The sun really does come out tomorrow (220 miles)

Looks like the rain stopped. Forecast is for rain at 1000ET. If I head out now I’ll beat the rain.

New Orleans is out since it would be a pretty miserable place in pouring rain. Maybe I’ll go through it on the way back.

Quick check of the bike (air, gas, tires, etc.) and off I go! I’m trying a new app (Relive) recommended by a biker buddy, will post the route if it works for me on this first go.

Here’s today’s track, consider it a dry run.

Packing is the hardest part…

Last October I had to pack for a 6 day CA>FL relocation. I had to bring 2 sets of clothing for the road trip, and 5 sets of work clothing for work. I didn’t think too much about how I packed, so I wasn’t able to get to my rain pants during the trip. #ouch

Now I’m packing 5 sets of clothing for a 3 week road trip vacation. This time I’m a little smarter. All socks/briefs/t-shirts are wicking (no cotton!), and I’ve got my rain suit packed in an easy to get to location, and a 3 weather upper for the Northern states where it might get cool/cold.

I don’t plan to ride at night, because unlike in October when I just needed to get there quickly, this time I’m in it for the scenery, enjoy nature, and have fun. This time I called Geico to make sure they were aware of the trip (amazingly no rate increase, just a “wow enjoy!”).

Its almost 1am and I’m updating my blog, shouldn’t I be sleeping? Shouldn’t I pack those last few things, so I’ll only need to shower, get dressed, and hit the road? Myea, I probably should.

My guess is it’ll rain tomorrow, since it rained all day today, and its gonna rain for the next few days…so I need to get moving early tomorrow to get to the Mid West sooner than later. 🙂

So where are you going on your trip?

Waypoints! Two years’ vacations worth of them. Hope to hit all of them in the next 3 weeks. 🙂

Arizona

Sedona
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sedona,+AZ+86336/@34.8697395,-111.7609896,11z

Horseshoe Bend
https://www.google.com/maps/dir//Horseshoe+Bend+Parking+Lot/@36.879509,-111.5105057,15.08z

Grand Canyon
https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Grandview+Point,+Grand+Canyon+Village,+AZ+86023/Horseshoe+Bend+Parking+Lot,+Page,+AZ+86040/@35.9947934,-112.0072275,13z

Upper Antelope Canyon
https://www.google.com/maps/search/Upper+Antelope+Canyon,+Arizona/@36.8776579,-111.4063987,13.17z

Colorado

Rocky Mountain State Park (loop 14 & 34)
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Alpine+Visitor+Center/@40.4102867,-105.744501,13.41z

Colorado National Monument (Scenic Rim Rock Drive)
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Colorado+National+Monument/@39.0575219,-108.6938999,15z

Idaho

Shoshone Falls
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Shoshone+Falls+Park/@42.5934978,-114.4028691,17.49z

Montana

Logan Pass
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Logan+Pass/@48.6569284,-113.9692364,10.11z

Montana and Wyoming

Beartooth Highway
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Beartooth+Hwy,+Montana+82414/@44.9615908,-109.8897611,9.64z

Nebraska

Toadstool Geological Park and Campground
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Toadstool+Geological+Park+and+Campground/@42.5281798,-104.0020733,7.96z

Nevada

Valley of Fire
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Valley+of+Fire+State+Park/@36.487393,-114.570493,13.11z

Las Vegas (cheap hotels!)
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Las+Vegas,+NV/@36.1246738,-115.4551869,10z

New Mexico

White Sands National Monument
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Alamogordo+%2F+White+Sands+KOA+Journey/@32.8511898,-106.2594752,11.62z

Ship Rock Campground
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ship+Rock+Campground/@36.6895741,-108.7112184,18.52z

Oregon

Hells Canyon
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Copperfield+Campground/@44.8794083,-117.1864422,9.66z

Crater Lake
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Crater+Lake/@42.9415361,-122.1773804,12z

South Dakota

Sturgis
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sturgis+Harley-Davidson/@44.3953611,-103.7639079,10.48z

Crazy Horse Monument
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Crazy+Horse+Memorial/@43.8357937,-103.6330292,15z

Mount Rushmore
https://www.google.com/maps/place/13000+SD-244,+Keystone,+SD+57751/@43.8766478,-103.4584532,16.5z

Tennessee and North Carolina

Cherohala Skyway
https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Cherohala+skyway/35.3670695,-84.3002515/@35.3474073,-84.1512321,11.4z

Utah

Bonneville (Speedweek!)
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bonneville+Speedway+Road,+Utah+84083/@40.7625049,-113.9348824,17z

Bryce Canyon
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bryce+Canyon+City,+UT+84764/@37.623462,-112.2066482,12.79z

Delicate Arch
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Lower+Delicate+Arch+Viewpoint/@38.7341916,-109.5023333,17z

Utah/Arizona

Monument Valley
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Monument+Valley+Navajo+Tribal+Park/@36.9974024,-110.1042684,16.01z

Washington

Mount Rainier
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Mount+Rainier+National+Park/@46.7768004,-121.7552675,14.12z

Wyoming

Yellowstone
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Old+Faithful/@44.4604826,-110.8303317,17z

Jackson Hole
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Jackson,+WY/@43.4745759,-110.8107026,13z

3 days before heading on the road – gear time

Getting my sissy bar reinstalled for the trip. This trip is going to be significantly longer than my October cross country trip. So I decided to switch from my very awesome Saddlemen S3500 to a more weather resistant Biltwell Exfil 80. Both come with a rain cover, but this time I’ll be doing more camping so had to rethink my storage options. Added a Biltwell EXFIL 11 to the gas tank, and a Biltwell EXFIL 7 to the fork.

After spending weeks deciding on a three season jacket, I decided to go with the Alpinestars Andes v2 Drystar Jacket (10% Veterans discount at CycleGear). Took it out today, it passed the warm weather test. 🙂 Lots of vents, and includes shoulder/elbow padding.

alpinestars-andes-v2

I spent months looking for motorcycle jeans that would fit me, wasn’t having much luck. Then I stumbled upon Draggin Jeans, who make jeans for “bigger men”. Well, alrighty then! I ordered two pairs of jeans in two sizes, and ended up returning the smaller pair. No, I didn’t go up one size, they told me to go with the bigger size due to the kevlar lining. 😉 Tried them on, perfect! Washed them an they’re ready for Saturday!
draggin-jeans-big-men

Since I’ll be camping this trip, decided to leave my favorite Harley Davidson boots at home and instead picked up a pair of KEEN Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots (5% Veterans discount). Learned long ago, gotta go with something that’s waterproof…plus Keen wide toe box always fits me well. 🙂

keen-boots

Avoiding cotton like the plague, picked up half a dozen pairs of their Instinct 2.0 Over-The-Calf Crew Socks while I was there. Decided not to over spend on underwear, so went to Walmart to get some Jockey wicking boxer briefs, and some Fruit of the Loom wicking t-shirts. Figured 6 pairs of each should cover the trip, since I plan to camp out as much as possible to save money, then when I stay at a hotel I can wash/dry the stuff without too much of a hassle.

Stay tuned for…Danali D2 2.0 install and Gasbox Sissy Bar reinstall…

COUNTDOWN: 21 days left

Thanks to Florida’s “use it or lose it” law, I have 21 days before the beginning of my 3wk road trip!

Planning my road trip to wherever is a lot of work. The route is the easy part. Avoid cities. Camp wherever possible to save money. Blog every day. Hope for good weather, be prepared for the worst weather.

For emergencies I have my Garmin inReach Explorer +, which supports GEOS (24/7/365 search & rescue), so if the shit hits the fan out in the middle of nowhere I’ll be able to get help. Paired with Garmin Earthmate iOS app and you’re ready for anything.

IMG_6498

I picked up an REI Co-op Quarter Dome 1 tent and footprint, and a Big Agnes Dumont SL 30 sleeping bag (had my eye on it – who would’ve thought the price would go down 50%?!). I couldn’t believe how small these items were. The bag will easily slip into the sissy bar bag, the tent will have to be strapped on the outside.

I have no idea what route I’m taking, except that I plan to avoid states that don’t have a reciprocity agreement with Florida (sticking to the blue states).reciprocity

The biggest issue I have right now is I need to put my sissy bar back on to mount the sissy bar. This means my Pelican saddlebags will only open to 45 degrees. #firstWorldIssue

I’ll have to call Anarchy Motorcycles to schedule my 30,000 mile maintenance a little early,

Hello WordPress…goodbye Bluehost

I’ve been using donmontalvo.wordpress.com for years, and have been planning on transferring donmontalvo.com. I got an alert from Bluehost that my domain auto payment went through on July 5, so now I have a 60 day wait before I can transfer.

Not happy.

easter-bunny-fight

I needed to get this done now so I called WordPress and was told I can use an A-record for now, until the 60 wait is over. At that point I’ll be able to complete the domain transfer. They helped me set things up in less than 10 minutes:

Changed nameservers to:

NS1.WORDPRESS.COM
NS2.WORDPRESS.COM
NS3.WORDPRESS.COM

Set A records to:

192.0.78.12
192.0.78.13

I’m a happy camper. I’ll be happier once the domain transfer is complete, so I can get rid of Bluehost once and for all.

If you want to blog, there’s only one game in town…WordPress (personal opinion).

cosmo-kramer-shocked

Dakota Digital MLX-3012-K

Whether its a car, or a motorcycle, speedometer design is important. When I bought my 2017 Harley-Davidson Dyna Street Bob (FXDB), the dealer upgrade the gauge so I could more easily see the RPMs. I love the upgraded gauge.

Or should I say I loved it. It had an issue fogging up in humid weather. Noticed it from the first month when I was in California, and the issue persists today. I called Harley-Davidson but didn’t get a response.

I did some research, and found this can happen to any speedometer, but folks who bought a Dakota Digital gauge have reported it doesn’t happen to them. Not sure what the difference is, but I’ve had enough of being on the highway and not being able to read the digital numbers at the bottom of the gauge.

Whether I’m checking the time, or the trip mileage, the fog in the gauge made it unusable. I decided the cost of a speeding ticket, or the inconvenience of running out of gas warranted looking into an alternative.

Looking through the Dakota Digital site, I found the model I need for my motorcycle is MLX-3012 (chrome) or MLX-3012-K (black). I was pleasantly surprised to find that every retailer was out of stock. To me, that means its a hot item!

I called Dakota Digital and they pointed me to Dennis Kirk, who had a couple in stock. Ordered it, should be in by Saturday. The instructions say its a straight swap, not sure yet if I’m going to risk doing this on my own. FWIW within a few minutes of ordering mine, the second one flew off the shelf.

It isn’t the prettiest display, but the numbers re huge, and you can customize colors, criteria to display, etc., and amazingly offers a Bluetooth app to manage these things!

Can’t wait, will post a full report once I get this baby installed and give it a whirl.

[UPDATE] Device arrived, installed it but it’s raining so didn’t get a chance to take photos of it installed yet.

The unit appears to be made of cast aluminum, and machines do the edges are smooth. Excellent workmanship.

The Harley-Davidson upgraded unit is a lot lighter, appears to be make entirely of plastic.

UPDATE: It’s installed! I set all the display items to white. There are a ton of possible display items, and colors, and even inverting the center of the display (for a white box and black characters). For now I’m displaying voltage, gear, and time. Very happy with this baby!

IMG_6477