Operation Moto Dog | Girl, Dog, Hack - Alaska & Beyond

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by mallorypaige, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. mallorypaige

    mallorypaige Been here awhile

    Nov 15, 2014
    *Updated November 2nd, 2015*

    This the real-life, live-time chronicle of a girl and her dog riding a motorcycle-sidecar across North America - every US state, Canadian province & Mexico.

    It was born from a simple goal. To make it from Oregon to Alaska and back. To become a motorcyclist, an adventurer, a woman of the wilds. To slowly inch closer to the person I hope to become.

    With little motorcycle experience and even less engine knowledge, Baylor the dog and I hit the road in June. I expected it to be challenging. Fully embraced that there would be obstacles to overcome, fears to face. And there were. There were dark, noisy nights in the backwoods, mysterious engine sounds, lost parts and a slew of surprises.

    But more than anything there were people. Good, kind, generous people. Strangers turning to friends around every corner. People ready to help, support, teach and keep us on the road. Good people that changed everything. By standing on the shoulders of these great riders, friends and fans, we were able to go farther, think bigger. And so the mission expanded.

    This travelogue started as a simple challenge to write more. A daily account with one reader (thanks Mom!). I never imagined that others would care, would find any interest in the daily adventures, challenges and life on the road. Certainly never dreamt that readers from around the world would come along for the ride. The outpouring of support has been unbelievably inspiring and humbling. To each of you that has taken the time to write, say hi, let us know you’re along for the adventure, thank you. We would not have made it this far without you. I am endlessly grateful for your support.

    More than anything I want people to know that you needn’t be fearless or perfect to live your dreams. I certainly am not particularly qualified for this adventure. Have no special talents or skills that make me well-suited to motorcycle across the continent. If I can do it, anyone can do it. Seriously.

    There has been debate about whether or not this journey constitutes an adventure. A valid concern as there are certainly others that go farther, faster, more dangerously. Still more that get farther off the beaten path, dare greater, produce more detailed or exciting reports. No, I don’t claim to be on a grand adventure. Wouldn’t dare declare that I’m doing it perfectly. Hell, I’m probably not even doing it well. All I can say is that I am indeed doing it.

    Living on the road indefinitely. Traveling long-term. Working in coffee shop offices across North America. Exploring this great continent with my best friend and sidekick. Seeing the sights. Meeting the people. Hearing the stories of life.

    Each day on the road I’m shown the goodness of humanity, am re-inspired to get out there and go for it. I never know what each day will bring. Countless miles and borders lay ahead. Unknown lessons and strangers-turned-friends stand on the horizon. The journey is indeed the destination and I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

    And, if nothing else, I hope you remember:

    People are good. Obstacles are opportunities.

    Choose Happy | Seek Adventure

    Mallory & Baylor


    Operation Moto Dog is underway!

    Here are a few details:
    Rider - Mallory Paige
    Sidekick - Baylor the dog
    Rig - Rufio, a KLR hack

    Phase 1 - riding from Bend, Oregon to Alaska

    We've been taking our time through the PNW, getting used to being on the road & riding Rufio. Also lots of packing. Then repacking. Then packing again more efficiently:)

    Stoked to be a part of this adventurous community and head to Alaska!

    Will post stories, pics and video when possible. Let me know if you have any questions or there are specific things that interest you.

    Also sharing the adventure at - operationmotodog.com
    And pics on Instagram - @MalloryDangerPaige

  2. Mastercylinder

    Mastercylinder Been here awhile

    Oct 7, 2008
    The Western Frontier
    Good luck to the both of you. Hope everything goes well. Enjoy.:thumb
  3. BullShatter

    BullShatter Gringo

    Aug 30, 2010
    Sarasota, FL
    What can I say, I love dogs!
  4. RWNielsen

    RWNielsen Adventurer

    Oct 11, 2009
    Ok Mallory, this looks like fun. I'm looking forward to following along. :D
  5. banshee

    banshee hi

    Aug 12, 2004
    good luck, have fun!
  6. PDublYu

    PDublYu Adventurer

    Jan 28, 2014
    Re-supplying in Texas
    It's not everyday you see that combination of adventure rider, rig, and sidekick. Looking forward to this. Good luck and safe travels.
  7. stillwater0302

    stillwater0302 Been here awhile

    Aug 17, 2013
    Good luck, Mal. Look at every obstacle as an opportunity for adventure and you'll be just fine. Have fun!
  8. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

    Jan 9, 2005
    Über Alles,California
    Bring the stoke. :wink:

  9. mallorypaige

    mallorypaige Been here awhile

    Nov 15, 2014

    Had a bit of wind on day 4. Do you have strategies for dealing with the wind? It's new to me and definitely felt tiring and challenging. Otherwise we've had sunny, gorgeous weather and are meeting so many friendly people along the way.

    Enjoyed a relaxing break in the North Cascades of Washington. Now we're heading towards the border. Thinking of a last minute change - planning to go Highway 20, to Highway 9 and then up through Squamish/Whistler area. Met some BCers and they recommend that route:)

    If you have any must-see spots on the road to Alaska I'd love to hear them.

    Onwards toward adventure!
    Mallory & Baylor

    OMD Travelogue | Day 4
    Research shows that people find the most success when challenges are incremental. When hard things stretch you an achievable amount past your perceived limitations.

    I’m glad today came 4 days into my sidecar driving.

    The weather was sunny and beautiful. That was lovely.

    The wind? Not so much. The aggressive drivers? No thank you.

    I’m not sure if 30 mph winds are a lot in the scheme of things, but it certainly felt extreme to me at the time. Add that to the challenges of speedy drivers on Blewet Pass and I was successfully challenged.

    I veered off into every available turnout and passing lane letting the masses of speedy weekend warriors fly pass.

    The man and son selling cherries at the top of the pass gave me a pep talk and sold me a bag of cherries at a discount – you’ve got a long way to go, you’ll need these $2.

    Once we turned off on highway 20 the pace became more leisurely. Less traffic, no wind, gorgeous scenery.

    We stopped for a sunset swim.

    Drove into the Methow Valley during the golden hour. Farmland smells filling my nostrils, reminding me why I love riding a bike.

    Free, dispersed camping spot secured. I promptly set up the tent to escape the mosquitoes.

    I told Bay we’d just lay down for a minute and then get up to reorganize gear, look at maps, plan ahead. Seconds later we were both sound asleep. The sound of the river, a soft and convincing lullaby.

    Four days down. Many to come.
    PKaye, V8 and Klas2k like this.
  10. gungpasuruan

    gungpasuruan Adventurer

    Feb 28, 2015
    Pasuruan, East Java
    Well, it sounds like a great start to your trip!:clap
    Looking forward to more!:clap
  11. RideDualSport.com

    RideDualSport.com Zut alors!

    Jul 7, 2009
    Texas / France
    Congratulations on taking your best friend on your big adventure! I'd love to be able to do the same some day, our dog Sable is super friendly.
    I am impressed with your can-do attitude and willingness to strike out on your own. Strong winds really beat me up. I try and slow down a bit and duck down below the windscreen and take more breaks to gather strength. Ear plugs help prevent fatigue as well when winds are high. Be wary of vehicles coming your way that may get pushed over the centerline by winds as well.
    Cheers, and be safe!
  12. JPCollinsworth

    JPCollinsworth Compulsive Spender

    Jun 13, 2009
    The Republic of Vermont
    I'm in, promises to be a great adventure!
  13. ShimrMoon

    ShimrMoon Been here awhile

    Oct 28, 2007
    Winston-Salem NC
    You've got a lot of weird forces working against each other with your rig. I hate the wind too. The only advice I can give is squeeze the tank with your knees. This allows you to relax your upper body a little so not to try and fight those pesky gusts. Sometimes you have to decide if the winds are too fierce to ride safely and find a good spot to stop for the day.
    Good luck and safe travels.
    MandolorianAce likes this.
  14. sharps5090

    sharps5090 Adventurer

    Aug 5, 2006
    Palmer, AK
    That sounds like a lot of fun. Good luck to ya.
  15. Dotbond

    Dotbond Africa, Africa

    Jun 18, 2006
    Dunedin. New Zealand
    How did you come up with the name Baylor? A truncated version of Baylord?
  16. NorwegianTool

    NorwegianTool Been here awhile

    Feb 24, 2015
    The cold north

    Miss my dog and wish she could come with me on my trip.

    About wind: i also find the wind exhausting and it can really ruin my day like today when driving to Vegas, but my traveling buddy who are a lot more experienced then me did not think much about it.. So i guess it is a lot about experience. I hope we will get used to it! :)
  17. SLOsurfer

    SLOsurfer Adventurer

    Apr 14, 2015
    Wow you have an awesome dog! Best of luck with your adventure.

    As for wind most likely the reason it is tiring you out is your upper body is too stiff and the shakes in the steering are getting transferred back into your arms/chest.

    Just stay loose, relax and keep your grip pressure low. Like someone else said, grip the tank with your legs to relieve your arms their task!
  18. mallorypaige

    mallorypaige Been here awhile

    Nov 15, 2014
    The tank squeeze is so helpful - thanks!

    When I met him as a little furball pup, Baylor just came to mind. And it seems to suit him well:)

    Yes, experience is insanely helpful! Even just a week into it, I'm feeling much better out there. Although, I still do some jerky shifting and slow cornering:)

    He really is the best dog. Gripping the tank and staying loose has made huge difference. Thank you!
  19. mallorypaige

    mallorypaige Been here awhile

    Nov 15, 2014

    Read Day 6 Travelogue on OperationMotodog.com>>

    Or read here:


    OMD Travelogue | Day 6
    You know that feeling when you're flying down steep single track on a mountain bike?

    Adrenaline fueled excitement sprinkled with a healthy dose of pure terror. Breath catching, muscles tensed, ready to react to the upcoming unknown.

    That's how mountain passes on Rufio feel right now. Heart racing when I can't quite see what's past the peaked hill of the road. White knuckling my way around corners. Opening up the throttle on straightaways, coming to a manageable coast on the curves. You got this, you got this, you got this a meditative internal chant.

    Having met some Canadians in town yesterday, I made a last minute route alteration & deciding to go west on Highway 20, cross the border at Sumas, make our way North through Squamish and Whistler.

    Blue skies and endless sunshine setting the stage, we wind through the North Cascades. Those mountains pull at my Colorado-bred heartstrings and I'm tempted every 1/4 mile to stop for a picture. Certain that this viewpoint is indeed the most stunning, until rounding a corner and being confronted with yet another jagged, snow speckled peak.

    The rugged beauty inspiring and the sheer magnitude humbling, I feel like but a speck of humanity when surrounded by wild lands. Minuscule in the big scheme of things. Nature has and will continue to reign king, powerful and resilient beyond our wildest dreams.

    My heart rate starts to level as my curve-navigating-skill increases. Towards the bottom of the pass, I take a right hand curve at near 40 mph. I'm elated. Grinning. Mentally pumping my fist.

    And then I look in my mirror. At the line up of cars surely annoyed at my relatively slow progress. I want to yell out that they should be celebrating. That I've just set a new PR. Instead I swing off into turnout, letting them file past.

    Merging back on the 20 I'm thankful for my VW touring past. For the seemingly random wander that gave me so many skills for this current adventure. We continue on our way. Moseying as fast, slow or slower as needed, without concern for the pressures from other drivers. Cause, well, you know how a honey badger be.

    Six days down. Many to come.


    And here's where you'll find the other stories so far>>

    Headed to set up camp. Will post more soon!

    Mallory & Baylor
    JG77 likes this.
  20. fasttortoise

    fasttortoise Smartest Idiot Here

    Jul 15, 2013
    IceCreamSoldier likes this.