Loop: Panama City, FL to Billings, MT - 19 days - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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Loop: Panama City, FL to Billings, MT - 19 days

Well... all of the planning is complete and the packing is done. I'm just waiting for Friday morning to roll around.
Here is a Google map of what I've got planned. http://g.co/maps/6fzec (No Interstates)
Here is my Spot GPS Messenger Map.
I have three nights I'll be staying with friends.
I plan to camp as many of the other nights as I can manage.
I've got a new set of Michelin PR3s installed and I just changed oil and filter last week.

Here's my setup:
120 liter Overboard Waterproof Roll-Top Duffel contains mostly camping equipment. Nemo Morpho 1p tent, Big Agnes sleeping bag/Big Agnes insulated air core pad, Hammock included as alternate choice from the tent. TravelChair and a few other odds and ends. 60% full.
(At 120 liters, it's larger than I really need but it's also truly waterproof - so I've opted for it over my North Face medium duffel that I found wasn't as waterproof as I'd hoped on my shakedown run to Key West a couple of weeks ago.)
Right Pannier: Tools/Compressor/Plug-It kit/Chain Lube and Jack/Rain Suit/Rain Boots/Cycle Cover/Cheap Walmart Tarp/ (100% full)
Left Pannier: JetBoil stove/Spare Fuel/Food/Coffee/Toiletries/Rags/5-Hour Energy stash/Bottled Water... and a few other odds and ends. 80% full
Top Box: Clothes/Spare Visor/First Aid Kit/Huggies Butt Wipes/Camp Towel/a few other odds and ends. 100% full.
Tank Bag: Camera/Phone/Leatherman/Camera Monopod/Visor Cleaning Kit/a couple of 5-Hour Energies/Trail Mix/Tire Gage/Pen/Notebook/Small Binoculars/odds and ends.

I'll try to update this thread from the road... and I'll certainly detail things once I get back home and add some pictures.

Right now - she'd just waiting for Friday:

GeneHil - Mount Dora, FL
2011 Kawasaki Versys
Viet Nam: Dec67-Dec68 & Jul69-Dec72
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 11:48 AM
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Your set up looks awesome.
Not that it is any of my business but if you get behind schedule you could take 189 south out of Jackson to 191 to Rock Springs. Cut over to Green River down 530 to Manila and 44 back to 191 and Vernal. Get some nice views of Flaming Gorge and Red Fleet campgrounds just north of Vernal is great. Get psyched for the ride from Rangely, Co. to Grand Junction.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 11:56 AM
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Looks like its gonna be a blast.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 01:29 PM
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feel free to use our http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ead.php?t=7001

thread for more crash sites along the way. But PM now and subscribe to the thread so that you get notified. There are at least 5 people who live on your route.

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Last edited by BAMF; 06-27-2012 at 01:33 PM.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BAMF View Post
feel free to use our http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ead.php?t=7001

thread for more crash sites along the way. But PM now and subscribe to the thread so that you get notified. There are at least 5 people who live on your route.
Thanks BAMF. Will do.

GeneHil - Mount Dora, FL
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Viet Nam: Dec67-Dec68 & Jul69-Dec72
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-29-2012, 09:32 PM
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DOn't know if your following the news, but a good portion of your route in COlorado is closed due to wildfires

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-29-2012, 11:39 PM
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Hey genehil! Don't know if you will get this but when you get out here around Rockies and plan on camping. Pick up some bear spray as its not a joke any more.

Have a great trip!





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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Well... I'm happy to report that the 19 day journey from Panama City, FL to Billings, MT went off without a hitch... (sort of)

I made each night's destination on time and ended up having a great trip...
Total mileage was 5678.

I kept a journal that I tried to annotate the highlights of the trip and that's what I'll use for my daily summaries below. I have way too many pictures to post... but I will post some of the better ones.

It was a great ride, the motorcycle performed flawlessly from sea level to 11,500+ feet in altitude.

I'll run down all my equipment at the end and give my reviews of what worked and what didn't work... what I took and used... what I took and didn't use... all that stuff.

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Viet Nam: Dec67-Dec68 & Jul69-Dec72

Last edited by genehil; 07-23-2012 at 12:11 PM.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Day One - 29jun12

Planned Route: http://g.co/maps/9d8eg

Well... I got on the road around 5:45 this morning and everything was going well. I saw a big beautiful sunrise over North Bay as I crossed the Bailey Bridge just a few minutes from home.The sun was a big bright dark orange ball, just halfway up from its bed.
It took me a while to figure out what my GPS was tring to do for me. My preloaded trace was in there and selected but the GPS was taking me another way. After about an hour I figured things out and it was smooth sailing the rest of the day.
Saw a very young black bear scampering across the road in front of me somwhere in Alabama farm country. Later on, a teeny little mouse also skittered across the road - much closer than the cub. I stopped at a McDonalds in Greensboro, Alabama around 12:30 and had a salad. Talked to a local couple who directed me a different way through town so I'd see al the old antebellum houses and businesses on main street. That was a nice little detour.


My Thermometer said it was 110+ degrees around columbus AFB, MS doing 65mph. It was HOT.

I ended up not stopping for something cool to drink before pulling up at Trace State Park, MS. I should have. Lesson learned - cool down before pulling up for the night. The bike did a great job today. I pitched camp - hammock tonight... and it ended up being a pretty restful night except for the couple of time a racoon or something tried to check out the plastic trash can bolted to the post at the end of my hammock.


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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Day Two - 30jun12 - Saturday

My Route: http://goo.gl/maps/Xozv

I made me some coffee using my JetBoil stove at about 6:00am as the Trace Lake fishermen headed out. Apparently 6:00am is the end of the park's "quiet hours"... but apparently launching your boat, slamming truck doors, laughing and already drink beer is OK before 6:00am.
Got packed and on the road at 6:45am. It was already 76 degrees and climbing.
Again, I had to figure out what the GPS but after losing an hour or so getting to and through Oxford, MS I finally got a handle on the GPS and got it to just follow my preloaded route. That made it much simpler for the rest of the day.
I rode only back roads through flat, flat farmland... soybeans, corn, rice.
Crossed the mighty Mississippi into Arkansas around 10:00am and stopped for fuel and water. More flat, flat farmland for several more hours.


Finally found the Ozarks and finally got some hills and curves. Took the scenic route and passed through many little towns. Saw two dear cross the road in front of me... of course, it was when I was passing a truck/trailer when they decided to bolt. No problem, though... they were far enough up the road just to roll the throttle off for a few seconds to give them time to clear.


Everything is green - everywhere... but there is a fire danger notice and no camp fires are allowed.


I finally made it to Withrow State Park, Arkansas and set up for the night. Hammock again tonight. Nice reserved spot - right next to the bath house.
It was HOT again today. Anything after about 1:00pm was over 100 degrees. Today was 11 hours on the road.

GeneHil - Mount Dora, FL
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Viet Nam: Dec67-Dec68 & Jul69-Dec72
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Day Three - Sunday, 01jul12

Today's Route: Withrow Park, AR to Dodge City, KS - 464 miles.

Slept ghood in the hammock from about 10:30pm to 05:30am this morning. Broke camp after a bit of JetBoil coffee that made the morning worth it. Got as "washed up" as I could and on the road by 07:00am.

Today's critter sightings were a coyote near the Arkansas/Oklahoma border... then a small dark (almost black) bunny scampering from one side of the road to the other. I also accidently ran over a long black snake who was making his way across the road as I was fiddling with my GPS. I looked up and saw all six or seven feet of him stretched completely over my westbound lane and didn't have time to do anything other than proceed over his outstretched body. Sorry, snake...

The morning temps were a nice 64 degrees to start out the day and in the 80's until about noon. There was a good bit of cloud cover which dept things in the low 90's - quite nice. But then I ran out of high clouds and it quickly climbed back to that 110+ mark.

I made many stops for water - filling myh0 Geigerrig and pouring cold water over my Chilly Pad and T-Shirt.

I stopped in Sedan, Kansas where my friend, Fred Foster was born and raised. Talked to a local and took a picture or two.

I love the OK and KS speed limit of 65mph on back roads. Florida could take lessons. They helped me get though 464 miles today in about 10 hours. Today was a "get the heck as far west as possible" day. Not a lot of pictures... not a lot of stopping. Today was my longest scheduled day.

Chuckle: Stopped for Gatorade somewhere on Hwy 400 and a young girl, about 25, asked why I had rain gear on. I explained it was not a rain suit... it was a one piece mesh motorcycle suit for warm weather. She replied "Good... you won't need rain gear around here - it never rains." We all took off headed west on Hwy 400 and 30 minutes later i ran through the edge of a very significant rain storm. Ha!

Got to Dodge City and checkout out the commercial RV/Tent campground at the west end of town. It was pretty funky... very funky... I opted for the $40 Thunderbird Motel. It was not very pretty but it did have a clean bed and a hot shower.

GeneHil - Mount Dora, FL
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Day Four - Monday - 02jul12

Today's route: Dodge City, KS to Cripple Creek, COG

ot on the road around 6:00am this morning. It was easy packing due to Motel vs. Camping. Just before I headed out a passenger train droned through Dodge City. It was still dark and the tracks were way across the road... but I waved anyway.

I had a plan to gas up before leaving Dodge City because I was low... but I didn't. I stressed all the way to Cimmeron, Kansas before I could gas up. Dummy!

Western Kansas is farm land and prairie. I could look off over the land and get a sense of what people 200 years ago must have felt and seen.

BIG grain silos at the many co-ops that I passed. Then... What's that Smell?!?!? My first BIG feed lot - where cattle are fed grain and fattened up before heading to McDonald's and Safeway. It wasn't an offensive odor... mor a distinctive "earthy" smell. there were thousands of cattle... it must have covered ten acres.

Anyway, I passed by many more feed lots before ending up in the mountains. Usually I'd get a whiff of one before recognizing it visually.

Then there were fields of newly harvested hay... some fields hand't even been bailed or rolled - just newly cut hay that you could smell. It was delish!

Lots of circular irrigation fields growing all kinds of grains. One truck full of newly harvested grain passed me and for the next few miles I could enjoy the sweet scent that reminded me of dill pickles. No clue what it was.

Stopped for breakfast in Garden KS about 7:30 and had coffee and a scone in a little coffee shop near town center. Talked to a local who was interested in my bike and my travels. He recommended I go by "Bent's Fort" on down the road.


Near La Junta, CO I saw a sign for Bent's Fort so I took the side trip and it was well worth the effort. The fort was an adobe structure built by tow brothers in the early 1800's and was commercial in nature, not military. They existed on the Buffalo/Bison trade until that was exhausted. The fort was on the Sante Fe Trail and in the middle of Indian country. Kit Carson spend a lot of time working for the Bent brothers.

Saw a long coal train coming my way. I guess I was in Colorado ty now. I waved at the crew in the double engine and they honked back at me. There must have been 500 coal cars in that train... and to my surprise, there were double engines at the back also. I waved to that crew and they honked back at me too. Yay!

Finally got a glimpse of the Rockies nearing Pueblo, Colorado. That is ONE BUSY TOWN. Stopped for fuel and headed into the mountains. It was 100+ by now but I was doing good and only had a short distance to go.

Finally got onto the secondary roads through the mountain and valleys that would carry me to Cripple Creek. Once there I booked a camp site on Avenue "B". I was the only tent camper and had my choice of sites. I chose one with a picnic table and popped up my tent.



It was about 4:00pm by now and I walked the 3/4 mile downtown and ended up at Bronco Billy's Casino Steakhouse and had their 10oz flatiron steak for a whopping $7.95. I could only finish the first six or seven ounces...

Headed back to the tent and retired for the night. Got about six or seven hours of sleep... woke up around 01:00am and t;here was a full moon and nice streaks of clouds over the hills and mountain. What a sight...



Up at 05:30... made coffee... broke camp...

Heard the local coyotes serenading me as the sun came up... It was 50 degrees and I broke out the sweatshirt I packed - as an afterthought. Boy am I glad I packed that thing.

GeneHil - Mount Dora, FL
2011 Kawasaki Versys
Viet Nam: Dec67-Dec68 & Jul69-Dec72
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Day Five - Tuesday, July 3rd

Today's Route: Cripple Creek, CO to Breckenridge, CO - 182 miles.
Got packed, made coffee and headed out around 7:00am. Earlier, at dawn, I was serenaded by several of the local coyotes who live in the hills surrounding the campsite. Before I actually hit the road, I found a level spot in the parking lot and did my daily chain maintenance routine. I drove through town and found my way up the mountain toward day 5's stop - Lake Granby. I had received a text from Arline inviting me to Breckenridge a day early, but I texted back that I would "stick to the plan" and be there early on the morning of the 4th after staying at Lake Granby tonight.

Not too far out of Cripple Creek, I saw a critter loping across the road. As he reached the left side of the highway, and I still hadn't figured exactly what it was. It turned around and looked at me and juxt froze. I guess so I could get a better look and figure things out. My best guess was a "tall" fox. He had a fox-like face and a long bushy tail... but had long legs and stood very tall off the ground. Fox? Wolf?? Dunno... I'll try to find it on the Internet when I get home (I did my research after the trip and confirmed it was a fox.)

Spent most of the morning cruising through the Pike National Forest - looking at the big beautiful mountains. I saw no recent burned areas, but did see many, many old burn areas... dead trees but green ground cover - making a new start.



The one thing I did notice was the smell of the mountains as I rode. It triggered memories of long ago when I was stationed in Denver and used to spend time in these hills. It was a wonderful, welcomed aspect of my day that I hadn't expected. My gas mileage since I hit the mountains was fantastic. I was purposely staying in the 40 to 50mph range so I could soak up as much as possible of my day.

Found a wide spot in the road called Decker, Colorado. I stopped and had coffee at a little General Store. Outside there were hanging flowers and a couple of hummingbird feeders... and there must have been a dozen hummingbirds squawking at each other while flitting here and there. I expected this little store - in the middle of nowhere - to have a campfire out back with a percolator to make coffee. Noooo.... It had a very high tech machine made just about anything you wanted - latte, cappuccino, chai tea, mocha latte... It seemed so out of place. There were about 30 selections you could choose from - all from a single machine that round its own beand. I chose coffee... and set myself out on the front porch of the store - watching the hummingbirds fight it out.



I was amazed at the amount of National Park Service campgrounds, hiking trails, picnic areas that I passed. I could have camped every 2 or 3 miles if I wanted to. I saw hikers, bikers, runners, fishermen and everything in between. The Pike national Forest has it going on!

Eventually I reached Evergreen, Colorado. I was excited because my plan was to find a little highway beside Bear Creek that I used to travel back in 1974 where I used to fish for trout. I found the road... and headed down toward Denver... wondering what had changed and would my old spot be there... and would I even recognize it.

Well, nearly 40 years had not changed a thing... and after about 10 or 12 miles, there it was. It was like a time warp. The pulloff/parking may have been upgraded a bit, but for all intents and purposes, it was the same old place. The same footbridge across Bear Creek... the same camping structure made of stone. Except for the creek being at a low level and "No Fishing Due to Low Levels of Flow" signs - it was the same. It is one of my favorite places that held some fond memories.

OK - back on the road. I headed back to Evergreen and somehow realize that I made a wrong turn and that my GPS must have thought that "He must want me to reroute a different way". I gassed up at Evergreen and followed my GPS but I was unaware that I wasn't on my planned route. It was all pleasant enough though... knowing that eventually I'd arrive at Stillwater Campground as planned. That was until my GPS told me to turn right off the highway onto what was not a very well maintained road. After about a half mile, the crappy asphalt turned into dirt with a sign said Guanella Pass. I knew then that something was amiss... (See Edit Below)

I turned around and headed back to Hwy 285 and putlled over to ask my GPS where Breckenridge was. It was only about 55 miles away so I phoned Arline to ask if the invitation to come in a day early was "still on". It was... so Breckenridge bound I was. It was an easy ride on nice pavement but starting to cool down and heavy gray skies ere getting closer. I was way past my 45mph cruise speed now. I was keeping up with traffic at 65mph. I did run through light showers. It wasn't bad, I just knew that I had to pay closer attention to road conditions... especially around curves. About the time I got to Hoosier Pass @ 11,539 ft I knew it was about time to call it a day. I was damp... I was cold... but another 20 minutes I was in Breckenridge and found where I needed to be. Fred and Arline had coordinated with the condo manager so I was able to park in the underground parking garage and not out on the street. That made things just peachy.

Hadn't seen Fred and Arline since 1984 an that was only for a couple of hours. Before that, it was April, 1980 when I left the U.K.. We had a great time catching up at Jenny's family's condo. Jenny was there with her 18 month old son, Ambrose.

We did do a bit of a stroll downtown and got coffee from a little shop... Breckenridge is at 10,000ft and it was obvious I was not acclimated to it. I was huffing and puffing all over the place. I slept up in the big loft that had a nice comfy couch - just right for sleeping.

(Edit: I checked my Google Maps that I used for my GPS routes once home and found out that my GPS didn't screw up... I did. My Zumo 660 was just taking me where I told it to take me. The dirt road to Guanella Pass was only about four miles of dirt - then turned into a great looking asphalt road all the way across Gaunella Pass (11669 ft.) and beyond.)

GeneHil - Mount Dora, FL
2011 Kawasaki Versys
Viet Nam: Dec67-Dec68 & Jul69-Dec72
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Day Six - Wednesday, July 4th

This was just a day - July 4th, in Breckenridge, Colorado... Parades, Air Show and just hanging out - downtown - huffing and puffing @ 10,000 ft.


















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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 12:50 PM
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I'll run down all my equipment at the end and give my reviews of what worked and what didn't work... what I took and used... what I took and didn't use... all that stuff.
Really looking forward to that.

Looks like an awesome trip!!!
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Equipment Report - Part 1

Here you go Ogre... I'm trying to find the time to complete my trip report but sometimes, that's a chore. I'm headed out Monday for 10 days - so I doubt if I'll finish this Member Ride report before the end of August - but here's my equipment report anyway:

-----------------------------
Here is my take on my gear and equipment that accompanied me on my 5600 mile adventure from Panama City, FL to Billings, MT and back in July.

Stock Saddle, Stock Windscreen in the stock position, Stock horn (how did I ever survive?), Stock lighting, Stock mirrors, Stock everything that came with it except the tires... Michelin PR3. All my farkles are additions, not replacements.

The five items below I would rate is MUST HAVE items.

1. Go Cruise™ Throttle Control - Of all my farkles, this $20 item gave me the most versatility by me being able to release my right hand from the throttle whenever I wanted to - for whatever reason. It made my ride much more enjoyable. It did tend to "slip" after a few days... but cleaning the area of the trottle that it grips cleared that up. While it was slipping, before I had a chance to clean things up - I'd just move it over to the right half and inch or so and it gripped just fine.

2. Foam Ear Plugs - All I can say is "If you haven't tried them, you don't know what you're missing." They remove 90% of the noise that can pile on top of you over a ride to create stress and just all around uncomfortable feelings... while still allowing you to hear traffic noises that help you negotiate your journey.

3. Geigerrig Rig 500 - http://www.geigerrig.com/hydration-p...00-citrus.html was a valuable asset on my beginning and ending days. My thermometer was showing 110+ in Mississippi in the middle of Day 1 and I used my Geigerrig to drink from and to wet down my Chilly Pad/T-Shirt to ease the discomfort of the HOT temparatures. Once I got up into the Rockies, it wasn't so bad... but going through Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas - and returning through New Mexico, Texas Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama - this item was a life saver!

4. FroggTogg Chilly Pad - http://www.froggtoggs.com/?cooling/details/CP100 - Used in conjunction with my Gigerrig - this thing really helped keep my heat related comfort under control. I'd stop for fuel and buy a cold 16 or 20oz cold water and lay the pad on the ground and throughly wet it... Once wet, I'd fold it in half lengthwize and drape it around the back of my neck and tuck it inside my suit in the front. Note: When the Chilly Pad dries out, it gets stiff. No big deal... but if you purchase one - don't toss out its plastic container that it came in. Use the plastic container to repack your redampened pad into - waiting for its next use.

5. Flatfoot - Invaluable for parking your bike on dirt, sand, uneven surfaces - or even perfectly good surfaces. Very glad I had it.

The following items I took with me but none of them are what I'd consider MANDATORY items like those above. They are listed in no particular order.

AirHawk Seat Pad - don't leave home without it. On top of my AirHawk I had a sheepskin buttpad. What can I say... I did 5600+ mile and I'm not complaining about my ass.

Zumo 660 GPS - It worked well and took me exactly where I told it to take me - once I had all its settings where they needed to be in order to follow the GPS file I'd uploaded to it. It took me a day or two to really understand what was happening... but as soon as I turned the "recalculate" off and a few other settings I played with - she worked just fine.

Spot GPS Messenger - Gave the wife and Facebook friends something to look at each night when I'd send the "I'm OK" message. The wife seemed to like knowing she could check my progress whenever she wanted to and confirm I was progressing.

Hammock - Picked up a cheap "backpacking" hammock from Walmart and set it up with a fly sheet - as an alternative to using the tent, should the situation present itself. It did. I used the Hammock 5 nights, the Tent 4 nights, the Motel 4 nights and Friends places 5 nights. I modified the basic hammock attachment, added longer ropes, picked up some tree straps, did this, did that, until I had a setup that I thought would work. As I have no trees in my yard and nowhere to actually set the hammock up to see if I knew what I was doing... I figured I'd learn no the road... which I did. It isn't rocket science... The hammock performed well and was a welcome alternative to sleeping in the tent, on the ground. I used the hammock at site where I had good trees to attach to. If it expected rain, I'd opt for the tent... but I never had to make that decision. Two nights it rained - but I had no trees available so both were tent nights anyway. One night in the Grand Tetons I used the hammock but the temp dropped considerably and round about 2:00 in the morning I had to rummage through the bear box for my sleeping bag to make it warmer in the uninsulated hammock.

Tent - I picked up a Nemo Morpho 1P tent off of Amazon when apparently there was a computer glitch at both Amazon and REI (who apparently supplied Amazon). I had the Morpho 1P on my "wants" list but at $389 it was just out of range... then one day, for some reason, I hit my Amazon bookmark for the Morpho 1P and it was listed for $179. I made an immediate purchase... and at the same time, the Morpho 1P Footprint was listed at REI for $14.00 (normally $49.00). I ordered one of those too. A few days later, both arrived and when I checked Amazon a week later - the Morpho 1P was listed as "unavailable" due to some sort of consumer complaint. WIN! Later on - it was back available at Amazon for $389. The Morpho 1P worked well. East to erect with the air filled beams (no tent poles) and once up, it stayed up and had enough room for my fat ass along with most all of my gear - Boots, Suit, Tank Bag, etc. It rained (not hard) two nights and I was snug and dry inside the tent.

Small Coleman Whisk Broom and dustpan - In the camping aisle. Glad I had it. Each morning when I'd pack up the tent - it was free of crap on the floor - thanks to this beauty. Cheap and worth the expense.

Cheap Walmart Tarp - someting like $2.69 or thereabouts. Took it along because "ya just never know". It packed small and I used it whenever I had the tent up - as like a patio... to keep as much dirt, dust and crap from being tracked into the tent. Cheap insurance... worth the price and space in the pannier.

Sleeping Bag - Big Agnes Encampment that I picked up for $97 by just biding my time and searching. It retails around $160. I didn't realize that it has no insulation or padding on the bottom side. It has a "sleeve" on the bottom for a pad. I picked up a Big Agnes insulated inflatable pad, installed it into the sleeve and just kept it there - rolled up, uninflated, in the sleeping bag's sleeve. The bag worked well... kept me warm when I needed it. There were a couple of nights in the Rockies when I was sure it had dropped to the 40's. I also picked up a camp-tek inflator - http://www.camp-tek.com/ which worked as advertised. It inflated my pad each time I used the sleeping bag in the tent. I'd just get everything set up in the tent, attach the inflator to the pad and let her run for 15 to 20 minutes. Worked like a charm and never had to change out the AAA batteries.

Cocoon CoolMax Travelsheet - Like a very light weight sleeping bag. Used it in the hammock. It gave me enough warmth but not too warm. Some nights I hammocked I doubt if it got our of the 80's... Stuffs very small.

GeneHil - Mount Dora, FL
2011 Kawasaki Versys
Viet Nam: Dec67-Dec68 & Jul69-Dec72

Last edited by genehil; 08-03-2012 at 11:21 AM.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Equipment Report - Part 2

JetBoil Stove - Worked like a charm. Boiled 8oz of water in less than 60 seconds. Used it for morning coffee (instant) and coleman backpack meals. Took an extra fuel cannister but didn't need it.

Olympia Stealth 1 piece Mesh Suit - Worked Well... airflow was very good. Needed a sweatshirt on top of my T-shirt at anything above 9000ft. Note: When you partially disrobe to take a crap in the woods - make sure you pull the part of your suit that's on the ground trough your legs to the front before you unleash. Don't ask.

Huggies Baby Wipes - Invaluable. Take a package.

Non-Cotton - All of my gear, pants, T-shirts, underwear, socks - were all non-cotton. They dry out quickly at anything above 40mph. I got that tip off the ADV forum. I did get rained on... several times... and dried out quickly.

Cycle cover - I picked up a cheap cycle cover from Walmart for $20. Used it each and every night just to keep things under cover. Kept the bird crap, bugs, rain, dew off my ride... and it stuffs pretty small in the "tools"
side of my HT boxes.

Monkey Butt Powder - Used it... Glad I had it.

Coleman Backpack Meals - Took a few, used them all, good eatin' in a pinch... although I did catch some breakfasts and some lunches on the road.

Extra Bungie - I had a long black bungie that I just threw in the mix at the end of prep... and boy did it put it to good use. At night, I'd stretch it over the cheap cycle cover from shifter to rear brake - just to seccure the cover. It stopped the cover from ballooning and flapping and kept things quiet. During the day, I'd stretch it from one rear foot peg to the other - over my waterproof bag on the pillion seat... and then I could hook my sweatshirt, cap and sometimes a water or Gatorade bottle under it, behind my back, as I rode... and give me quick access to those items. Take and extra bungie!

Happy Trail Ohyhee Panniers - WATERPROOF! and worked like a champ. Had all the room I needed. In my right box I kept my extended tool kit, air compressor, plug-it kit, cycle cover, duct tape, plastic tubing, rubber gloves, rain boots, rain suit, plus several bottles of water. In my left box I carried all my "camping related" hardware, food, jetboil, coffee stuff, flashlight... etc, etc, etc. I had Master padlocks on both boxes and the top box that all opened with a common key.

Top Box - Harddig/Pelican box. Kept my clothes and easy to reach stuff. Also waterproof and worked as advertised. It sat on a rear rack from forum member ktmduals.

iPad - brought it along and had a few movies loaded into it. Ended up watching The Terminal, Lars and the Real Girl, Michael Clayton and maybe one other. Not all at once... Not one each night... just 30 minutes here, 40 minutes there. I'm not a reader, so I just had this along to kill some of those evening hours in the tent. Also used it to update Facebook when I could find some WiFi.

Tools - I had a pretty comprehensive set of tools - in a tool wrap - in my right side pannier. Didn't need them but confident that I could take care of most anything if I needed to.

Compressor/Plug-it kit - Had a flat in the middle of nowhere, OK and was able to get it plugged and back on the road again in about an hour. The compressor was working well but got an offer from a guy across the street to move operations to his driveway and use his big compressor.

Wx Radio - Took a small Midland radio with me - Tornado season and all that. Had good weather except for one night on the way home in Sulphur, OK. Set up camp with the hammock and all was going well... until later in the evening,lightning and thunder started to roll in. It seemed pretty intense and even a couple of camping families near me packed up and moved out. I whipped out my Midland radio and heard the advisories for Severe Thunderstorms and was able to use that info and look at my map to determine that the storms were pretty close, but moving away from us. I didn't panic and pitch the tent... I just waited and listened for and mapped the updates to confirm that all was going to be fine - and it was. It was a good hammock night. Without the radio, I'd have been in some sort of panic, I'm sure... and may have even packed up and headed for a motel. The radio and map that night saved me the price of the both.

Maps - I took Rand McNally EZ Fold maps for each state I would be in... just as a backup to my GPS. Glad I had them and one helped save me a few bucks (see above item).

Road Jack - Used it each night to oil my chain. Used it to help fix a flat.

Bright Flashlight - small, tankbag item. Used it extensively while camping. Kept it close in the hammock and the tent. I haven't camped in many years... and had never hammock camped... so the flashlight was real handy when, in the hammock, as the ONLY camper in the campgound, when I'd hear some sort of rustle in the bushes at 0'Dark Thirty and I'd pop up and hit the woods with a BRIGHT light grunting "Who Dat!" or "WTF????". Ha... the flashlight was my friend.

Deet100 bug repellent - Didn't use it. Thought I might need it but didn't. Never had a single bite of any kind. Did use it my last night when the picnic table had a whole bunch of ants on it that just wouldn't scatter. Did a quick, light spray of my Deet100 spray and they all hightailed it off the table. It was good that I had it, I suppose.

Things I took but didn't use:

Leatherman - never needed it but glad I had it.

One extra ratchet strap. Din't need it, didn't use it.

Large rubber gloves - in case it rained, they'd fit over my normal gloves. Never worried about rain and gloves. My Held gloves dried out quickly.

Flashlight that straps to the forehead. Never needed it. Thought I'd need it for camping but didn't. Always stopped by 5:30 each evening which gave me plenty of light to do what I needed to do before turning in.

GeneHil - Mount Dora, FL
2011 Kawasaki Versys
Viet Nam: Dec67-Dec68 & Jul69-Dec72
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 01:34 PM
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"...Small Coleman Whisk Broom and dustpan - In the camping aisle. Glad I had it. Each morning when I'd pack up the tent - it was free of crap on the floor - thanks to this beauty. Cheap and worth the expense...."

When I'm tenting - once my gear is out of the tent and I'm ready to take it down, I lift it up by the rigid sides and just shake it so the stuff falls out the entrance. Less stuff to carry that way.

Ed
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