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…
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…