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Now entering FREEDOMLAND. Obey all signs in order to be free .

Written on: Friday July 10th, 2009

yo yo yo I is in the U.S. of A., innit...
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I left Mazatlan at the crack of Six O' Clock and headed north on the back roads, I was going to take a mix of the free roads and where I knew them to be cheap the pay roads. A few hundred k's on I stopped just before a toll booth and asked a guy how long was the free road to town and was it that turn there.. Yeah, and its only about 10 minutes. hmmm.. the town was still 30 k's by the pay road. I decided to give it a go and soon realised that he had sent me the sneaky way, There was a road parallel to the pay road and it would join the road after the toll booth. It was dirt and there was a guy charging a small fee to use the side road, I thought he was a conman, a chancer if u will. So I drove on without paying. It was dirt and soon I was driving through deep muddy pools created by the big heavy trucks. It was red mud, soft and slippy and soon the bike was on its side. i couldnt lift it becasue my shoes kept slipping in the red mud. I unpacked and then I managed it. I thought to myself the cheek of that guy trying to charge for this "road". When I stopped for petrol I noticed a hose leaking oil, it seemed like alot of oil. I checked the oil level to see if there was much gone, but there actually way too much, I had checked it when I finished the work on the bike and it looked right but bikes tend to defy logic in the quiet the same way as people do. I removed some oil and off I went. A few hours later I used another one and it was dry and would have been well worth the small fee that they were probably trying to collect when I zipped past them. It was along day to Hermosillo of about a 1000 ks. I cruised round town looking for a cheap place and food. I couldnt find anything less than 300 pesos, about 25dollars. I had given up looking and pulled in for tacos. As I often do I told them my problems. I cant get a cheap hotel in this bloody town. The taco lady's dad owned one. 180 pesos. sounded perfect ..and it was.
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Up and gone by 6am again for another 1000k day. I crossed the Mexican border and tried to return the temp import document just to do things right, they didnt know what I was talking about, then they said ..Oh, 10 miles back there's an office ...a..jhf..ba...rhfb rf...
At this point in the guys speech I was only nodding, the whole 10 miles back thing meant I had stopped listening and was keeping the document. I went on looking for the migration building but then suddenly there was a toll booth, they managed to just squeeze one more in before I left. I had passed the migration. The lady at the toll booth seemed to think I didnt need an exit stamp, Im guessing is was no expert, but I agreed with her. There was a small strip of desolate road with fences on either side and then I was waiting in line to enter the U.S. I worried they would want to see my exit stamp in the passport and send me all the way back to Mexico after waiting in the queue for half an hour, but they said nothing. Borders are such a joke. After the humourless ass asked me questions about my last work and how I paid for my trip and so on I was in. I have to say when I was finished with him I was relieved. I drove into Arizona and its the first country that I have noticed that has no "Welcome to...blahblahblah" sign at the border. Did I missed it?
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Southern Arizona is HOT as HELL. My bike spluttered down a main street in Tuscon and I got off and wondered what could be wrong, I should have planty of fuel, surely not a mechanical problem 1 hour into the states. I sweated hard and though a little. I flicked it into reserve and after a few attempts to get her going drove her over to the petrol station and topped it up. but it only took a little petrol to be filled. Strange to say the least. I had to go to Phoenix to pick up my insurance documents and from Google map it looked easy to find the office. As I entered Phoenix I admired the velvety flow of cars over the silky curving overpasses. Moments later I was held captive by one of these snaking behemoths and sent smoothly and completely in the wrong direction. I have thought of & thought of writing about a million comparisons and differences between south of the border and north of it.. but one will do, when you ask someone for directions here you dont get opinion, you get get fact, from Google maps on their PDA's.
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The chugging problem happened again in Phoenix with about 65 miles miles on the clock. Just as before. I decided to go on to Flagstaff topping up the tank every 60miles, annoying but it worked. In flagstaff it just stoped happening but I cleaned out the tank anyay & the problem stayed gone. My first night in the U.S. I used www.Couchsurfing.com and stayed with Mark, a meteorologist who often has to go to the scene of wildfires and tell the firefighters what the weather is going to do. He also had another couchsurfer called Tom stay that night. Mark knew lots about Grand Canyon and Tom had been there yesterday. I formulated my plan for the Grand canyon and we had a chilled evening with some Sierra Nevada pale ales.. MMM..back in the land of great beer selection.
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The next day took it easy, went to a meteorite crater which actually cost me more than the Grand Canyon and if I had known that before, I would have missed it. That night I stayed with in my second couchsurfing place in Flagstaff, it reminded me much of 127 Glenageary Ave and I felt right at home. The next day I got up at "ridiclous in the morning" and headed off to The Grand Canyon, it was before dawn and the ride there was freezing. On the way I saw deer by the roadside, careful ste, careful! The sight of the canyon really takes you back. Everyone has seen photos of it before, but photos really cant capture its scope, no photo can. Not even a plasma screen Pete, so get over here an check it out. They have couches in the states as well ; )
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I started the trek down the seven mile track at seven a.m. and was a mile lower at the Colorado river by ten. Quickly down but going up was to be a lot slower. About  five hours. I took a mega-fast but totally refreshing dip in the freezing Colorado river. It was the 15th of July that day, and it was 40 degrees centigrade at the bottom. On the way up I met a guy at the emergency phone, his dad was up the track and not doing good. He waited at the phone for the ranger and I went up to his dad, he was laid out and disorientated and I kept him company for the next 40 mins. A combination of heat stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and taking his high blood pressure tablet during the day instead of the night meant that he walked nearly all the way to the bottom of the canyon but left by chopper. When I got back to the rim for sunset and I was absolutely exhausted. I got a little lost looking of my bike. More walking, that was all I needed. It had been cloudy the afternoon but the clouds lifted and the sunset was perfect. I saw people lots of people arriving at sunset and saw that first look of amazement in their faces and listened to their owwww's at the canyon below. For them a just a few minutes, for me a great day.
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I stayed in my American '127' one more night, why not I had a giant en suite bedroom to myself and aching muscles to rest. The next day I was heading off to Monument valley. A sight I remember from many a western and was really looking forward too visiting. 
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People often ask me how do u afford all this? Well, what you do is you get all the money you have in the world, all of it. Put it in a pot, then look at it. Next you realise you need more, go to the bank (while still employed) and get more and then when u run out hopefully someone out there will give you a bit of work. And he has. So after this week of touring around Southern Utah I'm off, west to San Francisco. For a bit more work before the final stretch. Or as Peadar likes to call it the 'Arctic sprint' to ALSAKA.

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and for those of you who cannot read.. VIDEOS!
Full screen link, clickty click right here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfJzVXok-v8 
 
 
 
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Full screen link, clickty click right here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DH97a1ortqw
 
 
 

 

From Linden on Jul 21st, 2009

So is the fuel problem sorted now ? MAKE CERTAIN that the oil level is correct

From Des on Jul 21st, 2009

Great blog just a couple of qustions: how come you didnt hug your bike when you really owned it? and dont you think a guy being air-lifted out of the Grand Canyon would of made a good photo??? ;)

From Peadar on Jul 21st, 2009

"I admired the velvety flow of cars over the silky curving overpasses." Have you considered writing for Mills & Boon?

From Jacinta on Jul 23rd, 2009

Hey guys been a while. I'll show anybody silky curving overpasses if they're interested!!!

From Ste on Jul 23rd, 2009

Im certain the oil was right, its just my bike goes a little 'Herbie' sometimes! Ive been writing for Mills & Boon for years under the alias 'Handsome B Wonderful.. Des couldn't post the bike hugging photo, twas just to damn raunchy. The helicopter shot, ehhh..ehhh..eh..My digital camera ran out of film or something... and dont even get me started with Jacinta.