Sunday, September 13, 2009

Nate's Day #1 - I'll Be Gone 800 miles Before the Day is Through...

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Got up well before 4 AM and was out the door prior to 5:00... Arrived Ogden, Utah about 5:30 PM Pacific time, a very quick trip for a little over 800 miles.

Here's the bike in the barn just prior to departure...

And here's the party to see me off...

And here's the bike warming up, it's excited, can you tell?

Hey, if you don't love bikes, you've come to the wrong place!

I took off and went straight through Enumclaw on hwy 410. Within 30 minutes I was climbing through Mt. Rainier national park up the winding road to the summit in the dark. It was clear and cool, and I could make out the shadow of Mt. Rainier looming with it's very large precense over my right shoulder during the climb.

I reached the summit hoping to be there about sunrise, but I was way too early, all I got looking East is this view of the very beginning of the sunrise with a planet shining just above:

As I ascended the mountain, it actually got much warmer as I climbed into a temperature inversion. It was upper 40's at the base and over 60 at the summit! Then as I descended back down I hit a spot were it went from 61 down to 44 in less than a minute! Of course I had just unzipped my coat to start cooling down as I was dressed warm expecting a cold mountain. By the time I got to Yakima, the sun was actually coming up and I needed to stop just to get my pant and jacket liners out - and get another shot of java to fend off the caffeine headache gods!

Then the morning was punctuated with a lot of this...

Followed by some really bad attempts at photography from a platform moving 80+ mph!

About then is when I flipped the iPod onto Pinsleur Spanish lessons. Of course my neurons are so fried from trying to calculate exactly how leveraged JPMorgan is with their $82 TRILLION in derivatives, that it took me twice just to catch about 10% of lesson #1! Perdon Senior, habla English? Cerveza (with two fingers held high)! Yes, Arno's going to be ordering me the absolute worst thing on the menu!

Idaho went quick because the speed limit is 75!!! That means I was only going 85 to about 90 the entire time! I finally passed my first biker heading the same direction just prior to Boise. Harley, of course, tank top, no helmet doing 85! The shocking part is I didn't know a Harley could do 85! I passed him, of course, and the next one I passed I wanted sooo bad to get a picture, but I felt that would be a little too bold... SHE was about 270 pounds, had a bright purple tank top and no helmet (not required in Idaho) with BRIGHT purple HAIR flapping in the wind and she was riding a purple HOG, of course! I thought to myself, "Man, she would be perfect for Arno!" Then I realized she was missing one key ingredient... no tattoos (that I could see! Not that I'd want to).

Anyway, the trip went pretty good, the weather was nice, it warmed up to 90 degrees and stayed there until Utah. I had to stop for gas only twice... grabbed breakfast the first time, nearly ran the tank dry the second and stopped in Bliss, Idaho. Not much to be bliss about there... pretty much a highway intersection with a single gas station.

At the gas station was a young girl (early 20s) who reminded me of my daughter (looked like her colors and size). Wore purple and had a purple flower backpack and a purple Ninja 450 (what's with the girls and purple bikes?). I tried some conversation and got a look like I was some dirty old man, and she said she was headed to Portland. Smart girl, I watched as she got on the freeway headed east, away from Portland, LOL!

Just past Bliss, I stopped to view the Snake River where it carved out the "Devil's Washbowl."

As I started to get about 100 miles north of the Great Salt Lake, the winds picked up to I'd guess 35 to 45 mph, very strong and gusty! I was cruising along about 85 and I noticed that my fuel consumption was going through the proverbial roof! So, I decided to speed up and slow down a little to play with the gauge and when I went to speed up I noticed that the throttle was almost wide open! It was the combination of 5,000 foot + elevation plus all the headwind!

Then the thundershowers were forming all over and I was lucky to miss it all until one just before the north end of the Salt Lake.

So, seeing that I was about to get dumped upon, I pulled over and decided to try my new self-storing GoreTex Klim jacket. It is a very cool piece of equipment. You just take it off the bike (I store it on the side of my tankbag), pull the jacket out of its own pocket and put it on. Looks nice and is very light weight. Also knocks the wind down good.

It works great. I can put it away in about two minutes and don't even have to get off the bike to put it on or off.

That's about it, it'll be a lot more fun to report on Arno's antics!

Here's a shot of the rocks just north of Ogden with the sun shining on it as it begins to get low in the West... Obviously a shot taken while in motion.

And here's a shot looking the other way into the sun across what you can see of the Great Salt Lake:

All in all a pretty long and high speed day. As I was zooming along I realized that 800 miles is fully 3%+ of a 24,000 mile journey! Not bad for the first day, eh? Of course the rest won't be that easy, although I'm going to try to knock out another 800 or so tomorrow.

It's pouring here now with lightning and thunder, the bike is taking the brunt... oh well, tomorrow I'll be 800 more miles before the day is done!


  1. First... How come the "Reactions" options only have "Arno Rocks!" and not "Nate Rocks!", despite the fact that you posted?  Hmmm..

    [x] Nate Rocks!

    There, dude.  Shout out to Nate: kickin' pictures, smokin' post, and a hearty Congrats, man!!

  2. Great pics Nate!  The Snake River shots are gorgeous!!!  Glad the first day went well - can't wait for you and Arnado to meetup and head south!!

  3. Thanks you guys, appreciate the feedback!  I keep trying to make it Arno's site, but he doesn't seem to want to come and play???