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Epic Motorcycle Trip – Prologue

I have been behind at work since precisely forever. The deadlines I’ve given myself to get caught up, to really ensure that things are on top when I leave, they have all blown by like a turbo Hyabusa on a straight, unpatrolled road. So I’ve spent the last week getting up at 4am to get into the office to try, maddeningly, mindlessly, to get caught up. So that I can leave on my Epic Motorcycle Trip (EMT).

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

Douglas Adams

I began to plan this trip in January of this year. It wasn’t long before I dragooned the Regular Riding Partner (RRP) into joining me – it turns out that some of the destinations had been on his list anyway. We had some discussions about the overall concept of the trip; about how we will work together on such a prolonged journey when we are basically each others’ only human company; and a meeting to complete the planning of the route. The route planning, with mileage and time estimates, was locked in March at our meeting – including a couple of long days. We agreed to connect two motorcycle rallies – the Horizons Unlimited CanWest Meeting in Nakusp, B.C.(worth the read), and the Revzilla Get On Adventure Fest in Sturgis, SD. (Yes. That Sturgis. We spent a lot of time explaining we were going to Sturgis, and staying at the Buffalo Chip Campground, but we weren’t going for that Sturgis Rally.

We were going to be on the road for 17 days, camping the whole way – except our first night, where we were staying at a wonderful motel, and at Sturgis, the turn around point, where we thought getting a cabin would be a good idea for a few days. We reserved the two rallies first, including the cabin, then reserved the motel. Then, after some discussion, we agreed to try booking KOA campsites. Unlike in BC, where campsites are a complete premium and you have trouble if you aren’t online at 7AM exactly four months in advance of your hoped-for camping date, booking a KOA campsite was as easy as booking a hotel. The last booking was the Mile 0 Motel in Midway, BC – our first night’s stop.

Seven months of planning, and I was still up early and working on the morning we were due to leave. RRP was fortunately an hour or so later than he thought he would be, which allowed me to pack the bike. Truthfully, I hadn’t really unpacked a bunch of things from a shorter trip a few weeks before, so that made it considerably easier to pack this time around. Important documents, including a passport, Nexus card, and the America the Beautiful National Parks Pass were all packed, as were the clothes, tools, camp equipment, gear, electronics, chargers, and battery banks needed for such an epic trip. By the time RRP arrived, I was ready to go – but I was beat on my feet.

I let RRP know that I was possibly going to be a bit slow, and taking it a bit easy. We were going to avoid any major highways (Interstates, as they call them in the US), and we were going to take our time. We had a great day of riding ahead, so it should be no problem, tired though I was.

We also discussed off road riding – and how I didn’t think I would do any. I didn’t want to drop my bike in the hinterland and break it, and then be forced with getting it home, curtailing my vacation and the sites I wanted to see.

Highlights that we planned:

  1. Going-to-the-Sun-Road
  2. Sylvan Lake Road / Needles Highway / Iron Mountain Road
  3. Mount Rushmore
  4. Devil’s Tower
  5. Lolo Pass

This was going to be an epic motorcycle trip. As I got on my fully loaded bike, I wasn’t excited though – I was just bone tired.

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