Pictures: Day 1 - 2

Day 1 / Thursday, June 12, 2008

Route map of the first leg of the journey: Chicago across the US into Vancouver; 2,560 miles.

On the road in northern Minnesota heading straight towards this dark mass of rain clouds. I waited for a few minutes after a gas stop, but the storm wasn't moving from my perspective, so I rode through it. Rain isn't so much an issue, neither is wind really, it's lightning that I'm most worried about...

Arriving at my campsite near Fargo, North Dakota after 700 miles from home. This is the Ashtabula Campground setup by the Army Corps of Engineers that built a nearby dam. It's about 9 pm local time.

Tent setup only takes about 5 minutes. That's the great thing about this 1-person tent, lightweight and easy to setup.

Sunset over Lake Ashtabula.

Nice flat Top Box works well for hauling additional loads, like firewood.

There's something I just love about setting up a campfire. Even if I don't need it for warmth or light, just having it going creates a sense of home. Maybe it goes back to prehistoric times...

A crackling fire. The fire pit was sunken in the ground maybe because this area is known to have high winds. The winds picked up at night and kept the fire going for a long time.

A halo around the full moon and look, you can even see some stars. Another reason I love camping is the ability to stare up at clear skies, but this trip in the peak of long summer days would mean un-ideal conditions for star gazing.


Day 2 / Friday, June 13, 2008

Passing by the Painted Canyon near Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota. The different layers are various sediment layers from millions of years ago. History Live. I passed through here with Rick and Andy two years ago when we were coming back from a Montana/Idaho trip.

I experienced quite a bit of rain and heavy winds in my two days on the Interstate heading towards Montana and I think this picture captures it well: the grass being blown sideways and the dark wall of a storm up ahead. My Motoport rain liners worked really well and I never got wet.

Getting off the Interstate and taking MT-200 west across this great big state.

This is my favorite time of day to ride - dusk. Yes, there's more to worry about with animals on the move at dusk and dawn but riding with this kind of sunlight makes up for it.

And how can you beat this. That's the nice thing about riding west, you ride into the sunset. Of course, it's not good when the sun is just above the horizon because it's shining right in your face, but just after it sets, riding into twilight is a special feeling. This twilight here near Great Falls lasted about two hours up to 11 pm and notice the changing shades of blue of the atmosphere.

Next: Day 3, Montana into British Columbia, Canada

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