Many of you may be asking why my website focused on Punta Gorda Florida real estate is featuring a motorcycle trip to Alaska. Most of my friends and clients know I’ve been a lifelong motorcyclist and knew about my trip to Alaska and wanted to see pictures and videos and as it turns out this is the best venue.
The trip was really the culmination of a goal to ride a motorcycle in all 50 states by long time best friends who have been fortunate to have shared in many adventures in the past 35 years. The Big Trip took place from July 6th to August 5th with our arrival in Reno, Nevada completing this journey but more importantly achieving our goal to ride in all 50 states.
Before I get into the specifics of this incredible trip both John McLaughlin and I are often asked how did this start and did you have any guidelines. Well the answer is no and yes. Interestingly enough----- no we didn’t initially plan to ride in all 50 states and yes we had some guidelines. Back in August 2004 we did a major ride starting from Sturgis South Dakota ending in San Jose California.
The focus of that trip was to visit as many National Parks and scenic areas as possible and like prior trips we would ride mostly back roads. The trip was awesome on a number of levels and started the discussion of wouldn’t be great if we could capture all 50 states. So the discussion began by reviewing all the states we had already traveled to and we were surprised by the number we had already visited.
However after careful analysis this was somewhat of an illusion when we studied states we needed on a map it became obvious we would be traversing most of the country again to pick-up states we had missed. We also adopted a couple of guidelines which we had already established, first to declare a state we needed to ride 30 miles of designated scenic roadway and whenever possible dinner at locally owned restaurant’s. For those of you wondering we didn’t camp out but stayed in motels/hotels.
First and foremost trips were planned with emphasis on the journey/ride. Looking back this was a key element of making each trip a richer experience; as opposed to we did all 50 states. It also made it more complicated requiring more time in planning and riding while making our route’s less efficient. All trip planning was shared by John and me, we didn’t just jump on the bikes and ride but we invested time in planning each trip.
We approach each day open-ended (other than the Alaska trip) meaning if we only went 250 mile that’s ok and the next day we might roll off 600 miles. While we were never shut out by weather we did have many day’s where it impeded our travel. These trips would have been significantly less enjoyable had we not had the right gear. Most trips we used everything we brought so preparation is important. Like most things knowledge is king and as we accumulated miles we gained experience, which would become handy especially on the Alaskan trip.
As it turns out the Alaskan trip was the last in our journey however Nevada was the last state captured. Prior to this there were numerous trips. The east coast was easily covered since both John and had homes in New Hampshire and Florida. Every year we would ride our bikes up in the spring and back down to Florida in the fall. As a consequence we’ve down many different routes and there all interesting an offer very good riding.
Another theme we employed was to take ferry trips when possible which continued on our return from Alaska on a 4 day ferry trip from Haines AK to Bellingham WA. Also on the agenda was to ride as many as the well-known motorcycle roads as possible. Routes such as “Tail of the Dragon” route 129 running thru Tennessee and North Carolina with 318 turn in 11 miles we did many times.
In all we did we did a total of 8 trips’ to cover the country. Hawaii was done in Maui on rental bikes. Trips ranged from 2000 mile to over 6500 miles, some over 1 weeks’ time and others 2, 3 and 4 weeks. Under normal circumstances we would travel on average 350 to 400 miles per day. Typical day was 10 hours of saddle time with a stop in the morning and afternoon along with a lunch break.
Due to time constraints a few of our trips we shipped or towed our bikes to a starting/return location. As an example the Alaskan trip started in Rapid City SD and ended in Reno NV, by doing so we saved about 2 weeks’ time on this trip. Other than Hawaii my 2004 Harley Davidson Screamin’ Eagle Electra Glide has been my trusty ride.
Read more about my motorcycle trip to AlaskaEach link below contains a summary of our trip and links to photo galleries.
JULY 6TH TO JULY 10TH
JULY 11TH TO JULY 14TH
JULY 15TH TO JULY 19TH
JULY 20TH TO JULY 25TH
JULY 26TH TO JULY 30TH
AUGUST 3RD TO AUGUST 6TH