First Leg – Planning

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Photo by Greylin

It’s a great night on my patio. I’ve got all the tools out. Map. Markers. Cigar. Bourbon.

Got a great starting point – Hilton Head Island.

I’m thinking of starting out at sunrise. It seems like a great time to begin a journey, and a great time to get a picture marking the start of the journey.

The first official day of my trip is scheduled to be 300 miles or about 6 hours on the bike. Interstates are boring, so I avoid them when possible.

The first leg starts at the coast and ends at my house. I’m planning on taking this first section a month before I actually start out from home and head to the west coast. I’m going to ride down, spend the night (and maybe a day at the beach) then begin the official trip the next day.

Most of my trek is through Georgia. There are a few points of interest that I may make some time to investigate either going down, or coming back. Waynesboro, the bird dog capital of the world. Hiram, Georgia, birthplace of Oliver Hardy has a Laurel and Hardy museum. And one of my favorite stops is the beautiful and peaceful Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers.

The sun is going down. Just over the trees, and leaving enough light in the sky to show reds, yellows, oranges, and purples … pretty much all the colors I can name. The breeze is enough to slowly move cigar smoke just over the edge of the patio and let it hang under the trees.

All journeys should be planned this way.  I can’t wait to begin. Or maybe I already have.



Tentative RouteHere’s a post of my tentative route. Tentative. I love that word. Way back in another lifetime when I used to teach, I’d hand out a syllabus on the first day of class. It always said at the top TENTATIVE SCHEDULE. That one word gave me permission to, well … do whatever I wanted in spite of what was on the paper. This is my Plan “A” when I start. I may make it through the entire alphabet of plans before I actually put my kickstand down as I watch the sun set over the Pacific.

As much as I like to plan, I think I like the fact that it allows me to improvise even more. I’m sure I’ll steer clear of the interstates far more than this route implies.  Those red flags are generally things that interest me.  (Like the one in Spirit Lake, Iowa – the birthplace of new Indian Motorcycles)

I’ll be leaving from Georgia near the end of July and taking about 10-14 days to get up to the Oregon coast.

My plan right now is to ship my bike home on a truck, and ship me home on a plane…with a soft seat.

The reason I wanted you to know my TENTATIVE route was to ask if you had any suggestions or comments about it. I haven’t been down this road before. You may live alongside it. I’d like to know what is out there that will make this ride-of-a-lifetime, …well, …my ride of a lifetime.

Do you know about a long-lost roadside tourist trap? (I’ve always been a sucker for these)

Do you know some historical site that isn’t more than a day of travel off the TENTATIVE line?

Are you a local that would like to ride with me for a while? I could probably use the company.

Where is the perfect smoked brisket/salmon/elk/dead animal on a plate?

I can’t wait to find out what’s around the next turn.