Well, I didn't get there ... yet.
On May 11, I set out to visit family in British Columbia Canada.
That is the province between the states of Washington and Alaska.
I do not blame the motorcycle, because when this outfit has any trouble,
the problem is always the old fart at the helm. Nothing wrong happened,
but the weather was too difficult for me to handle.
I rode north from Sarasota, turned west, angled northwest through Oklahoma,
(you don't need to ride Oklahoma's long panhandle; it smells of bovine urine)
and had a fine ride to the town of Springer in northeast New Mexico.
I can report that the Brown Hotel in Springer NM is a fine place to stay.
For under $50, I got a comfortable room and a very fine breakfast.
Then I went west on NM-21 to Cimmaron, then more west on US-64. The scenery was terrific, and the weather presented lots and lots of variety. There was plenty of wind, along with a mixture of sunshine, cloud, and rain. When the road climbed into the foothills, the temperature fell, so I stopped to put on another layer, and was snowed on briefly!
But the crosswinds were the most ominous feature of the weather. The closer I got to Arizona, the worse I found the crosswinds. Eventually, I reached the end of US-64, just west of the NM-AZ border, right near the Four Corners, where AZ, NM, CO, and UT all meet.
At this moment, the monument at that spot has been torn down, and there is just a hole in the ground, guarded by a tall fence that a gent from New York climbed. He reported there is nothing to see, and not much construction happening.
In all, I rode about 16 miles in the state of Arizona. There were sudden fierce crosswinds that challenged my strength severely. I was able to keep my heading, but the suddenness of the gusts convinced me that, for me, the tour was no longer safe enough to attempt.
Reluctantly, I turned for home. I adopted a new purpose, to see the scenery of New Mexico, because I had to cross the state diagonally to get to I-20 and a swift route to Florida. This was a complete success, because New Mexico presents lots of vertical and colorful cliffs, buttes, berms, slashes, and wrinkles of all varieties. Everywhere I looked, chunky rocks and crags were tempting me to interpret them as shapes, generally faces like New Hampshire's (now fallen) Old Man of the Mountain. I seemed to see the faces of Statler and Waldorf, the old balcony-dwellers of The Muppet Show, looking back at me.
I visited Albuquerque and made a left toin in honor of Bugs Bunny, saw Roswell but no aliens, and rode through Carlsbad above ground all the way. Exiting NM, I saw the ghost town of Orla, TX, where you can move right in to whatever sort of derelict building takes your fancy.
I rode 623 miles of I-20 across Texas, then explored some parts of Louisiana that I won't visit again, then took familiar I-10, US-27, US-98, and I-75 to home. I was away from home for 148-and-a-half hours, and rode 4517 miles. My longest one-day ride was 956 miles, so no Iron Butt for me, but if I find a tin butterfly, I will buy it and wear it proudly.
I generally got 50 MPG, heavily laden, going 75 MPH true. When I needed to cover 60 miles of ground on 40 miles of fuel, I went slowly in top gear, and reached gas with some to spare.
My Wee-Strom, named Colorado, functioned flawlessly all the way, burning about 12 ounces of oil on the entire voyage. The odometer now says 54530 miles.
I will find another way to British Columbia, to see my descendants and my lovely daughter-in-law, but I won't ride there until summer is here and I can choose where to go north.