I had my first travelling experience before I can even remember. I think I was two when my parents first took me on an adventure down to Oaxaca in southern Mexico. As I was growing up my parents and I spent many a winter hiking off the beaten track in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, through the Alki Swamp at the top of Kauai in Hawaii, and many trips up and down the western coast of Mexico spent soaking up the wonderful Mexican culture of the small coastal villages. Travel of the atypical adventure sort has been ingrained into me.

In May of 2001 a friend of mine invited me to go on a motorcycle tour of Western Europe. I, never having ridden a motorcycle, was a little hesitant at first, but after a couple days of contemplation I found myself getting more excited about it and agreed to go with him. What could be more adventurous than learning how to ride a bike over the next 3 months, then fly to europe and ride one in some foreign land of no speed limits, beautiful women, wonderful culture and scenery, and excellent food? Well actually, now I can think of lots of things more adventurous, but at the time it seemed like the adventure of a lifetime. At the ripe age of 21 I purchased a 1989 Suzuki Katana 750 and rode more than 7,000 miles over the next 3 months in prepartion for the trip. In the last hours before leaving for Europe my friend who originally invited me on the trip clued me in that he didn't have enough money to rent a bike. Well... I had already rented my bike, the 2nd fastest top speed bike in production, and was ready to go, hence we split ways and I embarked on more of an adventure than I had originally thought -- a solo five week motorcycle trip in european lands afar. I of course had a great time and when the five weeks on the bike was up I was sad to see the motorcycle leg of the trip finish. Afterwards I spent 3 more weeks in Europe on foot seeing the region a little differently than on two fast wheels.

It was quite a way to dive into the world of 2-wheeled machinery and of course I got hooked. Upon my return I started formulating a plan for my next motorcycle adventure. I did a couple shorter one to two week trips over the next year and half but failed to escape the trappings of my daily routine for an elongated adventure. I finally couldn't take it anymore and decided to do a trip of the U.S. in April of 2003. I'd never seen the country I lived in let alone some exotic land far afield. Why spend thousands of dollars to fly somewhere and rent a bike when I had a whole world of adventure right out my front door?

I contacted a number of friends and relatives and set out for two months and 14,000 miles of adventure. The following journal entries detail in depth (maybe a little too in depth!) all my experiences on the trip. At the bottom of most of the entries you will find a photo gallery of images taken during that day of travel.

John Meloy

Start reading about my trip

Click for map of trip

Trip days:
1 - Bellingham, WA to Maryhill Loops, WA, 300 miles
2 - Maryhill Loops, WA to Winnemucca, NV, 580 miles
3 - Winnemucca, NV to Provo, UT, 440 miles
4 - Provo, UT to Lee's Ferry, AZ, 491 miles
5 - Lee's Ferry, AZ to Phoenix, AZ, 355 miles
6 - Phoenix, AZ to Springerville, AZ, 379 miles
7 - Springerville, AZ to Phoenix, AZ, 520 miles
8-9 - Phoenix, AZ
10-12 - Phoenix, AZ to Las Cruces, NM, 479 miles
13 - Las Cruces, NM
14 - Las Cruces, NM to Crowell, TX, 543 miles
15 - Crowell, TX to Caddo Lake, TX, 434 miles
16 - Caddo Lake, TX to Wheatley, AR, 332 miles
17 - Wheatley, AR to Crossville, TN, 412 miles
18 - Crossville, TN to Winston-Salem, NC, 471 miles
19 - Winston-Salem, NC to Ocracoke Island, NC, 284 miles
20 - Ocracoke Island, NC to Chincoteague, MD, 316 miles
21 - Chincoteague, MD to Washington D.C., 176 miles
22 - Washington D.C.
23 - Washington D.C. to Jessup, MD and back, 71 miles
24 - Washington D.C.
25 - Washington D.C. to Methuen, MA, 543 miles
26 - Methuen, MA to Amesbury, MA, and back, 53 miles
27 - Methuen, MA to Boston, MA and back
28 - Methuen, MA
29 - Methuen, MA to Portland, ME, 101 miles
30 - Yarmouth, NS to Halifax, NS, 252 miles
31 - Halifax, NS to Lunenberg, NS and back, 127 miles
32 - Halifax, NS, 28 miles
33 - Halifax, NS to Port Hawkesbury, Cape Breton, 449 miles
34 - Port Hawkesbury, Cape Breton to Mactaquac, New Brunswick, 384 miles
35 - Mactaquac, New Brunswick to Glengarry Park, Ontario, 617 miles
36 - Glengarry Park, Ontario to Pinery Provincial Park, Ontario, 541 miles
37 - Pinery Provincial Park, Ontario to Evanston, IL, 312 miles
38 - Evanston, IL
39 - Evanston, IL to Palos Hills, IL, 51 miles
40 - Palos Hills, IL
41 - Palos Hills, IL to Mount Vernon, IA, 235 miles
42 - Mount Vernon, IA to Platte, SD, 491 miles
43 - Platte, SD to Shoshoni, WY, 586 miles
44 - Shoshoni, WY to Arco, ID, 365 miles
45 - Arco, ID to Orofino, ID, 365 miles
46 - Orofino, ID to Republic, WA, 440 miles
47 - Republic, WA to Wenatchee, WA, 177 miles
48 - Wenatchee, WA to Conconully State Park, WA, 367 miles
49 - Conconully State Park, WA to Bellingham, WA, 251 miles
50 - Bellingham, WA to Port Angeles, WA, 254 miles
51 - Port Angeles, WA to Bellingham, WA, 202 miles

©2003 John Meloy <jam@nas.com>