So as some of you know by now, I had a month between the end of my summer gig and the start of my final year of school. I was going to go back to Cambridge and write an article or something, but after working 10 60-80hr weeks over the summer, I thought better of it. I also received the happy news over the summer that I would be participating as a fellow in a program at school over the next academic year that would facilitate writing an article. So what to do? Well, I'd never ridden Baja before, I'd never seen my sister's new digs in SoCal, I'd never ridden a street bike significantly west of the continental divide, I had a CR250R calling my name in Denver, I wanted to show Pilette (aka my wife) around CO and I wanted to see the EAA Airventure show in Oshkosh. Well those seemed like enough items to keep me entertained for a bit - on to the logistics. I didn't have much cash to spend, but did have some saved-up tuition money that wouldn't be needed 'till Sept. I didn't have a street bike really suitable for the trip (TL is in need of repairs that I didn't have the time or garage space to do and I'm getting a bit old and arthritic for several-thousand mile sport bike tours). So a plan was hatched. I'd buy a bike somewhere within a day's ride of Oshkosh, fly out and ride to OSH. Then on to Denver, then west, then south and finally I'd sell the bike wherever I ended up when I ran out of time and if needed, fly back to DC or Cambridge. After much angst and a few bikes that fell though, I ended up with a 2007 Bandit 1250S in Kansas City that a fellow adv'er had listed here and on CL. I'd also need camping gear and such. In keeping with the low-budget plan, a $30 tent was procured at Target and Pilette found an old sleeping bag from her days as a Brownie or Girlscout or something like that. Good enough. I lacked bags to carry the stuff in. Some scrounging yielded a dry bag ($5 at the local thrift store) and an old hanging bag (dusty corner of the in-laws attic). The hanging bag had d-rings and such on it and seemed well suited to strapping to a bike. The dry bag should keep the sleeping bag dry. I'd need more luggage though - somewhere to carry clothes, laptop, camera, shoes, hydration pack etc, so I ordered up a top case and tank bag and had them shipped directly to the seller. On July 27th I flew to KC, forked over the cash, hit up the DMV (3hrs wait ) and installed my luggage and bungee-corded my gear to the pillion seat. Finally I was on my way north-east toward Oshkosh by evening. I looked something like this as I left the seller's place. A teaser of what's in store (never mind the missing bit in CA - gps got wonky, I had to re-set it and seem to have lost a few tracks - just fill in the coastal bit and Ortega hwy in you head).