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Old 06-23-2013, 03:27 PM   #1
Little Bike OP
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Schoooooools - out - for - the summer!!

Summer is here so it's time to pack up and skedaddle. Last year I rode my Honda Rebel from southern California to northern Idaho, across to the Puget Sound and down the coast. One of the best trips of my life.

The Wee Beastie (sold to a good home 4 weeks ago)




I had planned on crossing the border to see Jasper and Banff, but time and budget were no longer my friends. So, the plan for this summer was to ride up the Rockies up into Canada, go to Great Slave Lake and Yellowknife, loop over to Prince Rupert and bop around the BC Coast and then home. Well,

I can't find my passport......A couple of days ago I went to the drawer where I always keep it and, no passport. ARGH!!!!!

Tore the house apart. No passport. (The house now looks greaaaaaaat.....)

Plan A: Use a passport expeditor ($$$$) and leave asap
Plan B: Use my birth certificate to get into Canada (but they would probably ask me how I was getting back) and see what happens on the way home. Yep, 47 year old teacher with no common sense who would probably be detained as a probable drug dealer.
Plan C: Stay in the U.S. and do everything but the Canadian part

Plan C it is!

So, Rocky Mountains, volcanics of the Cascades and the Sierra - here I come!

I have up to 6 weeks to play. The route (very loosely) is to follow the Rockies north to Glacier, cut across to central Washington, ride down the Cascades and then 395 on the east side of the Sierra.

I have a new buddy: Maxwell



Maxwell is named after my gone, but never forgotten, golden retriever Max.

Max was a wonderful dog: Loyal, well-behaved and loved to roll over to get his tummy scratched.

Maxwell the V-strom: Loyal, well-behaved and loves to roll over to get his tummy scratched (long story).

I'm sitting here, waiting for the last of the laundry to dry, packing away those last little things before loading up. Last year I left at 1 am to beat the heat from Temecula to Kingman, AZ (amazing ride through the Mojave Desert at night, sunrise at Amboy). Today I'm going to leave about 7 pm, stay in 29 Palms then get an early start to Flagstaff.

Besides finishing packing I have to take my buddy Winnie (the incorrigible Corgi) and Opal (my Betta fish) to doggie and fishie jail. My other dog, Taqui, is well behaved and so gets to stay at his grandparent's house. I always feel guilty leaving Winnie, but they love her at the boarding place so she always gets extra attention.

Going solo like last summer. I do like traveling solo - I can do what I want, when I want. I'm also not sure I can be considerate to another human being for 6 weeks in a row - probably have an aneurysm or something. I have friends and family I love to travel with, but none ride bikes. sigh.

Traveling solo is a funny thing. Sometimes the trip gels and sometimes it doesn't. I've taken off and ended up coming home in a week and other times had to drag myself home because work started in a day or two. You never know which its going to be until you're out there. So far, I feel like this is going to be a really good one. Very loose itinerary, no reservations and a bigger tent and camp chair (never underestimate the power of a bigger tent and a decent camp chair).

Soloing often provides opportunities that wouldn't appear when traveling with others. I think I meet more people and have more interesting conversations. You're more likely to receive kind invitations of lodging, meals and good company. I have found that you are pulled deeper into the experience, you are immersed. Few thoughts of your other life.

Anyhoo, I learned last year that writing a ride report really added to the experience. It was fun having conversations with other adv folks on the forum and to have a nice message or two to read and respond to in the evening.

Please travel along......trading posts with fellow riders is just the right kind of companionship, people who understand why you've packed up a bunch of stuff on a motorcycle and have taken off.

The "outa of here" clock is ticking.
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Old 06-23-2013, 03:32 PM   #2
klaviator
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I really enjoyed your last RR so I'm looking forward to this one. Great choice for a new bike. Enjoy your trip.
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:43 AM   #3
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Will be following you. Doing a solo thang too, RR is Rockydog woofs, etc. Looking forward the the clang of your staring bell
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:44 AM   #4
Oldone
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Nice bikes.....

Looks like you take good care of your bikes as they look pretty cool. Pack job looks good too. I think I could go for one of those Stroms someday maybe. Don't know about the chain though.

Gary "Oldone"

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Old 06-24-2013, 10:17 AM   #5
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Wride on & travel safe!
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:03 AM   #6
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Awesome new bike! Ride well and be safe! I wish I had 6 weeks to go exploring.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:51 AM   #7
mrbreeze
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I'm in. Maxwell's twin brother is waiting for me in the parking lot.

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Old 06-24-2013, 11:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klaviator View Post
I really enjoyed your last RR so I'm looking forward to this one. Great choice for a new bike. Enjoy your trip.
Hey ya! Good to hear from you again
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:20 PM   #9
Little Bike OP
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No pics yet.....hopefully tomorrow, you'll see why.

Packed, packed and packed some more. I bought these neat (stupidly expensive) duffles the other day. I carefully measured the inside of a pannier and they are just right. Um.

I was able to get my camping gear in one and my food, kitchen stuff in the other. I balanced the loads and took them out to load into the boxes (the people with hard boxes might be giggling about now).

I completely forgot that the boxes aren't the same size! I had measured the larger one, well crap, back to packing. I was looking forward to not looking like a wheeled garage sale this year, put together with 1000 bungie cords. I bought one of those waterproof wolfman roll top duffles and envisioned nothing outside the boxes than the duffle and my tent, Maxwell and I were going to look so shniffy this year. Nope, I am bike packing doomed. I'll get a pic posted, doesn't look too bad, but.......had to cram my stuff into the boxes and practically had to sit on the lids to get them latched (reminded of the time I went to New York and kept ing thinking about Sex in the City, "4 pairs of shoes and a pair of boots, have to have them or they'll kick me off the island")

Ended up with a tail bag for my yummy freeze dried dinners bungied on the top, my jacket liners stuck under the bungie cords and 3 nectarines tied on to the top in a plastic grocery bag. Boo.

So, left at 8:30, rode to 29 Palms annnnnnnd, I'm still here! Got here about midnight (had stopped for dinner, which I didn't realize I hadn't eaten until my stomach started growling, Denny's yay! Waffle! No waffle? Maker is broken. After I ordered French toast they got the waffler fixed and brought out a waffle and the French toast at no charge, I'm really glad there was only a few other people there, I looked like I was in a carb eating contest). Checked the weather last night and there are 40 mph gusty winds forecasted for today. Errrrr. I hate riding in wind like that, so called the office this morning and here I sit watching Access Hollywood because the remote control is having issues if asked to change the channel to any non-brain damaging programming.

That being said, I only would have gotten about 4 hours of sleep if I had ridden out this morning. The beginning of last year's trip I was a sleep deprived mess for the first days so this is going to be kind of nice! Think I'll see a movie later.

Flagstaff and camping tomorrow!

mrbreeze, are you out traveling on max's twin?
rockydog, I'll check out your report!
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:42 PM   #10
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no internet for the next couple of days:

cliffhangers:

Escape from California

The Bunny X-Games


in Flagstaff, update thursday?

and.....out.......
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:20 PM   #11
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Really enjoyed talking to you today. Hope our paths cross again this summer.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:02 AM   #12
Little Bike OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlestonADV View Post
Really enjoyed talking to you today. Hope our paths cross again this summer.
Me too, maybe we'll run across each other in Glacier. You 2 enjoy your trip and your solo heading north. The ice worked!
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:49 AM   #13
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Day 2 to day 5

Internet is back!

Left 29 Palms at 3 am, ooof. Except for bunnies trying to run circles around my wheels (I'm pretty sure it was some kind of bunny x-games, you get more points the closer you get without becoming flat. I think style points were also awarded)

Pretty uneventful ride, stopped for breakfast in Kingman. The only problem was I was running on 2 nights sleep that both added up to about 8 hours, pooped.

Pulled into Bonito Campground at Sunset Crater, really nice campground. The hosts took great care, one morning I was the first in the bathroom and after they cleaned the end of the toilet paper was folded into a little triangle!

I set up the tent and was done with camp chores by 10 am. I could hardly think straight at this point so I took a looooong nap and spent the rest of the day reading, napping, reading, napping.....

Decided to go out to dinner. Afterwards I sat on a railroad tie in the parking lot and duly reported my location to my parents. I was sitting in front of the oddest looking bike, couldn't figure out what it was until I looked at the side. It was a Victory. I like the styling on some of the Victory's, but not this one. That was one fugly bike!

A couple came up and asked me if that was my bike, my answer came out as a rather abrupt, noooo, that's my bike over there....the guy laughed, guess my answer came out a little stronger than I meant. While his wife was waiting by the restaurant door, probably really hoping her husband wouldn't spend the next 15 minutes talking motorcycles, the guy asked me repeatedly: "Is that your bike?! Yes. "Your bike?". Yep. "you're riding by yourself, without a guy?!". Yep, what would I need one of those for? Hehehehe. (actually he repeated himself about 5 more times with his eyebrows moving higher into his hairline)

At this point I could see the wheels turning in his wife's head, "he better not even THINK about getting me on one of those things. I'll kill him for the insurance money first"

He finally picks up on the mental death threats from his wife, turns to me and the 55 year old white guy, who looks like a poster child for conservatives, gives me a fist bump and a "You go girl!". He was a really nice guy, but that was one of the funniest conversations I've had in a long time.

Road into the park about an hour before sunset, had a great time taking photos in a small area next to a lava flow. Beautiful evening.

Just tried to post a pic and they're not all loaded into smugmug, like I thought, so I'm going to put them in the next post.

That night I hear drumming, lots of drumming. The drumming is coming from the group campground, across a ravine behind my tent. Then I hear whoops and yelling and later singing. It was so tempting to go sneaking over in the dark to spy, but I was pretty sure it was a ceremony by one of the area's native American groups, would have been colossally disrespectful, but still tempting!

I did have one thought that it could be a bunch of new age people who had gone through hypnotic regression and thought they were once Hopi or Zuni. Remember, I live in California....if those are the people over there I hope they're not naked! Ewwww.....

Another thought was, if you're staying in a National Forest campground, conducting a ceremony, on land your ancestors used to have claim to, but got kicked off, should you have to obey the campground 10 pm quiet time?

The next day I had a great time on a loop road through Sunset Crater NM. What a little jewel of a park, really beautiful and if like/love geology....go! Did a little hiking, took lots of pics.

Headed down the road, out of the park. There is an off road vehicle area just outside the park where you can ride/drive up the sides of cinder cones. BIG, STEEP cinder cones. Fortunately, the area seemed to be lightly used, so the cinder cones weren't ripped up. It would be impressive seeing a bike make it to the very top. Scary!

At the bottom of the loop is Wupatki National Park. The park protects and conserves several ancient dwellings. Another little gem.

Oops, need to continue this evening...., time to get moving! Promise pics in the next post.
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:48 AM   #14
vintagespeed
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i'm IN, love the "non itinerary" type ride reports. keep hydrated out there!!
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TAT-2013: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=913898
SoCal_NoDak-2012: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=829203
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:57 AM   #15
mrbreeze
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Bike View Post
mrbreeze, are you out traveling on max's twin?
Launching in just over 90 minutes, going to spend the weekend in the Smokies. I can't wait! but boss man wants me in some stupid meeting....
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