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Old 11-25-2013, 11:06 AM   #1
Sun Ray OP
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Iron Butt Association National Parks Tour Master (silver) Traveler Award

Hello all. I've decided that in January, I will start my attempt at the Iron Butt Association National Parks Tour Master Traveler Award, I would like to try for the silver award, and it seems the most fun to do. I've made some choices, whereas I want to cover as many parks (27+) in the southwest, this way it'll reduce the amounts of parks needed to visit while doing the longer trips to the four corners of our most beautiful nation.
The trip to Maine will be the most difficult for me, the trip to Washington State will the 2nd most difficult, then Florida. I'm assuming the trip to Maine will take at least 10 day round trip from Albuquerque. I've divided it into 4 trips. The ones in the Southwest will be the easiest for me, and I'll be able to cover a lot of stuff on weekends and times when my wife is gone off on business trips. I'll leave myself open to changes and getting more than the 50 required stamps. I hope I can do this, but I don't expect to make it, but I know it will be OODLES of fun even if I fail, and I can always try again. :) I'll start posting some pictures of maps, list of monuments and places and gear I'm using very soon.
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Old 11-25-2013, 11:14 AM   #2
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Sounds like a great adventure! Cant wait to see your 1st report.
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Old 11-25-2013, 12:15 PM   #3
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Sounds like ALOT of fun....ENJOY!!!
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Old 11-25-2013, 02:53 PM   #4
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I did a basic NPT in 2009 - entirely east of the Mississippi. 23 States and 2 Canadian Provinces.

One of the nicest rides that I've ever done, and I visited a bunch of parks that I had been wanting to visit for years.

Great fun - enjoy yours.
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:29 PM   #5
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While you're hitting the four corner states, stop in DC and pick up the 22 stamps at the Washington Monument. . Oh, there's a whole mess at Turkey Run Park out by CIA headquarters too. I did two tours because they're fun. My first was 42 states and 156ish parks. I missed one corner for the silver - Maine.
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Old 11-25-2013, 04:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJ View Post
I did a basic NPT in 2009 - entirely east of the Mississippi. 23 States and 2 Canadian Provinces.

One of the nicest rides that I've ever done, and I visited a bunch of parks that I had been wanting to visit for years.

Great fun - enjoy yours.
Thanks! That's encouraging.
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Old 11-25-2013, 04:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by sleazy rider View Post
While you're hitting the four corner states, stop in DC and pick up the 22 stamps at the Washington Monument. . Oh, there's a whole mess at Turkey Run Park out by CIA headquarters too. I did two tours because they're fun. My first was 42 states and 156ish parks. I missed one corner for the silver - Maine.
That's an excellent tip. I'm figuring out the logistics. Family, work and all. I figure 4 week, one week per region, more or less, maybe five.
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Old 11-25-2013, 04:34 PM   #8
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I doubt they care about the amount of stamps as long as there are 50. They just stipulate that you have to have the passport +stamps (copy.) Which seems bizarre, because the other challenges like the SS requires witnesses and receipts along with miles logged. I'm I wrong in my thinking? I often am.
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:35 PM   #9
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:57 PM   #10
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Will you have time to check out the NPs or you are there only to get stamped? Would be nice to see pics and hear your descriptions of all the parks.
That's something I've thought about, and I think in most cases I will. But from what I've read, sometimes you might not make it in time because the park is closed, so you take a picture in front of the visitor's center. But yes, that is my intent. I can't wait to start. I also like to run, so I might try to incorporate some runs into this adventure. You would think a year is more than enough to do that, but I've been told that it is much harder to do than I can imagine.
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:04 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by sleazy rider View Post
While you're hitting the four corner states, stop in DC and pick up the 22 stamps at the Washington Monument. . Oh, there's a whole mess at Turkey Run Park out by CIA headquarters too.
If you do (and I did) be sure to actually stop and visit the sites that you get the stamps for.
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ray0of0Sun View Post
...because the other challenges like the SS requires witnesses and receipts along with miles logged.
The other cert rides are shorter, more intense rides where the goal is to ride => X miles in under =< Y hours - so the times and distances are critical. The witness requirement helps nail it down.

The NPT is akin to, and an outgrowth of, the old AMA Gypsy Tours (now Grand Tours) - more of a Sniff-The-Flowers ramble than an endurance ride. You certainly could make an endurance ride out of it (and some have), but you'd be missing the point, IMHO.
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:31 AM   #13
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You would think a year is more than enough to do that, but I've been told that it is much harder to do than I can imagine.
Nah. VERY low key.

I started my NPT on the day I retired in 2009 - rode to the Manassas Battlefield Park, bought my Passport book and got my first stamp. Being a certified Old Fart, I also bought a Senior Park Pass - $10 for a (remaining) lifetime pass to all NPS facilities - absolutely the best $10 I ever spent.

I collected a handful of local parks/stamps that Spring, and hit the lower mid-Atlantic states after the Cape Fear 1K Rally in mid April. I put the ride on hold for the summer (another major ride was slated, and my riding $$s were diverted to it).

I re-started it in August when I was down to see the 2009 Iron Butt Rally start and did a short loop out through the central states. I added to it in September when I was in Canada for the Rendez-Vous 10 hour Rally where I picked up parks in Quebec (La Mauricie) and Ontario (Thousand Islands) and a couple in New York and PA on my way home.

I did a southern loop shortly thereafter and picked up some Gulf Coast sites and back up through Georgia and Alabama.

Some do a dedicated NPT ride - I did mine in segments by extending already scheduled rides. So, I started it on April 1st and wrapped it up by the end of October and spent time at each park or site that I visited - some more than others, but I usually at least watched the videos that they presented and chatted with the Rangers - most of whom hadn't heard about the NPT, but liked the idea,
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Old 12-26-2013, 04:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJ View Post
Nah. VERY low key.

I started my NPT on the day I retired in 2009 - rode to the Manassas Battlefield Park, bought my Passport book and got my first stamp. Being a certified Old Fart, I also bought a Senior Park Pass - $10 for a (remaining) lifetime pass to all NPS facilities - absolutely the best $10 I ever spent.

I collected a handful of local parks/stamps that Spring, and hit the lower mid-Atlantic states after the Cape Fear 1K Rally in mid April. I put the ride on hold for the summer (another major ride was slated, and my riding $$s were diverted to it).

I re-started it in August when I was down to see the 2009 Iron Butt Rally start and did a short loop out through the central states. I added to it in September when I was in Canada for the Rendez-Vous 10 hour Rally where I picked up parks in Quebec (La Mauricie) and Ontario (Thousand Islands) and a couple in New York and PA on my way home.

I did a southern loop shortly thereafter and picked up some Gulf Coast sites and back up through Georgia and Alabama.

Some do a dedicated NPT ride - I did mine in segments by extending already scheduled rides. So, I started it on April 1st and wrapped it up by the end of October and spent time at each park or site that I visited - some more than others, but I usually at least watched the videos that they presented and chatted with the Rangers - most of whom hadn't heard about the NPT, but liked the idea,
Well this is great to know, thanks for sharing your knowledge. I was thinking it would be sad to just race through and just not be able to actually visit the sights. It ought to be more enjoyable that way. I'm still going to try the IBA BB and SS. Maybe squeeze one of them with the NPT. I don't have all the farkles that some people deem necessary, so I'll just do a minimalist approach and add the farkles I feel would help me best. So far the only ones I've adde is the V-stream windshield, throttle lock and a top case. NPT starts in January and I'll visit the Petroglyph National Monument right here in the backyard. That ought to take the better part of a couple hours. This way I can also do some of these rides with my lovely wife.
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Old 12-30-2013, 09:59 AM   #15
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I'm in St. Louis MO, just over 1000 miles from Albuquerque. If you try a IBA SS on your way to Maine, making StL your ending point, I'll be happy to be your IBA witness, and get you a place to rest. All you have to do is bring stories of your travels.
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