A page for the ramblings of Zack Sherman, the lead wanderer at Expedition recovery. This blog will include my travelog as well as more concise and targeted written pieces. Reviews and how to's on topics of adventure motorcycle and overland travel will be forthcoming as well.
5/30/16 - Airborne on Alaska Airlines somewhere between Chicago, IL and Anchorage, AK.
the ball rolling on this expedition was exciting. After two years of planning to do this trip
upon my graduation, the move to make it part of my schooling was a lighting fast
process. I had the thought that I could use
this ride for school over a weekend toward the end of spring semester 2016 and
then began speaking with my adviser and my professors the following
Tuesday. I really thought it was all
just going to be a pipe dream and that I would still be taking it after
surprise there was almost no resistance at any level to me taking the trip or
using it for guided studies in journalism.
Each of my relevant professors not only agreed, but were incredibly
encouraging of both the expedition and the reasoning behind it.
that first domino fell, everything began to drop perfectly into place to
follow. The Honda Outpost not only
offered me discount support on equipment, but their social-media manager Justin
had taken a similar journey through Central- and South America by motorcycle
some years before and was willing and happy to provide planning and route
The Outpost also had a leftover 2015 Honda CB500X, the motorcycle I was most highly
considering taking for the ride, and were willing to work a great deal on the
bike because they were so onboard with the project. They had also just become Giant Loop dealers,
the US distributor for the Rally Raid CB500X Adventure kits that would make the
bike truly perfect for the journey.
choice of charity for the ride was also highly responsive and began to
immediately respond to inquiries about support.
Though initially they thought that I was looking for them to support the
ride, rather than my intent to support the Soldiers Project with both
fundraising and awareness.
began to come together at a rapid clip and seemed like the most natural and
sure progression in the world. Then my
back went out.
in the Army had not been kind to my body.
In specific I had managed to injure almost every part of my body at
least once in six years. My back however
had seen quite a bit of damage, including a compression fracture of my T12
vertebra while in Iraq. Due to the injuries I often end up with sever spasms
that will often leave me immobile for days at a time. I generally get one every two to three years
that lays me low and this spring was apparently my due date for a doozy of one.
all the planning came together and I spent the money to purchase the new bike,
without having sold my prior bike to finance it, my low back decided to spasm
so badly I couldn’t sleep and was only able to move or stand with help or a
wall to lean on. Unable to stand up
straight I was moving slow and looking as if things were going to fall
insurance outside of VA care, it didn’t look like I would be able to expect any
help. Care with the VA had been a
terrible experience for me and one that never went quickly or well. So when I showed up to a scheduled meeting with
the VA social worker nearly unable to walk, I was surprised to get triaged
almost immediately and then authorized to get care from a civilian clinic that
day. The clinic was able to see me
almost immediately and care was provided by a doctor of orthopedics who had
been the first army doctor to see my for my back in 2002
who was now still
working in the area. The care was quick
and relief was only a few days and treatments away.
almost been an end to my trip before it began, turned out to be a fortunate
great first experience with VA care working out correctly.
12/16/16 San Ignacio, Belize. 106.6 kilometers ridden. Woke up and got in a quick bit of relaxing before
it was time to start getting ready to ride. Ed, Aaron, and I would be heading
out to Big Rock Falls and 1000 Foot Falls on the bikes. I got most of the prep
done and found out that Aaron had already eaten breakfast so I walked around to
the bar and restaurant combo we had been drinking at the night before. I got an
omelet with bacon, cheese and veggies and a side of "toast bread".
The toast bread was more like fry bread and was very good. I went back to the hotel and Ed had arrived. We
finished prepping the bikes but Ed and Aaron then want to go for a few things
so we ended up at a smoothie shop where the guys grabbed wraps and I had a
smoothie. Service took the usual forever I have come to expect in Belize but
the smoothie was good. We went and geared up before setting off from the hotel
Tropicool. The ride out was spectacular and full of both
twisty canyon type passes o…
It is with a heavy heart that I say good bye to my best
friend, and my director of moral support.
Woden was an amazing dog who came into my life and
brightened every day of it. He believed with all his heart that he was a person
too and just couldn’t figure out why he didn’t get all the same privileges that
rest of the people got.
He entered this world on February 9th of 2012 and
came home to live me with me in Alaska on April 14th of 2012.
His first day in Alaska was spent with me on the gun range
where he seemed drawn to the smell of all the instructors, despite a lot of
very eager police recruits wanting to see him.
He started out as the only dog of the house but came to
share the space with his begrudging mentor Mop, the old man of the house who
made sure to show Woden who was boss.
Woden ended up at his peak weighing the same 185 pounds as
his father, Zack Sherman, and was always willing to play and wrestle. Like his dad, he had a knack for jujitsu and
was great at avoid…
Leon Mexico Zero kilometers ridden. Coming back to Leon from Portland left me feeling out of
sorts. The weekend had been incredible, but the passionate kissing had broken
past a barrier I had kept in place for many years. While I was a police officer I felt a need to
retain some amount of a moral high ground and thus had stowed away my prior
instances of living in polyamory and being promiscuous. That was naive of me, but it was my reality
nonetheless. While there had been some involvement in open relationships since
me departure from policing, this was my first straying from the very serious
and committed relationship I am in with Cat. In addition, it felt like I had
done wrong by Montserrat as well. Even
though she had been in a relationship when I left, the feelings were clearly
there and I felt like I had committed a large betrayal to Cat and a small one
to Montserrat even though we were not together. One of the first things I did on
returning was to talk to Montserrat about the …