The Gap Year: Montana

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by 95Monster, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
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    VA
    Sitting in ATL waiting for the flight to Lima to restart my journey after my reset, and I had only been away 2 months!Charged to get underway again.

    Chaco got whacked last weekend, flooding, evacuations and unfortunately a few deaths. You skipped through just in time! Thanks for the RR, getting some planning pointers from your experiences....and Roby fixed the insurance for all the countries that boarder Argentina, sweet.

    Have fun up on the Trans-Lab after your reset, hopefully there is still some gravel up there. In 2014 when I rode it they were pushing on to Goose Bay with the black top, and prepping the northern end of the road to Red Bay....it is pretty nice up there - no hills or switchbacks though, just F111 size mozzies :-).

    Ciao. T2
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  2. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    In Cali, Colombia is a shop called Asturias. Great people. I serviced the bike and got TKC 70s there. The couple who own the shop know the routes south to Ushuaia very well and are a great source of info... in Spanish
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  3. lifetravelled

    lifetravelled Been here awhile

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    We used Africa Motos in Medellin, they have a lot of big ADV bikes in there, we were there on a Saturday had our new rear and a oil change done in under a hour and we had not called ahead. Local riders hanging out and we spoke with a few, one who we kept in contact and we sent us details of friends throughout South America
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  4. toowoomba

    toowoomba Certified BMW Therapist MCCL Supporter

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    Welcome Back Brother! Good to see all is well and right as rain... Looking forward to your next adventures.
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  5. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Thought about you the other day Jorge, on the 23rd, Dia de San Jorge.
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  6. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    Bed, BBQ and Beer up here at the N/W end of Lake Ontario FYI George.
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  7. jimandsuewalsh

    jimandsuewalsh n00b

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    Hey George. Really enjoyed talking with you at the Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge and hearing about your amazing trip. Best of luck to you with your ongoing travels. Hope we cross paths again somewhere out on the road.
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  8. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    Feb 4, 2015
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    Los Angeles
    Time to dust this thing of and do a little catch up. My apologies for the silence. When I got back to the States I didn't really have a destination in mind so I've been drifting a bit. There's been some cool riding and I'll recap that but I haven't had a "Mission" like Ushuaia and things weren't feeling very EPIC. But after I got the TKC 80s mounted I saw there was an Horizons Unlimited gathering up in Virginia and I hopped on the Interstate and boogied up to Virginia. Now TKCs weren't the best choice for interstate riding but I needed to make time up to the event so... HU was a good chance to hang with like minded people and make a few new friends. I went to a couple seminars on how to pack for long distance traveling just to make sure I was doing it right! (Actually, this guy gave a good presentation about riding with GPS Kevin's outfit.) Seminar.jpg I had a little of that brown whiskey they make in those parts and hung around the campfire.

    After the HU gathering wrapped, I decided to ride southwest towards North Georgia and ended up at Two Wheels Campground in Suches, GA. Back in the olden times, I used to live in Atlanta and we would ride up into the mountains and scare ourselves... and sometimes worse... on sportbikes. The campground, known then as Two Wheels Only or TWO, was one of our hangouts so I was curious to see what became of it. Well, the place has gentrified quite nicely. They dropped the 'Only' tag, mowed the grass and created a warm and welcoming camp with a nice little diner attached. TWOcampground.jpg
    The next morning I met some BMW fellas in the parking lot and asked for suggestions on where to ride. They invited me to come with them but when I learned there were 20 + riders I passed. So the guy who had laid out the route confessed that he didn't want to ride with 20+ riders either and suggested the two of us ride. My new friend, Dave Corl, led me into the North GA woods and on some great forest roads. RidgeRide.jpg
    I'm not sure if Dave is an inmate on here but it was a real treat to get a personal guide for a day long ride through the mountains. Thank you, Sir!
  9. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    We had some fun riding and a couple gentle water crossings then came to this interesting sign. Bridge Out.jpg Sounds like an invitation, right? It was and after 8 months, 12 countries and quite a few of these crossings, I finally dropped my bike... right here in the good ole USA. Shame.jpg I blew it by being too tentative and over thinking. My front hit a rock. My rear found a hole. I didn't have momentum. And I lost my balance when the current knocked me over. With a surge of adrenaline and embarrassment, I got the bike up and outta there with a lesson learned: Don't be a wimp! Stand Up on the pegs and throttle it out! WaterXing.jpg I guess it's good to know that I can pick it up before it drowns. With boots full of water, we continued on some great roads through the mountains. Ridge2.jpg Our day ended at the Iron Horse MC Campground in Robbinsville, NC. Nice place but stock up before you arrive. It's a dry county. IronHorse.jpg
  10. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    Feb 4, 2015
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    Since I was in the neighborhood, I figured I may as well ride The Dragon. It had been more than 20 years. The Tree Of Shame has grown since then. TreeOfShame.jpg And yes, I stole these images. LeftGap.jpg But then, they're marketing my likeness without my consent. RearGap.jpg Seems like a fair trade.

    Surprised by the number of oncoming bikes that couldn't seem to stay on their side of the yellow. I was pretty sedate on the Dragon. At the Northern end where the road opens up, there is always a cop. I got a chance to meet him. PoPo.jpg Pro Tip: Take off your helmet and glasses. Be polite. Say "Yes Sir" & "No Sir" and make friendly conversation. I didn't get a ticket but I did get some route recommendations for good rides!

    After Riding The Gap and looping East thru Pigeon Forge, I ended up back at the IronHorse and ran into this inmate! Danimal.jpg Great to see Danimal mended and back on his journey to Ushuaia! Good Luck, Dan!

    I needed to get back down to the lowcountry to attend our Family Reunion so I stocked up on supplies and headed South. PeaNuts.jpg The place does something to my soul. LowCountry.jpg And my waistline. Shrimps.jpg PigSammy.jpg IMG_4940.JPG
  11. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    From Charleston, the plan was to head north, ride the MA-BDR, visit a friend in Upstate NY, then ride Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and the Trans-Lab. I made it up to Damascus, VA and checked into a nice B & B called the Dancing Bear and sat on the porch with a cold beer. IMG_6143.jpg The beer was a gift from another rider staying there and as we got to talking, I learned he was riding the BDR too. So I asked if I could tag along and he said he thought it would be fine. Benton was meeting a group in the morning that he'd joined online. Well, as I was enjoying the beer, it started raining. And it didn't stop for like a week!

    I've heard a lot of things about the MA-BDR. It's easy. It's mild. It's mostly pavement. But riding it in the pouring rain made it sound like a challenge that I might enjoy. And I had 7 other guys to help me out in case of trouble. So next morning, 8 of us departed Damascus on the MA-BDR! I didn't know any of these guys, or their abilities, so my plan was to ride sweep and see how things unfold. There was an older gentleman on a GSA that insisted on riding sweep so I knew right away that I didn't have to worry about him. He knew the game. I watched two guys in front get away and the rest of the pack doing the accordion behind a very slow rider in P3. I stopped and let them go and when Bruce, the sweep, came up I said we needed to give them some space to get ahead and we can ride fast to 'catch up.' Well when we caught up the slow group was headed up a switchback when the lead rider fell and... dominos. I took the opportunity to ride around the mayhem and chase down the leaders. By Noon, two riders dropped out. By the end of the day, everyone but Bruce, myself and one other had fallen. Some multiple times. Carnage.jpg More Carnage.jpg Long day. Broken bags. Broken wills. We were now 6.

    Next morning the lead rider asked me if I would lead. I didn't want to but it did mean I could ride up front... hehehe... so ok.

    Where they at? Looking Back.jpg
    As we were standing around this washout, a possum came out of the bushes, walked through the group and had a drink of water. Then she realized she was in the midst of a bunch of humans and you could see the look of "Oh Shit" cross her face as she turned and ran back into the woods. Creek Walk.jpg
    Our sweep rider, just getting on with it! Creek Leap.jpg After a fair bit of carnage and some pretty big mud holes, we made it to Warm Springs. Nice cozy place for a whiskey and a rest. WarmSprings.jpg
  12. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    Somewhere along the trail, towards the end of Day 2 and before we got to Warm Springs, we hit a blockade. Blockage.jpg We'd been following the tracks of two smaller bikes and it appeared they had gone down in the ditch under the tree and come out the other side. To do that on the big bikes was asking for trouble. Nobody relished the idea of backtracking through the slick, muddy mountain road and I just happened to have acquired a Survival Hatchet! When's the last time you chopped wood? For a Southern California flake like me... uh...Boy Scouts? Hachetmen.jpg Well, let me just say that the Survival Hatchet might work in a blade fight with another opponent but it sucks for chopping wood. Get yourself a good hatchet like Bruce, our sweep rider, had.
    Chopped.jpg Onwards, Gentlemen. Pass.jpg
    After a restful night at the Warm Springs Inn, we woke to heavy rain and a bike with a completely dead battery. After trying jump paks and whatnot, we sent a rider out for a battery and within an hour or so had a replacement and the bike fired up. We were now at the start of Section 3 which had at least 3 water crossings. It had now been raining non stop for 3 days and the group voted to skip Section 3 and ride tarmac to the end at the Smoke Hole Lodge. So we skipped the adventure and went to see this antennae thingy. ListeningDevice.jpg After a pretty miserable day riding in the rain, we made it to the Smoke Hole and two more guys quit. Now we were down to 4. Smoke Hole.jpg Next morning, there was a Super Tenere in the lot and we got to talking with the rider. He was on his way home in New Hampshire and thought he might hop on the BDR and run sections 4- 8 and asked if he could tag along. Now we were 5. Back on the BDR and off we go. Wet 2 track.jpg Walking Back.jpg It started to dry out a little. Then we hit a toll road. River X toll.jpg As we were discussing whether we should chance it or not, a local came up and said there were boards missing on the bridge under the water. While we were plotting our detour another rider quit, bring us back down to 4. River X.jpg
  13. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    Day 5 and things were looking up. There was the occasional mud hole but for the most part the riding was great. Indeed there are paved sections but most are single lane farm roads through beautiful parts of Pennsylvania Amish country. Don't race through it. Just enjoy the ride. Nice ROad.jpg There were a few bridges out and some closures. The first bridge the road crew moved their equipment and let us through but said the bridge would be gone the next day and not reopened until September. So take head, Alan Seeger road has a bridge out. I reported it to the BDR team and they probably have a workaround posted by now. We can squeeze through there. Closure.jpg Wrong turn. Gate.jpg Saw a little fawn along here. She saw me coming and just hit the dirt flattening into the road. I pulled up along side and suggested she get out of the road cause three more bikes were coming this way. Bambi.jpg
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  14. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    Feb 4, 2015
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    Almost there. The stop between sections 7 & 8. Almost.jpg At this country store, we met a group of riders heading south. They said the last section, their first, was pretty treacherous and slick. Several riders had fallen and the guy above on the black bike had lost his windscreen. So great. The last section was going to beat us up...not so. Piece of cake compared to the first two days and we were done. Finish.jpg Of the original 8 riders, 3 of us finished, 2 of those were in their 70s! Old Guys Rule.

    The MA- BDR was awesome. Great job by the BDR folks laying out the route. The tracks were spot on. The recommended places to stay were nice. I wish we would have ridden section 3. And I can see if conditions were dry, it may be mellow for some. So what. Go ride it and enjoy. You'll never believe that you can stay, mostly, in the woods for 1,100 miles and 4 states. Mostly. Now, I want to ride all the rest of these BDRs.
  15. NewEnglander

    NewEnglander Been here awhile Supporter

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    1090B930-03D8-4066-B0A4-29989C36F6EE.jpeg

    It was a blast riding with you and the guys for a few days. Good luck on the rest of your journey. If you ever need some help or a place to stay you got it.
  16. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    Awesome! Glad you joined us. Great riding with you too.
  17. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Good to have you back on the air Jorge
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  18. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    After the BDR, I headed over to New Paltz, NY for some RnR at my buddy Rob's house. Good to catch up with a long time riding partner who I originally met riding in Europe in 1996! Rob2shot.jpg Rob works with Honda's press fleet and I helped him take a Honda Super Cub to Fox News for a story. While there, we met one of the OG Playas, Broadway Joe! Farrah Fawcett licked this guy's face in a TV commercial! Pretty cool to shake the hand that threw all those touchdowns. Broadway Joe.JPG We did a little bit of riding too. AfricaTwin.JPG And I pissed away six bucks to dream about how I'd spend my lotto winnings. Lotto.jpg But I was anxious to get moving again and had been thinking of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador. So I headed East to Twisted Throttle and had a pair of Mitas EO7+ mounted. EO7+.jpg After a quick ride north through RI and MA, I headed East into Maine, a State I'd never been to before. So I crossed that one off the list! Maine sign.jpg New England is lovely this time of year. LovelyTime.jpg It was cold. Really really cold. And wet. And miserable. I tried every thing I could to make things more bearable. Chowder.jpg The thing about the coast of Maine... seems like most of the restaurants are 'take out' with people sitting in their cars eating lobster rolls. Well when you're freezing on your bike, that just makes you grumpy. It took a while to find a place that actually had indoor seating. Lobster Roll.jpg
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  19. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    I did manage to get over to the Eastern most town in the contiguous USA. EastPort.jpg My Mom really wanted to see some pictures of the Bay Of Fundy tides but this is all I managed to capture. Low Tide.jpg And this guy gave me beard envy. Beard Envy.jpg When I got near the Canadian border at Calais, I was frozen. Temps in New Brunswick were even lower. But up north, in the most northeastern town in the contiguous United States, it was 2 degrees warmer. Decision made, I headed to Madawaska which I discovered was one of the Four Corners, a motorcycle ride between Madawaska ME, Blaine WA, San Ysidro CA and Key West CA. If one is to ride the Four Corners, you have 21 Days to do it. Think I'll bank that trip for when I get a trike. 4Corners.jpg

    Next morning, I dusted off my passport and crossed the border into Canadaland. CanadaLand.jpg What I failed to prepare for was that they don't really speak English in this part of Canada, not even in the Tim Hortons. Tim Hortons.jpg And much as I tried, they don't understand Spanglish either. I did the best I could and picked up two words: yes and thank you. Pretty lame, I know. I headed West hoping to find warmth in Montreal but ended up crossing back into Vermont and the Land Of The Free. LandOfFree.jpg
  20. Bulldog Buddy

    Bulldog Buddy Adventurer

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    Aug 14, 2018
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    Location:
    Charleston, South Carolina
    George, I have enjoyed your travels, every photo and your write ups. Lots of people in the Good Ole Lowcountry and anxious to hear of your latest location and how you're doing. I saw Prioleau to day, had a good talk. Keep the reports coming. Mom will review your latest posts when she gets back from shopping. By the way, 70 is not old. The Meaning of Life.JPG
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