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Excited Chick Nicomama takes on Horizons Unlimited Meeting Cambria, CA, and Yosemite

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by nicomama, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. airborndad

    airborndad Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,744
    Location:
    Montclair Ca.
    :nod :thumb
    #41
  2. nicomama

    nicomama Rugged Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    615
    Location:
    Borrego Springs, CA
    Gunslinger1: Nice to have you aboard. Thanks for the kind words ; )

    Qwik: You are making me blush.:shog Thanks for the sweet compliment. Do you live in Utah?

    DBrentMiller/Brent: Ah yes, a topic near and dear to my heart...sexy tools! So, in looking at your Wenger (don't get excited folks) that costs $59.95 at Swiss Knife Shop, I thought, "Of course, Brent is TOTALLY right!!!" Always fill your kits with at the very least "dual"-purpose tools. If you can go "multi" that's even more of a plus for space efficiency. So yes, I retract the excitement of the P38 can opener. So, I'm a little fickle.

    What's hilarious is that I've owned a SOG paratool for 15 years, always carry it on me, and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it...

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    And, you can find it at Sears for $35.88

    Product Description

    Exclusive Multi-angled Plier Head Allows For Use In Tight Spaces; Stainless-steel Handles & Plier Head; Knife/saw Blades; Phillips & Slotted Screwdrivers; Bottle/can Openers; Awl; Open: 6.4"; Closed: 4.3"

    But embarassingly, I always thought it only had a bottle opener and not a can opener. HA!!! Here I had a can opener in my pocket the whole time. Thanks for enlightening me, Brent!

    Beemerchef/Ara: Thanks for the vote of confidence, my dear friend!

    SaraHP/Sarah: Hey girl, so awesome to see you here! Your enthusiasm is always so uplifting. The next time I'm at HU, I'm going to rally all of the No Cal peeps to meet us there, for sure! Is that where you're located?

    Airborndad/Keith: Hey my Death Valley sitemate buddy, so good to have you along!!! Yep, my Ural is going to be the whole kit and kaboodle like Marcia's. But damn, that girl already has the awesome name "Ural Diva"! Have to come up with another one ; ) I am talking to Madina, owner of Ural, as we speak. See what this bike does to me. Wish me luck...

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    Tall Rob/Rob: Wow, a human doing. I love this. Did you just come up with that on your own?! I bet you had a little help from a double espresso, though. Like me, right now.

    So, I was just watching the amazing TED (technology, entertainment, and design) YouTube vids over the weekend for unbelievable inspiration and one of the many super intelligent "futurists" who was from the Seattle area was describing coffee as part of the creative process and is like breathing for them. He said he knew he was ready to rock n roll that day, because he felt like he could thread a running sewing machine. If you have a free moment, stop by their website and wait to get blown away by some of their presenters. These people are the vision of a better tomorrow.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Wrappin' up the HU event.

    Before we started breaking down camp, we cruised around to say goodbye to the vendors and our new and old friends. I joined Grant in squeezing in one last fun chat with Jeremy and Erik over at AltRider...

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    Then, of course, paul had to test out the F800 for our RTW. He had been totally modifying a V-Strom 650 over the past two years to be the mule of choice to go around the world when he was planning his solo trip. But because he's 6'3", the V just doesn't fit him right no matter what he does to it...

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    So thanks to our sweet friend Michael Spencer up at Ventura BMW, Paul's going to go demo the new F800 within the next couple of weeks. Cross your fingers, I think it'll be a match made in heaven. He already owns the 1200GS, but thinks he wants a more nimble bike for around the world.

    Jeremy then pulled Paul aside to show him all of the latest and greatest aftermarket adventure accessories he has outfitted on the F800 and Super Tenere...

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    Just look at this quality...

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    In Paul's review of the Super T, he'll be going over aftermarket availability, as well. Very important ; )

    Said toodles to Carla as she enjoyed testing the Super T for her stable...

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    Also found Alisa Clickenger, MotoAdventureGal, and her awesome tricked out KTM 950 Adventure before leaving. Enjoy Alisa's fabulous blog for her very informative and entertaining perspective on two wheels. She is also a big contributor for our magazine...

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    Alisa showed we presenters a thing or two by putting together two separate presentations. One on her Women's Empowerment Tour, that she has established as an annual event, and her One Woman's Adventure to South America. She is quite a wealth of information and adventure riding wisdom from all of her experience.

    I saw this guy loading his Honda NX250 (like my very first bike) into his truck and had to get his shot...

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    Tweety and FMF pipes...a natural marriage.

    The fiddler serenaded us as we all started to wrap up...

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    Then it was time to break down camp. I wanted to give you one last shot of the wonderful Nemo Asashi 4p tent that we were demo-ing for our RTW. And the great news is that I think it'll be perfect for the 4 of us. So, thank you Cam (owner of Nemo) and Kate (Nemo's PR and media consultant wiz) for being one of our sponsors...

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    Loved how roomie it was inside...

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    Notice the 2 Big Angi in there. We are huge fans. But what I would love is if Nemo's built-in foot pump pad would fit in a Big Agnes bag. Will keep you posted.

    You know that I am in continual search for the best products for a comfy night's rest. On this trip, I am still using the blow-up raft in addition to the Big Agnes insulated pad. I was towering over Paul...

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    That just didn't work for me. So, I'm thinking of the Big Agnes "King Solomon 15 degree" for cozier nights ; ) ; ) ...

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    Those of you out there who are tired of feeling the ground even through pads then you can try this Luxury Lite camping cot...

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    Underside...
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    Compactibility...

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    I'll be testing this product for you guys soon.

    Well, it was time to pack it up...

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    What I love about Nemo Equipment and owner Cam Bresinger's brilliant mind is his "out-of-the-box" design concepts. Stuff that hasn't been done before, and for the life of me I don't know why. Here is the tent bag with separate velcro-ed (can I tell you again how much I love velcro) compartments for poles, stakes, and tent/fly...

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    Ever pull your hair out over set-up instructions that blow away in the wind? Well, worry no more. Try Cam's "aren't ya glad we thought of that" set-up instructions hang tag that's sewn into the tent bag...

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    Oh and for your nighttime viewing pleasure, don't forget to check out Nemo's constellation hang tag that's in every tent bag. You can impress a moto camping partner without even trying. Love it...

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    Chef Peter was quite impressed with how quickly I broke down the tent as he sped by on his sexy hack...

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    Paul and I were quickly loaded and ready to roll. We waved farewell to Horizons Unlimited 2011, my first of many, many more to come. Thank you Grant, Susan, Mike and Sandi for such an informative, entertaining, and fun social event. You are the great pioneers of adventure motorcycle travel inspiration.

    As we zipped out of Cambria, I felt the strong pull of one of the most beautiful parts of California, actually of the world...Yosemite. I had never camped in the valley. My smile is a dead give-away for my reaction to the first view...

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    But, we were met with full campgrounds all over and no reservations. What were we to do?! Stay tuned for a little determination and creativity, my dear ones.
    #42
  3. Tall Mike

    Tall Mike TAT Rookie (planning!)

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    542
    Location:
    Northeast Oregon
    Nicomama said:
    Speaking as a "Tall Guy" who owns a Big Agnes 15deg Encampment bag... My bag is a Tall with choice of right or left zipper! My suggestion would be to get two tall bags with opposite zippers so that you can be together or apart (as needed) without having to carry an extra bag...(you might need another tent for kids! :wink: )
    also... the Big Agnes Air Core mattress is the way to go. ( I slept on rocks and sticks and hills during fire season with mine and didn't feel them! :lol3 )

    p.s. - I think that Ural looks good on you! :thumb (someday I want one too!:evil)
    #43
  4. nicomama

    nicomama Rugged Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    615
    Location:
    Borrego Springs, CA
    Tall Mike: Yep, this is an important topic. The King Solomon 15 degree double bag by Big Agnes (MSRP $359.95, which is more than two Encampments at $159/ea) has zippers on the outsides. I am wondering how it compacts, though...

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    Here is a great review on it that I found on the internet by a gal who took it on a seven month backpacking trip around the Eastern hemisphere with her husband. They loved it. In summary:

    PROS:
    No drafts, good access.
    Lightweight compared to other doublewides.
    Durable (over 150 nights of use with no visible wear).
    Handy sleeping pad slots.
    Roomy, even with two adults. Nice wide foot box.

    CONS:
    Bulky.
    Unexpectedly too warm, even in cold temps.

    Guess what, though. I just read that the double-wide King Solomon takes 2-20"x72" pads, which are the regular sized pads. Not long enough for Tall Mike or Tall Paul, for that matter. So Mike, looks like you might be the winner on our "Cozy Nights" topic. Now, I will consider getting two long Encampment bags with opposite zippers to zip together. I will have 3 kinds of stuff sacks for them: two individual sacks and one double-wide stuff sack, so at the end of long riding days on our trip we don't have to waste our time zipping up the bags daily.

    Now, the topic of privacy on our RTW is a whole other story. Can you say..."stealthy'? Yeah, I'm thinking we'll be bringing a small 2P for the kids, as well. Six months is a long time ; )
    #44
  5. Tall Mike

    Tall Mike TAT Rookie (planning!)

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    542
    Location:
    Northeast Oregon
    I think you've solved it well!:D

    In the future, if you want to do more cold weather stuff, Big Agnes makes overbags that extend the range of your bag by 20-25 degrees or function as 40-45 degree bags themselves... might be nice in the tropics:evil.
    on the tentspace thing... If you get caught in the rain, it's nice if nobody is stuck against the wall. I use a two-man tent by myself for that reason...room enough for gear AND you to stay dry and secure! :D
    (sharing my experiences so you don't have to find out on the road!:evil )

    YOU will do just fine...with your organizational skills!:D (just make sure the kids have their own headlamps and they know where they are - always! don't ask me how I know! :lol3)

    5 wheels, 4 souls, 1 mission!
    Nicotribe RTW!! :clap :norton :ricky
    #45
  6. nicomama

    nicomama Rugged Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    615
    Location:
    Borrego Springs, CA
    I love that Mike!!!!

    The "Cozy Night" bag issue continues. So, when you zip two bags together (see this Big Anges how-to PDF), you don't get separate "escape" zippers on opposite sides like in the King Solomon. And, if one person gets hot they can't unzip their opposite side to vent. Yet, the Kings don't come in Long. Hmmmmm.

    If any couples out there have zipped two bags together on a LONG adventure ride I'd love for you to chime in here. We need your advice ; )

    Will be talking to Big Agnes top dogs to see what they suggest, and will let you know.

    As for pads, check this one out from Nemo:

    It's the 3" Cosmo Insulated pad...

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    Product Description:

    The Cosmo™ series of pads take inflatable comfort to another level. Cosmo Air™ is a lightweight sleeping pad with a built-in foot pump. This pad has a generous 3” thickness, but weighs less than 2 lbs, making it ideal for backpacking. Horizontal I-beam baffles create a flatter sleeping pad surface and eliminate any bouncy feel when inflated. Horizontal baffles also tend to support body contours better than vertical baffles since the sleeping pad resists radially folding around the body’s longitudinal axis. Cosmo™ Insulated uses a thin layer of polyurethane foam welded to the inner surface of the pad to stop convective currents and create a very consistent and even insulation.

    Wish I could shove this beauty into my Big Agnes, but it's dimensions are 25" x 76", where the Encampment is 20" x 78"


    Here's another brilliant design concept by Nemo. Want to save your lungs at the end of a long riding day. Try this Nemo Disco pump...

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    I just love forward thinking.:clap
    #46
  7. Tall Mike

    Tall Mike TAT Rookie (planning!)

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    542
    Location:
    Northeast Oregon
    Nicomama, I may need a new bag... the Big Agnes models that end in "Park"...ie, Summit Park, Deer Park, Whisky Park...all take a 25" x 78" pad! I might be able to get more shoulder room too! :clap:clap
    That doesn't help the center zipper design, but let me tell you, until October, I could hardly zip up the bag inside the tent... The only time I used the zipper all the was up was under the stars...(I guess I'm hot-blooded or something.:lol3)
    #47
  8. TallRob

    TallRob Long timer

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    An inflatable pump to inflate stuff that needs inflating is so freakin ingenious!:clap
    #48
  9. Qwik

    Qwik Adrenaline Addict

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    Apr 27, 2008
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    Location:
    Basalt Colorado
    Close, Sunnyvale:D
    #49
  10. sopascat

    sopascat not much of an adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
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    5,589
    Location:
    So Cal
    Hey mama! Was great to see you at the HU event. Loving the reviews of sleeping bags & pads.
    #50
  11. Makalu

    Makalu Long timer

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    Oct 29, 2003
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    Event horizon
    Something you may want to consider is a solution some 'fastpackers', aka ultralight backpackers, use. Instead of carrying two sleeping bags that zip together like you are doing, they carry a single large comforter. It saves weight and works just like the one that you probably use at home. It's much easier to keep both sleepers comfortable temperature wise, is easy to vent, and there is no need for escape zippers . The comforter concept has been used in all weather conditions (and fastpackers typically use just a tarp vs a tent). Just a thought...
    #51
  12. nicomama

    nicomama Rugged Rider

    Joined:
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    Borrego Springs, CA
    This was the first time I had ever been hit this hard by this type of news. It was the closest I had gotten to a beautiful spirit whose life was extinguished just like that. Instantaneously. In the moment she was seizing with gusto and passion. Gone.

    I had noticed this beautiful and striking woman from afar at the event and wondered why I hadn't known of her in our industry. It was Sunday morning breakfast in the dining hall when I was eating with Jasmine Cadwell when Katherine Hawley and her beautiful energy approached us. She introduced herself and wanted a photo. Here she is on the right...

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    I was thrilled to be a part of that special threesome. I think we all felt the energy of three women passionate about life. Of course at the time, I didn't know that this would be one of the last photos Katherine would be in. Later that day, she died in a head-on collision with a crazed driver in a high speed chase on her way home up the coast on her BMW on Hwy 1.

    I found out about this devastating news when I got home. I got home, but Katherine didn't. What is that all about?! Life. Death. What this kind of news does is wake us up. As soon as I got the news from Susan Johnson I threw my gear on and ran out to get on Jack. Tears were in my eyes, and I felt Katherine as I rode off to nowhere. I felt the beautiful flame of her in my heart...

    "Go live the day."
    "Live it like there's no tomorrow."
    "Listen to your child as they tell you about their day. Be present."
    "Dishes and laundry can wait."
    "The biggest gift you can give someone is your time, your attention, and your love."
    "Give that gift as often as you can...even to strangers."
    "Pay it forward."

    Katherine is part of this whole thing we call life. Is it an illusion? Even if it is all on a theatrical stage let's make it into something we enjoy. It's time. There is a shift happening. I want to be the change I want to see. Help me.

    Katherine, you live in all of our hearts you representation of adventurous spirit and lover of life, you.

    You live on in each and every one of us.
    #52
  13. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    My God. I'm at a loss for words. I don't know what to say... :cry
    #53
  14. Gas Hog

    Gas Hog Two Wheel Fanatic

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    Unreal..everything changes so fast. I have seen this up close and personal more than once.
    You just stagger around with your mind racing. :cry
    Gary
    #54
  15. BordenBmw

    BordenBmw TheFrenchRider

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    Such a tragedy
    #55
  16. houndawgg

    houndawgg Been here awhile

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    This news hurts to the bone,
    RIP Katherine
    #56
  17. Tall Mike

    Tall Mike TAT Rookie (planning!)

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    Amen.:cry Honor the spirit of fallen riders every time you ride. Live life to its fullest.

    Peace to Catherine's Family in their time of loss. Rest in Peace Catherine. You will be missed.
    #57
  18. WHM1

    WHM1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
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    That really hit home...we are not promised tomorrow! Life is a gift and our gift is what we leave. I will pray for her family and the friends she has left behind>
    #58
  19. marty hill

    marty hill The Energizer Bunny

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    Sad and shocking beyond words. Glad you met her if only for a few minutes.
    #59
  20. DBrentMiller

    DBrentMiller Sojourn Chronicles

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    Nicole, I'm feeling your sadness. Like others have expressed, it is amazing how a brief encounter with another person can have a lasting impact. Often it is like a ship passing in the night--we meet someone and then their lives move on as do ours. And sometimes we dock at the same port for a day or so and our lives are changed ever so slightly because of them. Cheers for those encounters, and tears for the light that has been snuffed out. How wonderful it was to bask in that light for a time.

    Prayers go out for the family, friends and loved ones.

    Brent
    #60