Is it wrong to yearn for the road, knowing you'll sorely miss a glance from your wife, the laughter of your son, or a daughter's smile? As packing and planning draw to a close, I ask myself this question. I've never been away from my family for the six-week duration DonnyO has planned for us on our trip to . . . . wait for it . . . . the Arctic Circle! You might have caught our father-son trip last summer along the Pacific Coast Highway. Whether it was paddle boarding in San Diego, weaving through giant redwoods, or staring in awe at the Grand Tetons, we knew the two-week trip was merely a warm-up for this - a bucket-list ride to Alaska. How does a duo prepare for such an adventure? It's generational. DonnyO consults person-to-person in order to glean valuable experience of adventurers and friends while I resort to the Internet with a heavy dose of advrider! It wasn't long before DonnyO's steed featured a Booster Plug and Laminar Lip based on his friend Brian's recommendations, a horn befitting a tug boat (I nearly shat myself the first time I heard it) based on another's suggestion, and an AltRider rack system to carry RotoPax water and fuel canisters upon seeking additional advice. I, on the other hand, might as well rename myself "what if?" It wash't long before an exhaustive list of tools and spare parts was assembled to cover documented advrider parts failures. Add to that some parts for any unlikely mishap that awoke me in a cold sweat at 2am, and I've essentially created the world's first rolling BMW parts department! Consequently, I only have room for a toothbrush and t-shirt in my 120-pound load of trip sundries. Additions to my bike Ronan resulted in a throttle position sensor (TPS) cover from fellow member kildala2000 and a set of Heidenau K60s to match DonnyO's. As for maintenance, DonnyO had BMW of Denver perform a 6,000 mile checkup on his bike to ensure it's in tip-top condition. I, armed with JVBs DVD, chose to go it alone and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Ronan a bit better. By the way, BMW of Denver's Parts Department - Tally and Chris - have both been extremely helpful in getting us prepared for the trip. Thanks, fellas! Upon our return from last year's trip, we realized we covered too many miles (for us) on a daily basis. We averaged 430+ miles per day and neither of us felt we really were able to soak in enough of the scenery. We don't anticipate many opportunities to get six-week kitchen passes from our wives (maybe 4-5 more . . . tops), so we want to immerse ourselves in the scenery and not check the box as we motor by with a nod. We've ratcheted back to 300 miles per day. This should offer us the ability to (i) stop at more mom-and-pop restaurants in our never-ending quest to find the perfect cinnamon roll (ii) have time at the end of the day to locate a town's coldest beer (iii) learn about the area from the often-passed historical-point-of-interest signs and (iv) locate the best photo ops for friends and family to follow along. Packed and ready, DonnyO dropped by late last week during a see-how-she-handles-loaded test ride. He's ready to go, but we'll have to wait until his 67th birthday - June 30th - to depart! In one of our many discussions over the past several months DonnyO captured my very thoughts by stating, "I don't know what's more fun, planning for the trip, or riding it." I think I know the answer - stay tuned!