Blinky’s Mountain Riders

Today was one of the reasons I’m on this journey. When I showed up here in Colorado, I reached out to riders in the area on social media and it didn’t take long for Pete West at “Blinky’s Mountain Riders” to invite me on a day ride. We met at Pete’s house in between morning showers and was greeted with waffles and coffee  by his lovely wife Lisa. Already there was George on Woodys old GS, Tana also on a BMW and Brady on his KTM. It’s such a small community because George hosted me on my 2016 four corners trip the day before “Woody Stock” at Woodys wheel works . Tana and Brady were at Woodys that day also!  Not much longer at Pete’s we were joined by the rest of the gang: Kevin on an Indian, Leon on a Suzuki, Triston on a GS, Ken on a Goldwing, Mike on a KTM and Jeff on a Can Am. It’s so refreshing to ride with so many different kind of bikes!

We headed north up to the Glen Echo  resort/campground on Poudre Canyon Rd. It’s north of the Rocky Mountain National Park. One rest stop was planned on the way in Masonville. There is a cool old Mercantile with a little mini old west town across the street.

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The scenery was amazing! It was tough trying to keep up with George in the lead to stop and get pics, but my mouth was open most of the way in awe of the beauty!

A great lunch in Glen Echo, then George and a couple of the Adventure guys headed north on the fire roads into Wyoming while the rest of us stuck to the pavement to just about retrace our route south. I peeled off before the road gang made it to Golden Colorado for dinner.

I did however stop for a pic in Colorado’s cleanest town 😉

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Thank you Pete and your gang for letting me join y’all!

What a trip its been so far!

This is a close representation of the route I’ve taken so far, and only about 200 miles of that was freeway!

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I have a ton of pictures to upload which are here in the slide show

 

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It all started with a send off from the PNWSTOG at Sherlys Tippy Canoe then I headed south to Eugene via Silver Falls State park. It was great meeting Drea, Jason and West from the group in Eugene!  Then on to one of my favorite places, Summer Lake Hot Springs, It was a little hot but I just couldn’t pass up a sunset and sunrise from the hot spring.  I had my first boondocking experience outside Lee Vining just off US 395, it was great!

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I stayed with Sherry Weiss down in Banning for another few days while my custom hitch carrier was being built at Joe Hauler just north of San Diego. Joe did a wonderful job building the extra heavy duty carrier for my Tenere.

 

Sherry was able to be my tour guide around the Saltan Sea, Salvation Mountain, Slab City and the sculptures in Borrego Springs. It was a great day! Thank you Sherry! She also helped me place a cross at the place our friend from the PNWSTOG Murray Newton was killed at last October.Murray was heading up Big Bear and then Vegas for his 50th birthday. Murray will be missed.

 

Parts of Route 66, the Grand Canyon, 4 Corners park and Durango Colorado were my next stops on my way. The landscape of Colorado quickly changed from desert to mountains pretty quickly.

I’m currently outside Denver for the next 4-5 weeks while the van interior is being built into a class B RV/motorcycle hauler by Cole Ford at Cavevan.

Here are even more pics…..

enjoy!

 

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Everything is falling into place!

I figured it’s time for an update with what’s happened these last few weeks. The van project went on the back burner while I worked to get my house ready to go on the market. My buddies Chis, Dan and Elsa helped me paint the interior while I painted the pump room and all the trim around the house. I improved the front sidewalk up to the house, put in a fire ring and made 5 runs to the dump with my motorcycle trailer and the Subaru. Elsa also had her “Escape hatch” moved closer to her house in Arlington. It’s at the Lake Bronson Nudist Park up in Sultan Wa.

The house went on sale June 1st and within 47 hours,  I was under contract with an offer for more then I was asking….. how fortuitous! 😉 a HUGE THANK YOU to my friend (PNW Tenere North leader) Christopher Dantzscher and Coldwell Banker Bain agent for the great work. The house is set to close 9 July!

Last weekend was Emily’s Senior Prom.  Emily and her boyfriend Zane had a great time! Don’t you think she looked fabulous!?! She is so looking forward to graduating next week and starting Western Washington University up in Bellingham this fall.

Oh yeah,…  As of Wednesday, I’m officially RETIRED!  After retiring from the USAF in 2011, I made a promise to my daughters that I’d stay close until Emily was out of High School.  Well….. That time has come! It was pretty easy walking away from my contracting position on JBLM,  but I will miss a few of the people and driving all the big toys.

These last few days I’ve made a lot of progress on the van.  First was applying “Hushmat”, it’s a premium grade insulation and sound deadening layer directly to the inside body metal.  At $350 for 78 sq/ft, I’ll need at least 150 -200 sq/ft to get the job done, but I’m assured that this base layer will make the inside very comfortable no matter the weather outside. It’s “the good stuff”

The flooring was next. 1/4” foil wrapped styrofoam insulation, 1/4” plywood and 3/8” rubber gym matting sandwiched together. Thinking about the weight of the bike on the foam, I swapped out that section of underpayment with strips of the rubber flooring. That should support it weight just fine. I’m also ok with not being able to cut a straight line along the walls because Cole will be building walls and furniture to hid the uneven cuts 😉

Yesterday my second shippment of Hushmat showed up as well as my Engle 40 liter Dual Voltage Refrigerator/ Freezer. I’ve only heard great things about the Engle brand of fridges. The 4×4/ Overland community swear by them for their durability and long life.  Can’t complain with that!  I also received my Kodiak lithium power supply  from Energy a few days ago. It’s a “all in one, plug and play” power generator. 1100 Watts / 3000 Watts surge , inverter and able to be charged from Solar, AC or DC. Until I get the 100 watt solar panel hooked up, I’ll be charging it off the house battery & inverter that’s built into the van.

I’m so greatful that everything has fallen into place from plans that started way back in 2006.  I didn’t know then what the future was to hold but that the summer of 2018 was going to be one of change and adventure.

Thank you for following my journey! There is MUCH MORE in store soon…. real soon!  😉

Glen

So, another Adventure begins.. again

Well, the van is here!! Paperwork all signed and currently sitting in my driveway. Several people I need to thank for pulling off a smooth buying and quick pick up process. Gerald Massey, Michael Debien and EJ Etherington. I also need to add Kevin Russell, Daryl Morse and Tim Lawrence for stopping by to see the van😊
The van got almost 18mpg on the 150 mile trip home, so I can’t complain for such a large vehicle and boy, does it have some power! That twin turbo is a kick in the pants, sort of like a re flashed Tenere ☺️
Now it comes time to get the house ready to sell so I can head to see Cole at cavevan to fit out the inside.

Tenere 700 “World Raid”

We we are just getting the first glimpses of the Tenere 700 World Raid (prototype #2 ) after it made an appearance last month in Australia. The specs are still mostly a mystery as they wouldn’t let anyone with a tape measure close to the bike.  As the year progresses, more details should leak out slowly. Until then, enjoy the pics. Some of these are photo shop concepts for wraps that might be available. I think they look great!

Vanlife is getting closer

Hi everyone!
I’m less then a month away from ordering the van to get the ball rolling on the #vanlife. ( YES, I’m getting excited!!! ) Yesterday I posted on my facebook wall two colors I am going to choose from. I was completely surprised to have 145 comments in less then 24 hours! Thanks for all that commented!
Well, the Blue jean color wins! It has a lot to do with the Yamaha/Yamahauler connection. I still plan on meeting up with other Tenere owners as I travel around for meet ups and rides in the backcountry.  The reason I started all this in the first place.

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It will be a 2018 Ford Transit
Body style: LWB-EXT High Roof (R3X)
Engine: 3.5L ecoboost twin Turbo
3.31Limited slip differential
Color: Blue jean
Extras: Heavy Duty alternator, Dual Battery, Back up camera, tow package w/trailer brake control, cruise control, 12v-110 inverter, rear and slider door windows.

The order gets placed next month at Landmark Ford in Portland, then it’s a 12-14 week wait for the delivery.
I’ve been in contact with Cole Ford at Cavevan. Cole is a custom up-fitter in Castle Rock, Colorado. I’ll head that way after my house closes, hopefully before August. I have narrowed down a few key things but leaving most details open as to how they will fit together inside. I’m finding in my research that many vanlifers switch or change their initial design within a year of their build. I’m trying to avoid that.

Sleeping, storage and cooking are among my priorities after the sound proofing, insulation and walls go up. It will have a compact stove,sink(w/hot water), fridge and port-a-potty.

 

 

Here are a few of my “Poor mans CAD” (MS excel) with each square equal 6”. I did these up starting in 2016 when I got back from my trip. It’s helped me a bunch even though it’s not to scale.

 

 

Since the Tenere 700 is still most of the year away, I’ll start the journey without a bike 😞 My Super Tenere 1200 will go on sale sometime before June, there just won’t be enough room in or on the back for that heavy and large of a bike. That’s another reason to start off simple / minimal, as the info and dimensions of the T-700 become known I can accurately make room for it when it does show up.

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While the van is on order, I’ll be getting the house ready to sell. I hope it goes fast because the road is calling……

Plans for the future

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.

https://www.citylab.com/…/a-13235-mile-road-trip-fo…/411406/

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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 or Ford Transit 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!

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170″ LWB MB Sprinter with T-7 on the back bumper or inside
Van interior
Minimalist interior, maximum options
Murphy bed
Murphy bed like this in the back of my van.
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Bed up, bike and gear inside
Yamahauler
I’d like to reverse the colors with yellow stripes and lettering on a black van
T-7
The new Yamaha T-7 700cc concept bike due out in 2018