Monday, June 14, 2010

daisy - hit by a semi...

today was not my day. I was just at a lumber store and some employe of this store backed up his truck and pushed it on the ground. Now the poor honda is dented, has a broken signal, scratched exhaust, broken peg, bend mirror and shifter and is most likely a salvage title.
He also dropped my helmet on the ground, which was on the bike, so I need to get a new helmet too.

guess it was bound to happen sometime. Happily I was not on the bike and so I'm unhurt.

suggested retail value of the bike this morning: 2050$

now? I guess 500 :(

woodworking - part two

last weekend we went back to twain harte and I tried my first little project. Table coasters. Well they are not great, but gave me a rough idea what I got my self into and I'm having fun.

So after playing around and planning a demo board, down to size for the cabin remodeling I realize this is not going to work and we need a workbench first. So the next project is to get some cheap fir and pine and make a workbench for the next steps and build another 10 coasters for the duke family reunion on the first july weekend.

Estimated cost for the workbench:

wood: 50$
vise: 30$
clamps: 40$
tools: 80$

Monday, June 07, 2010

recently I got into my head that I like to work with wood. This is most likely related to Twain Harte and the amount of happiness I have there.

So I started to work on my first projects, Basically trying to learn how to saw wood. Like always people offer you classes todo this or we can use my approach and try to figure it out myself.

1 Month into this experiment I now know that I do not want to use power tools at all and rather try to accomplish these things with hand tools.  did buy a small power saw, but not really convinced by it and it was pretty much a 60$ mistake.

The first project are going to be a couple of coasters for mugs and glasses in the cabin, since we have none for some reason. Let's see if I ordered the right saw this time.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Resume - 14 Days on the bike and a bit over 3500 Miles in total

after traveling over 3500 Miles on the bike in 14 days, it's time to reflect and see what would need to be changed to make it even better next time. I truly enjoyed every minute on this trip and I'm amazed how much you can do and how little you need to be happy.

But changes would be:

I need a different bike, quite honest the only way that I ever attempt such a long journey again in such conditions and different climates would be with a different bike. I'm most likely going to take the R6 up to yellow stone this summer/fall. But not sure yet.

So what would I need in this case?

  • enough space to take my shorter half with me :)
  • no chain if avoidable
  • off road able
  • heavier
  • more leg space
  • less pressure on my wrists
  • more torque in the lower rpm range
  • at least a 5 gallon fuel tank
so looking at this list, I can't have it all. But it would boil down to any of these three bikes. If we only remove one point.

Off Road/touring - has all of these points

BMW 1150GS, this would be the perfect bike, but way to pricey. Even used, but incredible reliable and lasts well over 100k miles.

Off Road Touring - with chain drive and limited off road use

Suzuki 'I am ugly' V-Strom

somewhat affordable, since the price starts at 6500$ new, problem is they are in so high demand that they can't be found use in my area. Chain driven, but can be equipped with a center stand and so easier maintenance. They are known to last 100k+ miles.

Touring with no off roading capabilities

There are lots of bikes in this area, but most likely it would be a used cruiser or goldwing or fjr.

This would be most likely a used shadow, since they are very reliable and cheap to pickup

a late 90s goldwing

or the 1300 FJR

So at the end of the day it will be most likely a shadow or vstrom or FJR. Depending what I can find and get away with. I know I will love the V-Strom and FJR, I have driven both. On the shadow I don't know if my back agrees, but it's the cheapest and can be found for under 3000$. It would give me the chance to share some parts of my hobby with Ashley. I'm also not going to be able to get more than like 2-3k for the R6 anymore, since I now have to drive it till it falls apart. 

It has over 26k miles on it, which is very unusual for a sportsbike, but nothing for a cruiser or tourer.

Other things, not motorcycle related
  • warmer sleeping bag, mine is way to cold
  • spotting scope, to much wildlife around me
  • 18-200mm VR,  missed out on so many great pictures, because my 200mm lens is to big and had to stay home
  • a sturdier knife, my fixed blade promptly bend...
  • a fishing pole
  • a skillet

Day 14 - Benton to Twain Harte via Sonora Pass

on my last day of my journey I attempted to go over Sonora Pass again, which is now open again. And to say it's stunning, would be a slight understatement.

I would easily describe this as the most stunning part of the whole trip and also most challenging part. I think I never got higher than 3rd gear on the bike.

as you can see the pass is in the distance and still covered in snow
we are entering the pass by now and are still in the snow free zone, but it's pretty curvy and for some reasons people are advised to not use trailers.
at this point we are a bit higher and surround by snow and trees. The pass tops out at 9715 feet and it's one of the most beautiful rides I have ever done. I can't wait todo it again, maybe tomorrow...

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Day 13 - Death Valley to Benton Hot Springs

after spending a couple more hours in Death Valley I decided to start my journey back home and so took of from Death Valley.

At this point I had no Idea yet were to spend the night, except it's going to be a campground somewhere on the 395. After a couple of hours I reached the mamouth lakes in Mono county and was shocked to hear that the temperature drops below freezing at night time.

so I told a young ranger, lets call her Miss Ranger, about my journey and she told meshe knows the perfect spot for me. So I was informed about the Benton Hot Spring, which were only an hour away from my current location and so I decided to go there.

65 miles later, I arrived to be greated by this sight

and off I was to the registration and getting my private hot tub, camp site and other stuff sorted out. Which turned out to be a blessing and a course.

There were also a couple of old tractors

After soaking in this tub for 90 minutes, I was just to lazy to cook anything and decided to eat the canned tuna, I was transporting with me since 13 days. Bad idea...

But the hot tubs were wonderful warm and relaxing and put me right to sleep. Now I just have to go there again with my shorter half as soon as I get a bigger bike.


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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Day 12 - Death valley

after the drive from vegas I was finally on my nearly last destination for the trip. Death Valley California/Nevada and it took me only 6 years to get there. Even after everybody told me don't do it. Do it with a couple of friends. Take a jeep or so and not a motorcycle.

Anyway here I am and I love this place. Sure it's a touch warm. Just a bit over 43 Ceslisus/109 Fahrenheit and not much cooler at night time.

So I spend close to 2 days here and enjoyed every minute. Not so much scotties castle

but the sand dunes were truly stunning and fun to walk throw.

maybe a touch warm in my leather outfit. But than protection first and at least I didn't get sunburned, except for a tiny spot between the jacket and gloves... Anyway.
The next step was than to go toward the famous 'bad water' part, which is the lowest point in the united states at a bit over 300F below sea level.
And it is obvious why it's called bad water. Such a high salt concentration and mostly dried out.

and so we left this area, after playing catch with a couple of goldwings and harleys. Well it was not truly a challenge, but the roads in this park are amazing. So curvy and just recently redone. Short I'm glad I had a motorcycle and not a jeep.Besides the part that I could not go to the most parts of the parks. I tried togo down a couple of unpaved roads, but changed my mind rather quickly...

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over all I had to refill 3 times in death valley. Which accounts to roughly 300 miles of driving in the park.

Now the plan for today was actually to go to the joshya tree park in southern california. But I changed and searching for a nice campground near a creek and read the next 2 days and relax, before I meetup with Ashley in Twain Harte to enjoy a nice weekend there.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Day 11 - St. George to Zion to Grand Canyon North Rim to Valley of Fire

well I start to put some serious miles together and after a great breakfast this morning I left St George and drove to Zion, which was not that impressive compared to bryce.

So I moved on towards the grand canyon - north rim. I was last year at the south rim, so I thought it would be great to see the north side. Well after arriving and asking them about the temperature at night (30-25 fahrenheit) I decided this is way to cold for me and instead decided to add another 300 miles to my trip and move to warmer areas.

I have to say the south rim is much more stunning, but the north rim is so much greener. There were trees everywhere.

so after the grand canyon visit I moved toward nevada, more specific the valley of fire. Which was rather hot, well I was incredible hot after riding on the I-15. Maybe death valley is not such a good idea after all? I met a canadian last night who said it was over 115F already and he just drove threw, because it was to hot. We shall see.

At least I was not cold in the valley of fire. Which was the first time in this camping trip.

but sadly I got no real cell phone reception and climbing on this 50 feet boulder, did not help that much and was rather stupid...

so currently I'm writing this from a small denies in Las Vegas, were a waitress is asking me all 20 seconds if I need something else. Slightly annoying.

Map of yesterday

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