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Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Rockwell, Sep 2, 2011.
Then it's a good thing he's my lover and not my brother! Haha
Guys, enjoying very much reading about your trip/adventure. Truly inspiring!
Wondering how you are finding the KTM? I'm in a similar situation of just about to take the training course, then looking for a bike that I can take to Inuvik (via Dempster Highway/Alaska) in 2013. My heart says KTM 950 adv, but a little part of me is worried that it's 'too much bike'. Planning on using 2012 as prep to get in some good riding experience along gravel/roads around here. Would love your perspective on it. (how it feels, if it's scared you yet, if it's too hard to work on, if you'd buy another one!)
If you're still in Vancouver would be great to buy you a coffee and see your setup.
(also, we vacation is Osoyoos every year - part of the only desert (i think) in Canada - so it typically has 30 degree days with the warmest lake in Canada too)
Ride safe and enjoy the ride.
Osoyoos was awesome. I'm definitely going to vacation there after this trip.
We're so behind in blogging that we haven't even posted about Vancouver yet. We left Vancouver almost 3 weeks ago. We're currently in Salt Lake City, Utah, heading down to Provo today and then to Moab for this weekend (and my birthday).
I love my 990. Working on it hasn't been too bad so far. This is my first bike and the first bike I have ever worked on. I'm also a beginner mechanic, but I went to school for electrical engineering. So far, we've done a valve clearance check, water pump rebuild, brake and clutch fluid changes, and oil changes. John, in Calgary, taught me how to change the rear tire, and the guys at the KTM shop outside of Portland showed us how to properly adjust the chain tension. It doesn't seem too bad. After looking at some KLRs and some older BMWs, the 990 does look a lot more complicated, but, so far, it's not too bad.
Here's a link to the thread in which I was asking about this bike before I bought it: HERE
I don't think it's too much bike at all, but, then again, I have nothing to compare it to. I haven't killed my self yet. My perspective is that you are at the controls and the bike basically does what you tell it to and goes where you point it to go.
Here is a good quote from the thread I posted above:
I road that bike once, it was a nice bike. Smooth, even feel, it was a big bike but did not feel like it at all. It also seemed like it went around the corners nice, and was not too much to swerve and weave the bike, even when it had a load of gear on it. Still too much work involved for my taste...
Subscribed...looking forward to this!! Thanks!
Great photos... and I always have to ask... what camera are you using (hopefully I didn't miss that in the text)?
So what did yall think of Ouray? Did you get to go up Yankie Boy Basin? Even if you did not the million dollar highway is pretty amazing, no?
Young lovers doing moto-adventure together, and RTW no less! These always make for the best Ride Reports, because everyone wishes it could be them. Jealously vicarious, we inmates. Subscribed!
Surely doesn't hurt when the chica is:
1- So easy on the eyes
2- Not complaining about her hair and her nails
3- Also, so easy on the eyes
Rocky, your fotog skills are superb. Terrific saturation, excellent framing! But they're lacking in one area, man: not enough of 'em. Give us more of your beautiful photographs!
Photography is simply outstanding! Looking forward to seeing some pix of southwestern Colorado-Jennifer and my favorite place to ride...
Looking forward to your travels as they unfold...
Travel well adventurers!
I am looking forward to following your progress. I like the way you are aproaching the entries from both passenger and rider prospective.
Heres an offer. Not sure if you have been or are going through Pagosa Springs colorado? If you are coming through the area, you have a free stay at the campground we are managing (Pagosa River Side campground) . Even go out and do some 990 adventure riding with you if time permits.
I have the Canon 5D Mark II. I bought the 24-105mm when I bought the original 5D, and Paula bought me the 14mm lens.
Nice, isn't it?
Thanks, but the camera does most of the work and I am more of a skilled Photoshopper than a photographer.
Thanks. :) ...but we're currently in Flagstaff, AZ. We are way behind in our blogging, but trying to get caught up while we are likely going to have to wait for a few parts to arrive.
We were in Colorado last week. We had to check out the Rockies there, which were amazing. We stopped in Durango for a few days due to rain, headed over to Mesa Verde and then back into Utah.
Before arriving in Vancouver, the traffic was congested. But, with the date being September 5th, a holiday long weekend, it was expected. Rockys friend, Vincent, has an apartment in the heart of the city and we were invited to live there for a few days. Being on the 25th floor, we were spoiled with an amazing view.
Vancouver is pretty, but a typical city. It smelled like exhaust, urine, all types of food and perfumes. Lots of people, traffic stops, many tall buildings and a main road of homeless drug addicts shooting up in public. Im not a fan of big cities but the sandy shores of the ocean, the surrounding mountains, the mainly clean streets, large parks and friendly people, creates an atmosphere anyone can appreciate.
Stanley Park was a few blocks from the apartment and we enjoyed a few walks through it. While taking a few pictures there one night, we walked towards the sound of music and stumbled upon an outdoor Blue Rodeo concert. It was fenced in but we could still watch and hear them perform. Many others had also found their way there and sat on the grass with blankets or lawn chairs while others stood. And, of course, the sweet smell of BC pot occasionally blew past.
It felt great to relax for a few days and I am sure that the motorcycle appreciated us having the chance to change her oil and clean her chain. We were excited to unpack her and ride her bare but the city streets werent fun with the constant red lights. So, we rode through the highway named Sea to Sky, recommended by my friend Ryan. The scenery was beautiful and the name of the road was well suited.
After being in one place for so many days, we were eager to get back to our adventure. Im excited for whats next, but, Im also going to miss the comfort of my country. Canada is amazing, more so than I already knew. Im happy to have discovered it on such an intimate level and very proud to be Canadian. Eh!
It was good to see my old friend again. It had been almost two years since the last time we had met. Vincent is originally from Taipei, Taiwan, and had moved to Vancouver shortly after the last time we saw each other to try to get his Canadian citizenship.
Paula and I spent much of our time in Vancouver relaxing and exploring the downtown area. It was a time for a much-needed rest and to do some work on the bike. Almeida was ready to have her oil changed, chain cleaned and clutch fluid replaced. A good part of an afternoon was spent in the parking garage of Vincents apartment working on the bike.
Downtown Vancouver has many restaurants of almost every type of cuisine. We visited the all-you-can-eat Mongolian grill and some Lebanese Shawarma places a number of times.
Vincent wasnt working when we arrived on Vancouver. He spent a lot of time at his PC playing the Taiwanese stock market. As a result, Paula and I didnt get to spend as much time with him as we would have liked to. Vincents limited work experience and broken English make it hard for him to find work, but, by the end of our week there, he was able to find a job working in a restaurant kitchen.
On our last full day in Vancouver, Paula and I road up and down the coast and, on our way back, stopped in Vancouver harbour at dusk to take some photos of the downtown skyline. We were ready to pack up and go when we heard, what sounded like, a very good live cover of the band Blue Rodeo. The music was coming from close by, so we followed it and were lead to an outdoor concert venue. There were many people sitting on the grass around its perimeter enjoying the sound of the music and, judging by the sweet smell of the air, the B.C. bud. Paula and I found a spot atop a small hill that allowed us to peer over the fence that surrounded the venue. Looking over, we were able to get a full view of the stage. It wasnt a cover band, it was the real Blue Rodeo. We listened for a while and then headed back to Vincents apartment.
After a good five-day rest, I was feeling a little restless, and was beginning to miss the open road and the feeling of moving from place to place. Paula and I decided that wed head out the next day and make our way across the border and into the United States.
We woke up the next day, had lunch, packed up and set off from Vancouver after a short stop at the CAA to get my international drivers licence.
Several weeks earlier, I had contacted an old university friend whom I hadnt seen since graduation. Paul is his name, and he was living and working in Surrey, British Columbia. On our way towards the U.S. border, we met up with Paul at, what would be, our last stop at a Tim Hortons. Paul is now married to his long-time girlfriend, and they have two children together. After a short visit over a cup of coffee, we parted and headed for the border.
Sunset Beach Park
Paula at Sunset Park
We walked around downtown Vancouver. Paula wanted Dairy Queen ice cream. I opted for Tim Horton's.
Somewhere along Minaty Bay
More of Vancouver Harbour
We found a spot where we could see over the fence and watch the Blue Rodeo concert.
With a rebel yell, I scream more, more, more! (With apologies to Billy Idol, of course) But I need more of this photography. Been to Seattle a bunch of times, but never seen it just like you've portrayed it!
I love this. Great stuff!
Power dream ride!
We rode to the U.S. border and with it being the day before 09/11, crossing into the states went easier than expected. Although, we did get lectured by the customs officer about having a helmet camera. Our first stop in the USA, was Lake Stevens. My friend, Joey, had just moved there with his lovely lady, Ashley, and their sweet two year old boy, London. I havent seen Joey in many years, it was great to hang out with him and meet his new family. Did I mention that he is a phenomenal cook? If he werent an engineer for Boeing, I imagine him being a famous chef.
We stayed long enough to share a few laughs and bottles of wine but, after a couple of days we had to hurry out to beat the weather. It feels like we are constantly trying to run from the cold rain. We went to Seattle, where a ferry took us to Bainbridge Island and then we rode towards
a rain forest of course.
Just outside of Olympic National Park, we found a place to camp and fell asleep immediately. Early the next morning, we entered the park and it was like nothing I have ever seen. The trees were enormous and the forest was coated in mosses that blanket trees and drape over their branches. I think it looks eerily beautiful, it would definitely be the perfect scene for a horror movie. We spent the day exploring and left the creepy forest way before it got dark out.
As we rode into Oregon, we headed towards Astoria (if you are old like Rocky, you will recognize the town from the movie Goonies). It is a really cool town with streets so steep, I felt as if I were on a roller coaster. We rode approximately twenty minutes away to pitch our tent at Canon Beach with hopes of watching an incredible sunset, but unfortunately, we missed it.
Excited to see this gorgeous coast, we eagerly waited for morning to arrive. Waking up to fog was very disappointing. We decided that we wanted to spend more time there and contacted a man by the name of Dale, on couchsurfing.org. He invited us to his home and introduced us to his Canadian wife, Wendy, and her mother, Janice.
Later that night, they had taken us for a walk to the beach. It was the first time I had ever walked on a shore with the tides gone out. We stayed up late getting to know each other sharing stories, philosophies and laughter.
The next morning, the sun peeked through clouds and after a nice long walk through town with Janice, we arrived at the house to a delicious warm bowl of soup that Wendy had prepared for us.
Before the clouds could take over the entire sky, we took the opportunity to ride back to Canon beach. Wow! It is definitely impressive. I wish that the ocean had been warm enough to swim in, it was one of the most gorgeous coasts I have been to.
Not ready to leave Dale and his family, we returned to their home and stayed one more night before saying our good-byes.
Thoughts of cheap gas entered my mind as we headed towards our first border crossing. Gas prices is Canada are slightly below the world average, but, in a few remote areas, we paid up to $1.77 per liter ($6.69 per gallon) for premium 91 octane gasoline. Heading into the U.S., I was confident that we wouldnt be seeing prices in that range.
We pulled up the the border late in the afternoon, and, waiting in line, we watched the border guard perform a visual inspection of the car ahead of us. After waving the vehicle on, he looked back at us with a scowl as we approached the booth. Pointing to my helmet cam, we were told that it was a federal offence to photograph any federal buildings, bridges, or borer crossing. We explained that we werent aware of that, and we showed him that the camera was off and not recording. If I wanted to make things more difficult for myself, I would have told him that, if the intent was to thwart terrorism, Id suggest worrying less about helmet cams and more about foreign policy. I was wise enough to keep my mouth shut. We showed our passports, and were waved on into the United Sates.
One of Paulas old friends, Joey, was living just outside of Seattle. Paula had arranged for us to stay at his place for a night or two. As the sun was going down, we pulled up to Joeys house and were greeted by his girlfriend, Ashley. Joey cooked an amazing dinner for us that night. We spend the following day with Joey, Ashley and their son, London, and had another great dinner with more wine and beer.
Having not thought much about it the night before, we awoke in the morning and decided that we should be on our way. We were falling behind our schedule, and there was a lot of distance to make up. We tried to get a hold of Joey, who gone to work early in the morning, so that we could stop by and say good-bye to him since we didnt get the chance. We werent able to get a hold of him, and were disappointed that we had to leave without saying good-bye.
It was a short ride from Lake Stevens into Seattle where we were catching the ferry to Bainbridge Island. Not being too interested in city driving, we headed straight for the port, purchased our ferry ticket, and were soon on board the ferry to Bainbridge Island. The crossing took roughly 45 minutes. After disembarking, we fuelled up and rode around the perimeter of Olympic National Park, in northern Washington. With the sun heading for the horizon, we made a quick stop at Walmart to purchase some soap, beef jerky, trail mix and a cheap bottle of red wine. We had some dinner at Subway, taking in our usual inexpensive, but tasty, $5 footlong. It was starting to get dark, so we thought about finding a place to camp for the night. With not too many options, we decided to keep driving until something turned up. We pulled into the small town of Forks, Washington. It was almost dark and my fuel light had been on for quite a while. We filled up at the nearest gas station, and found a secluded place about 15 km outside of town at the side of the road. After quickly setting up the tent, we settled in for the night and both fell asleep almost as soon as our heads hit our air pillows.
We awoke early the next morning, packed up camp, and headed for the rain forest of Olympic Park. Having camped not too far from the national park, we arrived at the rain forest early, beating many of the tourists that would later arrive. The rain forest was awesome!
Just after noon, we decided to head out towards Oregon. The weather was cloudy and a bit cool. Running low on gas for the bike and juice for our gadgets, we stopped in Hoquiam, Washington to fuel up, charge our electronics and to use the internet.
After a three-hour break, we decided to push on towards Oregon (pronounced, Oh-ri-gun, not Oh-ri-gon). As we drew near to the state border, the clouds began to break and the sun shone at about thirty degrees from the horizon. We raced towards Oregon and crossed the Astoria-Megler bridge into Astoria. Our first stop in Astoria was set into the GPS. Much of the 80s movie, The Goonies, was filmed in Astoria. We rode through the steep streets of Astoria to the Goonies house to take some photos.
After a quick bite to eat at Subway, we hopped on the bike and headed towards Cannon beach. The sun was almost at the horizon, so we rushed to get to the beach for sunset, but didnt quite make it there on time to see it. It was almost dark when we arrived, so, after getting a quick view of the beach, we headed off to find a place to camp. Driving in the dark, we found a rest stop next to the beach that looked suitable. We used our headlamps to set up the tent in the dark. As we were setting up the tent, a police officer pulled into the lot for his night check. We quickly shut our headlamps off, and, luckily, it was dark enough that we were not seen.
Waking up the next day, clouds were overhead. We packed up our gear and went for breakfast, then over to McDonalds to use WiFi so that we could try to find a place to stay for the next few days. The area around Cannon Beach and Astoria was interesting, and we really wanted to have some time to see more of it. While at McDonalds, we met a few other motorcycle riders who were passing through. One, whose name was Patrick, was an American originally from Argentina. He was riding an Italian bike that caught my eye. We spoke for quite a while and he offered a lot of good advice.
After leaving McDonalds, we decided to drive around a bit and do some sightseeing while we waited for a response from Couchsurfing. We visited a few more film locations in Astoria, and finally Astoria Column a 125-foot tall tower atop of Coxcomb Hill that provides a 360-degree view of Astoria and the surrounding area.
Nearing dinnertime, we decided to check our Couchsurfing messages and found that we had a response, and a place to stay for at least a night, in Seaside, Oregon. Paula phoned the number provided in the message and spoke with a man named Dale. He gave us an address, and we were soon at his front door in Seaside. Dale met us at the roadside, we parked Almeida in the back, and were given a tour of the house. We also met Janice, Dales mother-in-law, and, later, Wendy, Dales wife. We all sat down to a dinner that Wendy prepared for us, and, later that night, Dale, Wendy, Paula and I went for a walk on the beach. Dale, in his mid-fifties, has a thick southern accent. This immediately brought a certain stereotype to mind that was quickly dispelled. Dale is one of the smartest guys I have ever met, southern accent or not. Sitting around a camp fire, we drank beer and wine and talked into the night until we were all ready for bed.
Paula and I spent the next day visiting the area around Seaside and Cannon Beach. Janice, who is in her 80s, came with us on a long, 2-hour walk around Seaside. We were impressed. Later that day, Paula and I decided to ride out to Cannon beach for some photos and to take a walk on the beach. After returning, we all sat down and enjoyed another tasty dinner, and turned in for the night.
The following morning, we were on our way. We said good-bye to Dale, Wendy and Janice, and we headed eastward.
The rain forest of Olympic National Park in northern Washington
Inside the rain forest
More of the rain forest
The ferns and mosses of the rain forest
The view of Astoria and surrounding areas from atop Astoria Column
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Paula at Cannon Beach, Oregon
Paula in front of Haystack Rock - Cannon Beach, Oregon
Dale & Paula in Seaside, Oregon