I'm at the part of my adventure where I'm ready for a formal ride report. Up to now, I've been bouncing around on the motorcycle, planes, boats, and other means of transportation, while also getting the hang of life on the road (more to come on that). The beginning of this RR includes some none motorcycle riding content, but it's part of the overall adventure. Hopefully it will be admissible, and helps add context. For those interested, I'm also keeping a blog, http://oiala.com, to update the non-inmate demographic. However, we require something special, so I'll be doing my best to update both. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park Back Story I had a successful consulting career within the corporate world for the better part of 6 years. I found myself at a crossroads, and decided to take some time off to adventure and figure out the next move; we can call it a sabbatical? The idea of a motorcycle adventure had been in my mind for years, and I purchased a 2009 BMW F800GS (the beast) in early 2010 to kickstart the plan. The plan was vague at the time, but it was the necessary catalyst - the seed - for things to come. Fast forward to December 2011, when I was pondering my next life move while sitting on a beach in by the jungle in Costa Rica; In a moment of clarity, I realized that the time was right, and that I would be taking the beast from tip-to-tip of the Americas. Over the next six months I focused on replacing myself at work and leaving it as best as possible, and planning the adventure. Adventure Begins April 27th was the end of my corporate life, and the beginning of my adventures (not yet on a motorcycle). First up was a month-long visit to my home country of Colombia with my girlfriend for some backpacking, beach, and other general exploratory fun. Andes landscape. Local motorcyclists dealing with a landslide. Cocuy National Park, Colombia Cocuy National Park, Colombia Cocuy National Park, Colombia Cocuy National Park, Colombia Tayrona National Park, Colombia The flight back to Minneapolis was on June 4th. The plan was to spend a couple of weeks of preparation before taking off on the first leg of the motorcycle adventure. The initial destination was Ojai, CA, for the wedding of a good friend. I made it there in 5 days, through MN, IA, NB, CO, UT, NV, and CA, starting on Sunday, June 24th. Loaded and ready to go! Day 1 campsite - Branched State Park, NB 110.3deg/F... Within black AeroStitch Roadcrafter... Leaving campsite in Paonia, CO Blog Post: June 24th - June 29th The wedding was a great experience, and I rode alongside part of the wedding party and newlyweds for a few days up the coast of California; wine region, Pismo beach, etc. I broke off from the group on July 4th, and headed toward yosemite to meet up with a friend to do a 4 day backpacking trip. Fellow adventurer couple from New Zealand. Tioga Pass, Past Yosemite National Park Riding Yosemite. Blog Post: June 30 - July 4 We got out from the Yosemite backcountry in one piece and with great memories, had the first shower in days, and returned some civilization into our bodies with the help of beer. The next day, July 9th, I rode to a friend's place in San Francisco, where I would leave the bike for 8 days while I took a little flight-detour to Costa Rica. In Costa Rica I met my girlfriend for another backpacking trip up to Chirripó, the highest peak in the country, and to do some beach exploration and R&R. After that trip, I returned to San Francisco, where I stayed with friends, hiked around the area, and did urban exploration. San Francisco is a great place. View from Chirripó Peak, Chirripó National Park, Costa Rica One of the most important things that happened while in San Francisco was that I was finally able to get the Klim Badlands set in my size, which I'd been waiting for for many months. The AeroStitch suit that I'd been donning was great for the cool midwest months, but did not do well in extreme heat. Sold it on CL to a nice fellow. Have a nice life, friend, and thank you for the protection and warmth. I left San Francisco on July 23rd, en route to Seattle as the next destination. The goal was to make it there by Thursday, July 26th, so that I could meet my 88 year old grandmother on the 27th for a cruise. The following are image from the ride during that week: Golden Gate & New Klim gear! Cloud rolling on in HWY 1 on the California coast. Winding bay on HWY 1 on the California coast. Jedediah Smith National Park - Among giants. GoPro action shot from within Jedediah Smith National park. View from radio tower after following a fire road in the mountains of California (close to Oregon) Swimming break in Oregon. No comment... Bend, Oregon. Side story When my grandma learned that I was going to Alaska, she said that she'd always wanted to go, and that she'd like to go with me. Now, as much as it would be a great sight to do 2up with grandma... She brought up the idea of a cruise to Alaska as a way to experience it with me, and we planned on meeting in Seattle for it. The cruise experience took place from July 27th, to August 3rd. I won't elaborate on that too much, but can if there's interest. I'll just say that, after having the freedom of a motorcycle, a 2,500 passenger, 12 deck cruise ship is a cage. A large one, at that. However, it was a great way to spend time with grandma, there were stunning views, and it was a good setting to relax, read, and eat good food. Amazing views from the ship. Meade Glacier with Grandma. The weekend of August 4th was spent in Seattle in order to go to SeaFair. It was a weekend filled with boats, motorcycles, bicycles, kayaks, and planes. As well as two midnight visits to hospitals to assist people I had not known a week before (more on that if anyone is curious...). Kayaking in Seattle Grocery run in Pike's Place market, Seattle. I departed Seattle on Wednesday, August 8th, with a destination of a vineyard in Vancouver Island. I rode through Tacoma to Port Angeles, where I would catch the ferry to Victoria. I ate a phenomenal burger on the way, and also had a chance to ride up to Hurricane Ridge, inside of the Olympic National Park (highly recommended). This was my first motorcycle ferry experience, and I was fortunate to meet many nice people who explained the "blocks", best positioning for the bike, and tips on usual boat behavior. Unusual place, amazing burger... View from Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park. Stunning. Port Angeles, WA - First time with a motorcycle on a Ferry. The next week was spent at the vineyard, Cherry Point, where I worked the field for a couple days, and helped them with their digital footprint. Working "The Vines" Landing almost cost me my children. View of Cowichan Bay, British Columbia Next, the plan was to ride all the way up to the tip of Vancouver Island, take a ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert, and then another one to Haines. However, my fancy phone's wifi hardware decided to stop working, which also took out other functionality. So, plans were changed, and I would go to Vancouver to prep for the Alaska Trip via land. This turned out to be a great decision. In Vancouver I was able to catch up on constructing the blog and starting some posts, organize my digital media, and start editing some videos of the rides. Chilling in Vancouver, BC. Annnnd, finally.... almost caught up. On to recent events. Friday, August 24, 2012 was the date when I was to start the journey to Prudhoe Bay. But, I had a failed attempt to make it north past Whistler, BC... I was loaded up and on the road by 9:00am, but the bike was driving like it was on sand. Multiple helpful people yelled at me about it, and indeed, I had a flat... Tires turned out to be the theme of the day. I ended up at the BMW/Ducati dealership, where it was clear that I needed new tires, especially if going up to Prudhoe. I went with the Heidenau K60s. All the gear off for the new tires. Naked with new tires! New tires on, I head toward Whistler by 2:00pm. I got to Squamish riding with a strange vibration I thought was just the new tires, but another nice samaritan told me at a light that my rear tire was shaking at ~50kmph. I stopped by another shop, No-Limits Motorsports (KTM), to look at the problem. The guys there were also very nice, and it was clear that the new tire had a "hop"; part of the bead had not popped. We could not fix it. The best choice was to go back to Vancouver, where the dealership stayed open to replace it. By the time it was done it was 7:30pm, I was starving and tired. That being said, the folks at the Vancouver BMW Ducati were top notch throughout this affair. Bonus: David, from the dealership had an amazing customized GS. After eating some delicious BBQ, I decided it was not safe to try to make it to Squamish to camp by the river. I was able to get a hold of a host for the night, and hopefully Saturday will be the right day to start the leg of the trip. BBQ... MmMMmmm... Pulled pork. I was on the road by 9:00am, and headed up the same route that as the day before. The ride started out great, but then there was a big accident before Squamish, BC. Traffic was gridlocked, and it took close to two hours to get moving again. After that it was smooth riding. Lunch was had in Pemberton, and I set up camp around 5:30pm after going up a forest access road. Had a quick lesson for the day; one of the panniers was heavier than the other, and when navigating the gradient down to the campsite, she took a quick rest... Near Marble Lake, British Columbia - Taking a nap? But, the right campsite was reached, and both slept well. No comment. I got up today, August 26th, around 6:00am, and hit the road after some oatmeal and coffee. Currently finishing this up from Prince George, British Columbia. Next up, I'll ride toward Prince Rupert to find a camp spot for the night. I'm debating whether to take the ferry to Haines, AK and leave the Stewart-Cassiar for the way down. Thoughts from the inmates? Now, the plan is to keep this updated regularly with my location, pictures, videos, and latest happenings. I'll also update it when I post something to the blog, which will have more "general interest" topics. Please let me know if you have any feedback. TL;DR; Plan is to ride to Prudhoe Bay, AK, and then to Ushuaia. Have been somewhat on the road since June 24th until August 23, 2012. Started Alaska --> Ushuaia bit today, on August 24. Currently August 25, in Prince George, British Columbia, and debating whether to ride up the Cassiar, or take the ferry to Haines and Cassiar on the way down.