I turned 30 this past weekend. Friday more specifically; and I have to say, what a birthday it was.
I’d been preparing for the TAT for almost a year at this point and had bought basically everything there was to buy. I was still missing a quality knife and a pillow however.
My parents surprised me with an awesome Kershaw knife a few days earlier; since it would need to go in the Fedex box out to Portland, OR. It was incredibly thoughtful; I have this feeling it was my Dad’s idea. I foresee having it for a very, very long time.
I still don’t have a pillow though…
Anyway, Friday night my parents and brother took me to dinner; we had a wonderful time. Just good food and conversation; you really can’t ask for much more.
Saturday was busy. I spent the morning trying to load all of my tracks, waypoints and maps onto my GPS and the afternoon was spent cleaning my KTM so that it wasn’t covered in mud while taking up space in the garage for the next month. That thing is starting to get rough tough; the bearings were starting to go again; they were recently changed. I think I may be considering a new enduro bike come Spring.
Sunday my Dad and I went to shoot sporting clays. Quite the experience I must say. It was a long, hot and humid day. I shot my all time high though; 82. Now everything on my body aches though. Oh well, it was worth it. Doug invited me over to hang out and have beers in the afternoon, which turned out to be a surprise birthday party. I was truly blown away by it. I’ll admit, I don’t handle those things so well. I really couldn’t believe they put that together for me and that everyone came out.
Monday morning I got the brilliant idea to detour my trip roughly 1,000 miles from Cedarville, CA to Yosemite, then catch back up with the trail in Eureka, NV. Sounds crazy I guess, but bear with me for a second; here’s my thought. Thing one: It’s only a net increase of 436 miles (roughly). I’ll be cutting out a 488 mile section of Nevada and replacing it with 951 miles down to Yosemite then over to Eureka. Thing two: I can easily make up the lost time in the East; which is the more boring section of the trip anyway. Thing three: When am I ever going to get to dual sport down to Yosemite again? Possibly never? Sure, I can fly out, rent a car, take my pictures, but that completely defeats the purpose of doing it; you’ve compromised the process at that point. Will it keep me from making it to the Atlantic, more than likely, yes it will; but I can take a week long trip to the Atlantic ocean next summer; it’s only 7 hours away. Seeing El Cap with my own eyes after days of off-road riding would be amazing; it has got to be the most amazing view in America. Even thinking about it just has me excited. Thing four: After reading the 15th or so TAT ride report of the year on Advrider I’m starting to feel like this trip is a just standard at this point if you live in the USA; lacking originality. Needless to say Monday night was wasted planning this thing.
“The whole purpose of planning something like Everest is to effect some sort of spiritual and physical gain and if you compromise the process, you’re an asshole when you start out and you’re an asshole when you get back.” – Yvon Chouinard
Tuesday night turned into a night beers with friends as a final send off. Of course, Ryan had to just throw more wrenches into the whole damn thing. He suggested Redwood National Park, 80 miles down the 101 from Port Orford, OR. Seems too close to pass up. As well as suggesting Pikes Peak Colorado. Damn it…
So here’s the side trips:
- Redwood National Park
- Crater Lake
- Yosemite Valley
- Bonneville Salt Flats
- Pikes Peak
Good thing the plane has WiFi…I have some tracks to plot….