Sunday, June 5, 2016

On a Steel Horse I Ride

And the official start to my summer is here! It would have been last month, but working 27 days of the month kind of limits how much a person can enjoy their free time. That doesn't sound like many days, but when you work 12 hour shifts, it definitely is. And now that I been makin Arab money, I can actually enjoy myself:

I had thrown out the idea of a motorcycle trip to a few friends, but nothing was able to be set in stone, until a couple weeks ago when I pitched it to my cousin, Curtis. He hummed and hawed about it, but finally gave me a solid "I'm in". The plan is a 23 day trip from September 12th to October 3rd, covering a ton of ground and seeing some of the most spectacular scenery North America has to offer. The maps I've posted are interactive, so feel free to explore.

The trip from Edmonton to Vegas:

I've noticed that the route from Moab to the Grand Canyon didn't set to the 163 through Monument Valley but we will be taking that way, in the footsteps of Forrest Gump.

Las Vegas seemed like a good place to call a halfway point, also due to the fact that Google Maps won't let me input any more destinations on the route, pfft. And since we're two single, handsome motherfuckers, it's a good place to chill for a couple days and do some partying. September should still be fairly hot in the desert, from what I've read the daily average high will be around 35, but it's really the sweet spot for this trip, since any earlier it would be too hot in the desert, and any later it will be getting cold in the Rocky Mountains on the way back home.

The return home:

The ride through Death Valley is a maybe. Why? Because they call it Death Valley for a reason. I was there years ago in July and it was 51 degrees at 9pm. I doubt it will be that hot in September, but it seems like every year we're breaking temperature records so if that's the case, I don't want to be sweating my balls off on top of a hot motorcycle engine at 51 degrees. We'll also do a couple day stop in San Francisco since Curtis has never been there before and it's an awesome city to spend a few days in. And then it's a few days of working our way up the coast of California and Oregon, which should be some of the best motorcycle riding in the world. That's right Bon Jovi, eat your heart out.

This trip is going to be fan-fucking-tastic, the first every long haul I've done on my bike. There will be a lot of preparation for it; I'll be putting an oil cooler on my engine to keep it cooler during the desert rides, and I'm going to buy a cooling vest for the hot weather, along with a pair of Rokker waterproof riding jeans. The money I will have to put into that will pay itself back tenfold in comfortability while riding. Curtis and I have also vowed to get ourselves back into good shape, which for me will include a combination of weight training and yoga, hopefully 6-7 days a week, as well as a regimented diet so I can gain back all the muscle I've lost from neglecting to exercise properly when I was renovating my house.

And now to that topic. I've decided to hold off my plans for registering a basement suite and opted instead to have contractors build the two bedrooms and bathroom downstairs so my room mate can take that part of the house. After working so much in May and realizing that if I keep going on the grind of dedicating so much time to this house, I'm going to miss my summer and wear myself out. Instead, this month I will continue on the landscaping that my uncle Maurice and I have been working on. We dug out the backyard with his tractor and laid drainage pipe under the new window wells on the west side of the house that drain to the street, and another one along the back of the garage to drain the backyard into the walking path next door. And in the next couple weeks we will build the steps coming down from the back door, lay a flagstone patio down and fill and sod the rest of the yard. Hopefully soon after that I'll have a fence put in so no more pesky neighbour dogs shit in my yard, and I can start building my garden!


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