Sunday, October 20, 2019

Summer 2020 planning

I spent the weekend puttering around with details for next summer's trip. I realized, yesterday, that some of our stops are very popular, and that reservations are going to be difficult / impossible to obtain.

I started by researching what may be the worst: one of the lodges at Glacier National Park. Our trip has two complicating factors; the first is that because Glacier National Park is on the return end of the trip (the Going to the Sun Road will most probably be closed when we come through Montana heading north), and the second is that our itinerary headed south is driven by the Alaska Marine Highway System schedule (which won't be published for several more months). So, finding a decent place around Glacier National Park will be a trick.

Since I spent a lot of time fussing with that, I thought about other tough locations, such as McCarthy, Alaska, and the area around Denali National Park. McCarthy has very limited lodging options, and Denali has a lot of tourists. The cruise ships provide their own hotels, but everyone else is staying somewhere between Healy and Cantwell. The combination of prices and reviews isn't good. I'll start to fuss with this again when the ferry schedule is published, and I can commit to specific dates.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

2019 Summer Adventure

Many of my friends are headed to the 2019 Iron Butt Rally in less that two weeks; Donna and I are off to our big summer adventure ride on the same day as the IBR start. I've fussed around with our route, adding and dropping locations to get each day's ride to close (we have a large number of time-limited [bonus] locations, all of which are associated with the National Park Service in one way or another.

Because we're doing the Tour of Honor National Parks Tour (and, by extension, the Iron Butt Associated National Parks Tour), we have a lot of passport cancellation stamps and photographs to collect. Because the stamps must be collected during the business hours of whatever location we're visiting, we have a set of time constraints within which we must fit. It's a little like the IBR, but without the miles / day required by that rally.

We're also doing the Team Strange grand tour again this year, so there are a few of those stops thrown in for good measure.

The bike is nearly ready to go; it'll get tires and oil before we leave, but otherwise we're all set. We have a good packing routine built up from lots of practice, so that'll go smoothly.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

2019 Summer Adventure

The 2019 Tour of Honor announced that they're offering a modified IBA National Parks Tour, so I took to building a few routes to knock out another NPT in 2019. There were a couple of long rides needed to overcome a lack of relevant NPS units in ME, VT, CT, and RI. One of those rides was to cover AR, MO, KS, and NE -- pretty long for even an extended weekend ride.

Donna thought about those long rides, and suggested that we cut back on the New England trip a bit so we could get the long ToH NPT ride in, and that discussion led to a complete re-plan of the 2019 Summer Adventure. So, as it stands today, we're going to do a National Parks Tour in 2019!

I did a little planning to frame up the ride, and it looks like we're going to have a lot of fun, even considering the flat and heat of the midwest!

More to follow....

Saturday, July 14, 2018

2019 Summer Adventure

As usual, the plan for the next adventure starts before the current adventure ends. While riding along, enjoying the 2018 Maritimes Adventure, we started batting around ideas for next summer. Donna and I settled on New England--spending about the same amount of time on the road, but with shorter overall distance will allow for more time at each location.

With so much information available on the web, it's going to take a while to settle on a good route with good stops! I suspect I'll need to make reservations this coming winter, to have a decent set of lodging options.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

2018 Summer Adventure

Another summer adventure is in the bag; now comes the lengthy process of compiling photographs, video, and notes to make a coherent record of the trip.

We had a great time; just about 5000 odometer miles on the R1200GS Adventure in all kinds of weather and on all kinds of terrain.

Ideas for a 2019 New England Adventure started to form while on this trip; that'll make for good trip planning this winter.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Maritimes 2018: It Begins

After months of planning, our trip to the Maritime Provinces and Quebec begins this morning. A year ago yesterday, I headed out for the 2017 IBR, and today we begin this summer's big adventure. Fewer miles, over more time this year -- more time for bonus hunting, photographs, sightseeing, and flower-sniffing.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Planning (2018 Maritimes)

For some reason, it feels like I've spent significantly more time planning this 2018 Maritimes trip than I have some of the more recent trips (including two IBRs). Everything is either set aside or already packed on the bike; the bike is going to the shop on Tuesday for fluids, tires, and a 12000 mile service check, so some things aren't outside already.

The plan is to launch early Friday, and attempt geocache finds in nine states plus the District of Columbia. The previous record (seven) was in 2005; I should be able to get ten on Friday.