Monthly Archives: December 2018

The Purge.

There some stuff going on, not the least of which is I’m getting rid of stuff. A lot of stuff. I’m tired of having “stuff” everywhere I don’t want, don’t need, whatever. Downsizing. Because reasons. Furniture, fat clothes (a lot of fat clothes), music gear – you name it. A lot of stuff up for grabs. Do I need a couple hundred pairs of shoes? No. Do I need most of this sh*t? Again, the answer is no. Quite a bit gone, but much, much more to go.

BMW G650GS

click for larger

Of course, there has been some adventure. A little, anyway. After the inaugural ride on the BMW, I determined (painfully obviously) that I needed to upgrade the tires. So, 500 of my American dollars later, and it now has a set of Michelin Anakee Wilds, and what a difference. No slip, no spin – they dig right in. Even with the ABS turned off, they are completely sure-footed. So, less likelihood of me being stranded, killed or whatever in the woods. I guess that’s a plus. I have a challenging ride planned – basically, from one mountaintop to the other – when time permits, but I at least did a short 20-mile ride over the weekend to get the feel of the new shoes. It was cold as balls, so I was bundled up like Kenny in A Christmas Story, and my new motorbike pants didn’t arrive until the day after the ride (natch), but still, not bad. Not too bad at all.


Then, a hike. Well, more than a hike – an arduous adventure climbing up the side of a mountain. Last summer, I took the drone to the top of Falling Water Falls (where I’ve also ridden my mountain bike), and on my bucket list was an attempt to hike in to the base of the falls. I’ve heard it can be done, but there are no trails, no parking, no nothing. To make a long boring story short and boring, attempting to climb up the side of the mountain in the cold and rain probably wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done. Got within a couple hundred yards of the falls, but the terrain – massive boulders, rock fields, a very fast moving creek and steep wet ascents forced me err on the side of not dying (or at least breaking an ankle or something). At least I have a better idea what to expect, so when it’s a little warmer and a lot dryer, I’m gonna try again. No trail has beaten me yet, and this will not be the first one.

Falling Water Falls map

Falling Water Falls Map – click for Movescount data

Tomorrow, another adventure – a bucket list item to cross off. As for today, The Purge will continue, maybe followed by some dank wheelies.

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Changes.

So much going on. More than usual. Never let it be said that I’m lazy and/or boring.

Big Soddy Creek Bridge

Big Soddy Creek Bridge – click for larger

I did, indeed, find the aforementioned new trail up through the area known as Big Soddy Gulf, and I made it all the way to – and beyond – the Big Soddy Creek Bridge and and the (now dangerously dilapidated) Deep Creek Bridge. Of course, I did my usual stupid and dangerous off-trail stuff, and basically climbed up the side of the mountain. And down a mountain. And back up a mountain. And back down a mountain. You get the idea. Only I can take what should have been a 6 or 7 mile hike, and make it nearly 14 miles. Hi, have we met?

Big Soddy Creek Gulf Movescount GPS Trail Map

click for larger, or Movescount data

There was some melancholy news. I sold my truck. The hooptie. The Stoopid-Lookin’ Honeymobile. I’m probably overthinking it and making a bigger deal out of it than necessary, but I’ve had it for a long time, and did all sorts of hotrodding to it, and had lots of great adventures behind the wheel, or lugging the kayak, mountain bike, puppers, or whatever. However, since I bought the Jeep, I just wasn’t driving it, so paying for insurance and what-not seemed kinda pointless, and because I believe that the Universe works in weird ways, I stumbled right into someone who wanted it. Really wanted it – and will continue the hotrodding of the thing. So, see ya later, Truck. Thanks for the memories. Couple trips to Florida, the drive-in, lots of adventures, taking the pups places – good times. I guess even the best of times eventually come to an end. Someone said to me that this represented the longest relationship I’ve ever had, and depressingly, that was accurate. At least the truck never lied to me or ran off with another vehicle – as far as I know; there was that sketchy VW a while back…

Chevy Silverado & Honda Shadow Phantom

click for larger

Now, I had good motivation to sell the truck. I can justify having two vehicles and a motorbike, but not two vehicles and two motorbikes. That’s just too austentatious for me (surprisingly). You know where this is going, right? As promised (threatened?), I went motorbike shopping over the weekend, and the BMW I looked at – wow. Just wow. So, you know what happened…

Jeep Cherokee Towing BMW G650GS on a Kendon Stand-Up Trailer

Yep.

It’s awesome. Sleek, fast, bells and whistles. Seriously, heated grips? Anti-lock brakes? On a motorcycle? That’s some real Star Trek sh*t right there. But most importantly, and the whole reason I bought it, is to head into the woods.

BMW G650GS at Lusk Point

Which I did. Immediately.

It is so dramatically different that the Phantom. Instead of a massive V-Twin like the Phantom has, the BMW has a single cylinder engine, for simplicity’s sake. However, it’s just as fast (maybe faster) because it weighs almost 200 pounds less. And – wait for it – it gets 74 MPG. Seventy-four. The Phantom gets around 55 (and for comparison, the Jeep has been getting 27, and the truck got 12 – on a good day, going downhill, with a tailwind). So, with the current $1.97 I paid this morning, for 7 bucks and a quarter, I can go about 275 miles. That’ll do, pig.

My second-longest relationship is with Amazon.

My second-longest relationship is with Amazon.

Of course, now I have to get online and really shop. I’ve already ordered an off-road helmet and purpose-made jacket and other gear. I ordered the “official” BMW tail bag; a soft trunk that goes on the back – I always carry loads of stuff when I explore. A tank pad – it’s basically a spongy kinda decal that goes on the tank so a tank bag won’t slide around (fun fact: the “tank” on a BMW isn’t actually that; that gas tank is under the seat [hence the rear filler] – where the tank is on a conventional bike is the battery and air filter). And some fun things: a patch for the new jacket (gotta find a seamstress) and a cloth keytag, like I have for the Jeep. I need crash bars and a skid plate (addendum: upper crash bars ordered; lowers next). Aux lighting. Because it’s December, it’s going to be a couple of months (probably) before I have real adventures on it, so I have time to prep. But the adventures are going to be plentiful. I knew as soon as I got in the woods that it was the right call, and that was just a short ride on a cold, cloudy day. By the time April or May rolls around, I’m going to be crushing it in the middle of nowhere.


So, mountain biking, kayaking, drone flying, hiking, caving, Jeepin’, dog walking, street motorbiking and now off-road motorbiking. What’s left? Bungee jumping? Hang gliding? Lion taming? Hmm…

Oh, and I guess I need to update the Motorbike page.

Link:
Big Soddy Gulf Photo Album on Facebook

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