Friday, August 31, 2012

Rally Day #1

0200 up with a start, I had set two alarm clocks "just in case"..

Packed the bags on the bike, it was 23C at 2 in the morning. I glad we started at 3. Went over to the host hotel, met up with the other 225 riders, handed in my "start card" and found a couple of riding buddies to start with.

I had met Bill (Kelowna) and Bob (Langley) when I arrived at the hotel in El Paso. Nice guys, both retired, they've done this ride together several times. So I kind of latched on to them, asked if they minded if I tagged along for a bit.

Most of the riders lit out of the hotel parking lot like they were on fire. Our threesome had a little more subdued pace, which was good for me.

We travelled for a few hours and stopped in some small town for breakfast/bathroom break... back on the road. We were travelling at about 10 mph over what ever the posted limit was. I started to feel the effect of a breakfast and waking up way too early... started yawning...alot...

Turned on some good riding tunes, and thought about new ways to stay awake, it worked... we stopped for fuel and we noticed that Bill's rear tire on his Goldwing was almost flat... we put some air in and rode 15 miles to the next town... the pressure had decreased by 4 psi.. not good. So bill put in some run flat tire sealant. About 5 miles down the Bill was pulled over on the side of the road, tire completely flat.

I had a spare valve stem and a 12V compressor. Neither helped. Bill called for a tow truck and they bothh looked at me and said you might as well continue on. Made sense to me, kinda hate leaving someone on the side of the road but his buddy Bob was going to be there and a tow truck was already dispatched. I hope the repair went well and that they made the check point.

So now I am alone, traveling north with Lola guiding me towards the check point... then Lola decides to not work with the 12V plug in... thus it is not charging and the battery is now dead... oh crap... Lola is important to me for 2 reasons, first as a GPS with a route saved in it telling me where to go, second as a speedometer indicating actual MPH instead of my less than accurate KPH. crap....

So I leached onto another group and they got me part way through Santa Fe, until I saw a McDonalds.. I needed something and could try and fix the power supply in the parking lot... food ok, repair... not so much.

So here I am pretty much flying blind, I have a general idea which way to go, the crib notes that they gave us indicates the intersection, but nothing about the town....

Time to try and fix the plug in again... Gorilla tape to the rescue.... we are back up!! Go Lola go!!

Please remember that the GPS is named Lola...

I am riding alone across the northren part of New Mexico it's pretty desolate but I can keep the speed above the suggested limit for most of the time.

The towns all start to run together, get fuel, get a water, get back on the road.

Finall make it to the first checkpoint... Woohooo!! They had some tents set up to stamping the passport and snacks and beverages.. nice job guys.

Some riders booked a night in Buena Vista, but most pushed on.

I pushed on a bit, got to Leadville, saw a hotel with a vacancy, it was starting to rain.... I'm done..

Grabbed some pizza at Pizzahut accross the street, typed uup the blog, and now I am ready for some sleep...

It was a great day, I am 1/4 done, I am confident.. and Vanessa seems to be enjoying the ride as well.

The Start.. yes my eyes were blurry
Dawn, in New Mexico

This guy keeps following me
Route 285 into Check point #1

Checkpoint #1

Thursday, August 30, 2012

It's official, I have my TFC Passport

Not to be confused with the real, travel to another country type of passport.

The Three Flags Classic passport is the document that gets stamped at each checkpoint verifying that you did indeed make it to the checkpoint in the alotted time.

I am going to be a bit nostalgic for a bit, please forgive me....

As I have indicated before, the fact that I participated and completed the TFC in 1982 was for me a great accomplishment. I have kept the TFC passport with me through every move as part of my memories/keepsake box. I brought it with me...

So today when we had to register and get our new 2012 passport I wanted to share this with you...


Old and New

Old and New #2

Really frickin old!!!

Still looks old!!
Same smile though!!

I realize that we cannot relive the past, and that if we try to typically we are disappointed. We usually only remember the good things, and sometimes our memories get a little embellished. I am not trying to relive the past, but I am trying to create another memorable moment in my life. A lot of these moments shape who we are, I think that I have been afforded many great moments and I am thankful for that.

Today, on my way to register I stopped to pick up something at Best Buy and saw a Taco Bell across the parking lot, I know... your in one of the best areas for authentic Mexican food and you go to Taco Bell... but anyway.. I sat down and this older gentleman asks me how I am doing, we strike up a conversation, I learn about his life and how he was an illegal who was deported 14 times back to Mexico, despite being married and having children in the USA. He stated that despite all of his set backs he thought he had always done the right thing, one day while in Mexico, he gets a telegram to report to the US embassy, he is walked into a room and asked if he knew a gentleman so and so. He said that he did not... Apparently this gentleman had been a customer of Antonio (Tony) at a local restaraunt and had been devistated to hear that he had been deported. He pulled some political strings and got Tony on the path to get back to the United States legally.

I really liked the story, it kind of made me think about one of my beliefs.. Treat people how you would like to be treated, regardless of the situation or potential for gain. And I have to say that part of that relates back to the moments that we have in life that do shape who we are.

Honest everyone, more riding, less thoughtful banter coming soon...

I am a little nervous, the start time is 0300 tomorrow morning. It's good to start early we beat the heat (it's 39C outside) and the morning traffic. I'll be off to get some food, pack the bags and turn in early.

Thanks for listening, thanks for your support and thanks for sharing this memory with me....

Tomorrow.... Start of the 2012 Three Flags Classic!!!!!

Phase #1 complete!!

I arrived in El Paso yesterday at about 4 pm local time.

I have to say that avoiding the interstates was a good thing, however it did not prepare me for the shear mayhem that I would encounter getting into El Paso. 5-6 lanes across, everyone doing 80 mph and then once you make it off the freeway, you still have 3 lanes to contend with on the "service roads"

Sorry about that... had to run and change the laundry..

Made it to the hotel with the assistance of Lola (GPS) how did we ever ride in strange cities without these.?

Got into the room (king bed/suite for $56/night) it's quiet, except for the Harley Davidson dealer beside, where they have to rev the crap out of the bikes it seems. The room is ground floor with parking right outside of the room... does it get any better.

relaxed for awhile, and more bikes started to arrive, more Three Flags Classic riders (TFC). It's funny, everyone has a story, and for the most part they like to tell it, I find I have to let people tell their stories, otherwise I end up dominating the conversation (my Alpha tendencies). But I also remember more about them, cause it's not all about me.....

Got some sub-standard food at Applebees, and came back to the hotel, fell asleep by 9 pm.... what a hard core motorcyclist .... sheesh...

Up at 0620, the 0 in the front indicates Oh my goodness, it's 6 in the morning...

watched a video on the iPad, got up and went for breakfast (included for $56, incredible) sat with some fellow Canadians, had a great conversation.

Need to do some maintenance on Vanessa, she more than deserves it, we made it here, with only minor issues. But we still have a long way to go - and a short time to get there....


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Almost there, had a quick stop to make!!

This mornings campsite.

This one is for the lovely Marilyn!!

It was pretty cool, and a surprise on the way. First thing I found was that there did not seem to be enough of them. According to the visitors center there are 28, only 27 in use at any given time as one is always down for maintenance. They also had a tibit of info on all the movies the VLA has been featured it. Most notably the movie Contact, which displayed over 131 of the radio telescopes. They used movie magic (CGI) to add them.

Back on the road... El Paso get ready for Carl!!!

Day Six - Utah, Arizona and New Mexico oh my!!!

Good Morning everyone, this morning I find myself setup in a campsite just outside of Datil, New Mexico.

The day started in Blanding, Utah. Got up after a very restful sleep and showered, etc. Packed most of the bags out to Vanessa whom had been making some friends in the parking lot an Italian (Ducati) and a German (BMW). After getting most of the bags on I went for the free breakfast.. Whats this? no waffles, we are out of here (with a couple of apples).

Part way down the road (10 miles) I stopped for fuel, I noticed that one of the internal zippers in my tankbag was open. crap!! I had forgotten my iPhone/iPad charger in the room. So we back tracked to the hotel and retrieved the wayward charger.

Self Portrait
Off again. Met Jim on the road, waved and continued on. I rode south on Route 191, it was a very rough road, that seemed to connect a lot of first nations land together. And it was getting hot in the desert. I swear I've been sweating from places I did not even know could sweat. (how's that for an image!!)

I stopped is some small community, heading the words of the lovely Marilyn "stay hydrated" bought a cool water and sat down on the bench with all of the local men, who it appeared were solving lifes problems... we are all the same... Chatted with the "old boys" for a few minutes and then got on my way again.

At this point I am running parallel to the Arizona/New Mexico border (north/south) I can see that the rock formations are off to my left (New Mexico) and desert off to my right.... well it's cooler in the hills than in the basin... Left turn Vanessa.

This worked out well, I found a fuel stop that had a Burger King inside... fuel was good, Burger King, not so much. A gentleman approched me in the parking lot, a big man.. asking the usual questions, and then said he had a bike as well, and he wanted to do a trip like this. I am surprised how many times I hear that. Just do it... (to quote a popular shoe manufacturer). He also told me that I would be driving through one of the most beautiful spruce tree forests in all of New Mexico. Excellent!! this is why I try to avoid the interstates...

Well I have to say, it was pretty, but not on the top ten for this trip. I was shooting for a highly recommended town called Pie Town, I am not kidding you, guess what they are famous for?... yup..Pie!!! So the anticipation of this wonderful pie had me, I was spending longer in the seat, puttting up with the discomfort, just a few more miles I told myself (Lola the GPS told me I would be getting there at about 5:20 pm... Excellent we can call it supper and pie!!

For Marilyn :)
Ok, Pie Town is listed on the map, I think it's someone's idea of a joke, there are 2 stores on the side of the road, they both sell pies, that's all there is there.... and the were both CLOSED... frickin hell.... grumble, grumble...

The plan was to eat pie and then find a camping spot. I traveled to the next town Datil, New Mexico found the only gas station/restaurant. Got fuel, had a great green chilie cheese burger and guess what... Cherry Pie!! it was great. The waitress recommended a campground about a mile down the road. Except for the campground host's I was the only paying customer. Lots of birds, bunnies and catepillars. It was quiet. Infact while typing this, I just had a visit from a hummingbird, it hovered about 3 feet from me checking me out.. pretty cool.

some long roads
Ok, the plan for today is to get to El Paso, which according to Lola and the locals will take me about 5 hours, I will be spending most of that on the interstate, oh well. But I have a bit of a side trip... *smirk*

It turns out that I am about 15 minutes drive away from the Very Large Array (large field of radio telescopes) if you have seen the movie Contact with Jodie Foster... yup that's it. I need to pick up something for the Lovely Marilyn.

So that's the plan... should be in my prebooked hotel room by 4 pm this afternoon.

Thanks for reading, I promise photo's soon..


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Day Five or canyon racing in Utah

Well, I have to be truthful, I am writing this at the end of Day Six. Great intentions yesterday, even got a hotel with WIFI so I could keep you stalkers at bay....

By the time I got in and fed, I laid on the bed and fell asleep, even missed the lovely Marilyn's call.. :(

So, the day started of fairly well, got out of the hotel room fairly early, loaded Vanessa. She was not demanding attention this morning, and got on the road....

Met up with Jim, one of the guys I had supper with, Jim was not the guy with the chain problem. Anyway Jim was the guy who showed me a decent route through Utah. So after a quick McDonalds breakfast we were off.

Jim is one of those unassuming guys, does not brag, boast he just is... which I think is cool. So off we rode we made some miles, small cavet here, Jim rides many bikes, what he was currently riding was a KTM SuperMoto. Jim can ride. Vanessa and I (mainly I) were struggling. the pace was outside of my comfort zone for a couple of reasons. 1) my confidence was shot. I had a very bad experience the day before that until now was not really ready to openly talk about. I was riding through a canyon about 20km north of Elko, probably going a bit faster than I should (45mph in a 35mph corner) but what really got me was the sudden gust of wind came up and blew us into the other lane. I honestly did not know if there was any oncoming traffic.... there was not! Needless to say it scared the crap out of me. And I mean it really scared me. Please do not tell Marilyn...

So the second reason is that Vanessa is quite loaded down, she does not handle well at all, and certainly not as well as a KTM SuperMoto. Let alone a SuperMoto with a very capable rider...

This must have been very apparent to Jim as he waited for me once and then seemed to slow up a bit. I felt bad for that. We parted ways when Jim wanted to do a road with some gravel, I passed on the idea and continued on. We met up later in another town, had a beverage and again parted ways.

I rode through abunch of very scenic canyon, took a ton of photos, but cannot upload them as there is no WIFI fast enough here in the campsite.

So the rest of the drive I worked on my confidence in the corners with Vanessa, we came to some agreements... I would not push her too hard and she agreed to try and maintain a stable course when the wind hits.

We also worked on some likes and dislikes for the day... Vanessa likes getting all of my attention, She also likes premium fuel and not riding on the same road more than once. Some dislikes include, huge wind gusts, hot tar snakes that cause us to float around in the corners...

We made it to Blanding, Utah had some decent food at the restaruant across the parking lot. and as indicated earlier fell asleep hard.






Columbia River
Columbia River



Sunday, August 26, 2012

I rode through the desert on a horse with no name...

Actually her name is Vanessa, but it would have really screwed up the lyrics... The other name for today was going to be "A day of poor decisions"... more on that in a bit..

Today started off with a wonderful breakfast (waffle!!) and then packed the bike and got ready to go.

So this is where I see if you are paying attention... Last post had me performing some maintenance in the evening. Part of that maintenance was searching for an apparent oil leak (this is new!) I took off the front sprocket cover as that is where it appeared to be coming from, nothing, nada. All I could rationalize was that because of the heat (+37C) perhaps the chain wax was literally melting on the inside of the chain cover and dripping out. I cleaned it out, put everything back together and thought I had solved my problem.

Nope!! This morning after packing Vanessa, all geared up to get going, start the bike on the center sstand and then rock it off, pull in the clutch and put it in gear, she jumps forward and stalls. I check the side stand, nope it's up... pull in the clutch and press the starter button... she wants to go forward... oh,no... No clutch.

So I push the bike down the incline and start her with what little clutch movement I have and get underway, I know there is a truck stop about 3 blocks down, they should have some brake fluid.

They did!! in the easy to manage 2 quart size!! So I added some, then bled the line and I now had a working clutch again... I monitored the leakage all day.. looks like it will be an every other day maintenance item, unless I can find a rebuild kit along the way. I am chalking it up to, Vanessa just wanted some attention....

Ok, we are now underway, rode from Ontario, Oregon through to Mountain Home, Idaho on the interstate. Seriously dull, but turned off, got fuel and some water, then rode south to Elko, Nevada. A pretty cool road with lots of 25mph canyon riding, up to the dam. It also included about 150 miles of straight desert riding.

From this point on, it got dull. I got really frustrated with myself. The roads south were all mostly gravel according to the map, the locals at the gas stations were clueless, and I realized that this making decisions and plans on spur of the moment had just painted me into a corner, I was now forced to ride the interstate towards Salt Lake City. I hate Salt Lake City, I wanted to avoid it..... frick.

So I rode the interstate to Wells, stopped at a rest stop and purchased a better map. It looked as though I could head south to Ely, Nevada and possibly save tomorrows ride, by not having to ride through SLC.

150 miles in the desert.... straight.... no fuel, no fun, lots of time to reflect on some poor decisions earlier in the day. More thinking, worrying about Vanessa, it's hot (+38C or better) and I am pushing her, we are miles from any kind of assistance... still thinking, still worrying... trying to plan where to stop for the evening, no idea what the community of Ely, Nevada will have.... Still thinking... Still mad at myself....frick.

I arrived at Ely, to find it is a reasonably sized community, got some fuel at the Shell, asked buddy about local campsites, and eating establishments. Check and check... got a plan.

As I am getting ready to grab some supper, about to start the bike a young fellow also riding a bike walks over, he asks if I have a chain tool, yup, but not with me, sorry... His chain is in a very sorry state of affair. He decided to tag along for supper, we meet a fellow rider at the diner. Nice guy (did not get his name...darn) he took some time to chat with us and point out some decent roads for tomorrow. I parted ways with Alex the kid with the KLR and decided to get a hotel... $40.00/night and even sorta clean, and the WIFI sorta works...not so much.

So, my nagging thought today was about a lack of planning, which if you know me, is completely out of character. Perhaps I thought I would live closer to the edge, for this part of the trip. You know, let life happen, take it as it comes.... which would probably work better if I did not have hours and hours of time in the seat with nothing to do but think and stare at the straight road ahead. How can I change this? I spoke with the fellow at the diner (riding a KTM supermoto) he provided some educated choices about roads to ride in Southern Utah. So I feel a little better, I have a bit of a plan... it makes Carl feel a bit more at ease.

Some photo's from the day.... and hey, thanks for listening....



Saturday, August 25, 2012

some quick photos



Day 3: a day of indulgence

I realize that could be taken many ways, but today it meant that I was traveling to ride 1 road, a road that I had only seen a picture of,,, but it looked cool. And it was!!! But I am getting ahead of myself.

The day started with 2 alarm clocks going off, first Don's then mine. We took some luggage down to the bikes and then took in the complimentary continental breakfast. I love waffles!! could have eaten 2 or 3, but scaled it back to one. It was really good. I don't even want to discuss or reveal what Don put on his...*shakin my head*

We finished loading the bikes and grabbed some fuel, this would be where we would part ways, Don going back to Vernon and me continuing on my journey.

I think I picked the most obscure way of getting down to Lewiston, but I have to say, it was great. Riding through fields of wheat on a very narrow ribbon of pavement that rose and fell with the hills and valleys, small iconic farm houses that you would swear were used for the set of Little House on the Prairie. I think it will be one of the top memories of this ride. I felt very good, there was no traffic, none.. Vanessa seemed to be enjoying it, purring along. At one point I stopped and pulled off the road into a field, because there was no shoulder, and looked around. The road behind me rose up and curved around the hill, the road ahead follows the valley and then winds up the hillside to the right. I realize that I am sitting in this field of yellow all around me, except for this perfect road. And it's quiet....not a sound. I almost cried... just kidding. I was pretty moved though. This is what riding is about for me... sure there is the fun of racing through the corners, but the part where it is me, the bike, and a stretch of road.... I did not want it to end.

Sadly though it did, I ended up in Rosalina, Washington where it looks like so many small towns down here, most of the stores are closed up, there is a post office and not much else, sad really. I headed over to the main road that would take me to Lewiston.

I wound my way down to Lewiston, found a gas station, got some water and a couple of maps :). I was trying to figure out how to get to this Route 129 that Mike and Trina had recommended. Finally I thought let's just select Enterprise, Oregon. Low and behold Lola (the name of the GPS voice) pointed me in the right direction.

I made it out of the valley, again with many switchbacks and "epic" views, untill all of the sudden it seemed like I was in Saskatchewan, straight roads, and crops. Surely Mike and Trina would not lead me astray like this, for that small amount of twisty road.

Nope!!! what a ride, I have ridden many miles, in many different areas, but this has to be one of the top ten for me. Fresh pavement, freshly painted lines, stunning scenery and it just keeps going. I met about 20 cars/bikes and was only passed by one (I think he had ridden the road before..) which I got on video. I pulled over at the Chief Joesph lookout for a rest and to collect myself, the lovely young park ranger smiles at me and says, "you must have just ridden from the North, Most riders have that look when they take their helmets off!!" She was right.... wow.

I made it to Enterprise, Oregon found a burger shack and devoured a wonderful burger. I continued on, with the intent to get over to La Grande where I could get on the interstate to make some serious miles. Back roads are great for the soul, but sometimes you have to make miles.

Interstate 84 here we come... Vanessa seemed to like the opportunity to stretch her legs a bit, doing 75mph with the outside temperature 34C... glad I bought the mesh jacket.

Got to my destination of Ontario, Oregon at about 8:00pm. got a room, did some maintenance on Vanessa. and typed up the days events for you stalkers :0)

Roughly 850km today.. tomorrow is welcome to Idaho and Utah...

Tune in, same bat time, same bat channel....

Friday, August 24, 2012

Day 2 Riding with Don!

Well Vanessa decided she needed some "me" time. This involved replacing the drive chain, which before you say it, was replaced 1000km before I left and now had roughly 2200km on it. A drive chain should last 10-20,000 km.... So we went by the motorcycle spa and booked her in for a new drive chain ($198.00 installed, thank you). So while there the mechanic (Vanessa called him Sven) raised a concern about the ticking sound in the engine (egads!!) Sven thought it might be the cam chain adjuster... none available from Suzuki for 2 weeks... well that made the decision as to what to do... we carry on.

Carl & Vanessa!!
So the brother in law and I started and rode south to Kelowna, then highway 33 down to Rock Creek, then to the border crossing at Midway.

We rode on highway 21 down to Republic, for fuel and food. we continued south on highway 21 down to Wilbur. To quote Don.. "it like it was our own private road" lots of corners followed a river the whole way down, until we started to find ourselves along a lake (turns out the Grande Coulee Resvior). Then we took a ferry across the lake... then the ride out of of the valley... Again to quote Don... "that was freakin epic"

We then rode the prairie to Airway Heights, just outside of Spokane. Grabbed a hotel room and hit the casino and buffet!



Day 1

Well, as you saw from my post, we got away. To quote a Jerry Reed song from Smokey and the Bandit "West bound and down, loaded up and truckin, we're gonna do what they said can't be done, we got a long way to go and a short time to get there, we're west bound, just lock on Bandit 1"

That's enough with the Country Music!!

So I get out of GP, and it starts to rain, and I don't just mean a sprinkle, it's pouring. My "waterproof" riding gear...not so much... I was soaked less than 30km outside of GP. Oh well, it adds to the adventure. Iam just happy to be on the road that the time I said I would leave.

I had to stop at the Southview rest stop, I was so cold, my hands were numb despite the heated handgrips. My fun meter was pretty low. As I pulled into the rest stop, I see another bike parked beside a very wet looking tent... I thought to myself, I need to get out of the rain, it's really coming down, so I entered the outhouse. Now if you have ever been to the Southview rest stop you know the usual condition of the outhouses is not great... it sort of looked as though the last guy to use it just sort of stuck his ass in the door and tried to aim at the toilet, he was not successful. But necessity trumps grossness... I needed out of the rain.

So here I am standing in a shitty outhouse (literally) in my wet riding gear, helmet still on, trying to warm up my hands. 15 minutes later, the rain is letting up, I head outside. The other motorcyclist is out of his tent and says hello, my immediate thought is to tell him I am not responsible of the mess in the outhouse... he beats me to the punch. Apparently someone had done this yesterday. Anyway, he was a nice guy, riding solo to Alaska from Virginia. Cool.

I left Southview, got fuel in Grande Cache and also prevented many raindrops from hitting the ground by catching them with my jacket. Off again. I rode to Jasper, took a photo of the sign (which I will post later) and then headed for Valemount. I was trying to meet up with a rider from the VSRI forum, kept texting back and forth, but never did get to meet him.... met his bike, found it on the side of the road, probably with no fuel (confirmed later in the day).

I continued on got fuel in Little Fort, had a nice discussion with some BC Paramedics at the fuel station. Continued on to Kamloops... more freakin rain, this time a little warmer, but lots more of it.

Road through that storm, got on highway 97 over to Vernon and arrived at my sisters place just before 8:00 pm BC time. so all totaled I travelled for 13 hours and covered close to 1150 km. Not a bad first day.

Vanessa has some issues though... we need to replace a bolt that holds the left muffler which has gone missing, apparently someone (me) forgot to tighten is yesterday after loosening it... dumbass move.. sorry Vanessa. And the chain that I put on last week appears to be failing, it has a tight spot, it should not have a tight spot. This is sort of serious, I would hate for the chain to fail. I will see if I can get it replaced tomorrow.

We will have company riding with us tomorrow, my brother in law (Don and his Honda 919) are going to join us for a day or so. This will be great. I have never actually ridden on the street with Don. I am looking forward to it.

Thanks for tuning in, it's time for some sleep. Good Night.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

One more sleep!!

Well it has arrived, the night before I set off on this ride. I'm packed (finally) and ready (I think). I have tried to keep the gear to a minimum, because I'll be riding most of the time...

Thought alot today about some the things in life we take for granted, for example, our pets, I came home today, they were happy to see me, they followed me around the house while I packed. Every time I looked at them, they just were happy looking at me. I tried to explain to them that yes I was leaving on a trip, but that I would be back... they just looked at me... we sometimes take that unconditional love for granted. I will miss them all.

I am also going to miss the lovely Marilyn, this will be the longest period of time that we will have been apart since the day we met (about 23 years ago!!). Sure there is technology that we can use to chat, etc... but sometimes it's just being together....

Enough of the sappy stuff, this is a motorcycle ride, man up!!

Vanessa is ready, she's chomping at the bit and wants to run. We'll stretch those legs tomorrow. The forecast is for rain (of course) but the weather man has been wrong pretty much every day. Lets hope he is wrong for one more day.

I have to remind myself to take photo's, lots of photo's. Often when I am traveling it's about the destination and not so much about the trip. Many of the ride reports that I read and enjoy are full of photo's take along the way... So I will remember... take photo's.

Thanks to everyone for their encouragement and support, this is going to be one great adventure.

And the kitchen sink!!

Good grief, Charlie Brown... you would think that this is the first trip I have ever taken. Marilyn and I went to Alaska/Yukon last year and I don't think I stressed this much about what to take.

I spent most of the evening trying to organize my stuff to go into 1 of three cases on my bike. Then deciding how much room was available and then the semi-final "do I really need that?"

Lets just say that it is causing me stress, stress that I am surprised at, stress that I really don't need and stress that is causing me more stress.... hmmm.

It boils down to the Boy Scout in me, and for those that know me, I try to always "Be Prepared" to the extend that I am usually prepared enough for everything and even those around me. I understand that this is a bit much but I am trying to help you understand "Carl".

So with this revelation, my final run at packing will occur later today and I am confident that I will have the items I need and want, except the kitchen sink.

So, whats the plan for the start of this insanity?

I leave tomorrow morning, Marilyn has to work at 0700 so I thought I would be up and send her off to work then plan to get underway shortly after that. I will figure out how to take a photo by myself and get it posted for all of you to see... I will be heading south and west, with the goal to get to Armstrong, BC to spend the evening with Kris and Don.

Plans after this point are pretty fluid, I will be crossing into the US and heading for a road that the Murias' had ridden earlier this year, it looks cool so... what the heck.. lets ride... I plan to make it to Enterprise, Or and camp that evening.

Don't forget, you can follow my progress by clicking on the SPOT link on the right.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A test from my iPhone

This is just a test of the Emergency Broadcast system, had this been a true emergency, you would have seen zombies walking by your window.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ok, who is this harlot named Vanessa?

Well, I have had a few questions about this "Vanessa".

Ok here is the deal, Vanessa is a 2003 Suzuki V-Strom DL1000 that I purchased in February of 2011, she had about 40,000 km on the odometer and seemed in good shape...


This type of bike is called an "Adventure Touring" bike. These are the types of bikes that people tour the world on, they are comfortable to ride, they can be ridden off highway and with this particular model are relatively inexpensive.

There is luggage to be added. Where I will store my clothes, food, tent, etc..... I will post pictures of that.

Marilyn and I each have one of these bikes, we used them to travel to Alaska/Yukon last year.

I have done a number of modifications and enhancements to Vanessa, not those kind of enhancements :), but generally to increase reliability and safety. These are not high performance bikes, they just get the job done.


I am also trying the word wrap with putting photos in.... It does not seem to be formating all that well... Sorry about that...

Feel free to ask any questions you would like, who knows... I might even answer it :)

Now you all know who Vanessa is.... Some day I may share Racheal, Stephaine, Nicole, Elsie, Mandy and the rest of the girls...

Ok, I have to start packing.... Bye for now.