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
    Hey everyone, sorry for not keeping this rr up to date, I'm usually too tired at the end of the day to do a write up, if I have Wi-Fi at all. And all I have is my phone so it can be time consuming. I'm currently in Las Vegas! Had some great riding in Colorado and Utah. Also some nice rides out east. Tomorrow I will update with pictures! Clutch is sorted, the cable just needed a good lubing, it was so stiff it wasn't letting the clutch engage properly! A shit-ton of wd40 did the trick!

    Update coming soon!
    Pete.
    #21
  2. BK.RD.RNR

    BK.RD.RNR Torque Stick

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,823
    Location:
    Livin' in the 90's
  3. Dooga

    Dooga Adventure Tourer

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    419
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    Can't wait!
    #23
  4. BuffaloStapler

    BuffaloStapler Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2014
    Oddometer:
    42
    Location:
    East Coast, Canada
    Well, I'd say it's time for an update! I'm currently in San Bernardino, CA, but I have to go all the way back to Pennsylvania where I left off this report!

    After getting the bearing fixed, I was happy to be back in the saddle and making progress! I forget the exact route I took, all I remember is hitting every stop light in the state. I eventually found a campsite near Gettysburg, PA where I spent the night.

    The next day I took the morning to go check out Gettysburg. There were hundreds of monuments commemorating all kinds of firefights and skirmishes.



    [​IMG]



    I also got to see these civil war re-enactors, they talked about their gear and camps, and also did a demonstration of the different firing strategies they had.



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    It was loud enough with only four of them, I couldn't imagine a full firing line!


    From Pennsylvania, I headed south, aiming for a campground in Front Royal, VA. I was happy to get there, as Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park was my first must ride road on my list!

    That's it for now, skyline down to the tail of the Dragon coming up next!
    #24
  5. BuffaloStapler

    BuffaloStapler Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2014
    Oddometer:
    42
    Location:
    East Coast, Canada
    After a decent night camping, despite the many ants, I packed up camp early and headed to the entrance to Skyline Drive. I saw quite a few other bikers around, and was excited to finally get here.

    [​IMG]

    The road was beautiful, and the lack of traffic invited me to ride a bit too briskly at times :) luckily the park troopers wern't around, or didn't seem to notice. Skyline drive has many lookout points, where you can see the small villages at the base of the mountain, and in the distance more mountain ridges seem to go forever in either direction.


    [​IMG]


    Shenandoah Park has tons of hiking trails and things to do, though I was enjoying the curves too much to stop for all of them. I did hear about I nice lille hike that went down to a waterfall, so I took a break from riding to check that out.

    [​IMG]

    It was only about a mile down, but in the heat and humidity, I was soaked and tired by the time I got back to my bike. Not used to hiking after sitting on a bike all day for a week. On the bright side, I got to see a black bear moseying along in the woods next to the trail, however there was too much brush to get a good photo. I ended up seeing another black bear, and also what I think was a wild boar or something further down Skyline drive.

    The heat and humidity would end up fueling threatening storms to the left and right of me, but somehow the road wove it's way between them, keeping me dry and my rain gear packed away.

    [​IMG]

    After more gentle curves, beautiful views and a couple over confidence-induced butt puckering moments, I got to the end of the drive, and had to figure out what next.

    [​IMG]

    Entering what I think was Waynesboro, VA, I finally got hit by one of the rain storms, and realised how much rain stings when hitting bare knuckles as speed. Luckily a gas station was nearby, and I fueled up and waited out the rain along with a handful of chopper and scooter riders.


    The day was getting long, and I was still trying to make up lost time, so I headed towards Whyteville, VA along some nice twisties and small towns. I didn't follow the blue Ridge, mostly to try to get more miles in. Luckily the routes I took were nice, but also had decent speed limits so I got to make great time.

    Didn't take too many pictures, but I ate at waffle house for the first time the next morning! Bacon, eggs, grits, toast and pancakes made great fuel for my next destination, the tail of the Dragon!

    [​IMG]


    Ok, that's it for now, I've been sitting at this McDonald's for too long, the employees are looking at me funny. I will continue the updates tomorrow, as I've got about 2 weeks to kill with almost no money before the next portion of my trip begins (big changes in my plans!), so I've got time to get this report done!

    Until next time!
    Pete
    #25
  6. Wisco

    Wisco Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 28, 2014
    Oddometer:
    107
    Location:
    Pultneyville, NY, 14538
    There's a funny song about The Waffle House by David Wilcox. It pops in my head every time I see one. Nice report. Thanks for writing.
    #26
  7. BK.RD.RNR

    BK.RD.RNR Torque Stick

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,823
    Location:
    Livin' in the 90's
    Good stuff. Keep it coming! :clap
    #27
  8. Firenailer

    Firenailer Still Ridin'

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    488
    Location:
    New York
    Enjoying the ride so far, Gettysburg and The Skyline Drive / BRP never disappoints!
    #28
  9. sherpa_pat

    sherpa_pat Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    New Brunswick
    Cliffhanger!
    Can't wait to hear about where you end up!
    #29
  10. Tsotsie

    Tsotsie Semi-reformed Tsotsi Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,658
    Location:
    South Texas
    This looks like it is going to be fun!
    #30
  11. Jnich77

    Jnich77 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    952
    Location:
    Orlando Fl
    I love the title man. If you aren't traveling on the cheap, you are not having a real adventure :D
    #31
  12. NorwegianTool

    NorwegianTool Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2015
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    The cold north
    Cool stuff :clap
    #32
  13. BuffaloStapler

    BuffaloStapler Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2014
    Oddometer:
    42
    Location:
    East Coast, Canada
    Alrighty! I'm now way behind on my RR, currently near San Jose, CA, staying with friends for a few days! My travel plans have changed quite a bit, but for now I have to continue where I left off, about to check out the Tail of the Dragon!

    After fueling up in Whyteville, VA, I more or less followed the Blue Ridge Mountains, without actually running the Blue Ridge Parkway. I was still trying to make up time, and riding less busy, but equally twisty roads, I was able to make my way down through Boone, NC, and Asheville, NC before hopping on Route 74, which led me to the much anticipated route 129, the Tail of the Dragon.

    [​IMG]

    By that point it was nearing 7pm, and with rain and thunderstorms closing in, I booked a motel near Knoxville, TN. Despite being tired, with rain and lightening closing in and the sun getting low, I figured there's never gonna be a perfect time to run Deals Gap, so I gave the old bike the beans and headed towards the hills. And I'm glad I did!

    Every corner had my full concentration while I pushed the gear-laden bike beyond what I thought the knobbies could handle. I had the road to myself as I crossed from North Carolina into Tennessee.

    Stopped for a quick pic of the metal dragon,

    [​IMG]

    After cresting the top of the pass, I came across this little dude trying to make his way across the road. Not wanting him to get run over (A couple riced-up honda civics had passed by), I stopped to help him make his way to the other side.

    [​IMG]

    At this point, my battery, which was progressively weakening, finally gave up and wouldn't get the bike started. Luckily I was able to bump start the old girl, and with thunderstorms seemingly everywhere but ahead, I hauled ass to my motel. In the morning I was able to get a new battery, and made my way towards a hostel I had booked in Nashville
    #33
  14. BuffaloStapler

    BuffaloStapler Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2014
    Oddometer:
    42
    Location:
    East Coast, Canada
    Most of Tennessee and Arkansas are a bit of a blur at this point, but here goes!

    I was mostly interested in getting towards Oklahoma, and apart from eating some fried chicken, I had no big must-see's in these parts. I also didn't take too many pictures for the next few days. While I know I missed a bunch of great stuff, I was more focused on getting to the West. Bright side is that I have an excuse to make my way down here again during another trip, hopefully with a bigger budget and more planning!

    I did get to eat some fantastic fried chicken in Nashville at a place called Nattie B's, though I didn't have my camera with me. It was amazingly delicious, much better than KFC, my only fried chicken experience at the time. If you're in Nashville, check them out, seems like the real deal, especially since they have rolls of brown paper towels at every table, no dainty napkins is a good sign!

    From Nashville I headed to Memphis, where I had a new front tire waiting for me at some local Suzuki shop (forget the name). My plan was to change the tire myself, wanting to be all independent and whatnot. But it was hot and muggy, and I'd had a long day, and the shop tech offered to spoon on the new tire for 20$. Deal.

    However, my day got worse as I left the shop, my clutch seemed to be slipping quite a bit, an issue that was getting worse ever since riding the Tail. I immediately imagined the worse: burnt clutch plates, worn cable, warped clutch disks. Having no replacements, and no garage, I decided to take my time and baby the bike towards Oklahoma. I was planning on meeting friends in Northern Colorado, and could maybe get them to bring along parts.

    The next morning I crossed over the Mississippi, marking a sort of halfway point in my trip! No pictures of the river as I was on a freeway, but I did see this neato mural at a gas stop a few miles later.

    [​IMG]

    Arkansas is a blurr, but I did stop by at the Ozark Cafe, having seen a few pictures of it in various ride reports.

    [​IMG]

    I was hoping to find camping, but with no one around, I took a few pics and continued my way west. I eventually found campsite and hunkered down for an early night, a plan my music-blasting camping neighbors didn't share.In the morning I did some much needed maintenance, chain adjustment and valve clearances.

    [​IMG]

    This was actually back in Virginia or North Carolina, but I forgot about the pic. Seemed like a cool place, but sadly it was closed.

    Oklahoma, here I come!
    #34
  15. BK.RD.RNR

    BK.RD.RNR Torque Stick

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,823
    Location:
    Livin' in the 90's
    Good stuff! Keep it coming!!
    #35
  16. NorwegianTool

    NorwegianTool Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2015
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    The cold north
    Looks great, rethinking the south!
    #36
  17. BK.RD.RNR

    BK.RD.RNR Torque Stick

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,823
    Location:
    Livin' in the 90's
    3 weeks without an update?:D
    #37
  18. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,360
    Location:
    Now serving just Snohomish County
    More More More!!!

    :lurk
    #38
  19. ADVCoop

    ADVCoop Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,109
    Location:
    Springtown TX
    Good stuff man. Have fun!
    #39
  20. BK.RD.RNR

    BK.RD.RNR Torque Stick

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,823
    Location:
    Livin' in the 90's
    Bump. :dunno
    #40