Saturday, June 13, 2009

Trailer Glory

Just a few pictures that show local emotional supporters for the trip.

AYL is a local television show that promotes and shares the adventures that outline Utah's vast outdoors.

Full Throttle is where I purchased my rims. Unfortunately I did not take notice of the product offered. I was excited to get the rims.

Advanced R.V. is a local purveyor for Arctic Cat ATVs and snowmobiles.

The Edge Motorsports offers Can-Am ATVs, and several other brands of ATVs, motorcycles, and snowmobiles.

UNI just happened to be the brand used when I replaced my air filter. They provided stickers in their packaging, so I added it to the trailer.

RR is Red Robin chain of restaurants. This sticker was provided by the manager from the Red Robin located in The District.

High Adventure is a local Can-Am dealer that has provided some advice on spare parts in preparation for my trip. Purchased my windscreen from High Adventure as well as the brake light on the rear of the trailer.

Infinite Cycles is a local bike shop. They offer a variety of bike styles, which includes a three-wheel recumbent that both my wife and I ride.

Drinkcoffeedogood...where we purchase our coffee beans - by the pounds!

D&D Toys can be found at the intersection of Bangerter Highway and 35th South. The specialize in scooters and other off-road adventure products.

KE7WUI is my Amateur Radio License call sign. I can be found on local repeater frequencies along the way during my trip.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Why in the World?

If you look back on man's achievements, and don't take them for granted, you will better be able to understand, and perhaps answer the Why question yourself. Consider for a moment the art of flight. When the Wright Brothers decided to build an airplane, I think the most often words emitted from the curious spectator would have been "Why in the World"! I could be wrong in my assumption, but it had to have asked at least once. And once was enough to invoke a stream of answers to the curious onlooker, who might, or might not understand.

On the surface, the answer to the question is - Why Not. When I am asked the Why question, it invokes a stream of answers; some based on the excitement of the flight, and some based on the emotion, the expectations, and uncertainties of the journey. It will undoubtedly be the only such flight I take, but I hope it invokes a litany of memories not only for myself, but for those I meet along the way.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Two Tin Cans and a String

Seems simple enough. That's what I thought too until I tested the contraption. There is no way to keep the string taught enough to get a good connection more than 27' in length. I was hoping for a patent.

That is why I opted for a communication plan that is a bit more simple to operate, and hopefully more reliable. Checking zone coverage for AT&T Wireless, and Verizon, indicates that both have their local strengths and weaknesses. I will use AT&T primarily for voice communications, and Verizon for Internet connectivity.

The communication plan calls for voice contact during each fuel stop, and during conclusion of each trip Leg. Blog updates will be completed at layover locations using a Verizon Air Card...hopefully during evening resting periods.

The third communication option is 2 Meter radio. I have pre-programmed my 2 Meter radio with 47 repeater frequencies that are aligned within 40 miles of the complete route. It is understood that not all repeaters listed in the 2008 / 2009 Repeater Directory are active, but there really is no way to know for sure. It is easy enough to switch between each frequency using pre-sets, which means I won't have to bring the book along as well.

For those who might be interested, I will attempt to make contact at each layover location using all repeaters in that locale. You can see where my layovers are by viewing Follow the Yellow Brick Road page. My call sign is KE7WUI. I would like to take the HF rig as well, but the antenna is a bit to cumbersome. 73s

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

People often look perplexed when asking how I get from Utah to eastern South Dakota, and back home on a ATV. The answer is simple - Follow the Yellow Brick Road. Understandably, they assume that my route must consist of back roads, unpaved trails, and four wheeling adventure spots that will all but destroy both machine and me. Reviewing the previous posting you will see the ATV has been modified: It has 14" rims and 205/75 R14 tires, making it hard surface road worthy.

Also, the machine is licensed for highway use (all the safety features a motorcycle has) which is the predominant surface that will be traveled upon. Utah has hundreds of miles of unimproved, rocky, mountainous trails that aren't fit for my hard surface tires, and conversely, hard surface roads are not conducive to standard knobby ATV tires. I decided that 4 rims / tires was much less an expense than perhaps 2 or 3 sets of standard ATV tires.

But the tire swap payoff is even greater. Hard surface tires are smooth, and can be balanced making for an extremely efficient and stable ride. Even better, they produce very little road noise unlike standard ATV tires. Also, gas mileage is greatly improved.

What is the route? Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota! Sure you want more information than that. Here is the condensed version - round trip and is listed in Legs.

  1. Park City UT to Kemmerer WY
  2. Kemmerer WY to Lander WY
  3. Lander WY to Newcastle WY
  4. Newcastle WY to Martin SD
  5. Martin SD to Watertown SD
  6. Watertown SD to Coleman SD
  7. Coleman SD to Pierre SD
  8. Pierre SD to Devils Tower WY
  9. Devils Tower WY to Shoshoni WY
  10. Shoshoni WY to Farson WY
  11. Farson WY to Vernal UT
  12. Vernal UT to Park City UT
What is the longest Leg of the trip? Based on the above outline, the longest is Leg number 8, which is 288.78 miles, and the shortest is Leg number 6 consisting of 52 miles. Legs, as outlined above, are simply a means of breaking the trip down into manageable components. They are more specifically used to help determine my location at specific times in the event that I don't communicate with home each day.

Want to understand the communications plan? Review Two Tin Cans and a String.