GRMA Day 39: Long Asphalt Ribbon
I noted on yesterday’s blog (which, apologies, didn’t get posted until this morning) that my plan was to ride Interstate 40 all day today and then reward myself with another trip through the Cumberland Plateau and the Smokey Mountains tomorrow. That’s still the plan since today I spent nine boring and somewhat wet hours on the long asphalt ribbon. More than 500 miles on cruise control at 70 miles per hour when the “road construction” sign weren’t commanding me to slow down. Blah!
I did, however, have plenty of time to think about future rides, something I usually do at the end of each Great Adventure. Next year’s ride is pretty much set. I’m going back to Alaska. The trip two years ago only covered a part of that awesome 49th state and there are several new places I want to go there. When I went to Hyder, Alaska, this year looking for bears, I mentioned that I met a couple from Grand Cache, Alberta. I heard from them a couple days ago via email and they had a great time in Haines, Alaska, where Jennifer, the photographer of the pair, got some really great shots of a mama griz and two cubs at a river. I definitely want to go to Haines and Valdez next year and do some fishing and maybe some flying too.
Beyond the Alaska trip, I’m thinking very strongly about a cross-Canada trip from St. Johns, Newfoundland, to Victoria on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I’m obviously drawn to Canada for motorcycle riding. The Trans-Canada Highway trip would probably be another six-to-eight week adventure. I’ve also mentioned several times an interest in the Lewis & Clark Historic Trail from St. Louis to the Oregon Coast and back. I thought about that again today and I think that history-based ride is definitely in my future. It would be shorter, probably only five weeks unless I find a way to stretch it out a little. If I did it in the winter like they did, that would certainly stretch it out. Nah. I’ll stick with the summer months.
I met three guys in Watson Lake, Yukon Territory, who were in the middle of a five-month, 49-state tour. While I’ve ridden in all 49 states in North America, I haven’t done them all in a single ride (though I did all the states east of the Mississippi River plus seven more during a four-week ride in 2005), so a 49-state ride looms as another potential adventure.
I have a quote on my “business” card and the blog that says: “So much asphalt, so little time.” I’m going to do the best I can to cover as much of that asphalt (especially the non-interstate kind) before my time is up. If anyone can think of an Adventure that would keep me occupied for several months, let me know.
Tomorrow is the final ride of the 2015 Great Rocky Mountain Adventure and I’m going to finish it the way I began it with a run on the Tail of the Dragon between Tennessee and North Carolina before heading home. I’ll write another short blog tomorrow night then Sunday will post a longer, final blog for this year that will wrap up the GRMA. Thanks again to everyone for coming along for the ride.