Sunday, November 27, 2011

Prep Phase

Hello again, Ed here.

We sure hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and we were fortunate enough to have it twice this year.  We had one dinner last weekend with Devon's father who drove down from Kansas and another one a few days later with Devon's little sister who drove down with her husband from Missouri.  Devon is an excellent cook and knocked it out of the park both times.  It was really great to visit with all of them as we don't get to see them often enough.

Even with the distraction of the holiday, our preparation for the Alaska trip is ongoing.  Before I tell you about what we have done this week, I need to correct an error from the heated gear post.  After some research, I discovered that te accessory electric hook up at the top of the fuse block on the Goldwing is rated for only 5 amps.  Each liner draws approximately 5.7 amps, so the hook up at the top of the fuse block is not the best choice for a hook up.  I re-routed the cable and hooked it up directly to the battery.  This will work out much better.  Devon and I have turned the liners on and confirmed they worked, but it has not quite been cold enough here yet for us to test them on a ride.  It is supposed to be colder her this week, so perhaps this week.

We ordered some pants that convert to shorts this week.  These were a great buy.  The material is a little thin as they are designed more for UV protection and quick drying.  They still will work great for our trip because they are light, fold up small, and save us from having to pack an additional pair of shorts.  They are very comfortable.  The men's pair is true to size for the waist, but appears to run long.  The 30 inch inseam I purchased is more like a 31 inch (just enough that I will have to hem them).  The women's length is correct, but tends to run on the lower end of the size range given on the sizing chart.

Last night, we went to Academy Sports and purchased Rio Adventure Roll-Top 18 table.  This small table will be perfect to use while cooking.  It packs down to 18X7X3 and weighs less than 5 pounds.  It is made of aluminum and is extremely sturdy.  Here are some photos:
The table comes in a compact bag for easy packing
The table comes in 4 easy to assemble pieces.
Here is the base of the table.
The support bars snap into place.
Here is what it looks like with the support bars in place.
The table top snaps into the pins on the support bars.
Here is the table completely assembled.  It should be perfect for cooking.
Also, over the weekend, we we ordered a Garmin Zumo 550 GPS and a Kennedy CellSet.  The Zumo was an excellent buy due to a Black Friday deal and Kennedy is selling off their entire stock of CellSets as they are no longer going to produce them (their pricing is currently based off best offer) so we scored an excellent deal there.  I had a Kennedy CellSet on my Goldwing 1800 when I had it and it was awesome.  This set up will allow us to listen to our music, talk with each other through our headsets, use the CB, hear turn by turn directions from the GPS, and receive/make cell phone calls while on the bike.  Though the set up is a bit pricey, it should be well worth it.  I have removed my old GPS from the bike, so there is now an empty space anxiously waiting for the Zumo.  We of course will be taking along some paper maps and a compass in case of GPS failure.

We really are basically set for this trip as far as gear goes.  We still need to pick up a few odds and ends, riding lined pants, and a tarp with poles.  We will pick these items up over the next few weeks.

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