Friday, May 18, 2012

The 2012 plan: This year we go north

 Just when we thought it was OK to go back in the water, Google has updated the Blogger software. This means I might have to learn another graphic user interface, when I just want to get back on the road and online, picking up from the end of my big transcontinental trip of 2011. We'll start this time from L. A., specifically Northridge, where the mighty yellow V-Strom has spent the winter.

This year, the plan is to head over to Las Vegas, maybe check out Death Valley, then head north with Hawaii friends Daniel and, David to Yellowstone, Banff and Jasper, before circling back though Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains to the Black Hills. We'll pick up two more Hawaii riders, Chris and Dale, at Yellowstone on the way.

In preparation, I've picked up a couple of pieces of kit, as the Brits say: an Air Hawk saddle pad to extend my daily comfort range and a Kelty 12-foot tarp and poles to provide shade on those blistering July afternoons in camp. I'm also thinking, since the little bugger sprung a leak, about replacing my Big Agnes air mattress with a Therm-a-Rest pad. Unfortunately, the Therm-a-Rest doesn't pack as tiny.

After our 100-degree-plus rides through the Dakotas last year, I'm planning to bring my mesh jacket, but leave its armor behind and use the elbow and shoulder pads in my First Gear riding suit.

That otherwise excellent outfit let me down in the downpour we ran into getting up to Minneapolis last summer, but I see there's a product called Formula 303 that restores water repellancy to GoreTex-kine garments. Apparently, my suit suit needs it after being laundered in Nikwax more than once.

So, the plan is: Mary and I go to San Francisco on June 3, spend a week with friends and visiting Yosemite. Then, I'll head south to begin this year's adventures, while Mary comes home to Honolulu and work, unfortunately, while I head north to Canada and then the Black Hills. After that ...
 well, stay tuned.

Here's the proposed route:


  1. You have to continue North to knock out Alaska while you are in the neighborhood!

  2. John, I think there are several people who make custom seats along your ride. I know the gentleman who did Harrison Ford's seat on his R1200GS is in Ojai, CA, a very beautiful town (really, a town) just north of LA. I had a custom seat done my Mr. Ed in Corvallis, OR and it's the best farkle I have. If you know the approximate dates that you'll be at your northern destinations, I would love to actually succeed in meeting up this year! Good luck and safe riding