Travel Journal & Motography...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by black 8, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. Manny U

    Manny U Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Delta Junction, AK
    Its a bummer about the case on the ol Girl, but glad you made it through without major incident. Now seeing two major forces of storytelling on ADVrider coming together for some scooter action, this I'm particularly excited to see and hear about your escapades your two get into.:ricky
  2. black 8

    black 8 motography memories...

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    Thanks Ol Man...

    Scooters are more capable than I thought riding around Huntsville...
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  3. black 8

    black 8 motography memories...

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    ~ 21 Apr 2021

    ~ POD: "Full Throttle Touring - 150 through the Rocket City" with @klaviator...

    ~ The forecast for today called for sub 40s temperatures and early morning showers so Win and I agreed to delay our meet up until it warmed a bit. This gave me a chance to putz around and organize my gear in back of the truck for tomorrow's ride home. It warmed later in the morning so I made my way to Win's house around 11 am... When I arrived, we talked for a while about photography. I showed Win other shooting options other than program and auto mode. We shot some photos around the house to show Win what his cameras are capable of and that he should get some type of circular polarizer to bring out deeper colors in his photos. After some time it warmed up enough for us to go ride... let's do this...

    For this ride, I opted to use my Olympus TG-6... The DSLR is my go-to camera and I reach for it 95% of the time because of learned muscle memory to capture my photos. Taking just the TG-6 forces me to learn how to use this point and shoot aannnndddd how to work the controls until it becomes muscle memory...

    shots while headed out to Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge...
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    Win was not shy about takin' his scooters on gravel roads... for me it was a new experience hitting gravel on a twist n' go until I got some miles with the Kymco...

    inside Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge...
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    it ended up as another gorgeous day...
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    Win setting up for a shot...
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  4. black 8

    black 8 motography memories...

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    First impressions: Now that I've had an opportunity to put a few miles on the Like, "it's hella fun to ride..." Easy to ride, just twist n' go. The Like was so light in handling that I could just concentrate on pointing the scooter in what direction I wanted to go. Awkward at first having both my legs tucked behind the body work while riding. Speaking of awkward, I kept dismounting the Like as if it were a motorcycle and the top box reminded me it was a step through every time... I did it more than a couple of occasions... :lol3

    next up was the historic town of Mooresville...
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    I began to see the appeal of riding a small scooter for local touring and exploring. It's so easy to ride and park that you can practically put it anywhere and I bet people wouldn't even bat an eye if you parked it on the sidewalk for a quick photo. I knew what Win was doin'... he was breaking all norms of social distancing and trying to infect me with the "scooter virus variant" that's been going on locally. Luckily I had gotten my first Moderna vaccine that protects me up to 80% and my second shot will bring that number up to the mid-90s... "Current data suggests that the COVID-19 vaccines recommended in the United States provide protection against new forms or variants of the COVID-19 virus. For this reason, COVID-19 vaccines are an essential tool to protect people against COVID-19, including against new variants. CDC recommends getting vaccinated as soon as a vaccine is available to you."

    But seriously, Win is located in riding nirvana that is Huntsville, AL due mainly to the freedom of movement. Unlike SoCal where the highways and neighborhoods are congested. Sure we've got Borrego Springs, Death Valley, Yosemite and such, but they are a ways away... With Win, we're talkin' 5-10 miles from his house and he's riding by farms and a wildlife refuge. Then there is the short ride to Tennessee and Georgia should that itch needed to get scratched. Here in SoCal, you'll have to ride out a bit to get away from suburbia before you get into prime riding country. One thing that's dawned on me riding with Win, I need to explore my home turf more often...

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    testing the little TG-6's capabilities...
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  5. black 8

    black 8 motography memories...

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    After exploring the historic streets of Mooresville, Win led us down a gravel trail into the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge... There was a gate that's usually locked but not today so we went deeper into the refuge. I was amazed how capable scooters are on gravel roads. Granted it was hard packed gravel with potholes here and there but one only needs to be aware and avoid said obstacles or slow down so as not to shake any parts off. Mud would definitely challenge the scooter's 12" doughnuts...

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    After leaving the refuge, we set-up so Win could practice his panning shots with the Sony. I explained that he needed to set the focus on manual and to focus on a specific spot where riders would pass to get clear photos every time. As I turned the Like around to make my first pass, the Like puttered and died. I hit the starter a couple of times and "no bueno" nothing... I push the Like to Win and he cycles the on/off key listening for the fuel to get primed... "nada..." So Win starts to take the storage bucket out to wiggle the wires from the fuel pump, check the fuzes, and obvious loose wires but it was all good-to-go. I try to hit the starter again and still nothing. So Win makes the call to ride back home to get his truck to recover the Like. It would be about a 30 minute round trip back to Mooresville so I just pushed the Like to the main road and waited. During that time I tried to restart the Like again but still nothing and I go about my business. I inadvertently left the ignition on for who knows how long. Then I noticed the lights were on so I go over to the Like and all of a sudden I heard the Like prime the fuel system... SOB! I hit the starter and sure enough the Like fired right up... Murphy working hard in the last couple of days.. and NS not more than two minutes later Win shows up with the truck... WTF!

    We decided to call it a day and drive/ride to his house for dinner...


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    Win with his Avalanche ready to recover the Like...
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    brats with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes were on menu for tonight... Win sautéed the sauerkraut in onions and bacon and let it simmer for about an hour... :dukegirl
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    Dinner was simple yet tasty... As a matter of fact I tried the same menu at home with Mrs. B8 and the kids and they loved the way the sauerkraut was cooked in the same manner... again :dukegirl
    Thanks for the recipe Win. It's getting added to our lunch/dinner menu. Anywho... after dinner we talked some more until about 7pm when it was time to head back to camp for much needed rest to start my drive home...

    It was great meeting Win, his wife Debbi, and his mom Vi... It took nearly three and a half years to arrange the meet up but well worth it to meet a fellow inmate and be able to ride together...

    Thanks for the hospitality Win and showing me around the Rocket City... I hope that we can meet up the next time I am out that way or if you ever come out west to ride Death Valley or Moab. Us west coasters will ride with ya'...

    :beer
  6. black 8

    black 8 motography memories...

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    ~ 22 - 24 Apr 2021

    ~ POD: Uneventful drive home...

    well... since I was passing through Texas again, might as well get some moist bbq brisket on last time... got me some jalapeño sausage as well...
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    ahhhh... as much as I enjoyed riding Alabama, nothing like the wide open spaces out west - devoid of tress from blocking the spectacular vistas. I was home; time for some R&R... :jkam
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    :beer
  7. Manny U

    Manny U Been here awhile

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    Delta Junction, AK
    Wondering the same thing myself. Hope all is well Rudy.
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  8. black 8

    black 8 motography memories...

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    Morning Brian and Manny...

    The family and I were in Georgia to attend services for Mrs. B8's aunt and spend some time with her sister. Afterwards we drove down to Kissimmee to visit my parents; it was a no brainer since it was only seven hours away.

    We'll be heading home soon and I'll be showing the family some of the places that I've explored.
  9. villageidiot

    villageidiot Long timer Supporter

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    Sam and I were talking this morning about not seeing ya on the forum lately. Safe travels my friend.
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  10. black 8

    black 8 motography memories...

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    thanks Colby...

    this was the first cross country with Mrs. B8 and the kids since the start of all this mess so it was slow going taking all the precautions to give them a warm and fuzzy on the road... we hadn't seen her sister in almost two years with Covid going on so we spent some time catching up...

  11. black 8

    black 8 motography memories...

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    ~ 29 May - 17 June 2021

    ~ POD: Cross-country trip to Georgia with the family to attend services for Mrs. B8's aunt and visit my parents afterwards...

    I had spent the week prior packing the Ranger for a four wheeled adventure to the Sierras since my last attempt was interrupted by my vaccine appointments and trip to the Texas Hill Country. I wanted to make it up to the Sierras before the temperatures got up to the triple digits. Finally the day had come; with the cooler pre-chilled and packed the night prior, I was ready. I got up the following morning but I wasn't feeling it so I cancelled my trip yet again. I don't know the rhyme or reason, as I said I wasn't feeling it. Later by mid-morning, Mrs. B8 received a call from her sister in Georgia saying that their aunt passed away due to complications from her fall in the latter part of March. I knew in the back of my head this day was coming but I didn't expect it on this day, neither did Mrs. B8....

    a quick three week recap...

    all packed for the Sierras - - - again...
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    it was a turn and burn to pack the hybrid for a cross-country trip with the family... 41.6 mpg fully loaded for a three week trip...
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    on the I-40 headed eastbound...
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    saying goodbye to aunt Pat... she's the little girl in the family photo... that's Mrs. B8's father opposite her in the red tie... also Mrs. B8's nannie and poppy...
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    after spending some time in Georgia, it was off to visit my parents in Kissimmee... my parents like to eat bbq whenever I come to visit - - - that's because I'm the one doin' the bbq... :lol3
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    crazy busy Buc-ee's in Baytown, TX on the way back home...
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    recommended stop by @Project Mayhem in Pearland, TX... :dukegirl
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    Another uneventful drive back home... This was my fourth cross-country this year and it's only June... Too bad the weather is starting to heat up here on the west coast. I'll be limited to riding along the coast for cooler weather as the temperatures rise in the coming summer months...

    Sorry that I missed meeting you in Mammoth @Project Mayhem & @Mrs Mayhem... and thanks for the bbq recommendation...

    :beer
  12. villageidiot

    villageidiot Long timer Supporter

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    eastern Sierra were HOT this week, we had somethin like 104° in bishop on our ride up, at 11am
  13. black 8

    black 8 motography memories...

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    yep... been watching the weather reports since I got back and they were reporting excessive heat warnings inland in Palm Springs... I can only imagine the temps in DV right now...
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  14. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    High today in Huntsville is 77 degrees. If you want to get out of the heat this summer and can't go to Alaska then you should come join us in Maggie Valley in August where highs are likely to be in the high 70s to low 80s.
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  15. black 8

    black 8 motography memories...

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    Thanks for the invite Win, I'm sure I'll make it out there again sometime...

    Those excessive heat temps are in my desert playground; the Anza-Borrego Desert, the Mojave, and the Sierras...

    I'm closer to the coast and the temps are much much cooler from the ocean breeze as compared to inland temps. Out of 365 days, I may use the A/C for about 14 days... During the summer months I usually stick along the coast and venture around the foothills but once I crest Mt. Laguna, we're talkin' triple digits down on the desert floor... :knary

    Like you, I'm eyeing a new bike... a twist and go maybe in the form of the new Hunter Cub 125 or a 300cc scooter. I gotta replenish my adventure fund since I've depleted some of it doing the cross-countries...

    Part of the reason I'm willing to pay the dreaded California "sunshine tax..."

    June temps
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    July temps
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  16. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    When I lived in San Diego I didn't have AC. I don't remember heat being much of a problem if I stayed out of the desert except maybe a week of Santa Anna winds every summer.
  17. black 8

    black 8 motography memories...

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    ~ 20 July 2021

    ~ Decisions, decisions,...

    Canada Border Services Agency News Release dtd 19 June 2021....

    "As a first step, starting August 9, 2021, Canada plans to begin allowing entry to American citizens and permanent residents, who are currently residing in the United States, and have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entering Canada for non-essential travel..."

    I've been keeping an eye on the U.S./Canadian border status since we are nearing the July 21st deadline to extend or rescind the border closure. We'll, there had been previous chatter about the possibility of the closure ending so I've been going over my packing list on Baby G to go even lighter. At the same time I've been weighing the merits of basecamping with the Monkey up to Alaska since there are "unknowns" concerning availability of gas, campsites, and food along the route. I don't know what businesses survived in the more rural parts of the Canadian provinces.

    Take Baby G and have minimal gear with only 47 liters OR basecamp with the Ranger/Monkey and have everything but the kitchen sink... :hmmmmm

    Regardless I have about a month to see what further guidance the U.S./Canadian governments will publish in the coming weeks while they work out the details. That and a road trip to Alaska in mid-August will most definitely extend through mid-September... :vardy
  18. Bigbob1

    Bigbob1 Rain Rider Supporter

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    Location:
    Juneau Alaska
    I am pondering heading the other direction, south. Mid-August would still be nice riding weather but the return after a month or two would not be nice. I am thinking about taking my Tundra... decisions, decisions

    Edit: my advice has always been tourist's on motorcycles should be off the Alcan by Labor Day
  19. Ol Man

    Ol Man Long timer Supporter

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    I have ridden to Alaska twice from So Cal. The first I left April 15, which turned out to be a pretty cold trip, but I enjoyed it. I moteled it the whole time. The second one I left May 15 and camped about 40% of the time. I really enjoyed both trips. You can see on my avatar that I travel pretty well packed. I like to have everything. I hope at 77 to make the trip again next year (Covid took the last two years' planned trips away from me). I plan to leave around May 15 again.

    Anywho, to my mind, I would take your big bike (GS1200), pack everything you like and head north. If things look sketchy, make your decisions. I would think anyone traveling this year would have experiences no one will have in the future. The crowds will be small to non-existent. You are retired, who cares about time. There are some interesting spots to stay for a day or so to let the weather change.
  20. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Rudy; as to business closures.....I find if you go on google maps; follow along on your intended route and get in fairly close the businesses all come up as you go past them. From that I clic on the icons and then open their website. Usually you can tell from that if they are open or closed. I don't think you will find many of the service businesses closed. Our government handed out a lot of borrowed money to help them survive.