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…
Hopkins, Belize – The Funky Dodo
Zero kilometers ridden.
While Aaron and I had both planned
to move on today, a rest in this little hippie oasis that was The Funky Dodo
seemed to be the answer we both needed.
Ed must have thought so too as he moved from his hostel up the road to
join us at the Dodo.
It had been nice to sleep in a bit
and I was looking forward to a shower. As I joined the land of the living I
asked Christine how the showers were.
“Great, nice and warm” was her
She had apparently gotten the first
batch of water from the sun warmed tank.
I got the freezing cold water being dropped from the shower head as it
was pumped from the well. It wasn’t my first cold shower of the trip by any
means but it left me lots to rib Christine about as we walked up the street to
get a breakfast of liquid yogurt from the shop.
Once Ed got all checked in it was
time for a walk to the beach at the center of town. We took some photos before wander…
Chetumal, Mexico to Hopkins, Belize
274.9 Kilometers ridden.
I slept in too late again this morning and then fucked about
getting stuff done in the morning. I
managed to take my meds without eating anything and it seemed to turn my
stomach now that I have begun taking the mild anti-biotics I was prescribed as
anti-malarial tablets. I didn’t really
get checked out of the hotel until about noon and then once I had the bike
loaded I only went a few hundred meters up the road to stop at an Oxxo for a
yogurt, a zero calorie Mexican energy drink, and a ham and cheese croissant out
of the deli case. Not gourmet but enough
to calm my stomach within about 20 minutes of finishing and getting on the
The ride to the boarder with Belize was simple enough,
though I found I hadn’t managed to add the Central American maps to my GPS yet
so I was left with my phone as my only navigational aid.
The boarder itself wasn’t too bad as I tried to pull into
the first building and was told I…