Zipties and Ziplocks: A low-budget tour of the US and Mexico

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BuffaloStapler, May 30, 2015.

  1. BuffaloStapler

    BuffaloStapler Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2014
    Oddometer:
    42
    Location:
    East Coast, Canada
    It's my sixth day on the road, found Wi-Fi at a Starbucks in Gettysburg, PA, and I've finally gotten in the groove where I can start my ride report!

    I've taken the summer off after completing grad school and decided to to ride my high mileage, rough-around-the-edges (but with a good heart) 97 DR350SE from my home town on the east coast of Canada across the US to California, and maybe even Mexico!

    I've got a small budget, and about 3 months to do it, so it'll be mostly camping through the US, or whatever tent space is available. I plan on loosely following the TAT once I get to Eastern Tennessee, but that depends on how well my precariously mounted saddle bags hold up in the dirt. I will take the Utah - California bit of the TAT after Colorado, following the tracks from gpsKevin.

    Here's a picture of my rig, I'll post some more next time as I describe my first few days on the road.

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    I'll start the actual report in the next post once I get an image hosting account setup!
    #1
  2. toy4fun

    toy4fun GET out of the way

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,016
    Location:
    Beautiful downtown Roy, WA
    I watch some of our reader/riders plan for months their rides to where ever. Then there are the ones that just go, the best kind of memories. Ride safe and enjoy.
    #2
  3. BuffaloStapler

    BuffaloStapler Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2014
    Oddometer:
    42
    Location:
    East Coast, Canada
    So after quickly getting my bike and gear setup, I said goodbye to my parents and hit the road! I had been thinking about and planning this trip for a long time now, and it took a while to sink in that it was actually starting.

    And a not-so-fun start it was. I left at 1pm on Monday, later than planned, so the first day was mostly gusty highway slabbing all the way to Calais, ME, where the border guard reluctantly let me through, expressing his doubts I would make it across the country. Good thing I'm hard-headed.

    From the border I took US 1 along the coast and found Cobscook State Park, a decent place to pitch my tent.

    Went to bed early, and while I was happy to be off, I was doubting what the hell I was doing. I had a perfectly fine bed at home, and here I was fighting a cloud of DEET resistant flies while squeezing into my small, not-so-waterproof Walmart tent. And this was day one of about 100...



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    Despite waking up to cold drizzle, sleeping did my head some good and I donned my rain gear, loaded up the bike and hit the road following the coast on US 1, and eventually had my first view of rolling hills and twisty roads somewhere between Ellsworth and Bangor. Ahh, that's why I'm doing this...

    The views along Route 2 made it a perfect way to take me to the north end of the White Mountain National Forest.



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    And a panorama, there will be lots of these I suspect.



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    From there I took the harrowing road up to the top of Mt. Washington. Got my first sticker for the bike as well, gotta figure out there to put it!



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    It was getting late, but I had time for an ice cream in Conway before finding a camp spot at the White Falls National Forest?

    That's it for now, I will continue later. I've been sitting in the Starbucks for too long now...

    I'm aiming for Front Royal to start the Skyline drive this afternoon, and will hopefully be able to find a camping spot somewhere in the Shenandoah National Park tonight.

    Until next time!
    #3
  4. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,128
    Location:
    South Africa
    Nice :thumb

    We will be starting ours soon on dr650's :D
    #4
  5. Dooga

    Dooga Adventure Tourer

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    419
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    You're quick!
    #5
  6. BuffaloStapler

    BuffaloStapler Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2014
    Oddometer:
    42
    Location:
    East Coast, Canada
    Awesome michnus! Let me know when you start. Where are you planning on riding? Might be able to meet up!
    #6
  7. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,128
    Location:
    South Africa
    We are still in Texas, Dilley. Hope if all the bling arrive next week sometime we can get going up North towards New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and so on. :D
    Would be great to meet up, have a beer or 2 :lol3
    #7
  8. BuffaloStapler

    BuffaloStapler Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2014
    Oddometer:
    42
    Location:
    East Coast, Canada
    After breaking camp quickly at White Falls National Forest, I made my way to a Dunkin Donuts to find some Wi-Fi and plan the day's ride, which was to head southwest, so I followed routes 104, 11 and 10 down through Newport NH and eventually to Keene, NH. After leaving the coast of Maine, the change in forest type was evident. Fewer pines, and the trees were taller, almost more majestic. My route through New Hampshire brought me through more and gentle curves, with views full of rolling hills.



    Once in Keene, I saw that Vermont Route 9 went due west, appeared curvy and went through the Green Mountain National Forest. I'm glad I chose it; with blue skies and fast flowing curves, this route kept me upbeat, despite having a sore ass and still doubting weather or not I could cross the entire country.



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    I crossed into NY state, turned south on Route 22, and after what had been a gorgeous riding day, things quickly got worse. Dark clouds ahead and thunder had me stop to suit up with my rain gear, seeing no shelter nearby. Luckily the heavy showers were warm, and I was kept entertained by amazing lightning strikes along the hills flanking Route 22.



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    After about an hour and a half in the rain, I felt a odd wobble in the rear when going around corners. I immediately thought I had a small leak, but a quick inspection didn't tell me anything. I kept going, but the issue persisted. The heavy rains made me want to go on, but I had to stop to check properly. I noticed the dust seal on the right side of the rear wheel hub was pushed out, and for some reason I immediately though that in my haste to get the bike ready I had forgotten to reinstall the right side axle spacer. Big problem.

    After checking in at the next motel, I started getting in touch with other advrider members who were nearby to see if I could get some help in fixing this issue. Luckily, in the morning I took a closer look and the spacer was in fact there. The issue was only a relatively-simple-to-fix bearing failure.



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    I wasn't planning on staying a whole day in Dover Plains, NY, but I was happy to get some time off the saddle, and actually explore one of the many small towns I drive by. I had some fried chicken at the place across the road from the motel...



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    ... And took a small hike up to the Stone Church, which is a neat grotto/waterfall that apparently was used by American Indians tribes as a refuge during attacks by the English.



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    That evening, advrider cdaledude, who happened to have a set of dr350 rear bearings lying around, came with a trailer to pick up me and the bike and we headed to BK.RD.RNR's place to drop in the near bearing. A bit of messing around with getting the old, chewed up bearing out and I was good to go! A huge thanks to both those guys! I got back to the motel and got ready to hit the road early the next morning.

    Next time will be Pennsylvania!

    Cheers!
    #8
  9. sherpa_pat

    sherpa_pat Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    New Brunswick
    Keep it coming! Really enjoying the report... Wish I could be there alongside you!
    #9
  10. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,571
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Have fun!
    #10
  11. NorwegianTool

    NorwegianTool Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2015
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    The cold north
    Good stuff :clap

    A little thing i wish more people would do is to list up expenses. Camping, motell etc. At least these budget trips :evil
    #11
  12. BK.RD.RNR

    BK.RD.RNR Torque Stick

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,816
    Location:
    Livin' in the 90's
    Bump-diggity!

    Anyone heard from Pete? :ear
    #12
  13. Firenailer

    Firenailer Still Ridin'

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    488
    Location:
    New York
    Good stuff, subscribed!
    #13
  14. djtrik

    djtrik David Reusch Jr

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2014
    Oddometer:
    195
    Location:
    Independence, KY
    Subscribed!:clap
    #14
  15. Cdaledude

    Cdaledude Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,160
    Location:
    Rhinebeck, NY
    I hope he's OK and didn't break down again.
    #15
  16. Hawk62cj5

    Hawk62cj5 2 Cheap 4 a KLR

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    753
    Location:
    Southern Va
    Hope he is ok , I love ride reports done one the cheap .
    #16
  17. drdubb

    drdubb OFWG Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,733
    Location:
    Durham, North Carolina
    ok..I'm in...
    #17
  18. sherpa_pat

    sherpa_pat Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    New Brunswick
    He's been in touch with me via email. I heard from him a couple of days ago that he was near the Utah border.

    Unfortunately he has had issues with his clutch, I'm not sure what the outcome was, but he did have a friend meet up with him to bring him a new clutch cable.
    #18
  19. BK.RD.RNR

    BK.RD.RNR Torque Stick

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,816
    Location:
    Livin' in the 90's
    Thanks for the update. Sounds like he's making decent time.

    I hope he gets the clutch sorted out. He's just getting to the REALLY good stuff!
    #19
  20. Dooga

    Dooga Adventure Tourer

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    419
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    Can't wait to hear more.
    #20