Last year was quite busy with precious little riding (thus the lack of posts), but this year will be different: I am planning a three week road trip, departing around August 9th and returning home by September 1st (max. 24 days on the road). The only question is Where to go?
Option 1 – Northwest to Glacier National Park
I have been talking about visiting Glacier National Park, and riding the Sun Road, for a few years so maybe it is finally time. If I took this route, I could also visit Yellowstone since it is relatively close (close takes on a slightly different meaning out west). When I originally considered this trip, I figured on hitting the American Victory Rally in Spirit Lake, but sadly it is canceled this year.
There would also be the possibility of stopping to see friends in Detroit, Illinois and maybe Montana, many of whom I rarely see. (Sadly, I will not make it to Pennsic this year.) On the downside, it will be 5 heavy riding days – 2,300 miles – each way, not counting detours and visits. The other consideration is the weather, which could be anything and can change at any time; even now, some of the camping areas in Glacier are still closed and will not be clear of snow until June 13th.
Option 2 – Southwest to Monument Valley
Back to my favorite destination, and why not? I could hit Monument Valley & Antelope Canyon, both of which had to be skipped on previous trips. On the way out, I could hook a bit north to visit folks in Detroit & Illinois – this would add a hundred or so miles to the trip, but would also keep me far away from Missouri and that is a good thing. (Sorry to any who live there & like it, but it has always been misery for me.) On the way back east, I would come thru my future home town, Albuquerque, to see Jane & friends, and stop in Houston to spend time with the Doss family. I could also revive the plans from 2012 to see my brother in North Carolina and visit with many friends in various parts of Virginia.
Overall, the focus would be on visiting as many friends as possible. This would be slightly less distance than the Northwest option – minimum 2,100 miles to the most westward point – and have many more social occasions along the way.
Option 3 – North to Oak Island
A friend recently suggested riding up the east coast thru Maine, at which point I immediately thought of continuing on to Oak Island. I originally learned about Oak Island via In Search Of, and, more recently, was obsessed with The Curse of Oak Island.
I have been on a ride as far as Connecticut, and visited Boston numerous times (by car), but Maine would be a completely new experience. In addition, there are many folks in Boston I would love to see. This would also be a relatively short trip – only 847 miles to Oak Island – so I could hit some other areas. Possibly pick up the Virginia and North Carolina portion of Option 2.
Option 1 – amazing sights to see, but lots empty road to cover and weather concerns.
Option 2 – familiar, but also my favorite part of the country. (Is it odd to say a 2,100 mile ride is familiar?) Also, many, many friends to see.
Option 3 – most likely breaks down into multiple rides, never getting too far from home, but new areas to explore and plenty of visiting with friends.
I am currently leaning toward Option 2, but Option 3 definitely warrants more investigation. It is unclear when I will make the decision (possibly in the driveway on August 9th) but I should probably get my passport renewed, just in case.