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…
12/17/16 San Ignacio, Bel. 108.5 kilometers ridden. Morning started off with a trip up the street for the cheap breakfast Christine had told me
about, it was a breakfast burrito and a large lime juice for the equivalent of about $2.50 US. The burrito was basic but tasty and the lime juice was a refreshing start to the day. After the beating the rough road gave the little C90, I went on a walkabout with Ed and Aaron to go get
the exhaust on Ninty fixed. It took most of the morning but we ended up getting some clues and finding a
Canadian welder who had emigrated to Belize. He did a great job TIG welding the exhaust and it came out looking better than new.
We managed to get a little twisted up on the route before walking across the low wooden bridge that had carried us into town. Along the way we wandered through a market with
lots of hand crafts and cheap Chinese products. I could tell I was in a more tourist oriented town than most I had stayed in so far. I wasn't interested in an…
12/18/16 San Ignacio, Belize to
Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala. 19.6 kilometers ridden. I started out slowly
getting ready before taking a final shower in the small bathroom by my room.
The ability to get the water temperature to something other than arctic blast
or surface of the sun seems to be getting worse each day. We went out for
breakfast at a place called pops. It was the most western place I had been too
in weeks. It had vinyl diner booths in a deep red color that would be at home in any greasy spoon in the US. I ate a bacon and cheese omelet with pancakes but paid more for it
than I would have at a less Americanized place. We went back to our
hotel and Aaron, Ed, and I sat around exchanging digital files of our photos
and videos so we each had copies of everyone’s media from Belize. It took a
long time so as each of us finished we set off separately to be ready to leave.
I was the last one out at past 12:30 but when I got up to Ed's hostel he and
Aaron were both still there. W…