Summer is here so it's time to pack up and skedaddle. Last year I rode my Honda Rebel from southern California to northern Idaho, across to the Puget Sound and down the coast. One of the best trips of my life. The Wee Beastie (sold to a good home 4 weeks ago) I had planned on crossing the border to see Jasper and Banff, but time and budget were no longer my friends. So, the plan for this summer was to ride up the Rockies up into Canada, go to Great Slave Lake and Yellowknife, loop over to Prince Rupert and bop around the BC Coast and then home. Well, I can't find my passport......A couple of days ago I went to the drawer where I always keep it and, no passport. ARGH!!!!! Tore the house apart. No passport. (The house now looks greaaaaaaat.....) Plan A: Use a passport expeditor ($$$$) and leave asap Plan B: Use my birth certificate to get into Canada (but they would probably ask me how I was getting back) and see what happens on the way home. Yep, 47 year old teacher with no common sense who would probably be detained as a probable drug dealer. Plan C: Stay in the U.S. and do everything but the Canadian part Plan C it is! So, Rocky Mountains, volcanics of the Cascades and the Sierra - here I come! I have up to 6 weeks to play. The route (very loosely) is to follow the Rockies north to Glacier, cut across to central Washington, ride down the Cascades and then 395 on the east side of the Sierra. I have a new buddy: Maxwell Maxwell is named after my gone, but never forgotten, golden retriever Max. Max was a wonderful dog: Loyal, well-behaved and loved to roll over to get his tummy scratched. Maxwell the V-strom: Loyal, well-behaved and loves to roll over to get his tummy scratched (long story). I'm sitting here, waiting for the last of the laundry to dry, packing away those last little things before loading up. Last year I left at 1 am to beat the heat from Temecula to Kingman, AZ (amazing ride through the Mojave Desert at night, sunrise at Amboy). Today I'm going to leave about 7 pm, stay in 29 Palms then get an early start to Flagstaff. Besides finishing packing I have to take my buddy Winnie (the incorrigible Corgi) and Opal (my Betta fish) to doggie and fishie jail. My other dog, Taqui, is well behaved and so gets to stay at his grandparent's house. I always feel guilty leaving Winnie, but they love her at the boarding place so she always gets extra attention. Going solo like last summer. I do like traveling solo - I can do what I want, when I want. I'm also not sure I can be considerate to another human being for 6 weeks in a row - probably have an aneurysm or something. I have friends and family I love to travel with, but none ride bikes. sigh. Traveling solo is a funny thing. Sometimes the trip gels and sometimes it doesn't. I've taken off and ended up coming home in a week and other times had to drag myself home because work started in a day or two. You never know which its going to be until you're out there. So far, I feel like this is going to be a really good one. Very loose itinerary, no reservations and a bigger tent and camp chair (never underestimate the power of a bigger tent and a decent camp chair). Soloing often provides opportunities that wouldn't appear when traveling with others. I think I meet more people and have more interesting conversations. You're more likely to receive kind invitations of lodging, meals and good company. I have found that you are pulled deeper into the experience, you are immersed. Few thoughts of your other life. Anyhoo, I learned last year that writing a ride report really added to the experience. It was fun having conversations with other adv folks on the forum and to have a nice message or two to read and respond to in the evening. Please travel along......trading posts with fellow riders is just the right kind of companionship, people who understand why you've packed up a bunch of stuff on a motorcycle and have taken off. The "outa of here" clock is ticking.