i joined up here a couple of weeks ago because your input and experience is more than helpful, so i thought i would say hi with a ride report from about a month ago i bought my 2001 ZRX 1200R about 2 months ago and decided to take it out on my first moto-camping trip... my first camping trip in ever, actually. I went out with a friend of mine, at the last minute we decided to break in our newly acquired bikes and head off to the Great Sand Dunes in southern Colorado. This was where we ended up going: <iframe width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=111623399503996656507.0004914565e20e79d9e36&ll=38.603929,-105.369971&spn=2.268962,1.522313&t=h&output=embed"></iframe><br /> This is my first big ride/motorcycle camping excursion and I couldnt have had a better teacher than my friend (while this HUGE bag looks bad, in total it only weighed about 30 pounds. first thing on the shopping list before another trip, a sleeping bag that was made after 1985 that can squish into a thimble- this is what happens when you get hand-me-downs from your mom... btw, mom- thanks!) On Friday before meeting my friend in Pueblo, CO I had a school function where I met with the GIS Club for a private tour of the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs. (If you ever get the chance I strongly suggest going here. Most zoos are kinda depressing but here the handlers are constantly coming up with new things to keep the animals active and it showed.) This is the view from the zoo And the best part about this place, you get to feed the giraffes! (they kinda smell like pot) Edit (since no one here has met me), this is one of the girls in my GIS club that decided to feed the giraffe with her mouth: <object width="660" height="405"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/I8Y9E3ROj8E?fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0xcc2550&color2=0xe87a9f&hd=1&border=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/I8Y9E3ROj8E?fs=1&hl=en_US&color1=0xcc2550&color2=0xe87a9f&hd=1&border=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="660" height="405"></embed></object> After the zoo I rode down to Pueblo where I met up with my road dog. I had some time to kill so I did some re-merchandising in the wal-mart And hung around a bit After meeting we got to the sand dunes after dark so we set up camp and passed out. In the morning we had a visitor to the campsite Then we went to check out the sand The plan was to play on the sand and climb up one of the dunes and instead we decided that idea was insane and we would rather go ride some more so we loaded the bikes and took off to ride. On the way up there I took my first (and only) picture from the saddle: (not too shabby i think- complete with my fingers on the top- i was amazed at how vast everything is, you never can notice that riding on the back or in a cage) Eventually we decided to go up to Buena Vista to see if the gods were still meeting up there and as it turns out they were, it was so pretty. The next morning headed back to Denver to shake out the sand and shop for smaller gear... apparently a collapsible bucket is useful, and some flip flops, too- just FYI So that's it. I was so lucky and thankful to be able to go. I hope to be able to go on a number of these. I know my zrx is not good for going off road like all of you guys do, but i like roads. im getting my degree in urban planning, so what more is there to expect?