A bike named Lara
A bike named Lara

I started writing this some days later after I returned.  All will be explained later in, but some unexpected events to come back to forced me to delay much of my plans, and is what caused the overall delay in editing and getting the rest of my posts up.

As I write this, it is nearly been a week after I had returned.

I have a friend who asks why I name my bikes, why I talk about them like “people”, and I think I do it because it gives a bit more connection to the ownership and give more attention to them when they need it most, such around servicing and making sure everything is in order.

Lara, my CB500X is a great companion.

It’s hard for me to imagine needing much more in a bike to tour around on.

How I have her setup currently, she is able to go the places I needed to, and do so while sipping on the fuel.

My trip would take me a total of 2987 miles, just shy of 3000.

She would in those miles consume 51 gallons of fuel, giving an overall average of just around 58.6 miles to the gallon.

I learned by the end of Day 2, that she likes to drink a bit more when the temperature drops, and had to practice throttle discipline to keep her from drinking everything up before I reached my next fueling station.

I knew she was drinking heavily on the way up to Bell II, when my average had started to drop from 60. The lowest I would see on the trip was my overall average at 56.7, but with the rains gone, and the weather back on a warming trend, the final 1000 miles would grant me better fuel mileage and pushing me back up above 58, the majority of that increase happening on my last day, as the temps reached above the mid 70’s as I crossed the border back into the US, a huge contrast to the 40’s I was in just days before.

But besides this, there’s not much else that stood out, and I’m sure with some fuel management adjustments using an aftermarket controller, I will be able to resolve that.

Since I have returned, 2 items I had ordered have come in.

The first being the Palmer Industries Windshield Brackets.

These allow adjustment of both angle and height of the windshield.

The spacers that I made worked out great, but I wanted a bit more adjustment in both height and angle that spacers would no longer facilitate due to the angles the bolts needed to be at.

Secondly, my skid plate arrived from being on back-order.

There are really only a few other things for me to complete Lara before I call her finished.

First off, I have decided I do want a rear rack. Not to mount a top box, but just to be able hold a tail bag for lighter trips, and to carry my rotopax, which I still have laying around from my KLR.

Having the option to carry either an extra gallon of fuel, water or both is just smart.

I have decided to build my own.  I will either re-purpose a rack that was given to me, or build entirely from scratch.

A Rally Raid Level 3 Adventure modification to replace the suspension and wheels, along with a radiator guard, and full metal foot pegs as I hate rubber ones and I think she’d be completed from a bolt on-modification standpoint.

Possibly a new exhaust can, cause this one is just too quiet, and I’m not a loud exhaust person, I do however like to hear some tone of an engine, and a fuel controller of some sort to hopefully smooth out the fueling issues at colder temps (which technically an engine should run better in denser air).

She’s turned out to be everything I wanted out of a small bike to convert to an Adventure Touring bike.

She’s now pushing 5k miles, just 2 months after purchasing her, and I can’t wait to see what adventures we go on next. I already have weekend plans, and long weekend plans in my head, along with another northern adventure once I get a bit more aggressive tires on her to tackle Telegraph Creek, which should actually fit into a 5 day trip by slabbing all the way to Bell II, spending 2 nights there by riding up to Telegraph the next day and back to Bell II, and Slabbing back home (through the way of 10 Mile Lake of course).

I’m already thinking about this for a Labor Day weekend trip, but I may also head east to Montana.

So many possibilities.

How did I get over there?
How did I get over there?

It was early when I woke Wednesday morning.

I was anxious to pack up my gear and get out of the park.

I awoke around 5:30, dressed, and packed my sleeping bag and pad in their sacks before moving on to breaking down the tent.

It’s supposed to be nice today, so I didn’t care that the tent was wet from the nights condensation and dew. I would just dry it out when I got home.

As planned, I was ready by 6:15, and I pulled out of my camp spot and off to the gate.

I pulled the panniers, and rode the bike around the pedestrian path around the gate with ease.

Slapped the panniers back on, and rode away towards Quesnel.

My planned fuel stop was in South Quesnel at the station across the street of the Denny’s.

I ate at this Denny’s in 2010 on my last day of my Arctic Adventure, and I was looking forward to it this day as well, pretty much the entire trip, cause oddly enough, Pancakes aren’t really something you see up north at the little roadside dinners. I haven’t really figured that one out. So easy to make, and so delicious!

I almost swear the waitress was the same from 6 years prior, but I doubt it. But she acted much like the one I had 6 years ago, asking where I was heading to, commenting that was a long ways to go, and “doing what she could” to get my order moved up.

My order came pretty quick, well within 10 minutes of ordering, and she made sure my coffee never went dry in my cup.

When I went up to the register and also decided to pass on a little good feeling by paying for the lady and her daughters breakfast that were seated behind me.

I sat their eating my meal, listening to the little girl ask her mom if they could get a toy at the store (the Denny’s sits in front of a Walmart), and the mother say they still had a ways to go before they got to their new home, and would need to wait to see.

I handed over 50, that I knew would cover all our meals, plus cover both tips in addition to the tip I had left at my table as well.

This would be the last time I’d be off my bike until I hit US soil again, for the rest of the trip was pretty much a slab through the same area I passed through in 2010, with pretty much the same expectation of construction along the way.

I knew I only needed to top off in Cache Creek, and then again when I hit US soil, and that is exactly what I did.

Once I left Cache Creek, the ride through the Fraiser River Valley went by much quicker than I was expecting.

While there was road construction along the way, it stayed moving, and wasn’t extremely long sections like my last trip heading south through here.

Eventually I hit Hope, set off back west and then back South through Sumas where I topped off one last time and then to I5.

The miles just went by, and eventually I would be in familiar territory as I came into the Seattle area.

I decided to swing by Duc Seattle on my way back to see my buddy.

Pulling in, it was the first time I got off my bike in nearly 500 miles.

My time there was short though.

I took my phone off of airplane mode and noticed I had a voicemail, and I listened to it.

It was my apartment complex manager calling about the Xterra.

It was broken into.

So I left just minutes after arriving home to find my poor Xterra’s passenger window busted out, and the contents of my glovebox missing.

Stupid Theives
Stupid Theives

An odd bit of items to take, but the thieves made off with my owners manual (which had my registration and insurance card in it), a couple iPhone cables, a charger, invertor, half a dozen power-bar gels, my NW Forest Pass and Discover Pass, and the keys to my bike rack.

A not so delightful way to end my trip, but regardless, I stayed positive about it, scheduling my window to be replaced, and calling the local PD.

The officer came by, took some items the thieves had to touch (gum box, my sunflower seeds) to take back for processing in hopes of getting a print.

The next couple days, and the reason for these delays, was dealt with taking care of all of that, and just getting caught back up with work.

Now on to the new week, I have that all behind me, but the memories of an amazing 6 days spent on an amazing bike with me. Meeting amazing people once again, and making memories that will last a life time and hope to inspire others to go out and explore.

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