I think I've only actually written up one ride report here, but normally I don't feel that my trips really merit their own threads. This time, however, is different. I just graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from Purdue University, and somehow I managed to get close to 4 months off between graduation and actually starting work. Since I have no idea when I'll be able to do this again, it seemed like a pretty good opportunity to go for a ride! I've spent the better part of the last semester, in addition to school stuff, selling off a lot of the random crap I own and prepping the bike for the ride. As of a few hours ago, everything I own is locked away in a storage unit. All that's left to do is some last minute mapping and rearranging the gear. The idea behind the trip is to take my 05.5 950 Adventure around the US, hitting as much dirt as possible. Most of the focus will be out west, as living in Indiana, I can do the midwest whenever I want. The initial trip goal was to make it to Alaska, and it still might happen, but I don't want to feel rushed. I'll basically keep riding until half the summer is burned up, and then turn around and start working my way back. It should be pretty laid back. And awesome. Very awesome. I've done a bit of motorcycle camping in the past, but it's all been day, weekend, or week trips. Not really a whole lot of experience to build from, so I've been reading a lot of the other RRs posted here to try to figure out what I need and how to keep the weight down. It should be quite the experience, and you guys will get to see all of the hiccups and missteps along the way. I mean, that's what you're all *really* interested in, isn't it? My trusty steed, with all 52k miles on her: For the first two weeks, a friend from school is coming along on his 450 EXC. Because he's on a somewhat tight schedule, we're focusing more on what he wants to do for that bit. As such, we're going to make a pretty good run for it going up north through Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana...lots of flat area, and a fair amount of pavement just so that we can make good time. The goal is to run the northern section of the CDR, hang around in Colorado for any remaining time, and then he will hit the highway to make it back to Indiana in time for work. This is really the only part of the trip that has a schedule, and that I have the ride mapped out in advance for. It's getting pretty late right now and there is a lot of prep work I still need to do, but I'll try to get on here in the next few days and get an idea of the route posted. I do have a SPOT tracker on my bike, so you can see where I'm at here: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0pqOYeA0XZTNdTsZ7lZIEq5OIr5qeRdO5 Let me know if the link doesn't work and I'll try to sort it out. There will be relatively fewer installments here for the next few weeks, but they'll pick up more after that when I have more time to sit around with WIFI and upload all the pics and video I know you FFs love. . I'll use this as something of a journal because there are some friends and family who will be watching this, so there will be a few more posts about prepping the bike, my gear, and that sort of thing as well. Until that happens, here is a pic of all my gear for the summer loaded on the bike. This is everything, with the exception of food, on a test run down to southern Indiana. Well, back to packing up the bike. I'll be back, and I can't wait to get this thing going. We leave May 31st, bright and early.