Meanwhile… Back On The Farm… Kentucky, 2012

Bertha and I are back on the Kentucky Farm after a busy year of travels.  In a little over a 12 month period I went on 2 trips from Central Kentucky to Northern California and back, a trip to Florida, 7 trips from Kentucky to Northern Ohio and Michigan and a trip to Greece…. wow… my head is still spinning!  Before my feet start to take roots in Kentucky, I’m going to Tennessee and Michigan in the next few weeks to see family and a High School Graduation!  After spending the last 4 months in more arid climates, it’s nice to see the lush green hills of the Bluegrass!  I have a lot of work to do in the next few days to finish the garden and get it up and running!  I know I’m getting a late start but as they say, better late than never!  I am once again, off-grid for the rest of the Summer.  I have lots of little projects to complete around the farm and will share my progress on the blog!

Above and Below, Bertha sits net to the pergola on the off-grid farm in Central Kentucky, 2012.

Above and Below, my outdoor living space on the off-grid farm.

Above, you can see the off-grid water collection system.  After a nice rain, a 350 gallon tank and a 55 gallon tank fill-up in no time!

Below, the tractor-trailer has a cedar lined wood burning sauna.  What a great way to relax!

Above, the newest addition to my off-grid living set-up, the cowboy over the fire cooking system!

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Overland Expo, 2012, Mormon Lake, Arizona

I recently attended the Overland Journal’s “Overland Expo, 2012” at Mormon Lake, Arizona.  
All I can say is wow, what an incredible event!  For anyone interested in Overland Vehicular Travel, the Overland Expo is a great place to gather information, meet overland travel experts and see some awesome vehicles and equipment!  I attended the Expo on my motorcycle (the B.O.M.).  I was concerned that parking for the truck camper (Bertha) would be difficult at the lake so the Truck Camper got a break for a few days.  There were way too many cool vehicles and products to report on them all, so I posted a few pictures of my favorite vehicles below!
  

Above and Below, the Global Expedition Vehicle (GXV) at the 2012 Overland Expo.

Above, the XP Camper at the 2012 Overland Expo.  I really like the innovative design of the XP Camper.

Above, the Tiger Motorhome at the 2012 Overland Expo.

Below, the Earth-Roamer at the 2012 Overland Expo.

Above, the Earth-Cruiser at the 2012 Overland Expo.

Above, the (B.O.M.) at the 2012 Overland Expo…. perhaps my favorite overland vehicle… at least the most fun to ride!

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Motorcycle Hammock Camping in the Coconino Forest

This past weekend I attended the 2012 Overland Expo at Mormon Lake near Flagstaff, Arizona.  My buddy, his wife and another couple decided to camp about 9 miles from Mormon Lake in the Coconino National Forest.  We took the motorcycles by trailer from Prescott Valley to our camping site and then used the bikes to explore the trails around Mormon Lake and attend the Expo.  Hammock camping is a great way to get a comfortable night’s rest without carrying a lot of extra gear.  I have a Hennessy Hammock that I purchased before working in Africa in 2010-2011.  The Hammock worked great the first night but when temps dipped to 27 degrees the second night, my jungle sleeping bag with liner was not enough to stay warm.  As the old saying goes, “travel light …. freeze at night.”  I survived and really enjoyed the weekend.  Below are a few pictures of the campsite and the surrounding mountains!  I will post pictures of the Overland Expo in the next post!   

Above and below, Motorcycle camping in the Coconino National Forest near Mormon Lake, Arizona.

Above, my Hennessy Hammock with rain fly in the Coconino National Forest near Mormon Lake, Arizona.  Hammocks are great for camping because they are light-weight, keep you off the ground and above crawling creatures, provide a good night’s rest and are relatively inexpensive!

Above and below, the mountains surrounding our campsite!

Below, the motorcycles at the first day of the Overland Expo at Mormon Lake, Arizona, 2012.

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The B.O.M. Goes to Crown King, Arizona

This weekend the weather in Prescott, Arizona was once again near perfect.  It was sunny and in the low 80s…. so what’s a guy with wanderlust to do?  Yes…Wander a bit!  
My buddy and I spent the day on our motorbikes.  We decided to visit Crown King, one of the many picturesque little mining towns that dot the state of Arizona from north to south.  It was a pretty easy ride to reach Crown King from Prescott.  Travel time was just a little over an hour on blacktop and hard packed dirt trails.  While in Crown King we stopped for lunch at the town Saloon. The lunch special was italian sausage with onions and banana peppers with a side of fries!  Not exactly a meal on the “paleolithic-caveman diet” but it was oh so good!  Man cannot live on broccoli and tofu forever…. right?  Exactly… I’m glad you agree with me…. I bet if cavemen had a choice between tofu and italian sausage they would have gotten marinara sauce on their fur one piece singlets they wore!  After our nutritious and delicious lunch we took a more challenging ride back to Prescott.  We followed Forest Road 263 to Senator HWY and arrived in Prescott about 2 1/2 hours later.  Lucky for me my new seat arrived earlier in the week and was installed on the B.O.M. for this ride!  Yeah for Memory-Foam!  My back, butt and legs appreciated the improvement to the riding comfort!  
In the last 4 months I have made a few important improvements to my bike, called the Big Old Mare (B.O.M.) a Honda XR 650 L. 
Improvements include;
– a Corbin Seat
– a set of Double-Take Mirrors
– a Maier Windshield
– a set of new tires and tubes
– a sub-frame support
– a Clark 4.7 gallon gas tank  
The improvements are all geared toward making the B.O.M. a more expedition capable motorbike!  
I plan to do some long-distance trips in the near future…. to perhaps the lands of Spanish and Portuguese Speakers!  Anyone want to join me….?

Above and Below, the Saloon in the mining town of Crown King, Arizona.

Below, the lunch special at the Saloon, an italian sausage sandwich!  Very tasty and only 25 calories! (not)!

Above and Below, the two motorbikes on the Forest HWY 263 north of Crown King, Arizona.

Above and Below, the bikes in the Prescott National Forest!

Above and below, my buddy and I pose with our bikes for the mandatory, “I-Was-There” pictures!
What a great day, riding the dusty trails of Northern Arizona!

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The B.O.M Takes on the Trails of “Bloody Basin”…

This morning my friend Greg and I set out from Prescott Valley on the motorbikes for a day of riding the trails of the “Bloody Basin.”  Our destination was the “Sheeps Bridge” over the Verde River about 75 miles south-east of Prescott Valley.  To reach the bridge from Prescott Valley, we took HWY 69 south for about 25 miles and then HWY 17 south for 2 miles to the “Bloddy Basin” exit, exit 259.  We then took the dirt trail east for about 40 miles and arrived at the “Bridge” about 2 hours later.  Speeds on the trails varied greatly, from 40 MPH to 5 MPH, depending on conditions.  The first 20 miles of off road trails are pretty well maintained and an average speed of 20 MPH was not excessive.  It was the last 20 miles that our speed was reduced due to the numerous switch-backs, large rocks and drop-offs!  My Honda XR 650 L (the B.O.M.) was made for trails like these, it performed great!  She’s better on the dirt than she is at high speed on the freeway!  My friend Greg’s Yamaha Super Tenere 1200 was the opposite, she performed better on the highway but was a lot slower on the dirt trails.  Too bad there’s not one motorcycle that does it all!  I guess if there was eveyone would buy it!  When we arrived at the bridge, there were a few dozen campers already there, fishing, swimming and drinking beer!  It appears to be a great get-away destination for campers, hikers and off road enthusists!  It was the best ride I’ve had so far on the ole-bike, great views the entire trip!  We spent about one hour at the bridge and then headed back to Prescott Valley!  We were in the saddles about 6 hours and I can feel it now!  I ordered a new “Corbin” seat a few weeks ago.  A better seat is something recommended by all XR 650 L owners, I just hope it arrives soon!  My back and butt will sure be a lot happier with a new seat! Arizona is such a beautiful state, I can’t wait to explore some more!     

Above, the Big Old Mare (B.O.M.) on the “Bloddy Basin” trail.

Below, the B.O.M. stops for a mandatory picture with a little cactus!

Above and Below, the Honda and the Yamaha at our ride destination, the “Sheeps Bridge.”  Built in 1944, the bridge was used by Basque sheep herders to safely cross their flocks over the Verde River.  The herds went north in the Spring and then south in the Fall.  The brigde was used until 1979, now it appears to be more a recreation destination!

Above and Below, a few more pictures of the “Sheeps Bridge” in the Tonto National Forest about 75 miles south east of Prescott Valley, Arizona.

Below, May is a great time to ride motorbikes in the Arizona Desert, it’s cool and sunny and the cactus are in bloom!

Below, a little off road action on the trails of the “Bloody Basin” on a Honda XR 650 L Dual Sport Motorcycle! 

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