Some Background: I'm 42 years old, been riding for over thirty years, am married with one 19 year old son. For the past 20 or so years, I've been a security manager in both contract and proprietary settings, over half of that in the hospitality sector. I would say that sometime in the last five years, the adventure bug has bitten me. However, having a full time job and lots of responsibilities at home does not make it easy to get away on an adventure. And my budget is not large. But, there are advantages to being on a job a long time: lots of vacation, seniority, flexibility. So, I had pretty much decided to just adventure in short bursts, using vacation strategically and eating up long miles to get to someplace cool. To that end, last summer, I did a pretty cool nine days touring the south, visiting friends and family, and banging out an Iron Butt Saddle Sore 1000 along the way. Then, this winter, I started on the Iron Butt National Parks tour. I figured I could hit a lot of the parks in the west and then make one or two week long road trips through the south or midwest to get the state count up. That started January 4th as I took a VERY chilly ride from my home in Albuquerque to visit my brother in Las Vegas, NV. Then, about a month later, I did a weekend trip that took me through southern New Mexico, West Texas, and Southern Arizona. That trip was cold AND wet. In one particularly adventurous moment, I found myself mid-way between the Ft. Bowie National Historic Site and the Chiricahua National Monument like so: Needless to say... it was a real adventure!! I then started planning a ride for early May that would see me ride from my home in New Mexico to Florida. The "real reason" for the trip was to see my sister graduate college in Tampa. But my reason was to get to Key West. I mean, who doesn't want to go there? I also had put together a trip to Alaska for June to attend the Dusk 2 Dawson event and just see everything in Alaska. That was my plan. Things were progressing... Then, things changed. The main change was that after 11 years, I changed jobs. It seemed like a really great opportunity and you know they just don't come along everyday. That, unfortunately, forced me to change my ride plans. I would not be able to take time off the new job until late July at the earliest. Oh, well... I'm sure Alaska and Key West will still be there next year (unless those damn Mayans foul it all up). And then, after only 8 weeks of work, I couldn't take it anymore. It turned out to be the worst job EVER! It's a long, sad story that I won't bore you with, but the end result is that I now find myself among the unemployed. First time I've ever been unemployed. And then there's the damn economy making me wonder if I'll find something meaningful anytime soon. Time will tell on that one. And I've been kinda thinking lately that as things are going, I'll be lucky to be able to retire by the time I'm 70 or 75. I was too stupid to get one of those jobs with a pension after 20 years, so I think I'm just screwed in terms of retirement. And by then, I'll be too old to do anything fun, right? So, fuck it... I'm going to PREtire. I'll be retired now for a while and then go back to work whenever and just see how that goes. To that end, I got some new panniers for my 2009 Buell Ulysses XB12XT from Muffintop to replace the stock Hepco Becker clamshell cases that I broke in Arizona. I FINALLY got them and mounted them last week. Also got a new Garmin Zumo 660 with a Touratech lockable mount. And, at the suggestion of a friend, I got the Lifeproof case for my iphone and mounted all that in the cockpit along with my Spot tracker. Starting to look a little crowded now! So... where the hell am I going to go? Well, I am going EVERYWHERE! I'm going to start out for Utah, then down to San Diego to visit friends, then up the coast to... ya know... see the coast. And then probably Yosemite National Park, then something in the Silicon Valley area since I have some friends there. Then further north... Golden Gate, Redwood National Park, Crater Lake, Portland, Seattle. From there, maybe Vancouver or other places in BC. Might be nice to at least run up and touch Alaska at Hyder. Then turn east, visiting family and friends in Idaho, Montana, Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, etc. I'm seriously thinking about doing the Northern Peninsula of Michigan and then dropping down to Ohio and then turning east to visit again with family in PA, NJ, VA, etc. I'd like to see all of New England while I'm there. I do want to get down to Florida and see Key West. The only thing I have on the schedule between now and sometime is a trip to Ireland with my father in late September. I could be back home by then but after Ireland, if I still have any money and haven't killed the Buell, then I'm looking at riding south of the border and just keep on going until the credit union calls me to tell me I'm broke. So... who's in? Day one and day two reports to follow!