Updated: Apr 24, 2019
Fun fact - if you tell people you're planning a 12,000 mile motorcycle road trip, the most common response is "What?! Where are you going? Do you have a plan?"
Generally speaking, the answer is yes. We needed to prove to ourselves that it was physically possible to cover the distance required to see all the places and people we want to include while still spending workdays in locations with reliable internet (so Jon can work) and getting back to San Diego by the end of August. We are on version 4.5 of a spreadsheet that tallies up every location and riding stint that we have on an hourly & mileage basis from the beginning to the end of our trip.
So, yes, we have a plan. We also know that this is an adventure and that "the plan" could be out the window as soon as we get out the door. But for what it's worth, here's are plan for the trip right now:
On May 18, we are going to a concert in Hollywood. To kick things off in style, we are staying at a swanky hotel that Calina designed the mechanical systems for, then we get a lot less swanky and hoof it from Hollywood to Utah that Sunday. We'll be hanging out in Zion & Bryce Canyon area for the week, before heading to Texas. After Texas, we'll carry on through the South to Florida to visit with Jon's peeps in north Florida then carry on too see his brother in south Florida.
I should point out that when we started planning this trip, we realized that we would broadly be hitting all four "corners" of the continental US. We're not going to be too adamant about getting to the last possible mile, but starting in San Diego, then hitting the Florida Everglades a few weeks later counts as the first two "corners" in our books.
We'll hang out and visit (and work) during the week, then that weekend, turn north and head up the Florida coastline. Once we cross into Georgia, the plan is to head inland through Atlanta and get ourselves to the bottom of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We'll wind our way up the Parkway - which connects the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Shenandoah National Park along the ridge line of the Appalachian Mountains - and land in Washington DC. We'll hang out in DC for a few days then hop through New York*, Boston, and up to Maine (our 3rd "corner").
(*Jon's going to hang out in New York for a few days while Calina gets on a plane and heads to the ASHRAE Conference in Kansas City)
From Maine, we're hopping on a ferry (passports in hand) and cruising over to Nova Scotia to swing through Atlantic Canada and should make it to Charlottetown, PEI right around Canada Day (July 1). From Charlottetown, we're going to loop around up through eastern Canada to Ottawa. We'll hang out in Ottawa for a couple of days, then leave our bikes there while we fly to Wisconsin for a wedding and then fly back to pick them up. Once we're back on wheels, we'll carry on through Toronto and southern Ontario to cross back into the US at Detroit and head through Chicago, Iowa and the midwest to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. From there, we take a right up to Montana and Glacier National Park and then keep heading north into Alberta.
In Alberta, we turn left toward the mountains and ride through Banff and the Canadian Rockies to Vancouver and Victoria. In Victoria, we hop on another ferry to northern Washington state (our 4th & final "corner"), then start working our way down the Pacific Coast through Seattle, Portland, dodge inland to Bend, then back to the coast to ride through the Redwood National Forest and down to San Francisco. Once we're through San Francisco, we're on our home stretch down the golden coast through Big Sur and then - bob's-your-uncle - we're back home in San Diego in late August.
So "the plan" is just a quick little whirlwind motorcycle tour through two countries at an average of about 1000 miles per week.