The calendar says it’s late fall and winter is on its way. Here in Colorado we don’t ever have to put our motorcycles down for the winter but there are limits to what we can do, nevertheless. For instance, riding up in the mountains for the next few months is pretty much out of the question, that is, unless you’re perhaps on three wheels like Dom Chang, the Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner, who takes his 1000cc V-Strom and sidecar pretty much anywhere he wants, whenever he wants to go there.
Another thing that is not in the game plan for the next several months at least is a road trip, and that’s what I’m feeling a little bummed about lately. Probably the soonest I might be heading out on a road trip would be in May, to a rally in New Mexico, and that’s six months away. Oh, big sigh.
So I’ve been doing some fantasizing. Thanks to a tip from Motorcycle Travel Examiner Patty Davis, I’ve been paging through a booklet put out by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration entitled “Come Closer: America’s Byways(http://byways.org/map_request.html),” which, in conjunction with the website byways.org, provides information on scenic byways all over the country. Here are a few that have me dreaming.
White Mountain Trail, in New Hampshire — The White Mountain Trail offers New England’s most rugged mountain scenery as it travels easily through three historic “notches” or mountain passes. Views abound of villages and unspoiled National Forest. Stops include views of Mount Washington and the grand Mount Washington Hotel, mountain cascades, wildlife, and the Appalachian Trail.
National Historic Road, stretching from Maryland to Illinois — The Historic National Road was the nation’s first federally funded interstate highway. It opened the nation to the west and became a corridor for the movement of goods and people. Today, visitors experience a physical timeline, including classic inns, tollhouses, diners, and motels that trace 200 years of American history.
Great Lakes Seaway Trail, in New York and Pennsylvania — The Great Lakes Seaway Trail byway parallels the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes in New York and Pennsylvania. This adventure includes Niagara Falls; 1000 Islands; 29 lighthouses; War of 1812, farm, and nature sites; welcoming harbors, world-class sportfishing, bridges/ferries to/from Canada, and the Seaway Trail Discovery Center.
Wilderness Road Heritage Highway, in Kentucky — The Wilderness Road Heritage Highway is an important historic route and was crucial in the West’s settlement and during the Civil War. Today places like Cumberland Gap National Historic Park preserve that history. The route also leads to Renfro Valley, the famous country music venue, as well as Berea, Kentucky’s crafts capitol.
Great River Road, from Minnesota to Louisiana — Throughout history, the Mississippi River influenced many lives: the Dakota, Chippewa, and Hopewell cultures; early French voyagers; African-Americans seeking freedom on the Underground Railroad; and many more. Through its charming river towns and metropolitan cities, historic sites and cultural artifacts, today’s Great River Road still links resources, people, and history.
OK, as you can see, I’ve been working my way west. Rather than do a really long piece, though, I’ll leave it at this. You can go explore the rest yourself. And dream. I’m doing a lot of dreaming.