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scooTVdude
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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:00 pm 
Think a new belt, air filter will bring back some speed that ya need!

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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 1:46 am 
This must be one of the most epic rides on a ruckus.
Mr Metal you have balls of, well let's just say they're epic. Lol. :D

I made a road trip from New Hampshire to the border of Honduras Central America. It took 5 days and roughly 3700 miles.
Things to expect, the gas was over $4 a liter in Mexico. We hit a swarm of bugs for about two miles. if we did not have a mosquito net on the grill the truck would of overheated. some of the tolls on the bridges would not accept American money. We did get pulled over for speeding in the middle of nowhere, about 300 miles north of Veracruz. my friend decided to put $40 inside the paperwork and we were let off with a warning. bring a lot of $5 with you they might come in handy? other than that the trip was long and exhausting.

I can't imagine making that trip on a ruckus all the way to South America and back. :shock:
Mr Metal. you are the MAN OF STEEL!
what an adventure it must be.

"make good decisions" ride safe.

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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:23 am 
Ruck the World update: Sorry for not updating earlier. Been pretty busy this last week. I'm currently in Albuquerque and will hopefully be in Jemez Spring later today to drop off the Ruckus. On the 23rd I will start my hike of the Continental Divide Trail, so this might be my last solid update for a while. To fill you in since my last update, I spent a couple of days is St. Francisville, LA for my friends wedding. Then spent 1 day in Opelousas where he lives. From there I rod...e to the Houston area where I have a friend from the PCT. I was there 2 nights and then up to the Dallas area for 2 nights. 2 nights on the road and 1 night in Amarillo, TX and I'm now where I am.
So let's start the story with the wedding. I didn't quite have enough time to meet up with my friend in New Orleans, so I rode straight to St. Francisville where the wedding was located. It was raining super hard as I was riding into town, so took refuge at the local library. A few hours later the wedding party arrived. Google maps had the venue on the wrong side of the highway, so I rode around in the rain like a crazy person until my friend pointed me in the right direction. I show up and get slightly settled in. One of the groomsmen got some messages mixed up and was still in New Orleans, so I filled in for him during the rehearsal, which meant that I was able to eat his dinner. That night was pretty mellow. I was just happy top have made it there on time.
Oh, and the little kid on the right in the picture has his shoes on backwards. Such a rag tag group there.



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The morning before the wedding myself, the groom and all of the friends of the groom that that had flown in from California took a hike/run around one of the local trails. The trail was called the Beast. It was pretty fun, but super slippery in section. On of the guys was hiking in sandals and was slipping and sliding all over the place. He managed to stay up, but the groom wasn't so lucky. He was moving along at a nice slip and hit a super slippery section and was on his ass before he new it. He was the only person claimed by the Beast. Unfortunately no alligators were spotted.



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I tagged along with the photographers and the bride/groom for a few pre-wedding pictures.



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The wedding ceremony went off like planned, and then the night got interesting. There was an open bar to go along with dinner and dancing. The bride and groom are both Star Wars fans, so one of the cakes looked like the Death Star. All good things must come to an end, so when the reception was over, so was the open bar. To get around this we all took several trips to the bar and grabbed handfuls of whatever we could get. The grooms mom even got in on the fun. She was bragging later in the night about how she carried out 8 beers by herself.
So with our booty, my self and a group of about 10 became the greeting party for everyone who exited on our side of the building. We hung out here for a while before taking ourselves/drinks back over to the guest house to continue the festivities.



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Back at the guest house and several more drinks in I got the great idea to go take the Ruckus mud bogging around the wedding venue. I really don't know the next time in my life I'd have access to a southern plantation and wet conditions. The grooms brother jumped on the back and away we went. Remember it had been raining very hard the last day. It cleared up just in time for the wedding, but the grass was super slick. It didn't take long before I crashed. Both of us were stil...l in our wedding clothes, his way fancier than mine. The grass was so slick that I had troubles picking the Ruckus back up. We continued our ride without any more soil samples, but the damage was done. I was soaking wet and a filthy mess. The best mans suit was covered in mud and so were his $400 shoes.
That was just the start of the carnage. 2 others entered the grassy fields and everyone came back covered in mud. Karl here also an expert dirt bikers suffered a similar fate. Bald tires and bad suspension is a bad combo on wet grass. Wondering why his pants are wet? Well Karl thought it would be a good idea to walk into a swamp looking for an alligator.



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I'm not sure why, but someone thought we were running out of beer, so we all hopped into the grooms car and drove to the local gas station. We bought way too many beers and headed back to the plantation. Around that time it has started to rain. All of the roads back were very dark as there were no street light. We started to get pretty close to the plantation when we spot what looks like a zombie walking down the street. I thought it might be that Sasquatch that the guy in Idaho was looking for, but it was too small, and was wearing a tie. We get closer and it was one of our friends. He had walked pretty far while we were gone to get where he was. He said he was tired and walking back to the hotel. We weren't going to have any of that, so loaded him into the car and took him with up.



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If 1 person on a Ruckus in the mud was a bad idea and 2 usually resulted in a crash, lets see if we can get 4 people on this thing. 3 of us were on the seat, and we had Teague on the handlebars (he's the one that was trying to walk back to his hotel). We made it about 5 feet before I almost crashed. We left Teague where he was and managed to get 3 people a few hundred yards down the street. Maybe that's a Guiness Record?



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The aftermath. The scooter had seen better days. The handlebars were twisted. The highway pegs that I had welded up in Kansas were bent and broke off. The mirrors were bent and covered in mud. The rear footpegs were packed with mud and loose. Both of the front blinkers were bent. My sheepskin seat cover had even fallen off, but recovered the later in the night. There was even mud packed into the headlight.
Luckily it fired right up the next morning and most of the damage wasn't too bad. This might be the last drunken plantation mud-bogging that the Ruckus sees on the world tour.



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Last edited by metal on Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Needs Training Wheels
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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:51 am 
jerryped wrote:
This must be one of the most epic rides on a ruckus.
Mr Metal you have balls of, well let's just say they're epic. Lol. :D

I made a road trip from New Hampshire to the border of Honduras Central America. It took 5 days and roughly 3700 miles.
Things to expect, the gas was over $4 a liter in Mexico. We hit a swarm of bugs for about two miles. if we did not have a mosquito net on the grill the truck would of overheated. some of the tolls on the bridges would not accept American money. We did get pulled over for speeding in the middle of nowhere, about 300 miles north of Veracruz. my friend decided to put $40 inside the paperwork and we were let off with a warning. bring a lot of $5 with you they might come in handy? other than that the trip was long and exhausting.

I can't imagine making that trip on a ruckus all the way to South America and back. :shock:
Mr Metal. you are the MAN OF STEEL!
what an adventure it must be.

"make good decisions" ride safe.


5 days from New Hampshire to Honduras is pretty crazy. I do a lot of Baja racing and it takes us 3 days to go from Cabo/La Paz to San Diego.
Gas is definitely more expensive in Mexico than in the US. $4 a liter works out to being about $15 a gallon. Are you sure about that number? On dirtbike trips in Baja I've spent a few dollars more per gallon at remote locations, but nothing that crazy.
When I go to Mexico I always exchange money at the border, so no problems with tolls and US money.
"make good decisions"- This is the motto of my trip.


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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:02 am 
thed163 wrote:
The rev limit is at about 8800 rpm from my experience... that's on a 2013. I think prior years were slightly lower. No particular speed, just the RPM.

See if you can get up over 8800 rpm?


I don't have a tach, so right now RPM's are just a guess.
Could I swap my ECU out for one off a 2013 to get a higher rev limit?


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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:20 am 
The slowest animal on the road, and the slowest vehicle.
I'd been seeing a lot of roadkill over the last couple of weeks and was getting a bit bummed out. I've seen hundreds of dead armadillos, but I've only seen 2 that were alive. On my ride from Houston to Dallas I was on a smaller 2 lane highway for a long time and saw what looked like a rock in the middle of the road. When I got a bit closer I saw that it was a turtle. I looped around and moved him off to the side of the road, I think in the direction he was headed. He was a bit shy for the camera, so didn't pop his head out of his shell, but he was alive.



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When I was in Dallas I had access to my Aunts garage, so did another round of work on the scooter. I did an oil change was trying to diagnose why my scooter was no limited to 45mph. I was thinking my aftermarket CDI must have stopped working or the wiring got disconnected. I couldn't find anything wiring related that looked out of the ordinary, so looked into the belt to see what was up. The belt looked fine, but my variator and the slider weights both had seen better days. With the notches in the variator the scooter has been struggling on hills. The belt gets stuck on a ride and then the scooter bogs out until I'm going about 20mpha and then the RPM go up again.



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My computer just gave me another hour. Type fast fingers...
The cemeteries in Louisiana were pretty neat with their raised burial plots. I arrived in Opelousas a few hours before my friend showed up, so did a little bit of exploring. There was a good amount of history in this little town.
I was looking for a library, but being Sunday they were all closed. I was about to see if the visitor center was open, but a guy from across the street was yelling at me. Maybe I was doing ...something wrong, so I walked over to him to see what was up. He was a homeless looking guy that was already several drink into the morning. I told him I was looking for a computer to use. He said everything was closed. He said that him and his buddies all hung out at that spot. Pretty much every person that walked or rode past he was yelling at. Before I left he offered to sell me some old donuts. I thought about it for a split second, but then said goodbye and walked off.

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So I'm still using Google bicycle directions because I haven't had time to figure out anything else. The directions for the most part are good, but my ride from Opelousas, LA to Houston, TX were a bit of a pain. If I was freeway legal I could have just ridden I-10 to Houston and I would have been there in a couple of hours. The Ruckus makes things a bit more interesting. About halfway my Google direction had me turn onto a dirt road. Luckily the rain had stopped when I got to... Texas, so the dirt was pretty dry. A few more turns and a few more miles in and the road got muddier and muddier. I finally got to this section. It really would have been a cake walk on my KTM, but was super interesting on the Ruckus. The mud was super slippery, so holding a line with my bald tires was very difficult. I would try to stay up out of the ruts, but would then slip right into one and then have to lift/push the scooter back up onto higher ground. With the air intake only being 6-8" off the ground I really didn't want to flood the engine.
I got past this section and thought the worst was over and continued on. A few more miles and a few more turns and I came upon a locked gate. In Wyoming I came across a bunch of gates, but there were not locked, and this one had a big NO TRESPASSING sign. I looked at my phone and looked to be about 1/2 mile from where the dirt road I was on would hit a nice paved road. I thought about just dragging the scooter under and continuing. I've had to do this on rides down in Baja a few times. Then I remembered that I was in Texas and people in Texas love their guns and shooting people that are trespassing on their land. I made the good decision and backtracked. I tired a different route to get to the pavement, but came across even deeper water and almost bogged the bike out. Having almost made a big mistake I just went back along my same route in and across this section of mud. This detour probably cost me an hour, but could have been worse. I did manage to make it to my friends place just before the sunset, so all was good.

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Junior Mint
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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:45 am 
metal wrote:
jerryped wrote:
This must be one of the most epic rides on a ruckus.
Mr Metal you have balls of, well let's just say they're epic. Lol. :D

I made a road trip from New Hampshire to the border of Honduras Central America. It took 5 days and roughly 3700 miles.
Things to expect, the gas was over $4 a liter in Mexico. We hit a swarm of bugs for about two miles. if we did not have a mosquito net on the grill the truck would of overheated. some of the tolls on the bridges would not accept American money. We did get pulled over for speeding in the middle of nowhere, about 300 miles north of Veracruz. my friend decided to put $40 inside the paperwork and we were let off with a warning. bring a lot of $5 with you they might come in handy? other than that the trip was long and exhausting.

I can't imagine making that trip on a ruckus all the way to South America and back. :shock:
Mr Metal. you are the MAN OF STEEL!
what an adventure it must be.

"make good decisions" ride safe.


5 days from New Hampshire to Honduras is pretty crazy. I do a lot of Baja racing and it takes us 3 days to go from Cabo/La Paz to San Diego.
Gas is definitely more expensive in Mexico than in the US. $4 a liter works out to being about $15 a gallon. Are you sure about that number? On dirtbike trips in Baja I've spent a few dollars more per gallon at remote locations, but nothing that crazy.
When I go to Mexico I always exchange money at the border, so no problems with tolls and US money.
"make good decisions"- This is the motto of my trip.


hi metal.yes the trip took 5 days. 30 hours from New Hampshire to Houston. stay the night. next morning cross the border through Brownsville Texas. follow the golf all the way down to Veracruz. stay the night at a hotel. next morning drove all the way to the lborder of Belize. stayed at the border, next morning drove into Belize City. stay two nights in a nice hotel on the marina. finish the trip in a small town next to the border of Honduras.

yes the gas was $4 a liter. $65 for a half a tank. some of these places were so far out from civilization they charge what they want it. we did cross some desert. but it was towards the gulf side. we made the trip quite a few years ago. I don't think I want to do it anytime soon. for you to do it on a ruckus is incredible.
not much is out there on the gulf side.

the wedding photos looks very nice. it looks like you guys had a great time. it's nice to let loose once in awhile. you must be having the time of your life.
take care be safe. : )

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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:17 am 
So my trip is now on foot and not on the scooter. Is it still OK for me to post here?

Ruck the World/CDT update: I left the Mexican border for my CDT hike on April 23rd. I'm now 5 days in (85 miles) and back in Lordsburg, NM. It was quite the journey just to get to the start of the trail. Since my last update I rode the Ruckus from Dallas to Amarillo where I hung out with my friend Alex for a day. We did a few hour hike in the local state park. The next morning I headed out into some pretty nasty wind, which meant for pretty slow going. A friend of mine I met on the PCT in 2012 lives just north of Albuquerque and was willing to store my Ruckus while on the next couple legs of my tour, so that's where I headed next. My 2 friends I stayed with in La Grande, OR were also meeting up with me there and we were then going to carpool down to Lordsburg. From Lordsburg I we had a 3 hour shuttle ride down to the border where our hikes all started. Tom, Marie and myself pretty much stuck together for this first section. The first day we hike 14 miles to the first water cache. As we were setting up our tents the wind kicked up, and then the rain. Luckily things died down before morning. The weather was great for hiking with cooler temps. This section of the desert can be pretty brutal, but a wind and clouds kept things cool. The second day we hiked 17 miles and then were up to 20 miles for the next couple of days as our hiking legs started to kick in. My body has felt great so far. So of the other hikers have been dealing with injuries and blisters already. Things got a bit interesting on the 4th morning. We were planning on starting nice and early to take advantage of cool morning temps. I got my stuff packed and at about 6:45am when I was putting my tent away the rain started. Luckily Tom and Marie still had their tent up. It is a two man tent, but the 3 of us were able to fit inside for 3 hours while it poured outside. Luckily things were more mellow for the rest of the hike that day and the 15 miles into Lordsburg. From here we have a 3 or so day hike up to Silver City and then onwards. I have about 27-2800 miles still to go, but things have been good so far. Here is a picture of the group that was dropped off at the border when I started. I guess I was the only one that wanted to have a backpack on for the picture.
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The water sources that we have come to so far have been pretty iffy. Luckily the stretch from the Mexican border to Lordsburg had water cached for us. Farther north we will not have the caches, and this might actually become a good looking source.
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The desert was full of life this last section. Due to some recent rains there were a ton of flowers in bloom. We only saw a couple of snakes, but quite a few lizards, rabbits and birds. These little guys are almost impossible to see unless you scare them and can catch the movement.

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My friend Robert aka Banana Pants caught me on the 4th day. I hiked with him on and off on the PCT in 2012. He started a day behind us, but was hiking much bigger miles. He just hiked out of town, but I'll hopefully see/hike with him in Silver City. It's weird, but whenever he is around, people congratulate me for being a black hiker. It happened on the PCT and it happened again yesterday and he was around for both.

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Waiting out the rainstorm on the 4th morning inside my friends' tent. My pack was fully packed, so I just slept on the floor with my rain gear on. It was way better than the nasty cold rain and wind outside. If they would have been packed a few minutes earlier it would have been a wet and cold 3 hour hike out of camp.
Image
The cactus and flowers were pretty epic.
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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:08 am 
That variator weight :bugeye:

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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:04 pm 
C U when u get to Sweden! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 3:47 pm 
Ruck the World/CDT update: I'm currently in Grants, NM. The trail has been amazing so far. I've spent a good amount of the last few weeks surrounded by friends that I hiked the PCT with in 2012. My body was feeling good, so instead of taking a full day off in the last town, I hiked on by myself on a slightly longer section of the trail. I guess it isn't quite as popular. All I saw were 2 hikers shoe prints and it was about 26 hours without seeing another human. Just me and the crazy thoughts in my head. The weather has been all over he place from heat to hail. A week ago I was hiking in the Gila (Hee-lah) River and got hit by some pea sized hail. Again yesterday I was finishing a hike of the Chain of Craters and was in a pretty strong hail storm and had to take shelter under my umbrella ella ella ay. The trail has also been all over the place over the last few weeks. The Gila River section had us crossing the river over a hundred times. Our feet were pretty much wet for 4 days. Luckily I escaped with no blisters after a few close calls, but the uppers of my shoes are falling apart which is letting dirt in, which create blisters. It's an endless cycle. Out of the river we were back on the Divide which had a lot of elevation gain and loss, a lot of cross country/route finding and a lot of barbed wire fences that you have to figure out how to walk through, over or under. I even heard a story of a hike that was trying to cut his way through. His Leatherman didn't make the cut. The last town I was in is called Pie Town. Really it exists, look it up. I spent the night in a place called the Toaster House. This lady named Nita owns the house and allows hikers and cyclists to stay. Due to some snow hikers bunched up here. The night I was in the Toaster House, there must have been 30 other hikers. One of the ladies that works at one of the pie restaurants (Pie Town has 48 people and 2 pie restaurants) bought over here guitar, bass, a banjo, some bongos and whiskey and proceeded to jam out till late in the night. It was really quite the scene and got even more interesting when 3 Mormon missionaries joined in for a while.
I'm planning on spending a couple of nights here in Grants to let the body rest up. The trail out of here has us climbing over Mt. Taylor and it looks like a good amount of elevation gain.
For now I'm leaving your with a picture of one of my campsites in the Gila River. Not a bad view out of the front door of my tent.

Image

One of the many Gila River crossings. This was getting to be pretty late in the day and most of us were trying to keep our shorts dry. Our group had some pretty interesting techniques.

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We saw 2 rattlesnakes while hiking in the Gila. Earlier in the day I was 2nd in line. Marie who was hiking first heard a loud noise and freaked out. It turned out to just be a couple of birds. Later Tom was in the lead and again I was 2nd when I head another yell. This time due to a nice sized rattlesnake. Now we were all a bit on edge and nobody wanted to be first, so I took the lead. What I saw a few minutes later was another rattlesnake. One of the other hikers recognized it as a Mojave Green, which is supposed to be very aggressive. Luckily my foot wasn't a few more inches over to the side.

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The hail storm in the Gila turned into a pretty strong rain that didn't stop for a long time. It sent us all to our tents. Charlie's feet weren't clean, so he left them outside his tent. I poked my head out of my tent and this was the first thing I saw which made me crack up. Hikers are a weird breed.

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I arrived in Silver City the day before the Tour de Gila which is a big cycling race. I was bummed to miss it, but was super happy about the free accommodation. Lia who I hiked with for just a short time (her feet were hurt) had a friend in Silver City who lived in the large commune. It dated back over 100 years when it first housed the deputy sheriff. Later some additions were made and it was turned into a hospital. In the center was a large gazebo where us hikers congregated. Andy and myself took a short hike to the store for beer and the fun times began. We didn't know what to do with our empties, so we built a parabola. There was discussion what the math formula that would create this curve on a graph, but in our inebriated state I'm not sure if anyone was correct.

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I hiked with Tumbleweed for a few miles. Pretty soft spoken guy carrying a huge pack. Later I heard stories that he started with a gun. No wonder his pack was 80lbs at the Mexican border. I'm really hoping that he finishes and make it to Canada. Obviously a pretty tough dude.

<a href="http://s101.photobucket.com/user/bustafarian/media/Ruck%20the%20World/Lordsburg%20to%20Grants/IMG_4391.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m67/bustafarian/Ruck%20the%20World/Lordsburg%20to%20Grants/IMG_4391.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_4391.jpg"/></a>


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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 4:11 pm 
We had a long dirt road walk heading into Pie Town. Road walks suck for the body whether they are paved or dirt. My friend Robert needed to get into Pie Town by 9:30am the following morning so that he could get his package from the post office, so we needed to hike pretty late into the day and a bit into the night. When the sun was getting pretty low this truck pulled up to us. The driver was super cool and chatted with us for a while then told us there were beers in a cooler in the bed of his truck. The 3 of us each grabbed a beer and thanked him and hiked on. One of the other hikers had just quit drinking before the CDT, so I got two. When we got to Pie Town the next morning it turned out that this same nice gentleman had given beer to half of the hikers.



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The last stop on the trail was a place called Pie Town. I walked into Pie Town with about 2 extra days of food in my pack since the last section was a bit quicker that expected. When all of the other hikers headed out for dinner, I just ate what I had in my pack. The next morning I decided to sleep in a bit and eat at one of the restaurants. I got a patty melt and everybody else I was with either got a burger or if they were vegetarian got a breakfast burrito. When we finished I was ready to hike on, but they wanted pie. I didn't really want any, but they said I was un-American and couldn't leave Pie Town without eating the pie, so I got this tiny slice. Thanks guys.



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The last couple of days I hiked along a route called the Chain of Craters. Not as many people hike it as it is 20 miles longer and the gap without water is much larger. I hiked a day and a half with no water sources, so for a while my pack was pretty heavy. The route ends with a dirt road walk back to a highway which you have to walk for a few miles. This highway by chance crossed the Continental Divide, so couldn't pass up the picture opportunity. If I would have taken this picture 10 minutes earlier I would have been under my umbrella weathering a hail storm. Good timing.



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Most of the places that I camp are super primitive. This location was quite the opposite. Late in the day I got to one of the few water sources of the day and decided to stop. It was windy and I was searching around for a place to sleep and saw half of a school bus about 100 yards away. While I was filtering water I heard a voice yelling from where the school bus was. Turns out one of the hikers that I left Mexico with was camped there. There wasn't enough room for us to set up our tents there, but it did make for a nice windproof kitchen area.



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The Chain of Crater route had me starting by hiking on some lava rock. There was no actual trail but just following these huge rock cairns. The going was pretty slow and at first I though I made a huge mistake taking this route, but it did go back to dirt after a short time. It was pretty amazing though seeing all sorts of vegetation take root in a place with so little soil.



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For now I'm leaving you with Daisy the guard dog. This year there is a group of hikers called the Warrior Hikers. They are somehow military related. A few days before I started they drove a huge Duece and a half to the border to erect the knocked over monument. One of the hikers, HD Mama, has a husband that follows along and helps out. Right after exiting the Gila River we got to Snow Lake where Rick was set up to help the Warrior Hikers out. He offered us up some soda and snacks, which we couldn't refuse. As he was setting up to cook for his group he pulled out a tiny chair. A few minutes later he came out with Daisy. I saw hem again in Pie Town, and hopefully again down the trail.



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Needs Training Wheels
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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 6:40 pm 
Ruck the World/CDT hike update: I made it to Ghost Ranch, NM earlier this morning. The hiking has been pretty challenging since I left Grants. I guess after spending 3 nights in Grants I started to get a bit lazy. There was a pretty huge climb leaving Grants with snow/rain. The next morning we made it to the peak of 11,300' Mt. Taylor with some perfect weather and great views. A few days and 1 night thunderstorm later and we were in some super beautiful mesa hiking. The trail would have us right on the edge of these cliffs with beautiful views and nice clouds keeping us cool. The night thunderstorm didn't treat my tent very kindly. Pretty early in the night I felt water dripping on my forehead. The seam tape on my rain tarp was failing and allowing a good amount of water into my tent. Luckily I hike with an umbrella and just set it up above my head and I was dry the rest of the night.
The rain from that night also made for some pretty muddy hiking. The dirt here has a pretty high clay content, so our shoes were pretty packed with mud for much of the last few days.
I spent 1 night in the town of Cuba. I showed up pretty early in the morning and there were hikers everywhere. I was greeted by 5 hikers that just got out of the café. They told me everybody was staying at the Del Prado motel. I walked over and another hiker offered to let me shower in his room. I sat down on a parking curb and started the process of taking off my shoes, compression sleeves, knee brace and gaitors. I wasn't even there for 5 minutes when 1 hiker came by and gave me 2 bottles of beer. A few minutes later Meg gave me what was left of her box of Tecate beers. I took a shower and proceed to spend much of that day drinking beer in the motel parking lot.

The next day I hiked out of Cuba and was again greeted with a huge climb. This time it was very humid. After the road walk the trail turned to a singletrack. A few minutes later there was a creek to cross. I tried for a few minutes to make it across without getting my shoes wet, but then just gave in and walked across. Turns out my shoes would be wet for the next day or so. Hiking up the trail sometimes resembled a creek. At the top there were several meadows which were all super wet, sometimes ankle deep. The water everywhere was just snowmelt and I soon found myself post-holing through a few feet of snow. Luckily I didn't get as lost in this section as a few of the other hikers. To make the day more interesting, the descent was chocked full of blow-down trees. Sometimes they were easy to cross. Other times it was a muddy confusing mess, but for the most part I made it through unscathed.
So I now find myself at a place called Ghost Ranch. It is a Presbyterian retreat which most hikers send food resupplies to. I'll most likely hike out tomorrow into what I hear are some pretty snowy conditions. My next town stop will be in Chama where I'm hoping to receive my snow gear (thanks Kevin), a new tent (thanks Big Agnes) and hopefully some new shoes (thanks Sanjay). My shoes are falling apart and each of my last 2 resupply boxes I was convinced that I also included one of my six pairs of shoes. Hopefully they will be in Chama. Until then here is a group shot from Mt. Taylor.



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Here is the McGiver fix I made to my tent so that I could stay dry at night. It has worked successfully for a couple of rainy nights since my tent sprung a leak. Huge thanks again goes out to Big Agnes for setting me up on a new tent when I get to Chama.



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So some of the water sources on the CDT have been pretty iffy. On May 8th I drank out of this water source. I was there for about an hour with my friend Robert filtering water with my Sawyer squeeze when I looked across the water tank and saw a cow carcass. The filtered water that I drank tasted a bit earthy, but some other people tell me that this is normal with my filter. Other people say that there are no other flavors and that their water is always clear. From my knowledge of Giardia the incubation period before you get sick is anywhere from 10 days to 3 weeks. I made it past the 10 day mark, no just waiting another week or so. Fingers crossed because I hear Giardia sucks.



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My pile of beer that was given to me in the Del Prado motel in Cuba within a few minutes of my arrival. I showered and then sat around for a few hours drinking beer in the parking lot with my fellow hikers. The reason why I'm updating now is because I really didn't get much done other than laundry after the beer was given to me.



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A few hikers have been battling with blisters for a good amount of this trail. Between the heat of the desert, the constant wet feet of the Gila River, the rain, snow and mud it is hard to keep our feet dry. Some hikers have thought they had the worst blisters on the trail. That all ended whenever they met up with Messed Up. I'm not sure if he got the trail name because of his feet, but they were pretty ugly. Marie's feet had nothing on Messed Up's. Luckily I'm still blister free. Hopefully it stays that way.



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The views on the CDT suck. There's nothing out here to see.
This is one of the mesas we hiked along on the way to Cuba. Pretty spectacular day. I'll remember it for a long time.



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It's hard to tell from this angle, but this is a picture of the bottom of my shoe. The mud on the trail has been pretty intense at times. Take a few steps and your shoes are a few pounds heavier. Find a flat rock to scrape your shoes and then take a few more steps. Trekking poles hit a muddy section and just from the tips being covered in mud they double in weight. swing them around in the air like a madman until the mud flies off. Hike on. Repeat process until you're back on solid trail.



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So you're telling me there is a trail straight ahead? This was taken at the blow down section a few days ago. It was a bit of a challenge at times just to figure out where the trail went. Then when you figured that out you needed to figure out whether to go over or around the trees. Luckily I made it through a few miles of this stuff without falling and just a small cut on my knee, which is almost healed up from a small spill I took on my motorcycle a few months ago right before I left for my trip.



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Last night the day ended with a few miles of dirt road walking. Luckily the rain held out and we were presented with a small rainbow. I thought it was pretty cool until another hiker showed me a picture somewhere within a few miles of where I was and they had a full double rainbow. I then told them that a truck stopped and gave us beer and potato chips and they were all of a sudden jealous of me. What I forgot to tell them about was that a monk (there is a monastery down the road that allegedly brews beer) stopped his truck and gave me a Red Bull. It was a pretty wild day.



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More cool wildlife and plants. I loves these tiny little cacti with their huge flowers. They are so comical to me. Alex, do you have any of these little guys in your collection?



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So a few days before arriving in Cuba, my stomach was acting up. Remember I've had to drink "filtered" water from some pretty sketchy water sources. I was worried that I had the first signs of Giardia when I had a couple of unplanned bathroom breaks. At the second unplanned break I was walking away from the trial and almost stepped on this huge snake. At first glance I thought it was a rattle snake, but it was just a gopher snake. The thing was about 5 feet long. When I finis...hed up I saw my friend in a bush on the other side of the trail so just assumed that the snake had moved a little ways while I was in the bushes. I was walking along not paying much attention when I almost stepped on another even bigger gopher snake. It was super photo genic and even slithered past his camera that he set on the ground.
So it wasn't until the next day that I realized the extra bathroom breaks were because I had poisoned myself, not from some sketchy water, but from desiccant. I put a small desiccant oxygen absorber into my Tang to keep in from clumping up. What I didn't realize was that 1 of the packets had opened up. I didn't notice until I had just finished drinking a liter of Tang that I had just mixed up. Still waiting on the Giardia though...



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Papi Chullo at one of the better water sources that we had been at over a 3 day period on the trail. We all grabbed a few liters of water here and then hiked out a few minutes and camped.



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Last one for now. Just some hikers being hikers. Have a great night everybody.



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Shot Caller
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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 7:02 pm 
trip of a life time!

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Junior Mint
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 Post subject: Re: Around the World on a Ruckus
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:13 am 
What happened?

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