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MOTORCYCLE CAMPING IS ROUGHING IT FOR REAL

Trevor's Travels

Trevor Summons, Correspondent, the Sun
11/16/2012


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Trevor
Trevor

 

I took off on a road trip the other day. I sometimes have to remind my long-suffering editor that the title of this column is "Trevor's Travels" and so a certain amount of traveling is naturally involved. 

This time the trip was at the request of my eldest son, Michael, who wanted to repeat one we had made about eight years ago. He also wanted to make it a ride on American-made motorcycles - you know the ones I mean - and also it had to be a camping trip. In addition, he wanted to plant a foot in Oregon, and that is a long way to go. I will include some of the momentous sights that we enjoyed on the way to Oregon and back. 

Now when it comes to events, we are both adherents to the five "P" system - Proper Planning Promotes Premium Performance - and his request had been put in a year ago. This gave us adequate time to check that our wives would still be in residence after a longish parting, and that we could put together the right gear to sustain us. 

Now camping can always be a risky business for the unprepared. In the normal way, involving vehicles with four wheels or more, you just load up all the things you need, and there's always a little more space in the vehicle for one last necessity, like the remote for the small flat-screen. 
 
Lake Tahoe KOA
Lake Tahoe KOA

 
But with motorcycle camping, there is no room for those little extras, and everything has to either be in the saddlebags or bungeed down to the frame. Over-use of this simple device can make the entire rig look like a two-wheeled version of the "Beverly Hillbillies" jalopy, minus granny on top in her rocker, of course. 

Some years ago, I heard someone say that in camping, one spends 50 percent of one's time trying to be as comfortable as one is at home. But with a motorcycle there is no room for the Barcolounger on the pillion seat or across the gas tank. 

On the last trip, I was admonished for playing the age card as I had insisted on an inflatable bed, but I noted on this trip Michael also wanted one. Good fathers do not mention the last time's teasing, of 
course, and so I let it pass. 

 
This time, I also wanted a fold-out chair, as one's nether regions can become quite sore with many hours in the saddle and with only a hard picnic bench available in the evenings. 

We had made it up to just beyond San Luis Obispo and found a camp site not too close to the main road - traffic can be a nuisance when trying to sleep in unaccustomed surroundings, and being well-rested before another day of wrestling the handlebars is paramount. I recommend earplugs to keep out the unaccustomed sounds of too much dawn chirping and tweeting. 
 
Emerald Bay Tahoe
Emerald Bay Tahoe

 
Nonetheless we ordered in and got our campfire going. Now I don't mind letting you into a little secret. Although a bit of a purist, I believe the invention of the paraffin log to be one of the camper's finest boons. They're quick, efficient, easy to light, and they last just the right amount of time - about three hours. 

As night closed around us, we enjoyed our evening and were now embarked on the usual campfire activity; that of telling lies and embellishing old stories. It was one of those tales that caused me to lean back a trifle too heavily on my fold-out chair. It broke! Ha ha! 

I had heavily invested about $10 in this piece of defective engineering, so I was not too put out, but used the moment to wander over to my tent to inflate the pillow I had brought along. It insultingly blew back on my face as I blew into it. The valve had perished. No matter, a bundle of clothes would suffice. 

Laughing to Michael that bad things mostly come in threes, I then checked my beloved inflatable mattress. After a full pumping, silently, and with a certain malevolence, it had gently let the air out again and I was destined to spend a night on the hard ground. Ha ha again! A day's long ride had tired me out sufficiently to let me sleep however, 

 
Check out Trevor Summons' blog at www.trevorsummons.blogspot.com. And visit his website, www.trevorsummons.com

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