Denied.

Update:

I made it to Nogales,  AZ after a mid day departure from Phoenix and booked a $50 room at Motel 6 for the night. I will cross the border early in the AM.

I noticed there was something up with the brakes in Tuscon, but the fronts were working well… I made up my mind that I would check them in Nogales.

Well, I did and my discovery was that the hole that had previously been shedding tears of antifreeze was now pissing oil.  Enough to coat the backside of my bags with splatter from the tire kicking it up. There was a pool of it in my skid plate as if to emphasize the problem.               I ran to the gas station next door and bought an emergency bag of sunflower seeds which I cracked and spit out madly while thinking about exactly what I should do.

I’d have to fix it before crossing the border.. that much was clear.  What was also clear was that it was part of the same issue I just had “fixed” in Phoenix yesterday. I’m just going to redo the whole thing. Myself. None of the Kawasaki dealerships will let me watch the work being done.. if someone else fixes it, I have no idea what really happened.

In the morning, I thought to have it towed but after having a poor phone connection for  two and a half hours with my many times-savior AAA, I decided to chance it and just ride the bike back to Tuscon.

Before I left, I booked a room on line with a home-sharing network. I had my fingers crossed that my request would be accepted.

When I returned to Tuscon, I went to the dealer and ordered the parts overnight… almost the same exact ones I’d ordered before Christmas. the best to be hoped for from a Saturday order is a Tuesday Noon time delivery.

Just before I got back on the bike, I checked email and found out that my host had approved my request and for around thirty bucks a day, secured a nice room in a home with laundry, kitchen, fast internet, and a bicycle to use! SCORE!!!

Also, I’ll get to see an old workfriend for lunch who is cruising this part of the country on his motorcycle too.

I’m bummed I wont be celebrating the New Year and flying big Valle de Bravo air with my friends, but glad to be safe, warm, comfortable and able to share some time with a friend that I would have otherwise missed.

 

 

 

Slowly…slowly…

I haven’t posted in quite a while.. Getting ready has had some incredible challenges… I’ve been traveling at a furious pace for a little more than 2 weeks…

I’ve seen a bunch of my friends but every place has been a working stop.

IMG_6470I left Maryland in a dash..  I got really sick with a bone aching fever and a head full of boogers.. I hardly ever get sick… the day I started feeling human again, the snow and ice started.. The town was shut down and my plans for a yellow fever shot and welding racks for my bike were buried in 8 inches of snow. I felt strained by the long delay.

Finally, the sun came out for a couple hours.. It softened the thick layer of ice and snow that had settled on my camper. I frantically shoveled it all off the top.. but not before I put a leg through my skylight.. I couldn’t see the bump that should have been there, the snow was so deep.

I said a too-quick goodbye to my sweetheart and made a mad dash for the road. I was behind my timeline by about a week.

I would have left my camper right there in Maryland but I wasn’t sure how good I had really winterized the camper.
I stopped in North Atlanta where a good friend from the Navy lives.. he graciously let me use his warehouse to put my racks together.. another friend from San Diego texted me and said she was nearby.. traveling. She’s a welder by trade and taught me some handy lessons.. It was an awesome move because my welding skills are frankly… poor.

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Next, I dropped my camper at another friends place in Atlanta..

IMG_0059The racks were almost done but my tank bags had been shipped to the wrong address. I forwarded them to another friend in California.
I loaded the bike in the truck and headed West. I stopped in Dallas for a few hours of rest and then again in frigid 16 F degree Gallup. IMG_0091 IMG_0062
After a quick stop in Flagstaff, and again in Las Vegas with a lucky appointment for my Yellow fever shot, I made it to Tecopa Hot Springs late that night. My friend there has an amazing talent for.. everything!

He took me for a spectacular flight on his trike.. and helped me fix/finish the racks…IMG_0104

Kiltman Adventures

www.kiltmanadventures.com/

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also, gave me a dirt riding lesson.. Sorry I dont have pictures of the wreck.  I took a header.. it was a good lesson!

I had a really delightful small camper all to myself for two relaxing and fun days..

IMG_0109Just before I left, Jim and Laura prepared an amazing lunch! That’s Desert style living.

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Pasta with olives and excpetional grilled chickenIMG_0112IMG_0096

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LOVE. IT.

In San Diego, I met a couple friends and family for some Paraglider maintenance, (reserve repack) paperwork (made copies of all my documents), a spare clutch cable and to replace my clutch. I didn’t do my clutch though because when I rolled it up in my friends garage, I noticed it might be good for a little flight… And it was.. I got an hour of airtime before the wind direction switched and I had to land on the beach. It felt glorious.
I’ve departed CA now. I’ve camped in two places.. Once near YumaIMG_0115 IMG_0116 IMG_0139 IMG_0162 IMG_6499

and again in Oatman where I saw my old friend(s).

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Hammock with bug netIMG_0208

His Rig… and medicine wheelIMG_0201

Cooking inside the Van!!IMG_0197

Dakotah in full Winter regaliaIMG_6524

Closest I could get reception to order spare parts and FacebookIMG_6514

The ridge looks a bit smaller with Panorama.IMG_6510

Hammock camping
IMG_0190Right after I left California, I discovered that my water pump seals were leaking. The bike is still running strong, but eventually it will quit.

Dec 23rd.. I had the seals overnighted to a place in Phoenix.
More later…

It’s later. Dec 24. The seals didn’t make it. I Facebooked that I was stuck in Phoenix and the Paragliding family came through again. A casual friend called and offered her familys house as a crash pad.. I was still convinced the part would arrive on Christmas eve, so monitored the phone constantly.. By 9:00, I knew I was going to be waiting until Thursday sometime. We had tacos and Margaritas and laughed a lot at… I cant remember at what.IMG_0249

Not my flight, but so fun to watch!!IMG_6554

My Phoenix Heroes!! Glorious Christmas hike!!IMG_6548 IMG_6539 IMG_6536

New RouteIMG_6535

Maybe?IMG_6534

Old route.. not possible. No tickets left on Ferry to Mazatlan.

It was wonderful not to be stuck in a hotel room with the TV for company. I stayed 2 nights with my amazing and generous hosts. I bailed out today. I’m catching up with you now at a Starbucks in Scottsdale hoping for a phone call with my parts…Soon. I’m about to find a hotel next to an auto parts place.. I’ll do the repair in the parking lot so I can be close enough to a quick rescue. HOPEFULLY, I’ll leave the country early tomorrow morning.

I am blessed with so many wonderful people surrounding me… Everywhere. This has been the real grace of an itinerant lifestyle.

Special thanks to David who has been a very surprising and warm  welcome for continued support!!