Greetings, This is going to be a long and winding trip report filled with pictures and some of my thoughts and commentary. Background is required so bear with me as I ramble my way through the process that got this ride off the ground. February 11, 2006 my wife of 33 years lost her war with cancer. It was one of those brutal wars filled with some skirmishes that were won, battles that ended in a tie, and battles that were outright defeats. The end result was the loss of the war/campaign. Diagnosed in August of 2004, we fought the good fight for 18 months. After the dust started to settle and some things were falling back into place, I decided what better way to honor her life than to take off on a trip without end that would encompass some of the things we talked about doing, places we never saw or wanted to repeat, doing the thing we both enjoyed doing together - riding a motorcycle. Karen was not a fantatical rider, but rode with me because I do love riding. I picked an arbitrary departure date of April 10th so I would have a goal to work towards. Everything leading up to that date was making choices of the best way to make the trip, choosing the right equipment, and hours of plotting on the atlas and then GPS with a highlighter. No, this isn't going to be a wild adventure through single track since the Gold Wing just doesn't do that well. It was a great ride filled with awesome scenery and loads time to ponder, think, pontificate, experience an ephiphany or two, and generally get myself mentally prepared to deal with the future. Hang in there with me as I start to recount these events and enjoy the pictures if nothing else. If I get too verbose, sullen, reminiscent, or downright moody, put me back on track. The wheels on the bus go round and round. Home away from home for the next month or so. I spent 21 years playing soldier and sleeping on the ground. No more ground sleeping for Rick. Wish I had one of these to tow behind my Hummer chasing bad guys all over the world. Ready to roll. I'm going to write and post this as quickly as I can. There is already a blog of the trip at: http://ricksmotorcycleride.blogspot.com I'm gonna rewrite as I go adding, deleting and changing. Stay tuned as we tour the Southwest.