Yesterday several members of the group got together to remember our friend and riding buddy Paul Nelson. Paul passed away suddenly just after the new year, which was a shock to us all. He will be missed. One of Paul’s favorite memories growing up was camping at Kinzel Lake with his dad. It was one of his #1 destination to ride to. It’s a steep and rocky single lane road about 10 miles outside of Government Camp Oregon in the shadow of Mt Hood. Paul’s wife Jeanette and her friend Leslie joined us for brunch at the Toll Gate Inn in Sandy Or(another favorite place of Paul’s)
It was an easy decision to set up a ride in the summer to his favorite place. I plan to head out there at least once a year to remember our friend. I hope we can make if an annual group event.
It’s been a year now since my departure and what a year it’s been! I’m back home in the PNW, working full time at my old job and dreaming of my next adventure. These are potential routes I’m playing around with for my next trip. I wouldn’t stick exactly to the routes but staying at 70 degrees all year round is a goal. As you can see it’s a much slower pace. Getting to know an area for days or weeks as opposed to just driving by will have it’s advantages.
Lots of things need to fall into place before departure. Things like: watch my daughter graduate high school, sell my house, Yamaha to release the T-7 concept as a production model and finally buy a 170″ LWB Mercedes Benz Sprinter cargo van for up-fitting into an Adventure rig. See, not much 😜
I’m at least 12 months out from starting this adventure. Now is the time to plan, save $$ and get the house ready to sell.
Trust me, more to follow!
Well, it’s almost done. 20,000 miles, 4 corners and 44 states traversed so far. I’m at a buddy’s place in the UP of Michigan on my last rest day before I head to Washington. I have hotel reservations in Duluth Min., Aberdeen SD., Miles City Mt. and staying with friends in Missoula Mt. and Moses Lake Wa. There are right at 2000 miles between here and home, it’s going to be a long week. I know I’m taking a pretty quick route home but the weather is turning cooler, I’m getting tired, and the budget I had set up for this trip is getting a little low. I’ll be back out to see the places I’ve missed soon enough.
Yesterday I made a post in a group on Facebook dedicated to my old USAF career field to say thanks to 15-18 old co-workers and friends that hosted me on my trip. It’s nearing almost 200 “likes” in less than 24 hours so I guess it struck a chord with the military community on how this trip brings us together even after a decade or two. I feel truly blessed to have had the support from my friends as I made my way across the country. This trip couldn’t have been done without them. Thanks guys! Once I get home and settled, I’ll reach out to each one and thank them.
Many people are asking me “what’s next? ” and while it’s been on my mind, it’s not taking up too much space ;-). I have a lot of options ahead that can take me in several directions. One thing I have learned on this trip is to keep your route flexible. I’ll do my best to never forget that. Setting your GPS to “walking” now and again takes you on the best roads:-)
I’m also very much looking forward to seeing Elsa, my girls and the guys in the PNWSTOG. One other thing is sleeping in my own bed! That’s one of the many things that I’ve learned on the road, so much can be said for sleeping in the same bed every night, even if it’s in the back of a van or small RV 😉 like this from Outsidevan
Yes, this is one of my options, though it would have a Yamaha and not a KTM on the back :-p
Other option are:
Building or buying a cabin in the woods that’s closer to the dual sport riding we all like to do. It could be a jumping off point for the group rides.
Becoming a “snowbird” with Elsa part of the year that ties directly into the van/RV and cabin scenario.
Whichever option I do tackle first, traveling across this country part or most of the year on 2 and/or 4 wheels will be the priority.
I’ll arrive home next week, get my house back in order and work on this blog to post up the hundreds of pictures I took with the stories behind them. Something I haven’t really had the time or the right computer to do it with. So just because my trip is over, there is much more in store. Please stay tuned!
Oh, If you are thinking of doing a trip like this, don’t hesitate! Do it!! It’s so worth it!
Take care and THANK YOU! For following me on my journey…
I’m writing up this quick blog to let everyone know I had some excellent service here in Iowa City today at Sun and Fun Powersports. I had the Heidenau K-60 Scout rear tire changed out after about 14,000 miles. (It was last changed in Denver at Woodys Wheels) The GM Scott Goedken wasn’t around but his service manager Jared Jasena had me in and out in 30 min. That’s the quickest tire change I’ve ever seen. Fast and professional service!