After being told time and again that I should post a R.R. about the trip I took to Texas two years ago, I finally caved. It's not the mega RTW kind of trip I am awed by, but I suppose it is note worthy. My friend and I have been discussing riding to Alaska on our bikes for years. Over the winter of 2010/11, we committed to it. I got the Month of June off from work, and was going to crate my bike from NH, where I live, to CO where my buddy lives, and then go to Alaska from there. Here is my bike prior to committing to this trip. Although the bike was low mileage, ~13,500, I knew I needed to make a couple of equipment changes. The system cases don't carry nearly as much as I wanted, and the sargent seat was lower than I liked. I also wanted a top box of some sort, and I wanted a good tank bag with some volume. I bought a set of damaged Jesse bags from an inmate in Canada, and got to work fixing them. The previous owner had gone down, and busted the right box. I researched where Jesse gets the hinges, and bought 4 new hinges. I went with black hinges rather than the standard unpainted hinges Jesse uses. The corner of the lid was cracked, so I had a buddy of mine weld it, then I sanded to down to paint it. When the bags come from Jesse, they are powder coated, but I didn't have the time or finances to send them out for powder coating, so I improvised. The boxes came out amazingly good! I really couldn't tell the difference from the factory powder coating, and what I did. I next went and found an inexpensive Top box at J.C. Whitney for $32, and bought a 15 L. Marsee tank bag from an inmate for a bargain too. To address the Sargent seat issue, I found a Corbin for sale that is taller. Corbins tend to be harder seas, and this was going to be filled with long days in the saddle, so I ordered an Alaska butt pad. Now she looks like she could haul some gear to Alaska and back. In may of 2011, there is a local Rally we affectionately call WHACO (White Horse and Camp Out). I used that ride as a sort of dry run to see uncover any possible issues. I'm lucky I did. I ended up losing my rear brakes while we were riding around VT, the stealership had replaced them the year previous, and they should have been ok, but the pads were disintegrated. So, they replaced them again. Evil Clown (right), and me about to head out to WHACO My trusty steed and I on a rocky hill climb. After I got home from WHACO, my buddy in CO contacted me and told me he was layed off from his job, and could not afford to do the Alaska trip. Having just recently been through that, I couldn't blame him for being responsible, and bailing. So, now I had the month of June, and was geared to ride somewhere. I very quickly decided that a ride to Austin, TX to visit a good friend of mine that had just moved there a year prior would be a good substitute. My company is based out of Round Rock, TX, which happens to be 10 miles from my friend's house. So I told my manager that I wanted to give back two weeks vacation they allowed, and I would work one week from TX. He was completely on board with that. The new plan, Ride to Austin, TX, stay there a week at my buddy's house, and work days, ride nights. For a route, I decided to hit as many National Park campgrounds as possible. So now I had my route, and proper gear. I planned to head out early on June 4, 2011. My plan for the first day was to pound out the miles and get to Shenandoah National Park. Well, as fate would have it, I didn't actually get headed out until 1:30 pm. So, I knew Shenandoah was a long shot for that day because it is 644 mi from my house. Regardless, I headed out with my bike fully loaded at 1:30 pm. I do not have a lot of pictures prior to arriving in TX. I discovered in TX when I went to offload the card from my travel camera that it was in macro mode the whole time, and all of the pictures I took with it were crap. I had bought a small waterproof travel camera for this trip, but found that it didn't work very well at all. The Route plan: 5, 211 mi. (I actually ended up with 6,328 mi) 5 National Parks - C, D, E, I, and L are National Parks. B = River Beach Campsites in Milford, PA C = Shenandoah National Park in VA D = Great Smoky Mountain National Park in TN E = Hot Springs National Park on Hot Springs AR I = Rocky Mountain National Park in CO L = Cuyahoga National Park in OH All packed, and ready to go.