It’s been 4 days and almost 800 miles (785miles) and my “Shakedown” rise is done. I learned a bunch. 1st being I’m out of shape and the 1st few weeks on the road will kick my butt ;-/ 2nd is I packed to much stuff! (no suprise!)
Here is a list of a few things that sadly won’t be on the journey:
- The Survival Utilikilt As much as I’d love to have it with me……It’s just too bulky.
- “T” Glen the Traveling gnome. He’s too fat….
- Defense bar soap, I’ll be switching to a travel size version of the same soap but in liquid form.
- REI long pants. I was going to take an “extra” pair of long pants for around camp but decided I just don’t need it.
Here is a list of the “stuff” that is staying:
- The Klim K Fifty 1 riding jeans, There was allot of thought put into this decision to pack these bulky and heavy jeans….overriding everything,it’s been safety! The D-30 armor from my Klim Adventure Rally pants are directly interchangeable with these jeans. Double use for one set of armor so I can wear the jeans out in town or with the friends I make along the way. I’ll be able ride the bike out in town and still feel like I have armor and kevlar between me and the road…. because I do!
- LD Comfort base layers. After my visit with Mario on friday and wearing his base layers for all 785 miles, IT WORKS AS ADVERTISED!! Along the Klickatat River the bikes temp read-out neared 100 degrees and I was honestly getting a chill between my shoulders! I didn’t have any vents open either on the Klim Latitude 840D! All that was open was the sleeves! That was enough to cool my torso. To cool the lower half, I just stood up for a few minuets. I was VERY comfortable all day long. As soon as I got home today,I ordered another shirt.
- The Redverz Solo Tent. Even at 12 lbs and taking up 70% of a 37 liter pannier, I’m keeping it. I like the private space it provides, I like that I can stand up and put on my gear. It also didn’t flinch in the 30+mph winds that were blowing most of the night with the guide lines anchored down. I can also park the bike “IN” the tent if need be, a very handy feature, if you ask me! I have the bike pack up procedure to about 30-40 min from waking up to having a fully loaded bike. Not too bad if I were in a hurry or in the rain, but I hope not to be in either of those situations on my trip.
Saturday morning Day 2, I met Dain and Bhargav( thanks guys!) in Kelso about 9:30 and we headed out to Woodland, Cougar and beyond on Highway 503 then the Wind River Highway( a MUST ride) to Carson on the Columbia River. Luckly, the gusting headwind wasn’t too punishing. We then pulled off on Highway 142 through Klickitat to Goldendale. (Some of the best riding all day!) It’s amazing that it reminds me of roads in Northern California. A simply amazing road that you need to search out! In Goldendale we met up with Scott and made our way up Highway 97 to Miner’s Burgers in Yakima. The look on Bhargav’s face when he saw how big the burgers were was priceless 😉 too bad I didn’t have my camera at the ready.
My day ended in Ellensberg at the Yakima River RV Park where I set up the Redverz solo tent. A spectacular sunset with a clear sky wasn’t a good warning of the 30+mph wind gusts that blew most of the night and all the next day. The tent held up like a champ! With a set of ear plugs in, I didn’t really let the freight train bother me much that rolls through just about every night. The entire valley hears it so there’s not much escaping that horn…..
The morning of day 3 was family time with my daughter Madison that’s a freshman at Central Washington Univ., her sister Emily(a sophomore in High School) and their mom and grandma on mothers day.
After brunch with them, I headed up US 97 to Leavenworth and over Stephens Pass to Elsa’s in Arlington for the night.
On Day 4, I made a bee-line to AltRider to see Jermey, Jimmy and the crew for their new Stainless Steel light guard. I can’t say enough good things about the support AltRider has given the group over the years. Jimmy installed the headlight guard for me, Thanks Jimmy!
The one real casualty of the trip was my pannier lock on the Twisted Throttle TRAX luggage. My two brothers exhaust is at the wrong angle and I’m guessing the heat is a little excessive…. ouch! I have the original all steel non-key locked fasteners that will be put back on till I can get up to the Twisted Throttle HQ in Rhode Island on my journey.
Just a few more days to go and my list of things to do around the house hasn’t gotten any shorter. I did find someone to hang out here at the house while I’m gone so that is one less thing……yay!