KTM 950 Overnight Camping Shakedown cruise (17 april 2010)

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,

me and my turbo giraffe
stopped off at a scenic turnout, just east of stevens pass
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.
be it ever so humble...
my camp­site along the shores of Lake Chelan
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.

be vewy, vewy quiet....
A beau­ti­ful spring morn­ing on Lake Chelan

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.
all i could think of was: i wonder if those 2 rocks are for sale?
an inter­est­ing view of Lake Entiat

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!

About the Author

Jim Harriger