Saturday, January 8, 2011

More Trip Supplies

Zeus - 3 Years Old
Ebay and must love me. For that matter, so must UPS.  I'm pretty sure DHL doesn't though.  I often leave the front door of my house open with the glass storm door closed.  On one occasion a niece was visiting and my boxer Zeus was on patrol. Boxers are great family dogs. They look frightening to the right people.  They instinctively seek out someone in the house who "needs" their protection and then assign themselves as that person's guardian.  In Zeus' case, protection of the youngest in the house at any given time is his life's mission.  He is every bit as fiercely loyal as he is sweet and gentle.

For all his gentile nature and sweetness, Zeus tends to also be very territorial. He used to run around looking up at the sky and barking at birds for having the nerve to fly over our, or I should say his yard.  Recognizing the above description as fact, it should not have been any surprise that when the DHL delivery guy arrived, Zeus was there to greet him. The driver was unknowingly safe in Zeus' watchful eye as he walked up to the porch. That measure of safety ceased to exist when said driver reached out and committed the Cardinal sin of touching the glass door. With Matrix movie-like precision and speed, Zeus was at the door before the driver saw him coming. Knowing Zeus, speed was of the essence and a warning bark was the last thing on his mind.  So before the DHL driver knew what was happening, Zeus was not only at the foyer, but had managed to hit the latch, opening the glass door. Before the driver was aware of the situation and could react by turning to run, Zeus had bit him in the ass. Zeus stopped the chase as soon as the driver was off our porch. This was irrelevant to the driver who tossed everything into the air, fled across our circular front driveway, and leaped over the boxwood shrubs barely touching the ground before landing in his van and slamming the sliding door shut. I waited for DHL's lawyers to call, although they never did. But to this day, DHL drivers will call and have us meet him at the end of the street to accept a delivery.

What has this to do with Amazon and Ebay? Nothing really. But I've ordered lots of goodies I need for the Alaskapade and most of it has been delivered by UPS.

I wrote in a previous entry about finding the Alpine Catalyst tent at REI. I set it up a few days ago and it took me less than ten minutes sight unseen and without instructions. I originally wanted a single person tent, but Zach at REI talked me into a two-man tent explaining that I would probably want to offload gear from my bike when I camp. A single man tent has barely enough room for one guy.  The tent I scored is labeled as a three man tent.  I gotta tell you, after setting it up and crawling inside, if this is a three man tent, let's just say the three men would have to sleep in an arrangement that would make me question their manhood. Since buying the tent, UPS has delivered a Recon 3 lightweight/cold weather sleeping bag, and an insulated inflatable sleeping pad, and pillow from Big Agnes. All of these are ruggedized and suitable for cold weather.  The best feature of all of them is that they are made for backpackers, so they compress really tightly.  This is absolutely necessary for motorcycle transport. I'm trying to avoid looking like the Beverly Hillbillies riding with all my gear on the trip. I figure that with the inside of my King Tour Pak and the luggage rack atop it, the saddle bags, and the back pack and its top roll that will sit on the passenger seat behind me (giving me lumbar support and storage), I'll have plenty of space for the necessities. I might even find room for Granny's rocking chair.

Alaskapade Camping Gear

Zeus - 11 Years Old
 Zeus hasn't bothered any of the recent delivery drivers that have been bringing my Alaskapade supplies. In fact, I think he's barely noticed them. Maybe he likes the brown UPS truck better than the highly-contrasted bright yellow and red DHL vans. Maybe it's because he's eleven years old now and has slowed down considerably.  He's since retired his black leather spiked collar and his new mission in life is shadowing my thirteen month-old granddaughter, Brooke.  Zeus and Brooke are great pals. These days, Zeus can be found sitting patiently underneath Brooke's high chair waiting for the fallout.