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Hey all!

I’ve always wanted to do the four corners of the U.S. tour. Now that I’m retired and have a 2015 wing, it’s on for next spring! But I don’t want to spend countless hours droning down some interstate, I don’t care about getting completion swag and accolades, I really want to see and experience the country. I’ve got all the time in the world, a reasonable budget, and full support of my SO.

I’ll be starting in Madawaska, over to Blaine, down to San Ysidro, across to Key West and up to home, West Bath Maine. I’ll be camping when I feel like it, and staying in a hotel when I want a hot shower and a soft bed.

I’m looking for routes, side trips, sights to see, things not to be missed, areas to be avoided Etc. Also tips on absolute essential items to bring that may not be obvious when setting out. I’m pretty familiar with the west coast, but all else is pretty much terra incognita.

I’d also like to meet up with some of you along the way, do some rides, make new friends and create memories for when I’m in my dotage. I plan to document the trip and publish my travels and adventures here on the board for the enjoyment of all.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!
Mark
 

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Wingrider15,


Enjoy your trip doing the 4 corners ride. I'm sure you will get a lot of info from long distance riders here that have done something like you're planning. I like the way you going to do it too.....nice and easy. I never liked those trips where you had to be at a certain place by a certain time or date. If I like a place or a "can't miss" site, I always wanted enough time to explore it. They way you are planning, you'll have the ability to do that.



You're going to have a great time! Enjoy it.
 

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If you don’t get the information you seek here, or wish to get additional, try going to the iron butt forums and ask around there in regards to sights and off the path roads. As far as what to bring, you’ll get a lot of varied answers. For ME, if I’m doing that many miles and taking many side roads, I would bring in addition to cash, any medications, vitamins etc ID, phone:
Plug into light air compressor, tire plug kit, slime, T handle and small tool kit, breaker bar for rear wheel removal and appropriate socket (19mm?), micro jump starter,proper clothing conducive to weather changes, rain gear, road atlas in case gps dies, list of potential dealers that you may need, air pressure gauge, written info or road ID for emergency names, numbers blood type, medicine allergies etc, spare light bulbs, fuses, duct tape, zip ties, camera, notebook, small cooler with water if you have the room, spare key( hidden ). Other may add more or think this is overkill. I’d rather err on side of caution and try to enjoy my trip with min suprizes. Things can and do happen. Please update us and document with stories and pics here. Have fun. I’m right now jealous...
 

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Excellent suggestions Barry! I’m compiling a checklist and a few of these I hadn’t thought of... Thanks!
 
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I did a bit of comparing this ride and a similar ride for when my wife retires later this year as the 'real' retirement ride to do in 2020. I did my personal retirement ride last year - 48 States in less than 10 days.

The actual SCMA Four Corners (4C) ride certification is essentially >6400 miles (not including to/from home), 21 days (or less) to go to four unique spots on the map.

The Iron Butt Association's National Parks Tour is a minimum 25 States, minimum 50 locations out of over 400 choices of parks, historical locations, etc. -- in one year. I mean, the idea was so fantastic that it was the basis of the 2015 Iron Butt Rally. The NPT Silver version simulates the 4C ride by requiring locations to be grabbed in WA, ME, CA & FL.

Another IBA member provided a dead-on assessment of the NPT: "I did two other NPT rides that were each broken down into 3 multi-day (about 5-10 days each) mini vacations to meet the 25-State / 50 Park requirement. Doing that was like riding a rally but without severe time constraints and being able to get plenty of sleep. I think the NPT rides are the best certs that the IBA does."

Plenty of options to see & do different things along the way, and some thoughts about your planning process here: https://kwthom.blogspot.com/p/tour-of-lifetime-planning.html


EDIT: Additional information: http://www.ironbutt.com/themerides/npt/

The genesis of this ride - great story: https://www.ironbutt.org/higdon/thequest.htm
 

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I found something very interesting at a garage sale recently. It is a road atlas from the 1950s. That is pre-interstate highway. Now I know many of those roads have changed (re: Route 66), but I think I am going to try and utilize this for some of my next trips, even if the destination is the same as many I frequently re-visit.


This might be interesting if you do not have a timeline to follow.


My wife and I are allergic to interstate highways, so we always use US Highways and/or state routes. It can be somewhat depressing (due to towns forgotten by time) or exhilarating (due to towns forgotten by time). That is how you see the real America.
 

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I found something very interesting at a garage sale recently. It is a road atlas from the 1950s. That is pre-interstate highway. Now I know many of those roads have changed (re: Route 66), but I think I am going to try and utilize this for some of my next trips, even if the destination is the same as many I frequently re-visit.


This might be interesting if you do not have a timeline to follow.


My wife and I are allergic to interstate highways, so we always use US Highways and/or state routes. It can be somewhat depressing (due to towns forgotten by time) or exhilarating (due to towns forgotten by time). That is how you see the real America.


I found this, my Dad was a truck driver early 60's for Dr Ross Dog Food (dog gone good woof), I remember going to Las Vegas and Phoenix from LA on two lane highway


http://www.mappery.com/map-of/Pre-Interstate-US-Highway-System-Map
 

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I'm also care free and fancy free and I've thought about this myself. I was thinking that it would be better to head south first (warmer) and get across to Cali before it gets too hot. Alternatively, leave Maine in August, follow your route and get to Key West and stop and wait for weather to clear in Maine.

Speaking of heat, I saw you used to hail from Phoenix but you really should think about air flow management. Better windshield, air wings, etc. Might even think about a cooling vest of some type.

I thought like you. Some camping, some hotels. I just sold a tent trailer with eyes on a hard sider. I do have a cargo trailer and could bring a tent (I can get one from the shoe store in Freeport) instead. But I keep going back and forth about just using cheap motels.

I've switched to performance/wicking type undergarments for anything more than an hour saddle time. I'm pretty much an ATGATT rider and even added an air bag vest this year.
 

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Trebor1978 and rtbmrgl that map and atlas are priceless! I love maps and now I think I have a reason to become a Garage Saler.
 

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Trebor1978 and rtbmrgl that map and atlas are priceless! I love maps and now I think I have a reason to become a Garage Saler.

I love maps, but like books they're a dying breed. Maybe analog will make a come back, records did.
 
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For a long trip, my suggestion would be start with a trailer. My personal choice is a Bushtec, both hitch and trailer. There are numerous others that would serve nicely, but I prefer the Bushtec. You will have room for camping supplies, tools and clothes for the weather changes you will encounter. Every so often, you can mail a box back home with the little trinkets and gifts you pick up.
 

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Don't forget to pack some protection especially if you are going to be doing some camping. Too many nuts out there nowadays!
 

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Don't forget to pack some protection especially if you are going to be doing some camping. Too many nuts out there nowadays!
Yeah sunscreen is always good to carry with you. :agree:
 

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Yeah sunscreen is always good to carry with you. :agree:
THINK HE MEANS SUNSCREEN WITH "LEAD" IN IT ! :surprise::wink2::laugh:
 

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Also check out app sceinic routes (or roads ) and gps's you thru great roads used by another rider i was with at darkside rte in pa couple weeks ago and remember …… your "never" lost as long as ya got gas ! Enjoy!
 
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Uncle John, there are two things you never leave the house without carrying: the American Express card is the other one:)
I gave up carrying an AmEx card - too rich for my blood! :mrgreen:

Visa - it's everywhere you want to be, according to the commercial...


:lol: :lol:
 

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Believe me guys, I’m scribbling notes and following the links you provide. Jeez there’s a lot to consider! A far as “protection” I’m surrounded by anti-gun states, and I don’t think I'd do well in a prison environment. But since they have stiff penalties, the criminals won’t have them either, right? :rolleyes:
 
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