Thanks everyone for the interest, and replies. Half of my gear is items to document the trip (GoPro's, waterproof camera, waterproof harddrive, netbook), so hopefully ya'll enjoy coming along for the ride!
Most folks I know think I've gone off the deep end. I think the most enjoyment I've had out of the planning process has been seeing the look on peoples faces. They'll ask "So where are you headed, where is the end?" A simple shrug and an "I dunno" throws people for a loop. "What do you mean you don't know?! You can't just leave, without knowing where you are going!"
I'm not too crafty with the internet, so I don't have a blog setup. Here is a link to my SPOT. I believe this will update by itself, as I check in.
Today was a fully loaded 160 mile test ride to see how things held up. I'm concerned about the subframe and racks, so I took the bike to Galveston to thrash around on the beach and bayous. Seemed to hold up just fine. I did learn some things though. First being, I don't think I'm going to be able to save my new tires for Mile 1 of the TAT. These off-road only tires on the bike are old, and one day of XRR punishment has the knobs trying to separate.
Ready for battle...
I stopped on the beach to try out the MSR Pocket Rocket in windy conditions. No bueno, so instead I sat down for a bit and watched some locals fish.
It went from a drizzle, to a solid rain, so I retreated beneath a highway to make a second attempt at getting the stove lit.
I finally found enough of a wind brake just near the columns, next to some lovely looking water. On the TAT, the dehydrated meals will only serve as "Emergency food" they are simply too expensive to eat every day. I learned I did not care much for this meal. I think anything with 'beef' will be too salty for my liking.
This little guy joined me for a snack... He blends in well.
All the houses on this end of the island are elevated to prevent flooding. Coming from Maine, it's quite odd seeing houses with lift kits.
The pier was quite slow today, presumably due to the weather, but there was no shortage of people playing in the surf, regardless.
All in all, it was a good test run, and it helped work some bugs out. I managed 42.1 mpg over the total 160mile journey. Much much better than I had expected!
Things to redo before I leave:
-take care of a leaky fork seal on the right side fork.
-re-route the fuel line. A kink is starving the bike for fuel on occasion.
- repack. The rain made me realize how foolish it is to have liners and such in with my clothes, which is in with my sleeping bag and pad, all residing in the drybag.
-remove left side heating grip element and apply heatshrink over the bars themselves, to insulate. The unevenness is too much. My right hand will burn before my left warms up.