Well not quite. I did spare the horses as I am a law abiding motorcycle rider. I was pleased but surprised to see a hot air balloon in the air this morning as I was getting ready to depart. In an effort to avoid I5 and Seattle traffic my route for the day was to follow WA 20 all the way to its end point at the Port Townsend ferry terminal at Fort Casey on Whidbey Island. This strategy worked pretty well as the route through the Cascade Mountains was picturesque, with a good entertaining road, little traffic and pleasant temperature. It was not until Sedro-Woolley that I finally got caught up in the traffic appropriate for a hot summers day in the Pacific Northwest.
My motorcycle adventure is over and I am delighted.
Going into this expedition my two main concerns where:
my level of riding skills versus the demands of the Dempster and Dalton Highways
the capacity of my old body to endure the rigors of 30+ days of riding
As we now know riding condition on Canada's Dempster Highway were beyond my skill as a rider. Maybe if the weather had been kinder the conditions would have been within my means. But I am content enough to have tried and not been injured. From what I heard from other riders and locals not all that attempted the Dempster on motorcycles this year were so fortunate. The Dalton and Prudoe Bay served as a great consolation prize and my disappointment would have been much greater had I not made it to Deadhorse.
The big positive outcome from this expedition was that my strategies for managing my body, and my previously mentioned shoulder pain. Modest daily mileage goals (200 miles per day), correct riding posture, and regular rest breaks with stretching exercises succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.
Of course, the obvious question is; where next ?
Over the next few days I will do a somewhat detailed evaluation of the planning, packing and equipment that supported this expedition.