Cold, rain, wind, hail, fog

Oh yea, riding along the Oregon coast. I did this trip a few years ago in August, funny thing, I seem to remember the weather was not much better. The temperature when we left Seaside at 9:45 AM was 34 degrees F and it was raining. It rained almost all day and the temperature only reached into the 40’s a couple of times. The weather forecast was for sun but it was cold and wet with occasional hail all day. Thanks to good gear we managed to stay relatively warm and dry.

Stats for the day:

If you want to see our track and see where we are tonight click on my Spotwalla Link

It is updated with our location every 6 minutes when it is on. You can also select “show weather” to see what we are riding through.

I did manage a few pictures today:

Starting out in the rain

Cold, stormy Oregon coast

Storm trooper Deby

We did manage to get a walk on the beach before sunset


More Oregon coast

Tomorrow we should make it into Northern California and the Redwoods.

Happy New Years and thanks for following,

Donn and Deby

On our way!

We left this morning at 11:00 AM after a nice morning breakfast with our kids, they seemed sad to see us leave but I thought I caught someone doing a happy dance in my rear view mirror as I rode down the driveway. In true ADV fashion Deby and I posed for departing pictures and a few with our children, I then took the obligatory shot of my odometer to document my starting miles. Imagine my surprise when tonight I noticed there was no memory card in my camera!

Tonight we are in Seaside Oregon, here are the stats for the day:

All in all, a pretty easy first day with only 209 miles. The temperature was 32F when we left and never rose above 42 until we reached the coast where it warmed up to about 45 degrees. Glad for Gerbing heated gear, heated grips and pinlock face shields.

We arrived at Seaside early enough to go for a walk on the beach, it was amazing how many people were out on this cold December day. I managed to get a few iPhone pictures.

Cold walk on the beach but it felt really good to stretch the legs

Deby had fun too.

Crashing waves

And a nice sunset

Here is the link to my MotoRaidII SmugMug gallery: Click Here. Thanks for all the well wishes in the comments section, it really does make a difference.

More tomorrow – Donn and Deby


Leaving in a few days

We’ve been checking items off our to do lists almost as fast as we are adding new ones, resulting in the number of undone tasks  Asymptotically approaching zero. For the non-math inclined that means it never actually gets to zero. To my friends in the Northwest Norton Owners MC club, don’t worry, my newsletter articles are almost done. To my colleagues at work (yes, I actually have a job), don’t worry, my spreadsheet projections will be e-mailed today. To my musician friends, last night was my last show for a while, it was great to see everyone and thanks for all the well wishes. To everyone I owe money, the checks will get mailed tomorrow!

My friend Mark, who we rode with in Baja last year, left Vancouver BC just before Christmas on his KLR and is riding south to Belize. I hadn’t heard from him in a few days and his ADV ride report had no entries for almost a week. I was relieved to get an e-mail last night that he made it safely to Mexico but it wasn’t a smooth ride. Here is an excerpt from his e-mail:

“The ride here was brutal with pouring rain everyday. I tried making it over Shasta but had to turn back because of the snow. It took way longer because I my new Sidi boots leak…..grrrr so my feet were freezing cold and I could only take so much. I crossed today at Tecate but found out there is snow on the compadre trail and its closed”.

So that’s what we have to look forward to? Brutal rain? Snow in Mexico?

We’re going to skip I-5 and Shasta and head directly to the coast so I’ve been watching the extended forecast for Astoria Oregon.

It looks like we might have a window on Sunday to ride the coast in relatively dry weather, looks like a plan….

Had a fun time at the gig last night in Kirkland. Motorcycle enthusiast, blues aficionado and famous Northwest biker dude Jesse James made a special trip to say goodbye and wish us well. Thanks Jesse!

Donn and Jesse at the Kirkland Top Shelf Blues Jam

Hopefully the next post will be from somewhere along the Oregon coast.

Thanks for following,

Donn and Deby

T – minus 16 days

Sometime during the week I realized that our departure date corresponds with the date of the fiscal cliff, coincidence? Our preparations continue and I feel nearly ready to leave, maybe too ready since I keep buying stuff that even I’m not sure I really need.

This weekend was the Seattle International Motorcycle Show, Deby and I went on Sunday since Saturday was a full day preparing to host the Northwest Norton Owners Holiday Party (another whole story but lots-o-fun). Our first stop at the show was the Touratech booth where we ran into our friend Tom Samulesen of  Pacific Northwest Museum of Motorcycle fame visiting with Helge Pedersen. It’s always great to see Tom and hope to ride with him again soon. Funny, as I just went to the museum website to grab the link I saw my picture on the home page… ha. Here it is, I won this bike at the drawing two years ago.

Helge is the author of the book Ten Years On Two Wheels and founder of GlobeRiders tours. Helge and I have many mutual friends and I was familiar with his travels but we had never met so it was fun to finally meet in person, I bought a copy of his book which he was gracious enough to autograph and pose for a picture. He’s friends with our riding partner Keith so he knew about our trip and took time to share some travel tips. Helge will be following a similar route as us with a group but will be a week or two ahead of us. We agreed to follow each other’s SPOT tracks and perhaps meet up somewhere.

Helge Pedersen with Donn and Deby Harvey

Next we stopped at the Sound Rider booth to catch up with Tom Mehren and Connie Adams. Tom and Connie organize the annual Sasquatch ride we’ve done for the past three years as well as Rally in the Gorge and many other events. Tom asked us to take a lot of pictures and hinted they might want us to do a slide show at the 2013 rally – wow. They wished us well on our journey and promised to follow the blog.

We found a couple of things to buy, some lightweight rain gear for me and two travel motorcycle covers. I was hoping the Coconut Sock people would be back this year, I bought socks for Deby and I last year and loved them for riding. Here is their claim:

 “- utilizing “advanced natural technology”—offer optimum comfort, odor control, durability and eco-friendliness! Activated coconut carbon—infused in yarns made from natural coconut fibers— provides remarkable evaporative cooling and odor management.”

I just went to Amazon and they are out of stock – yikes I hope I can get a couple more for the trip, I love how comfy they keep my feet and Deby loves how they really seem to control odor…….

Ok, I’m going to get this posted and then spend some more time updating some of the tabs. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the MotoRaid tab for the background of the trip.

Thanks for following
Donn and Deby


Planning for disaster

It’s been a busy week of trip planning, as a group we’ve finally started digging into what extra insurance policies might be needed for journey. In particular what about health insurance, what do we need in case we get sick, fall off the cliffs of Machu Picchu or crash on the Bolivian Road of Death? My preliminary research gave me results that ranged from nothing extra to a full blown Travel Insurance policy that cost $2,000. I have a pretty good “Blue Cross” affiliated health insurance policy through my job so I decided to see what they cover. It took a phone call and long wait but the answer was that I was covered so long as I could pay first and then seek reimbursement and they would only pay for Emergency or Urgent care. Okay, I suppose I won’t be scheduling my annual physical in Panama or checking into a hospital for a runny nose so I figured this was good enough for me. I am going to sign up for a Medical Evacuation policy like MedJetAssist that will jet me home if I need serious medical care. Motorcycle liability insurance is easier since it’s usually purchased for each country at the border.

There was a flurry of e-mails between members of the MotoRaid II group this week about Malaria medicine. Depending on who you talk to we should all be taking anti-malaria drugs every day or we shouldn’t worry about it at all. The drugs are expensive and would cost over $2,000 for the duration of our trip. My doctor wasn’t concerned but others in the group had differing recommendations from their medical professionals. I’m inclined to take my chances.

CDC Malaria Map

Other stuff: Thanks to all the subscribers that have been signing up, once we get on the road I hope there will be more interesting things to post. I’ve been busy updating the other tabs of this site including the GEAR, GPS and MOTORAID sections. I try to do a little updating everyday.

Thanks for reading, Donn and Deby



December is here

Starting today I can say “we leave next month”. Are we ready? My first response is &*() no! But we’re probably closer to being ready than I realize. I re-packed my right pannier for about the 5th time last night and finally have everything fit and organized with a small amount of room to spare. The big pouch on the left is my grab bag for any sort of flat tire. It contains two innertubes, an electric air pump, a hand pump, two 45g CO2 cartridges, a patch kit and plug kit. I had some extra room so I added two tow ropes and my electrical repair kit. On the right side is my tool kit, medical kit and toiletries kit.  On the upper right is my water purifier pump. You can see the reflective triangle, a requirement by law in some Central American countries. It seems like a lot of space dedicated to flat repairs but I’m covering for two motorcycles with four tires, two with tubes and two tubeless. After my last trip with five flats I’m back to being paranoid.


I spent way too much time yesterday researching medical evacuation insurance. What do I really want – evacuation to the nearest hospital or to a hospital of my choosing, which might be back in the US? Some plans pay for just one trip, others pay for two and I found one that would cover unlimited trips. I start thinking of worst case scenarios where I would need multiple airlifts…. am I just getting paranoid? I’ve been investigating health insurance for international travel which is probably another whole blog post in itself. Oh, and we need vehicle insurance for each country.

I’ve also been working on “technology”. I have my non-work e-mail working on my laptop, iPad and iPhone(s) (geesh) to separate my work stuff from important personal contacts. The new e-mail address is I’ll still be watching the work address but I get so many messages that things can get lost. I’m still working on adding content for this blog. I started updating the section on the bikes and hope to spend time on the “about us” and “gear” sections. I’m trying to figure out why the comments box doesn’t show below the blog post like it does on the other pages. If anyone want’s to comment you have to click on the little balloon thingy on the upper right corner.  I’ve also updated the subscription widget, if you haven’t already, please subscribe so I can see how well it works. Don’t worry you can always unsubscribe if you don’t like my ramblings. Hopefully once we actually start riding there will be something interesting to post.

Today I’m riding my bike back to Ride West BMW for a new front tire. It looks like I’ll be giving my rain gear another test in typical Northwest December rain and wind.

Stay tuned.