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The West

 
  #1  
Old 06-03-2019, 07:08 AM
AbqDave
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Default The West

To my surprise I made it as far as Rock Springs last night. Because it finally clicked somewhere south of Jackson. Finally just stopped caring.

It was a good day but I invested too much in Yellowstone, didn't aēcount for the Disney-esque madness of a sunny weekend day. Sure there were plenty of bison -- it's like the frickin Serengeti -- but there were plenty of jackasses too. Too many.

Last car fell off the map on a lonely stretch of 191 as the Wind River range was reeling out to the east. Somehow still in sunshine in spite of the storm clouds, still gleaming in snow because it's just barely spring here. I decided not to think, but to sing.

I'm kind of liking Springsteen's "Promised Land," same story as "River" basically but told in advance, with hopefulness. That taking the path of righteousness -- I get up every morning and go to work each day -- will get you the girl, and something more. You take your side of the covenant. Then what?

I pull off, to layer up as it appears I will be riding into the storm. I've seen what faith can do to a person's life. Seen what despair can do as well. I know what I counsel, but I don't follow my own advice.

This trip has been a weird dance with homesickness. But where is that, precisely? Florida? New Mexico? California? None of these, I realize. My home is right here.

And it turned out to be a nice ride. The sun even came out, although I didn't particularly need it to. Today? I dunno. Colorado, probably, maybe.
 

Last edited by AbqDave; 06-03-2019 at 07:09 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-03-2019, 07:32 AM
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Nice ..... oh ya, Picts or it didn’t happen....
 
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Old 06-03-2019, 07:25 PM
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One of my absolute favorite things is riding west into a colorful sunset. Cant even put it into words, but it doesn’t happen east of the Mississippi.
 
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Old 06-04-2019, 08:16 AM
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Pics coming

It all started about a week ago, maybe a little more (what day is it?). Had a meeting in Seattle, figured I'd take the bike. Everything else was pretty much an accident. For example, I left out of Sac Friday night, hoping to make Redding, and I had big plans from there. But the rain and traffic forced me off in Red Bluff. Next day, looking at the map, it looked like 36 might avoid both.

Turns out 36 is a fine technical road, rare in this part of the world because it is relatively free from California drivers. You know, the kind who learned how to drive from watching Nascar on TV, out there searching all over the road for an apex they will never find. I don't need much room, but I need some.

Two observations.

1. The new softails handle technical roads just fine, up to a very reasonable point. So if I say my lowrider is a sport touring bike, well, it's my bike and I'll call it what I want. I'd take it over a VFR any day and it'll give an R12 a run for it's money.

2. Hayfork CA is the drunkest town I've ever been in. On a per capita basis. St Pete is drunker in absolute terms. But Hayfork only has a population of 38, and I saw half that many reeling about early Saturday morning. Breakfast is literally served up in a bar, and everyone in there appears to have been in there the night before, as well. Like they live in there.

I was looking forward to the cheerfully stoned small towns of Oregon. But 36 through Shasta Trinity was a fine way to make it to the coast.
 

Last edited by AbqDave; 06-04-2019 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 06-04-2019, 08:55 AM
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Running totals for the trip:
Elk: 2
Whales: 0
Sasquatch: 0
Hot Female Scientists: 3

Gear review of the day:
Before the trip I meant to do something with the bars, pegs and seat, but accomplished none of those things. Instead, I bought a Top Pad gel sheepskin pad. It's magnificent. Like J-Lo petting your ***** with cashmere gloves. I'd pay $100 for either one of those things.

The pegs worked out, passenger pegs = perfect rear sets. OTOH those buckhorn contraptions have gotta go.
 
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:47 PM
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So how'd you end up in Yellowstone?
 
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:14 PM
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If 36 Westbound were a toll road, I'd pay it, happily.
 
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:02 AM
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2900 mile check in. Thoughts on packing.

Outer layer is key. How much crash protection you want is up to you, but wind and rain protection can't be an afterthought. I had my gear on the whole time. I am not a fan of leather on the open road although with enough snow-seal you could make it work I suppose. I'm invested in premium cordura, although I've been digging waxed canvas lately. If you're handy that could be a diy project (I've been skiing for years in some carhartts I waxed up myself). Whatever you decide, choose an outer layer you can live in, rain or shine, cuz that's what you're gonna be doing.

Heated vest was worth it's weight in gold. If you use the battery tender hookup, don't try to run more than a vest, bring a spare fuse, and know where the fuse box is.

99 percent of the time I was in some combination of
Jeans
Long sleeve performance blend tshirt (Walmart)
LD comfort drawers (can't say enough about these, it's the difference between abject misery and the normal everyday sort of misery)
Merino socks
Tshirt
Sneakers
Carhartt fleece sweater
Walmart Henley shirt
Couple pair of coolmax drawers. Walmart of course!
Long John's. (from Kroger, because evidently Walmart is persona non grata in the people's republic of Oregon)

I also pack lightweight convertible khaki fishing pants.

I had to bring a collared shirt for my meetings, but anything else would have been a waste. Carhartt is fashion statement enough, anywhere in the west.

Yes I did laundry

Tool wise, you need hex keys, screwdriver, scissors. Tire pressure gauge. Plug kit. Everything else is at Walmart.

Woulda/shoulda list
1. Wish I'd got a swingarm bag big enough to hold a liter of water. That or some kind of water toting system. Maybe a Camelback? Out in the desert a liter is absolute minimum to carry, two would be better. Remember you use that stuff for cooling as well as hydration. At one point I was scrambling down to the creek for cooling water.
2. Shoulda brought my tube scarf (although they have em in the women's department at Walmart for like two bucks)
3. Portable cell phone charger. Although the USB port did save my bacon.
4. Would have told Orbitz to take a hike at the get-go. Screw those jackasses. Nothing but bad experiences with Orbitz, nothing but good experience dealing with motel 6 directly. Cuz that's all you need, basically. Ride until you're tired, look for the 6, done.
5. Shoulda brought one pair of long heavy socks, like soccer socks or kilt socks. Come to think of it, I shoulda brought my kilt.
 

Last edited by AbqDave; 06-07-2019 at 11:24 AM.
  #9  
Old 06-07-2019, 12:49 PM
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Love those kind of road trips. Good on ya.

Agree with your assessment of everything so far. Layers are the key to the whole thing.

Any chance you will be riding through Utah? (or did?)
 
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:57 PM
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OK here's the rundown.

West end of 36 closed for construction, which is fine, otherwise I would have missed Hayfork. Took 299 through Six Rivers the rest of the way.
 

Last edited by AbqDave; 06-07-2019 at 04:49 PM.

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