NO WINTER CAMPING to report, mostly on account of it’s summer now. And no overnight motorcycle runs to New York since the last one. The little girl’s on her way to us next time, only two more weeks to wait.
She put on her shades in memory of Percy Sledge, and left them on for Ben E. King and then for B.B. King. Three in four weeks, off to where the legends go. Everything’s always changing. Hang on to yer hat and enjoy things while they last.
She’s working on her Fonz style, too, hasn’t quite mastered the thumbs up.
Oboy, months & months under a roof. I need to get out under the stars again, go be a free man on the Earth. I’m thinking it’s likely to be Quebec, even if I do have some experience up there at getting the hairy eyeball for failing to excel at the lingua franca, which, oddly enough, is French in this case. But mercy booze coupe, what do I know?
By way of a test run, I’m thinking of piloting the piglet up to Manicouagan Crater, the annular lake you see in this shot from the International Space Station. That ring of water is 40 miles across. It’s about 200 miles north of the St. Lawrence Seaway. We’re in the west here, looking down the Seaway toward the Atlantic.
About that ring of water: the generally accepted theory says the impact site was formed 215 million years ago when a space rock entered the atmosphere and broke into five big chunks. A rock estimated at 3 miles in diameter landed here. The others came down in Manitoba, North Dakota, France and Ukraine.
The Trans-Labrador Highway east of Manicouagan Crater is mostly gravel, but the Canadians are paving it a little more each year. Probably won’t stop until it’s a 600-mile-long RV traffic jam, bunch of old people feeding tame bears out through the windows. Another Yellowstone. I’d like to see Labrador while it’s still wild, mercy booze coupe you very much.
Roughing up the piglet out in the middle of nowhere is the way to find out whether the factory suspension will stand up to the rigors of the Altiplano, the Atacama Desert and the Andes. Hopefully all I’ll need to do is futz with the stock setup: heavier oil, adjustments on preload and compression and rebound damping. I really don’t want to get into aftermarket springs, re-valving, messing with shim stacks, blah blah…
Here’s a gratuitous baby picture for those who may be glazing over at the motorcycle blab.
I’m not nearly finished outfitting the DR650 piglet for the run to Patagonia. Meanwhile, in Houston, CCjon, my riding partner/translator, has gotten his KLR650 rig all but set to go.
He’s into sidecars. He was riding a Ural 750 with a sidecar when we met in Alaska two or three years ago. Arranging sea transport to Colombia for the DR and the KLR is proving to be a nightmare, but only when compared to arranging air transport. How we’ll get them there, neither one of us knows. And November’s coming fast.
Same angle but mellow and full of hope, not so serious/quizzical.
Speaking of CCjon, he’s celebrating his 70th birthday by attempting to ride 7,500 miles in 10 days, documenting it with date-and-time-stamped gas receipts from 48 states. If he succeeds, he’ll be a four-time inductee into the Iron Butt club.
He started out in Arkansas two days ago, passed through Rhode Island late this afternoon. Here he is fueling the main tank on his ’94 Gold Wing at a Shell Station in Slatersville. I met him there with a spare fuel pump for the auxiliary tank, and 4 quarts of oil and a drain pan. Then he was off to bag New Hampshire and Maine. He finished up in Kittery tonight with 20 states behind him.
An excellent start! But things get tougher in the west, the states are bigger.
CCjon was stepping around back to fuel the auxiliary tank in the sidecar when someone off camera started talking to him. Somehow I neglected to get a decent shot of the whole Wing, but if you click here you can see it at CCjon’s blog, Riding the Horizon.
He’s been planning this 48-state endurance ride for three years. This was today’s step-by-step, Maryland to Maine.
Top off the tanks, change oil, back on the road!
When I told the baby about CCjon’s adventure she did this Gene Kelly dance step. She’s a hoofer!
Speaking of motorcycles, one afternoon I knocked together a little platform to keep the big iron piggy and the piglet out of the mud. I built enough room for them to share, but dig it, as soon as I go in the house the iron piggy leans up against the piglet, like I was here first, nyah-nyah, and it gets the little one going, she’s touching me!
Well how can you not side with the little one? That’s 800 pounds against 400, doesn’t seem fair.
Wish I had a buck for every time I have to separate them. It’s getting old.
Until next time, remember: When in doubt, gas it!
Tony DePaul, June 12, 2015, Cranston, Rhode Island