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  1. #1
    Oldschool (OP)
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    Default Recalculating…. Trip 2015

    Prelude

    This has been a tumultuous season so far with so many plans come and gone like the shifting winds of a forest fire. Just when you think you have the situation under control another shift in circumstances and it’s time for a new plan. I cannot remember a time in my adult life when the changing economy had such an immediate effect on my personal situation so this is new territory for me and out of my comfort zone. It has illustrated how close to the line the average middle class family skirts, even when their employment remains stable. Every year the silent chipping away by ever increasing costs of everyday expenses puts discretionary items out of reach. Some people make up for this by using credit but for those of us unwilling to dig a financial hole for instant gratification, it means doing without. Doing-without or at the very least toning-down is what this year has shaped up to be, certainly when it comes to the annual two-wheeled escape. What started as a 3 week trip to Baja was then trimmed back to a loop through the western states (as far as northern California) devolving further into a short loop as far as the Coast of Washington. With the budget shrinking like male anatomy in frigid water, the route became a week long loop just touching the northern edges of Montana and Idaho before turning back across the border into the well-worn territory of British Columbia. Thoroughly demoralized by this point my motivation slumped putting any trip into question. Even my tentative schedule was shot down when a situation at work prevented my departure at my boss’s request. With that fire dosed, it wasn’t long before he was pressing me to take a vacation, something I had given up on by that point, my motivation gone (along with half of the summer season). For scuttling my original planned time off my boss compensated me enough to fund a week of frugal bike exploration and so once again my planning began in earnest.


    The yellow in the bottom quarter of the map is the current Fire in Glacier National Park.

    A different type of fire would put the new plan in jeopardy when drought conditions in northern Montana caught up to Glacier National Park and made the national news. One week out from departure and it was time for another variation on a tiresome theme. If I were superstitious I would think that I had somehow pissed off the gods. In truth this was robbing any remaining enthusiasm that I had managed to hold onto regarding a bike-trip. My usual group of riding-comrades was having an equally shaky year and only one had committed to joining me. He was no-doubt beginning to question my sanity with all the track updates, trying to stay ahead of the shifting forest-fire and resulting road issues. Watching the weather as the days ticked by (along with fire situation reports) bordered on obsessional for me. The original day-1 stop was at a campground now in the fire zone so I managed to find an alternate nearby. By mid-week with a couple of days remaining to departure the situation looked to be improving but the weather was shifting as well, getting hotter, and potentially windier. The current plan, un-affectionately known as “Plan E” hinged on a short section of pavement that I had never ridden before. This was supposed to be done early on day-2 and is known as the Going-To-The-Sun road. Despite having lived in Calgary for nearly twenty years and this being a road reachable in a few hours, it had never worked out schedule-wise for me. I wanted to change that and was very tired of redoing my ride plans. I imagined that this is what it felt like for the Cape Canaveral crew when the shuttle was sitting on the pad, the clock running, and hoping the weather would co-operate for launch day. I have a vivid imagination, or perhaps I’m a “control freak” but either way I was feeling more stress than something like this should bring. I had allowed myself to get just a little excited about this trip (however abbreviated) and had a lot riding on this, emotionally.

    http://nifc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Vie...90eadd5e02e687



    InciWeb the Incident Information System: Reynolds Creek Fire News Release

    There was another little worry after that last trip when a Kidney stone had put me through a bit of pain. Would I have that happen again on this trip and worse south of the border? I had allowed my travel insurance to lapse, another expense that normally I would think nothing of, but this year it was different. Too many incidents of claim-denial had been in the news lately, putting in doubt the usefulness of the coverage. The insurance companies are quick to deny anything that is classified as a pre-existing condition, and this would most certainly be that. Whether they would even cover me when the trip was on a motorcycle and could easily be classified as a “dangerous sporting event”. It seems any excuse to weasel out of coverage was becoming the “norm” for insurance companies. I planned instead to take a small supply of powerful pain killers; enough that I could make the border should the need arise. I envisioned rolling up to Canada Customs and asking them to call an ambulance, Oh the drama!

    This season, so far I had managed 2 overnight weekend camping trips and after the last one had repacked and restocked so I was ready to roll. The latest iteration of tracks for “Plan-E” was loaded in my GPS unit, my passport ready, and only a few rotations of the planet and the hard work (and success) of 600 plus fire-fighters separated me from my plan. Lo Que Sea Sera.


    May fortune favor the frustrated!

    T-90 hours and counting......
    Last edited by Oldschool; 07-28-2015 at 01:11 PM.
    ____________________________________________
    "We are all just prisoners here, of our own device...We are programed to receive, you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."



    "Pilots Resume"

  2. #2

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    Can't wait to see what becomes of this. I wish all the luck in the world and look forward to seeing your photos!

  3. #3
    Oldschool (OP)
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustin View Post
    Can't wait to see what becomes of this. I wish all the luck in the world and look forward to seeing your photos!
    I started it now as I wanted you to have something to read after a hard days riding the interstates.

    The route, if the preferred tracks are open, will be 70% gravel with a couple of hard-core sections in BC which depend on stream levels to be passable (Red tracks on map). Fire re-route for going to the sun is the most southern pink track (highway #2 in Montana) which I hope to avoid.

    Night 1 is now in Saint Mary, MT at the KOA (last spot) unless it gets evacuated again!
    Last edited by Oldschool; 07-28-2015 at 02:44 PM.
    ____________________________________________
    "We are all just prisoners here, of our own device...We are programed to receive, you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."



    "Pilots Resume"

  4. #4

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    are you planning on doing this trip alone? I hope not .

  5. #5
    Oldschool (OP)
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonney View Post
    are you planning on doing this trip alone? I hope not .
    Nope, My friend with the WR250R is along for the trip.


    I think I got my fingers dirty.


    That said I have done some trips solo on these roads before without worry. I always carry a SPOT tracker hoping to never use the red buttons on it.





    I also carry "Hiker seasoning" commonly sold as "Bear Spray" to unsuspecting city-folk. I find the refillable marine air horn more effective on hairy carnivores even the banjo playing ones in northern Idaho (eek, no offense, you know who you are, I don't know how to squeal like a piggy, really).
    Last edited by Oldschool; 07-28-2015 at 03:17 PM.
    ____________________________________________
    "We are all just prisoners here, of our own device...We are programed to receive, you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."



    "Pilots Resume"

  6. #6
    Threadhead lytehouse's Avatar
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    Lee, I'm looking forward to pics from this trip.....and stay out of the cold water, will ya?
    Have you ever noticed that anybody riding slower than you is an idiot,
    and anyone riding faster than you is a maniac? ~ George Carlin

  7. #7
    Oldschool (OP)
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    Quote Originally Posted by lytehouse View Post
    Lee, I'm looking forward to pics from this trip.....and stay out of the cold water, will ya?
    I was in the pool, I swear. Think George Castanza.

    I might take a few pictures.......
    ____________________________________________
    "We are all just prisoners here, of our own device...We are programed to receive, you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."



    "Pilots Resume"

  8. #8
    Threadhead lytehouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldschool View Post
    I was in the pool, I swear. Think George Castanza.

    I might take a few pictures.......
    A few pics of what exactly?!?!?

    p.s. seen all the Seinfeld episodes!
    Have you ever noticed that anybody riding slower than you is an idiot,
    and anyone riding faster than you is a maniac? ~ George Carlin

  9. #9
    Oldschool (OP)
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    Quote Originally Posted by lytehouse View Post
    A few pics of what exactly?!?!?

    p.s. seen all the Seinfeld episodes!
    Family friendly, now, now.

    No " but wait, there's more" photos. He he. I'm not Lenny Kravitz....
    Last edited by Oldschool; 08-07-2015 at 05:24 PM.
    ____________________________________________
    "We are all just prisoners here, of our own device...We are programed to receive, you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."



    "Pilots Resume"

  10. #10
    Oldschool (OP)
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    Default I'm Home

    Mostly safe & Sound. Too short, but interesting trip.


    The bridge over lake Kookanusa north of Libby Montana.

    I'll start working on the report tomorrow.
    ____________________________________________
    "We are all just prisoners here, of our own device...We are programed to receive, you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."



    "Pilots Resume"

 

 

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