The Beginning Of
The Bucket List!
An adventure by Graham, Chuck & Chris

Click here for a shortcut to the Baja . . .

Click here for a shortcut to mainland Mexico . . .

Click here for a shortcut to the Trip Home . . .

Join us on The Rush to Mount Rushmore! July 2010

Although this page has been associated with a bucket list, it really isn't. For me (Chris) this is a practice ride for a bucket list ride. A ride to Panama Canal!

This is a ride inspired by Chuck Forest where others readily invited themselves along and were quickly welcomed by Chuck.

Welcome along for the ride! Planned departure date February 12, 2010!

Above is Chris' bike  

As you know the bike is a 2008 Kawasaki KLR 650 purchased (out of self pity and because it was pretty) at the end of August 2008, in Rocky Mountain House and driven to the coast by the infamous Chris H. Since that date it has accumulated a little over 28,000 km after a trip that fall to Belize and last fall to Alaska. I have added crash bars, Trax luggage, heated hand grips, Garmin Zumo GPS, Gerber heated gloves and vest and am now on my third set of tires. The bike has mostly been serviced @ Spunky’s Motorcycle Shop in Parksville, BC (excellent service) with some oil and tire changes enroute. I am very happy with the KLR and will probably only trade up when Kawasaki  comes out with a 8-900cc version. I do like the BMWs but have to be realistic on my budget and have had no reason to change brands at this time. This trip to Mexico is in fact part of the Bucket list and will probably spawn more adventure in that direction. I am not young enough to do the Baja 1000 or Dakar but they have now been added to the list so who knows what the future will bring.

“New Bike +  Novice Rider = Trouble enroute
to Belize 2008”

This is Graham's baby! haha, here I am. Bike is tuned and ready to go. Engine oil wasn't bad but I anyways since we're thinkin this could be 8-10k miles. Also did the diff and tranny oil. It sure helped to find a blog with pics and tricks on changing the tranny oil. First time for both and was too much metal on the mag plugs for my liking - will definitely do it sooner next time. Used I haveLucas 90w synthetic. Checked the tool kit and added a few things for the trip, then found out my seat was bumping against the toolkit making it impossible to get the seat reinstalled (I thot I was going crazy... the guy at Portland BMW figured it out. Thanks.)
On the topic of going on this trip here's how it went. Chuck was going, Chris tagged on and then told me and I tagged on. First, I got the clearance from my controller, Pierre who said go for it, the company will still be here when you get back. Then I waited for a couple more weeks for the right moment to tell/ask Sharon for permission. The 'right' moment just wasn't happening so finally I dove into it. I have the most amazing wife - she's always accomodated my 'play' needs. Ya, I know. I owe you big time. Plan big for our 25th in 2011. I think it's kind of funny how her friends are wondering how she can let me take off for so long and their husbands are telling me how they wish they had the balls to do something like this. I'm thinking the trips are only going to get bigger - sure wish Colton was with us - he'll have to join the next one. Graham


February 7, 2010

I am sitting here, watching the Super Bowl, and thinking that in a week today we will be on the road, southbound. I have tried not to over plan this trip but it seems to be taking on a life of its own. I have over spend my budget, on new tires, a new trailer, waterproof boots, a new Zumo 660 GPS etc. etc. I have researched  the routes, bought maps, programmed all the important numbers in my cell, researched the necessary documents, ferry schedules to Mazatlan, and places to stay. So much for the impromptu “lets go south”, like the Belize trip last year. I guess it is good but it sure does not seem as much fun.

Chris and Graham will take over possession of the my bike and trailer on Thursday while I flit off to Calgary for a wedding/family reunion. We shall meet again in Sacramento whereupon we stash the truck and trailer and proceed on the two wheeled adventure. Unfortunately the KLR is not very happy right now and has been rather cranky in the starting procedure. I guess it is another short bout to Spunky’s to see what ails her as I do not need this grief in the middle of a desert somewhere. She has spark and fuel but is just being stubborn and the answer is probably something very minor (I hope). I sure don’t relish another large mechanical bill at this time.

Well, I do have over 2,000 tunes on the GPS and am ready for this adventure. We will keep you all enlightened and hopefully entertained while enroute through this website.

Let the journey begin.


February 10, 2010

Check List of Necessary Items Before Departure

1. New Tires - one and a half weeks before departure

2. Complete Electrical Failure - one week before departure

3. Have Throttle Stick Full Open - two days before departure

The new tires were planned and thanks to Western Powersports I received an excellent price on my new tires, and many thanks to Tom Huxley for the previous instruction changing and balancing tires. Then the complete electrical failure, a quick replacement of the electrical harness below the ignition switch made it easy because there was one in Vancouver. Now having the throttle stick full open after leaving Roy and Shona's house two days before departure because I goosed it up the road was real interesting, and it took hours to troubleshoot and fix. Perhaps most people would believe this was an omen of things yet to come. Not me, all I can say is thank God they happened here rather than in the middle of no where in the Baja.

Bring it on!


February 11, 2010

The excitment is really on the rise as we load the bikes. It is finally hitting home that we really are going - tomorrow! Sorry to be so excited Wanda and Sharon - it's a man thing.

Yes Chuck we did tie down the Kawasaki
February 12, 2010

OK, so Chris and I get to the border and since it's first day of the Olympics, the US has a roadblock just in front of the Canadian side keeping everyone from getting to Canada. Going south the dog squad was sniffing around every car. Pretty tight security. I guess they were more scared about terrorists leaving then coming. First stop was Tasky Cycles in Everett. Jeff and his wife sell Huskys and Husabergs (all around the best off road bikes made). I bought my TC450 from him. Drooled over the FE570 (my next dual sport) and gloated over our trip. The next stop was Portland BMW. Sat on a few sweet bikes and bench raced with the salesman. The F800GS caught my wunderlust so Chris took a pic. How many bikes is too many. I swear the official tax collectors were posted about every 5 miles in WA and I can't remember seeing one in Oregon. That radar detector is already quite useful. Graham
We have two GPS's and we're
still lost in Portland!
First night, stop in Medford Oregon

Feb 13, 2010

We decided to grab a Motel 6 in Medford around midnight. In the am we grabbed a coffed at the Dutch Coffee shack and as I turned back onto the 5 lane road, I realized it was one way. Well immediately moving to the right lane to get off at the next corner, I see a Sheriff who promptly turns on his lights. I ducked through a couple lanes and pulled in to fill up the truck thinking I'd blame my stupidity on my BC plates and lack of coffee. Had a great bfast in Mt.Shasta where we logged in to wifi and caught up on the Olympic coverage. Go Canada!!!. We loved how the Canadian 1130 had a 59 picture slideshow with about 12 pics of Canadians and every other country and then one picture of the US team last. hahaha, can't imagine why. Stopped in Redding for a cold drink. As Chris came out of the washroom, he exclaimed "Next", to which the lady responds "you left the lid up". Without missing a beat, he said "Sorry, but I'm not at home." I almost p'd myself I was laughing so hard. The rain is gone and the temp is up to 18C - this is going to be good.


Feb 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day to my Wonderful wife Wanda!

Chuck arrives at Sacramento Airport and although I am sitting at the end of the stairs he must come down and Graham is orbiting around the airport in the truck, wouldn't you know it Chuck dances right by me and finds Graham outside and has to come back into the arrivals/baggage collection area to find me. We figure out that he didn't see me because he was following a very good looking young lady, and I didn't see him because he was following a very good looking young lady and I missed the ugly guy in tow.

So off we trot to Leo and Ineke's home where Graham and I have off loaded the bikes and spent the previous evening being spoiled rotten by our gracious hosts. Plying us with the world's most tender steaks and bottles of wine. I speak for all of us when I say thank you for a most wonderful time.


We watched Canada get their first medal and had a great evening visiting. MR GADGETMAN aka Leo had an electronic exhibition inspiring gadget lust resulting in everyone wanting a Flip video cam - so while we picked Chuck up at the airport, Leo went to Costco (his all time favorite store) and picked one up for each of us.


Now that we all have a clean bike, loaded and ready to go our newly arrived friend Chuck decides to do some kind of ceremonial dance to the safe and problem free miles that lie ahead for the next month.

With all the last minute adjustments made and all the gear stored perfectly we are finally ready to head off for the start of our journey at 3:00 PM. The wind in our hair, sun on our back, we head out for the best adventure ever!

In the intercoms we all chime WILD HOGS as we set forth into the unknown.


Several hours later we watch the sun set as we repair Chuck's Kawasaki. Fortunately, it is just a blown main fuse and after hunting out the location and finding a spare to put in we are on our way.

Graham and I must be very quiet at these moments as the superior might of the spectacular BMW bike may fail us somewhere down the road.

Having arrived after dark and finding a room in the sold out city of Monterey CA because of race cars, Pebble Beach Open. Now we have to take in the Fisherman's Wharf where Graham has to stick his hand where it doesn't belong. Wonderful dinner and back to the motel where we discover we have traveled the tremendous distance of 256 kms.


February 15, 2010

We got into Newport Beach very late, sorry didn't feel up to updating our sites. Soon you will see pictures of the elephant seals we saw and hear tales of our favourite tour guide in Newport Beach and Jennifer made me promise to give her an alias of Susan!

Off to San Diego to get tires for Graham . .

Continued . . .

So we started out the day and in less than a mile the first and hopefully last motor vehicle accident happened! While Chuck waited for the slow pokes (Graham and I) a small pick up truck slowly backed up into Chuck's bike. The driver of the truck mesmorized by the sound of my horn from 100 feet away stared to where we were parked, slowing and aimlessly backing into Chuck who thankfully did realize what the honking was about and was able to prevent damage by moving at the last second, resulting in only a love tap! It is only a Kawaski!

We elected to take the highway 1 along the coast of California. A much longer ride as the speed is much lower and the road much less direct. It proved to be an excellent choice as the view of the ocean was like what you see to the left for hours. Picture after picture could be placed here and although we didn't get tired of the view it just isn't done justice with pictures.
This is an elephant seal! There were hundreds of these at a beach area we came along to, there are more pictures. There were fighting males and what looked like to my untrained eye, mating. Chuck and I were in awe as we watched with many hundreds of others who had stopped to see them as well.

We moved on seeing pelicans, the Hearst Castle and dolphins. We had decided to overnight at Venice in Southern Los Angelos but when we traveled through LA on the highway we encountered so much traffic that it prolonged our arrival to about 8:00 PM in Venice. A quick look around didn't make us comfortable so we had a boat load of ribs (and were they good) got back onto the bikes and drove to Newport Beach where we overnighted.

670 kms and we were beat! If Graham's friend Jennifer aka Susan hadn't shown up and forced Graham and I out for a beer and many games of pool we would have just passed out.
As it was we stayed up way to late walking the beach in the middle of the night. Tomorrow San Diego!!!!!

February 15, 2010

Day 2 – an exceptional day for vistas and winding roads. We not only saw big surf but cruised by Pebble Beach golf course and the Hurst Castle. We saw Elephant seals and waterfalls, longcoast-lines with endless pacific swells and commanding viewpoints every couple of miles. It was not great for high mileage but I sure can see why so many want to live here. I cannot imagine where all the money comes from but the cornucopia of multi -million dollar homes was intimidating and inspiring at the same time. It is hard to believe that this state is going broke. The end of the day ended up on freeways and LA traffic which had to be endured but hopefully not repeated. Seen it done it!


February 16, 2010

Day 3 was a refreshingly quiet ride down to San Diego with a visit to the BMW dealer for some supplies and a trip down to the border to get insurance. So far no big deal and the folks at the insurance agency said that the crossings are very quiet due to the depressed economy. I guess we see what we want to see. Tomorrow is Mexico and I hope the boys are not disappointed. After all the stories about the safety down there I think they will find it a little more civilized than expected. We are heading for a place called Coyote Cal’s as it is reputed to be a Mecca for bikers and from all accounts there are lots on their way south. I am pumped.

 The picture with my bike is Pebble Beach golf course, of course.


263 kms today! Newport Beach to San Diego, you can really see the recession has hit Newport Beach. We saw very few BMWs and Mercedes. Mostly what we saw were Bentleys, Maseratis, Ferraris and a few RRs. Multi million dollar homes seemed very common.

The ride to San Diego was short warm and un-eventful. Graham required a new rear tire and I required a battery so a few hours were spent at the BMW toy store in San Diego.
Next the short trip 2 miles north to Miramar where the Top Gun school watching many F-18s with hotshot pilots buzzing the tower.
A quick trip to the border to purchase insurance for the bikes while traveling in Mexico. The rest of the day to relax and eat . . .


After a hard afternoon of watching for sharks on the beach Graham, realizing that he was the one to be watched, has had enough. Here he is recharging before a rather large dinner of all you can eat snow crab.


The adventure continues in the Mexican Baja, click here