OK, so after being home for a week I have finally had time to sort through photos and stories of the trip.
We laid out our gear, clothes, camping kit, etc., removed some things, and removed some things again. It was a bit of a challenge as we had planned to camp and motel along the way. We would have saved all the room and about 38lbs if we didn't camp but then we would give up the opportunity to meet people..........which was the whole point of the trip. And with 3 of us, one being 7 years old, there were a few things we couldn't leave without. Baseball gloves, check, kite, check, night time blanket, check....
And after it was all loaded.....keep in mind that my back seat is full of Jack's gear as I transport it to school to pick him up.
We picked up our 7 year old from his last day of school with fully loaded bikes with a destination of Benbow California. (Near Garberville) 248 miles
It's 92 degrees as we suit up, so time is of the essence. Jack doesn't mind long rides, but he does mind roasting in a motorcycle suit in a parking lot.....
And we're off.....
So about 45 minutes out of Davis my passenger tells me through the autocom that he is hot and thirsty and would like to take a break. It's all about keeping the big guy happy in the heat so we pulled of in Esparto at a run down market to grab something cold. As we were taking off our gear I soon realized that there was a bee that had flown in to Jack's sleeve and it was just sitting there......not for long. It stung him in the arm as we tried to get it out. We got the jacket off and after a few tears had a anti sting patch from the first aid kit to sooth the pain.......and a root beer from the market.
He's tough and soon we were back on the road.
There were a few thunder clouds looming about. We kept our eye on this one as it seemed to be conveniently moving towards our destination. We weren't worried about riding in the rain, but it was the first day and we were still getting used to the weight. I didn't want to have wet roads as a factor so early in the trip.
It never did rain on us, but we were right behind it. We kept running through puddles that were only a few minutes old.
As I mentioned, we were heading towards Garberville. Coincedently it was also the weekend of the Redwood run, a big Harley event. We stopped in Lucerne (near Clearlake) for an ice cream and lunch and parked with a sea of Harleys. Most folks were nice although there were many that didn't even acknowledge that we were on 2 wheels. Apparently it's not cool to wear jackets with sleeves, high viz gear, or full face helmets with some people. Oh well, we were just happy to have departed on our 16 day trip.
We made our next "rest stop" was Willits CA for fuel. Jack started getting tired and was dozing off a bit. He is attached to me with a child riding belt and surrounded with a RevPak U shaped duffle so he can't fall off. It was time for more sugar to perk him up and we only had about an hour to go.
This is also where I discovered by leaking rear Ohlins. With only 3000 miles on it and having it custom sprung for my weight as well as gear, passenger, and riding type, I wasn't happy to see it weeping oil badly. Not dripping on the ground yet, but give it time. Onward to Benbow.....
We arrived at the Benbow Inn around 6:45pm. I had made reservations at hotels for the 1st 2 nights as I knew they would be long days in the saddle. This is a place that my wife has visited since childhood so it was a bit of a history lesson for Jack and I. We met some other riders heading to the Redwood run and everyone was cool. The Ohlins was now officially dripping oil on the ground.....shit!
I called Ohlins the next morning and ordered a new shock. This time with an even stiffer spring as I didn't want to take any chances later in the trip. I had them ship it to Ride West BMW in Seattle where I already had an appointment to have new tires installed on Sandy's F650. We ran out of time before we left and we knew we would be staying in Seattle for a few days.