Way out West - Canada to Central America

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Motojournalism, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. Dr. Benny

    Dr. Benny Enjoying the Journey

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    871
    Location:
    Bay Area, California
    Can't wait to hear all about your new adventure! I hope you have many wild and wonderful adventures!
  2. Motojournalism

    Motojournalism motojournalism.com

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,687
    Location:
    Montreal via BC
    <i>The delayed departure...</i><br/>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10381492224/" title="IMG_0643.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3710/10381492224_c1560db14f_b.jpg" width="1024" height="784" alt="IMG_0643.jpg"></a>
    <br/><br/>


    Finally some movement after the morning at El Roho's garage and and evening at Smilin' Ed's workshop. Dodgy GPS and battery wiring has been sorted, lights have been aimed, fenders trimmed. <br/><br/>

    <i>Smilin' Ed's latest aquisition</i> <br/>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10381784343/" title="DSC_2981.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5516/10381784343_de19ebdb64_b.jpg" width="684" height="1024" alt="DSC_2981.jpg"></a>
    <br/><br/>


    Some westward motion feels good after the hang-ups. Off at dawn, zig-zagging through the farm fields, briefly crossing paths with the TCAT. Then it's on to the familiar grey ribbon of the Trans-Canada - right now some distance needs to be done.<br>
    <br>

    The clouds move in and the rain gear goes on, I'm quite comfortable till the rain becomes too heavy to see the road through the visor.<br>
    I crouch in the bush like a caveman with a helmet while lightning splits a tree on the hill across the highway. WHAM!<br><br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10381660546/" title="GOPR0212.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3734/10381660546_236f5315e7_b.jpg" width="1024" height="825" alt="GOPR0212.jpg"></a>
    <br><br>
    On and on, west and west, the sky clears and the sun sets. Thirty-six dollars for an unserviced campsite Parks Ontario? I'll be sleeping in the bushes.<br>
    This was one of those uphill paths that looks solid till you hit it... Nearly lost it, but I pinned the throttle and was able to paddle my way up to the top. Happy to see that the new Jessee luggage doesn't get in the way of my legs.<br><br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10494357754/" title="DSC_2997.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2824/10494357754_04a4ef3f34_b.jpg" width="684" height="1024" alt="DSC_2997.jpg"></a><br><br>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10494347715/" title="IMG_0668.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5487/10494347715_a6f28079c7_b.jpg" width="765" height="1024" alt="IMG_0668.jpg"></a><br><br>
    Lovely spot but for the hypodermic needles, the highway, and the 2, 3 and 5am freight trains. I tell ya, earplugs and whisky is where it's at.
    <br> Funny how you can put up a bit of orange fabric, throw your stuff in like you always do and it becomes home. Somewhere comfortable, where you can relax. <br><br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10381677725/" title="DSC_2992.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3714/10381677725_8632e1020f_b.jpg" width="1024" height="684" alt="DSC_2992.jpg"></a>
    <br>
  3. Derwood

    Derwood Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
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    18
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    Toronto
    Yes! Can't wait for more. As always, thanks for bringing us along. :lurk
  4. Irish Cdn Lad

    Irish Cdn Lad Adventurer

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    Nov 21, 2009
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    3
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    Mississauga, Ontario
    Be safe, the weather has turned nasty, up here.
  5. Motojournalism

    Motojournalism motojournalism.com

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,687
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    Montreal via BC
    Ah, I've neglected to mention that this part of the ride was back in August and September. :D The bike is away for the season, and its time to do a good job of the ride report! Glad you guys are along for the ride :freaky
  6. Motojournalism

    Motojournalism motojournalism.com

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Ontario goes on like a landscape on a roll. It's a different experience to travel through a place for a second time. Not a bad feeling, it just lacks that bite and excitement of discovery. It seems to be replaced with a greater recognition of where you are in your own mental map. "Oh yeah, there's those rocky outcroppings, i'm in this part of the world" <br><br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10494447744/" title="G0050241.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7379/10494447744_af8288903a_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="G0050241.jpg"></a>
    <br><br>
    Gas stations are scarce in these parts and the bike is on reserve this morning. Fuel trumps breakfast on today's list of things to do so I backtrack to the nearest station. The finesse needed to top up the gas tank with a station pump is something only a motorcyclist could appreciate. Each pump is different and you've got to feather that lever like a clutch. Some have a beautiful smooth action and others are ON and OFF like a switch, splashing fuel indiscriminately. The fuel is right to the brim now, I turn around to hang up the pump. <br>*CRUNCH*
    <br>Fuck.
    <br>
    With the extra weight the new luggage has allowed me to carry, the balance point of the bike on the kickstand has changed. Add a slightly off camber slab of concrete and the weight of 23 litres of fuel... I turn back to see the beast lying prone - fresh fuel escaping freely on to the pavement. I slap the gas cap shut and some folks are at hand to help scoop the bike back up. Bit of a rough start.<br><br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10494394924/" title="IMG_0675.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3715/10494394924_819e57441a_b.jpg" width="1024" height="764" alt="IMG_0675.jpg"></a><br><br>
    A little dissapointing, but not too bad.<br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10494560933/" title="IMG_0674.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5518/10494560933_03734f4771_b.jpg" width="1024" height="764" alt="IMG_0674.jpg"></a>
    <br><br>
    Damn. The rack is bent though. It looks like there's a hairline fracture on the weld too. you can see the aluminum colour at the join. I'll have to keep an eye on that. <br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10494385486/" title="IMG_0678.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7416/10494385486_fc58ca89ab_b.jpg" width="1024" height="765" alt="IMG_0678.jpg"></a><br><br>
    There's time for a hot lakeside breakfast of oatmeal on the JetBoil while I wait for the fog to lift. Then it's back to the road. Distance, distance, distance. Go West.<br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10494602993/" title="G0050237.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3795/10494602993_42cb4742ec_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="G0050237.jpg"></a>
    <br><br>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10494686983/" title="G0050393.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2843/10494686983_dda86810d9_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="G0050393.jpg"></a>
    <br><br>
    This is one of those outposts you will see all across northern Canada. Always on a huge dirt lot, these places will supply you with food, fuel, liquor, hunting and fishing gear. All kinds of shit for cars, ATVs and snowmobiles. Axes and chainsaws. This is your last chance before heading north into the wild. <br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10494516086/" title="G0050493.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5535/10494516086_65cf747d5e_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="G0050493.jpg"></a>
    <br><br>
    The day is heating up and the temperature guage is sitting higher than it should be. Turns out the radiator fan stopped working, but a quick swap of the
    the old-style glass fuse sorts the problem<br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10494534816/" title="G0050504.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3830/10494534816_d063fce616_b.jpg" width="1024" height="762" alt="G0050504.jpg"></a>
    <br><br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10494562306/" title="G0060514.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5535/10494562306_207b67aa22_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="G0060514.jpg"></a><br><br>
    80km of smooth, fast gravel is made a bit hair-raising by having to share it with the massive trucks. It's the familiar routine of getting AS FAR out of the way as you can when they blast past, then crawling along the shoulder through the white-out till you can see again.<br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10494786473/" title="G0060522.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7334/10494786473_98d46d0716_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="G0060522.jpg"></a><br><br>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10494605305/" title="G0060568.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2865/10494605305_344e4b9fa8_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="G0060568.jpg"></a><br><br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10494838863/" title="G0060576.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3831/10494838863_93c1a015cc_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="G0060576.jpg"></a><br><br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10494708674/" title="DSC_3001.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3833/10494708674_65cd5f011c_b.jpg" width="684" height="1024" alt="DSC_3001.jpg"></a><br><br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10494752394/" title="DSC_3005.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2845/10494752394_a40ff53c29_b.jpg" width="1024" height="725" alt="DSC_3005.jpg"></a><br><br>
    Passed through Chapleau, taking a quick look for NoFate, but no sign of him. Maybe he was up in his plane or out on his Triumph?<br>Time to make time. West, west,west.<br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10495759196/" title="IMG_0696.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7417/10495759196_5c7654a84d_b.jpg" width="765" height="1024" alt="IMG_0696.jpg"></a><br><br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10495967403/" title="DSC_3010.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2826/10495967403_e6100e67f9_b.jpg" width="1024" height="620" alt="DSC_3010.jpg"></a><br><br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10495839926/" title="DSC_3012.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3749/10495839926_fa6b94ff19_b.jpg" width="1024" height="607" alt="DSC_3012.jpg"></a><br><br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10495813404/" title="DSC_3011.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3727/10495813404_7ae903ecc4_b.jpg" width="891" height="1024" alt="DSC_3011.jpg"></a><br ><br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10495874686/" title="DSC_3017.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2847/10495874686_22bbcfee4b_b.jpg" width="1024" height="684" alt="DSC_3017.jpg"></a><br><br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10495917164/" title="DSC_3019.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3814/10495917164_968791896c_b.jpg" width="1024" height="684" alt="DSC_3019.jpg"></a><br><br>
    I fall in to the same old habit of pushing till sundown, half heartedly looking for camping spots, till fatigue convinces me to look for a motel. At this point I'll balk at the $90 price tag and head up some dirt-road in the dark and happily flop down the tent and settle in for the night, hoping that I've not set up camp in somebody's driveway. <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10495910476/" title="IMG_0704.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7343/10495910476_c4df303452_b.jpg" width="1024" height="441" alt="IMG_0704.jpg"></a><br><br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10495915336/" title="IMG_0705.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3685/10495915336_755190c988_b.jpg" width="1024" height="468" alt="IMG_0705.jpg"></a>
  7. Gastonian

    Gastonian Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    27
    When I got the email this morning that you were posting another ride report I was stoked!<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    I joined ADVrider to follow this thread, and have read hundreds of ride reports since.<o:p></o:p>
    Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for taking us along on another journey!<o:p></o:p>
  8. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
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    Edmonton, Alberta
    Great to see you back on the road.
  9. Shibby!

    Shibby! Long timer

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    Aug 24, 2010
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    1,686
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    Currently - Canada
    Hate to clutter ride reports with posts that others need to filter but figure some people wouldn't continue to do RR if they didn't know what they were doing is appreciated.

    Without making this lengthy, I appreciate the writing and pictures! Keep it up!
  10. Motojournalism

    Motojournalism motojournalism.com

    Joined:
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    Montreal via BC
    The night passes without event, and the sun begins to creep over the hill.<br>
    <br>
    I've packed some video gear along for the trip, so I spend some time filming the campsite and the nearbly lake. Loons chatter, and a beaver bobs along in the water, slapping his tail and dissapearing under the water.<br><br>

    I'll have to figure out the best way to incorporate the video into this ride report. Originally I was thinking to include short clips into where they belong in the trip, but I might do a "highlight reel" and put it at the end... It's a helluva lot of work I've made for myself, but some of the footage is great!<br>
    We'll see what I have time to do...<br><br>



    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10495928495/" title="IMG_0710.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7297/10495928495_a25216e246_c.jpg" width="598" height="800" alt="IMG_0710.jpg"></a>
    <br><br>

    It's a nice slow morning. Making breakfast and packing the bike is made easier with the new luggage. I can stand and use the folded-out lids as trays to hold the food and dishes, rather than having everything spread out on the ground. Full choke on this cool morning, the silence is broken by the pup,pup,pup of the big single. Power up the GPS, and the LEDs, and I'm OFF.<br><br>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10496581243/" title="G0070599.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3758/10496581243_446ccf41d1_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="G0070599.jpg"></a><br><br>

    Cool to see people still put up <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inuksuk">inukshuks</a><br><br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10495975154/" title="DSC_3039.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3749/10495975154_34371363ff_b.jpg" width="1024" height="683" alt="DSC_3039.jpg"></a>

    <br><br>
    Mornin' guys, nice day for a ride.<br><br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10496426084/" title="IMG_0712.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5524/10496426084_5522f28486_b.jpg" width="1024" height="605" alt="IMG_0712.jpg"></a><br><br>

    On and on, into the day. Ontario is the NeverEnding province. (Folks in the US, think New York state to Wisconson)<br>I've always loved this view along the north of Lake Superior<br><br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10496399616/" title="G0070671.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3715/10496399616_382cf9df18_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="G0070671.jpg"></a>
    <br><br>
    This constant top-gear high RPM riding is tiring on a KLR. It's time for a break. Things are still damp from the downpours of previous days, so the contents of the luggage get spread across the ground, lain iver tables and dangled from mirrors.<br><br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10496420226/" title="IMG_0715.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3823/10496420226_c565cfd326_b.jpg" width="1024" height="710" alt="IMG_0715.jpg"></a>
    <br><br>
    Get a hammock. Really.<br><br>
    <img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Pb4PphHREuA/UrRtG6rBfZI/AAAAAAAABxc/yVQTYqwbuWs/s1600/hammock.gif"><br><br>
    Finally rolling in to Thunder Bay.<br><br>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10496631083/" title="IMG_0719.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5506/10496631083_1c22a1e7e0_b.jpg" width="1024" height="674" alt="IMG_0719.jpg"></a><br><br>

    I find NORTH_RIDER in his usual spot at the MadHouse, holding up the bar. Super cool to catch up with him again. We pour over maps and I tell some stories from Central America. <br><br>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10496647543/" title="IMG_0725.jpg by Motojournalism.com, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5543/10496647543_96b086f7c3_b.jpg" width="764" height="1024" alt="IMG_0725.jpg"></a>
  11. shaweetz

    shaweetz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
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    281
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    Ottawa, CDN
    Nice. More updates! :clap
  12. gunnerbuck

    gunnerbuck Island Hopper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,626
    Location:
    N.V.I, B.C.
    [​IMG]
    Your photo equipment looks to be a little more sophisticated than the average rider carries, I look forward to seeing the videos you've assembled...
  13. fastredbike

    fastredbike back on the loose

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
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    640
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    Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
    Really looking forward to the rest Anthony,

    how about a Motojournalism e-book on shooting/editing simple videos? It might make a good addition to the set. Bearing in mind not everybody's going to carry a remote displat/control and slider.
  14. homme de fer

    homme de fer Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
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    858
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    GTA, Canada
    My older son got me shooting video this year and it takes awhile to figure out a good workflow, especially when you're trying to cut episodes on the road. I'm kind of glad I've got a 128Gb MacBook Air because it forces me to make decisions and cut video early, throwing out footage I won't use, clearing out the hard drive for the next day's footage.

    Looking forward to what you come up with, safe travels.
  15. Motojournalism

    Motojournalism motojournalism.com

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    1,687
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    Montreal via BC
    Hey everybody, thanks for checking-in. Nice to see some familiar faces (avatars? Usernames?) :ricky
    Hard to find time these days, but I'll chip away at this whenever I can!

    Re. the video gear, it was a bit cumbersome to schlep along, and I didn't use it all the time. It was more of an experiment to see if it was feasible. I don't think I'll bring all the extras again on a solo trip - a DSLR with all the video accessories strapped on to it is just too clunky when you'r on a ride. I'd consider bringing along a small dedicated video camera though.

    I think photographs get the point across more efficiently than video in something like a ride-report. There's not really a plot when you're just bopping along checking things out, and I've found that video needs a very strong storyline in order to be interesting - otherwise it's just home movies...

    If you can make your own trip into a story, like Gaurav Jani and Sterling Noren do, it can be great - but Imagine filming a river crossing: Set up the camera. Cross the river. Turn around. Cross the river. pack up the gear. Cross the river... I honestly don't have enough patience for that :D

    Next post will have a bit of excitement to it:evil
  16. timk519

    timk519 Long timer

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  17. Ardyjay

    Ardyjay Been here awhile

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    Nov 26, 2007
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    329
    Location:
    West Coast Canada
  18. Motojournalism

    Motojournalism motojournalism.com

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    1,687
    Location:
    Montreal via BC
    </br>
    </br>A fresh filter and 2.5l of 20W50 and I head southwest along the grey shore of Superior.</br>
    </br>
    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10496452544" title="IMG_0721.jpg by Motojournalism, on Flickr">
    <img src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3745/10496452544_98dec5dc1b_b.jpg" width="964" height="1024" alt="IMG_0721.jpg">
    </a>
    </br>
    </br>
    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10496454456" title="IMG_0733.jpg by Motojournalism, on Flickr">
    <img src="https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2880/10496454456_a4b066e4cd_c.jpg" width="800" height="598" alt="IMG_0733.jpg">
    </a>
    </br>
    </br>Through the stateside frontier I continue along the shore, downhill all the way. The fog on the lake blends into the grey sky. </br>
    It's the strangest feeling - without any clear horizon on the lake, the road <i>looks</i> absolutely flat, even though it clearly <i>feels</i> like you are going downhill.
    The rain starts slowly at first then gets heavier as the sky gets darker and the clouds thicker. The taillights I'm following leave a wake and the oncoming cars light up the road spray with their high-beams.
    The view through the visor is becoming completely abstract. It's time to pull over.</br></br>

    I tuck into the beginning of a mud road that's under construction, there's nowhere else to go. Even the bulldozers up the road have stopped working to let the storm pass. </br>Through the glass of a bulldozer cab a worker lifts a finger to wave.</br>
    I suppose it's miserable, but it's bearable. It's not cold and I'm wet to the point where you can be no wetter - It stops mattering after that and you reach some sort of divine moto-contentment...

    Typing this now reminds me of a quote from the Japanese <i>Hagakure</i> - Granted I found it via a <a href="http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/ghost_dog_the_way_of_the_samurai/" target="blank">Jim Jarmusch</a> gangster/samurai movie...</br>
    </br> <i>There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things </br>
    as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you still get the same soaking."</i>
    </br></br>The rain lets up by the time I'm in Duluth. </br>

    </br>Parked out front: Me.</br>
    </br>
    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10496483304" title="IMG_0738.jpg by Motojournalism, on Flickr">
    <img src="https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2880/10496483304_25577fe8d4_b.jpg" width="765" height="1024" alt="IMG_0738.jpg">
    </a> </br> </br>
    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10496475616" title="IMG_0743.jpg by Motojournalism, on Flickr">
    <img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7401/10496475616_91636af082_b.jpg" width="1024" height="765" alt="IMG_0743.jpg">
    </a>
    </br>
    </br>
    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10496488945" title="IMG_0745.jpg by Motojournalism, on Flickr">
    <img src="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5540/10496488945_fa92df27cc_b.jpg" width="1024" height="661" alt="IMG_0745.jpg">
    </a>
    </br>
    </br> The towns that pass by are the kind that put their names in big black letters across bigger white reservoir towers - the ones that look like an upside-down onion on a stick. "FLOODWOOD"</br>
    </br>I eat a big, mood-lifting burger and fries outside a mom & pop burger stand, spreading out my raingear and jacket to dry. I'm going over my small laminated map of the entire US when a
    gruff man in his sixties shuffles over to my table. he's all belly, held up by two skinny legs - almost like the water tower. He's wearing a permanent scowl under his hat and has a manner to match.</br> He asks in terse questions which way I'm headed. "Hmph"<br>
    "That's not a very good map" he says with an air of finality and shuffles back to his car. He's back in less than a minute with something in his hand. He passes a brand new highway map to me, still scowling. </br>He won't take a penny for it and I thank him with a smile.</br>
    There's an expression <i>coeur d'artichaut</i> "Artichoke Heart" - spiky on the outside but a soft heart. Nice guy.


    </br>
    </br>The ground rolls by for more than an hour. I'm happy that the rain has held-off since Duluth, but the clouds look strange - dark rolling clusters,
    back-lit from the sky above. Look heavy enough to come down and crush everything. I've got to keep
    going while it's dry, and there's plenty of day left.</br></br>

    But there's a wall ahead. Thick cloud, blacker than I've ever seen. It looks bad and I don't fancy smashing right into it. I let off the throttle to slow down and think. </br>
    There was that town I passed at the last intersection, Hill City, about 15min back. Maybe there's a covered place to wait out this storm.</br>
    An oncoming car flashes it's headlights. OK, this is something bad. I pull a U-turn and head back in the direction I came from, not sure what to think.</br>
    There's a bunch of cars up ahead, stopped on the side of the road next to a clearing in the trees. I slow again so I can tell what's going on - there are many cameras out,
    big telephoto lenses. I look left to the northern side of the road where the cameras are pointing.<br>
    </br>Holy shit. </br>
    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10496718703" title="DSC_3053.jpg by Motojournalism, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7410/10496718703_90f878edf7_b.jpg" width="1024" height="684" alt="DSC_3053.jpg"></a></br>

    </br>(This video by one of the bystanders)</br>
    <object width="640" height="480"><param name="movie" value="//www.youtube.com/v/qaobFQt0RAA?hl=en_US&start=256"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="//www.youtube.com/v/qaobFQt0RAA?hl=en_US&start=256" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640" height="480" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
    </br></br>
    Heart pounding I hit the road hammer-down, desperately searching for sixth gear. I don't think the <i>Hagakure</i> applies in this instance... I'm back at the town in a few minutes. </br>
    At the gas station I ask if there's a place to get out of this storm.</br>
    The Lady running the place holds a phone in one hand and the door in the other. She wastes no time, telling me: 'Park your bike and get your butt in here, there's a tornado!' </br>I jam the bike against a wall in a corner behind the building, and head inside.
    </br></br>
    <object width="853" height="480"><param name="movie" value="//www.youtube.com/v/zeBUSK4YAns?&start=256"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="//www.youtube.com/v/zeBUSK4YAns?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="853" height="480" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
    </br></br>
    <img src=" https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BS3_-FpCQAA_WcS.png">
    </br></br>

    The wind fades from freight-train to a howl to a rustle.</br></br>


    The cooler </br>
    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10848867016" title="DSC_3056.jpg by Motojournalism, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7446/10848867016_04cd1394e4_c.jpg" width="534" height="800" alt="DSC_3056.jpg"></a>
    </br>
    </br>
    Feelin' a bit wiped-out, but happy the bike hasn't budged</br></br>
    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10849156413" title="DSC_3057.jpg by Motojournalism, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7315/10849156413_9482e616b5_c.jpg" width="534" height="800" alt="DSC_3057.jpg"></a>
    </br>
    </br>
    Man, the things that these two wheels expose you to. The experiences, the events. Just a taste of how other people live. </br>These wheels have given me <i>just enough</i> of a tornado, a volcano, an earthquake, a flood, to get an idea of what it's like. So many people and places and there's so much more to uncover. Dive in head-first.
    </br>
    </br>
    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/10848891655" title="DSC_3074.jpg by Motojournalism, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7404/10848891655_ffd382af9a_b.jpg" width="1024" height="684" alt="DSC_3074.jpg"></a>
  19. fastredbike

    fastredbike back on the loose

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    640
    Location:
    Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
    holy sheet!

    stoked to see this thread pop up again and that your warhorse KLR still has legs.

    "I gotta get to the store before I die!" LOL

    following along!

    edit ... just realized this is still the update from the 2013 ride?... still following eagerly
  20. shaweetz

    shaweetz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    281
    Location:
    Ottawa, CDN