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SnOverland Expo 2015/RawHyde Adventure's AZ ADV Rally

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So this is an 8 minute vid of the prep and ride up to Overland Expo West 2015 near Flagstaff, AZ.  I ride up from Orange County, California with Eric Hall, Kim Krause, and Jessica Washburn. 

 

No pics of the snow, but I'm sure the other folks have some they'll contribute.

Enjoy ...

 

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Soft tissue damage but nothing feels broken.  Going to be on crutches for a few days at least.  I think I hyper-extended it by tucking it under the foot brake, and my SIDI Armada's saved the ankle from flopping around with a break.  

 

Some swelling and lots of black and blue today.  I honestly think that the 512 mile ride home in that boot caused me more pain because when I put the boot on in my tent I was able to zip it closed so the swelling was under control, but when I got home to California 9 hours later the foot was swelled inside the boot and I had trouble getting it off.  

 

I had blisters around the ankle and the lower shin that I didn't have in the morning and they had popped sometime on the ride, so needless to say, that was pretty painful.

 

Now I'm on the RICE regimen (Thanks to Sharif Massoud at Overland for this acronym):  Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

 

Thanks for asking.

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Day 1

 

So... about that Overland Expo...   :lol:

 

I have to say that we had a great time still despite the poor weather.  It was really cold and wet the whole time we were there.  But we kept saying: "you know, three weeks from now we'll be saying this was awesome!"

 

It all started with Kim Krause and Jessica Washburn showing up at my place Wednesday night from NorCal to stay the night.  Kim was wiped out and napped on my couch while Jessica and I went and got some Mod Pizza.

 

My desk with all my gadgets charging

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Gregory agreed to ride w/us and meet us at 0700 Thu am but Kim (being Kim) decided she was on her own time table.  She lolligagged about the place until it was time to actually go.  Then she went to the local drug store for some kind of chick lotion (dry skin) and then met us at the Coscto's for gas (except that she doesn't have a Costco card).  So we went to another gas station just for her and that made her happy.  :D

 

Admittedly, I was being the anal ride leader and trying to crack the whip on getting us out the door.  But that's only because I wanted us to be at OEx by 4 pm to give us time to set up camp before dark, get our bearings and then have dinner.  Kim and I were hooked up via our Sena com's and she told me she thought it was like a two hour ride!  Sorry dear, it's more like eight hours!  (~480 miles).

 

Kim's bike

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Jessica's bike

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My bike. Yes, I know.  It's dirty.  The way it should be.

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We made pretty good time stopping in Barstow, Needles for lunch, Seligman, Flagstaff, then OEx finally at Mormon Lake.  Didn't see any Mormons that I could spot but they prefer "LDS" anyway.  I wish I knew more about the history of the area but I'm sure it must have something to do with the Mormon pioneers that settled the area.
 
We got a great welcome from the kind folks at the RawHyde staff and a brief intro to the "Arizona Adventure Rally" as part of the OEx we were going to take part.  Jim Hyde introduced his staff and we were treated to the finest gourmet food from within a MASH-style army tent.  Bonfires ensued, along with fine local craft brews, assorted cocktails and many lies about our riding prowess.  ;)
 
And yes, that is Brad Barker on drums.  There wasn't any live music at that point, but it's his happy place so we didn't want to disturb it.  
 

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Day 2

 

So I awoke (see video) to what I thought was a cold morning.  I got my JetBoil going w/some Starbucks Via coffee (of course) and walked around a bit until I realized it was only like 5:00 in the morning.

 

Despite the cold rain/sleet, we decided to rally and go for a trail ride.  Jason Houle led the group of 10 and we headed out on Schnebly Hills road on the way to Sedona.  The tracks were pretty good for awhile and then we started to hit a lot of mud puddles.  They were easy to get around or through but the last five miles before the highway turned into that sticky kind of mud that sticks to your front wheel.  Jason, Jessica and a few others had to dig the mud out because their front wheels were completely locked.  BMW needs a higher fender for sure.  I have a 21" front w/no fender and here in SoCal we get to ride pretty much mud-free most of the time so it's not an issue for me.

 

Jason digging mud out of his front fender.  And no, that's not a street tire.  It's just worn smooth with a layer of mud-frosting.

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Jason pretending not to be in pain from his back spasms he suffered

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Kim with mud on her butt from falling a few times

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Kim and Michelle became fast friends.  I was surprised Michelle got past all that mud on Kim's face.   ;)

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Kim and Jason

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Kim, Moe and Jeff

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The crew.  Note how clean I kept my new DKR suit from ICON Raiden.  I didn't fall ;)

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I led at least three of us back on the highway but it was so cold, my thumbs go frost nipped so I got off at the first exit and Moe and Jessica and I got some hot food, coffee and warmed up.  Just as we were leaving, Moe's rear tire came off the rim!  I sent Jessica on and went back to help him get the wheel off and the tire back on and aired up, only to see it come off immediately after, only this time with a loud "BOOM" when the tube exploded.
 
Really?
 
I put Moe on the back of my bike and rode him back to OEx.  He said he'd come back for it later with his truck/trailer.  Moe works for Woody's and it was a shop bike I like to call the "Franken-bike."  If your memory is really good then you will recall I rode the Franken-bike in Moab along Onion Creek rd.  I gave it a proper flogging at the time as I recall.  I see it as a way of the bike getting back at me three years later.  No, I deserve it  :lol:
 

GS Trophy Moab 079

 

 
We got back to camp and walked around the vendor area and saw this cool 2wd bike from Rev 'It, among other great attractions.  It was really great to see Ron Grace, his wife Dawn and their two boys ripping it up on their little dirtbikes.  Tomas Kucera and JJ Lewis too.  These are the peeps who are getting it done at Lost for a Reason.  Keep that in mind next time you have a few pennies to share.
 

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I had never really warmed up from the ride and spent about 45 min in Brad Barker's RV warming up.  That didn't do it for me so I spent another 90 min in an RV w/the GM from our local BMW dealer and his buddy.  That did the trick!  It was like 35 out!  I was having none of that.

 

 

 

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Day 3

 

M'yeah, so it snowed.

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There was to be no riding today given the weather and yesterday's difficult ride, so we just kind of made the best of things and trudged around the mud and checked out all the vendors on display.  What was really cool was that I finally got to meet Ted Porter in person.  That guy is amazing.  He was talking suspension magic like a Gandalf or something.
 

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Kim on the Rev 'It bike

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Tomas' Ural

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Jim Gary's 690 w/Tolga's Ride Must Go On sticker prominently displayed.

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I did manage to walk around the other non-moto part of Overland Expo and was totally amazed at all the impressive kit out there.  Saw lots of rigs that cost more than my over-priced home in Orange County.  Saw lots of really cool people, including the one and only Simon and Lisa.  I did miss out on meeting Tiffany Coats, however :(
 
OE is a huge deal.  They have food vendors, wi-fi and coffee tent, maps, showers, etc...  I will definitely have to attend next year because there's no way you can see it all in one weekend.
 
It was truly a Woodstock (except with snow and motorcycles) because this is the only place you'll see that many people who are as crazy as you are for one thing:  adventure.  We will camp out in sub zero temps and snow just to be a part of that madness.
 
Many new friends as well.  I was really glad to spend more time with the ICON Raiden people.  Expect to see yours truly and XLADV perhaps be a part of their next video series.  I was also *this* close to buying a ticket to Cambodia next month to join Brad Barker on a moto ride he's filming there.  Lots and lots of new stuff to come.
 
My ride home was thankfully a bit warmer.  Roughly 52 from Flag to Kingman then 80-90 from there to OC and back down to the 60's.  I took Kelbaker road south off the 40 through Amboy then down through Joshua Tree.  Never been there before.  Kind of a cool/creepy desert community.   I will have to explore trails there in the fall when it cools down.
 
SnOverland Expo 2015.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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Snow.
Being in a tent while it's snowing...sucks.
Several years ago I was in the Sierras in October. It's a fantastic time of year to be there. Awesome fall colors, especially the aspens. And NO BUGS. But it can be a crapshoot regarding the weather, and at times will get down below 20 degrees.
At this point I was still an avid tent camper. I was the last one in my regular group of camping buddies, including my brother. Temps had been as low as 18 degrees. I was with my girlfriend (now my wife), and two dogs in our large family-sized tent. We had a catalytic heater, but the tent was too big and too cold for the heater to work effectively. So I constructed another "tent" inside the big one using old tent poles and emergency blankets. It was just big enough to cover the air mattress, and the heater was able to keep up. At any time after sunset, you could look in there and find the dogs (and the girlfriend) snuggled up in relative warmth. They looked at me like I was crazy, but I had a point to prove.
I had spent the prior 3 days ragging on my brother and his buddies. They all had nice travel trailers, I was the only tent-camper in our group, and when they said I was crazy, I dove deep into trash talking. I called them all "&%$#@!", laughed at their rigs all stacked up next to each other in the little trailer park at Lundy while I was in a beautiful site surrounded by trees and nature about 50 yards away. And these folks were worried about bears, even though they were mostly cops (and armed), sitting in their trailers sipping hot chocolate while my girlfriend, dogs and me were "roughing it"...no firepower, no electricity, our provisions away from the tent but not really secured from the big critters. This is how I had always done it since childhood, and I was goofing on all of them for crossing over to the dark side.
Some time around 9pm it started snowing.
My dogs were now also looking at me like I was crazy, and wouldn't come out from the tent-inside-a-tent. Yun (my girlfriend) began asking "what-if's". I tried to keep everyone calm by showing them how easy it was to simply stand up and knock the snow off the tent from the inside. See? Piece of cake, we'll be fine.
Well, the snow started coming down heavy. I reassured her that we would be fine, we weren't going to be crushed, it was all good. Until I realized I needed to knock the snow off every 15-20 minutes to keep the tent from collapsing...and the snow that slid off was piling up on the sides. And I wouldn't be able to sleep because of this 15-minute drill. It dawned on me that my pride had gotten the better of me, and that I had no options. I told Yun to grab the dogs and all the dry bedding and head for the truck. She noted astutely that there wasn't enough room for all of us to sleep there. I knew this, but kept my mouth shut. My earlier trash talk was about to come full circle.
We drove out of our spot and into the trailer park, and I went and knocked on my brother's door asking for some floor space to sleep. I tried to block out the comments. "Who's the &%$#@! now?"
The next morning, we went back to our campsite to find the tent collapsed and buried along with the rest of our stuff. Ugh. And there was more snow in the forecast.
I was lucky. There had been a cancellation for one of the large, permanent trailers at the resort and we slid right into artificial comfort.
Our site was a wreck. We went back after the snow finally stopped to dig everything out. While driving around to waste time waiting for others to arrive, my brother had spotted a teeny little travel trailer for sale in Mono City. It was really small and old, but in good shape. And it had a shower. I bought it on the spot, and we still have it.
The dogs and the wife are much happier, but I feel like I've lost something. Other than when out on a bike adventure, this was the last time I tent camped. I've also crossed over to the dark side...but it's warm and dry here.

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