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34 Days Through the Western United States and Canada
34 Days Through the Western United States and Canada
13,000 Miles Beyond Incredible
Published by Helmetdance
07-20-2006
Contents
Introduction

A Note from the Editor:

The best things in life are often a product of two stories. There’s the pure pleasure and enjoyment of a life-changing experience, but there’s usually a good deal of preparation and anticipation before we actually make it to the big events. Consider for a moment what goes into the making of an epic road journal: the planning, the anticipation, the hard work, getting everything to gel before undertaking the first of many miles via two wheels. Yet, the journal doesn’t write itself. The photos don’t leap directly from scenic vista to online hosting service. No, the epic journeys require epic endeavors on several levels.

In this case, there’s something even more remarkable going on. In 2004, Mark (better known as Helmetdance on the Pashnit forum) completed a once-in-a-lifetime motorcycle journey over 30 days across the United States, which he shared here as one of the most popular adventure stories ever submitted via the Pashnit forum. And yet, for Mark, even the epic journey could not be a final destination. There were too many sights that could not remain once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Too many places that beckoned again, and more places still filed in the would’ve-should’ve-could’ve cabinet.

A year passed, another year of planning, anticipation and preparing. In 2005 Mark sought to perfect some of the experiences of the previous year, and raise the bar for epic road trips that he had set for himself. You’ll see that Mark did exactly what he set out to do. You’ll understand when you immerse yourself in Mark’s journey why, in the last 12 months, it’s been another year of planning, preparation and anticipation as he worked to assemble this amazing journal of an adventure “beyond incredible”. Our patience in waiting for the fruits of Mark’s work to ripen is rewarded beyond the expectations laid down by his previous journal.

Congratulations, Mark, and many, many thanks for sharing this amazing piece of moto-journalism with your friends and colleagues around the Pashnit world.
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  #1  
By Chocoholic on 07-21-2006, 09:20 PM
Re: 34 Days Through the Western United States and Canada

great story and trip...thanks for sharing it with us. Give me more chill wanting to go cross country......
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  #2  
By G8ESCAP on 07-22-2006, 06:48 AM
Re: 34 Days Through the Western United States and Canada

What a great job you did putting all this together Mark, and I'm only on page 12 so far! Has to be the finest post on the forum. Well worth the wait! Makes me want to get on my bike and go, if only it wasn't going to be 110 degrees here today!
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  #3  
By goldwinghen3 on 07-23-2006, 04:58 PM
Re: 34 Days Through the Western United States and Canada

THAT was one incredible ride...Your pictures are fabulous !!!! it took me 6 hours to read and look at your trip....You should publish this with some one...That has got to be the most amazing picture story around...I can't imagine how long it took you to publish this on here...How did you remember all of the names of the pictures and you amaze me that your spelling wasso good.......I am going to read it again when I have more time,,,I loved it !!! Isn't the Western U.S. GORGEOUS ??!!!!!!!!.......If you are ever in California again...look me up.....Thanx for the wonderful trip !!!!!....Henry
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  #4  
By Helmetdance on 07-24-2006, 03:19 PM
Re: 34 Days Through the Western United States and Canada

Fenny - That's great that you have been inspired to do some long-distance touring by reading my story. Even if you don't do that right away, you are lucky to live in the land of the best motorcycle roads in the world.

Dale - Thanks for the kind words. Still working some bugs out of it with Gary's help, but its nice to have it up on the board where the Pashnit gang can finally read it.

Henry - Thanks for the compliments. My intention is to eventually condense this down into a book. I didn't keep track of the hours, but there were many all-day as well as all-night sessions. There are a lot of hours wrapped up in this piece. Remember the names? If only I could do that, the amount of work would have been a fraction. I identified the names from maps, info on the internet, google earth, and lots and lots of internet searching. Tagging the pics with names required a whole lotta searching.
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  #5  
By JimmieS on 07-24-2006, 07:55 PM
Re: 34 Days Through the Western United States and Canada

Mark,

Truly a spectacular way to spend 30 + days and nights. You have seen the best of the best with the best of the best out there, and I have to give huge Kudos to you for the execution of this most amazing trip, and the all out perfect photo essay to accompany it. I can't imagine what it was like for you to take on such a huge ride, and still be able to communicate your daily excitement a year later. Well done. Well done indeed.

As I mentioned on another forum to you my wife and I just completed our 30 day circumnavigation of the US, and I am just beginning to put that story together to share here on Pashnit. I'm humbled by your style and class. Next time your in Ca. you had best remember to include me in your ride plans along with DaleC and Dorian - (man am I irritated with those two for not letting me in on the time they spent with you....)

Great job!
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  #6  
By gpickren on 07-25-2006, 09:57 AM
Re: 34 Days Through the Western United States and Canada

Fabulous ride pics and commentary, Mark. We live in So. Cal and as soon as we are able my wife and I will ride most of your route. Omitting the Kansas and eastern Colorado part I think.

We have been unable to travel for a long time do to caring for her 94 year old father, but when his race is finished we will plan to go. Thanks for the inspiration.
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  #7  
By Michael Bishop on 08-06-2006, 07:14 AM
Re: 34 Days Through the Western United States and Canada

Mark you did a great job giving a us a taste of your experience. I have been waiting for this from the time I read you was doing the trip.
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  #8  
By harryvbr on 08-13-2006, 10:40 AM
Re: 34 Days Through the Western United States and Canada

Great trip! I enjoyed the beautifull pictures. I was so lucky in 2002 to make almost the same trip by Goldwing. That Goldwing I could rent at Everett Motorsports.
Every now and than I look at the pictures I took.

Harry Vanbruggen
the Netherlands
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  #9  
By bangladave on 08-13-2006, 11:04 AM
Clapping2 Re: 34 Days Through the Western United States and Canada

Mark, GREAT POST I have followed Pashnit for that last couple of years and your story is truly a great one. I have been looking at some of the same areas to ride through one day soon. We would be heading there from Minnesota so we need some extended time to do it. Keep following you dreams.

Dave
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