Day One - Wednesday August 15, 2001

Here we go again

Seattle WA - Kelowna BC

6:25 driving time - 362 miles

Fires along US 97 near Okanagon WA


by Gizmo

Greetings from Mark Jennings and Greg Riker, aka 'Whizmo' (goes fast) and 'Gizmo' (likes gadgets).  For those of you who have joined our previous motorcycle adventures, welcome back.  We hope to keep you amused over the next week or so.  For those of you who are new to the routine, here's what you're in for:

Each day, we awake with the mission of capturing the sights and sounds of motorcycle touring so that we can deliver it to you fresh.  Why do we do this?  Well, it started out as a way to keep our families informed of our daily progress when we took a 3-week trip from Seattle to Michigan in 1997.  We kept adding people to the daily mailing, and began to take ourselves more seriously as photo-moto-journalists.  Apparently we are the only ones who take us seriously in this role, but that's OK.  It's like journalist fantasy camp, on motorcycles!

There are several notable things about this year's outing.  It's our fourth tour, and the first one where we are both riding the same motorcycles as the previous year.  How did that happen?  

The first part of every good adventure is the send-off.  Our lovely wives, who are ever-so-tolerant of these adventures, graciously agreed to pose with us.  That's Whizmo and Susan over on the left.  It looks like Whiz just got off work slinging fish at the Pike Place Market, wouldn't you agree?.  In the middle, there's Sophie Riker, then Janis, and finally yours truly, the Gizmeister. 


Mr & Mrs Whizmo, Sophie, Mrs & Mr Gizmo

 The picture at the top was the dramatic highlight of the day.  There are forest fires burning in eastern Washington, and we could see and smell the smoke for much of the day.  About fifteen miles south of Okanogan we were detoured off the main drag (Hwy 97) onto back roads because of the fires.  When we rejoined the road at Okanogan, there were visible flames covering the eastern ridge above 97.  Yikes.  There were many signs thanking the firefighters for their heroic efforts in battling the blazes.  

We encountered temperatures as high as 103 degrees this afternoon.  It's not much fun to ride in that much heat.  We're hoping that as we get further north the temperatures will be more comfortable.  Here's where we rode today and we have a summary map here if you'd like so see the entire route.  (Yes, we're pushing it a bit by saying we're going to "Alaska" when we will only barely cross over the Alaskan border in the very southern tip of the Alaskan peninsula, but it sure sounds good.)

Day 1 - Seattle WA to Kelowna BC

We've decided to get the interactive part of this adventure rolling right away, so here's your chance to win fame in these very pages.  You actually have two different opportunities to win!  The first contest will challenge your knowledge of popular music trivia.  

Contest #1:  Identify these lyrics fragments, including the name of the song, the artist, and the year.
"Playing solitaire 'til dawn, with a deck of fifty-one."
"Smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo, don't tell me I've nothing to do"

Contest #2:  Provide a caption for this photo:

Your caption here

Send your entries to the "boys" -- tonight's waitress at the restaurant seemed to like to call us by this title, so who are we to argue? -- by clicking here.  Contest closes when we feel like it.  Prizes will be whatever we come up with.  Yep, it's been a long (and hot) day so we're going to make this short/sweet.  Stay tuned for a fun ride.