Prelude to a potentially bad idea

So I am starting this whole blogging thing and on it I plan to catalog for fun, and for my own records – my prep, research, lessons learned, progress and conclusion to a small solo adventure I plan to do over Labor Day week 2011. If someone gets anything out of this, Win… if not… who cares 🙂

The “adventure” is going to be going alone from Denver, CO around the western/central part of CO. In one big 1300+ mile loop. This will cover 3 different national forests, 3 different national parks, and roughly 5 unique geologic/geographic areas.

Total time for the trip should be between 6 – 7 days. 1300 miles is not far to cover in that time (1.5 days could do that), but as you will see from the goals, the distance isn’t the only part of the deal. Much of the route will be on pavement, but there will be many excursions on gravel/dirt roads. This is not a strictly A – B exercise; I plan to take as much of the areas in as I can.

The Goals:

· Carry nothing more than can fit on the motorcycle (2005 Triumph Sprint ST)

· Avoid US 70 at all costs.

· Camp each night in a different location, and besides for 2 national parks (Mesa Verde and Gunnison) stay in public/federal land campsites.

· Seek out unique and interesting places and people. Bring some good camera gear to capture it all.

· Meals: Bring limited food with (backup foods), and try to focus mostly on local eateries, or local meat markets and produce when heading to camp. (the route so far is pock marked with small 100 – 200 people towns, they should have one place to get a bite mid-day)

· Try my hand at fishing at a couple locations in the mountains near camp.

· Improvise and meander. With only 250 miles per day to be covered, it gives plenty of time to wander and check stuff out.

Camping Gear:

Much of my gear has been used in previous camping adventures, but some is new and untested… which is always a bad plan for a trip like this. But what the hell.

· Tent: Nemo Morphos 2P (or 1P if I run short on space) tent.

· Sleeping Bag: Kelty Light Year 40+ bag (the averages show some places could be in the high 20’s for lows at that time of year, so I may switch up to a warmer bag, or just pack a blanket.)

· Pad: Kelty Alpine Pad (w/o the closed cell foam)

· Stove: Jet Boil Flash (for water), Snow Peak Giga Power (for everything else)

· Lantern: Brunton LED lantern for in the tent, Primus Easy Light Lantern for outside.

· GPS’s: Garmin Rino 530 (handheld), Garmin Nuvi 550 (Bike), ACRElectronics SARLINK PLB (Just in case shit goes wrong).

· Chair: (Yep a camp chair… after a day on the bike a good soft chair is nice) – the secret handshake of motorcycle camping :Kermit’s Kamping Chair.

And other stuff is pretty random. All of that + clothes, tools and gear for the bike, first aid kit, water, food, any fishing hardware I choose to bring, cooking utensils and such, fuel (isobutane), collapsible cooler, Camera gear (one SLR + one lens and batteries) – needs to fit in two (poorly designed) hard cases on the bike, and one MotoFizz medium motorcycle bag.

Motorcycle Stuff:

Not much is changing on the bike for this. I am taking an advanced motorcycle handling class this coming weekend so we’ll see if I can mess the bike up there. For the trip though I am adding a battery monitor, ambient temp, and timer on the bike, Hardwiring a second USB power feed to hard wire the GoPro, and an extra rear platform mount (meant for a top box) to give support and stability if I have to strap the tent back there or other gear.

So that’s that… been working on a plan for a week now and I think it’s starting to come together.

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