I have to say that Northern California has some extremely challenging roads and by challenging, I mean FUN!, it also has some spectacular views. Here are a few pics that help make my point. If you are ever out this way, take the road less traveled.
I also need to give a shout out to Steve and Paula McCarley of Redding Yamaha Seadoo . We had just stopped in to say hi and were invited to the 1st of their summer bike nights. The hot dogs were delicious! Thanks!
My tour of Northern California ended in Garberville with the best Cajun food west of Louisiana. ( I know, it’s shocking) Cecil’s New Orleans Bistro‘s head chef once worked with Emeril at Commanders Palace in New Orleans. The food is amazing!
Tomorrow I head to the Bay Area in the rain, hopefully it won’t be too wet.
Good of morning from my 1st rest day in Redding Ca. WOW, what a ride so far!
My ride started Sunday morning the 15th leaving my house in Roy to meet up with Dan Siverston at the Kingston Ferry dock for my 1st destination of Cape Flattery. It’s the most northwestern point you can ride to in the lower 48. We met up with Cindy and Greg Guoan in Port Angeles and headed out to Neah Bay. Highway 112 is a great road but being so close to the Straight of Juan de Fuca and Vancouver Island BC, its best to turn your phone on airplane mode or you might get Canadian roaming charges on your next bill.
In Neah bay, We stoped at Linda’s Pizza kitchen and hotel to order our pizzas before heading out to the cape. Linda is the mom of a former co-worker and also my main supplier of smoked salmon. Being a member of the Makah tribe, she knows a thing or two about smoking fish. The pizza was smoked salmon and artichoke, yummy!
Cape Flattery is a little over 1/2 mile from the trail head, with all of us being in D/S boots, we opted for the picture from the trail head and geo-tag on the Delorme In Reach.
We stopped for a few pictures on Shi-Shi beach. Thanks Cindy for this great group shot!
We all headed back from there after our delicious pizza, Dan and I headed for the Kingston ferry, and the only rain we had all day was from Edmonds up to Elsa’s in Arlington.
Day 2 started off chilly and damp from Arlington until I got over Snoqualmie pass to about Cle Elum. After that, the sun came out and it warmed up nicely. In Ellensburg, I hopped on US 97 all the way to Madras Oregon to meet up with Paul Nelson. After a quick lunch, we headed for the Summer Lake Hot Springs in Paisley Or. It was a 550 mile day for me, the hot spring felt amazing after all those miles!
Day 3 started with a soak in the outdoor hot pool while watching the sunrise. I’ll have to say that’s a great way to start a 250 mile day 😉
I stopped in Adin Ca. for lunch at the Adin Supply Company, you get a real small town feeling in there. I had lunch care of Chris Dandzscher. Chris is the mastermind behind the Go Fund Me page that was set up so others could buy me lunch while I’m out on the road. I didn’t ask for this but gladly accept the support from everyone. I’m truly thankful to call Chris a friend.
The day ended at custom seat builder, Seth Laam of Laam seats . Dan Sivertson and I were there about 2 years ago to get our seats rebuilt, since then Seth has truly mastered the Tenere seat. He’s been building seats professionally for 15 years now and that’s saying something since he’s only 33! I know my butt will be happy for the journey.
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:
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!
Good evening y’all. I had a awesome 1st day on the road today. The bike is running great (thanks to Jeff Haar) and my luggage configuration is working. It is a little heavy for technical off road but will handle most rough gravel road with ease. I was able to do two sections of gravel roads today. Brooklyn Rd has always been a favorite with the group. “T” Glen even got to check out the the weather station there.
The second was King Road between the area known as Curtis and Winlock. It has 5 mph gravel twisties ;-)! The Tenere handled them both superbly!
My main goal today was to get to Hoquiam Wa., the home of LD Comfort. It’s in the towns old indoor community pool that has been filled in. I was lucky enough to meet the owner and inventor Mario Winkelman. He took time out of its production to describe in detail how his product works. After the day I had riding, it works as advertised! I even got a chill in the 80 degree heat!
One of the PNWSTOG members, Gerald Massey is an Iron Butt rider and fan of the base layers, click here to read his words about the product.
Here is a screen shot of the route today. The miles logged were about 220 and I was able to do it on 4.5 gallons of gas, 48 mpg isn’t bad fully loaded and hitting the twisties hard. I know I was able to wear down the corners of the tires a bit 😉
Tomorrow, I’ll be meeting up with a few PNWSTOG members for a ride from Kelso through Cougar,Trout Lake,Gleenwood,Goldendale, Yakima and Ellensberg.
I had a very productive day yesterday that went a long way toward prepping for my trip. 1st stop was to meet up with David Peterson at Best Rest Products I picked up a cool camp chair, some tire repair goodies plus he rebuilt my Cycle Pump and air gauge. Thanks David, your pump has saved me in the back country more than once, it’s awesome! Next stop was to see Darryl and Sandra VanNieuweuhuise’s great crew at Cyclops Adventure Sports / I had the 3000 lumen light bar custom installed by Greg. The attention to detail and overall level of customer service is outstanding! The lights are truly amazing! Lastly, I dropped the bike off at Jeff’s in Issaquah so he can get a closer look to see where I have a small oil leak. It might be a knick in the valve cover gasket from the last valve check or I may have just over filled the oil at the last change. Jeff is a great mechanic and will figure it out. He assured me it’s nothing too serious but wants to double check it before the trip. Thanks Jeff!
Fast approaching 2 weeks out, still a bunch of stuff to figure out with the bike and even more to do around the house.
I replaced the 1 gallon rotopax for a pelican case bolted down for my tools. The tire and first aid kits will go in boxes under the Altrider tail rack.
I had a dilemma earlier this week about what to wear, armored shirt under a jersey and separate rain gear OR be a “Cordura Cowboy”😏 in neck to ankle Klim gear.
After consulting Instructor Chet from PSSOR, and reading up on the Iron Butt website about keeping cool in the heat, I decided on the LD Comfort base layers under my Klim gear. The Thor armored shirt ,jerseys and Klim Dakar pants plus the ICON PDX rain gear will be mailed home to South Louisiana just in case I want to wear that through the Deep South, it will keep my options open.
All of that together reduced my packing enough to get rid of the orange Dry Spec bag. So it will just be the panniers, tank bag and Mosko Moto backcountry duffle. YAY!!
Chris Dantzischer and the great guys in the PNWSTOG are getting together to buy me lunch(or breakfast) while I’m out on the road through a Go Fund Me page. If you’d like to donate, click here -> https://www.gofundme.com/2hn3fux8 I’ll let everyone know on here and the Facebook blog when I’m having a meal courtesy of my friends. This is an extremely generous thing to do for me!! THANKS!!
My shakedown ride is planned for May 6-8. 1st stop is Hoquium Wa, the HQ of LD Comfort. Most, if not all, of the Iron butt association swear by this stuff to stay comfortable and cool plus the factory is so close. Then on to Knappa, Oregon to swap out tank bags and give my PIAA lights to soon to be now dad again….. Josh. I’ll be trying out his Yamaha factory bag, it’s a little bigger than the Giant Loop Fandango I have now. I’m hoping to get my phone, camera and iPad mini comfortably in there and stay secure and dry. All while still comfortable to stand up. We shall see.
Then through the GPNF, Trout Lake, Glenwood and Yakima to see my daughter at CWU in Ellensberg. I’ll be camping next to the Yakima river along Canyon Rd. Here -> http://www.yakimarv.com/index.html. Anyone want to joine me for some or all of the ride?
Welcome to my 1st trip blog! 1 month out and it’s time to start planning, packing, re-planning and re-packing.
This is the luggage I have to work with. It’s two 37 liter Trax panniers that I’ve had since my KLR days back in 2009, one 38 liter Dry Spec Rigid waterproof dry bag, one 4o liter Mosko Moto Backcountry duffle and a Giant Loop Fandango tank bag. I’m hoping to reduce my load enough to not need the orange Dry spec bag. When it’s all loaded on the bike, having two bags on the tail rack and back seat is a bit much.What to bring is always a compromise. I know if I had a smaller tent and didn’t need a C-PAP or do I really need a second pair of riding pants and my utilikilt? I have a month to figure it all out. What would you pack for six months with 160 Liters of storage space?
In helping to reduce what goes in the luggage, I’m modifying my bike to fit more on the bike. I have the Altrider luggage rack system on the tail and space where the back seat used to be. Using spacers available from Altrider to raise the tail rack an inch or so, it adds a little bit more storage space. It also evens out the level of the tail rack and top of the Rotopax one gal fuel can. There should be enough room under the tail rack for some tools and/or air pump or 1st aid kit. Every little bit helps.
One of my homemade add-ons is a piece of ply wood and carpet that covers the lock on the Rotopax fuel can. It helps prevent wear on the bottom of my luggage. The carpet gets used as a table when in camp.
The tent I’ll be using is the Redverz Solo Expedition tent. I already have the older Series II Expedition so I know what to expect, Redverz makes amazing tents! As mentioned earlier, everything is a compromise. A smaller one-, two- or even three- person tent will pack much easier and weigh a lot less but after a long day on the bike, it’s very nice to get the Redverz up and be able to stand and move around in your tent to get in and out of your motorcycle gear…..especially in the rain! It takes me no more time to set up the Redverz as it does my 3 person backpacking tent, all you need is relatively soft ground for the tent pegs as it’s not a free-standing tent. The tent is big enough to get me and the bike inside, if I need to, but I can rarely see a situation where that needs to happen. The designer, Kevin Muggleton thought up the idea for the tent while in Africa as a photographer for the National Geographic when gear was stollen off his bike while camping in the bush. I surely hope I’m not in that same situation on this trip.
I know my pack and set up will change several times between now and departure. By posting this now and getting it out there, it will open up discussion for ideas of better ways to pack. I rely on others that have “been there and done that” for guidance. I know I’m not the first one to do this and I’m also veryaware that there is no “rightway” to get it done. My journey starts now!