I am little backwards here. I more recently did a trip and RR for my Skyline trip, which I did with my buddy Jeff, November 13-15th. I had not done a trip report for this trip, which I did in the end of August, with some other riding buddies, Song, Tony, Morgan, and Mike.
I did not think that I had enough pics to bother with a trip report, and really, there are not a lot of pics...but I figured what the heck..it will be that much easier.
I will prewarn you that is not an epic trip report..not even close......but, if for nothing else, it is fun for me to relive it while I write it. I am also looking forward to doing some more trips in the coming year, both with the SV1000 on the road and the DRZ offroad( as much as possible in this area anyway). This can also be considered some more practice for those. Each trip I do, I learn from....what to take, what not to take, what will work into an RR nicely, what will be left in the files, etc.
OK, so onto this trip. This trip was somewhat of a milestone for me. For one thing, getting the OK from the wife, to do a trip and leave her alone, has been hard to do. Trust me, I love my wife very much, but her one downfall is not wanting to be alone. She has never really been alone in her life. She never lived on her own and enjoyed the beauty of being alone...maybe its just a man thing. It also does not help that we have a house that makes a lot of creeks and sounds, and have some sketchy neighbors. Throw on top of that her association of motorcycles and pain......three months after we started dating I broke my femur at a trackday down at VIR. A week in the hospital down there and then her having to rush me to the hospital up here( in NJ), two weeks later, since blood clots from my leg had gone up into my lungs and started choking off the blood flow. The pain was like none I had ever known.....for you DR types...massive pulmonary embolism from a DVT.
Luckily, 10 days of intensive care and industrial strength blood thinners and pain killers..I came home and made a good recovery.
The second reason that it was good I got out, was that the guys I did the trip with, get out 4-6 times a year, and do these kind of trips. Be it finances, vaca time, or whatnot, it's rare that I am able to get out and join them..and it sucks. I was so glad to be able to finally get out and join them, as opposed to hear or read about it, after the fact.
OK, enough jibber jabber.
The plan was that one of the guys, Tony, would ride up the day before, Thursday, and get the "good" * camping trip. The locale was "Big Pond" in the Catskills, NY. The rest of us would meet up Friday after work, and head up. We would ride Saturday all day, and take a cool route back, riding back home Sunday. Sounded like fun.
* These guys had camped up here a month ago and knew the area. They had a good enough trip, they wanted to repeat it. I got in this time.
We had been emailing back and forth about for weeks. I was personally stoked for this trip. Unlike some of the other guys, I do not have the gear that works really well, but packs really small. I have a tent, which we call the Target tent, that I bought years ago for $12.00. It been used about 6-7 times now, two of those in heavy rain storms, and worked really well. BUT, it does not pack small, is not light and takes a little bit of time to set up and take down. In looking forward to next year, I am going to buy a better tent and sleeping bag...just for light packing motorcycle trips.
The one hitch
to this trip, was that other than gas, no money would be spent on anything, from the time we left, until the time we got back. That meant, all food and drink, and smokes for the smokers, would have to be brought along. That was gonna be interesting...certainly with my non small packing tent and sleeping bag. One saddle bag was taken up by my sleeping bag alone. LOL
Getting bike set up for the trip with the saddle bags and GoPro...which I never used.
The plan was we would meet at Starbucks in NJ.
Since we were bringing all our own water, I decided to bring along my Hydrapack...3.0 Liter. The issue was, with me on the bike, tankbag packed, me and the hydrapack, and the trunk....there was just no room to move. So, at the meet spot, I took off the hydrapack and rearranged the gear on the bike. Before and After.
My buddies Song and Morgan showed up right on time. We were waiting on Mike, and after a bit, realized from some google app Song had on his phone, that Mike was still in PA and well over an hour away. This drove us crazy. These pics are us waiting around and Morgan messing with the luggage on his Buell...for the 20th time. If you are wondering what is up with Song's bike..it's his NJ road legal track bike. He tried to make it as easy as possible to go back and forth for having it set up for track days. Not pretty, but it gets the job done.
Song's bike had everything packed on there...a whole fricken kitchen. LOL. When he broke out his camping cook set up, we were amazed...he was able to cook better meals than I do.....in my own kitchen...in my house.
Anyway..Mike got there about 1.5 hrs past the meet time. We saw him coming and all got on our bikes and ready to go. He blamed the GPS, and ofcourse, since he is from PA..the " crappy NJ roads". Three other people found the place....its right of rt 295 for cripes sake.
We got on the road and Song had a nice route layed out. We did minimal slabbing it and were on back country roads most of the way up. Had Mike got there on time, we would have enjoyed them more....1.5 hours earlier.
We got up to the camp ground a couple hours later. Always fun to set up camp in the dark, with head mounted headlights. But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.
My camping set up:
The whole spot:
We had camp set up, and had good times BS'ing and joking and talking about the ride up. Since I personally have always had some "libations" on camping trips...so I figured these guys did too. They did not. I had brought along a nice Tempranillo ( I forget which right now....I'll update later). I am a beer guy, at home with a nice minikeg of Heineken and my Beer Tender. I like hard alcohol, when I am out with the guys trying to pick up chicks....ie, not anymore....LOL....I like wine a lot...often with dinner. I figured it would be great to bring along and have with my camp dinners. These Platypus wine bags
We decided to crash around 2 am. Right when we were getting ready to hit the sack, a group of crazy Brooklyn Russians Not trying to offend anyone..Mike, of our group is a Russian American, and let us know all about them. Anyway, it seems their idea of a good time is to come out into the woods, in the middle of the night, and make a lot of noise, including blasting Techno music until 6 am. I was so happy that I was really tired and able to crash anyway. The guys had told me about the techno music the next day, but I did not recall it at all. I think the wine helped with that.
We got up the next day, made a camp breakfast...my eggs had broken on the ride up..so I made a bacon and tortilla thing..it was bacon a tortilla shell.
We had a whole 200 mile or so route set up for the day. But, it would have required getting up and out early to do it. That was out, so we decided just to do some geo-caching. Tony was into it, and we had the local caches tagged into our routes and on the GPS(s). Sounded like a fun plan.
This is us at our first stop...or one of them. This is Mike looking for the good roads....or something..not sure what he was looking for. The second pic was the found cache. It was fun to kill a day with....not sure if I ill do it again, but it made for some fun Saturday. It was a hot day, so the plan was we would get done with the Geo caching, head back to camp, get out of the riding gear, and head to the lake to get cooled off and cleaned up. then, head back to camp and make some dinner and settle in for the night.
The lake was pristine...and a tad cold. It was really nice less than 2 miles from our camp. We squidded it, and rode down in our shorts. ( luckily no pics of that). I had a lot of crap with me..the guys had busted my chops for bringing biodegradable liquid camp soap and a camp towel....sort of a human chamois. They all wanted to use them though when I was done with them though.
These are the shots of the lake:
That night was a little better...some of other campers in the area must have said something to the ranger that came around once a day. He told the crazy russians to keep it down this night. Did I mention their camp locale was with in 15 yards of ours....just down a steep incline.
LOL After we got up, we packed up, and got back on the road.
Since we had pretty much stuck to the plan, we decided it was OK to stop for a hot real breakfast on the ride home. We also need to use a real bath room. There was none at the cam ground. There was an old outhouse..from God knows when it was from, but smelled and looked like it was not cleaned out in the last couple years.
Well, that was about it. We rode back home and had a good route most of the way. It was a good trip for me as well, since I got some of my Mojo back, on the bike. Prior to my trackday crash, I had been the most aggressive of the group. Post crash, I had lost my balls and not ridden well or fast at all. Being away from trackdays had a great impact on my riding ability, I knew it and so did all my riding buddies. I did not get back to my being super aggressive, which is a good thing, but I was comfortably able to hang with the guys again, and that made me really happy.
We had ridden for a while.....had a damn state trooper follow us for a crazy amount of miles, and finally had stopped in Andover for a gas stop. Since I am from northern NJ, all the roads that they had routed were roads I already had ridden plenty of times. It was also about 4 pm by that point in the day, and we had been on bike since the morning..I was ready to B-line home. So that is what I tried to do.
I ended up hitting a crap load of traffic and putting on atleast 80 excess miles, trying to reroute and avoid it. I got home about an hour or so later than I had wanted, but was glad to be home and off the bike.
That is all I got for this trip. Hope you enjoyed it.