More to come!

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series 2015: Alaska or Bust

I ran out of time and didn’t get to post the rest of the itinerary… alas.

But stick around! I’ll be posting pics and other goodies from my 11+ weeks on the road. To tide you over, here’s the whole route…



Total Miles: 17,530
Estimated Saddle Time: 368 hours
Estimated Return Date: Aug 10

Departure is in approximately 7 hours. Stop #1 is Bentonville, AR. See you on the other side!

Potential delay – alas. And more of the itinerary

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series 2015: Alaska or Bust

There’s a pretty good chance I’m already behind schedule, and I haven’t even left yet!

I got a recall notice for the bike, and it’s a fairly significant repair. The shop is able to squeeze me in on Tuesday morning, but it’ll probably take just long enough to make the rest of the day rather frantic if I try to get it all done for a Wednesday departure. Add in the weather we’ve been having down here in Houston, and I’m probably going to push my departure back to Thursday to avoid the forecasted thunderstorms on Wednesday. There looks to be the slightest of gaps in the storms on Thursday, so… we’ll see. I’m anxious to hit the road, but I’d rather not start a 3 month trip off dodging Zeus’ wrath.

Here’s the next few stages of the itinerary…

stage4Stage 4
Glacier National Park to Dawson City, Yukon, Canada
Camping near: Balfour, BC, Can; Jasper, ALB, Can; Charlie Lake, BC, Can; Watson Lake, YUK, Can; Carmacks, YUK, Can; Dawson City, YUK, Can.
Est. Miles: 2407
Est. Saddle Time: 54 hours


stage5Stage 5
Dawson City to Fairbanks, AK
Camping near: Tok, AK; Fairbanks, AK
Est. Miles: 502
Est. Saddle Time: 13 Hours


stage6Stage 6
Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay, AK
Camping near Coldfoot, AK
Grabbing a hotel (probably) in Prudhoe Bay. Options are a bit limited, and can’t make reservations more than 10 days in advance. I’ll figure it out in Fairbanks.
Est. Miles: 502
Est. Saddle Time: 12 hours

More later… time to work on packing and stuff.

2015 Summer Adventure – Partial Itinerary

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series 2015: Alaska or Bust

I’m just about done with the planning. Which is a good thing, because I leave in 10 days. All that’s left is finalizing a few things on the long, winding way home. For the most part, I’m traveling through areas I’ve already spent a good deal of time, so there are a few “highway blast” days mixed in there since I’m damn near into August already.There is some serious exploration going on in Idaho and Montana, however, so that’ll be fun to finalize.

Typically, I plan my trips in stages. It helps me keep track of things in my head. Most often, a stage ends with a multi-day stay somewhere. Relaxation, laundry, sight-seeing… it makes a bit of sense in my own head. Sometimes, though, it doesn’t work out that way. I’ll stay a couple nights with some friends in the middle of a travel stage. I can’t explain my thinking, it just works for me.

This particular trip, at almost 3 months and (so far) 17,000+ miles, was a challenge. Some stages are a couple hundred miles. Some are over 2000 miles. It’s not the distance that makes the stage. It’s the destination and the state of mind needed for that particular stretch of road.

What follows are the first few stages of what looks to be a 16 stage summer adventure. I’ve done the research and have campsites or other arrangements in place, but I’m always willing to hear an offer of friendly lodging 🙂

2015: Stage 1Stage 1
Houston to the Baltimore area.
Staying with friends in Bentonville, AR and Baltimore
Camping near Carthage, TN
Est. Miles: 1853
Est. Saddle Time: 30 hours



stage2Stage 2
Baltimore Area to Rochester, NY
Staying with family in Rochester
Est. Miles: 354
Est. Saddle Time: 6 hours






stage3Stage 3
Rochester to Glacier National Park
Staying with friends in Wixom, MI
Camping near Ontonagon, MI; Penn, ND; Fort Benton, MT; Glacier National Park
Est. Miles: 2263
Est. Saddle Time: 39 hours

From there, I shoot up into Canada. More on the next few stages in a day or so.


This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series 2015: Alaska or Bust

I picked up a Garmin Virb Elite for the trip this summer. Here’s the first test run: A time lapse of this morning’s commute. 30ish minutes squashed down to 55 seconds.

There are a bunch more overlays and graphics I need to explore, and I don’t have any music here at the office so there’s that, too. But all in all, right now I’m a happy camper!

As a side note, the link over on the right of the home page for my SPOT map is also active and working.

Summer 2015 – coming to a state near you?

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series 2015: Alaska or Bust

Things have been quiet over here in my little corner of the internet. I’ve been a busy little bee, and that’s still very much the case. But there’s just 22 days left. Twenty-two. Twenty. Two.

Holy crap, I have so much to do!

The semester isn’t just winding down, the end is veritably nigh. And just 4 days after I submit final grades, I’ll be throwing a leg over the bike and heading out on the trip I’ve been planning for a decade or more.

And it feels like I haven’t planned a damn thing. Here are the states I’ll probably be passing through:


And here are the Provinces:


Things may change a little bit in the next 22 days, but that’s basically it. I’m still adding in stops here and there, and I am still waiting to hear from a few folks for confirmation (Utah *cough* check your email!), and knowing me, by the end of the first week I’ll be miles and miles off route, but hey… a man’s got to have a plan, even if it’s more of a rough guideline than any kind of plan.

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll go into a little bit of detail about the route and the prep I’ve been doing for the last 4 months. It’s been hectic, to say the least. I’ve made some big changes to the bike and to my packing strategy. This is by far the longest trip I’ve ever been on, in both days and miles, and it’s… kind of scary sometimes, to be honest.

But at the end of the day, I’ve reached the point where I don’t want to WORK on the trip… I want to BE on the trip. I don’t want to READ about Alaska and the Yukon, I want to be there, bouncing along the Top of the World Highway – and dodging the trucks along the Dalton on the way to the Arctic Circle and Prudhoe Bay – and relaxing in a B&B outside Homer with my gal.

In short… I want to be gone.

I’ll try to be posting along the way… at the very least some of the pictures and video I capture along the way. So hang in there… 22 days.




Internet Classics

A couple of us were chatting the other day about “Internet Classics”and this popped into my head. I can’t decide if it’s offensive or not to the woman being interviewed, but I do know that it still makes me laugh far more than it should.

Quote of the Day

“The one who speaks (in the narrative) is not the one who writes (in real life) and the one who writes is not the one who is.”

Roland Barthes (as quoted by Paul John Eakin in his book Fictions in Autobiography: Studies in the Art of Self-Invention.)

No… really… I don’t care (or How to Totally Buy Into the Media Frenzy and Contrived Controversy and Generally Annoy the Crap out of Everyone Within Earshot In Less than 10 Days)

I’ve received 8 or 9 queries in the past few days that all go something like this…

“You’re a a Mac guy… Have you got the iPhone 6 yet?”
“omg you didn’t pre-order? It’s the best thing ever! So much better than that other phone that’s just like it!”
“You’re not getting the new iPhone, are you? It’s just like that other phone that’s so much better”
“Which should I get, phone A or phone B?”

I don’t know why folks give a crap about what phone I have, or why they think my opinion on such things actually matters, but allow me to address all the inquiries in one snarky post.

Yes, I have Apple products, but I’m not a “Mac Guy.” For what I wanted to do on a day-to-day basis, Apple products made the most sense for me. I also, however, have a PC on a desk behind me that I built myself for gaming, because Apple doesn’t meet that particular need of mine very well.

No, I didn’t pre-order the iPhone 6. I’m not even going to get the iPhone 6.

Because my iPhone 5 works just fine, that’s why. Why would I spend that kind of money to replace a phone that does everything I need it to do? I’m a teacher. I have better things to do with the little bit of surplus cash I have, thank you very much. Like buy beer. And pizza. And bacon. Well, hell… now I’m hungry.

Will you please stop bashing iPhone. And you over there… stop bashing those Android phones. Holy crap, you drive me crazy. It’s just a phone. You make this far more complicated and controversial than it really is.

I have no idea which you should get. My phone works great, so I haven’t done any research on any phone in the last two years. And I don’t plan on doing any research on any phone until the phone I have no longer does what I need and/or want it to do.

No, I don’t have time to do your research for you. Do your own damn research.

Holy moley you are persistent. Fine. Here’s some general advice. On individual slips of paper, write down the make and model of every phone that is causing you to lose sleep. Now, put those 2 slips of paper into a shoebox (because you’re just making a choice between Samsung and Apple, aren’t you? Can you even name another phone? No? How very telling). Put the lid on the shoebox. Shake the crap out of the shoebox. Close your eyes. Take the lid off the shoebox. Reach in and pull out one of the 2 slips of paper. There. You just decided which phone to buy.

Yes, really. Because when you’re talking about the top-of-the-line models from Samsung, Apple, LG, HTC, etc., they all do the same damn thing and you’ll never use whatever phone you get to its full capacity, anyway. You’ll text, and you’ll post to Facebook, and you’ll take pictures, and you’ll check email, and you’ll listen to music, and you’ll play videos, and you’ll play games. And you can do all of that on any of the big-name phones out there. At the end of the day, the basis of your decision is not going to be which phone performs which function best. Your biggest consideration is going to be which phone do you want your friends to see you with, and perhaps whatever media-contrived pseudo-political statement you imagine you are making. And that’s fine. But you don’t need my advice, or anyone else’s advice for that matter, to figure that out. Pick one at random. For the first 6 months you’ll love whichever one you pick, and then you’ll spend the next 6 months bitching about it because you’ve heard about what “the next big thing” is going to be able to do.

And in 12 months, you’re going to ask me the same silly questions and I’ll be able to point to this post because the only things that will have changed are the model numbers.