2016 Tour de National Parks (Lower 48, and Alaska)

Discussion in 'Americas' started by StarkNaked, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. StarkNaked

    StarkNaked Been here awhile

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    Now thats what I'm talking about. I was at my favorite camera store yesterday and was looking at lens's similar to a 17-55 EFS.
    My favorite lens I have is a 70-200 f/2.8 VR, monster of a lens and you get a workout everytime you handle it. I want to bring it, but I don't.

    I kept thinking, "I'll never get it out of the bag." Now that you say you barely used yours when It wasn't in the tank bag, I'd never use the thing.
    The 17-55 would cut down on the bulk but I'd be able to keep that sweet sweet f/2.8.

    90% is good enough for me!
    #41
  2. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    Don't forget National Monuments! Places like Dinosaur NM or Craters of the Moon are pretty awesome!
    #42
  3. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    I just polluted your thread with some more photo in my previous post, some in the Galapagos. Those close ups were taken with the 17-55. It was absolutely amazing how close you could get to those animals.

    Don't know if you are using an APS-C or full frame sensor, but with my full frame 5D MkII and 6D I would probably want a little more reach than 17-55.
    #43
  4. StarkNaked

    StarkNaked Been here awhile

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    They are indeed, or so I've heard.
    Sounds like my trip needs to a few years longer :rofl
    #44
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  5. StarkNaked

    StarkNaked Been here awhile

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    Pollute away, I like photos haha.

    Crashmaster damn, you have a nice body(s) :lol2
    APS-C. So That 17-55 would be like a 26-78 or something like that, math ha. Tamron makes good lenses, continually wins awards and they have a 17-50 for a few hundred less with mirror specs I might buy.

    Sony just came out with a full frame point and shoot, the RX1R II. Look at the specs, its gives me a photoboner, the price makes it go away.
    #45
  6. StarkNaked

    StarkNaked Been here awhile

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    by the way, I love your bike :viking
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  7. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    Ha! I have way too many cameras. the new high end point and shoots look awesome but man they can be pricey. I've tried some really sharp Tamrons, good lenses at a good price that won't break the bank. Bought the 6D because of the sensitive sensor and use it for aurora photography along with a Samyang 14mm f2.8.

    That big KTM has been a great bike for me. Bought it 07, now has 70,000 miles on it. Its looks old and beat all to hell but mechanically its in great shape as I've kept up on a lot preventative maintenance over the years. Still performs great and hope I can get another 50,000 miles or so out of it before I need to split the cases.


    Heres some more off topic pollution of your thread. :lol3

    [​IMG]


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    #47
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  8. StarkNaked

    StarkNaked Been here awhile

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    Toxis Gas pollution!
    Oh wait thats just happy oxygen :lol3

    Thats quite the milage tally, maybe my DR will see numbers like that. Whats the curb weight on that monster?

    I've shot with the 6D before, I like it and the sensitivity is :thumbup
    Sounds like you're armed to the teeth with cameras and lenses.
    Lovely Aurora Shots.
    I'm not sure how I'll be when I see it up close for the first time, my brain might go all kerplewy.
    #48
  9. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    Fueled and loaded up with gear, the bike tips the scales at around 520 lbs. I can load it up heavier but then its just not as much fun to ride. Its so well designed wrt to how it carries its weight that it feels like a much lighter bike, until everything goes horribly wrong. :lol3

    The DR is going to be an awesome bike for your travels, stout, simple, plenty of power and great for off pavement exploration as long as you don't get too crazy. One thing about long term moto travel: Rule #1, don't take too much crap. Rule #2, see rule #1. :lol3 When I started I had a ton of crap loaded on the bike that I never used. After about 6 months on the road I found I could easily get it down to about half of what I left with. Near the end of my travels I had gotten my kit minimalist enough that I had to stuff some light foam padding and bubble wrap in the panniers to keep stuff from rattling around. Your kit will evolve over time and by the end you'll know exactly what you need, where and how to pack it for optimum efficiency.

    I wouldn't get too obsessed with route planning, but then again that is the fun part. You have the luxury of time, the most valuable commodity you can have. Make yourself a rough outline, and each day as you are hanging in your camp you can break out the maps and pretty much plan day by day. Try to keep in mind that there is really no ultimate destination, and really no daily destination. Go wherever strikes your fancy on the spur of the moment. The little curvy black line and dashed line roads on the AAA maps that don't seem to go anywhere in particular are always the most interesting and most satisfying, not to mention the best riding. Its all about the journey and seeing the lesser traveled places IMO.

    I wouldn't trade my 2 years of moto travel for anything. Its the best thing I have ever done in my life and I came back a changed person with whole different outlook on the world and the important stuff in life. Its been 4 years since I cam back from my extended travels, and I am looking forward to when I can make that happen again.

    but bear in mind that my advice is probably worth exactly what you paid for it. :lol3
    #49
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  10. StarkNaked

    StarkNaked Been here awhile

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    Not as heavy as I thought you bike would be, you can almost pick that up when you fall over :lol3

    Thanks I think it'll serve me well. I had to figure out what the hell a carb is though :oscar

    You know I've been told stories, seen it on documentaries and read it in books about the overpacking issue, it seems like everyone does it no matter how many times they're told to pack only what they need. It's amazing really. After you've been on the road or hiking for awhile I guess you just figure it out. For now, I just think I need EVERYTHING.

    Thanks for the valuable advice, and some entertainment so far. Hopefully my trip will end up getting blown way out of proportion and I spend many a months on the road picking out random lines on a map, hopping countries, getting a different outlook on things and meeting new people. I'm sure life isn't just about your FICO score :jkam
    #50
  11. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    Mikuni CV carb, idle circuit, main circuit, jets and needle/clip. About as simple as they get. Just remember, change the exhaust, you re-jet, change the air box, re-jet. You'll be a jetting expert in no time, or you can just keep it simple.

    It would be super easy to make a little loop through northern Mexico.
    #51
  12. StarkNaked

    StarkNaked Been here awhile

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    .......keep it simple? why would anyone ever want to do that? :lol3
    #52
  13. Rodzilla

    Rodzilla Little short for a Stormtrooper

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    Not sure of your timeline outside of your stop/start.

    Just an FYI, Trail Ridge Road, through Rocky Mtn. National park is a seasonal roadway. Although a US highway (US 34), it is managed by the park service. It traditionally opens for Memorial Day weekend. They *usually* make that date. But it is not uncommon for the road to close off and on after that date due to weather. It does not have a set closure date, but it *usually* closes for it's winter nap by the second week of November (you'll note my emphasis on *usually*).

    The long term forecast still says this will be a big winter here in CO, so far we are way behind and way above normal temps. We may see our first significant mtn snow this week. If we do indeed get a big one, we normally see the most snow late in the season, Feb, March, April and often into May. If the forecast is correct, it may impact the park.
    #53
  14. StarkNaked

    StarkNaked Been here awhile

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    Thanks for that Rodzilla. I used to call colorado home, represent. Lived in Aurora
    Timeline as of *now*, I'll be in Colorado during the summer season (you'll note, *now* means I have nooooo friggin idea :lol2)

    Where I am in Mass/New Hampshire, its abnormally warm, all the leaves don't know whether to hang on or head for the ground.
    #54
  15. Rodzilla

    Rodzilla Little short for a Stormtrooper

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    Awesome. Glad you were on top of that one. Over in the Rockies forum there are always guys planning to come out in May and are amazed that the good stuff is mostly still under snow!
    #55
  16. StarkNaked

    StarkNaked Been here awhile

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    It's been awhile since I've posted anything, but I did promise not to disappear. :wave

    Prepping a house for sale was a lot more work that I thought it was going to be.

    Updates on my progress towards this trip becoming the real thing

    - Took some long rides on the coldest days I could find and I am extremely thankful for Merino Wool. My gear has held up to the challenge the constant attack of 70 MPH winds. A windscreen adjustment is in my future. A few hours into the first cold ride though to my surprise, I felt overdressed. The gear is starting to break in and I getting more and more comfortable shifting with my SIDI boots.

    - I don't own a garage or have all the tools I need to really take the bike apart so I asked a local shop owner (the guys been doing this for 30 years) and he said he'd happy to have me come in next week and he'd go over the bike with me and let me use tools I just don't have. I'll be able to install my new tires, rim tape, and tubes as well as have some pro advice on my carb issue while I mess with it. (People of the motorcycling community are just awesome)

    - I've been lerking all over this site, currently addicted to Quezzie's RR (she is an incredible story teller and seems like a really cool person) and have been on threads about mapping, camping, tentspace, packing and places of interest.

    - Sold my x40f0x gsxr1000 muffler I found and kientech mid pipe so that I could buy a much needed centerstand and lowered foot pegs.

    - With the help of XRangerRides's comment I decided to find out who makes the passport books for the national parks. Finally getting ahold of someone at Eastern National, I found out she used to live close to where I am now and graduated from a local school. She was more than helpful and to my surprise there will be a commemorative 100th year anniversary passport book comming out in Jan 2016. I will be in line for one of those! The passport stamping has become somewhat of a fun idea that has added zest to this trip. Can I get all the stamps during the 100th year anniversary? I'll sure try!

    - And, I got maps. :deal Reading them is a different story. Curse you google maps for doing everything for me all these years!




    Now that I'm taking this seriously, as it will easily engulf the next year or so of my life, I have grown an immense respect for anyone that does motorcycle traveling. The amount of detail, the time it takes to plan and even to gather up what you think you may need is just incredible. It's fun though, all of it. Why else would anyone do it? Whether your riding solo or not, the risk is high and the reward can be plentiful. I can say I'm more pumped than ever.
    #56
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  17. sKatZ

    sKatZ Custom Title: Professional Trainwreck

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    What is this word you are using... prepa...pre-pa-ra-tion? People do that?!? That's crazy!!!

    Sounds like everything is humming along nicely. Ride on! (as soon as possible, I mean)
    #57
  18. StarkNaked

    StarkNaked Been here awhile

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    Whoa whoa. I never used such a word!
    That WOULD be crazy!
    #58
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  19. Dusty Boots

    Dusty Boots Wanderin Saddle Tramp

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    I highly suggest that when you roll into Vancouver, BC that you forego boring Hwy 1 to the east and take the Sea to Sky Hwy up past Whistler to Pemberton/Mt Currie and then grab the Duffy Lake Rd (Hwy 99) over to Lillooet, 12 down to Lytton and then on to Hwy 1 from there.
    Excellent, free campground on the outskirts of Lillooet provided by BC Hydro, if it's that time to hole up.

    Agreed - Do not miss out on Jasper/Banff as this is an excellent and very scenic route down to West Glacier and Glacier NP to ride The-Going-To-The-Sun Road (best ridden west to east!)

    Dusty
    #59
  20. StarkNaked

    StarkNaked Been here awhile

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    Thanks Dusty, you had me at FREE
    #60