Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Bike

I should probably tell you guys a little about the bike I'm taking with me.

It's not going to be that interesting to most of you but on the other hand I have some friends that care more about the bike then they do about scenic pictures and my misguided shenanigans.

so without further ado

Why isn't he wearing socks? That's gross.

Okay obviously I was just kidding.  The Vespa will probably be my Sturgis bike.

The bike I'm taking North is a 2013 BMW R1200GS Adventure.  It's a beast of a bike with enough horsepower (105 I think), cargo carrying capacity and fuel capacity to officially make me the weak link on this expedition.  The GSA is on the larger side of what they call a dual sport bike meaning it is just as happy on the road as it is off road.   I wanted to be able to cruise forever without a care in the world about fuel capacity or road conditions.   This pig carries 8.7 gallons of high octane go juice, which is double what most other bikes can carry.  Hopefully this reduces the amount of times I'll be out of gas on the side of the road.  With my luck it'll happen somewhere up in the Klondike right as I'm stopping to take a picture of a momma grizzly and her little cubs.

Over the next few weeks I plan on being completely flexible as to what direction I take and to what kinds of roads I need to be on to get where I'm going.   If I get to where I think I'm going there's going to be a few hundred miles of unpaved roads for a few days at the northern most end of my trip.

Here are a few random pics of the bike with and without the panniers (cargo boxes).  Once I get her all loaded up I'll take more pictures of it all.   Not bad for a two wheeled mobile home.  35 days is going to seem like an eternity if that seat isn't more comfortable then it looks.

Thanks for reading, like it, share it, laugh at it...  do what you've got to do.  

Sunday, June 16, 2013

an idea

Since my first post people have been asking my where I got the idea for the trip and I completely understand why.  It's not everyday someone decides that they're going to ride an iron horse across a continent for no other reason other then to find out what's over there and to see if they can.  Without a shadow of a doubt I can say that I'm following in the path of my Grandfathers footsteps.  In about 1990 he set out on a trip with 2 of his buddies from Guatemala to Alaska.   They set out for roughly 2 months without a plan, just some trusty bikes (BMW's of course) some camping gear and the itch to roam the long road North.
As a young boy I remember being in awe as he told tales of meager roadside campsites, glacial cold, desert heat, precarious mountain passes, majestic Alaskan wildlife and deplorable road conditions.  He was a giant amongst men each time he stood there nonchalantly telling stories of his great ride.     I still ask him questions about it every time I see him.  Each time I ask for another tale I see a hidden smile across his face.  I'm sure it is a subconscious smile as he thinks back in his mental filling cabinet and remembers the trip in its entirety.  I've probably asked for and heard most of the details a few times but to this day I still enjoy hearing about it just as I'm sure he loves to recall and tell the tale.  That subconscious smile of his that hasn't worn away after so many years is exactly what I'm after.  An EPIC experience of any kind can put that grin on your face just as a man going to war can end up with a thousand yard stare.  I hope that my future kids and their kids will find half as much joy and inspiration in my jaunt across the continent as I have come to have in my Grandfather's trip.
Here's a photo of my grandfather and his road buddies on their trip.  My Grandfather is on the left


So, there I was on the rig, (I work on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico in case you don't know, seriously pay attention there might be a quiz later.) minding my own business on the dog watch.  I started thinking about the upcoming summer and what kinds of fun I would be getting into.  I normally spend my summers bouncing back and forth between surfing, paddle boarding, boozing, boating and fishing.  Sprinkle in a few road trips to see friends within a few hours drive or a short flight across a few states and you've got every summer for the past 6 years.  I know to some that sounds pretty awesome but I have never been a fan of being stuck in a routine no matter how fun the routine can be.  The thought of missing out on a few days on the same boat heading to the same island or a few thirsty Thursday nights heading out to the same bars doesn't bother me very much.   Even if I have a miserable time getting rained on or run off the road by texting drivers the fact that I don't have to listen to the same girls complain that there aren't any nice guys in town one minute then turn around and listen to them tell me how in love they are with the guy that mows the lawn at the Burger King but its "complicated" because they've been cheating on each other with their exes.  Not having to deal with that will be enough for me to enjoy what's in store for me and hurry on my way out of town.

All negativity aside, I decided right then and there at about 3am on the rig that now is the time to do this trip, now is the time to test my meddle against the road North.   Aside from missing out on some legitimately good times with friends and family, which hopefully will be right where I left them when I get back, there aren't too many reasons not to go.  My heart belongs to me and me alone at the moment so that's not a problem, the weather in Alaska is good enough this time of year "by Alaskan standards" (whatever that means??  I am sure I'll find out about that soon enough) and If for no other reason then to satisfy the itch of going.

So that's it,  I'm going North and you'll have a hard time trying to stop me.

 If you're reading this THANK YOU for following along, more is on the way....  comments and ridicule always welcome.

Monday, June 10, 2013

First post

Hey there,  how you doing.  Welcome to my blog.

I dont want to start by saying that I have no idea what I am doing but it is probably a good idea.   I have absolutely no idea what I am doing.   There, I said it.  My manhood probably wont recover after saying that but whateva.  I might get to do some hand to hand combat with a grizzly bear in a couple of weeks from now so depending on how that goes I will either lose all my junk or gain it back in a legendary way.

My plan idea is to get on a motorcycle and ride from Key West Florida to the Arctic Circle in Northern Alaska and back in about 5 weeks.  It is roughly 11thousand miles depending on which way the days take me.  If you've known me for any amount of time to say that I don't like to plan will come out as a bit of an understatement.  I simply wake up, chase my smile, then put my head down someplace relatively comfortable to sleep and repeat.  This may either help or hurt me on this trip I will very shortly embark upon.

Most great adventures and accomplishments throughout history have started out with an idea and absolutely no known plan.   Why would something as simple as crossing a continent alone on a motorcycle need a bunch of plans.  I am simply going to grab all kinds camera, camping, and motorcycling gear, cram it inside saddlebags or either strap it on my bike and start clicking off miles on the odometer.  I might make it as far as Georgia or I might get lost and make it to the Arctic Ocean up in Prudoe Bay.  

On the way I'll be writing and taking tons of pictures.  So friends and strangers,,, please stay tuned and subscribe if you like.  I promise that no matter how this turns out and which direction this goes it'll get interesting enough.    Im sure there's room for a bottle of bourbon on the bike or a microbrewery on the way.

I've already got some pics and whatnot on instagram if you want to head over there.

Thanks for reading.  Feel free to comment, poke fun, say hello and correct my grammar.