I came across a post on MTBR.com that a one, Mike Curiak, mountain biker extraordinaire, posted about lightweight mountain bike touring in the rockies (might need to be logged in to truely appreciate the picture posts?!) where he lives. It has moved me.
There are some amazing places here in Washington state that would be ideal for touring on a mountain bike. This picture below is a friend of mine riding along the base of Mt. St. Helens on the Plains of Abraham trail.
I have since come across several links to gear specifically made for lightweight mountain bike touring. One in particular was found on the Surly Blog. It showcases frame and specialty bags from both Epic Designs and Carousel Design Works. I think I might try to put together a trip for a few days this summer over on the Olympic Peninsula along the beach or in the mountains up out of Wennatchee or down around Mt. St. Helens ? Go for two or three days and just try to ride as many miles as possible! Maybe I could even convince one or two of my mountain biking buddies to come along! I think I might REALLY start planning this out and plan for a weekend in July....
Here is a bike, with the same style of suspension design as my new forthcoming Black Sheep will be, loaded down for some touring! It is a Funk Cycles La Ruta 29er.