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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
First.... the thinking of it:

If someone told YOU that you only had so much time to live what would be different in your life? Where or how or when you ride change? Would the amount of time you spend watching tv or movies change?

Would there be a shift in the things that got you upset if you lived knowing that you only had so many days, weeks, months to live?

What would become important or unimportant in your life? Would you stop and “smell the roses” more? Would your “stress” list or your “goal” list change? Would how you interact with people – strangers and friends alike – change?

Really, what if someone told you that you only had so much time to live? Well, I'm telling you. No matter who you are or what you believe or what values or morals you have or what motorcycle you do or don't ride there is a truth as bright as the sun… and that is the amount of time you have left to live is diminishing.

The vast, vast majority of people live in an illusion and walk around in a catatonic state as if there is a guarantee of another breathe, another day, another year. One of the saddest things I hear is the phrase “when I retire.” Sure, plan for tomorrow, but live now. Besides, I'd bet no one has ever said from their death bed "I wish I'd spent more time at the office."

There really is only so much time.... I hope you too SEIZE THE JOURNEY!

Now....

No, I don't have cancer or anything like that, but I do want to do something very special for me before I do.

I guess you could tell by the subject line that I am justifying an "Epic Motorcycle Ride." I am justifying a trip sooner than later. I am in the initial planning stages of doing my Epic Motorcycle Ride in Dec. of 2011. Not next summer, not next fall, but next month. I have several things to work out, one of them is permission to be gone from my employment for 25 or 28 days, depending on how long it takes to do what I plan to do. I want to do a Christmas Season Tour that extends from Seattle to Los Angeles, Phoenix AZ, El Paso, TX, Mission TX, Orlando, Fl, South Beach, Fl, Key West, Fl and back home. 8,500+ miles in 28 days.

I have plenty of details to work out. I plan to do this solo with limited camping supplies on board. My budget for over night stays is "0" in that I plan to use a variety of options for camping..... none of which will be a state or national park or a KOA. I will rely on family, friends, online motorcycle forum members, AA and my Goldwing Road Riders Association Membership Roster. (More on that GWRRA roster later.) With adequate planning and coordination, I should be able to accomplish this. Of course if I get stuck in a weather situation, I would take a Super 8 or Motel 6

Here is a link to my proposed route:

http://www.mapquest.com/?version=1.0&hk=9-4FU6bm94

My route is not set in stone. I do have some points that I cannot eliminate such as Phoenix, El Paso, Mission Tx, New Orleans, Orlando, Key West.... and of course I gotta see the Alamo and catch a fish on the Atlantic Ocean. I am open minded to modification of my route. I have no return itinerary in mind other than staying south for the best possible weather.

So, if you are close to my proposed route or if you have a suggestion or a must see..... and you want to either be a local guide, I am all in for that. I would love to meet as many folks from the forum as I possibly could. If you see a section of this ride that interests you and you would like to hitch on for some of it, I would welcome that too.

I am not sure if I will use a Spot tracker or not but I will be online whenever possible and I will update my progress using a blog of some type and from time to time, I will link to it on this site. If someone has some suggestions on the use of the Spot Tracker system, I would appreciate learning of your experience using it.

My departure date is Dec. 7th and I will be back in Seattle on Jan. 2nd. That is it. I am going. I am going soon.

I will travel light. Solo camping gear. I use a cot tent and a Jetboil cooking system. My whole campsite can be setup in 10 minutes and taken down in the same amount of time. Low impact back yard camping......

About the Goldwing Road Riders Association Gold Book. Those that are members know of it and its power to connect people. The Gold book is a voluntary listing by state and city of members who offer camping, trailer towing, tools or road assistance to other members out on the road. This is a road tested system. I plan to use the GWRRA Gold book to fill in on areas that I am not offered a place in a person's back yard.

So, 8500 miles and not sure how many smiles. But I really look forward to this adventure.
 

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I do know how it feels when told, "there is nothing more we can do. We have done Chemo and Radio Therapy and operated. Enjoy what time you have with him." That was my youngest son. I sold my property and took all 8 of my family on a world trip. I would never have done that other wise. Emotionally I have never fully recovered it sits just under the surface. It's the one thing that makes me feel weak. When we thought it had returned a couple of months ago I just couldn't handle the thought and yet you know that you are not much good to yourself or others around you unless you get it together. You know a lot of friends can handle it either because they feel helpless as well and stop contact and are not game enough to ask how things are going. Those that are in it have no choice but to cope. So yes it changed me for life and I am going to take the time to smell the roses. Maybe this gives a better idea of my CAT club. So a bad back, bad knees was not going to stop me getting back on a bike any more. At first my wife wasn't very happy with it at all. But she is a good wife and didn't stop me even when she didn't like it.
Best of luck with your trip Larry
Eric
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I do know how it feels when told, "there is nothing more we can do. We have done Chemo and Radio Therapy and operated. Enjoy what time you have with him." That was my youngest son. I sold my property and took all 8 of my family on a world trip. I would never have done that other wise. Emotionally I have never fully recovered it sits just under the surface. It's the one thing that makes me feel weak. When we thought it had returned a couple of months ago I just couldn't handle the thought and yet you know that you are not much good to yourself or others around you unless you get it together. You know a lot of friends can handle it either because they feel helpless as well and stop contact and are not game enough to ask how things are going. Those that are in it have no choice but to cope. So yes it changed me for life and I am going to take the time to smell the roses. Maybe this gives a better idea of my CAT club. So a bad back, bad knees was not going to stop me getting back on a bike any more. At first my wife wasn't very happy with it at all. But she is a good wife and didn't stop me even when she didn't like it.
Best of luck with your trip Larry
Eric
Thank you for sharing your experience. I do know somewhat how you feel. I lost my best friend of 25 years two years ago to cancer and my dad twenty years ago.

My message to myself is that we are all gonna go sometime; some sooner than later and while I have an opportunity to do something now, I should not delay in doing it.
 

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That's quite a sleigh ride trip you have planned there. I'm a bit worried here, Larry, as it seems to be born out of anxiety. I understand the notion of Carpe Diem, Carpe Scrotum, etc. but the preface to this adventure casts a shadow of dark anxiousness. How long have you been without sunshine up there ?
 

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you know i've mentioned the herniated disc and pinched nerve in my neck before so i know my riding days are numbered. i have a 5pound liftng restriction and limited mobility with my l when i go riding i don't think about it, riding is too much fun to think about something soo depressing but i do miss my mustangs
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's quite a sleigh ride trip you have planned there. I'm a bit worried here, Larry, as it seems to be born out of anxiety. I understand the notion of Carpe Diem, Carpe Scrotum, etc. but the preface to this adventure casts a shadow of dark anxiousness. How long have you been without sunshine up there ?
You know that I had been in the very initial planning stages for a 4 corner tour. The biggest stumbling block on that trip is my employment. Things are going to change in my company starting at the first of the year, and I am not even sure I fit in. We are merging with another company.

I know that I won't be able to take 28 days of accrued vacation next summer. I would be lucky to get 10 days in a row coupling up on a 3 day weekend. So this kind of a trip is not gonna happen for me in 2012.

My sister lives in Orlando and my older brother and his wife are snow birding in south Texas. My girl friend said.... "Have a nice trip." She has no interest in spending the holiday season on the back of my Wing.

After I gave the whole mess some careful consideration and felt that my time is now. Real soon. Like in 3 weeks. Holy Cow! I better get busy getting things ready to go rather than wasting so many key strokes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
you know i've mentioned the herniated disc and pinched nerve in my neck before so i know my riding days are numbered. i have a 5pound liftng restriction and limited mobility with my l when i go riding i don't think about it, riding is too much fun to think about something soo depressing but i do miss my mustangs
I know what you mean in how concentrating on operating a motorcycle can block out other thoughts. In fact, it takes practice to get the mind to just focus on the operation of the motorcycle. It does become a good habit.

I am sorry that you feel your riding days are numbered. Some of us get there gradually and some of us it just happens one day.

My #1 riding buddy is having major back troubles and can't ride more than an hour without having to take drugs the next day and can hardly get out of bed. His riding days are done. He has finally accepted it but still goes for short rides. He and I are not going to ever cross the pass on motorcycles together again.

I don't have that situation YET. But as my justification stated, we all have just a limited number of days left on this earth, and some of those days might not be in the best of health.

I am of sound mind, have the time to go and can justify the expense for such an adventure. I am more than ready.
 

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Just an addendum to the reply in made in the other thread about your travel plans... First, the SPOT is a MUST in my opinion. It gives peace of mind plus it is a link to the rest of the world when cell phones are not. Second: If you are going to "pack heat" and have a valid Concealed Handgun License. New Mexico has no reciprocity laws with any other state that I know of. When you come through there, it might be wise to break the weapon down and place the weapon and shells in separate areas of the bike. If not and you get stopped, they can and most likely will take the weapon from you. When you get into Texas, we have a reciprocity law with most states. Just remember this. If stopped by John Law, make sure you tell them first that you have a CHL and are carrying and where it is. This does 2 things. It tells them that you are a responsible person and it gives them ease of mind. Doing that can sometimes change a ticket to a warning. I have been taught to tape the CHL to the Drivers License so that when you hand him one, you hand him both. Its a simple thing, but they appreciate it and treat you with a little more respect.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Just an addendum to the reply in made in the other thread about your travel plans... First, the SPOT is a MUST in my opinion. It gives peace of mind plus it is a link to the rest of the world when cell phones are not. Second: If you are going to "pack heat" and have a valid Concealed Handgun License. New Mexico has no reciprocity laws with any other state that I know of. When you come through there, it might be wise to break the weapon down and place the weapon and shells in separate areas of the bike. If not and you get stopped, they can and most likely will take the weapon from you. When you get into Texas, we have a reciprocity law with most states. Just remember this. If stopped by John Law, make sure you tell them first that you have a CHL and are carrying and where it is. This does 2 things. It tells them that you are a responsible person and it gives them ease of mind. Doing that can sometimes change a ticket to a warning. I have been taught to tape the CHL to the Drivers License so that when you hand him one, you hand him both. Its a simple thing, but they appreciate it and treat you with a little more respect.:D
I do not have a concealed weapons permit but there have been times that I have packed heat while traveling.

Thank you for the suggestions.

I filled out the application for the license and got finger printed. The license should be back well it time for my trip. I will be packing heat for this trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have another rider from the northwest that needs to make the very same route and almost the same time frame. (From the Saunders Site) We are discussing the trip.

Also have a Spot Tracker being donated to the trip and good information regarding my trip. This is all very good stuff.

Forums win again.

I am still welcoming ideas and suggestions. Keep them coming.


.
 

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Larry:
Here is the Texas Parks and Wildlife website where you can locate the Parks along your route. They have lots of info about each one and make a good overnight place to stay. At least you can get an idea of whats handy and if you cruise around the site, you can find all the prices. And....you can fish in each one and NO license is necessary..

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Larry:
Here is the Texas Parks and Wildlife website where you can locate the Parks along your route. They have lots of info about each one and make a good overnight place to stay. At least you can get an idea of whats handy and if you cruise around the site, you can find all the prices. And....you can fish in each one and NO license is necessary..

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/
Now that is a very worth while tip. I love to fish.

Fishing defined: A jerk on one end of the line waiting for a jerk on the other.
 

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Larry I know you don't need a travel agent but here's a couple ideas for you. You posted that your going to do the 4 corners tour next year & that you also like history.

I can tell you although the Keys are great it is a long trip to Key West & that is just after you leave the mainland. You have to go there anyway on your 4 corners to make it count so instead of going now & next year as well why not skip that & hit into Georgia, Alabama & Mississippi to take in some Civil War sites. Got alot them there & as I said you need to go to Key West next year anyway. Just a thought. Here's a link that may be useful.

http://www.nps.gov/hps/abpp/battles/bystate.htm#ms
 

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Larry, depending on the weather, you may want to travel down to Alpine and Fort Davis in Texas. Lot's of history and beautiful country. Sounds like a great trip--looking forward to the pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Larry I know you don't need a travel agent but here's a couple ideas for you. You posted that your going to do the 4 corners tour next year & that you also like history.

I can tell you although the Keys are great it is a long trip to Key West & that is just after you leave the mainland. You have to go there anyway on your 4 corners to make it count so instead of going now & next year as well why not skip that & hit into Georgia, Alabama & Mississippi to take in some Civil War sites. Got alot them there & as I said you need to go to Key West next year anyway. Just a thought. Here's a link that may be useful.

http://www.nps.gov/hps/abpp/battles/bystate.htm#ms

That is a great suggestion. My 4 corners trip is in doubt...... that is why I decided to make this trip now. I have good reasons to believe that I won't be able to take the time necessary to do the 4 corners ride next summer. I really wanted to do the south end ride.....so I thought, why not right now! This year. That is why I want to do Key West now.... but you had a great point.

I want to go to St. Augustine and Daytona Beach.... Miami and South Beach. I also want to witness some of the Everglades.

My sister lives outside of Orlando and look to visit her there.... for one night. lol Hey. I was there last December!
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Larry, depending on the weather, you may want to travel down to Alpine and Fort Davis in Texas. Lot's of history and beautiful country. Sounds like a great trip--looking forward to the pics.
I looked up Fort Davis and Alpine. Thanks for the suggestion. That looks like a great loop to take as a diversion from the haul on I-10.

I have to say that participating in this forum and the Saunders site has really borne fruit. Lots of suggestions and invitations.

The forum does it again.
 

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I want to go to St. Augustine and Daytona Beach.... Miami and South Beach. I also want to witness some of the Everglades.
If you want to check out some of the Glades I'll bet the guys in Fla will have the hot tip for you. I know that I-75 is known as Alligator Alley but when we went through we went on one of the Smaller roads can't remember the route right now. All I know was we got sick of looking at gators after awhile.

I'm sure your trip will change many times before you actually go.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
If you want to check out some of the Glades I'll bet the guys in Fla will have the hot tip for you. I know that I-75 is known as Alligator Alley but when we went through we went on one of the Smaller roads can't remember the route right now. All I know was we got sick of looking at gators after awhile.

I'm sure your trip will change many times before you actually go.
Last December, I flew to Orlando and rented a car and did a 3 day car cruise with my two brothers from South Dakota and visited with my Sister. Too busy. Did get to the Kennedy Space Center. Every day I was there.... I was thinking, should be here on a bike.

I believe you are right about the trip final plans. Things are taking shape fast. I have a forum member from the Steve Saunders site that was coincidentally planning almost the exact trip. Our maps were the same till New Orleans. He was then going north to Joplin Missouri to visit an ailing buddy. Our differences is the time for the trip is different. He has to be back for Christmas. I am ok with that too.... but it might kill the Florida part. I might stay in Texas part of the trip a little longer. Visit with my brother a little longer and do some historical / vacation things in the great state of Texas. When he is ready to travel back through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California and back up the coast through Oregon and back to Washington.... and be home for Christmas.

.
 
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