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Old 05-23-2014, 02:27 PM   #1
SpeedySlippers OP
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Location: Somewhere, out there.
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First Solo Tent Camping Ride: 8 States, 23 Days

Howdy all-

I'm gearing up for a solo ride in June, and felt like it would be fun to get more involved with the community here. This is my first material post on the forum.

I'll start this off with a bit of an intro / some background to put this trip (and future adventures) into context. Here goes:

I've been riding since 2007. Started off with street bikes (yikes), and in 2011 bought my dream bike - a 1972 BMW R75/5 aka Charlie Sr. Until 2014, Charlie was my daily driver. I've had dreams of taking him bike on wild adventures across the country, but unfortunately my back isn't made of steel, and I'm a sucker for comfort - SO - in March of this year I bought a R1200GS Adventure to take over the daily routine, as well as to prepare for bigger adventures.

As far as general information is concerned - I'm a gainfully employed 26yr old, trying to figure myself out. I have the flexibility to work from anywhere with an internet connection and a nearby airport this year, and plan to take full advantage. I have two major moto trips planned (err, or in planning) for the year.

The first will be written up in this thread will be a 23 day ride leaving from Portland, Oregon and making my way to Santa Fe, NM before heading to SoCal, and then back up to PDX. I'm going to try to camp for the majority of the trip, barring a 2 night stay with my Grandparents in Santa Fe.

The second will come later in a second thread as a close friend and I set out for Panama.

From a logistics perspective, I plan to ride ~ 4.5hrs per day, 7 days consecutively until I reach Santa Fe. I'll be staying in Santa Fe for 2 nights and then sprinting to LA in two longer riding days. From LA, I'll be meeting my friend Gus (the one who will be joining me for the Panama ride) who just bought an 08 1200GS Adventure. We'll then head up to Santa Rosa, CA to raft a portion of the American River. We'll be camping along the river for 3 days and then either heading home to PDX or adventuring elsewhere (possibly Yosemite) for the remaining week.


Charlie Sr:





Charlie Jr taking his first nap



Here's the rough route I'll be taking for this first trip:



Until next week.

-Eli
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Old 05-26-2014, 06:50 PM   #2
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Alrighty - a quick video update for ya'll.

I took Charlie Jr. out with my little brother this weekend for his (errr, all of our) first time out in the dirt on two wheels. We probably logged about 2 hours off "off road" ride time.

This was also a test for my camping setup as it pertains to carrying it on the bike. All in all, I was thoroughly impressed with how the tires handled the soft stuff, despite being more "on-road oriented." I can't even begin imagine how much more stuff I'd be able to do with knobbies - though - I'm sure for now the bikes tires aren't as much of a limitation as my riding skills

Here are some teaser shots from the ride, and an edited reel of footage for your viewing pleasure. Apologies if our music tastes don't align







The full video (watch in HD for full effect).

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Old 05-26-2014, 08:54 PM   #3
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haha i loved watching that video!! Great job! You might have had an easier time picking the bike up if you weren't slipping around in your converse sneaks!
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:09 PM   #4
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Have fun on your trip and you really should be wearing boots when you ride off road!
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:14 PM   #5
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Thumb Loved the video

I Love that video !!! I also have a 1200GS i bought it new and love it. I was on a forest road in WVA and had the same thing happen to me.... Thanks for making me laugh at my self again :) It's an awesome bike and will take you any where you care to go.... Enjoy it !!
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:10 PM   #6
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Taking I-5 south from the Oregon border to LA in June will be hot, boring and a waste of a good bike's talents - at least the 475 miles from Redding to Bakersfield. The 101 will have much cooler temps or 395 on the east side will have better scenery than the 5.

But in the end, any day on a bike is a good day. Enjoy the trip.
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:15 AM   #7
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Thanks guys!

I know I need to get some proper boots. Headed up to Seattle today to try some on and pick up my panniers/tank bag.

@Strokizator - I'm not headed to LA via Oregon - looping up and then east - coming back up through LA>PDX. I chose the five because I wasn't sure how tired I would be after the rafting trip, but if I've got it in me I'll be taking the Lost Coast highway through Ave of the Giants & Petrolia Hadn't thought about the heat, but that's a great point!
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Old 05-31-2014, 10:14 PM   #8
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And it begins! Broadcasting live from my tent!

I ended up leaving today (a day early) to buy myself an extra night camping in Zion. I managed to find myself a great camping spot in the Whitman National Forest. Just found a nice looking dirt road and rode until I found a spot.

Managed to lay Charlie Jr. Over in the process, in what was my most exciting crash to-date. Nearly hit a tree, but managed to change my course and fall injustice to the right of it.

I'll update more tomorrow, but I did heed everyone's advice and bought some boots and a proper suit.








Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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Old 05-31-2014, 10:33 PM   #9
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Hope your trip is more than you expect or can imagine it will be. Just got back from Arches, Moab, etc. great trip.
Be safe,
Keith
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Old 06-02-2014, 12:32 PM   #10
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Cool2 Camping / Ride Video Update

Alright guys, a quick teaser video from some the early footage! I'll put together a full edit this weekend once I've shot more stuff.

Wyoming is UNREAL. I think my campsite view (pictured at the end of the video) is one of the best camping vistas I've ever had. Rode up about 20-30 minutes out of Jackson, then hiked up to the top of the bluff.

I'll be getting out into some rougher roads this afternoon (hopefully) for some fly fishing.

Tomorrow I'll be headed off to camp outside of Salt Lake, and then to Zion/Bryce for two nights of camping before heading to Durango.

I'll try to keep the photos / updates coming.

Quick Teaser from Eli Rubel on Vimeo.

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Old 06-03-2014, 06:59 PM   #11
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good stuff. Nice video editing too, I like the passenger perspective.

looking forward to the next update!
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:30 PM   #12
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Looking forward to more of your ride! Yes, Wyoming is great isn’t it. Great videos and I too liked the perspective of the passenger. Thanks.
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:19 AM   #13
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Iam in. Thanks for sharing.
Looks like it is gonna be a lot of fun.
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Old 07-27-2014, 09:41 AM   #14
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Apparently I'm no good at keeping ride reports up to date, as this ride concluded over a month ago, and Gus and I are now gearing up for a ride through all of Central Am, and possibly parts or all of South (despite breaking his angle in the footage below)...!

I'm going to do my best to post up some photos and stories from the trip, and by the time I'm done with that - the final video edit should be uploaded to vimeo and posted below.

So picking up from where we left of in Jackson WY at my discovered camping spot on the bluff:

Getting there:



Tent Setup:



Staying hydrated, and enjoying my favorite camp food:



The next morning, I went into town to start my workday. View from my standing desk. It was right next to a great little cafe, with solid wifi and nice coffee:



After slinging a days work, I headed into the mountains in search of some decent dirt riding, and a place to cast some flies. The rivers were blown out, so my best bet (according to the local fly shop) was a spot about 2 hours out of town. Perfect!



Everything is better when set against the Tetons...



I arrived at the high mountain lake just as the the sun was going down. In the morning, I woke early to try and trick some fish into a momentary land trip.

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Old 07-27-2014, 10:19 AM   #15
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I was "unsuccessful" in tricking any fish, but if fly fishing success was measured in fish brought to land, many of us might not be so happy with ourselves :)

From here, we're going to jump forward in time. Past the mind numbing drive to and through Salt Lake, and to a place just outside of Zion.

On the recommendation of a local rock climber, I drove out into a section of BLM that begins 30 minutes or so before the entrance to Zion. The riding up here was great - I ended up off the main road, making my own train through brush and trees, slowly making my way towards the edge of the bluff. Much of this riding footage is in the video edit I'll be posting soon.

Once satisfied with my proximity to the edge, I setup camp, and took stock of my surroundings. The views were breathtaking.





Naturally, I was sporting the latest in camping fashion...



In the morning I rode out towards Zion. And after this point, I stopped taking photos, and started relying entirely on my Polaroid camera and GoPro.

Zion was beautiful, but frankly I was underwhelmed with the inability to actually ride through the main portion of the park. I rode straight through with the newfound goal of making it to Durango CO (my hometown) by nightfall.

My original plan had been to camp up in a locals spot overlooking all of La Plata Canyon. It would have made for great views, and some fun, potentially technical riding, but I had been camping now for 2 weeks, and the idea of having a normal night in town drinking sounded too appealing to resist. After all, the last time I'd been home I was under age. I needed to connect the stories of places I'd grown up with, with my own experiences. For the next two days, I did exactly that. For the sake of keeping this thread PG, and about motorcycles, we'll skip forward two days past my time in Durango.

Wait, scratch that - I did just find two SFW food shots to prove that I was doing my best to exclusively eat meals where Green Chili made up more than 50% of the meal. Can't get the good stuff back on the West Coast.







I then blitzed my way out to Santa Fe, NM to visit my quickly aging Grandfather. Who at the age of 94, to my surprise, was very excited to show me his new R1200GS. ;)



I stayed in Santa Fe over the weekend, listening to/extracting stories about my Grandfathers time as Assistant Secretary of Defense, about designing the worlds largest war ship, and hearing his favorite poems.

My Grandfather has a way of answering things in a very roundabout, longwinded, but never the less thoughtful way. This particular trip was most likely going to be my last, so I dug into some bigger questions.

Battling the ability to stay focused on a given topic, I thought that he had skipped over my question - "What has made you most happy in life, and what was your most proud moment."

After close to an hour of dancing around the question, he shifted gears, and without explanation began reciting (from memory) Ulysses by Tennyson. As we approached the last few stanzas, he paused, and through tone and timing made it clear these next few lines were my answer.

Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

"To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." I'll never forget that moment.
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