|10-09-2012, 11:02 AM||#316|
Wrenching (Part 1)
Sorry for the length of this, but here's all the stuff I've fixed in the past couple months!
My speedometer stopped working on the last trip to Idaho. After checking to make sure that it wasn't the cable or the display which was broken, I found a replacement drive unit from an ADVRider for cheap. The old one had shards of the nylon worm gear floating around and was fairly low on grease. I managed to get the front of the bike off the ground by myself(!) and on to the simple stand, once the wheel was off, it was simple to replace the drive. Now I can tell if I'm speeding again!
While I had the wheel off, I checked the bearings, which felt a little notchy. I made a note to replace them soon.
I pulled the carburetor from the bike and disassembled it as much as I was able to. I couldn't get into the main body of the carb, as I didn't have the right safety torx socket, but I removed and cleaned anything that was not nailed down, including the choke knob (which somebody said looked off).
One of the needles had some filth on it, so I cleaned it off.
I considered trying to adjust the float height, but I didn't think I had the right tools - if I don't shut the petcock off when I turn off the bike, it leaks gas out of the overflow tube. Annoying, but not critical.
When reinstalling the carb, I noticed that there was a little "tab" on the carb boot that wasn't allowing it to seal quite flush. After actually Reading The Instructions on how to install the TM-40, it appears that they recommend you remove this tab. Whoops. I cut it off and it seemed to fit a bit better.
Somebody suggested I check the linkages and the swingarm bearings, as these are notoriously low on grease from the factory. I removed the airbox and cleaned it, the "puke tube" was clogged with some kind of oily mud. Removed the rear tire and shock. These were easy.
After much cursing, I managed to remove the swingarm and linkages, except for the final dogbones which attach to the swingarm, those were stuck tight. These were all completely overtorqued. The bike looked sad with half its parts missing.
Once I got the bolts free, cleaning the bearings themselves was easy business. Most of the bearings were caged, and I used a shop towel to remove the old grease. One set of bearings wasn't caged:
I pulled the needles out with a pick and put them in a cup, then cleaned the hell out of everything.
I repacked everything with lots of new, waterproof grease. None of these bearings felt worn, so that's a plus at least. After it was all back together and torqued to spec, the rear of the bike actually compressed with minimal effort, smooth as butter, where before it was difficult even when I put some weight behind it. I had thought it was just the stiffness of the springs!
I took the opportunity while the swingarm was out to soak the chain in kerosene and give it a good scrubbing with a vegetable brush. I also replaced the rear brakes, which were down to nubs. The front brakes didn't look bad enough to need replacing immediately, so I've got a set to carry for later.
I replaced the upper chain roller, which was fairly worn, with one that has actual bearings in it.
The old chain guide was nothing but a shard of plastic when I got the bike:
So I installed a new metal one!
More than once, I've encountered situations where my lack of spark arrestor was concerning. I also wasn't a fan of the volume of the aftermarket exhaust - I primarily want to putt around in the woods and be stealthy, not accidentally burn the forest down and be heard from miles away. I decided to switch out the Scorpion exhaust with a stock muffler. I found one for $20, practically new! Score!
I had gotten a replacement crush gasket, and I'm glad I did, that thing was toast.
I added liquid gasket to ensure a tight fit and put it all back together. I also replaced one of the muffler bolts, which was ridiculously rusty.
Much better! The bike runs a lot quieter and backfires less.
I added an inline fuel filter. Unfortunately, I should have gotten the straight version instead of the 90 degree, but oh well. Eventually I would like to get some nicer fuel line, I am concerned about this stuff kinking, but I used what I had available.
Attempting to figure out the rain hiccup, I removed and inspected the spark plugs. They seemed to be fine. I checked out the spark plug wires for signs of cracking and cleaned inside the spark plug boot, but didn't see anything that would obviously cause a problem. Lots of blow-by around the top of the engine though. I suspect I will need to replace some gaskets eventually.
A while ago, my bash plate was making a great deal of noise. When I inspected it, I found that it had snapped off the attachment tabs in 4 places. Yikes! I removed it, but didn't know anybody locally with a TIG welder. Oz was working at a steel factory, so he cut and bent me up a plate out of their scrap bin on his break. I think he did a pretty good job! He also made attachment tabs for it, but we lacked access to a welder.
|10-09-2012, 11:18 AM||#317|
Wrenching (Part 2)
I'd been in contact with an inmate, Ed, who offered to help me with some of my issues! I gave him the Scorpion exhaust as a gift. We got a lot done!
He taught me how to change brake fluid, which I admit seemed far more complicated than it actually was. I never knew it was supposed to be clear! The stuff coming out of the bike was nasty.
Ed noticed I had installed the chain guide incorrectly (I had the chain running along the outside instead of through the guide, haha!), and we fought valiantly against the fact that my screw-type chain wanted to rub against the guide. We inserted and removed various washers until it seemed to fit correctly. I forgot to loctite the bolts though, and a few hundred miles later found the guide dragging on the chain, one of the bolts and half of the washers lost to the road. This time I'm going to try nylock nuts and keep a better eye on it.
We took a look at the electrical wiring to try to find what might be causing the stumbling in the rain. cleaned up a couple of connections, but didn't notice anything terribly off. Damn. We removed the kickstand safety switch, just in case.
We replaced the front wheel bearings.
I've done wheel bearings by myself before, but it's always nerve-wracking, I worry about screwing up the new bearing or getting something stuck. As it turns out, we got the old bearing stuck in the hole while trying to drive the new one in, my worst nightmare. We eventually managed to tap it free after quite a bit of effort. This kind of thing is good for me, it shows me that just because something fucks up, it doesn't mean it's the end of the world. I also discovered that one of my sockets is the right diameter to use instead next time.
While putting one of the nuts back on the front axle retainer, it snapped the stud in half (likely weakened from previous overtorquing) so we removed the stud and replaced it, which was an interesting process. This was another thing that I would have become upset over if it'd happened to me by myself, but which was really Not A Big Deal.
Ed and his wife Yuriko invited me to stay for dinner. We had some delicious yaki soba and sake! They had fish tacos with it, and gave me some avocado and an assortment of other bits to put in my taco - not what I would usually eat, but it was delicious!
Thanks for all your help Ed! I had a great time and learned a lot!
I needed to replace my steering head bearings, they were feeling very notchy. I enjoy doing occasional slow-speed weaves, and I had noticed that this was becoming increasingly difficult. While researching the best way to swap out the bearings, I ran across Dave/"Smiling Jack""s post on the DR650 thread - he'd used liquid nitrogen and a 20 ton press to do his, so I asked if he'd be willing to help me do the same. We made plans and I headed south, dodging football game-day traffic that was clogging up the I-5.
I got a brief tour of the materials research lab he works in, which was fascinating!
Afterwards, we got right down to business and started stripping down the bike. After supporting the bike on blocks and removing the front wheel and fairings, the forks came off, and we suspended the handlebar with a ladder. This helped us avoid having to disconnect/reconnect wires and worry about routing.
We didn't have the right tool to remove the steering head nut, so Dave welded one up. Before I knew it, the triple tree was off the bike!
The old bearings did not look too bad, but they were a bit dry, and there was definitely some wear on the races. With the tree removed, we got out the liquid nitrogen - they have it piped into the building from a large tank outside!
I had way too much fun dunking the tree into the boiling, frosty can. I feel let down that I never got to play with this stuff in school. Liquid nitrogen is awesome! I was very tempted to bring ice cream ingredients, but I thought that might not be appropriate.
Thoroughly chilled, it was short work to remove the old bearings. Much better than some of the recommendations I'd seen - to cut through the bearing with a dremel, hit it with a blowtorch, or chisel it out. Yikes!
I applied a healthy coating of waterproof grease to the new bearings and we pressed them on with a 20 ton press.
After thawing out the tree, we reassembled the front of the bike. My left turn signal kept cutting out, worse than before. Hmm. Later, after I got back to Portland, I would take the signal apart and find the contacts were very corroded. I cleaned them up as best I could and a dollop of dielectric grease later, my problem was solved!
I brought the bash plate pieces with me because Dave had a welder and had offered his help. He welded the tabs on and we rounded off some of the edges so that it wouldn't slice into the case in an accident. There was a lot of trial and error, loosely tacking the tabs on, checking the fit, fixing it if it wasn't correct, but eventually it all came together into a complete plate! Awesome! This job ended up taking even longer than the bearings, putting the kibosh on some loose plans we had for a celebratory ride afterwards.
Dave, his coworker, (who I sadly don't remember the name of), and I went out for pizza. Thanks so much guys! This is the second time Dave has saved my butt! I don't know what I would have done without your help!
Knowing that the raw steel would turn into a fine red powder after a few months of being exposed to the weather, I sanded the crap out of it and put the can of truckbed liner I'd purchased to good use:
All finished! All I need to do is run some rubber along the metal to metal contact areas so it rattles a bit less, and it's good to go! I ran with the raw plate for a couple days, and I found an unexpected benefit - troublesome street lights change a lot more easily for me now! Nice!
|10-09-2012, 12:52 PM||#318|
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Portland...the newer one on the left side.
Look's like the bike is really coming along. Do you have a "Glamour" shot of it with the new paintjob and Panniers installed? I'd love to see the "finished" product.
Also curious if there is any seal on those mermite cans? In the picture they don't look especially weatherproof, but it was hard to see for sure.
Keep up the great work!
2004 KTM 450 EXC
"The older I get, the faster I was"
|10-09-2012, 01:14 PM||#319|
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
Me thinks you COULD do an engine job even though like you say, just looking at it would give me the willies!
Am I awake, or am I dreaming?
NomadGal screwed with this post 10-09-2012 at 05:56 PM
|10-09-2012, 01:21 PM||#320|
Odds and Ends
I couldn't find a better place to wedge these tidbits in, so they're getting a tiny post all their own!
I went for a walk with Oz in this huge forested park a few miles away. We followed the unexpected sounds of music and stumbled across a "jazz in the park" event, staying to listen for a while. I really enjoyed the live music, I don't get the opportunity to listen to it very often.
We explored Cathederal Park. The bridge was cool!
I went to an ADV meet (one of many) on August 2nd, and got to see Radioman after he got back from India. Here he is explaining the different passes he explored on his trip, which are displayed on his shirt.
He gave us all kuluu hats! Thanks!
I also got a chance to say hi to Nixels again as he passed through at one of the meets. It was good to get to know you, Portland ADVRiders! I'll probably see you again someday (maybe at a future Hells Canyon rally!)
I really needed to replace my crappy Sterno stove, so I made a penny stove following these directions out of Peace Tea containers. Sadly, I couldn't find any of the highly-prized sturdy Heineken keg cans at the beer stores in my area.
I assembled my supplies:
Measured and marked. Thanks, Lord of the Rings book!
Cut, assembled, drilled holes:
Added fuel, and PRESTO!
I was FLOORED at how well this thing works, for being tiny and made out of trash. It boiled a pan of water fairly quickly. I can finally eat rice again, yay! I need to do some tweaking, it tends to not like the simmer ring I made, but it took me less than a half hour from start to finish. Take THAT, overpriced alcohol stoves! I can get the yellow Heet it burns from just about anywhere too, for less than $2.
Two of our roommates moved out, and an awesome guy named DJ moved in. He's got this massive Alex Grey tattoo on his arm, which is absolutely stunning, the artist he chose does some great work. It's based on this piece, and it's almost complete, after over a year of work on it.
Finally, an obligatory cat picture. This is Kira:
And now, ON WITH THE SHOW!
|10-09-2012, 01:37 PM||#321|
The mermite cans have the original fiberglass "lip" around the edge and a rubber gasket, the lid is held down under some pressure with a pair of latches on the side opposite the hinges. I'll take some better photos eventually but they are very similar to this guy's setup:
This original seal worked well to keep the elements out when used by the military, so that's why I've left it in place.
I applied some silicone caulk inside the box, around all of the seams and everything that penetrates the aluminum, all bolts, screws, etc. Only time will tell if it's truly waterproof though! I added some rubber washers around the knobs where they screw into the rack, but they are already getting chewed up, and that is likely the first place water will get in.
The boxes are sturdy enough that I can sit on them without too much worry. I don't think I'd use them to prop up the bike, though.
I'd like to add something similar to the bungee cords, maybe a net, for small items to be held in the lid.
I guess one way or another I'll find out eventually... Entropy gets the better of us all in the end...
|10-09-2012, 05:09 PM||#322|
Rainfurrest and Seattle (Sept 28th – 30th)
So, back at the beginning of this Ride Report, somebody mentioned that this was going to be "one of the weird ones", and this is the point where I prove that person right. If it hasn't been sufficiently proven already.
What the hell are furries? The simplest explanation is that it's a subculture about animals with human attributes (classic examples are just about every animated children's character ever made, all the way to Fritz the Cat and beyond). In the loosest sense, anything from a chick wearing cat ears to a guy who's seen The Lion King over a thousand times fits under this umbrella.
A longer explanation would go into the history of the subculture, from when it branched off from its scifi roots back in the 70s and 80s and its members wrote each other actual paper letters to express their fondness for Omaha the Cat Dancer. Niche magazines started publishing compilations of furry content - stories, comics, art. With the advent of the internet, the conversation moved to BBSes and forums, eventually leading to actual real-life gatherings. Small at first, they've since grown in number and size. Today, the largest yearly convention (Anthrocon, in Pittsburgh), has over 5,000 attendees. There are conventions all over the world.
Modern-day furries as a whole seem to be an interesting stew consisting of creativity, artistry, costuming, introversion, and escapism. Everybody is interested in the subculture for different reasons. Some are artists, some like to collect art. Some make costumes for a living. Some like wearing the costumes (fursuits), to get attention from others, or to allow themselves to become someone different for a time. Almost all furries have a personal character that they identify with, and a decent amount of money changes hands for people to get unique art of their character. Here's mine (Art by oCe):
For the most part, the furries I've met are reasonably well-adjusted individuals, and I've become close friends with a few. Others I try to avoid like a contagious disease - usually the ones who are socially inept, clingy, obsessive, have poor hygeine, or don't understand boundaries. Every subculture (especially nerds, if you've ever been around Trekkies or cosplayers you know what I'm talking about) has a few unpleasant members, and I'm happy that they are a minority.
As far as my interest in this subculture goes, I've been loosely affiliated with these weirdos for over a decade, and I'm interested in the creative aspects far more than the social ones. I do art myself, mostly small sculptures, but I'm at least passable at drawing. I used to do commissions - work-for-hire, but I don't have the time anymore. I do enjoy meeting other artists who I admire and appreciating their work in person.
So, when the timing came together in such a way that my luggage and everything was done just in time for a convention called Rainfurrest, in Seattle, I decided to give it a go. If nothing else, this would be a good opportunity to test my setup on the open road. I managed to arrange some floor space at the Hilton, $60 for the entire weekend, and I set out on my journey.
I packed more than I needed for a hotel stay. If I'm going to bother going to Washington, I'm damn well going to explore while I'm there! I'd set my sights on the Olympic Peninsula for afterwards, and packed all of the necessary camping gear.
I hopped on the I-5. Wow, the bike handles A LOT differently with the luggage! In some ways better, in some ways worse. I am more of a "sail" in strong winds, but it feels a lot more stable, especially in corners. With the weight of the luggage, I am approaching the range that the springs were designed for. I suspect this might be why it handles better. Occasionally I would change lanes and experience a strange "jiggling". I'm not sure if the steering is a bit overly-sensitive or if the "tail is wagging the dog".
The trip was uneventful. I crawled through Portland traffic and discovered that my stopping distance had increased considerably with the extra inertia. Eventually I reached Seattle, and after getting turned around a few times, managed to find the hotel around 8 pm. Convention registration was already closed, so I just wandered around aimlessly and got to know some people.
I was introduced to a gentleman who was doing watercolor and was surprised at how compact his setup was. It made me consider that maybe I don't have to give up art on the road...
Did I mention there were a bunch of people dressed like this?
I went to sleep fairly early, and got up early the next morning. Today the fun would begin.
I helped myself to several cups of free coffee at the Breakfast and Cartoons panel. Eventually I got my registration sorted out, and wandered around the dealer's den, asking about art techniques and saying hi to a few friends. One artist I met was using what I assumed was watercolor, but it was gouache! She was a huge fan, mentioning that you can do both watercolor-like thin washes and more opaque flat colors as well. Interesting!
Then came the high point. The fursuit parade. The costumes came out in force. I wished I had some acid.
From the cute:
To the bizzare (It's Diglett from Pokemon):
To the downright terrifying:
They all gathered outside.
It was interesting to see the vast difference in style, construction technique, and species. Some people preferred a more "sports mascot" style toony character:
While some went for realism:
It takes dedication to wear these costumes. A lot of them are made by the people wearing them, the others are purchased from artists who spend weeks to make them. A good costume from a well-known craftsman can set you back $2-3k, and most furries are fairly broke. They're difficult to wear - swelteringly hot with very poor ventilation and visibility.
I spent a lot of time with a new friend, one of my roommates. Her name is Max, and this was her first convention. The costume she purchased was not the best, some of her seams ripped, and parts were very poorly constructed, but she had a blast wearing it. She spent a lot of time beatboxing for other people and running around like a maniac. She's the blue and pink thing in this picture:
I sat through the variety show which was fairly disappointing. Mediocre performances, some downright terrible.
Later, I found some non-furries who had stumbled across this event and were extremely interested in what the hell it was all about.
I showed them around, and eventually they invited me to sit down with them at the bar and have a chat. They were writers from Hawaii. I explained the furry thing to the best of my ability, and they asked me a LOT of questions, but seemed to really think it was great. They said that it was a lighthearted contrast to the high school reunion they'd just been to. I offered them my convention booklet as a memento.
I was happy that they left before the EMTs showed up. According to the rumor mill, some guy was supposedly hopped up on "the drugs" and was streaking in the pool area, possibly getting into a fight with somebody. It just isn't a furry convention unless the paramedics are called at least twice.
I drank an overly-expensive cocktail at the bar, and hit up the dance for a while. A photo of furries doing the YMCA was required.
I spun poi, danced around, and generally had a good time.
On Sunday there was poor communication and we weren't sure if we were leaving or not, so I packed up the bike, said goodbye to people, and left mid-afternoon. Overall I had a decent time - not as great as other conventions, but it was good to get out of the house. I'm not in a rush to go back.
Since I painted my bike, I needed a new annual pass decal to put on it. The internet informed me that there was a USFS ranger desk inside the REI flagship store, which I found bizzare. After picking through the one-way roads and eventually finding the place, I discovered that it had a small forest growing around it. Neat! I got my replacement decal and headed northward.
In search of the infamous "Fremont Troll", I found my way up to the Fremont district. I walked through the remnants of the Sunday market, and passed this:
It just seems like they are trying too hard to be "unique"...
I found the troll! It was huge!
So of course I climbed all over it!
I ate dinner at an awesome little vegan/gluten free cafe. I know somebody's going to laugh, but they had some of the best potato soup I'd ever had, vegan/gluten free or not, and the roll that came with it was delicious. Everything was extremely flavorful, and the sea salt and spices in the roll made it stand on its own.
I made my way back to my bike, passing this dino-topiary on the way.
As the sun set I left Seattle, bound for the Olympic Peninsula. Perhaps I was just really tired, but this sign made me laugh:
I turned off the 101 to a side road which eventually ended in gravel. After going south toward Staircase and being assaulted with no camping signs, I went the other direction. The official campgrounds were all closed for the winter already (not that I'd want to pay their fees anyways), so I eventually found a little clearing off to the side of the road. I set up my tent near the remnants of a fire pit and a nasty old recliner and passed out.
The bike handled surprisingly well on the gravel, much better than it ever did unloaded, I didn't even have to air down my tires to avoid feeling like I was rollerskating on marbles. Even the washboarded sections didn't seem to phase it as much; it bounced around a lot less. Very interesting.
|10-09-2012, 05:18 PM||#323|
Joined: Aug 2010
Fey, your bike's paint job looks terrific! Fantastic job! Unfortunately, the tank is now a very big eyesore. You really need to do something with it to make it match. Since you can't really paint plastic tanks, why don't you try making a vinyl tank cover for your tank out of heavy duty vinyl colour matched to the plastics? That would look great!
|10-09-2012, 05:24 PM||#324|
|10-09-2012, 05:24 PM||#325|
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
That's certainly strange. Made me think of the furry robot from yesteryear: the furby
Bikes looking good. Keep it coming!
Endeavor to suck less--Gaspipe
I would rather be riding an imperfect bike than waiting around for perfection. --JDowns
|10-09-2012, 06:40 PM||#326|
You've been a busy gal!
Lots of riding.
Lots of wrenching.
Lots of modifying.
Lots of fabricating.
Lots of writing.
Lots of painting.
Lots of adventuring!
Love the paint job! That really looks great.
Thank you so much for taking us along.
Ride safe, Rob
Formerly known as: Routt County Rob
|10-09-2012, 06:50 PM||#327|
Olympic Peninsula – Mt Walker (Oct 1st)
The next morning, I was in no hurry to get on the road, and I let the world warm up a bit before packing up my supplies.
I discovered that I could attach my solar panel to the top of one of the boxes and charge as I ride!
Need to find a better attachment system though. I tied it down with paracord, which made it impossible to easily open the box.
I headed north on Forest Road 24.
Eventually I hit pavement again and continued along the 101. It was a clear, beautiful day. The sun felt comforting as it warmed my back.
I decided to check out the overlook at Mt Walker, which was a nicely graded gravel road all the way to the top. Great views of Puget Sound!
I chatted with some other motorcyclists at the north overlook, all of which commented that I'm "loaded for bear" when it comes to luggage. I explained that this was a test run for a longer trip.
Port Townsend was my next destination, to buy dinner supplies and to give my electronics a brief charge. As I left, the wind really started picking up.
I fought the wind west toward Port Angeles. It was already getting dark, and I had no clue where I was going to stay that evening. After consulting a map, I aimed for the strip of national forest west of Lake Crescent. At the lake, I tried to take some night-time photos. The full moon provided a lot of light, but I am once again foiled by the small sensor on my droid.
Eventually, I took a random paved forest service road, and sometime later I found a gravel turn off. Tired and cold, I started down a path, going over roots and around rocks, only to realize that cars probably couldn't fit through here and it wasn't really a road at all. I was rolling around the forest, it was simply widely-spaced trees. I managed to turn around and get out of the woods without knocking over the fully-loaded bike. Success!
I ventured down another nearby road which dumped me in a wide clearing, with a bonfire ring absolutely covered with trash. It wasn't the best spot, but it would do. I made camp and ate some sandwiches.
|10-09-2012, 06:55 PM||#328|
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
Awwww, I lived in Port Townsend a short while, it was a lovely town with great people!
Hope you stopped at the Co-op there
Am I awake, or am I dreaming?
|10-09-2012, 07:05 PM||#329|
Joined: Feb 2010
I have been enjoying your report; you write very well!
You remind me of my friend in Oakland. She also has a DR650 as her primary transport, is a vegetarian, and is also a fearless rider. She rode her bike from Ohio to California last year and did a write-up for ADVrider.
Wanted to mention that a lot of DR people remove the upper chain rollers. They are not really needed, and the mounting boss on the frame can actually break out of the frame, leaving a dime sized hole. YMMV...
|10-09-2012, 07:10 PM||#330|
Olympic Peninsula - Rialto Beach (Oct 2nd)
I decided to use my new stove to heat up some soup for breakfast.
I was in awe of how efficient the stove was! Even with the simmer ring, it heated the soup quickly - but not so quickly it burned. Some border control people drove by and asked me questions, which I thought was a bit odd. Eventually I warmed up and aimed myself toward Rialto beach.
The road out there was a blast. Cheery little two-lane road, winding past farms and forest.
Eventually I came to the ocean.
Rialto beach was nice. Countless tree bones littered the shore.
I sat for a bit to watch the waves crash into the beach.
Maybe I've never been at a beach nearing high tide before, but this jiggling sea foam was everywhere. It was a bit creepy.
I found a dead sea lion. Judging by the stench, it had been out there a while, but I was morbidly fascinated by it.
I wished I could explore more, but trudging through sand while wearing full motorcycle gear was tiring. I headed back to the bike, and back to the 101.
At Forks, I'd kept seeing signs referencing "Twilight tours". I stopped at a grocery store for supplies and was visually assaulted by this display:
When I asked about it, I discovered that tourism for the town of Forks is the one good thing that Twilight has accomplished - some 70,000 fans have signed the Twilight guest book. From this article:
"Visitors to this rainy town, whose main industries are logging and two correctional facilities, have more than tripled for the first eight months of this year, compared with the same period last year, according to the local Chamber of Commerce. "
Fascinating. I asked a couple of locals what they thought about the craze, and they admitted that it was a bit ridiculous. One woman said that she was laughing "in a good way", because there are a lot of people who have jobs now who otherwise wouldn't. Fair enough! I guess it takes all kinds...
I thought for once that I'd call it a day before I ended up riding on gravel in the dark again. I spied a primitive campsite on the map (these are free in this area!) and took Oil City Road to go find it. I ended up having so much fun on the gravel that I completely missed the campground. Oops.
I stood up and was going quite fast (for me), 30+mph, even through some corners and across some half-buried rock cobblestones. I feel like I'm getting more confident!
The road slouched past a set of buildings that I would hesitate to even call a town, let alone a "city". The roadway was absolutely littered with cow poop. It headed into some woods and then came to an abrupt end. I turned around and went back - if I had more time, I might have explored further, as there was a hiking trail, but I wanted to set up camp before it got dark.
I was sad when the gravel ended and I was at the campground.
Puttering around, I took a wrong turn, careening through some fairly large dips and ending up in an area scattered with rocks. Once I was turned around, I managed to escape my predicament by standing on the pegs and just gunning it over the dips. I was surprised when this actually worked.
Knowing that it was going to be chilly, I set up my hammock and spent a good hour trying to figure out how to turn my tent rain fly into something that would insulate the hammock. I enjoy not having hard, rocky ground underneath me, but the hammock has bug netting and no real rain fly. I could get one, but I hesitate to buy more crap. Eventually I jury rigged something together, ate some rolls, and went to sleep.
It was startlingly cold, even with my extra layers and all the insulation I could gather. Definitely time to head south.
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