"You have that look. What did you do?" My bride of 25 years knew "that look". She wasn't giving me grief when she said it. She knew that I'd been on the hunt for a Ural Gear Up for a while. She saw the change in mood that I was trying to hide while I figured out how I was going to tell her.
"I found a Gobi Gear Up. I just made the deal."
"Where is it?' was a logical enough question that came next.
"How much is it going to cost to ship?" was next.
"I'm not shipping it." Now that might not be too bad if you lived in Portland or SanFrancisco. We live in Upstate NY.
This was 115 long days ago while the wind and snow blew outside the window. It was 115 days of spending way too much time on ADVRider, Pashnit, and SovietSteeds. It was two trips to AAA for maps, too many ride reports read for ideas, questions to forum members, and off road maps ordered for far off states.
During that time she decided that I needed supervision. Actually I asked her to come. We have put together plans for a trip like I'd never imagined I would ever do. Yesterday we flew into Seattle. We stopped at our hotel and while Julie checked out Pike Place I continued on to to see the bike that I'd purchased from a stranger 115 days ago. He simply was working too many hours for him to justify his new purchase. I had the sent a few boxes of gear and supplies for the trip and the bike ahead of us. It was all waiting along with the bike. The bike had barely been ridden since he bought it. It was better than advertised and well farkled. I was thrilled.
We went over the bike, said our goodbyes, and I was off. Since I was so close to Ural headquarters in Redmond, WA, I had to stop by their new building. Again I met some of the nicest people.
Not much for ride report pictures at this point, but stick around for the next month or so and we'll go over passes in Washington with 15-20 feet of snow on each side, down the Columbia River Gorge, ride down the west coast, see Big Sur, maybe Yosemite, Death Valley, the Mojave, Moki Dugway, Arches, Bryce, Zion, Moab, upper New Mexico, the Smokies, Blue Ridge Parkway, and who knows what else in between. No plans are set in stone here. The weather might dictate some changes along the way.
I have a SPOT2 locator. Friends, family, and some forum members have asked that we put up a shared link, so here it is:
The first couple hits are from the airports.
Here's the place that brings these odd machines over from Russia.
With a little luck I can post some more pictures tomorrow and every now and then as we work our way home.