Our trip starts in 22 days, 4 hours and 53 minutes – but who besides the counter on the right is counting?
It’s currently 6am Sunday morning, I can’t sleep anymore so I thought I update our blog. Yesterday night we finished the major task of finishing Fort Knox – our study – so our new tenant can use it. Sigrid managed to turn our shed into a portal: It seems you can stick everything in and there is still space for more. But maybe I should start a bit earlier, like about a year ago.
Roughly 1 year ago we started to make a detailed preparation plan for the trip. There was still one major question to answer: What do we do with our house? We knew we had to rent it out to allow us to go on our journey. The question was: Could we rent it out furnished? If not, what to do with our furniture and all our other stuff? After talking to some real estate agents, we realised that renting a furnished house would be not easy. The real estate agents didn’t like to look after a furnished house either.
So, we had to rent our house unfurnished, but where to put all our stuff? The shed, that we built a couple of years ago couldn’t hold it all – as per usual, a shed is always too small. Then, while we were looking for a solution our oldest son came up with a perfect idea, he and his buddy would rent our house while each of them rent out their own house. The advantage for them is that our house is closer to the city, so they save travel time each day and they are closer to their friends. They pay less rent to us then they get for their houses and we save real estate agent fees and don’t have to store out our furniture.
Bingo! A Win – Win situation. That made everything else much easier.
Next we looked into the safety aspect of our trip a bit, and thought doing some sort of self defence could be an advantage (we are both no fast runners, so we needed something else). Our youngest son recently joined a club that teaches Krav Maga, an Israeli self defence style, and we were impressed how much he took home after a couple of lessons.
So we thought we quit our gym for a year and join the club. We did it, and after 9 month of training we took a lot of useful techniques and behaviour pattern home, which we’ll hopefully never need to apply. Having said that, we are aware that we are far from being perfect in these techniques, but the whole course made us thinking about dangerous situations and what we can and can’t do. Anyway, since this course had only one cardio lesson per week, we noticed that our trouser started to shrink. Did you know, eating chocolate makes trousers shrink?!? I guess one never stops learning…
So we decided to go back to the gym for 2 month where we had been for about 10 years before. We finished our 2 month with our dungeon masters and the trousers fit again 🙂
And, the biggest, greatest major news hit us 7 Month ago. Niko and Anna adjusted their life to suit our travel plans and decided to make us to grandparents. ONE Month before we leave. Well, currently we are waiting for telephone call any moment, maybe that’s a part of the reason why I got up so early today :-).
During the last year, we were chewing the ears of off all our friends. (Talking about our trip, not literally!)
Doing it long enough, we infected two of them: Brian and Val (aka Wombat and IT). We have been riding together for years and enjoyed each other’s company during a couple Ulysses club AGM’s. They decided to join us for the first 5 Month of our trip; which means we’ll do the America and Canada leg together. Then, as we vanish into Mexico (hopfully temporarily!) they stay in Canada/USA.
To make the paper work easier for them (remembering only one surname), they added a bit of excitement and got married 6 Month ago, and they are still going strong :-). So they had to plan their wedding on top of all other things required for the journey, which was for sure a major challenge. They did a marvellous job and the wedding was one of the most enjoyable that we had been to.
The trip planning together was really enjoyable too. We had plenty of meetings, spent hours looking at our route, decided what’s possible to see and so on. They also pointed out a major oversight: the weather. The temperature when we visit the Niagara Falls is on average zero degree Celsius, which makes camping a less errr… ‘fun’, option. Worse, the long range weather forecast for Rutland in Vermont – the place where we are picking up our new bikes – is some minus degrees and snowing. Great…..
The reason why we decided the buy the bikes in Rutland? Well that’s a separate story alltogether. But we’re here, you reading, me writing, so why not tell it now?
At first the plan was to purchase and register the bikes in New York, where we start our journey. Well, 6 month ago, we started to look for a dealer who would sell us the bikes for a good price and would do so some modification to the bikes. (lowering the bike, fitting other springs to compensate for the long range tank and the luggage rack and so on)
We found a dealer who would sell us the bikes, but during the conversation we found out that foreigners can purchase a bike in New York, but they can’t register it. Yeah. Really.
That, of course, was a major blow. It’s hard to go on a motorbike trip without registered motorbikes. Searching the internet and calling the DMV in New York showed that the dealer was right. We really can buy the bikes but we really can’t register them. To cut the story short, we found that each state in the USA has different rules for the registering a vehicle and that Michigan and Vermont are kindly allowing foreigners to register their vehicle. Michigan is too far from New York, but Vermont is only 500Km away. So we settled for Vermont and found a very supportive dealer in Rutland.
So that’s why we ended up with bikes in Vermont, with the slight overside of snow :D.
But we are lucky, it seems like Rutland has a heat wave this year! The predicted temperature is 14 degree C during the day and +1 during the night. A couple of days ago, I was talking to the sales manager and he confirmed that all our parts – springs and a stators – have arrived, are fitted and he is just waiting for our luggage racks to arrive. The racks are currently sitting in our garage here in Australia and will be picked up by a courier on Tuesday, along with all our other stuff (Camping gear, tools and bike add-ons) which we don’t or can’t take on our flight.
Hmm, I think that’s it for the moment. A nice and short update. I guess the updates will come a bit more frequently now.
Ahh, that reminds me, our homepage took a major step towards the final stage. Our oldest son, Simon, added the capability to our blog to displays our current position in 15 minutes intervals, so everybody can see immediately where our current position is.
We purchased the spot device and the service to make our position available on a separate map, but the integration into our blog needed some tweaking 🙂
(Or as he says, where the spot is. But we don’t plan on being too far away from the spot…)
Things are coming together, well 22 days 2 hours 5minutes, there is not much time left.