Back In The US, Sorting it Out
I'm lost. Here I am, back in the US, third day, and I'm
totally lost. Ana went to the doctor, find out, as I
suspected, that she has damage in her shoulder from the broken wrist
incident, so they gave her some exercises to do. Hopefully by
the time she comes back from Bosnia her shoulder motion will be
better. The other thing is that her wrist still hurts because
of the hardware. Doctor touched it in one spot and he knew
exactly where, and said, yeah it has to come out. So, she's
going to have surgery when she comes back. That means I won't
be seeing her again until late October. I guess at which point
we'll be looking for housing unless we end up staying with Missy and
I had a plan, that would have taken years, and now the plan is
gone. I'm back in the US earlier than I wanted to be, and I
have nothing to do. I guess that's no different than when I
retired, but at that point I did have things to do. I was
planning and preparing. Now I have nothing to plan or prepare
The short term picture is I'm with my daughter in CO until they
move. I'm going to put the motorcycle on the truck and drive
it to TN for them. Hopefully they find a place that's big
enough. But regardless, I'm going to ride my bike to IL to see
Rachel and the family, spend almost two months there, then ride back
to TN, and take a flight out to Denver, meet Ana there and we'll
drive the car back to TN, where we'll go house hunting. If we
can find something big enough and we decide we can get along, then
it's for all of us, if not, then it's just for us. But we'll
be in that same area. It's a nice area to be in.
Well, we are four days from leaving CO and heading for TN. I
just got done with a two week regiment of two different antibiotics,
because it turned out I had H-pylori, a gut bacterial
infection/overpopulation that exactly fits all the symptoms I've
been struggling with. It is associated with ulcers and cancer
of the stomach. The treatment seems to have helped, now I have
some healing to do.
Also, I'm looking at houses in TN, NC, GA corners. That seems
to be the path that lies before me. Honey is still in Europe
and having surgery on her wrist early October to have the metal
removed from her wrist, which is causing issues. She's also
doing some therapy for her shoulder range of motion, which appears
to be related to the wrist injury; her shoulder was hurt in the fall
and has scared up. I've scheduled a followup appointment with
my gastroenterologist for the 19th. Most likely will be my
last appointment in CO, if I go to it, because I'm leaving the
state. So, since I'm not traveling, and can't use Nomad insurance,
I'll have to do something to get insurance; an expensive
What the heck is going on? I'm just beside myself. Over a year since
this whole COVID thing went down and we're still here. It's like the
twilight zone. The fear mongering is still going strong, our
southern border is being overrun, there's talk of the Great Reset,
Bill Gates is the devil incarnate, everybody is getting censored,
the government is spending trillions like they are going out of
style, Texas froze and ran out of energy, and we got cancel culture,
and it's killing Dr. Seuss and curious George!!! Dr. Seuss?!!!
Really?!!! We have a president that can't string together a coherent
paragraph and is afraid of the press and other world leaders... They
don't even trust him with the nuke button (ok, maybe I agree with
that one). Seriously... I thought 2020 was bad...
On the bright side, I do see that there are still some people
traveling the world. Good for them! I'm just not one of them... will
that change? I don't know. I don't want to hope cause I'm just
getting over the fact that I had to stop. And every time I turn
around the WHO and CDC are changing the rules on when things will be
back to normal... the latest estimate is NEVER! So, I'm just keeping
myself occupied, secretly looking for an opening. Opening for what?
Who said that? Don't know, never mind, wasn't me. Go AWAY COVID!
What? Who said that?...
So, honey and I bought a place in the rolling hills of Northeast
Alabama and been hunkered down here since last November. Tell you
what, this entire area of South central TN, Northwestern GA,
Northeastern Alabama is just beautiful. Waterfalls, babbling brooks,
twisty mountain roads, beautiful views... All I'm saying is that if
I had to land somewhere, this is not a bad place to be... If you
like any of the photos I'ma gona show ya, drop me a line, I will set
What does hunkering down mean. Oh, you know, all the usual stuff
when you buy a place... fixing stuff, preparing gardens to grow some
food, if we can keep those frikin squires, moles and rabbits out of
them. Oh, yeah, the deer too. I've become adapt at drilling holes
through brick walls, moving car ports (take it down here, put it up
there), making keyhole gardens (yeah, that's a thing), crawling
through dark crawl spaces, knocking down spider webs and hornets
nests, digging big holes and ditches, and filling them up again...
(did you ever see Cool Hand Luke... I'm digging the hole boss)...
scraping black dirt our of the forest area, dumping it in holes...
moving dirt around in wheel barrows, planting fruit and nut trees...
All this digging is either going to keep me in shape or kill me, but
it's quickly becoming one of my favorite activities... like Zen and
the art of digging holes.
Honey is like a forest pixy, everything she touches grows. Gives my
joy just to watch her sprinkle fairy dust as she flits about
about... (look it up)
Sometimes I just go sit in the grass on the hill in front of our
house, look around, listen to birds chirping, watch the wind blow
the trees around, feel the sunshine beating down on my bald head. I
look down and within a few square inches of field I can see a dozen
different kinds of green things... most people would call them
weeds, but it's a blend of tiny plants that cover acres, all
existing in harmony with each other. The world could learn something
from these weeds! And they're not bothered by COVID.
Ok, some pics and then more interesting blabbing (I'm building
here... stay with me)... in no particular order, all this is within
two hours or less from the homestead.
Honey, the moles are using wheelbarrows now!
So, yeah, I am not complaining. Consider myself blessed to have
landed as I have.
They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Unless of course you
buy something in Vegas and then fly there to ride it home...
Yup... It's my early 60th birthday gift to myself! It's a used 2018,
with 58k miles on it, and now that I've ridden it home.. 60k miles
on it!.. It's a sign. My first dilemma was do I really want to buy a
motorcycle with 58k miles on it? Thought about it and figured if it
made sense at all, it certainly made sense with a BMW, so got over
that. And well, rode it for five days from Vegas, mostly interstate,
and it didn't blow up, so that's a good start.
Yeah, riding it home. Had to think about that too. Seeing as Texas
just froze it's nuts off two weeks before, I wasn't sure what I may
run into this time of year, so I watched the weather and it looked
like I had a window, used some miles to fly out there and it turned
out pretty good. I only got a few hours of rain all five days, got
down to low 40's a couple days, but with my heated vest and the
heated grips on this thing, I was fine. I missed a five day snow
storm in Flagstaff, by a day! Whew! Didn't realize some of that area
is at 7000 ft elevation. Anyway, it cost me less to make the trip
than to ship it, and I get to have a maiden voyage with it, so
Of course, this raises more questions. If/when I continue my RTW, do
I take this bike, or do I stay with the DR? I bought the DR because
it was low profile (doesn't stick out like a sore thumb), lite,
simple, capable and any mechanic or I could work on it. This beast
is none of those things. Well, it definitely has some capability,
but it's none of the other things.
The world gives you lemons, you make lemonade, and sip it in the
sun. Because at 60, there isn't "later"... now is later. Nope, there
is no later, just now.
Well, ended up taking the BMW to my local dealer, with the hopes
that my dealer in Vegas would stick to his word and fix the few
issues, namely leaky fork seal and increased vibration at highway
speeds (feels like out of true or bad wheels/tires/something).
But no such luck.. Frustrating. So, will have to do it
myself. They did balance the rear wheel, and it's a little
better than it was, but still not right.
Next day after picking it up I went for a ride for a few
hours. Rode down to Little River Canyon and followed the road
along the Northwest rim.
The whole three hour round trip was nice. Beautiful day.
Perfect weather. The stretch of road from Little River Falls
down to Little River is pretty nice. Narrow twisty two lane
with some nice scenic stops and views of the river. Almost a
little on the slow side with 25 mph limit in some places.
Also, a big part of that road is definitely not well traveled.
The center line disappears, the road is in disrepair, gravel here
and there. Gets very tight and twisty with steep climbs and
drops. Definitely keeps you guessing!
Looking down into the valley from a couple of the view points.
This was in the less traveled section of that road along the
river. Lots of fun!
This was a really nice spot. Would have stopped for lunch
there, but there was a no parking sign... and ... well, Alabama does
like it's guns, so respect the signage.
Looped back around at Little River and stopped back up at the main
falls to stop and have a snack before continuing home.
This last week and the week before went on some hikes in Cloudland
Canyon State Park. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Yeah, life could definitely be worse!
Seems it was just the start of March, and here we are near the end
of April. We actually had a night below freezing two nights
ago. Very unusual. But no shortage of weird stuff going
I'm continually amazed at what is going on in government, the
economy, and especially COVID because that's what's driving it
all. Recently I joined a discussion on ADV Rider regarding
health passports. You would think that motorcycle riders are a
bit of a higher risk group, independent thinkers, that don't go
along with whatever the mainstream says. Not true. Seems
that most people in that discussion can't wait to take the vaccine
and are perfectly fine with the possibility that they will have to
have health passports, because it will allow everything to get back
to normal. And really, people like myself (even though I've
had COVID and I'm probably better protected than anyone who takes a
vaccine), who don't want the vaccine, are the one's causing the
problem, prolonging the mystery, because we're selfish and thinking
only of ourselves. That's so wrong on so many levels.
And these people are also calling me names, a conspiracy theorist,
clearly getting angry that I would even have a view different than
their own. Yeah, cancel culture is getting stronger and
stronger. Fall in line or suffer the consequences.
Tolerance of opposing views is dying quickly.
First, It's hard to believe that in a free society people are
advocating that vaccines should be mandatory for everyone. I
guess that's nothing new, but on a world wide scale. And why,
because they believe the "vaccine", which it's really not, will
eliminate people getting sick or spreading it. But the
manufacturers have said from the start, it doesn't keep you from
getting sick and it doesn't keep you from spreading it, it only
lessens your symptoms. So, if I spread it whether I'm
vaccinated or not, what's the difference if I'm vaccinated?
And if vaccination does protect you, and you're vaccinated, why
would you care if I was or not? Yeah, I see the argument that
if we all got vaccinated now, things might be better.
Yeah, and if we treated it like measles, and everyone just went out
and socialized, even made an effort to hand out with sick people,
we'd all get it and be immune, if there is any immunity.
The giving assumption is that if we all just get it then there will
be needless deaths, which can be prevented by the vaccine. And
what drives that assumption, that there are a lot of people dying
from it. Let's just stop there. It is a fact that when
COVID came around, the CDC changed the guidelines for how death
certificates are supposed to be filled out, after having the same
guidelines in place for 17+ years. And even though such a
guideline is suppose to go through public discussion and official
approval, neither happened. So, now, if a person dies of
anything, and they test positive for COVID, then the cause of death
is COVID. There was actually a well publicized case of a guy
dying in a motorcycle accident and his death was listed as COVID,
until someone challenged it. Many doctors have come out
talking about these requirements and how misleading they are.
Why? Well, there's the obvious, that hospitals get a bigger payment
if someone is listed as dying from COVID as opposed to some other
cause. Then you have the Great Reset, which anyone can go read
about, papers, books, and internet. The point being that the
disruption caused by COVID and the fact that people are scared, can
be used to further an agenda to reform society into a system as
envisioned by leaders, Corporations, and the World Economic
Forum. Which, at first look seem to be a good thing.
Talks about universal income, eliminating poverty, eliminating
capitalism in it's current form, etc.. One point is that people will
become transhuman, like cyborgs, and we'll be plugged into a system,
which is controlled by AI and manages resources equitably, so that
no one will need to own anything. I don't know, I don't really
want to be transhuman, what ever that's going to mean, and I want to
control my destiny, and if I don't own anything, who's going to own
it and control it? And there's the rub. The only thing
worse than a bunch of elitist rich controlling everything is some AI
controlling everything, based on some rules that were programmed in,
or worse yet, rules that it came up with on it's own.
So, the goal is to keep people afraid, keep them apart (divide and
conquer), and slowly erode freedoms. Of course the primary
means of doing that is the "case count". The number of people
who currently are testing positive for COVID. We know the
death count is already bogus because of the change in how cause of
death is assigned, but are the counts valid? Well, first, who
cares what the count is if the deaths are not overwhelming?
People die of all sorts of things, including flu, every year, even
though many people get the flu shot. But the other problem is
that the case counts are based on the PCR test, which can be run at
various "cycles", a sort of magnification process, and we know that
the higher the cycle count, the more likely that any positive
outcome is false. From the beginning it's been clear that the
testing is done at very high cycles, like 40+. But Fauci, head
of the NIH, had peviously said that anything higher than the teens
or 20's is too much. And even the CDC had to come out with a
guideline reminding practitioners that a positive PCR test does not
mean you have the virus. You have to do the test at least
twice and also show symptoms. But of course one of the big
things being pushed is that asymptomatic people are spreading the
disease. Either way, the numbers are blown out of proportion,
and it's those "case" numbers that are being used to justify the
lockdowns, and all the economic and social hardship that are
resulting. Which the WHO issued a memo on, that lockdowns
should not be used as the primary system of control, because of the
economic havoc they create.
But anyway, getting back to the health/vaccine passports.
Since when is it ok that everyone can ask you for your health
history and you have to show it to them, or you're faced with not
being able to shop, or go to a restaurant, or a sporting
event? Show me your papers... What happened to HIPAA? Yes, you
have to be vaccinated to enter certain countries where certain
diseases run, but this is not just at the border, of possibly to
officials, and those are not mRNA genetic experimental treatments,
they are vaccines that have a long history. The first problem is
that it opens up an avenue for discrimination, based on medical
status, which is not much different than what the Americans with
Disabilities act explicitly prohibits. The other problem is
that the passports open up an avenue to personal intrusion like
nothing else. To really be effective they will eventually
track where you are, who's around you, and then they will monitor
your other apps and what you do on them. And we already see
that big tech is actively involved in analyzing our every
move. How much more so when the justification is everyone's
safety? To fight the unseen enemy. I listened to a talk
the other day about how the Nazi's started segregating people, based
on perceived medical threat. They were "unclean" and doctors
were complicit in advancing the genocide that took place under
Hitler. And all this sorting and classification was made
possible through the use of punch cards and census data. How
much more data is available on us now, and how much faster can it be
sorted and manipulated. Clearly this plays right into the
hands of the Great Reset plans to control everything and have AI
take care of everything for us.
No, that's not something I can support. But unfortunately many
people don't see it and don't think it could ever happen in this
country. It's a lot harder to stop it once it starts than
before. I mean, China has this in place now, and they also
have a social point system. Israel has passes now, and those
that are not vaccinated are kept out of certain activities; they are
discriminated against, because they are the "unclean". There
are several states in the US that see the writing on the wall.
Florida has already passed a law against the use of health
passports, other state governors have issued orders, but they really
need to pass state laws. Because the federal government is
clearly signaling that industry developing these is OK.
Enough of that. We're working on putting up the pool, planting
stuff, and I'm riding when I can. Definitely need it now and then to
keep my sanity. Just feels better when I come back.
Waiting for my wheel balancing/truing stand to see if I can get to
the bottom of the vibration at higher speeds. Not sure how
successful I'll be. I've read that if the BMW wheels are more
than .125 out of true, they can't be straightened with the spokes,
you have to take them apart and then find someone with a machine
that can straighten them. We'll see.
Anyway, took a ride a couple days ago. It was beautiful
weather and a nice ride. The bike really is nice. The
fairing produces a relatively protected pocket. You get wind,
but it hits pretty high and smooth. Even with the vibration
that creeps in at about 60, it's just a pleasure to ride.
That silver seat is my custom job. Seems I have to do that on
every motorcycle, because even aftermarket seats are not as
comfortable as the one's I make. Granted they are not as
aesthetically well done, but they work. I cut foam off the
existing seat, built it up with new stiffer foam, made it wider and
reshaped it. Still trying to decide if it's as comfortable as
I like. It's way better than the stock seat, but it puts more
pressure than I'd like on my thigh. We'll see, it seems to get
better as I ride it.
We took down the pool and decided to even out the ground a bit
more. It was 3" lower on one side and that's the limit.
With the pool partially filled on the bottom, we could measure
exactly how much water was where so we know how much to raise
it. Worked on that most of the morning... digging up more dirt
and clay right at the edge of our forest, carting it to the pool
area, building it to the level we need it at. I will say one
thing, I'm stronger now than I was months ago when we got
here. I could barely push a wheelbarrow full of dirt all the
way from the dirt pit to the pool without stopping for a
break. Now I'm filling the barrow and doing it in one straight
shot. It will kill me or make me stronger.
After that took the old bike for a ride. I guy is coming
tomorrow to take a look at it. Must be pretty serious, because
he's coming from North Carolina, which is a four hour drive.
After that I took the BMW out and took honey for a ride. It's
the first time she's ridden on the bike since I got it. Even
she says she notices the difference, compared to the DR650.
Yeah, there really is no comparison. The DR only does on thing
better, and that's serious off road, but with the right tires the
BMW can get close. Anyway, 80 degrees and sunny.
Beautiful day to just tool around.
I got my fork seals, so will start to work on that as time
permits. Focus will still be on getting the pool up and
starting to fill it. Temps hitting 80's, it's the right
time. Still waiting for my truing/balance stand, which
apparently was shipped, but there's not shipping history for
Missy, Heath, and the kids and dogs were here over the
weekend. It was nice to see them. They went rock
climbing on Sunday and the kids stayed with us. Had some fun
pushing them around on the swing and feeding the neighbors cow and
goats across the fence with grass from our yard. Played "slap"
with the kids. Giselle won the first game, then I started
beating her in the second. She quit. We had a lot of
fun. Just being a 59 year old kid.
Played fetch with Neptune until he was dog tired! Hah.
Ah.. I have a love hate relationship with that dog. He's a
good dog, but just like all dogs, especially him because he's young,
he's annoying and demanding. The good thing is they spent the
nights in the garage. So, Heath didn't have to sleep out in
the yard with them, because that would have been the only
option. They are not coming in the house.
Well, almost another month has gone by and where are we? The
pool is up and basically ready to go. Today it's suppose to be
in the 80's, so honey is talking about using it. I'm not so
sure yet, I have long pants, shirt, and a hat on right now.
I took a shot at trying to eliminate that vibration on the
bike. First I did get the guys in Vegas to allow me to take it
in to the local dealer to check on everything. Unfortunately,
they couldn't find any issue besides the wheels being slightly out
of balance. Which of course is ridiculous. But without
their backing, the guys in Vegas weren't paying for anything.
They also said I didn't have a for seal leak, although I have
multiple pictures of oil around the seal and up the fork leg.
So, paid them like $90, thanks for nothing.
Since then I've replaced my own for seals, though they still seem to
leak, so I think the aftermarket seals I bought aren't quite up to
snuff. I'm trying another set, but if that doesn't work, I'm
going to spring for the BMW bits.
The bigger thing was the vibration. I decided to tackle truing
of the wheels. Found that the rear wheel really wasn't that
far off, but the front had a noticeable wobble. Now,
supposedly these wheels shouldn't be attempted by anyone but a
professional, even dealers just replace them if they are bad.
Yes, they are designed unlike any other, but they are still spokes
and adjustable. The idea that I can't adjust my own spoke
wheels is ridiculous. To make a long story short, I spent days
getting the wheels as straight as I could. After the first couple
times it was pretty clear that there was a bigger problem than just
the trueness of the wheel. So, I replaced the tire also, and
it made a world of difference. Even though the tire had only
around 3000 miles on it, there was clearly something wrong with it.
Now the bike is smooth, even past 100 mph. Just need to decide
if I'm going to press the Vegas guy and how far I'm willing to take
it, for them selling the bike to me with problems. Of course,
just like the other dealer, they probably wouldn't have known the
problem exists. Anyway, the irony is that I just gave them a
crappy review, and the owner responds to the review saying he's
sorry I had a bad experience and to call Dave and he'll take care of
me. Yeah, the same Dave who has ignored just about every email
I sent him. We'll see. The fact that I could fix the
problems goes a long way to me not caring if they reimburse me or
Anyway, after getting it all sorted out I've been starting to take
day rides. The weather here has been unbelievable; sunny and
in the 60-s to 70's. Sweet home Alabama, where the skies are
This was a loop over into GA and then back down into Alabama.
A lot of this path was labeled as the Trail of Tears. That's
Weiss Lake at the South.
This somewhere North of Graysville AL, just West of the GA border on
route 99. Seemed like the perfect spot to stop and have a
This is by a boat ram at Cedar Bluff on Weiss Lake
Few days later went Northwest into TN, up past Sawanee. There
isn't a bad road between here and there. And to either side of
Sawanee on route 156 and 41A is a climb and descent. This part
of the country seems to be motorcycle heaven. Beautiful
scenery and curvy two lane roads that go on forever.
Couple days ago went straight East about 140 miles one way.
Mostly Route 136 and then 52. That takes you past Cloudland
Canyon State Park, and other State Parks in GA. I randomly
chose a waterfall as my destination point, but ended up running into
a guy at my lunch stop, burnt mountain overlook, and we talked for a
while, so I didn't quite make it as far as I thought. But,
again, an amazing ride, and the guy is a big motorcycle enthusiast,
so we may go riding together. Though he does live in GA, hours
away, so some multi-day ride may make more sense than a day ride.
This is a curious spot. Why have a fence? You can walk
around it. It just serves to ruin the view.
This is the Burnt Mountain overlook. Looks like graffiti
mountain, but ok... wonder why they call it Burnt Mountain. Is
this where all the burnouts hang out?
Somewhere on the way back... No, not much traffic on these roads,
especially during the week.