Showing posts from May, 2009

Trip Out West - Part 4

Today was a slower day. By the time I got the bike packed and the gas tank topped up, I wasn't on the road until 8:30.

The weather and the scenery were spectacular all day. The temperatures easily got into the 80's, maybe higher. Since I had made such good time the first few days, I decided to take it a little easier and stop and take a few more pictures. But I was quite disappointed that Montana doesn't have any "scenic lookouts" where you can legally stop on the freeway like many other states or provinces. Shame.

I stopped for the evening at St. Regis, Montana, mostly because I was feeling the effects of the heat and needed to call it a day.

My total for the day? 643 miles (>1000 km), leaving me about 6 hours (400 miles) of driving to Seattle the next day. My sons won't be home from work until past 6:00 pm, so that should give me a more leisurely day of driving.

My travels today:
(Click on map to enlarge)

Montana, with the Rockies in the distance:
(Click on …

Trip Out West - Part 3

The bike was packed by 7:00. It was already raining...

It rained rained for over 3 hours, sometimes very hard. My new Goretex-lined waterproof boots failed me - well, sort of. My jeans weren't totally covered by the rain suit, and got soaked. This soaked into my socks and wicked down my socks into my boots. If it weren't in the 40's I wouldn't have minded so much, but my feet started to freeze... And my hands...! By the time I stopped for gas my hands were so wet and cold I couldn't move my fingers to pull off my gloves.  Ahhh......that's why they call this an "adventure"...!

When I got to North Dakota the weather cleared, and eventually turned quite sunny and warm. This allowed me to drive for quite an extended period -- a total of 819 miles -- ending in Glendive, Montana.

Along the way I passed "Jack" on his Harley. He caught up to me, then followed me to my next gas stop. It turned out he was driving in the same direction for about 300 miles…

Trip Out West - Part 2

I got on the road shortly after 7:30. The forecast in Cleveland called for rain, so I figured I'd be smart and wear the rain suit right from the start. Was I ever glad I did.

As soon as I hit the Pennsylvania border the winds started, then when I hit the Ohio border the rain started. After Toledo, the clouds parted and the sun came through, prompting me to stop and throw on some more sunscreen. But just before Chicago the skies turned BLACK, and the rain hit harder than I have ever experienced. Unfortunately I was on a section of the highway that was under construction and didn't have any shoulders, so all I could do was drive through it. My vision got so bad that I just looked for a vehicle that had bright headlights and followed it -- road lines were useless at that point. When that ended, I found myself in the thick of rush hour in Chicago, the city where I wouldn't be far off in saying has North America's worst drivers, and where the drivers have absolutely ZERO res…

Trip Out West - Part 1

The oil's changed. Preliminary dates to stay with friends are planned. I have a rough route planned in my head; now I just need to enter that in my GPS (hehe... target:Seattle, tolls okay, fastest...).

I'm a little concerned about whether my rear tire will last the entire trip, or if I should swap it out when I'm out west. I've contacted a friend in Portland to see if I can ship a tire to his house and change it there.

Today I tried to install a Vista universal throttle lock but it wouldn't work on the V-Strom. That will be a pain -- travelling over 10,000 km without some sort of a cruise control.

I also changed out the front and rear sprockets and changed the chain. I was a little concerned about the front sprocket, but when I compared it to the new one, it was probably could have easily lasted for this trip. Oh well, better safe than sorry.

I'm planning to stay with a friend on the US side tonight to avoid any border delays in the morning. I'm not sure what …

Microchips Articles

There are some great articles at the IEEE Spectrum website on microchips. Included is an article entitled "25 Microchips that shook the world", which includes some historical information that students (and teachers!) may find interesting.

This site has been added to my public TEJxx bookmarks: