MotoTrippin: Dual Sport Motorcycle Adventure with Ken Picard - Part 1, Final Prep
Ken Picard is a former Next Adventure employee heading out for a 2 month plus trip across Canada and the USA on a dual sport motorcycle. With a roughly outlined route, he will be hitting up mainly dirt roads, trails and remote back roads to destinations ranging from Yellowknife in the NW Territories to Bisbee in far southern Arizona. With friends and family scattered across the continent, along with the close-knit Dual Sport moto community, Ken will be getting into adventures aplenty during the ride. You can follow along here, on Instagram @kpicard44, or his personal blog Yammering and KLR Stuff
After a lifetime of adventuring from backpacking, mountaineering, and ice climbing to 20 seasons of wildland firefighting you’d think packing for a 2-month moto adventure would be a piece of cake. Yet a pile of the absolute minimum stuff needed for self-support took a couple days to get dialed.
With a little help from the good folks at Giant Loop I have plenty cargo space, add too that another pack the good folks at Next Adventure helped me get, plus all gear to fill it up.
After a year and a half relocation to Silicon Valley to work for Apple, the late spring found me back in Bend and between jobs. What started as a throwaway comment about taking the summer off and doing a big moto trip will, here in a few hours, become reality. A 3500-mile trip earlier in the year through the desert Southwest was an amazing experience and proved a valuable shakedown and inspiration for this current adventure, 2+ months on the road covering between 10-12,000 miles through Canada and the US.
Beyond doing a trip for the pure fun of the thing, there are many factors propelling me down the road including plans for major moto trips in Australia, Mongolia, and possibly Africa; not being tied down and having the time to do such a thing; and, most importantly, getting the opportunity to see all the wonderful things out there just waiting to be appreciated and meeting people from all walks of life to share the experience with.
We get told on a regular basis we are a country divided by irreconcilable differences and those that believe differently are the enemy, the other. Aside from a small fringe on the far end of the spectrum, this does not hold to be true. My previous trip had me diving deep into supposedly dark Red and Blue political realms and all I found was hospitality, curiosity and friendliness.
A goal of this trip is to meet and chat with as many total strangers as possible along the way, to appreciate what we share in common, respectfully debate ideas and make friends.
While a loose itinerary has been made, this thing is about 90% wing it. Aside from nights spent with friends, I’ll be camping out unless I end up in an area where it’s just not possible. My trusty 2005 Kawasaki KLR 650 has proven itself to be a very capable all conditions hauler that will allow for getting well off the beaten path to check out some nooks and crannies along the way.
It’s true, folks. Life is short. You get one shot to experience all you can in this mind-blowing life and that’s it. Getting bogged down in day to day existence is easy, but every now and again you have to pop your head up and see what possibilities exist to live as fully as you can.