Yep, tomorrow morning is almost here and it’s amazing that everything is moving along as well as it is. Got new rubber on both the bike and the trailer, new brakes, wheel bearings packed and all fluids changed. Have taken the whole outfit out twice for shakedown cruises and the ride is as smooth as silk. Almost scary, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. My mood is alternating between the elation I get from being out on the road again, seeing new places and experiencing new adventures and the sadness of leaving my wife and friends and the comfort of our home life here. I don’t believe Sandy is too happy about my going, but the offer is always there for us to go together. I’m going to incorporate an Iron Butt ride called the National Parks Tour in this trip. It calls for visiting at least 50 National parks and historic sites in 25 states in a year. I did this in 2010 and went to 81 parks in 32 states then. This time I will be shooting for the Gold in that you still do the same number but have to hit all four corners of the US as well as Alaska . . . this should be doable. My route takes me northwest to pick up I-40 in Memphis then hitting parks on either side of 40 until I get to California. Then I head north going into the northwest states before going into Glacier NP and on the east side of it take 89 across the border into Calgary. Continuing through the Icefields Parkway to Jasper and taking a back road to the start of the Alcan in Dawson Creek. Just north of Whitehorse in the Yukon will take the side road to Dawson City and across the Top of the World Hwy into Alaska. Then the timeline gets a little muddy, I know I have to be in Anchorage on July 19-22 for a rally and I know that I’m going up to the Arctic Circle, when all depends on how long it takes to get up there. My riding buddy, Nolan, from the ’09 trip is heading there by a different route and we’ll try to meet up somewhere before going up to the Circle. Nolan called a couple of nights ago and reminded me to bring a sign to post at the Signpost Forest in Watson Lake, Yukon Territory. I’ve tried to find some sign that says “Merritt Island, Florida” but can’t come up with anything, then went to a sign man I know and he’s agreed to make me a neat sign. Sandy is going to have to pick it up later this week and mail it to me at Gen Del in West Glacier, MT. On the way back I have a route that brings me back into Washington then across the US into Maine before heading home. I might be a little homesick by the time I hit the US again and decide to head directly home and do the Northeast states in a couple of months. To do the whole route would be about 15-16 K miles and at least three months, if I cut it short it will still be 12-13 K miles and over two months. That’s the good thing about being retired, I’ll decide later. Now I’m going to button this up and pack the computer away for the ride. Will be stopping at a state park in Georgia tomorrow night, weather is calling for a lot of rain. I’ve been wet before.