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Old 08-17-2008, 07:54 AM   #1
Jack90210 OP
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Jack90210's "Time Waits For No One" Tour 2008

Like a lot of us, I have a bad case of the travel jones, and have a hard time carving out 'play time' in my schedule so I can watch the road hum past under my feet.

I typically work ~55 hrs/wk, which is down from ~65/wk about two years ago. I'm used to it, have worked like this all of my adult life, and my choices have paid off -- but I'm now at a point in my life where my time is becoming more and more important.

Freeflow posted something that was a real kick in the ass for me:

Quote:
Originally Posted by freeflow
people. This is YOUR life. Money is infinite. Time is finite.


many years without a vacation?... you must love work, or love working to pay for the unecessary or overbought objects in your life.

tick tock goes the clock. savor life. or wait until you take the ultimately long vacation.
Dirtygrunt started a thread about Freeflow's post, where I responded:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack90210
That Freeflow quote got me thinking.

And now I'm taking eleven days off, starting on the 30th.

Thanks a lot, dood.
I thought about it, and realized that the last time I took a long bike trip was in, um ... 2001.



Plus I have a baby on the way and am about to get married; no way this is going to get any easier in the next few years.

Let's do this.
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Old 08-17-2008, 08:06 AM   #2
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I have some good friends dating back to my high school days, and we try to get together every summer. Most years we have a hard time planning our get-together, and our default is Las Vegas ... easy to arrange flights, always something to do, but ultimately it's a faceless, uninteresting place to be.

This year we actually had enough presence of mind to arrange a meeting in Seattle, where one of us makes a living as an architect. (He had been there for several years, and I had yet to see his place.) Originally I was going to fly out, but ...

I called my buddy Steve, who typically has large chunks of time free in the summer, to see if he was interested in riding out. He was IN.

Damn. Could I really take the time off of work? Could I be away from my pregnant fiancee for that long without either of us suffering too much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by freeflow
tick tock goes the clock. savor life. or wait until you take the ultimately long vacation.
Let's do this.
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Old 08-17-2008, 08:27 AM   #3
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Old 08-17-2008, 11:02 AM   #4
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I start pushing some stuff around at work. Knock out a project or two ahead of time. Early August is a relatively slow time at work; if I have to plan for some time away, it's about as easy to go now as it'll ever be. I inform my business partners and block out the time. Done.

I check with the contractor that's building my garage. He's going to be away the first week of August, too, so he won't need me around for input. That's an awesome coincidence! I make enough decisions to carry his crew through the time that I'll be gone. Done.

Jill90210 gives me the the green light, saying that she can use some of the time to visit family. Done.

I turn my attention to bike prep. I've only had the RT for five months -- just long enough to know what I'd like to add to it. Originally I bought it so that my lady would be comfortable riding 2-up, but 2 weeks after I got it I took it down to Daytona and realized what a great long-distance mount it was ... soooooo much better than an 1100GS with no windshield (though the TT tank on the GS would be missed). (Yes, I'd rather be on the GS in Lake City.)

Might as well set it up now, so that it would be as comfortable and as effective a long-distance mount as possible. It's already got:

Corbin saddle
Lowered pegs
Bar backs
CalSci windshield
GPS NavII/2610

I got online and ordered up a few more goodies:

PIAA 1100s with Jimmy Mounts
Sahara ELF pegs
GPS direct-to-battery wiring kit
Two new tires

I call up local BMW tech guru Anton Largiader and have the 12k service scheduled. No time to mess with it myself. Done. Now I just have to install the lights and the pegs ... easy.

What else? How about a new X-11 helmet. No worries, I'll break it in while commuting to work over the next week.

The clock is ticking.
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Old 08-17-2008, 11:08 AM   #5
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A few days out from leaving, and the one thing left to do is to set up an itinerary.

First, I stripped it down to the basics:

1) Get out to Seattle as quickly as possible, hopefully by Saturday.
2) Spend a few days with friends in Seattle, and meet a few ADV'ers out there.
3) Make our way from Seattle to WestFest, hopefully via Ranier, Mt. St. Helens, Lolo Pass, Beartooth Pass, Yellowstone, Jackson Hole, and a multitude of to-be-discovered backroads.
4) Hammer home from Lake City in two days.

I call Steve and tell him to meet me at a hotel of his choice west of Louisville, which IIRC is almost exactly a 400-mile ride for me. Easy to do after work on Wednesday. We'll figure out which route to take from there.
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Old 08-17-2008, 11:23 AM   #6
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Just got back from Seattle 2 weeks ago - weather was the best. 1st time out and loved it. Great beer, fish, coffie, Mt's, Blue Angles, locks(the locks were upercool), everything. 54' one morning and I went a week with out breaking a sweat, never above high 70's. Locals said this was the dry time of the year. Check out Withrop and Levenworth for a loope with 2 passes.

Enjoy the ride!
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Old 08-17-2008, 11:26 AM   #7
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Good for you! Ride on!


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Old 08-18-2008, 05:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack90210
The clock is ticking.

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Old 08-18-2008, 08:59 PM   #9
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One day before leaving.

My plan had been simple: Leave work at 4 on Wednesday. Stay in Louisville, 400 miles out, the first night, and get a good night's sleep. Put in a long Thursday and pound out a thousand miles, make it to South Dakota for the evening. Friday relax a bit and do 800 miles, which would put us within 300-400 miles of Seattle -- a quick hop over the Cascades on Saturday morning, and we'd have three days to hang out with our friends.

Or ... something.

One day before leaving, and I started paying closer attention to the distance that we were going to have to cover. It didn't take much "attention" to see that we had about 3000 miles to ride, not the 2600 that I had estimated.

Oops.

Well, I guess we could just get there by Saturday evening. Maybe even hammer out an 1100-1200 mile day.

Whatever, it didn't matter. Let's do this!
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:07 PM   #10
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My beautiful fiancee asks me on Tuesday if there's anything that I need for my trip.

"Snacks. And maybe a CamelBak, I can't find mine."

She delivered, though I had No Idea how glad I would be to have the CamelBak on the trip. I mean, sure, it was supposed to be hot for the next few days, but we were heading north early in the trip. By Wednesday night, we'd be in South Dakota, and the temperatures would have dropped noticeably as we ascended the I-29 meridian.

Or ... something ...
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:35 PM   #11
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Wednesday arrives. Can I really get out of here by 4:00? All kinds of crap has hit the fan at work, and I've got to just hand it off to my partner. I sneak out a little early so I can finish packing, double-check that I've got everything I need, and get out of town before rush-hour traffic kicks in. What was I forgetting? I need to eat! Should I get gas now? Hurry!

Man, was I really looking forward to not having to think about work all the time.

To being on the road with an old riding buddy -- hell, one of the very best friends I've got.

To letting the blur of the road under my heels soothe me into a Zen-like hypnosis of clarity and calm, where chewing on whatever my subconscious chose to unearth would cohabit with a constant, easy awareness of every vehicle around me.

And again, we hadn't ridden together like this since 2000. A couple of trips down the east coast since his accident, but no day-in-day-out, grind-out-the-miles journey.

Fortunately, if there was one thing that I knew I didn't have to worry about, it was whether or not Steve and I would get along well on the road.





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Old 08-19-2008, 03:27 PM   #12
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So what did I hope to see on this trip?

I would have 2-3 days to spend in Seattle.

On the way back, I wanted to hit Lolo Pass and Beartooth Pass, Mt. Ranier, Mt. St. Helens, and Yellowstone.

WestFest was also a distinct possibility from the early planning stages. At some point I jumped in with both feet -- paying for a room in someone's cabin, and for two admission fees, without being completely sure when we'd get there -- and added the backroads of western Wyoming and southwest Colorado to the itinerary.

That's an awful lot to see in 4 or 5 days of riding.
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I must say that my son has exposed a reservoir of love and of worry within me that I never knew existed. --nskitts, 9/2/12

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Old 08-19-2008, 04:07 PM   #13
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Good for you JCK!!! Way to go buddy. Safe travels

How is the garage? When is the grand opening!
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SST
Good for you JCK!!! Way to go buddy. Safe travels

How is the garage? When is the grand opening!
Garage looks great! Synopsis here. Insulation was sprayed yesterday, looks good.
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:00 PM   #15
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Wednesday finally arrived. I packed the bike before work, went in and put out what fires I could, and got out with the intent of being on the road by 3:30.

Which I actually got to do.

Good thing, too, because ten miles down the road I hit this:



Fortunately I was only stopped for about fifteen minutes, and once underway the miles started slipping past. Finally ... I was on the road! The unlimited potential of twelve days of traveling seemed to unfold at my feet into a glorious, panoramic, boundless horizon.



I pulled over somewhere in Kentucky to pop a sticker onto one of the saddlebags ... for good luck and safe travels to Seattle:



And at some point I had my first "oops" realization ... Louisville was 500, not 400 miles from Charlottesville. I wouldn't arrive until about 1:30 ...

Onward and upward. I pressed on through a final 50 miles of rain, and made it to the hotel just west of Louisville about an hour after Steve got there.



Time for bed -- hopefully by tomorrow night we'd be many, many miles away.
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