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June 2, 2012

NXNW Motorcycle Trip - Day 2: 'The Best Made Plans...'

"The best laid schemes o' mice an' men, Gang aft agley.." - Robert Burns - 1785

Date: June 2, 2012

Plan is today to go through Rocky Mountain National Park, over Trail Ridge Road, drop down into Granby/Grand Lake area...up and over Rabbit Ears Pass...down into Steamboat Springs (I've never been there...don't ask)...and then end up in Saratoga Springs, as my old riding buddy Steve is on the road also, as it turns out, and we're meeting for drinks there tonight...God willing and the river don't rise.

I've been on the road enough that a lot of the trip is little didactic rituals. You learn what you have to do every night to make the trip safe and enjoyable. Clean the helmet visor. Clean the lenses. Charge batteries for cameras, ipad, iphone, and laptop. Copy the photos off the cameras onto the other gizmos. Back the photos up to an external hard drive. Upload photos. Download GPS tracks. Upload GPS tracks.

In the morning, everything has to be ready to roll again. Cleaned, charged, and ready to roll.

Yesterday, the only maintenance I did to the bike was to change the air filter and lube the chain. I need to change the oil, but I think I'll wait and do it tonight in Wyoming. I'll check it when I fill up this morning.

I hate to get out of bed. Really I'm a horrible slacker. Sleeping in a hotel room is nice. Make me wish I had sheets on my bed in Colorado. I have to remember to get a sticker for the bike that says RMNP. Hopefully, I'll end up with a lot of cool stickers on this trip. Can't wait to get back into Yellowstone. Wish I'd brought the big lens but the truth is, it's just to big to take on the bike.

The cameras are tested in the morning like this. Verify the time is correct. Lens is cleaned. Lens cap attached. Battery is charged. Camera has no photos in it to display. This is the camera test.

The gear is all meticulously, not because I'm neurotic or overly organized by nature, but because I can't find anything if it isn't organized. It's the only way to go. I'm hauling a lot of gear across the country. Scads of chargers and cables and everything has it's little place on the bike so that it can be found as needed.

Checking out of the hotel room is a ritual that should be discussed ad nauseum. The trick is to get out without leaving anything behind. Socks. Chargers. iphones. Etc. My trick is to get everything packed onto the bike, and make one last pass. The goal of the last pass is to check everywhere...under the bed, in the bathroom, in the closets...in the refrigerator. The goal is to find something you didn't expect to find. Only then can you leave the room, satisfied that, in all probability you've left nothing behind. The reason for this is party to find items you may have forgotten, but also, and possibly more importantly, the reason is that, when you're in Wyoming tonight and wondering where the iPhone is, you don't wonder if you left it in Colorado. You know you didn't leave it there, because you checked. It must be somewhere else.
OK. That's it. I'm getting up. Gas up. Drive in RMNP. Buy a sticker. Slap it on the bike somewhere. Try to shoot some flowers, then up and over Trail Ridge Road. That's going to be a COLD ride. That's one reason I'm dragging me feel (rationalization). Yikes.

Fortunately, I've got my cold weather gear from Circle 7 Outpost and Provisions. The coolest store on the planet. Hopefully I'll get some decent shots today. Rough guess is I'll cover 180 miles. Didn't get much shooting in yesterday as I go away so late.

Will check back in tonight, if all goes as planned, I'll be on the west side of the Continental Divide in Saratoga, Wyoming.

Until then.

¬°Buen viaje!

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 2, 2012 at 10:10 AM


So once again I am going to live vicariously through you. I could use a road trip like that! Will have to wait until my life settles down a bit.

Posted by: Rob on June 2, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Rob H, You have to come ride with me someday, coolio. :) Rob K.

Posted by: Rob Kiser Author Profile Page on June 7, 2012 at 1:08 PM

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