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October 31, 2017


Rising crime in Ecuador

Overseas Security Advisory Council

Cuenca, Ecuador looks like a cool place. Reminds me a lot of Cusco, Peru.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 31, 2017 at 11:02 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Route Through South America

I'm just sort of doing some back of the envelope guestimates at my route across South America. It looks like roughly 9,000 miles to get to Tierra Del Fuego (not counting North and Central America).

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 31, 2017 at 10:35 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

22nd annual Festival of the Monarch Butterfly

Butterfly Festival in Angangueo

The 22nd annual Festival of the Monarch Butterfly is from November 22 to December 2. Opening ceremonies are Friday, Nov. 22 in the Temple of the Immaculate Conception in Angangueo.

Angangueo is a town and municipality located in far eastern Michoacán state in central Mexico noted for its history of mining and its location in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere

Hmmm. So, it looks like this is one of the Mexican states I was sort of cautious about, but if there are butterflies...

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 31, 2017 at 10:20 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 30, 2017

Cartel Violence No Reason to Skip School


MATAMOROS, Tamaulipas -- Education officials in the border cities of this state minimized the cartel violence experienced by local residents as convoys of gunmen fight in armored SUVs with machine guns and grenade launchers near schools.

What's funny is that I rode alone through Matamoros. I rode solo across the Mexican state of Taumalipas and I had no problems. I got turned around a time or two in Matamoros....I went the wrong way down a one-way street towards oncoming traffic, expecting them to stop...and they did not. So, you can't drive in Mexico the same way you do in the United States or you're not going to live. Down there, you have to be more careful. More defensive. You've got to pay attention to the traffic and get out of the way if someone is coming at you in your lane. But, other than that, I had no problems at all. My Spanish was so bad I had a guy help me use the ATM. I swear to God I did. But it worked. :)

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 30, 2017 at 10:04 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 29, 2017

Mexican Cartels Carry Out 20 Executions in One Day


I was thinking...well it's a good thing I'm not going through the Mexican state of Michoacan, right? Then, I looked at a map. It's between Puerto Vallarta and Acupulco. Doh!

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 29, 2017 at 10:42 AM : Comments (1) | Permalink

October 28, 2017

The Problem with the Conversions

It's tough going from dollars, gallons, and miles to pesos, liters, and kilometers. Here's the conversions I'll be using in Mexico:

1 US Dollar = 19 pesos
1 US Gallon = 3.8 liters
1 mile = 1.6 km

But the entire premise is wrong. That's what makes it so hard. You think you will convert from miles to km by multiplying by 1.6. But you won't. That will never happen. What you'll be doing instead is converting from km to miles, which is obviously totally different. Especially if you're trying to do it in your head riding through a cactus desert.

1 peso = 5 cents ($0.05 USD)
1 km = .6 miles
1 liter = .25 gallons

1 peso = 5 cents ($0.05 USD)
1 US Dollar = 19 pesos

So, to convert from pesos to USD, the shortcut is just to divide the number of Pesos by 20 to get USD. So, when the police man robs you of $2,000 pesos, he's really only just stolen $100 USD from you, which is much better than the criminal police in infamous speed-trap of Morrison, Colorado.

1 km = .6 miles
1 mile = 1.6 km

So, to convert from km to miles, basically, you just drop a digit, and multiply by 6. So, if Manuel says the next Pemex station is 300 km, that means it's 180 miles to the next gas station. (300/10 = 30. 30 x 6 = 180).

1 liter = .26 gallons
1 gallon = 3.8 liters

So, to convert from liters to gallons, basically you divide by 4 (3.8 is more accurate, but 4 is easier to do in your head). So, if the Pemex station says you just bought 16 liters, it means you purchased 4 gallons of gas (4.2 to be more exact).

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 28, 2017 at 9:04 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

The Curse of the Village Idiot

Today, I checked my mail. I've been checking it every day which is so not like me. But, every day I check the mail because I've been waiting on lots of things to come in the mail. Like my passport and the title to my motorcycle. Ostensibly, these items were preventing me from taking off to South America.

But then, today, I check the mailbox, and guess what? My title is in there. It's so silly. A little green piece of paper issued by the State of Colorado with my name on it and the correct VIN of the motorcycle on there.

And now, it's sort of like....uh...ok....go ahead sparky. Do what you said you were going to do. Because, either go you to Tierra Del Fuego now, or you were just a liar and a braggard.

See, I do this to myself on purpose. I intentionally paint myself into a corner where I'm forced to get out of my comfort zone and go roll around and see the world for a bit.

The first time I ever did this was when I was working out in San Diego. Everyone said they used to go down to eat lobster on the beach in Rosarito, but that was in the 70's when there was no crime. Now, of course, it was too dangerous to go down there. Now, there were drug runners and people smugglers (coyotes) and it was all too dangerous to go.

But, in spite of all of this, I decided to investigate for myself how dangerous the situation was. I did everything in baby steps. First, I'd walk across the border to see if I was killed. I walked across the border to a row of waiting taxis. Had a taxi drive me around Tijuana, waiting on me as I bought candy in a few stores before returning me to the border. I wasn't raped. Or killed. And I ended up with a coffee table of imported Mexican candy.

After that, I decided I'd drive across the border. So, I drove across the border. I was so upset to find that the road signs were in English. That there was a freaking toll-road from Tijuana down to Rosarito, Mexico. How I hate that I allowed others to pump their fears into me. That was 8 years ago in 2009.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 28, 2017 at 6:50 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Deadhorse to Tierra Del Fuego: A Journey to the Ends of the Earth - Chapter 2: 100 Miles Before Noon

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 28, 2017 at 12:18 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Deadhorse to Tierra Del Fuego: A Journey to the Ends of the Earth

Chapter 1: Inflection Points

I intend, as part of this journey, to try to summarize, pre-humously, advice to my just-under-the-wire teenage daughter.

Like, I've certainly given her my advice to the point that she's completely nauseated by my ramblings and glad to have escaped away to college.

But, as the time comes for me to depart on my solo journey across Latin America, it occurs to me now that I might focus on a few words of wisdom in a way that she could easily digest and in a manner that might stand the test of time better than a laptop on dad's dresser with a cat sitting on it.

Some of these ideas are doubtless scattered across this website in other areas, but if so, I'll try to cobble some of these ideas together in a manner which might be easier to share with my daughter should I not be able to communicate so easily from a Peruvian prison.

And, if I am repeating myself and just talking in circles, then please just nod and smile with one eye on the exit, knowing that I'm doing the best that I can.

Inflection Points

In Calculus, they talk about inflection points, which is where a graph makes a radical change in direction. Whenever I've had a radical change in my life, and I've had many, it's been a time for reflection and introspection.

The first radical change in my career was when I was transferred within the company I was working for in Dallas, Texas. Basically, I was in a role where I was running payroll for a few companies and, at one point, my boss came to me and said that I was being transferred to a different department within the company.

"How long would it take you to wrap up what you're doing here so that you could hand it over to someone else?"

This question was really shocking to me. It's a fairly simple question, but not one that I could readily answer. I had never really considered the question "how long would it take me to complete the tasks I've been assigned" because a) I didn't really care much about what I was working on and b) I was a salaried employee and I got paid the same whether I got a lot done or precious little and c) there really was no incentive to do anything at all except come in every day and try to do as little as possible without getting fired.

But now, I've got someone asking me "how long would it take you do wrap all of this up?" and, in all honesty, I said..."I don't know...probably 2 weeks".

But it was a wake-up call, of sorts, because I'd never thought that way before. At all. I'd never really tried to do anything at work except come in, and do just enough not to get fired.

My point in this observation is that I suspect that's how 95% of the population behaves. Most people are working for someone else, not directly following their dreams, stuck in some dead-end jobs, doing just enough to get by without being fired.

Chapter 2: Chasing Summer

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 28, 2017 at 9:41 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 27, 2017

Copying Notes off of iPhone onto MacBook Air


So, I went in today to the Verizon store. Those people are criminals. And as dumb as a bag of hammers.

First thing I discovered is that Verizon tricked us into signing up for a tablet, which they then put on my account and charged me $20 a month for 3 years before I caught on. I smell a class action lawsuit.

Then, the jackasses at the Verizon store told me that they couldn't take the tablet off of my account. Like, you want to murder these fucking criminals. Slit their throats with a box cutter and toss them off an overpass.

Also, they told me that 1) we don't have the iPhone 6S Plus 128 Gig in stock and 2) we can't check the inventory of the other Verizon stores to see if they have it either. So, eventually I just left. Like....I haven't assaulted anyone yet....now is a good time to go.

Then, I called Verizon and told them to 1) take the fucking tablet off of my account and 2) I was planning on filing a class action suit against the fuckers. But, this time, I actually got someone who understood how fucked Verizon truly is. He agreed to fed-ex me a 128 Gig iPhone 6 Plus and to take the fucking tablet off of my account. Like..this guy gets it.

Now, I'm still not sure what I have to do with the tablet. I have a feeling we're going to end up in court over this fucking thing.

But, the iPhone 6S should be here Monday at 8:00 p.m. Also, he explained that the iCloud should have all of my contacts and all of my Notes in it. So, the only way they have to copy the information over (contacts and notes) from one phone to another is to use the iCloud.

Update: I also need to copy my audio recordings off of the iphone.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 27, 2017 at 4:15 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Another Day...

I'm trying to get everything done before I leave the country. This morning, I went to the dentist and got my teeth cleaned. She said it was the first time in 3 years, but I find that hard to believe. Maybe she's right though.

Then I went by and got some groceries. (Just bags of snacks to eat in bed, really.)

I forgot to get cat food. I've got to go to Wal-Mart and stock up on cat food.

Get cat food
X Get hair cut. 10/27.
X Go to dentist. 10/27.
X Get new cell phone. 10/27. Ordered from Verizon. Will be here monday 10/30 at 8:00 p.m.

Get oil changed on AT. 10/27. Called B&B Cycles. They didn't get back to me.
Get tires put on AT. 10/27. Called B&B Cycles. They didn't get back to me.
Order chain and sprockets.10/27 Called B&B Cycles. They didn't get back to me.

Get new RAM mount for cell phone.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 27, 2017 at 9:56 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Nightly Backups

So, the nightly backup process that runs on Peenie Wallie is "C:\Program Files (x86)\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.1\bin\backup.bat" and there's a shortcut to it on my desktop.

It looks like I can delete my old files of the form:


So i deleted them up through 10/14/2017.

Now, I see these backup files also.


These (above) are backups of the following 3 files, which we want to keep:


So, I think that we want to keep these 3 files(above). But there are countless backups of these files of the form::


So, I'm reasonably sure it's safe to get rid of these backups. So, I deleted these backups up through 10/1/2017.

Now, looking back at an earlier post:http://www.peeniewallie.com/2013/08/web-server-main.html

And, I seem to recall that I can delete the access.log and the error.log.

1. Monitor Apache Server. Start - All Programs - Apache HTTP Server 2.0 - Control Apache Server - Monitor Apache Servers. Says Apache is already running.
2. Stop Apache. Start - All Programs - Apache HTTP Server 2.0 - Control Apache Server - Stop. The apache server is stopping.
3. Rename the error.log and the access.log.
Renamed c:\Program Files (x86)\Apache Group\Apache2\logs\access.log to
Renamed c:\Program Files (x86)\Apache Group\Apache2\logs\error.log to error_102717.log.
4. Restart Apache

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 27, 2017 at 3:27 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 26, 2017

So much to do...

There's so much to do. So hard to get it all done.

One of the things I'm getting better at is drinking coffee in the morning. This helps me to get moving instead of just surfing the internet and watching the libtard criminals in DC slowly go down the drain.

So, getting up, making coffee helps me to get going in the morning. Who knew?

I need to be doing a daily ride to check out all of my gear. Yesterday I never even went outside.

Today, this is what I will get done:

Call Seterus.
X Contact Alan the roofer. Sent him an email in reply to his estimate.
X Returned broken camera lens. Shipped this via FedEx today. FedEx tracking #788226216019.

Copy files off of GoPro's.
Order AT brackets for Givi case.
X Pick up new tires.
X See if the tires can be carried on the bike.It's possible, but I think I'll just change them out here.

Test cigarette lighter on bike.
Mount gas can on bike.

Copy files off of iphone.
Fix Garmin Montana so that it shows miles to next turn or replace it.

I'm trying to look at the Garmin Montana 600 and figure out how to tell it if I'm a hiker or on the interstate in a Tahoe. I remember that there's a setting in here that allows you to do this. I had a problem with this when I was riding on another adventure. Hmmmm.

Here's the Garmin Montana owner's manual.

Profile change.
Selecting a Profile
When you change activities, you can change the setup of the device by changing the profile.

Select Profile Change.
Select a profile.

Current Profile is Recreational.
I'm going to select a different profile. Let's go with "Automotive". They also have one for "Motorcycle". I'm going to stay away from that one.

But now, this is horrible. It doesn't lock North up any more. Christ. "Motorcycle" is no better. The only thing that I notice now is that there is a scale in the top right corner, but I can't see it due to my vision being so poor. I think I need a magnifying glass on top of this silly thing.

So, I'll go to walmart and see if they have any magnifying glasses I guess.
Walmart had magnifying glasses, but just the standard ones. Not like what I'm looking for.

Returned the lens.
Now, I need to tell the idiot that I returned the lens.
Shipped it FedEx Standard Overnight
Tracking#: 788226216019
Updated the link on ebay.


Now, I need to find the bill of sales with the correct VIN:
My first BIll of Sale shows the VIN as: JH2SD04G1HK001007.

However, the VIN on the bike is: JH2SD04G4HK001017.

OK. I found my new bill of sales with the correct VIN. That should help.
Also, I found my Insurance cards in the mail. So, I put those in my wallet.
Not that they really matter so much. They're useless once I leave the USA.

I started a folder with these documents in it.
Once I collect all of my documents, I will make copies of everything so that the border crossings are easier. So, I'll make copies of the following documents for the folder:

Documents to copy
Driver's License
Bill of Sale

I went online to Amazon and ordered a plastic magnifying lens when I'll cut to size and place on top of the Garmin Montana.
I also ordered a new wallet.
I also ordered my 66" boot/shoe laces.

Now, I'll copy my files off of the iPhone onto the MacBook Air. Let's see how this goes...

Hmmm. Seems like I lost my post about copying the files off of the iPhone onto the MacBook air. OK. Well, what I did was I hooked my iPhone up to the MacBook Air. Then, it copied them all into iPhoto (Photos). Then, I found some directions on the internet that talked about how to delete the photos from the iPhone.


In a nutshell, you turn off PhotoStream on your iphone, and then launch Image Capture. Image Capture allows you to import all of your photos and then delete them all off of your cell phone pretty easily.

So, once I had all of the photos from my iPhone loaded into the MacBook Air, then I just marked the ones I wanted to keep as favorites, and deleted the rest of them. The ones I wanted to keep, I exported to the Seagate external drive, and then imported them from the Seagate drive onto the S drive of my home network.

So, these are the photos that I moved off of the iPhone 4S, onto the Macbook Air, then on to the Seagate external drive, then onto the Simon drive of the home network.

All of the iPhone 4s photos (4,530) were copied to this folder:

This favorites folder from the iPhone 4S has 144 photos in it. S:\_2017\iphone_4s_10_26_2017\favorites

Then, I deleted these same photos from the MacBook Air. Deleted them and then emptied the recycle bin. So, they're not on the iPhone 4S any more. And they're not on the MacBook Air any more. And I deleted them from the Seagate drive. Now, they're only on the s: drive at S:\_2017\iphone_4s_10_26_2017.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 26, 2017 at 10:48 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 25, 2017

State Department Advisories



El Salvador



Costa Rica


Posted by Rob Kiser on October 25, 2017 at 11:47 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

Copying files off of Go Pros and Canons

I figure I need to copy all of the photos and videos off of my cameras. Make sure that everything is clean when I start off, anyway. The problem is that the GoPros eat up a lot of storage when you're shooting video with them. So, best to get all of the files off of the cameras for Day 1.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 25, 2017 at 3:01 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 24, 2017

Time Zone Changes

So, I thought I'd make a list of all of the time zone changes I'll go through on this trip. (I have to reset the camera clocks, etc.)
This map shows the time zones I'll be dealing with. Pretty good overview at a 50,000 foot level of North, Central, and South America.

Let's assume that this is roughly the route I'll take.

Time Zone Changes:
0) First of all, I'll start out on Sunday November 12th in MST in Colorado. Colorado, Utah, and Arizona will all be in the same time zone (MST) at this point.
1) On the way to the Los Angeles basin, I will set the clocks back 1 hour (gain 1 hour) when I cross into PST which will happen when I cross into either California or Nevada. (Arizona does't do Daylight Savings Time, so AZ will be in MST when I cross into AZ).
2) I will set the clocks ahead 1 hour (lose 1 hour) when I change from PST back to MST when I cross from Baja California del Norte(PST) to Baja California del Sur(MST) just outside of Guerro Negro, Mexico, BCS.
3) I will stay in MST when I catch the ferry from Pichilingue, BCS to Mazatlan, Sinaloa.
4) I will set clocks ahead 1 hour (lose 1 hour) when I change from MST to CST when I cross from the Mexican state of Nayarit to Jalisco just before I get to Puerto Vallarta..
5) This will be my last time zone change until I get to Panama. The rest of the countries I will go through in Central America will all be in CST. (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, & Costa Rica.)
6) When I cross into Panama, I will set the clocks ahead 1 hour (lose one hour) and I'll be in EST(UTC−05:00). The time zone will be the same for Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
7) When I cross into Bolivia and Paraguay, I will lose one more hour as they are both UTC-04:00.
8). When I cross into Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina, they will be UTC-3:00. Lose another hour.
9) When I go into Chile, I lose another hour UTC-04:00.

Daylight Savings Time by Country.

Colorado, Utah, Arizona = 12:00 noon MST.
California, Nevada = 11:00 a.m. PST.
Baja California del Norte, Mexico = 11:00 a.m. PST.
Baja California del Sur, Mexico = 12:00 noon MST.
Sinaloa, Mexico = 12:00 noon MST.
Nayarit, Mexico = 12:00 noon MST.
Jalisco, Mexico = 1:00 p.m. CST. UTC−06:00.
Guatemala = 1:00 p.m. CST. UTC−06:00. (Does not use DST.)
El Salvador = 1:00 p.m. CST. UTC−06:00. (Does not use DST.)
Honduras = 1:00 p.m. CST. UTC−06:00. (Does not use DST.)
Nicaragua = 1:00 p.m. CST. UTC−06:00. (Does not use DST.)
Costa Rica = 1:00 p.m. CST. UTC−06:00. (Does not use DST.)
Panama = 2:00 p.m. EST. UTC−05:00. (Does not use DST.)
Colombia = 2:00 p.m. EST. UTC−05:00. (Does not use DST.)
Ecuador = 2:00 p.m. EST. UTC−05:00. Does not use DST.)
Peru = 2:00 p.m. EST. UTC−05:00. (Does not use DST.)
Bolivia = 3:00 p.m. AST. UTC-04:00. (Does not use DST.)
Paraguay = 3:00 p.m. AST. UTC-04:00. (DST = Oct-Mar.)
Brazil - 4:00 p.m.UTC-3:00. The southern states of Brazil observe Daylight Savings Time.
Uruguay = 4:00 p.m. UTC-3:00. (Does not use DST.)
Argentina = 4:00 p.m. UTC-3:00. (Does not use DST.)
Chile = 3:00 p.m. AST. UTC-04:00. (DST = Oct-Mar.)
Chile abolished DST in 2015, and re-introduced it in 2016. Magallanes Province does not use DST since December 2016.


Then, South America looks like this.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 24, 2017 at 8:15 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

The Master List

This will serve as the master list of everything I need to take on this little adventure. I figure I need to put it all in one place as a single check list, because I keep having flashes of inspiration of things I need to bring, but if I don't put it all in one place, there's no way I'll leave here with everything I need, obviously.
Update: I found my packing list from my 2nd trip to Alaska(July 2014).

Things to Pack:
Bill of Sale for AT
Copies of Passport, Registration, Insurance, and Title
Spare Key set (Honda AT & Givi Case)
2 pair of glasses
Contact solution
Contact case
2.2 gallon gas can
small flashlight
Cigarette lighter to 2 USB adapter
External microphone for iphone
Portable battery w/ USB charger
can of fix-a-flat
new glove-mirror
Extra chain and sprockets.
Extra oil filter.
3-1 AC adapter with ground plug cut off.
2 Canon EOS 50D's
1 100-400mm lens IS USM
1 17-85 mm lens IS USM
4 extra lens caps (17-85)mm IS USM
110 v to USB adapter plug
Mini USB cables (GoPro Hero 4, Canons)
Mini USB hub
4 Special Cables:
1) White Lightning/USB cable for iphone 4S (USB-IXCC white)
2) Black USB-C/USB cable for GoPro Hero 5 (USB-C black)
3) Black cable Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB Portable External Hard Drive for Mac with Mobile Device Backup USB 3.0 (STDS1000100)
4) white cable. No clue what it goes to. Asked Jen on 10/27.
Long johns/under armor so I don't freeze to death
neck warmer
arctic mittens

Things to Do:

Register for Seterus online. Request payout. 27073365 last 5 digits of ssn.
seterus.com. register now. create username password. request payout
method you want payout to be delivered? seterus inbox, mail, or fax.
call your bank and they send it in to us.

Fix iphone message 'iPhone Backup Failed You do not have enough space in iCloud to back up this iPhone'.
Install new clutch lever on Honda AT.
Install RAM X-grip safety tether.
Keep old wallet as a decoy.
Install/mount magnifying sheets on Garmin Montana 600 GPS.
Clarify with Verizon that I don't need to return tablet.
Set up Verizon for auto-pay.
Test Canon EOS 50D with 17-85mm lens. (Make sure autofocus works. Add UV filter.)
Get roof fixed. Messaged roofer on 10/27. He replied.
Load maps for central and south america into Garmin Montana 600.
Charge GoPro Hero 5.
Cut ground plug cut off of 3 way AC adapter.
Copy all files off of GoPro Hero 4.
Get GoPro Hero 4 working.
Copy all files off of MacBook Air.
Call Credit Union and tell them I will be out of the country for a few months.
Get cash out of credit union.
Call Verizon and tell them I will be out of the country for a few months.
Call Verizon and tell them I want the South American package.
Call Verizon and set them up for auto-pay.
Print out PeenieWallie.com business cards.
Set up GoFundMe page.
Put GoFundMe page on Peenie Wallie.
Get roof repaired. Texted Allen. He replied 10/27.
Call Seterus.
Practice uploading files to web server, resizing, renaming, posting, etc.
Get hair cut on Saturday 11/11/17 at 12:00 noon..

x Measure mailbox. Dimensions are roughly 11" x 15" x 24". Ordered. Will be here Fri 11/10/17.
x Find sprockets for my bike. Call Chapparal. They said the front is 16 tooth front. Rear is x a 42 tooth. $73.95.
x Should have it by then. 2-3 business days. Carlos says that they'll have it when I come in x on Tuesday.
x John has ordered my hand guard and the other parts. He will call and text me when they come in. I think that this will be on Friday?
x Call Chapparal and ask if they have sprockets for my bike.
x Call Chapparal and ask if they have hand guard and clutch lever for my bike. They didn't have.
x Install Image Resizer on on Macbook Air. Done.
Put tools in Givi case.
x Get PC working so that it will accept incoming RDP connections. Robert came over and helped me with this on 11/6/2017.
Get Temporary Vehicle Import Permit for Mexico from Mexican Consulate in Denver.
x Went on Monday 11/6/27 at 12:18 p.m. Didn't work.
x Called Tuesday morning and schedule a new appointment at the mexican consultate. My new appointment is Wednesday Nov 8 at 9:42 a.m. Banjercito Confirmation Number: 131 156 841 118 181 027.
x Call Mark and tell him that I'm dying. Call in a prescription to Walgreens at (303) 914-1088. 10808 W Jewell Ave, Lakewood, CO 80232. Send mark and molly a text message telling them I am near death on 11/7/2017.
Go to Mexican Consultate on Wed Nov 8 at 9:42 a.m. Banjercito Confirmation Number: 131 156 841 118 181 027.
x Get CC Filson suitcase back from Jonathan/Gretchen. Repossessed it on 11/7/2017.
x Make copies of Passport, Registration, Insurance, and Title. Did this on 11/6/2017.
x Install ExifRenamer on MacBook Air. Done.
x Put new laces in boots. Done.
x Move items to new wallet. Done.
x Take Honda in for Oil Filter change before I leave. On 10/28 Adam scheduled for Thr Nov 2nd. They did this on Thr Nov 2nd.
x Have tires put on Honda. On 10/28 Adam scheduled for Thr Nov 2nd. Done on Nov 2nd at 4,200 miles.
x Withdraw more cash. I have plenty of cash now.
x Move Honda rear view mirrors from XL to AT.
x Organize tools in Givi case. Took them all out and organized them as best i could.
x Pay excel bill. Paid on 11/1/2017.
x Install RAM mount for iPhone 6s+. Did this on 11/1/2017.
x Turn off Two-Factor Authentication nag on iPhone 6S Plus. I got this to stop. Not clear x x Transfer funds between accounts. Transferred on 10/31/2017.
x Label USB cables
X Go to the dentist. 10/27.
X Get hair cut. 10/27.
X Order iPhone 6S Plus 128 Gig. 10/27. Should be here monday by 8:00 p.m. (10/30)
x Find AT Bill of Sale. Found this on 10/27/17. Put in documents folder.
x Modify Garmin Montana so it shows mileage to next turn. I reconfigured the Montana as best I could. Ordered magnifying plastic to enlarge display to show scale. 10/27/17.
x Called B&B cycles 10/27 and asked for price on sprocket/chain/oil filter.
x Get tires from Honda dealership.
x Copy all files off of SeaGate External Drive.
x Copy all files off of GoPro Hero 5. (MacBook Air imports them to iPhoto as Videos)..
x Export these files from iPhoto (they are exported to the Documents folder).
(It looks like iMovie is how to create movies with these videos).
x Format 128 Gig Micro SD memory card on Hero 5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDwgi9yrdjo
x Copy all Notes off of iPhone 4S. Migrated to iPhone 6S+ on 10/30/17.
x Copy all voice recordings off of iPhone 4S. Migrated to iPhone 6S+ on 10/30/17.
X Get new glasses. Ordered new glasses on 10/30/17. Should be here in a week.
X Test cigarette lighter on AT. Tested on 10/28. Verified it is charging iPhone and Garmin.
x Return EOS-50D lens.
x Test EOS-50D with 17-85mm lens.
x Create Peenie Wallie business cards(business_cards.doc. I did this on 10/27).

Things to Order
x Ordered new mailbox. Dimensions are roughly 11" x 15" x 24". SHould be here Friday Nov 10th.
extra eye cup pieces for EOS 50D:
helmet shield/visor replacement
Peenie Wallie stickers.
Chaco sandals.
Do I need anything from Apple store for Latin America?
Selfie stick
GoPro Hero 4
mounting brackets for rear Givi case
x 4 Terabyte External SeaGate drive (formatted for Windows and Apple). Ordered from Amazon on 11/4/2017.
x 100-400 mm lens caps. Ordered from amazon on 11/4/2017.
x Cigarette lighter to 3 USB adapter. Ordered from Amazon on 11/4/2017.
x rear-view mirrors. I just pulled them off another bike.
x Portable battery/USB charger. Ordered from amazon on 10/30/2017.
x Tommy Bahama frames. 6/05 TB59 Brown 135. Purchased on ebay on 10/30/17.
x new shoe laces for my boots. ordered 10/26/17.
x wallet. ordered 10/26/17.
x tape. bought 10/26/17.
x iPhone 6S Plus 128 Gig. Ordered on 10/27. Will be here 8:00 p.m. Mon 10/30.
x RAM mount and bracket for iPhone. Ordered Ram Mounts RAM-B-149Z-UN7U
Handlebar Rail Mount on 10/28 from Amazon. Shipping today. Arriving Monday 10/30.
x Universal AC adapter for South America. Ordered on 10/30/17.
X Order Canon 50D eye cups and eyecup extender. 10/30/17. Ordered (1) Canon EP-EX15 Eyepiece Extender and (2) Eyepiece Eyecups from Amazon. Delivery on Nov. 2, 2017.
X iphone 6s+ case and screen protector. Ordered on 10/30/17.

Things to buy locally:
x sugar.
New motorcycle jacket.
x tie downs for 2.2 gallon gas can. Got these at Home Depot on 11/6. Think I finally have
x gas can secured.
x Extra sprockets. Ordered from Chapparal. Pick these up on Tuesday 11/15/2017.
x Extra chain. Called B&B 10/27. Got from B&B on Thr 11/2.
x Oil filter. Called B&B 10/27. They installed it on Thr 11/2.
x Can of fix-a-flat. bought 10/26/17.
x New iPhone. Ordered on 10/27. Will be here 8:00 p.m. on Mon 10/30.
x 3-1 AC adapter. bought 10/26/17.
x Cat food.
x Glasses. Ordered new glasses on 10/30/17. Should be here in a week.

Nice To Have:
New Micro-SD memory cards
New Go Pro Hero 4 as a backup.

Givi spare key issue. See this is what I don't get. I have 2 different Givi key numbers: 171, and 115. Which makes me think that I've had 2 different Givi cases. Is this possible? I dunno. But, I think that the key I'm interested in is Givi key 171. I tested the Givi spare key on 10/28. Works fine.

The RAM mount I currently have is the Garmin Montana 600 Motorcycle Mount RAM-B-149-GA46U. The sub-components that make up this RAM mount are:

Garmin Montana 600 Series Cradle (RAM-HOL-GA46U) +
Diamond Plate with 1 inch Ball (RAM-B-238U) +
Medium Arm B-Socket (RAM-B-201U) +
Steel U-Bolt Motorcycle Mount Base (RAM-B-231U).

So, I'm thinking I'd like to have another one of these set up for my iPhone 6S Plus.
It occurs to me that everything would be exactly the same except for the Garmin Montana 600 Series Cradle (RAM-HOL-GA46U). That's the only piece that would need to be different, it seems.

The closest thing that RAM has for the iPhone 6S Plus looks like it would be this.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 24, 2017 at 3:52 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Power Outets in Latin America

Like, you just can't really win. You start thinking about traveling through Latin America, and it seems like there are so many obstacles that it's really not worth it. There's a reason people don't ride motorcycle to Tierra Del Fuego. It's because, unlike me, they're not fucking retarded.

But yeah...this thought just occured to me. I need to figure out how I'm going to deal with charging my electronics in Latin America.

So, without further ado, I'll present the current situation for electrical outlets in the countries I'm plannng on going through:


USA 120 V 60 Hz A / B

Mexico 120 V 60 Hz A / B
Guatemala 120 V 60 Hz A / B
El Salvador 120 V 60 Hz A / B
Honduras 120 V 60 Hz A / B
Nicaragua 120 V 60 Hz A / B
Costa Rica 120 V 60 Hz A / B
Panama 120 V 60 Hz A / B

Colombia 110 V 60 Hz A / B
Ecuador 120 V 60 Hz A / B
Peru 220 V 60 Hz A / C
Bolivia 230 V 50 Hz A / C
Paraguay 220 V 50 Hz C
Argentina 220 V 50 Hz I
Brazil 127 V / 220 V 60 Hz C / N
Uruguay 220 V 50 Hz C / F / L
Chile 220 V 50 Hz C / L

So, it looks like I'll be fine until I get down to South America, but then all hell breaks loose. I remember in Peru, that the power supply to my laptop worked in that country, even though I didn't think it would. Like...Juan picked up the AC adapter and showed me on the adapter that it said it would work for 220V. I didn't trust him, but he was right.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 24, 2017 at 1:31 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Copying files off MacBook Air & SeaGate 1TB Drive

So, I want to get my photos copied off of the MacBook Air and the SeaGate 1TB drive before I leave home.

My MacBook Air is basically completely full. So, I just want to wipe everything and start off with a clean slate.

It gets a little confusing because I'm reasonably sure that I have some data redundancy, but not clear how to search for duplicates at this point. I figure it's best just to move everything off and sort it out later.

So, I'm assuming at this point that I've exported everything from iPhoto. Now, it's just a matter of moving it off of the Macbook Air and Seagate Drive.

On the MacBook Air, under Documents, I have the following folder:
2016_04_11_Evergreen lake. It has 14 photos in it. However, I don't see this folder on my seagate drive. So, I'm inclined to believe it's never been moved off of the laptop.

Now, before I go crazy copying files around, I need to figure out if I can copy the files off my my seagate external drive onto my DiskStation from my MacBook Air and, if so, how fast(or slow) is it?

Also, I'm curious if I can hook my seagate external drive up to my Windows laptop and copy the files onto the Diskstation that way. Because, this would be the fastest way, if it works, as I won't have to transfer a TeraByte of data over wifi.

OK. Copied the folder onto my external Seagate drive S:\_2016\. 14 items.

S:\_2016\2016_04_11_Evergreen Lake. It has 14 photos in it.

Now, let's move the folder from the external drive to the Disk Station attached to the windows laptop and see where we are. The folder moved over fine. The photos are on the S drive now. They have thumbnails. So, it looks like this will be the way to go.

I'll move all of my folders to the Seagate Drive while it's connected to the MacBook Air and then move them from the Seagate Drive to the Disk Station (Simon) with the drive connected to the Windows laptop.

So...first things first....let's move all of the photo folders from the MacBook Air onto the external Seagate Drive.

I could copy them straight to the S drive, but I'm reasonably sure that this will be much faster...using the SeaGate drive as a thumb drive, essentially.

So, I created a new folder on the SeaGate Drive called 2017_10_24_iPhoto_Archival.

Now, I'll move all of the iPhoto folders I've created on the MacBook Air(under Documents) under this one new folder on the SeaGate Drive called 2017_10_24_iPhoto_Archival.

It won't let me move, but I can copy...now I'm doing all of the 2017* folders...only 6.41 gig.

Next, I'll do the 2016* folders....I just did the rest of them....now copying 21.5 gig. Done.
So, it seems like I've copied over all of those subfolders from the Documents folder on the Mac. Let's check...should be....154 folders...yep...that matches. OK. There were 80 other items in the documents folder. I just grabbed those and copied them over also. Now, I have 234 items in my Seagate folder. 234 items in my Documents folder.

Looks good.
So, lets copy these off of the SeaGate drive onto my Simon drive. OK. 234 items. Looks good.

Now, let's move them over onto the Simon drive at:

OK. Moving 7,264 items. 26.4 Gig. About 1 hour remaining.

So, once this completes, I should be able to delete the folders under Documents on my MacBook Air.

Hmmm. For some reason, I don't see all of the folders on the left-side on the screen in Windows Explorer. Hmmmm.

OK. I see all of the subfolders on the left now. It just took a second to index them, I think.

I did a search on the folder S:\_2017\2017_10_24_iPhoto_Archival and it says it found 7,303 items. So, this seems about right.

So, I think now that I can delete them off of my MacBook Air.

Now...I'm looking at the MacBook Air, and I still see some things I need to move off:

University of California folder
I also exported all of my iphoto library to a new folder named iPhoto_Library_Export_10_24_2017
2,932 items

Lord. It's exporting now. Currently at about 1200 pics exported. OK. It exported 2,932 items. Let's get those copied over from the Seagate drive to the Simon drive.

Moving 2,932 items (iPhoto_Library_Export_10_24_2017) to the S drive at \\DISKSTATION\Simon\_2017\iPhoto_LIbrary_Export_10_24_2017

So, this is the export of the photos in the current photo library in iPhoto. The previous folder(s) were created to copy photos off of the macbook air that weren't in iPhoto. They were just in the regular directory structure.

So, this folder was moved over successfully, with 2,934 items in it. Good enough.

So, at some point, I'll need to empty the trash on the MacBook Air:

Select Empty Trash from the Finder's Finder menu.
Activate a Finder window and press COMMAND-SHIFT-DELETE.
CTRL- or RIGHT-click on the Trash icon and select Empty from the menu.

My goal is to have this MacBook air basically completely empty when I start out on the road trip. And the GoPro's also. Cameras. SeaGate External 1TB drive. iPhone. Everything should be basically completely empty.

The reason is that I'll be shooting lots of pics, and then, with the GoPro's...they suck up huge amounts of disk space if you even turn them on at all.

OK. So, after deleting pretty much everything off of my MacBook air, it still shows that I have about 100 Gig locked up by who knows what. I seem to recall downloading an app for this very issue before.

Sure enough, my app is called OmniDiskSweeper. Supposed to free up some disk space that Apple is so stupid they can't figure out.
I also see an app called CleanMyMac 3.


So, I ran CleanMyMac....he found like 10 gig. Not enough to even worry about.

So, I'm going back to this post to see how I did this last time...

I restarted my laptop, and it's applying updates for an app....

Now, I want to figure out how to empty the trash. I hate this fucking computer. Seriously.

OK. I emptied the trash. It was already empty. It looks to me like I have 400 Gig free out of 500 Gig. I guess that's the best I can do. God I hate fucking Apple.

I'm moving everything off of the Seagate drive onto Simon. So, it's moving about 40,000 files (400G) over the next 12 hours, it looks like, to some folder ... I'm not clear which folder, because the fucking window doesn't say. I think it must be:



39,309 items 351 gig About 8 hours remaining.

So, it looks like the photos I shot over the last year ended up here:


Posted by Rob Kiser on October 24, 2017 at 11:27 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 23, 2017


Convert miles to km
1 km= .62 miles

Convert km to miles
1 mile = 1.6 km

Convert Fahrenheit to Celcius
T(°C) = (T(°F) - 32) × 5/9

Convert Celcius to Fahrenheit
T(°F) = T(°C) × 9/5 + 32

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 23, 2017 at 3:07 PM : Comments (3) | Permalink

Copying files off of cameras and laptop

Tomorrow, my goal is to get all of the photos and videos moved off of the cameras, memory cards, GoPros, Macbook Air, and 1 TB drive and get them onto the 8 TB DiskStation.

This way, I can at least start my trip with a clean slate so that I can take some photos, and maybe some GoPro videos without overwhelming the MacBook Air and 1 TB drive I normally travel with.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 23, 2017 at 1:09 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Route Through Mexico

So, I'm trying to get a handle on how long I'll be in Mexico.

If I take a route something like this (which is my current plan, from a 50,000 foot level), this shows that I'll be riding 3,090 miles. So, at 300 miles a day, that's roughly 10 days. Plus, you throw in a day or two to catch the ferry across, and that gets me to 12 days. So, I'd say that my planned time to be in Mexico is 2 weeks (14 days). I think that that will be my plan, and then, if I want to stay there longer, I'll stay longer.

But, for planning purposes, we'll say I'm going to ride 3,100 miles in 14 days. Should make for a nice, comfortable little sight-seeing trip.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 23, 2017 at 12:03 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 22, 2017

Crossing into Mexico at the San Ysidro/Tijuana(El Chaparral) Crossing 2

I keep coming back to this. I need to know for sure what paperwork I'm required to present when I cross into Mexico. This matters because (1) I don't have the title to my AT and (2) I have to think most people don't have the title to their vehicle, so I need someone to lay it out for me very clearly.


Banjercito Vehicle Permit - If you get this, then you'll be able to drive anywhere in Mexico for 6 months.

Bring the original plus two(2) copies of the following documents:

So, it doesn't look to me like I need the title to my vehicle.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 22, 2017 at 11:29 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

2017 Africa Twin Owner's Manual CRF1000A

OK. So, the truth is that I've been riding this bike since July...Roughly 4 months...I turned over 4,000 miles today...and I've never glanced at the owner's manual.

I have sort of figured out parts of it, but I need to understand it better before I leave the country. So, today, I pulled the seat (with the key), and underneath the seat was my owner's manual. So now, I'm going to read through it and see if anything sticks.

I should mention here that the owner's manual has more errors, mistakes, typos, and downright misinformation than any owner's manual I've seen in my entire life. It makes me wonder how Honda is in business.

Page 25. There are 5 fuel bar lights. When only the 1st fuel bar is lit, the segment starts flashing. There are approximately 0.8 gallons remaining at this point. So, my guess would be that the bike holds 4.8 gallons of gas.

CRF1000 (no ABS)
CRF1000A (ABS)
CRF1000D (ABS + DCT)

So, I'm guessing mine is the CRF1000A. (I have ABS but not DCT).
Tank Capacity: 4.97 US Gallons
Unleaded gasoline.
Recommended 86 PON (Pump Octane Number) or higher.

Curb Weight: 511 pounds

Tire Size:
Front 90/90 21M/C 54H - Bias Ply, tube
Rear 150/70 R18M/C 70H - Radial, tube

OK. It looks like they want me to:
1) change out my oil and oil filter
2) clean the crank case breather
3) inspect the fuel line

Well, I'll change the oil and filter anyway. We'll do that much.

I need to set the clock on this thing.

Setting the clock:

1) tun on ignition
2) press and hold the SET button and the DOWN button. The hour digits start flashing.
3) Press Up or Down button to select the correct hour.
4) Press the SET button. The minutes digits start flashing.
5) Press Up or Down button to select the correct minutes
6) Press the SET button. Now, the time is set and it moves to the Backlight Brightness Adjustment..

OK. So, I went through all of this nonsense. And I set the backlight to as bright as it will go, but I think it was already there.

I really don't grasp how the instrument cluster works. At all.

You should be able to change from Odometer to Trip Meter A to Trip Meter B by pressing the Up or Down Arrows. (p.36).

To reset Trip Meter A, Average Fuel Mileage (AVG. CONS. mpg), and Average Speed (AVG. SPD. mph) together (these are all based on Trip Meter A), Press and Hold the SET
button while Trip Meter A is displayed.

To reset Trip Meter B, Average Fuel Mileage (AVG. CONS. mpg), and Average Speed (AVG. SPD. mph) together (these are all based on Trip Meter B), Press and Hold the SET button while Trip Meter B is displayed.

OK. One of the big things I was having a problem with was that I couldn't figure out how to switch between the different sections on the LCD display. The trick is to hit the SET button, and then the up or down arrow keys. This allows you to switch between the different areas on the LCD display. Then, within each section, there's all kinds of things you can do. But the first trick is to figure out how to navigate between the different sections of the display. This is covered on Page 27, I think.

So, I think what I'll do is for my big trip through South America, I'll set a daily trip meter (Trip Meter A), and then every time I fill up, I'll reset (Trip Meter B).

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 22, 2017 at 9:24 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Ferry from Santa Rosalia to Guaymas


There is also a ferry that crosses from Santa Rosalia to Guaymas. I remember when I first rode through the Baja that I heard rumors of other ferries besides the one that leaves from Pichilingue. Interesting.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 22, 2017 at 11:51 AM : Comments (2) | Permalink

CVS Pharmacy

Located in: Target
Address: 9390 W Cross Dr, Littleton, CO 80123
Hours: Open today · 9AM-6PM
Phone: (720) 922-1524


Posted by Rob Kiser on October 22, 2017 at 11:16 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 21, 2017

Crossing into Mexico at the San Ysidro/Tijuana(El Chaparral) Crossing

This guy's video shows him pretty much rolling through into Mexico, which is about how I recall it.


Guests traveling by land who plan to stay longer than 72 hours and travel beyond Ensenada must obtain a tourist permit at the Mexican consulate in the United States or at the Immigration office near the border entrance. The migratory from must be turned in when leaving the country and minors must be accompanied by their parents, or have a notarized letter from the absent parent, authorizing the leave the country.

Mexico Visitor's Permit (FMM) ‒ Forma Migratoria Múltiple. FREE if the trip is 7 days or less and you cross by land.

If you travel beyond the 22 miles/35 km "free zone" after crossing a land border into Mexico you will need to pay a fee of around US $22. Your USA tourism visa is enough to return to the United States after visiting Mexico.

So, I think that, ideally, I need to get the following:
Mexico Visitor Permit (FMM - Forma Migratoria Múltiple)
Banjercito Vehicle Permit - If you get this, then you'll be able to drive anywhere in Mexico for 6 months.

There are signs that say, "Aduanas" just beyond the big MEXICO sign in the big line of traffic outside of Tijuana. Don't blow past these signs if you want to get the Banjercito car permit!


If you do the San Ysidro border crossing to Tijuana, you'll cross under a sign that says, "MEXICO". If you aren't already in the right lane at this point, merge into the far right lane. You aren't going to follow most of the cars. After the big MEXICO sign, you'll turn left behind all the other cars, but then, way over to the right of this line of cars, you'll need to drive toward a sign that says, "Aduanas" (all the other cars will be going the other way). This part isn't especially intuitive. That's why we missed it the first time. You can go here to watch us successfully get the Banjercito vehicle permit on video.

izquierda = Left
Derecho = Right (or straight)
Aduana = Customs
Immigracion = Immigration

OK. So, I think that I now understand how to get the Banjercito Temporary Vehicle Permit. But I'm still not clear if I need a VISA or not.


A foreign national wishing to enter Mexico must obtain a visa unless they are a citizen of one of the 65 eligible visa-exempt countries or one of the three Electronic Authorization System eligible countries.[1]

OK. So, the USA is one of the exempt countries, and I don't need a VISA to enter Mexico. Big surprise there, right?

OK. But this is different than a VISA, it seems.

Mexico Visitor's Permit (FMM - Forma Migratoria Múltiple) ‒ FREE if the trip is 7 days or less and you cross by land.

All visitors entering by land and traveling farther than 20 kilometres (12 miles) into Mexico or staying longer than 72 hours should obtain a document Forma Migratoria Multiple to present at checkpoints within the country.[2] In 2016 Mexico has introduced the electronic version of the form (Forma Migratoria Múltiple Electrónica, or FMME) which can be obtained online at a price of 390 Mexican pesos.[3]


The FMM (Forma Migratoria Múltiple) is a document issued by Mexico's INM (Instituto Nacional de Migración aka INM) Casually called a tourist card or tourist "visa" although it is not officially a visa. Issued to U.S., Canadian and other nationalities for vacation purposes. ... The stamped FMM is valid for land travel throughout Mexico.

You can fill it out online, but they want dates and reservations. I don't have any of that stuff, obviously.


Also, even if you do it online, you still have to stop at INM at the border for the official stamp:

Easily obtained at an INM office at the border or online (online still requires a stop at INM at the border for the official stamp).

OK. Here's how to get the FMM (Forma Migratoria Múltiple) document. You get it at Immigracion.


All you have to show is your passport. Cost is $24 USD. You get it at Immigration.

Where is the new immigration office at El Chaparral located?

As you cross the border, the small immigration office is in the blue SAT Aduanas building on the right. The entrance to the office is on the outside of the building up a few stairs.


Posted by Rob Kiser on October 21, 2017 at 10:49 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Wiring in the Cigarette Lighter Socket

So, I'm following the directions on this website to try to hook up my aftermarket 12v cigarette lighter adapter onto the 2017 Honda Africa Twin.

I managed to hook it up, but it doesn't work. Not clear why. I checked the fuse. The fuse seems OK.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 21, 2017 at 1:26 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 20, 2017

Hallye's Wedding Photos

OK. I've got to get all of the photos off of my cameras.

Let's start with the photos from last weekend at Hallye's wedding. She wants me to share them with her, which seems like a reasonable request. Let's get them off of the camera, first of all.

OK. So, I went through the wedding photos. Deleted a few of the duplicates and bad photos. Then, I exported the remaining photos. I compressed the remaining photos into 2 zipped files (each less than 200M), and then uploaded the photos to expirebox. I like to use Expirebox because it's free, and the photos will be automatically deleted in 2 days. So, it's a pretty convenient way to share a boatload of images with people.

Hallye Meeks wedding (1 of 2)

Hallye Meeks wedding (2 of 2)

I also uploaded these photos to a photo album on Facebook.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 20, 2017 at 8:32 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Currency Conversion

Currency conversion isn't really as simple as it seems. Like, let's start out with Pesos. And, depending on where you look, you'll probably see that the exchange rate is something like this:

1 USD = 19 Pesos

Now, just to keep things as confusing as possible, both the US Dollar and the Peso share the same currency symbol ($).

So, you think...."OK 1 dollar = 19 pesos. Got it." But it really is more complicated than that. Because, what you really need to be able to do, is convert from dollars to pesos in your head, but also be able to convert from pesos to dollars in your head. And, you need to do it on a moment's notice.

Because, often times, if you're buying something, they'll quote you a price in pesos and in US dollars. So, you've got to be able to do the math lightning fast in your head, and choose the lowest cost option.

For instance, you're on the street, and a vendor sells you a souvenir.

You say: Quanto es? (How much is it?)

Vendor: Cicno dollares. ($5 USD)

You say: Quanto es en pesos? (How much in Pesos?)

Vendor: Ochenta pesos. ($80 Pesos)

So now, you begin to see that it's a little more complicated than just a piece of paper that says 1 USD = 19 Pesos. Now, you've got to do some math in a hurry to get the best deal.

If we divide $80 Pesos / 19 = $4.21 USD.

So, it seems like the best deal is to pay in local currency and pay $80 Pesos ($4.21 USD) instead of $5.00 USD.

Generally, this is true. Generally, you're better off paying in the local currency.

But, I just wanted to point out that you're not just going to be converting USD to Pesos by multiplying by 19. You have to be able to convert Pesos to USD by dividing by 19, and you've got to be able to do it effortlessly, on a second's notice.

So, it's a good thing to practice converting from USD to Pesos, and from Pesos to USD, so that you can do it easily on a second's notice. Otherwise, you're going to get reamed.

As a general rule, you are usually better off paying in the local currency.

Also, the best exchange rates will always be from your bank (when you pull cash out of an ATM), or from your bank (when you charge something on your credit/debit card). This is when you get the best exchange rates.

The currency traders are about the lowest people on earth. They give you the worst deal you could ever imagine. They should be avoided like the plague.

However, if you're leaving a country, and you don't plan on ever returning, and you don't really have any reason to keep that country's local currency, then generally, what I do, is just hand them your cash and take what they give you. Like....if you're going from Mexico into Guatemala, there will be currency traders at the border. And, if you've got like $2,000 pesos, you may as well take whatever the currency traders give you (in USD), as you won't be able to spend the currency once you get back to the USA.

So, generally, if I have any local currency, I just have the currency traders convert it into the next country's currency, as you go from country to country. It helps, in this case, to know what the correct exchange rate is, because they will certainly lie to you and rip you off. But, as you cross from country to country like a monkey swinging through the trees, you sort of learn to keep track of the local currency conversion rates and try to get the best deal that you can as you cross border after border.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 20, 2017 at 8:00 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

The Passport Arrives

...I'd often dreamed of going West to see the country, always vaguely planning and never taking off."
- Jack Kerouac, "On The Road"

Wow. So...that was unexpected. I just checked the mailbox today, and my passport was in there. Today is Friday October 20, 2017. (Also, it wasn't in there yesterday...I checked.)

So, I really wasn't expecting this for another week or so. I applied for the passport on October 10th. They said it would take "2-3 weeks", which would be 10/24-10/31 I figured. Instead, it showed up on October 20th. So, it only took 10 days to get here.

So, this is good, in a way, sort of....I mean....I have my passport now. But now, it really sort of calls me out because now it's like....uh...what are you waiting on at this point?

I still am waiting on the title to my motorcycle, I suppose. That's the only real excuse that I have at this point for not riding off into the wilds of Latin America. I think I might need my title for the bike when I get my temporary import permit into Mexico.

So....yikes....I think I need to get moving on getting ready to leave the country.

I just checked and I corrected my title to the bike on 10/10/2017. And, my notes say I should have the title in about 4 weeks. So, that would be 11/8/2017, I think.

The problem with not having the title to the bike is that, in Mexico, for the Temporary Import Permit, I think that I need the title. And, without it, I don't think I can get on the ferry at Pichilingue. So, I think that, if I can't get my Temporary Import Permit at the San Ysidro border crossing, then I'm not going through Baja. If I can't get the permit, then I'll just drive down through the mainland of Mexico (following the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific coast).

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 20, 2017 at 3:56 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Crossing the Border into Mexico

This guy explains pretty well how to cross the border into Mexico. Fills in a lot of the gaps in my understanding of what crossing into Mexico is supposed to be like.


Of course, his post was written 7 years ago, so I'm not clear how current it is.

This guy says you can't get a Vehicle Permit at the San Ysidro crossing.


No vehicle permit is required if you are only driving in the Baja peninsula or to Puerto Peñasco. If you will be driving outside of Baja or Puerto Peñasco, you will need a vehicle temporary import permit (TIP).

Vehicle permits are US$52 and are valid for six months. The permits are good for multiple entry so may take your car in and out of Mexico as many times as you want during the six month period. You must also pay a deposit which will be refunded after the six month period when you have returned your permit.

Deposit prices for vehicles:
$200 if vehicle is 2000 and older
$300 if vehicle is 2001-2006
$400 if vehicle is 2007 and newer

To obtain a vehicle permit, the owner of the vehicle must be present and you will need to have copies of the following information:

Current registration or vehicle title
Drivers License
FMM/Tourist Card (can be purchased through Discover Baja HERE)
Lease contract and lienholder letter (if necessary)
Cash or Visa/MC for the permit and deposit

So, I'm thinking that I need to make sure I have my registration and title for the motorcycle. Let's see what I have:
I have current registration and insurance for the AT which both have the correct VIN number on them. So, I've got that going for me.
I'm still waiting on the title in the mail though. That would be nice to have before i take off.

So, arguably, I'm waiting on my passport and the title to my motorcycle to arrive in the mail. I think I'll go check my mail.

San Ysidro Now Processing TIPs

You are now able to obtain vehicle, boat, and motorhome Temporary Importation Permits (TIPs) at the San Ysidro El Chaparral border crossing. The Banjercito office, located in the blue customs and immigration building, can process TIPs from 7am-11pm. For directions to the customs and immigration office at San Ysidro El Chaparral, download our PDF.

Apparently, a Mexican Tourist Card is called an FMM. It looks like you can get an FMM online and print it out at home before you leave.

This website explains how to get a Temporary Vehicle Import Permit.

Like, it seems like you have to go to the Banjercito to get your Temporary Vehicle Import Permit. Also, you can apply online, apparently. Obviously, this is the best way to go, if it works.


Posted by Rob Kiser on October 20, 2017 at 1:22 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

The Ferry from Pichilingue to Mazatlan


This is a pretty good article and covers a lot of my questions about catching the ferry from Pichilingue to Mazatlan.

One of my biggest concerns is handling the paperwork required to get on the ferry. That, and figuring out the ferry schedule.


OK. So, it seems that the ferry goes to either Topolabambo or to Mazatlan. Looks like the ferry to Topolabambo might be a little bit shorter, and you hit the mainland of Mexico about 270 miles north of Mazatlan. So, it would cost a day of travel to go to Topolabambo. So, that's probably not the way that I'll go. I'll probably head to Mazatlan.

SALE DE (Leaves From) LLEGA A (Arrives At) Hora (Time) Dias de Viaje (Days of Travel)

Mazatlan La Paz 18:30 hrs Miercoles Viernes Domingo (Wed, Fri, Sun)
La Paz Mazatlan 20:00 hrs Martes Jueves Sabado (Tue,Thr, Sat)

lunes - Monday
martes - Tuesday
miércoles - Wednesday
jueves - Thursday
viernes - Friday
sábado - Saturday
domingo - Sunday

Barco - Ship

OK. After all of my decoding of their website, my understanding is that the ferry named Baja Star leaves Pichilingue at 8:00 p.m. every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. This is fine. The worst time to arrive at La Paz would be Saturday evening and miss the ferry, because then, you'd have to wait until Tuesday evening to sail to Mazatlan. So, you'd have 3 days to kill in BCS.

You can buy tickets for the Baja Ferries at two locations. The first is in the city of La Paz and the second is at the ferry terminal. One downside of buying tickets at the terminal is that you must go through customs to get to the ticket office, regardless of whether you are embarking that day.

Now, the thing that I didn't have last time (that I will have this time), is a Vehicle Import Permit. This is something that I will get when I cross into BCN at Tijuana. It is not required to enter Baja. It is required to enter the mainland of Mexico.

You can get the vehicle import permit at the banjercito at the ferry terminal in Pichilingue if you don't have one already. However, my plan is to get one in Tijuana, just to get it out of the way.


Posted by Rob Kiser on October 20, 2017 at 12:14 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Sinaloa & Juarez Cartels in 8 Hour Shootout


Posted by Rob Kiser on October 20, 2017 at 12:02 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 19, 2017

Parts to Order

Chain and sprockets.
Oil filters.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 19, 2017 at 10:49 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Route Through Baja California

"If it were lush and rich, one could understand the pull, but it is fierce and hostile and sullen. The stone mountains pile up to the sky and there is little fresh water. But we know we must go back if we live, and we don't know why." - John Steinbeck - Log from the Sea of Cortez

I recently realized that when the Spanish discovered the area that we now know as California, there were two distinct Californias. There was Baja California (Lower California) and Alta California (Upper California). So, what we know as California was Alta California, later shortened to just "California", and then Baja California, later shortened to just Baja.

So, I'm picking out a different route through the Baja this time. Trying to make sure I haven't missed anything, as I've been down there a few times now. This time, I want to follow the Sea of Cortez on the way down. This is definitely the road less traveled, so I'm trying to pick out my Pemex stations very carefully. I do not want to run out of gas in the Punta Prieta desert again. That's a bad feeling.

So, it looks to me like I could go down by the Salton Sea, check out Joshua Tree and Slab City. Then, roll across the border at Mexicali, and follow the sea of cortez down through San Felipe and Punta Final.

Mile Pemex Station
0 Mexicali, BCN
122 San Felipe, BCN
232 Punta Final, BCN (this Pemex is just before the town. Runs out of gas.)
309 Punta Prieta, BCN [Exit to Bahia de Los Angeles. Guy selling gas out of a pickup truck bed at an abandoned Pemex station.]
-------------Time Zone Change ---------------------
384 Guerro Negro, BCS
560 Mulege, BCS
643 Loreto, BCS
719 Ciudad Insurgentes, BCS
865 La Paz, BCS

Now, I should point out that I'm not convinced that this is the route I'm taking. It's just one possible route through the Baja. I might just be more conventional, and stick to the traditional Mexico Uno (Highway 1) down the peninsula. I'm just sort of looking at my options. Trying to figure out which way to go.

OK. After zooming in and looking at that route, I'm pretty sure I'm not going that way. See....last time I was at this intersection (where Mexico 5 meets Mexico 1), I thought I remembered that it wasn't paved. I just zoomed in to look at the intersection and, sure enough, it's not paved. So, I'm not going that route. Also, I had sort of imagined that there was a Pemex store or a restaurant there. If you spin around, you'll see that there's pretty much nothing there at all. So...yeah...I'm not going that route.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 19, 2017 at 9:19 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

The Currencies of Latin America

Country............Currency............Exchange Rate

Central America:
Mexico.............Mexican peso................18.81:1
Guatemala......Guatemalan quetzal..........7.34:1
El Salvador......United States dollar..............1:1
Honduras........Honduran lempira.............23.5:1
Nicaragua.......Nicaraguan córdoba..........30.5:1
Costa Rica......Costa Rican colón...............570:1
Panama..........United States dollar...............1:1

South America:
Colombia.......Colombian peso...............2,919:1
Ecuador.........United States dollar...............1:1
Peru..............Peruvian nuevo sol............3.23:1
Bolivia...........Bolivian boliviano..............6.91:1
Paraguay.......Paraguayan guaraní......5,647.5:1
Brazil............Brazilian real....................3.17:1
Uruguay........Uruguayan peso..............29.58:1
Argentina .....Argentine peso................17.44:1
Chile.............Chilean peso.................624.55:1

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 19, 2017 at 5:54 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Getting Ready for the Trip

So, today, I went on a long ride with Steve. Basically, we went from Tiny Town, down 285 over Kenosha Pass to Fairplay, then north on Highway 9 and over Hoosier Pass down into Breckenridge for lunch. Then, back past Keystone and A-basin, over Loveland Pass, and then back down the hill following the I-70 frontage road.

So, it looks like we went about 160 miles. Nice little ride.

One of the things I struggle with is my new GoPro Hero 5 that I got this year. The button on it isn't as user-friendly as the previous ones. It's hard to know if it's recording or not. So, one idea I had was some sort of mirror I could wear on my glove. THis would allow me to see what the GoPro is doing while it's on top of my helmet, without having to adjust my rear view mirrors to see it every 30 seconds.

So, I think I'll order this from Amazon.

Order has been placed. It will be here Monday October 23.

OK. Now, I need a new iphone, and a mounting bracket for it.
But, I'm not sure what iphone to get.

The dimensions of the iphone 6s Plus: 6.22" x 3.06" x 0.29".
The dimensions of the iphone 6s.......: 5.44" x 2.64" x 0.28".
The dimensions of the iphone 4s.......: 4.54" x 2.31" x 0.37".

Also, I thought I'd pick up some oil filters for the trip. But, it looks like maybe I should just go to the Honda shop to pick these up.

I also need an after-market seat for this bike.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 19, 2017 at 4:30 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Mexican Road Signs


Posted by Rob Kiser on October 19, 2017 at 8:06 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 18, 2017

I'm working on my Spanish


One of the things I have a hard time with is my numbers once I get over 49.


izquierda = Left
Derecho = Right (or straight)
Aduana = Customs
Immigracion = Immigration

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 18, 2017 at 7:48 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Home Security System

I saw this post today:

"The technology is so cheap now and easy to install. I wired up my house for $300. Real time push notif, night vision, motion triggered recording, configurable ignore zones, 1 TB drive with smart overwrite.

i use nightowl HD http://nightowlsp.com/products/complete-security-systems/hd-security-systems/4-channel.html

i bought mine at costco for $300. whatever u buy, make sure it has real time push notif to phone. no monthly charge and night vision. those were my qualifications."

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 18, 2017 at 1:04 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 17, 2017

Catching the Ferry at Pichilingue

The problem with driving into Baja is that they just wave you through. Baja isn't really considered part of Mexico, for whatever reason, so they really do not care that you're there, at all. They just wave you through with the barrel of a machinegun. This is not a problem until you get down to try to ride the ferry from Pichilingue to Mazatlan. Then, they won't let you on the ship. So, I'm trying to figure out how to avoid this problem this time.

"The very best place to get an FMM is right after you pass through the customs lanes in Tijuana. The immigration office is on the right, just past the divided lanes."

FMM Tourist Permit:

You will need to obtain a tourist permit (FMM) if you are planning on driving south of Ensenada or San Felipe on the eastern coast. You also need to get a permit if you plan to stay near the border for more than 7 days. For the best information about the FMM, call the Mexican Consulate (Visa Section) in San Diego at (619) 308-9953. The Consulate can also advise you as to what you need if you intend to travel with a pet. No special auto permit or bond is necessary as long as you intend to stay on the Baja peninsula.

The very best place to get an FMM is right after you pass through the customs lanes in Tijuana. The immigration office is on the right, just past the divided lanes. If you are staying seven days or less, the visa is free, if you are staying more than 7 days the cost is $20.00 U.S. You can request a multiple entry visa that will be good for 180 days. If you wait until Ensenada or Guerrero Negro to get your permit, you will probably be subject to a fine (it's not the good old days any longer) of up to $75.00 U.S. Airlines and cruise ships will provide the FMM for you.FMM Tourist Permit:

You will need to obtain a tourist permit (FMM) if you are planning on driving south of Ensenada or San Felipe on the eastern coast. You also need to get a permit if you plan to stay near the border for more than 7 days. For the best information about the FMM, call the Mexican Consulate (Visa Section) in San Diego at (619) 308-9953. The Consulate can also advise you as to what you need if you intend to travel with a pet. No special auto permit or bond is necessary as long as you intend to stay on the Baja peninsula.

The very best place to get an FMM is right after you pass through the customs lanes in Tijuana. The immigration office is on the right, just past the divided lanes. If you are staying seven days or less, the visa is free, if you are staying more than 7 days the cost is $20.00 U.S. You can request a multiple entry visa that will be good for 180 days. If you wait until Ensenada or Guerrero Negro to get your permit, you will probably be subject to a fine (it's not the good old days any longer) of up to $75.00 U.S. Airlines and cruise ships will provide the FMM for you.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 17, 2017 at 10:56 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Crossing the Darien Gap

I'm trying to come up with a plan for crossing the Darien Gap. So far, I really haven't found a way that seems like the "best" way to go.

This video shows how the trip would look if you use a shipping container for the vehicle, and then catch a sailboat to Columbia.




the price for sailing from Cartagena is USD 450-600 per person and about the same price for a motorcycle. It covers 5 days of sailing with full-board and stops in very beautiful San Blas islands. All (or at least the most) sailboats and catamarans which offer this service from and to Cartagena are managed by the same agency - Blue Sailing, therefore the prices are very similar and it's difficult to negotiate them down.

ADVRider.com seems to be the only place where I've actually seen companies advertising in English that they can get your bike across the Darien Gap on a sailboat. So, I think I'll focus on the information I find on this website from now on. I've decided that taking the bike on a sail boat would be the most adventurous way to go, it seems.


We take mbikes every Thursday from Carti (Panama) to Sapzurro (Colombia) and every Sunday from Sapzurro to Carti for $350.- up to 6 at a time [​IMG]

www.sanblascat.com catamaranjacqueline@gmail.com sanblascat@gmail.com

TEL: (507) 6727 7337 6033 1357 WHATS APP 6291 5106

OK. This looks like the way to go.

Then, from Sapzurro (Colombia), you take a 1 hour boat ride to Capurgana, where you clear Immigracion into Colombia. Then, catch the ferry to Necocli (or Turbo).

it is illegal for yachts to transport bikes out of Cartagena- since about a year, the rest of Colombia seems O.K. take the ferry from Turbo or Necocli to Sapzurro, we collect you there.

Yeah...so this looks like the way to go.


I'll ride the bike up to Carti, Panama. Get on the boat in Carti. It sails along the coast of Panama to the border with Colombia, and they drop you off at Sapzurro, Colombia. From there, you catch a ferry to either Turbo, Colombia or Necocli, Colombia. At that point, you're on Highway 90, and can ride through to Ecuador no problem.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 17, 2017 at 8:39 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Got My House Painted

So, I finally broke down and painted my house. The colors that they used are:

Main - 7037 Balanced Beige
Trim - 9174 Moth Wing
Deck - 3072 Mission Brown

SHERWIN-WILLIAMS 7504............................10/05/17
303-526-0628...................................Order# 0066131

SUPER PAINT..................................................LATEX
SATIN.....................................................IFC 8012NP

.........................7037 BALANCED BEIGE
....................... SHER-COLOR FORMULA

B1-Black..................2 ....47....... -........1
R2-Maroon...............- ....25........-........-
Y3-Deep Gold.......... 4.....43........-........1

FIVE GALLON.........................................EXTRA WHITE

SHERWIN-WILLIAMS 7504...........................10/5/17
303-526-0628................................Order# 0066131

SATIN...................................................IFC 8012NP

.............................9174 MOTH WING
....................... SHER-COLOR FORMULA

W1-White................ -.....24.......-........-
B1-Black..................- ....45....... -........1
R2-Maroon...............- ......8.......1........1
Y3-Deep Gold.......... -......50.......-........-

One gallon....................................................DEEP

Also, they put a stain on my deck.

SHERWIN-WILLIAMS 7504...........................10/16/17
303-526-0628...................................Order# 0066401

SUPERDECK SOLID COLOR...............................STAIN
FLAT......................................................IFC 8012NP

.............................3072 Mission Brown
....................... SHER-COLOR FORMULA

W1-White................ -.....26........1........1
B1-Black..................2 ....54....... 1........-
R2-Maroon...............2 ....35........-........-
Y3-Deep Gold.......... 2.....11........1........-

One gallon.............................................ULTRADEEP

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 17, 2017 at 3:25 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 13, 2017

Potential Routes

So, it looks like it's about 5,362 miles from Denver to LA to La Paz to Mazatlan and down to Panama City, Panama. That's the first part of the trip.

Then, somehow, get across the Darien Gap. Let's say fly the bike to Bogata, Columbia.

Then, ride from Bogata down to Tierra Del Fuego. That's about 6,737 miles.

So, total mileage looks something like 12,000 miles to get to Tierra Del Fuego. Then, I'm not sure what to do at that point.

Through LA, Baja, and down the Pacific Coast to Panama City, Panama.

Then ride from Bogata to Tierra Del Fuego.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 13, 2017 at 12:01 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 12, 2017

Copying Files off of the MacBook Air

So, I've filled up my Macbook Air with photos again. I think that what frustrates me is that when I copy them off, I basically lose them. I'd like to try a modified approach where I create a "Favorites" folder, and then keep those on the MacBook Air, while exporting most of them (90% or so) off onto the external drive.

So, let's see if we can do that this time.

So, I launch iPhoto and click on Favorites. Yeah...there's the photos I want to keep on here. Fair enough. October 24, 2016 - October 1, 2017. Good enough.
Let's copy these off first. That seems like the most obvious thing to do.

I have an external drive. So I create a folder on the external Seagate Drive called Favorites_10240216-10012017.

I checked and it's a 1 TB external drive, with 936 GB available. Fair enough.

Now, let's export our favorites into this folder we created:

Select them all in iPhoto...2,689 items.
File - Export - Export 2,689 Items... or Export Unmodified Original for 2,689 items.


I'm not smart enough to comprehend the difference. I'm going with Unmodified Originals.
File Name: Use File Name
Subfolder Format: None

OK...I had to navigate to my external drive, and select the folder named Favorites_10242016-10012017.

Click Export Originals.

OK. The colored ball spins for about 3 seconds, then it's gone. Hmmmm.

OK. Now, I just navigated to my new folder Favorites_10242016-10012017.
And, I see now that the number of items in the folder is incrementing. 454....512....

Although, now it occurs to me that I should have preserved my folder structure underneath the new Favorites_10242016-10012017 folder. No...I think I like it this way actually.

So, I exported my Favorites.

Then, I went back and exported everything to a new folder: Photos_2016_10122017.

So, I have these 2 new folders on my Seagate external drive 1TB drive.
Favorites_10242016-10012017 This has 3,086 photos in it.
Photos_2016_10122017 This has 35,539 photos in it.

The external Seagate drive appears to have 541 Gig available. So, now the plan is to delete all photos, and just reimport the favorties.

Like...Photos (formerly iPhoto) sucks so bad there just aren't words. I can't even figure out how to delete the fucking photos. Lord God this application sucks donkey dicks.

"To delete photos from the Photos app in OS X, do the following: -Open the Photos application and select the photo(s) you wish to delete in the All Photos section. -Press command+delete on your keyboard to delete the photos. -Next, in the menu bar at the top of your screen, click File > Show Recently Deleted.

I selected 35,424 items. Hit Command + Delete. Says "Moving to Recently Deleted".
Whirling beachball icon appears. 9:17 p.m.

Now, when I go into iPhotos, it shows 35,424 items recently deleted. OK. Brilliant. Now, how do I delete them for real.

I go into the Recently Deleted folder, select them all with Ctrl-A, and click Delete 35,424 items.

Now, they're gone. Now, to import the favorites:

File - import - Favorties_10242016-10012017. Selected all files. Click Review For Import.

3,074. Import All New Items.

It only brought in 2,720 files though. I think something about the mising metadata.

Now, I import the new photos from my CF card. (Wedding photos).

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 12, 2017 at 7:53 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

So Much To Do

It seems that there is just so much to do, that it's daunting. That I'll never be prepared to leave. How does one begin to prepare to drive across the planet?

I'm thinking now that, for the tires, I'll order them here and have them installed here before I leave on the trip. Riding the KTM out to Chapparal Motorsports in San Bernardino and then hoping that a) they have my tires and b) can put them on while I wait just seems like I'm accepting too much risk for too little gain. All it buys me is that I ride to CA on the stock tires that came on the bike.

But this doesn't really seem like a good trade off to me.

The better move is to order the new tires here, and have them installed before I start out. These will be the same tires that I rode on from Illinois to Panama to Tennessee to Colorado, so I know that they're good for at least that many miles (8,000).

The tires that I want to get are:

2010 KTM 990 Adventure: Front Tire: Scorpion A/T 90/90-21 M/C 54S Pirelli MT 90
2010 KTM 990 Adventure: Rear Tire: Scorpion A/T 150/70-R18 M/C 70V Pirelli MT 90

B&B $143.95 front
$228.00 rear.
1-1.5 hours labor

Pirelli MT90 A/T 90/90-21 Front Tire $97.53
Pirelli MT90 A/T 150/70-18 Rear Tire $151.88
Total Cost: $249.41

Chaparral Motorsports San Bernardino, CA. (It's 1,000 miles from Denver to San Bernardino, CA.)

front: $133.88 (3 in stock)
rear: $132.88 (1 in stock)

If I buy their tires, $15 to put them on. $10 to balance. $25 mount and balance per wheel.

So, total cost to handle the tires at Chaparral Motorsports would be:

$ 50.00

I need to confirm with them about 2 weeks before I leave that I will be there on what date and then they can hold my tires for me and be sure they're in stock when I get there.

Joe in Parts.
Al in Service.

B&B Sports Cycle

OK. Now, I pulled the Givi case off the KTM, hoping to switch it over to the Honda AT. However, now that I put the Givi Monolock grid over the rear of the AT, I see that the holes don't line up. Doh!

Now it looks like I bought the Givi Monolock case from in August 2011 from Golden Gate Cycles.

This case is a Give Micro 2 case, which is discontinued. 26 liter capacity.

Givi in Nevada. (775) 359-0900.
What I need is the Monolock Plate ( M5M ) combined with Hardware (SR1144).
I can order this bike-specific hardware at Tourandride.com
This is specific for the Africa Twin, but it will work with any Givi monolock case.
OK. Prices are:
SR1144 = $63.00
M5M = $59.40
Total = $122.40

I ended up just sort of jury-rigging it on there with the existing hardware from the KTM.
I also moved the cruise control from the KTM to the Honda.

OK. Now, I've got to fly to Jackson in the morning. Let's start dealing with that situation.

Fix CC Filson handbag.
New laces for my boots.
Add funds to personal checking.
Check mail every day.
Replace wallet.
Get other GoPros working:
GoPro Hero 5
GoPro Hero 4
GoPro Hero 4
GoPro Hero 3

Put 12v dc adapter on Honda AT
$20 all-weather 12 v power outlet from an Auto store

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 12, 2017 at 10:57 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 11, 2017

Corrected VIN on Progressive Motorcycle Ins Policy

Your Confirmation Number is 284INT525.

This change was requested by Robert A Kiser, Insured via the Internet on 10/11/2017 at 7:18 PM EDT. This change will not go into effect prior to the date and time it was requested.

Printable ConfirmationGet Proof Of Insurance

Summary of Changes

Changes Submitted: Update Vehicle Information
Policy Term: 10/20/2016 to 10/20/2017
Change Effective Date: 10/11/2017
Total Premium Change: $0.00

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 11, 2017 at 5:25 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Fix Title on Africa Twin

Somehow, the geniuses gave me the wrong MCO/MSO for the motorcycle, so the Title I got from the State of Colorado doesn't match the bike I have. Genius.

So now, i've got to return the title that I got from Colorado to them. Now, let's see if I can find it.

OK. So, the title I have from the state
.. of Colorado shows the VIN as: JH2SD04G1HK001007.

However, the VIN on the bike is: JH2SD04G4HK001017.

The ..new MCO/MSO has VIN as: JH2SD04G4HK001017.

So, I have compared the VIN on the new MCO/MSO to the VIN on the bike's frame, and they do, in fact, match.

Now, I'll return the paperwork that they sent me from the Honda shop in Russelville, Arkansas.


So, I went into the DMV in Evergreen and got this taken care of today 10/11/2017.
Now, I got a new registration for the vehicle. A new title should come in the mail in about 4 weeks. I put the new registration document in my wallet. They gave me new stickers for my license plate. I put them on also.

So, I'm all good now. The registration in my wallet matches the VIN on the bike for the first time ever.

I fed-exed the Title that I was issued by the state of Colorado for the wrong VIN, along with the other paperwork, back to what's her face at Honda in Russelville Arkansas. I messaged a screen shot of the FedEx Tracking number to Bill.

FedEx Tracking Number: 790719774819.

So, the new Title should show up in the mail in 4 weeks (I think that's what she said...or did she say 4-6 weeks?).
4 weeks would be November 8th.
However, I'm not clear that I need the title to the bike. All I need I think in insurance and registration for the bike, really.

Then, I went online and updated my Progressive Insurance Policy to reflect the correct VIN number for the 2017 Honda Africa Twin.

Your Confirmation Number is 284INT525.

This change was requested by Robert A Kiser, Insured via the Internet on 10/11/2017 at 7:18 PM EDT. This change will not go into effect prior to the date and time it was requested.

Printable ConfirmationGet Proof Of Insurance

Summary of Changes

Changes Submitted: Update Vehicle Information
Policy Term: 10/20/2016 to 10/20/2017
Change Effective Date: 10/11/2017
Total Premium Change: $0.00

So now, all I've got to do is print out an updated copy of my Motorcycle Insurance Policy.

OK. So, it fixed it on my insurance policy which ends in 9 days on 10/20/2017, but it didn't fix it on the new policy which runs from 10/20/2017 - 10/20/2018. Nice. So, I printed several sheets of paper only to realize that it didn't update the policy that starts in 9 days. Nice.

So, I called the idiots at Progressive and they said...yeah...that's sort of how it works. We have to go out there and manually update the new policy and it takes us about 24 hours to fix them. Great. Thanks for that.

So now, finally, I have the correct Colorado Registration and Insurance papers in my wallet. Man. This aint easy.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 11, 2017 at 1:54 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 10, 2017

New Gear

I need to get some new riding gear, including:
New Jacket
New Helmet
Some sort of audio recording device in helmet.

Professional Grade Lavalier Lapel Microphone ­ Omnidirectional Mic with Easy Clip On System ­ Perfect for Recording Youtube / Interview / Video Conference / Podcast / Voice Dictation / iPhone

Order Number: 114-6057969-5701033
Professional Grade Lavalier Lapel Microphone ­ Omnidirectional Mic with Easy Clip On System ­ Perfect for Recording Youtube / Interview / Video Conference / Podcast / Voice Dictation / iPhone will be shipped to Robert Kiser by Amazon.com.
Guaranteed delivery: Oct. 14, 2017

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 10, 2017 at 11:52 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

New Tires for the 2017 Honda Africa Twin

I'm reading reviews for all of these different tires for the 2017 Honda AT, and then one guy mentions that he likes to run the same tires that were stock on the KTM 990 Adventure (Pirelli Scorpion MT90's). And I'm thinking...hey....yeah...why not run the same tires on both bikes? Seems to make sense to me.

2017 Honda 1000 Africa Twin: Front Tire: Dunlop Trailmax D610F
Front Tire: 90/90-R21 tube type
2017 Honda 1000 Africa Twin: Rear Tire: Dunlop Trailmax D610
Rear Tire: 150/70-R18 tube type

2010 KTM 990 Adventure: Front Tire: Scorpion A/T 90/90-21 M/C 54S Pirelli MT 90
2010 KTM 990 Adventure: Rear Tire: Scorpion A/T 150/70-R18 M/C 70V Pirelli MT 90

I'm guessing that I put these Scorpions on the KTM earlier this year at Chaparral Motorsports in San Bernardino, CA.

And now, I'm toying with the idea of riding the AT out to San Bernardino and having them put the same tires on the AT.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 10, 2017 at 9:43 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Freeing up some disk space

My home server has been ridiculously slow lately, so I'm finally cleaning up the local C and D drives. Now, it seems like it's performing much better.

Next, I have to clean up my MacBook Air. I can't go on the road with it completely full, and right now, that's where we are. I've got to get all of the photos/videos off of the MacBook Air before I hit the road.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 10, 2017 at 9:10 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Honda Africa Twin Owner's Manual

Here's a link to the Africa Twin Owner's Manual online. I think it's for a 2016, but it's probably pretty close to the 2017.



It's interesting. Like, I've already put over 4,000 miles on the bike, and I never bothered to glance at the owner's manual. But, I decided to read it because the display is fairly complicated, and I knew I was missing some things. Primarily, I wanted to see if I could adjust the brightness of the LCD monitor, because it's hard to see in daylight. Does better at night.

And, lo and behold, you can, in fact, adjust the brightness on the LCD display. It's covered on page 22 of the owner's manual. I'll try to adjust it tomorrow.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 10, 2017 at 7:00 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

After-market Cigarette Lighter

So, the stupid Africa Twin doesn't come with a cigarette lighter, a USB port, or anything. But I'm going to need some juice to run my GPS, my cell phone, my GoPro's, etc. So, I'm going to try to retro-fit/jury-rig a cigarette lighter onto the stupid thing. This website explains roughly how to go about it.


Posted by Rob Kiser on October 10, 2017 at 5:35 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Canon Lens and Lens Caps

I lost my lens cap riding back from CA to CO. Huge issue on the AT because the lens bangs into the metal gas tank.

Estimated delivery Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017
67mm For CANON Lens Cap Hood Cover Snap On Front 18-135mm 17-85mm with String
67mm For CANON Lens Cap Hood Cover Snap On Front 18-135mm 17-85mm with String
Item price $16.60
Quantity 4
Item number 251194543582
Shipping service USPS Parcel Select Ground

Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens with UV and Polarizer filters
Qty: 1
Select a shipping service for Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens with UV and Polarizer filtersDelivery
By Sat, Oct 14

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 10, 2017 at 5:05 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Requested a New 52 Page Passport

So, today, I finally started getting prepared for my trip to South America. I got home from CA on the KTM on Monday last week (Monday 10/2/2017). Then, today, I finally forced myself to start getting ready for the trip. The first thing I need to do, I figured, was to get a 52 page passport. The reason is that my current passport has only 26 pages, and it's pretty much filled up. So, I ordered a new one with 52 pages.

I went and got my passport photos taken at Walmart in Evergreen for $7.50. Then, went back to the woman at the Post Office in Evergreen. She was very helpful. I filled out all of the paperwork and we sent it off. I paid extra to expedite the passport. I think the total cost was just under $200.

Now, I should mention here that some people now have the new passport cards, that are about the size of your driver's license. These are not valid in all countries. They're only recognized by Canada, Mexico, countries in the Caribbean, and Bermuda. So, I didn't go that route, obviously.

The new passport should arrive in the mail in 2-3 weeks. So, that's Oct 24-31, according to my calculations.

Also, I had another idea today. I thought that, on my way out of the country, since I'm going through the Los Angeles basin, it occurred to me that any last minute items I need to pick up, I could probably pick up at Chaparral Motorsports in San Bernardino.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 10, 2017 at 3:27 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 7, 2017

GPS Tracks from 250 mile ride up Poudre Canyon today

Copying Files Off of the Garmin Montana 600

So, I'm thinking I'll copy the gpx files off of my Garmin Montana 600.

1) Launch EasyGPS.
2) Click on "Receive (from GPS)" icon.
3) Click OK.

So, now I see them in my EasyGPS app, but there's no topo map or anything. So, I save them off as s:\garmin\2017_10_07_Poudre_Canyon.gpx

Now, to upload them onto a map.

Go to http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/

Select your .gpx file.

Click Map It.
It says it will be available for viewing temporarily.

Basically, it's a map that shows my run up through the Poudre Canyon today with Steve and friends.

Now, I want to delete my .gpx files from the Garmin Montana.

Deleting Tracks from the Garmin Montana 600.

Click on Up arrow at bottom center of screen on Garmin Montana 600.
Click on Track Manager.
Click on Archived Tracks.
Select the top track.
Click on Delete.
Click on Delete again.
Rinse. Repeat.

There. Now, I deleted all of the tracks off of my Garmin Montana 600.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 7, 2017 at 9:59 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 6, 2017

Copying Files Off of the Garmin Montana 600

So, I'm thinking I'll copy the gpx files off of my Garmin Montana 600.

1) Launch EasyGPS.
2) Click on "Receive (from GPS)" icon.
3) Click OK.

So, now I see them in my EasyGPS app, but there's no topo map or anything. So, I save them off as s:\garmin\2017_10_02_CA_CO.gpx

Now, to upload them onto a map.

Go to http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/

Select your .gpx file.

Click Map It.
It says it will be available for viewing temporarily. But it also says I can download it, and I notice that my last GPS tracks that I uploaded are gone, and that was just a week or two ago. So, let me try to save it locally. So, I click the Download link on GPS Visualizer. It creates a local file named 20171006195032-68052-map.html in my download folder.

Basically, it's a map that shows me running around in Southern California, plus my one ride up the coast recently where I rode up the Pacific Coast Highway as far north as the Mud Creek Slide, one of the points where the Pacific Coast Highway was closed.

OK. Now, I create a new folder under the wwwroot folder called maps. wwwroot/maps:



However, I can't get these to load. It says "Oops! Something went wrong.
This page didn't load Google Maps correctly. See the JavaScript console for technical details."

Now, I want to delete my .gpx files from the Garmin Montana.

Deleting Tracks from the Garmin Montana 600.

Click on Up arrow at bottom center of screen on Garmin Montana 600.
Click on Track Manager.
Click on Archived Tracks.
Select the top track.
Click on Delete.
Click on Delete again.
Rinse. Repeat.

There. Now, I deleted all of the tracks off of my Garmin Montana 600.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 6, 2017 at 8:30 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 5, 2017

Dimensions of the States

After riding across California, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado, it really struck me that I don't really have any grasp for how large the states are, and I don't think I'm alone in that. I've never seen a map that shows the dimensions of the states.

Colorado is 380 miles tall and 280 miles wide.

Utah is 350 miles tall and 270 miles wide. (The top right corner notch that is missing/lost to Wyoming is roughly 160 miles wide at notch?).

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 5, 2017 at 11:20 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 4, 2017

Tioga Pass Closes Again

They have closed Tioga Pass for a 2nd time this fall. My guess is that it will reopen though, because it didn't look bad when I crossed over the pass on Friday. I should point out, for the record, that there is no sign at Tioga Pass that says "Tioga Pass". Now, I'm not saying you won't see signs that say "Tioga Pass", but there's nothing equivalent to the sign at Monarch Pass, for instance. So, you don't really know when you've crossed over the pass. My guess is that, at the top, it's fairly level at the actual pass, and they don't want people stopping and taking photos of the sign, etc.


Posted by Rob Kiser on October 4, 2017 at 11:00 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 2, 2017

Auto/Motorcycle Adventure Compilation

I'm going to document my motorcycle adventures. I feel like I've documented these trips before, but when I search for it, I can't find it, so here goes. (Here is the previous Motorcycle Adventure list.)

-- Car/Automobile Roadtrip/Adventures --
Road trip to the Lost Coast/Eureka. In 2004/2005, I was working in South San Francisco at Genentech. I bought a light blue Honda Prelude and, when the project was winding down, I drove it to Eureka and back, to check out the Lost Coast and the redwood forests. This was over one weekend in January (1/22/2005 - 1/23/2005).

Road trip to Chula Vista. In 2004/2005, I was working in South San Francisco at Genentech. I bought a Prelude, Here's a photo of the Prelude on the beach in Pismo Beach. I know I drove it as far as Lompoc based on the photos. I believe that I drove it down to the border at Chula Vista, planning on driving to El Salvador, chickened out, drove it back to South City, and sold it to a local dealer there and flew home.

-- Motorcycle Roadtrip/Adventures --

1st Baja Trip. In October of 2009, In 8 days, I traveled over 2,000 miles across Baja California alone on a 2006 Honda XR650R. From San Diego to Cabo San Lucas and back.

Ride around Lake Michigan. In October of 2010, I rode around Lake Michigan on a 1994 Honda XR650L. We rode approximately 800 miles over 3 days. The map was roughly like this.

1st Alaska Trip. On March 31, 2011, I bought a 2004 Honda XR650L in Petaluma and rode it back to SF. Then, in August of 2011, I rode it from San Francisco to Hyder Alaska and back. This was the longest roadtrip I'd ever been on on a bike. 2 weeks. 4,000 miles.

1st SF to Denver Trip. Then, in September/October of 2011, I rode the same 2004 Honda XR650L from San Francisco to Denver. 1,437.9 miles over 5 days. This was the first time I ever rode from CA to CO. I had never before even considered it, as it was just not something I'd imagined possible.

Failed Trip to Pismo. May 14-May 17th, 2012, I tried to drive a 1993 Honda XR650L from SF to Pismo Beach. The bike broke down on me on the Pacific Coast Highway and I abandoned it on the side of the road and caught the Amtrak back to SF.

1st Denver to SF trip. In June of 2012, I rode the 2004 Honda XR650L from Denver back to SF via Yellowstone. This was 7 days, and roughly 2,150 miles.

Pismo Beach. In July of 2012, I rode the 2004 Honda XR650L down to Pismo and back. (I have scads of photos from this trip. I just never posted them for whatever reason.)

2nd SF to Denver Trip. In May of 2013, (as soon as Tioga Pass opened), I rode the 2004 Honda XR650L from SF back to Denver via Yosemite. 1,314 miles over 3 days.

2013 Trip to Panama City, Panama. Went from Moline, Illinois to Panama, & from Jackson, MS - Goodland, KS. In May of 2013, I flew to Illinois picked up my new KTM. Rode the bike to Panama City in 32 days. (From May 20, 2013 - June 20th.) Had it FedEx'ed back to Jackson, Mississippi in June. I drove it from Jackson, MS to Tullahoma, TN and then to Kansas. So, the trip was roughly 8,044 miles in 2 months (May 20-July 19).

2nd Alaska Trip. This was in July/August of 2014. Rode the KTM 10,500 miles in 28 days. Denver to Deadhorse,Alaska and back.

Trip to Kino Bay. In December of 2015, I rode the KTM down to Kino Bay, Guaymas, and San Carlos. 10 days. 2,735 miles.

2nd Denver to SF trip. In July of 2016, I rode the KTM from Denver to SF by way of June Lake. Rode 1,013 miles on the first day. Then rolled into SF the next day.

Rode the KTM from San Francisco to San Diego to Riverside
. In July of 2016, after spending a few days in San Francisco, I rode the KTM down to San Diego and then to Riverside.

2nd Baja Trip. In July of 2016, I rode the KTM down to Bahia De Los Angeles. 4 days. 1,247 miles.

Riverside to Oakland. In September of 2016, I rode the KTM up to Oakland. I had some problems with the clutch, so on 9/29/16, I left it to be repaired at LG Moto in Richmond, CA and flew back to Riverside.

Oakland to Riverside. In October of 2016, I fly back to Oakland, get the KTM, and ride it back to Riverside in a day.

July 7 2017 - Flew to Little Rock, Arkansas. Caught Uber/Lyft to pick up my new 2017 Honda Africa Twin. Rode it back to Denver in 24 hours. (Spent the night somewhere in Kansas)

July 2017 - Stayed in CA for the weekend. Rode KTM up to Pismo, SLO, Morro Bay, Cambria and back.

Ride KTM back to Oakland via Central Valley. On Sunday, Sep 24th, 2017, I fly to LAX, get on the KTM, and ride it back to Oakland in a day. Then I work in Oakland for the week.

3rd SF to Denver Trip. For 3 days, I ride the KTM back to Denver. 1,364 miles in 3 days.

Ride AT from Denver to Lima
Day 1 [Monday 11/13/17] - Day 59 [Wed 1/10/2018]
Starting Odometer: 4,603 miles
Ending Odometer: 13,695 miles
Total Mileage: 9,092 miles

Rode AT from Denver to Columbia, SC and back.
Outbound: Day 1 [Wed 10/16/19] - Day 5 [Sun 10/20/19].
Return: Day 1 [Wed 11/13/19] - Day 6 [Mon 11/18/19].

Here's a link to all of my vehicles.

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 2, 2017 at 12:43 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

October 1, 2017

Day 3: I made it home :)

Starting Odometer: 51,931
Ending Odometer: 52,419
Miles driven today: 488 miles
Miles driven this trip: 1,364 miles

So, I wake up this morning in Green River, Utah. I'm messaging some with Steve. He's talking about the weather, actually saying it's improving. But this makes me remember to check the weather. The art of a successful motorcycle ride is being methodical about the details.

So, every morning, I plan my fuel stops. I'm pretty good about this. But I should also be checking the forecast along the route. And I don't even have a good app for this. But everything I check shows that I-70 is going to be a nightmare. 39F and raining. That would suck in a big way.

So, instead, I plan a southerly route that google maps actually suggests. It shows me breaking off of I-70 at Grand Junction, heading down to Montrose, then east to Salida, over Monarch Pass. Then, I try to route through Jefferson and Fairplay, but it's cold and rainy there also. So, I change the route to go through Woodland Park, then up through Deckers, and home on Foxton Road.

The only thing I don't check is the current local temperature. So, that would have been crucial. I get on the bike and start riding at 9:30 a.m. (KTM time - however, the KTM is set on Pacific Daylight time, and we're now in Mountain Daylight Time, apparently. So, I crossed a time zone somewhere, and missed that as well.

So, I'm on I-80 heading east, freezing cold. Not freezing cold, but pretty cold. I stop to check the local temperature. 52F in Green River, Utah. Great.

I have some extra shirts, but I don't bother to put them on because I'm not bright enough, apparently. I keep riding east, hoping it will warm up. I exit off of I-70 at Grand Junction, and now I'm rolling south on US Highway 50, down through Olathe to Montrose.

At Montrose, I turn east and stop for gas. I gas up the bike, and get some lunch at a taco place. I've gone 161 miles so far today. In the restaurant, I put on every shirt that I have (4). I'm tired of being cold.

Now, I head east out of Montrose on US Highway 50. The road follows a lake/body of water for some distance. I'm reasonably sure that I've never been on the road before (east of Montrose). But now that I see it on a map, I'm pretty sure that this is the route I used to take to get to Ouray, Colorado.

I summit Monarch Pass. I stop and get some shots. The scenery is just breathtaking. The border sign said "Colorful Colorado" when we came into Colorado, and I was somewhat dubious at the time. But now that I see all of these Aspens in peak foliage, it really is a beautiful place.

I'm wondering why I don't get down here more. Like, flying back and forth every week really does sort of rub your nose in how beautiful the country is. It makes you see things from a different perspective. And, when we're not working, we really don't have any good excuses for not going and seeing these places, it seems.

Now, down the hill and I gas up just before Salida. Now we turn north on Highway 285. When I get to the exit for Hartsel/Woodland park, I decide to push my luck and just try to make it home on US Highway 285. I go about 10 miles, and it's white-out conditions. You can't even see the mountains. I turn around and head south to the exit for Hartsel/Woodland Park and take it.

Now, I'm rolling east across the mountains. Up and over Wilkerson Pass. I used to explore all of this territory when I worked down in Colorado Springs.

Then down to Woodland Park, now for some reason, it's warmed up. I turn north following Colorado State Highway 67. I see a couple of kids on dirt bikes, and stop to ask them if they're OK. They say they're good, and they take off ahead of me. But instead of riding together, they take off and leave me. The petulance of youth.

The road turns to dirt, but the weather is really nice. For the first time, I feel like I might make it home without getting wet.

Eventually, I make it up to US Highway 285. I'm tired. Sore. Ache all over. It's hard to imagine that any sane person would want to do this for a month or two at a time. It's starting to seem like a very bad idea.

I roll up to my house, and go inside to find all 3 cats at home asleep. But, it's not like they were waiting for me. They all get up and leave as soon as I get home. PJ comes in later with a dead mouse.

Things that I did well on the trip:
1) I did some maintenance. I added oil at one point. I added air to my tires at one point. I lubed my chain at one point. But all of this needs to be much more thoroughly pursued. I need to be checking my tire pressure every time I get gas. I need to be oiling the chain every morning. And checking my oil every morning.
2) I did a decent job with the cameras, but I need to be carrying extra lens caps and eyepiece cups, and eyepiece cup extenders. I lost one eyepiece cup and one lens cap on this trip. They're not expensive, but it sucks not to have them.
3) I need to go through the givi case and sort my tools out. They're all just tossed in there willy nilly, so that it's hard to find anything you need.
4) I did a good job of carrying food and drink with me. This is very important in case you break down. Also, it's never a bad idea to carry food in case you get hungry at night in the hotel.
5) I planned my route every day pretty well. You need to know how far the bike will go on a full tank. My bike is hitting reserve at about 170 miles, although this varies based on how fast you're going, how strong the winds are, etc.
6) I carried an extra 2 gallons of gas. That's pretty important, IMHO. I saw some guy on a BMW, and he was bragging about how he has an 8 gallon tank, which means he can go 400 miles. Well, I've got a 5 gallon tank, plus 2.2 gallons extra, so that gets me pretty close to his fuel capacity, and anyone that says they're getting 50 to the gallon is lying anyway.
7) I have to do a better job with my daily tasks at night and in the morning. This morning, I left the room with a camera with a dead battery. Not good execution.
8) I did a great job of checking out of the hotels. Very important not to leave anything behind, so this means a thorough search of the empty hotel room before you drive away. Nothing left behind on this trip.
9) I need to do a better job of tracking my expenses. Right now, I'm just shoving receipts in my pocket, which is pretty shoddy. I need to find an app for my phone which I can use to track expenses.
10) The Garmin Montana GPS is nearly useless. I can't see the scale on the display, and it doesn't tell me the distance to the next exit/turn. So, this is maddening. Also, it keeps shutting on and off for reasons that are not clear to me.
11) The Honda AT doesn't even have a cigarette lighter. Have to get one installed ASAP.
12) Have to get a Givi case for the AT, or else move this one over from the KTM.
13) I just realized that I have a car at the airport. That's the 2nd time this year that I've done that: Fly out of town, ride home on a motorcycle, leave a vehicle at the airport. Doh!

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 1, 2017 at 7:41 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Day 3 - The Weather Turns

So this is roughly what my ride will look like today.

The forecast shows I70 to be rainy and cold. So I'm going to cut south a little bit.

I'll refuel in Montrose (161 miles). In Salida (128 miles). In Conifer (149 miles).

If I took I-70, it would be 343 miles. The route I'm going is more like 432 miles. So, I'm adding about 90 miles, but it keeps me out of the rain, I think.

So, I'm going to get moving as this means I have another long day ahead of me. No point in laying in bed when you could be out exploring. :)

Posted by Rob Kiser on October 1, 2017 at 8:27 AM : Comments (1) | Permalink