Preface. Day -5 or -6. 0 miles today 2700+ to go, I know this is supposed to be “ride” report but I thought background info would make it more authentic. This is my first ride report and my first long distance ride. I have no experience at this so I’m not sure how it will turn out. I have been dreaming of doing something like this for a long time. Knowing that my employment was temporary helped moved these long term goals along quickly. One thing led up to another till all the pieces seemed to have fallen in place. Well sort of… The fact that I am unemployed sooner than I thought has put some added stress to the mix.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comfficeffice" /><o></o> However, I keep reminding myself about something I read out a motorcycle book recently, “I care, but not that much”. This motto applies to riding as well as life. Another source of spiritual strength has been The Big Lebowski, I doubt “the dude” or “duderino” would attempt a trip like this but his approach to life seems to make more and more sense to me. Dudeism is regarded as a mock religion and I enjoy that aspect of it. So you might hear some references to that half joking, half genuine, well “thats just my opinion man”. Im also in the middle of Jupiter’s Travels, so I this will be a reference for me. Of course the other book that doesn’t really apply to motorcycles but some broader concepts of life involves Chautauqua. That’s right, I know a lot of ppl hate the book on Zen and Motorcycle maintenance but I find myself bouncing between “classical” and “romantic” approaches and I like philosophy. <o></o> Rewind to last fall I got a call from a company wanting me to work in the desert on a one year contract. I had recently got out of the Army, and was not having luck at finding work in NY. So I jumped on board without hesitation. Since the contract didn’t include transportation and they wanted me on the job asap, I dropped everything and flew out within a few days. Prior to leaving I thought that this might be a great opportunity to get my dream bike.<o></o> Long story short, I didn’t know what was going to happen when I went to the dealership. With a little prior research I went down to BMW San Diego to look at some used GS’s. Tossed around the crazy idea of a new one but since the cost was so outrageous, I rationalized that I would be forced to get the used model. <o></o> At the dealership I test rode one and I knew it was the bike for me, at least at the time it seemed like a good idea. In the back of my mind I was debating over waiting for the Liquid Cooled in the spring or just getting the older used model. I have this theory (fear) that whenever you purchase something big your almost always going to lose on the deal. It’s a fact bikes or vehicles are rarely investments and a waste of money. Seems like anything you really enjoy will cost you. These are blanket statements I have said over and over to make me feel like less of gullible or easily deceived person. The idea of purchasing the used one for a few months and then turning around to get LC in the spring was going to be costly. <o></o> Considering the benefits of buying the 2012 it just seemed to make more sense att. So I walked away with a brand new one, with a lucky 7 on the odometer. Honestly it was probably the Triple Black paint that sealed the deal for me. I have always been fiscally responsible my whole life, saving and not buying new crap, so this was it for me. Since I never spent that kind of money on anything other than student loans this was a big shock for me and huge risk. I really doubt that I’ll ever be in the position to do it again.<o></o> Prior to leaving NY, the process of modifying my 98 DR650 to the point where I could do some really long distance travel wasn’t working for me. I concluded that I would probably only get so far with it. However, I agree with ppl when they say it’s more about the rider and not the ride. So, maybe another time further down the road ill pick that project up again. Or in the event that I have to sell the GS I’ll consider pursuing it. <o></o> Overall I don’t have anything bad to say about the whole experience and I think it’s the right bike for me. My only gripe I have is the cost. This is probably why I have been whining about it for the last 50 words or so. Now that I have the money aspect out of the way, I’ll try to move on to more lofty and/or practical topics to share. <o></o> For the past ten months I have driven the machine back and forth to work for about 70miles every day. A few day trips to Vegas, LA and San Diego and one longer trip to AZ (overland/rawhide offroad class). So I encountered some nasty weather and some extreme conditions (minus snow and ice). Again for the most part these were 4 hour trips at the most, and the daily commute of 70 miles or so. I don’t know these will apply to my upcoming trip. <o></o> I keep thinking of Jupiter’s travels where Ted dreams up these worst case scenarios of being attacked, crashing, or hurt all the above. These concerns are real for me and wonder it if I have some kind of weird battle I’ll have to a face like he did. I don’t have any dark character lurking around, to face off with so Im not sure what is going to happen. Maybe the apocalyptic daydreams will go away on their own. Of course the conditions are not the same as Jupiters so it makes it even more ridiculous. I won’t be crossing checkpoints, I don’t have language barrier, I have reliable bike with service shops all over. There are stores, hotels and restaurants everywhere, not to mention decent blacktop. So given the lack of obstacles I face, why do I keep mulling over all these horrible outcomes? Route Planning. Right now the plan is to stay off the highway. Coming from the high desert area I know the first day will most likely be the same terrain and conditions that I have been looking at for almost a year. I have taken 66 to NV border, taken 40 and 15. I would like to take another route but right now I would just like to get out the desert as fast as possible. Im considering the idea of taking the route to 29 palms. Ill make up my mind that morning probably. Major stops include Four Corners, Mesa Verde and Grand Canyon nothing else is on the agenda. I hope my lack of planning doesn’t hurt the trip but I don’t have the time to sit and try to plot out epic stops right now. It is a first for me so Ill take it easy, I did make some plans for tent space so ill be trying my best to meet ppl and camp in backyards etc. Also I am planning on trying stealth camping in cemeteries and sheds in front of hardware stores. All I want to do is get home to get my real camping gear, visit family, and turn around to head back out. Mexico seems like a good choice for the winter. Of course circumstances will probably prevent me from doing so and Im not really sure if Ill even like it. I’ll just have to wait and see. Upstate winters are really not that fun, job market sucks. <o></o> Gear and packing. Hodgepodge. I don’t have any of my decent gear with me out here in CA. I left it all in NY, so right now its just a cheap small one man tent, an Army sleeping bag and a yoga mat for a pad. I mailed my good air sleeping pad home because I thought the employer would cover the lodging cost, big mistake. No cooking equip because I have two new stoves at home. Don’t have riding boots not sure if I need them. Ill try and find a pair this weekend but I think they are gonna cost over 100. Right now its just rain gear and some clothes. Ill buy a sweatshirt and head lamp this weekend. <o></o> Food. I have a couple of MREs and ill stop at a store to buy canned or bagged stuff. I might stop at a few restaurants along the way also. <o></o> The last boxes of personal belonging were sent this morning, so its just me and the bike. It now has almost 25,000 on it and ill have to stop for its service and maybe a tire along the way. This trip is by no means epic yet, but I thought this would be a good opportunity to try and post some stuff to share and get feedback from fellow inmates. Still cant get photos to load.