Hey all! I am currently on a cross-country solo trip on my newly acquired 2005 DL1000 Vstrom. I left three weeks and four thousand miles ago. I have been camping and staying with friends the entire journey. I don't have a set route planned and I don't know when I'll be back, however my tentative stops are: Tail of the Dragon; the aquarium in Atlanta - largest in the world; New Orleans; all four national parks in Utah; Salt Lake City; the Breaking Bad set tour in Albuquerque; Mexico.
I have the Inreach tracking device on the bike, it updates my location every ten minutes. You can see me on the map here (along with the rest of my route).
Here's what my trip looks like so far.
Aug 30, 2014
I never intended to buy a V-Strom. It just kind of happened. I picked her up pretty much sight unseen, rolling the dice on the good name Suzuki has built for the bike. It's the first Suzuki I've ever owned, and also my first twin. I put about 2000 kilometers of city riding onto it in the first three weeks of ownership, testing it out to see what I could break. Answer: not much. Satisfied with the bike's surprising agility, I set off Thursday August 28 on a coast-to-coast trip, from Vancouver BC to Raleigh NC.
One of the first things I noticed is that there's a marked difference between a V-Strom and a loaded V-Strom. I generally travel light, but my decision to camp on the road added a lot more bulk, as now I needed to carry tent, sleeping bag, stove, and food. I would have been okay in light gravel in an empty V-Strom, but loaded I think it's best for me to stick to pavement.
My route will be decided as I go. Wednesday I did backroads in Washington, and I saw a lot of bikes, mostly sport-touring, cruisers and big adventure bikes. There were also a lot of RVs and touristy types in general. I camped overnight halfway between Mt Vernon and Spokane, and woke to a light rain. It would continue to rain off-and-on for the rest of the day, and so I decided to skip the winding roads I'd had planned, in favour of some highway to hopefully put some distance between myself and the wet.
Tonight I've stopped over in Idaho. Under the light of the V-Strom, I set up my tent and my gasoline MSR stove, and cooked a freeze-dried meal. Tomorrow I'll make Montana, where I've been only once before, and then it will all be states I've never seen.
HOT DOG THING
I'm at a truck stop 90 miles north of Yellowstone, and 10 miles north of my next campground - hopefully it's open when I get there. I just ate this weird hot dog.
When I was in line to get it, an older chap sang me a song about a motorcycle rider. He gave me his business card and told me to check out his website where I'd find a song about a pretty girl. I said I'd pass on the info if I saw one.
Montana is big and full of mountains and cows and farmland. There's no traffic and no tourists. It's also freezing cold at night. I'm grateful for my heated vest and my thick waterproof gloves. I hope to get an earlier start tomorrow and hit up Yellowstone.
AHEAD OF THE STORM
I reached the campground last night. Thankfully there was a night check-in. If you haven't camped much - I certainly haven't as an adult, tho my mother was a Girl Guide leader and taught me a thing or two - this is where you enter your credit card information on a little slip, leave it in a drop box and move into the nearest empty site you can see. I had my tent and things set up in a little under ten minutes. It's getting faster every time. I woke up to a steady rain, but my tent held up and my gear stayed dry.
The skies threatened fury all day, but never quite delivered.
The mountains never stop in Montana.
This bridge was located off Hwy 287.
What baby paramedic would feel complete without an adequate first aid kit?
Even a V-Strom needs a backup plan.