PictureRiding the Million Dollar Highway in southwestern Colorado
Greetings! We recently completed our second cross-country trip on our 08 Heritage Softail Classic. We spent 24 days riding from our home near Washington, DC out to Death Valley, California and back. Some highlights: we tent-camped the entire time (23 consecutive nights!), visited 21 states (including a few new ones), and rode 7,348 miles together.

Check out some pics here. More coming soon!

 
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When it comes to hobbies, it's always good to have goals in mind. How far do you want to take something? It's very easy to get carried away and compare yourself to your friends and stuff you find on the internet. But what is really realistic vs. far fetched? Do we only measure success by the big, long-term goals? How about smaller, short-term goals? And how much time and money are we going to have to invest for our dreams to become a reality? 

Motorcycling is one of our main hobbies.  Back in June 2009 when we bought our bike, we talked about some long-term goals, like taking a real road trip on the bike, maybe even cross country. Another goal would be putting 100,000 miles on the bike before considering getting a second bike, and really getting the goody out of it. We also hoped to get some of our trips featured in motorcycle magazines. At that time we had no idea if any of that was reasonable or if we had our heads in the clouds.

So how have we done to this point four years later? We completed a cross country trip last summer, the bike has 45,000 miles on it, and our story about our "hardest trip" and "worst riding conditions" was recently featured in the Web-Rider Spotlight in RoadBikeMag. Does this mean the end is near for our motorcycling adventures? I don't think so. The beauty of achieving these smaller successes is it empowers you to accomplish even more.

For us, setting two or three key objectives helps us fuel our passion. Everything else along the way is a bonus. When you've got your eye on big, long-term goals, then your smaller goals tend to fall into place. Smaller goals tend to naturally change over time anyway. If we hadn't completed one of these things there would be no shame in that. "We will do it as long as it stays fun" has been our motto for motorcycling and many other hobbies. So keep your hobbies fun and don't be afraid to dream big. Who knows what you'll accomplish?


 
This coming summer (late August/early September 2013), Ann and I will both have 3 weeks of vacation time stored up, so why not plan another epic trip?  We love talking about what our next adventures will be and we wanted to throw this route out there.  You guys already know that we love the Utah/Arizona landscapes.  This trip will focus on those areas again, but we will also try something new and take the southernmost roads back home to DC.

The map shows the general idea of what we want to accomplish but we are open to changes. 

On the way out the game plan is almost like our 17 States in 17 Days trip.  We want to camp in the Rockies, then head to Moab, UT.  We also want to visit all the national parks and camp in as many as possible.  We've been to most of the national parks in Utah, except for Grand Staircase, so Grand Staircase would be one of many highlights of the trip. After that, we'd head down to Monument Valley, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon.

We found that from doing our other trips is that it is always nice to have something to look forward to throughout the trip.  Having a different route home provides variety and a chance to explore new areas.  After relaxing in Utah and Arizona for a week or so, some of the highlights on the way home will be Tucson, San Antonio, New Orleans, and hopefully exploring the caves in Mammoth, KY.

Right now there will be an estimated trip mileage of around 6,000 miles  If we had 3 weeks of vacation time, then this would be the lowest mileage-to-day ratio of any of the other trips we have taken. 6,000 miles over 23 days is just 260 miles/day, while our 17 States in 17 Days trip came out to  350 miles/day. Of course, some days we ride 500 miles and some days we ride 100 miles, but you get the general idea. Our upcoming 2013 trip would allow for more relaxing time or time for activities.  

Feel free to throw in any ideas to make this a better trip.  We feel blessed to have another opportunity to go on a trip like this, and we're really looking forward to it!

- Alex and Ann

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