Road Trip of a Lifetime

If you could take a road trip of a lifetime, what would it be and where would you go? Interesting question, no? Especially if your dream was to circumnavigate the world; not a road trip then, more like a sea trial. But, mine IS a road trip, a dream likely to be unfulfilled as it would take too long and I’d not live to see the end of it.

Mine would be by bicycle. You are probably assuming I’m a long-distance touring aficionado who routinely does long-distance bicycling. Nope. I’ve not ever bicycle-toured more than a couple of days and although I’ve camped plenty of times, I’m not the best camper material. That said, I’ve had this dream of circumnavigating each state (well, maybe not Alaska or Hawaii). Yep, perimeter ride the whole United States, or at least the lower 48. Why you ask? Well, why not?

Believe it or not, perimeter riding is a thing as are north-to-south and east-to-west rides. Check out the Perimeter Bicycling Association’s rides, for example. Some states would be relatively easy; Delaware and Rhode Island are certainly doable in a week or less. Some states would take weeks if not a month or more (here’s looking at you Texas and Montana). That said, it’s a dream.

So what do you do with an unrealistic dream? Stop dreaming it? I don’t think so; I think you modify it. I KNOW it’s impossible to drop everything and take off on a perimeter ride of all the states. At least right now, for me, it is. Therefore, a shift is necessary, especially a shift that takes into account limited biking time, limited time off, and my distaste for day in and day out tent camping. Maps to the rescue! While I can’t bike the perimeter of most states, I can certainly virtually walk them (I could also virtually ride them with a bicycle trainer or an exercise bike, but I don’t have one that works well currently and no space to set up a trainer that wouldn’t endanger curious kittens). I can even add in Hawaii and Alaska!

To date, I’m in Hawaii walking around the farthest most Hawaiian islands. I’ve already circumnavigated Northwestern Hawaiian Island and Midway Island. I’m currently traveling around Little North Island. I figured that Hawaii was much nicer this time of year than Alaska even if I’m only traveling it virtually.

What about you? What big road trip have you ever dreamed of doing? Can you find a way to make your dreams come true even if they look impossible at first glance?

Map of the Hawaiian Islands by the U.S. Geological Survey
Credit: U.S. Geological Survey
Department of the Interior/USGS
U.S. Geological Survey

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