The PacMule- North Carolina to Alaska

Trip Preparation

North America 2010
Bike Preparation
Trip Preparation
Trip Blog (and link to download)
Pictures and Video

What and when.

Preparation-: the action or process of making something ready for use or service or of getting ready for some occasion, test, or duty.

Occasion, test, or duty?  Occasion...sure.  Test...maybe.  Duty...nah.
As an engineer, I tend to hyperfocus on preparation.  This is not always a good thing.  Being prepared is a a comfort.  Leaving no room for variance or eliminating the ability to make do with what's at hand (McGuyver capability) is just no fun.
Although, as poetic as it seems to throw a leg across the bike, turn left out of the driveway, and go through the gears with the wind in my hair, I would be sacrificing part of the experience. 
I'm breaking down the preperation into four categories:
Bike Preparation (a page of it's own)
Route Preparation

Route Preparation
Given that I am constrained by a generous but limited vacation schedule, the meandering "Family Circle" cartoon path that the independently wealthy, retired, or homeless might afford is unrealistic.  The easy approach is to access Google Maps, put a bullet on my hometown (Asheville, NC) and another on Deadhorse Alaska, and let it find the quickest route.  This approach, albeit efficient, will probably bypass the reason I'm taking the trip. 
So....let's sprinkle in some roadside attractions, American icons, Canadian icons, national parks, and last but not least- the continent's most glorious trout streams. the line is a little more wiggly but didn't add that many more miles to the total.  Like I've said before, the wind may blow me around a little.  Or a lot. 

Although I will stay with a couple of friends early in the trip, I expect to camp most of the time.  Carrying the required camping gear will necessitate careful consideration of all supplies to ensure proper load weight and balance.
I intend to keep a weblog of the trip including videos and photos so a netbook and camera are in order.
-extra SD memory cards
-12v rechargers for computer and camera
-solar charger
- North Face 3man Breezeway tent
-Sleeping bag
-extra thick self inflating sleep pad
-butane camp stove
-camp pots and pans
-bear vault
-bear spray
-first aid kit
-flare gun
-synthetic clothes for layering
-gold pan
-freeze dried food for four days (resupply along the way)
-spare motorcycle parts and tools
-spare rear tire
-fly rod, reel, sundry gear
-Garmin 760 GPS with topographical and road maps of North America
- 32GB of music


I ride ATGATT.  All The Gear All The Time.
In an effort to mitigate risk, every piece of safety gear will be worn at all times during the trip.  This may not be as comfortable as blue jeans and a t-shirt but my choice over skin grafts or a rap to the noggin that sets me back to the third grade.
The gear includes...
 -Olympia AST 3/4 length jacket (hi-viz yellow) with shoulder, elbow, and   back protection.
 -Olympia pants with knee and hip protection
 -Waterproof armored boots
 -Armored gloves

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