Sunday, December 28, 2014

14th update this year.

I said goodbye to an old friend today.  We’ve been close for over 11 years.  Been through a lot together… helped me get over my divorce, was there when I had to evacuate for hurricane Katrina.  We explored the west Texas desert together as well as some great places in the mountains of New Mexico and Arizona.

But over the last couple years, we’d grown apart.  Finally the time came to say goodbye, knowing we probably won’t see each other again.  It was tough, but it had to be done.  Holding on too long comes with its own problems.  Anyway, I will always have the memories.  I hope the new owner has at least half the fun I did.  Here’s a couple pictures from some of the time we spent together.
From a weekend playing in Mississippi.

Right before we got stuck in the mud in New Mexico.

Right before we got stuck in the mud in Texas.

Not the worst campsite, not the best campsite.  Level, but not soft.

From the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route.


One last ride, this in the California desert.


In less interesting news, this is the 14th time I’ve updated the blog this year.  Since the last update, I’ve been on the road, mostly running from the weather and sleeping with cold feet.  Not the figurative kind, the literal kind.  I’m beginning to think my heavy sleeping bag, that I got slightly used about 13 years ago, is almost worn out.  It’s rated to 20 degrees, but despite two extra layers on top of it, I’m freezing at 26.  I definitely need to upgrade.  Or head to warmer weather.


Whichever I choose, you can read about it here.
 
Furry tree, Oregon.




Shoe Fence, near Twenty Nine Palms, CA.  It's been in the blog before.

Pedestrian traffic in Oatman, Arizona.



With my new friend on Route 66 in Arizona.



One of my top 5 favorite roads.  

Where will I head next?  Ogri said it best.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

on the road.

I’ve been away for a while but I haven’t forgotten you.  

This is Trey.

I spent nearly 7 weeks following Trey across the country, providing navigation and bicycle mechanic assistance, as well as pep-talks (not my strong suite, apparently) and driving the chase truck.  We started in Santa Monica, California, and finished in Charleston, South Carolina.  Along the way we faced rain, hail, lightening, people terribly upset at having to slow down briefly, and people waving and cheering enthusiastically.  He was chased by dogs and hounded by a coach who thought (reasonably), that he should consider a day off at some point.  But there was none: he rode the bike every day, averaging 58 miles per day.  And he maintained his full time job at the same time, thanks to some long days and the internets.  



It was fun to part of the team (three of us on the road, several more supporting from home), but I missed riding my own bike, which I did not have with me.  I took up jogging for some exercise but didn’t get to partake as often as I wanted to, or needed to.  By avoiding the major cities (except Los Angles, Phoenix, and Charleston) we also avoided a lot of good restaurant choices.  What there was to pick from was less-healthy, and my slight weight gain reflects that.



Sitting in the chase car for 5-8 hours per day took a toll, too.  Normally, I stop for every reason I can think of.  Antique stores, thrift shops, historical markers, BBQ, nice views…  The pace and schedule kept us from doing that much this trip.  Still, it was fun to drive across the country slowly, and I’m glad I got to participate.  Next time, I’m riding a bike too.  Someone else can drive the truck!




So I’m back in Washington state, briefly.  There has been a slight shift in the motorcycle inventory, with another one in the works.  And soon I’ll be heading south for warmer weather.  See you there!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Miles to go.

I’ve been on the road a lot since the last update.  

In Great Falls, Montana: a bar with real mermaids.

First, from Seattle/Tacoma, I flew to Atlanta (about 2,500 miles).  Then I jumped into a team-van and drove to Calgary, Alberta (also about 2,500 miles).  A week was spent tending to the racing bikes for the 5-hour Energy racing team before driving the van back to Atlanta.  Then onto a plane for the return to Seattle.  
Rainy day in Alberta.

Sunny day in Alberta.

Jim Stemper!


All totaled, about 10,000 miles covered in about 3 weeks.  To unwind from all that, I packed up the Ducati and took a ride to San Francisco (about 1,000 miles each way) to visit my sister.  We had a great time, despite the lack of pictures.
World's largest bison.  Its in North Dakota.

The Oregon coast.

Coolest cafe in Eureka, California.

Giant Redwoods on the Avenue of the Giants,  northern California.


Next week I start a cross country bicycle ride, although I won’t be riding a bike, I’ll be in a chase car.  Update to follow.

This was my bike in 1999.  This very one.  I saw it on the road in Portland and met the current owner.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

August

      After returning from China, there was a few days of mandatory naps.  Serious jet lag!  Recovery was aided by some relaxing trips, including a great day on a boat and a lazy trip down a lazy river in an inner-tube.
This tree did it's best to follow the road sign.
Crazy road sign.


















       Then it was "back on the road."  Home on the road.  Camping in New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Oregon, and Washington.  A successful quest for cooler temps.


       Along the way there was bicycle rides and motorcycle rides and quiet afternoons just reading a book (not pictured).  The jet lag is long gone and the next long trip starts... tomorrow.  I'm catching a plane to Atlanta, then driving almost all the way back to Seattle, but heading to Alberta for a week-long bicycle race.
Got the KTM Duke dirty in Colorado.

Going down.


Going up.


Road train?



Stay tuned.