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.
great trips, this one started late too. I was supposed to leave today but as
usual the VA didn't have things in order. My shot records still weren't ready
after months of notice due to my provider quitting due to the bureaucracy and hurdles involved in trying to care for patients in the
VA system. When he left, my order for a certified copy of my shot record so I
could cross boarders when I reach South America got lost in the system. It
forced me to go to the VA to handle it in person at the last minute. Then
they couldn't even get them for me and I was forced to go and get them from the
Army directly, which took about two minutes. What a joke.
able to go and get all of my paperwork in order with UAF in regard to my
classes and then did an impromptu presentation to the new crop of UAF
Journalism students taking Writing for the News Media. It was nice to speak
with the group and see that putting a spot light on PTSD, depression, and
anxiety would help more than just veterans.
I then ran home to load the bike and take it to the university for the ceremonial
start of the southern leg. A local TV station came out to film, as well as a
photographer from the UAF Sun Star, and my professor from UAF Journalism Brian O'Donoghue. It
was a simple interview and a ride out from the circle of flags on campus to
start the main portion of the journey
out from work to see me off and we went and ate lunch together afterward. She and I talked and I
decided that instead of running out half-cocked and under pressure I would stay
the night and leave super early.
Cat and I
were able to get some much needed time together before I got almost everything
packed on the bike and we called it a night super late.
like it will be two nights with little to no sleep before leaving.
North Pole, AK to Whitehorse, AK
it hard to get up this morning, even being excited to leave. Cat got up with me
and helped out by making some tea and food and helping to keep me calm even though my anxiety was kreeping up.
It took longer to get the top bag on the bike than I would have liked as this was my first time actually mounting it when it was full.
I ended up having to leave the GoPro behind for space but as it was the fourth camera I would be taking it was ok. As Cat will be visiting soon enough in Sacramento I will just have her bring it and figure a way to make it work.
departure was later than planned but it was 39F when I left so the extra time
to warm up probably helped a bit. It was nice to have Cat film my
departure and get it up on Facebook because I later found that I hadn’t started
my helmet cam like I thought. Lots of thoughts were lost on that departure
through to Delta Junction without stopping. The temp stayed low but the extra
layers and heated vest and grips kept me comfortable. The fuel stop and
stretch at Delta also timed out for a conference call with The Soldiers Project to discuss plans for the upcoming media events. I should have gotten moving
right away but stayed a bit too long having a protein bar and a Rockstar while
trying to stretch my legs.
I thought my heel was a little warm....
headed for Tok but made a stop to recreate a photo in front of the giant mukluk
that was taken during my first Whitehorse trip four years ago with the North PoleBabes in Toyland roller derby. It was there I realized that I had been resting my leg a bit too close to the exaust and had melted part of my riding boots.
I fueled up in town and took an hour for
lunch at Fast Eddies. I had a chicken sandwich that was pretty tasty and
few cups of tea, but again took too long before getting on the road.
nights of low sleep were beginning to take a toll and I had to make photo stops
just to keep from falling asleep on the bike.
The long stretches were starting to be mind-numbing in the cold.
crossing went without issue and fueled up on the Canadian side. I had
however forgotten about the time change coming out of Alaska and all my extra
time disappeared in the jump forward an hour. The gas station attendant told
me it was 280 miles to Whitehorse and that it would be a five hour trip. I left
feeling like I had to make up time because I was supposed to be in Whitehorse
at 7 pm to help ref scrimmage and work with the newer refs.
on pilot cars at the many construction sites slowed me further and I really let
my right wrist go in an attempt to make it. I spent a lot of the run outside of
the construction at between 120 kph and up to an indicated 151 kph at one point
all through mostly 90 kph zones.
heavy throttle meant that I was on fumes and more than three liters of fuel
past the reserve light flashing when I rode into Haynes Junction. I had
passed destruction bay thinking I would be fine and nearly paid the price again
like I did on the ride from Deadhorse to Cold Foot.
from Haynes Junction to Whitehorse was more of the same high speed running.
The scenery was spectacular but it was hard to hear my audio book over
the wind noise and I had to just turn it off and try to stay awake by singing
in my helmet. Only one small section of construction and no pilot cars this
time so it was smooth sailing to town.
Whitehorse I asked directions and got to the venue for the game and found it
deserted. I got directions to a second likely place but found no one. I
finally gave up and rode into town to look for wi-fi to try and contact the
Yukon Rollergirls since I didn't have Canadian cell service. During this running around though the clutch began to
stick again like it had coming back from Deadhorse. This made getting
around extremely difficult and rather sketchy as I had to push the clutch lever
to free it from the stuck position and then couldn't control its release so it
was a jerky ride.
Once on wi-fi
I was able to contact the ladies. Badger, who I knew from before, and Gory came
down and showed me the way to where I was staying. I got the bike into
the side yard and unloaded and went in to shower and then eat. Gory and I went
for a few beers and I got to have Okanagan Pear Cider again which alone made
the long ride more than worth it.
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…