Every story needs a who, what, when, where, and why. We have most of these, we just don't yet know the Where we are going or the What our full plan is. Destinations are so over-rated.
Beginning with the logical Who, we are a father/son team and the When for our adventure is that the younger half of us graduated last week from the University of Maryland with a degree in Fire Protection Engineering. Thanks to the Maryland Terrapin mascot, Tim got the knick name FireTerp. (Feel free to pm him/us if you know of an opening for an engineer in fire protection engineering. He likes to do computerized fire modeling and develop special hazards applications.) Wreckchecker has investigated airplane accidents around the world, so that name came a long time ago. We may be lacking in creativity, but it works for us.
Tim began to ride in the Spring of his Freshman year, when he took a safety course given by an off-duty motor officer. Tim went back to the U of Md with our "experienced" 1990 KLR650, which was a great college bike that wheezed like a tired Briggs & Stratton. The next Spring, the KLR was sold when Tim picked up a sweet DL650 WeeStrom named Suzy. Again, so much for originality.
This trip began almost 2 years ago when we began to talk about what we could for a cool graduation trip. Something between college and Tim's starting a career. Tim had been snow boarding in Utah and loved the Rockies, so heading west was an early part of the plan. We also talked about Thailand, doing a 4 corners tour, Ireland, etcetera. We kept coming back to the idea of the Rockies and then started talking about Prudhoe Bay!
Things really started to gel a little over a year ago, when Bob got on a new Yamaha Super Tenere in Europe and put a deposit down for one of the first (#231 actually) to come to the US. Unfortunately, the deposit went in on the day that the earth shook in Japan and the bike wasn't delivered until August 2012. This was in WV on a shakedown ride we took to the Dragon:
The Tenere has a fresh set of Heidenau K60s for this trip and is almost ready to go.
Tim loved Suzy, but the idea of overloading the poor girl in the mountains didn't sound like fun and Tim tripped across Suzy's big twin, now named Vee, a 2003 DL1000 at a price a college student could afford.
We've come up with nearly a dozen potential routes, then deleting all but 2. Either way, we start early Monday, June 4, (See green Point A) and head for Yellowstone National Park (see point B on the map). We then plan to go to Glacier National Park and Eureka, Montana. Once we reach Eureka (see Point C on the map), we've got to make a decision on where to head next.
One option is to continue north to Banf in Canada, then west to Hyder, Alaska (Red A). The second leading option is to head west to Seattle, then south along the Pacific coast.