Hello ADV. Been lurking for two years and figure it's time to jump in with my first post.
Living in Reno, I am lucky to be in an amazing area for riding. The Sierra's are right out my door. The plan is to get into a dual sport adventure bike soon, but till then I've been riding the two in my garage, a 2007 Dyna Custom and a 2007 F800ST. I've only been riding for two years, took my MSF summer of 2010 and have put about 16,000 miles on the bikes in that time. Obviously, I'm still learning with every ride. My two bikes:
Anyway, reading the camping threads and the ride reports, I got bit by the camping bug. I started accumulating some gear this summer and went for a couple simple rides to camp and try it out. Nothing serious, just a start with RV parks and campgrounds. Started by renting a couple tents at REI and went from there. My first purchase was a Kermit. Have to laugh at that but I figured I'm gonna get one soon enough anyway, so might as well have one handy when I was ready for a real trip.
Turns out I ultimately decided upon a larger tent, something I could stand up in. If you're under 50, you probably don't get that, but one day you might. Anyway, I rented a 2 man, then a 4 man, and finally a 6 man. YIKES! I know, it's scary to think of ... 80 square feet for one or two people. Thank god.
So, the weekend before Street Vibrations was coming to town, I went over to REI to buy a new Base Camp 6. It was the last tent I rented and it was very easy to set up and live in. I figured I'd spend the $420 and do it. Walked in and they had a garage sale going on. That's where they sell the returns from the previous six months. I arrived around 30 minutes before it was scheduled to be over and the tent guy told me to walk outside and check it out before I bought a new one. He said there were a couple out there. Walked out and found one that had the reason for the return listed as, "Too, big." Not for me. $163 and still had rubber bands around the poles and tissue in the rainfly. What I'm saying is that it was a brand new tent. SCORE!
While I was there, I took the savings and bought a Downmat 9 that I've read about here. Ran over to Sierra BMW and tried to find a dry bag that would fit this monster tent. It fit easily in an Ortlieb 89L Rack Pack so I picked one up. Ties down with a couple Roc Straps. The tent comes in a pack that also fits my down sleeping bag and the ExPed mat. All of it fits in the Ortlieb and there's plenty of room for that stinking Kermit, which at that point, I still hadn't used. And all of it fits very well on my bike. An awesome backrest. Not kidding.
As I was saying, Street Vibrations was coming to town and that's a perfect time for a guy to leave. Took off on a Tuesday for a five night journey to meet some friends for an annual crab fishing hook-up on the Oregon coast. Figured I'd share a couple pic's with you.
Headed out late in the day from Reno and crossed the Sierra's via hwy CA-44. That hits I-5 and it's just a few miles to Weed, Ca. I've stayed in Weed before and if you haven't checked it out, stop at the Hi-Lo, Motel. Awesome stay for $50 and great restaurant with home style cooking. One of the best motels and diners I've found. And they claim they are the start of the Al-Can Hwy. If I ever make that trip, I'm starting right there. Here's a link for those of you interested in eating or staying there.
That first night I met another rider in the parking lot as I was unpacking my gear. We agreed to meet up for dinner and drinks. The guys name was Hein and he owns a bike shop in B.C. where he's a wrench. The guy knew everything about everything. Not kidding. A shortcut from that little hotel in Baden to the foothills of the Vienna Woods? He knew it. The size of the screw on a 1936 anything? He had an extra one in his bag. The name of the best boutique beer in Hamburg? He knows the bartender at their brewery. A fascinating guy and a great conversationalist. We drank beers. Then a bottle of wine. A perfect end to a first day out. Riding alone is always an adventure and its usually defined by the people you meet, no?
Woke up the next morning and took my time as I headed out. Ate a great breakfast and headed up to Oregon over I-5. I usually avoid the Interstate but for those of you who haven't traveled this particular portion of hwy, the Siskiyou Mountains make for a great ride. Not that I thought about taking a pic with my iphone 3g! The rest of the pic's here are lame but they're all I have. Sorry folks.
Needed to pick up a new set of Roc Straps so I stopped in Medford at the local BMW dealer, Hansens. Met the owner and her dog Gabby, a portuguese water dog. Nice lady, good people behind the counter and very helpful. They didn't have the style I was looking for. The guy behind the counter gave me a set of tie-down straps off of a bmw bike shipment. Wouldn't take my money and saved me a big hassle on my bike. I'd buy a bike from them. Gorgeous Ducati in their showroom. I want one.
Right, can't forget the pup.
OK, I get back on the bike and start heading for Coos Bay and the Oregon coast. I'm actually traveling to Charleston Marina, an active commercial port. Stopped for gas at the Exxon at the OR-42 turn off, near Winston, and found something I haven't seen in years hanging on the bathroom wall.
So I look a little closer and notice that they sell one that'll fit a buddy of mine I'm meeting on the coast, perfectly. Better spend the 75cents on him.
So, I'll post this up and finish with the rest asap. Joey