Departed home slightly after scheduled time, situation normal, right? Stopped in monroe for fuel and to meet anyone who might have decided to come along and not told me. There is no one there, so about 12:40, I headed east towards stevens pass. light drizzle, but nothing bad. As I get closer to the pass, however, it’s coming down harder and harder. pretty soon I’ve folded: out with the glove covers, put the shower caps on the tank and tail bags, and I’ve got the suit liner cranked up to about ‘7’. I stop at the top long enough to shoot a picture, and then boogie. About 10 – 15 miles down the other side, the road is dry,and I’m starting to think I need to dump the heavy gloves and the neck triangle. By the time I get to wenatchee, it’s about 65 and humid, I ditch the heated liner in a starbucks parking lot and the long johns in their mens room. ah, much better. Along the way, my brain has been cataloging the things I’ve forgotten: so far I’m up to a cup, a spoon, coffee, and my flask full of good scotch. the first three are easily remidied with the help of a safeway and an ACE hardware in chelan. A quick ride out to Lake Chelan State Park, and I find a nice campsite, right on the lake. I pitch camp, and construct my experimental dinner; one of these freeze dried backpacker meals. I don’t intend to survive on these on my trip, but knowing if they are edible seems like a good bit of knowledge. boiling water, a little packet of oil, and 13 minutes later: viola, black bean chili pie (there were a few tortilla chips, too). not too bad, a little ‘thin’, but good spice. From this I conclude: in a pinch, they will do. However, now that I’ve had dinner, i think of another thing that has been forgotten: I could use a cup of tea. oh well, not out here.
well, off for a bit of a walk and some pictures before it gets dark.
returning to camp, I tidy up, and prepare to hit the rack. Next up on the test list, a little inflatable pillow. It comes un a package the size of a juice can, but it works really well. What doesn’t work so well any more is the old Thermarest sleeping pad. Admittedly, it’s about 15 years old, but I supsect that it’s the age of the back, not the pad! I toss and turn most of the night. finally drop off about 4am, wake up at 7 with both arms numb and trapped underneath my torso. yukko. OK, that’s something that will need fixing.
Get up and about, and try to figure out how to make coffee with my new-fangled stove/french press. Mechanically, this is easy, its a french press right? but it’s been dogs years since I’ve used one. How much coffee goes in? how long do I let it sit for. Oh My God, I’ve forgotten the recipe for coffee! But I muddle through, get something mostly drinkable, if a bit weak, out of it, and set about packing my stuff up. Surprisingly, it all goes back pretty much where it came from, and I head into town to score some breakfast. The Apple Cup cafe in Chelan gets a passing grade: good food and fast, friendly service.
As I’m gearing up to head out, I can’t find the extension connection for my heated jacket liner. I paw through all the luggage, no little coiled cord. Oh well, I throw on another shirt and head up the pass. I have a beautiful ride back over the pass, including the moment just as I approached the top, a group of riders passed going the other way, giving me the universal ‘law enforcement ahead’ sign. Sure enough, the state patrol is at the top, giving our tickets to those who can’t read speed limit signs. Not me, today. 🙂
So, all in all, a successful shakedown. The bike is comfy and very capable, nearly all of my luggage and camping gear works great, and the electrical stuff on the bike (heated vest connection, and charging port) all work great. If I can fill in the few gaps in my checklist and fix the sleeping pad problem, I’m perfectly set.
See ya on the road!
blackdog on board the Great Pumpklin (aka the Turbo Giraffe)…
shiny side up, y’all!