and hope that you are back to doing a ride report soon.
  8. ratbikemike

    ratbikemike Adventurer

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    John , let me know if I can be any help. In your corner, as needed. Ratbikemike
  9. SavannahCapt

    SavannahCapt Long timer

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    Well...you were almost perfect. But like the heroes in all the classic tales, you have a flaw. You are still my hero and I'll stay subscribed, anxiously awaiting for this tale to continue.
    Peace.
  10. Chiriqui Charlie

    Chiriqui Charlie Been here awhile

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    I urge you not to quit posting, keep us up to date on your current "adventure" as you "ride" through the system!
  11. JettPilot

    JettPilot ADV Rider

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    If John dedicates the same amount of effort into solving this and moving on as he did his in his Ride, and also the amazing skill that shows in his work, he will get through it quickly and able to continue his dream before we know it. Hang in there, keep your head up, we are all pulling for you !!!

    Mike
  12. O'B

    O'B Long timer

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    He'll be back in no time. It's in his blood. You will have to pry the handlebars from his cold dead hands!:lol3
  13. black top bob

    black top bob gray goat Supporter

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    Doggone it, I'm guessing once things are sorted out, JD will be ok. I think this community will stand by with whatever is legitimate and timely.
    I know I will.

    BTB
  14. prsdrat

    prsdrat Been here awhile

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    If anyone reading this forum can throw stones........they shouldn't be here.
  15. Tomaso

    Tomaso Adventurer

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    I'd just like to echo what so many on ADV have said from their hearts.
    You're a good man, John Downes, and good men persevere.
    Whether you call this incident a pothole, a bump, or a ditch, you'll be looking at it from your rear view mirror one of these days soon.
    We're rooting for you.
    Always have and always will.
  16. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Dustdog,

    I would like your brother to have the Super Sherpa. I won't be getting back to Uruguay before the permit is up in April.

    Even if Canario can't get the Sherpa registered in Uruguay, it would be a great bike for his son Nacho to ride around on the farm. The keys are in the ignition and the title and registration are in the top box. I hereby bequeath it to him.

    And the camping gear, tools and luggage go to Nacho, so he can have a nice pad and sleeping bag to take on those motorcycle road trips with his Dad. And tools to fix his new dirt bike.

    I can think of no higher use for that bike. It made it from rural Nebraska to rural Uruguay, and living out it's life on a farm in South America seems very appropriate indeed.

    It may be a while before I get back to South America, but I look forward to seeing you again some day my friend. You are aces in my book.

    Your ADVpal,
    John
  17. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi O'B,

    Truer words were never written. Although I have given up drinking for the rest of my life, I will keep riding as long as I can. (Of course, not with a suspended license.)

    Your ADVpal,
    John
  18. veriest1

    veriest1 Minimalist Gear Hoarder

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    This is one of the most generous things I've seen.

    When I was a kid I always wanted a klr650 (in reality any DS would have done) so I can only imagine how he's going to feel when he finds out.
  19. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
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    I will continue to update this so you can know the rest of the story. I know I always wonder what happened to folks who suddenly end their ride reports and are never heard from again. And I won&#8217;t do that to you. If my stories can be of benefit to even one fellow rider to avoid the mistakes I make, I will consider this ride report a success.

    Not being a career criminal, it was quite fascinating spending a day and a half in the Johnson County Jail. I met some nice young guys who were mostly busted for drugs, dui or violating their probation. Some had been drug out of bed like you see on TV and their families had no idea where they were. They were stressing out. Most will lose their jobs, many didn&#8217;t have anyone to bail them out, and some had vindictive family members who refused to help them. There were 17 of us in one cell as the jail is quite overcrowded.

    They leave the bright fluorescent lights on all night and give you a thin mat and a thin blanket to sleep under. They keep the air conditioning on so it is chilly. I understand this keeps people busy staying warm and tempers cool. I was well prepared for sleeping on the concrete floor with wall to wall snoring inmates, as this isn&#8217;t that much different from a fleabag youth hostel in South America.

    The next morning some of the inmates were released to go to work. They were called overnighters. They come to the jail at 10 pm and are released at 6 am the next morning. The one guy I talked to didn&#8217;t have the money to pay his 7500 dollar fines and court costs so he took the option of 75 nights in jail. You work off the fines at a rate of 100 dollars a day. I will do the same if I run out of money. But I think my travel money will last the winter I imagine. Although I had to spend 1500 dollars on bail, 2000 dollars to hire a lawyer, 260 dollars to get my truck that had been towed out of the impound lot, and 75 dollars to have an ignition interlock installed so I can keep driving until my court date.

    Breakfast consisted of kind of a malt-o-meal guel, 2 frozen waffles that were cold and soggy and a 2 inch in diameter piece of mystery meat along with a small carton of milk. It was awful. Well okay, the milk was good.

    There is one open stainless steel crapper in the corner with no lid. Once agian you will be used to this if you stay in cheap third world hotels. I couldn&#8217;t figure out how to get out of jail, since the phone in the cell required a pin number or debit card number to call out. The inmates didn&#8217;t know how to call out either. Most of them had called someone when they were getting their mugshots and fingerprints at the front desk, but silly me forgot to ask, and once in a cell there was no going back. Added to this I didn&#8217;t know veriest1&#8217;s phone number anyway.

    So I spent the day talking to fellow inmates and hearing their tales of woe. Got great advice on a good bailbondsman and lawyer as well as tips on how to stay warm and what my likely future would be in Texas as a DUI offender.

    There are trusted inmates that wander the halls handing out the trays of awful food, mopping the hall floors. They wear orange uniforms instead of the gray and white stripes. Late in the day one of the trusted inmates gave me his pin number for the phone so I could call out. It was twelve digits long, so I used the end of a plastic spoon to etch the numbers in the styrofoam cup that came full of watered down Kool-aid that was served with the mystery dinner goulash. I then needed the number for the bailbondsman, and this same saintly trusted inmate went down to the front desk and came back with the phone number which I etched in the styrofoam cup as well. I got the nickname &#8220;education&#8221; for this clever Mcguyver trick, since it allowed everyone to call out on the phone in the cell. ("Hey education, can I borrow that cup?") Mind you this was no ordinary phone. It had a start button, a keypad and a speaker and earpiece behind a grill flush with the wall that you could barely hear from. So I cut the bottom out of another styrofoam cup and put it up to my ear and pressed it to the faint speaker on the wall to amplify the sound so I could hear.

    The only number I knew was my sister in Oregon, so I called her, and gave her the number for the bailbond guy and she paid the 1500 bail which was five times as high as normal since I am from out of state and a greater flight risk I was told. It still took a few more hours for the paperwork to be completed and I was released at 2 AM.

    Of course, not much you can do at 2 in the morning, so I walked a couple miles down to where my truck had been towed. I stopped at a convenience store and got a cup of coffee and a newspaper and walked to the towyard and sat under the streetlight and worked the crossword puzzle and read about ebola. Just after 4 AM a towtruck came into the impound lot with an SUV that had been rolled in the ditch by another fellow drunk driver. The tow truck guy was really nice and let me pay the 260 dollar tow and storage fee and drive off. The only problem was my taillight lens was broken from when I backed into a post when I was drunk which is why the officers pulled me over in the first place. So I went down the street a few blocks and parked at the auto parts store and went across the street to the donut shop to wait for them to open at 7:30 AM. They finally opened and I got another tail light bulb and some red tail light repair tape and taped it up.

    Then it was a day of running errands. First to the bailbond guy to fill out paperwork, over to hire a lawyer who wanted 2000 dollars for an out of state person, over to adult services for a mandatory meeting where they told me where to go to get an ignition interlock device installed so I could drive until my court date in 60 to 90 days. So I drove over and had an ignition interlock installed. It was pretty quick and costs 75 dollars a month and you have to have it read and recalibrated every month. The guy who installed it said that I can drive anywhere until my court date. They have locations in Arizona, so I can drive over there until my court date. I called bail bond guy and he said, no problem as long as I call him once a week to check in. Lawyer said the same. So I guess I will head to sunny Arizona and hang out at my sister&#8217;s place until I have a court date in a few months.

    But first I am finishing the tile work at veriest1&#8217;s house. I still have to install a granite tile shower surround and floor.

    Veriest1 is a great guy and a pleasure to work for. If I am sentenced to jailtime at my trial, he said there is plenty to keep me busy on work release during the day if I have to spend the nights in the Johnson County jail.

    Keeping a positive mental attitude is your best defense in the face of adversity. Whether it is wadding up your bike and breaking a few bones, having your bike conk out at night in a rainstorm in the middle of the Colombian mountains, seeing your bike get smashed against a pier out in the middle of nowhere in the Darien, or getting hauled off to jail. It does a person no good to beat themselves up with feelings of anger, shame, or embarrassment. It is counterproductive to try and blame others for your misfortune. What I did was wrong and I will pay the price and come out the other side a better person.

    It is really a blessing in disguise. I can't thank you enough for all your kind words and PM's. It means a lot.

    to be continued&#8230;&#8230;

    As always,
    Your faithful ADVreporter,
    John Downs
  20. DustDog

    DustDog Adventurer

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    Juanito: I have no idea what the process for DUI in Texas is, how long it can take or what the consequences can be. You have a better understanding and I'm nobody to question your decisions but I think we need to slowdown a bit and think it over. When I said "let me know if something need to be done with your bike" I was not thinking in you giving up your loyal Super Sherpa. I was thinking in taking care of her until you come back, ragardless how long it takes. No big deal. In Uruguay, a vehicle with foreign plate number under temporary import permit cannot be ride by an Uruguayan citizen, I have a Dutch passport meaning that I can take it out of the country, re-entry and have another year. It will take me 4 hours to do so and I will be more than happy to do it in January. To get an extension wouldn't be too difficult either. I have plenty of time to work on that in January. Your know, all your ADVpal we feel terrible for what happen to you. But as many said it in here you will come out of this even stronger, we know that........but to give up your bike now it sounds to us like we will not have "South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure" anymore.....and that my friend is something that some of us can not afford. So, let's work it out....that's why we are here...to help each other...doesn't it? Give it another thought.
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