Tuesday, August 5, 2014

motoPCKET Review:

I installed a set of 3 motoPOCKETS on my BMW 1200 Adventure and headed west from Mississippi to Seattle and back on a 6,000+ mile journey. Installing the pockets couldn't have been easier. The Velcro attachment method works wonderfully and no matter how much I loaded into my pockets, they never sagged or became loose. My two side case pockets acted as storage for my tool kit, oil bottle, air pump and tire changing kit. My top case pocket was mesh and I used it for my large first aid kit as well as daily medications. I enjoyed the mesh pocket because it allowed me to view through to see what I was reaching for. The mesh is very durable and the spacing won't allow the contents to fall out.

While I thankfully didn't need to get into my tools etc in my side case motoPOCKETS, I did find that at the end of my evening, a wonderful feature of the top case motoPOCKET was that I could simply grab the loop handle and pull the entire pocket off it's Velcro attachment and carry it into my hotel to have easy access to everything I needed to heal my boot blister, sore muscles and wash bugs out of my eyes. The next morning, stick it back in place and carry on.
Another great feature I stumbled across was after buying a nice bottle of wine in Napa, I placed it in my side case pocket which acted as a wine hammock perfectly protecting it for that nights post ride wind down.
I highly recommend motoPockets. They are well made and very handy places to store items you need to have on hand but don't want to take space up in the bottom of your cases. An additional bonus I discovered is that you can take these off your bike and since the more coarse part of the Velcro is on the pocket itself, you can reattach it to other soft fabrics. I take my first aid pocket with me when on trips by simply sticking it to the interior of my car trunk or to the back of my car seat. No additional material is needed for this. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Woke in Williams late by choice. The bed at the Route 66 room was soft and the best so far. At this point, I'm only 60 miles from the Grand Canyon but decided that I would have to give up seeing it. Another two hours round trip was too much not to mention the time I'd spend there. Again, tough decision button I had to make. Also, not to get too personal but the miles are starting to catch up on my backside. At about 400 miles, I'm getting uncomfortable. At 450, I can't find a good spot to sit. Understandable considering how many miles are on it in the last two weeks. Ha!

 I head east. At this point, I have no reservations, I'm riding as long as I can and then finding a room. These next three days and they pay back for the beauty and fun I had before.

I did get to see the Painnted Desert, a very nice landmark I had always wondered about. The colors don't show in this picture but it really did look painted.

All the picturesin this blog are taken from my camera. I still have my 35mm and another camera which I haven't accessed. When I get home, I will go through them and post anything good. For now, I think I'm done. I'm still 2 days from home but there is nothing amazing about these next two days. if that changes, you'll know it. Thank you all for following my blog. I appreciate all the comments here and on Facebook. So, until the next trip, adios!
Ok, I slept pretty good after my Tioga Pass ride considering my hotel was about the size of a postage stamp and had no wifi. I could have slept well anywhere though.

I took off south very early before the sun came up so I could get through the hottest part of this ride ASAP. I stopped at the last station to get Gatoraid and a full tank before heading into Death Valley. One thing to now about Death Valley is that it is properly named. It is trying to kill you at all times. Not personaly but it is a fact. There isno moisture here. At all times it is trying to suck any moisture it can get from anything that has it. You don't sweat here, your perspiration is wicked from you like a Coney Island pickpocket. I watched my temperature gauge and for the first time, it crossed into the 5 bar area. I kept my mesh armor on with gloves and everything and the temps never got over 112 due to my leaving early. My feet were killing me. They were burning and I couldn't stop so I kept going. I saw the temps fall to 109 and knew I was coming out of the other side. About 2o minutes later, I saw far off in the distance a man standing in the road alone. As I came closed, I saw there were three ones and a sign. Hecameoverandsaidtherewas a 20 minute wait till I could go on. They were spray coating the road ahead. 20 minutes seemed like andfour in this heat and while I had Gatoraid left,it was the temperature of coffee. No thanks.

I rolled into Williams Az on Route 66 about 5:30. Showered and hit the famous Rod's steak house. Afterwards I took in the sunset with some wine and a nice cigar. I can highly recomend the Lodge on Route 66 and hope to come back here again.

Time to catch up a bit. I woke early Wed and headed south through some really great country. I rode through several large sequoia groves and even visited the Lady Bird Johnson grove on the way to Napa. I've never felt so small as I did sitting near these trees. amazing!

I have visited wine country in Oregon but not California. Rolling through Mendicino, then Alexander Valley and Napaand eventually Lodi, I was constantly shocked at how small the presence of these wineries are here. I mean, to roll up on Opus One and see how small is was amazing. I passed so many wineries that I know from being in the buisness that ended up being small and very personal. I had no time to stop at any and I knew that going into to this trip. If I ever started visiting, I'd be here all day and tme did't allow. I know what you are saying "you were so close" but to pull this trip off, I had to cut some things out.

The ride from wine country to Yosemite was much further that I expected. The length of time to get into and out of the park was much, much longer that I had planned. Today was supposed to be my short day but ended up being on of my longest. I was awe struck at the mighty beauty of Yosemite. It is simply amazing! I parked at several places during the visit and just soaked it in. This is something more than I ever expected.

I left the park via tioga Pass to stay in Lee Vining and once I started up the pass which is 11,000 ft, it began to rain. I pulled over and put all my rain gear on. Things started getting rough here. No pictures because I was giving 100% to maintaining. The temps dropped to the low 40's, the sky grew black and the rain came down in earnest. I just kept going slow and steady. At one point, there was a road block ahead with police. After about 10 minutes of parked in the rain, they
Te everyone slowly pass. The reason for the delay was that about a mile of the road ahead was covered with a 3 inch slush of snow, mud and rocks that had run off of the side of the mountain and down the road. Now, I put 100% street tires on and this part made me nervous. I held it fine and made it through in one piece. Something that suprised me was that the east side of Tioga pass was amazingly beautiful. High lakes and giant granite walls shimmering with the fresh rain.

30 minutes later I was in my hotel, tired and needing sleep. It didn't take long to come.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Long, long day! 12 hours to get 480 miles. Too tired to do anything more with the blog tonight. No wifi anyway. Using my phone for this. Will do better tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hi Friends! Today was a busy and interesting day. Woke about 5:00, kissed Melissa and Regan on the forehead and hit the road from my cousin's house. The first 3+ hours was interstate south on I-5. There was no other practical way to get where I needed to be. Once off the interstate, I turned to head to the pacific coast line and 101. I was on a beautiful 2 lane windy road when I saw a building in the middle of the road ahead. It was an agricultural inspection station. A first for me. They waved me through not realizing the spores that I had been collecting were hidden in...wait, that wasn't me. That was a movie I saw last month.

As I closed on the coast, I kept seeing elk crossing signs and soon after, I passed a large herd of elk in a pasture. I had to take a shot.

I'd like to stop and add that mentally and physically, I feel great. no worries. The temperature had been running in the mid 70's because it was early. each mile is warmed a few degrees and then reversed itself to hit a low of 53. The smokey mist from the ocean blew in thanks to at least 30 mhp winds. I had to pull over to add a layer. The ocean was amazing. There is something so wild about a coastline and this one is alive! Gusting winds and fog, three that look as if they are bent sideways. It's a landscape in motion.

I would leave the coast for an island stretch and the temps would raise 15f. Really amazing to experience. I am now in the land of the sequoia. Whereas I hiked to find a grove at Ranier, here they are abundant. These trees must be seen I person to appreciate.

I hit the busy town of Eureka with plans to. Cut off and find a gem I had researched. A place called the hidden coast. It's a small road that run along (I mean 15ft off) the ocean. To get there, you have to navigate 30 miles of farm roads so there are no cars once there. You can ride along the coast for almost an hour and not see anyone.

Here lies the problem! Melissa texts me and asks, "have you got my ID and passport?". Brakes!!! Holy crap! I look and find Melissa and Regan's ID and passports in my bag from a trip we took in Seattle. Ok, I'm 8 hours into my way home and they are flying back early on Thurs. It is Tues. I call Melissa and tell her to get in the car and start south to meet me. I have an idea but don't know if it will work.

I ride back 30 minutes to Eureka and find a FedEx. With 20 minutes to spare, they tell me they can overnight it to arrive by 8:00am  tomorrow. $64 but I don't care! I call Melissa and she turns back. crisis averted. Whew!

I just checking itto my hotel  worn out and running late but happy. I discovered that I left my netbooks power cord at my cousins so I am now using my ipad to update this blog. Forgive any typing errors. With luck, all mistakes and errors are in the past and the delivery arrives on time.

Till tomorrow my friends,

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hi folks! Today's update is pretty small. We woke and got a late start out to Hood River which is a small town in the Columbia river gorge. For those who don't know, the Columbia river and gorge run west/east and is a deep canyon. The winds along the river are always high and at Hood River, it's a perfect spot for kite boarding. We arrived in perfect time to get to eat lunch at Full Sail Brewery and restaurant. The food here is so fresh and awesome that I can't get en enough.

I can't get pictures up tonight, sorry. It's a bust night and lots to do.

Afterward, we left and headed further east to The Dalles, another city down the river. We shopped a bit there to shop and crossed over into Washington to see the other side of the gorge which is considered the high desert in this area. Dry with exposed rocks, this is much more like Idaho and Wyoming. I head Melissa call out Buffalo! Sure enough, on the rocks in the distant prairie were a small herd of buffalo. Since I am skipping over pictures today, I promise to make another blog update after I get home with nothing but pictures.

So now we are back at my cousin Sam's cooking burgers on the grill and packing the bike up for the long trip back home. Melissa and Regan will stay here for a few days longer to shop and do what two girls in Portland will do.

Tomorrow I will head out on the 6 day journey back home. Since I'm traveling alone, I will have some time to better update the blog. I have a few great days planned so be sure to check back. Thanks for keeping up!