After talking to a good friend of mine about her experiences at Mt. Washingon, while on her way to the east coast, I became more and more intrigued by the idea of riding to the summit myself. It’s the highest peek in North Eastern United States (6288ft or 1917m) and has the most volatile weather.
I started playing with the idea more and started picking up bits of equipment along the way that I was sure to need. I didn’t really commit to the idea until about the beginning of July and had fully intended on making the trip alone. It wasn’t until my return from camping in Algonquin Park, I realized that having some company would be nice but if they were to ride with me, they needed to be experienced riders as well as own all their own camping gear.
Well it wasn’t long before it was decided that I would take a friend of mine, Susie, as a passenger (this gets interesting later during the prep when packing for two people). I talked to other friends of mine from the riding community to see if others were interested. Some were too new as riders, others couldn’t get the time off work and some friends had mechanical issues with their bikes, making them unreliable.
In the end, two days before departure, I was contacted by a fellow named Chris. He was planning on camping in the Adirondack Park for four days. Since we were leaving on the same day and he was also planning on camping for his first night near Lake Placid, we decided to head down together. He stated that he has all his own gear, is used to camping trips with his bike (Yamaha V-Star) and is an experienced rider. Perfect!
Now lets go back to the prep…I needed new cases since a small low-side a few months earlier resulted in one of my BMW cases getting snapped off and broken beyond repair. Not wanting to replace it due it’s obvious fragility, I opted to go with a stronger design by Caribou Cases (www.cariboucases.com) which have developed custom racks for my style of bike and use Pelican 1550 cases. Talk about tough!
I had to start thinking about how to not only pack everything that I needed personally but also for Susie as well as tools for the bike. Tent, sleeping bags, ground pads, camp stove & fuel, food, axe, first aid kit, rain gear, and much, much more…
Once mounted, the bike was heavy and sluggish. The cases (including the mounting racks) weigh 35pds empty, I packed each case with about 30pds of gear. Then I added more on the tail rack (another 15-20pds or so), which when added to the weight of my passenger, made my bike top heavy by about an extra 250pds.
With the final touches added and packed Saturday morning, we set off to meet Chris at a local gas station.