Trip Summary (kinda)

End of trip Summary and Notes

June 15- July 13, 2012

I would do it again if I had the chance.  The weather was not perfect, but I could not expect a month of perfect weather.  There are just too many highlights to put them in the summary.  Just read back through the blog.

Paid Camping: 14 Night-, Highest $28, Lowest $5

Motels: 6 Nights- Highest $110 for ½ room, Lowest $43 for ½ a room

Free Camping: 6 nights

Travel On Motorcycle: 10190 Miles,-Unpaved 1989 Miles

Travel On Ferry: 521 Miles

Travel On Foot:  49 Miles

Total Miles Traveled : 10760 Miles

Longest Day: 780 Miles

Shortest Day: 8 Miles

Gas Prices: Highest $8.08 per Gallon in BC, lowest $3.29 in Kansas

Motorcycle Problems beyond maintenance and normal wear and tear: 1- Stator was replaced.

After covering 10760 miles and approximately 1989 miles of those on none paved roads/trails, traveling by ferry and walking some, I would only change a few things.

Clothing:

  • I would take wicking pants that the legs zip on and off rather than both cotton blue jeans and cotton shorts.
  • I would take socks that wick rather than plain cotton socks.  The winter socks worked well (fleece lined wool).
  • I would take a pair of comfortable easy on/off walking shoes.  I only had my boots. These would work so much better around the campground and to the shower.

Food and Cooking:

  • I would carry less food.  When covering so much ground, you will pass a place that sells food somewhere along the way.
  • Mechanical water filter system I would not take. ( I would get chemical, much smaller)

Items I would not take again:

  • Inverter
  • As much cash. Almost all places take Visa or Mastercard. I would still take cash, just a smaller amount.
  • Winter coat, I used my riding gear so much, I never needed a winter coat.

Items I did not use but would still take:

  • 2nd camera – pictures are very important to me
  • Winter base layer – some other riders around me used theirs
  • Jet boil stove – I used someone else’s that was already out and going rather than mine.

Items I would like to change, but the change is not necessary:

  • Lens on camera.  It would be nice to have one lens to cover the full range rather than switching back and forth.  I missed a couple of shots while trying to get the correct lens on.
  • Heated jacket or vest.  I could layer up and stay warm, but when riding the distances the temperature changes and I would have to stop and unlayer and layer.  Turning a knob off and on is a lot easier.
  • Heated glove liners or heated gloves.  The heated grips worked most of the time, but there were a couple of times my fingers got very cold in the rain/snow mixture coming down.
  • Smaller sleeping bag and smaller sleeping pad when rolled up. Ones more suited for backpacking would work nicely. This way I could get them in one dry bag rather than 2 dry bags.
  • Riding gear that have the rain gear built on the outside.  This way  I wouldn’t have to stop and put it on ride a ways and then stop and take it off.

The motorcycle:

  • Possibly different tires.  Hiendau K60 outperformed the Anakee I had on. Both traction in gravel/dirt and tire life. The Hiendau also have good traction on the road.  Down side is the noise they produce.
  • I would go back to the stock 15 tooth front sprocket.  The 16 tooth was nice in the plains, but the 15 would work better in the mountains.
  • I would still carry a spare chain and master link.  I used them on this trip.
  • I would buy a big can of chain lube that I like before leaving, I couldn’t find what I wanted along the way.

The Biggest change if it was possible would be to take my wife with me. But she would not be comfortable on the motorcycle for that long, so that is I change that would not be possible.  Maybe someday I will take the trip again in an Jeep Wrangle or something similar with my wife.

Getting everything Ready

Thur – Fri, Jun 7-8

Well I got a new jacket and face shield on order after I damaged these in the wreck.  My new Jacket is Tourmaster Air Intake 3.  I didn’t have any time to research, but several riders I talked with liked theirs.  Hope this works out.

I got my bike back together.  I used a 3 lb hammer, 3 foot pry bar, and a couple of wood 2by4 scraps to fix the brackets that hold my Jesse Luggage on.  I contacted Jesse and they could sell me a new bracket inexpensively, but didn’t have any in stock.  And I could not wait for their next run of them.  I have the old style, not what they are currently using.  So I had to make do with reshaping the piece myself.  I got the mirror back in position and fastened the hand guard back on with a zip tie.  It is sometimes amazing what you can accomplish with simple tools.  Really not much damage.

In preparing the bike, I replaced the tires with Anekee 2.  Changed the oil, replaced the chain, checked the sprockets, brakes, and all the bolts.  I used Ride-On in the tires for both balancing and sealing.  It took me about 4 hours to change both tires, I don’t have machines for this so I used a C-clamp and tire spoons.  The new tires feel so much nicer than the old wore out ones did.

I have laid out all the equipment, clothes, documents, and supplies I am taking on the dining room table.  I keep checking it; thinking I am forgetting something.  On the pre-trip run I forgot a fork and a towel.  I am amazed at how small amount of space is needed when you go toward minimalism and not take everything like some past trips in campers with the family.

I finalized my proposed route.  Of course this route can change at any time.  It will be dictated by weather, road conditions, time required at someplace, money, and my whim.  I might decide to stay somewhere for a while or I might not.  The only time line I have to follow is the trip has to be over so I can go back to work on July 16th.

Watch for Sand in the Curve

Sat – Sun June 2-3

I wish I could sleep in.  It is habit to get up.  So right at 5am my internal alarm clock went off.  So I got up, added wood to the fire, watched the sun come up over the horizon with the horses in the field below it.  It was kinda pinkish sun rise this morning.  walked around camp.  I then could go back to sleep.  The next time I woke up, there was something messing with the tent.  I get out and find the owners puppy using the tent for a slide.  He runs up as far as it can and slides down the side of tent.  It is a black Labrador puppy, and not very old.  Neils is up now, so we kinda plan the day.

The breakfast bell is rung at about 7:30.  I get biscuits and sausage gravy with tator-tots.  We talk to some guys we know that have come down to off-road.  Then pack up camp and we are off.  We head out to see Peel Ferry.  We were told it is not far.  Ends up being about 90 miles and in another state.

Well we took off for the ferry on Bull Shoals, the air was in the upper 60s and a clear sky.  What a beautiful day for a ride.  We travelled around, almost got lost, stopped to talk with some locals.  Neil was offered 12 horses to add to his 2.  They are in a draught down there and hay is expensive.  He decided not to take them up on the offer.  We continued on the hills, the curves the trees, looking down from the hill-tops to the valleys was absolutely beautiful.

I got a little surprise. Coming around a curve, I caught some gravel on a corner.  Well I didn’t do so well.  I was on the outside line of the curve.  Soon as I lost all the contact with the asphalt, and was in the grassy shoulder, I dropped the bike.  It was a lowside.  I went rolling down the road with the asphalt shredding my jacket and the bike went sliding down the ditch.  I was surprised at how little damage the bike sustained.  The worst of the damage was the bracket that held the luggage on.  It allowed the bag to hit the swing arm.  Neil found a large stick to wedge the luggage box away from the rack and I bungee corded it in place.  We started up the bike and off we went to ride on the ferry.

We didn’t have to wait on the ferry long.  It was departing when we got there, about 30 minutes later we were loading for the ride across the lake.

Peel Ferry