Day One


"HoJo MoJo"

September 5, 2002

Seattle, WA -
Lewiston, ID

352 miles

6:40 driving time


On my kitchen counter at home there is a calendar with an Italian phrase of the day.  Early this morning, as I was completing packing for this year's Great Divide Tour, my lovely wife Janis called my attention to today's page.  I assured her that we would be driving safely and sanely, as always.  And hey, we made it to the hotel without any infractions!

Welcome to Episode V of Whizmo and Gizmo's Excellent Motorcycle Adventures.  If you've read this year's overview, you know that we're traveling the Great Divide from Canada to Mexico.  Today is our first day on the road, which means that we're scurrying around trying to remember exactly how we did all this geeky web stuff AND ride motorcycles hundreds of miles every day.  It's coming back slowly.  We'll figure it all out about the time we're on the return leg.

It's a tradition for us to pose for a mug shot as we're getting ready to ride away the morning of the first day.  We made a huge upgrade this year in our gear.  If you compare this year's shot to the previous years, you'll notice a couple of things.  Well yes, we're older, but that's not what I meant.  Yeah, yeah, we might have put on a few pounds, but that's not what I meant either.  Check out the sano name patches on our riding suits!  Whizmo called me up about two days before we left saying, "wouldn't it be cool if we had names sewn on our riding gear like auto mechanics?"  Hmmmm, OK.  Special W&G thanks to Janis Riker and Lori Ross for making this happen on such short notice.  We're definitely in a new league this year.

Gizmo and Whizmo model the latest in personalized riding gear

Whiz is the tourmeister, and he declared that traffic would be minimal after the Labor Day weekend.  He was absolutely right.  The roads were practically empty as we left Seattle and zoomed past snow-covered Mount Rainier.  Temperatures ranged from the mid-70s to the high 40s as we crossed Chinook Pass at 5440'.  Whiz wants to get a shot of us at every pass we cross, so today was just practice.  Even though I'm smiling, I'm really worried about the car that I can see approaching stage left.

We've decided that we're going to leave a W&G business card at every place we eat with a bulletin board.  (Given the places we're traveling, virtually all of our dining choices will have bulletin boards.) We're hoping that we get at least one piece of mail saying "Hey, I saw your card down at the cafe and I checked out your website.  Sign me up!".  That would justify the hundreds of dollars we spent on all this personalized Whizmo and Gizmo crap.  If we have 200 meals on this trip, we might be able to get rid of all these cards.


So, why is today's report called HoJo Mojo?  Well, when we checked into the room, we saw this thing on the left sitting on the desk and our hearts stopped.  High speed internet access?  In a Howard Johnson's motel room?  Reeeeeally?  I call down to the front desk.  "Say, I see this high-speed internet connection.  How much does it cost per day?"

"Oh.  That doesn't work."


Did you know there's a town called Starbuck in eastern Washington?  Would you believe there is not a Starbucks within 50 miles of Starbuck?


OK, we know what you're waiting for ... a contest!  Just ask last year's winners who are, at this very moment, unwrapping their awesome collector item Whizmo and Gizmo swag.  Who says we don't deliver ... late?

So here's Contest #1 - My Favorite Road Tunes.

When we're riding down the road, most of what we hear is wind and road noise.  Sometimes you get a song stuck in your head and it stays with you.  We'd like your suggestions of great Road Music.  Send us your recommendations of really great music to listen to (or think of) while you're on The Road.  We'll pick our favorites in a completely arbitrary, random and biased fashion, and figure out some appropriate way of rewarding the best suggestions.  Honest.  We've still got some bear bells left from last year.

Click here to submit your entry for Contest #1, My Favorite Road Tunes.