Choices: Highway 16 or 23?

I am fourteen days out from my upcoming mega-moto summer tour.  This particular outing will be my longest excursion yet; both in terms of time on the road AND distance traveled.  From beginning to end, by the time my venture is completed, I will have logged 25 days on the road.  On most days, I estimate I will spend about twelve (12) hours per day in the saddle.  I can’t wait!

When YOU makes plans for some kind of road trip, how do YOU prepare?

As you likely know, there are many ingredients involved with ANY kind of motorcycle road trip, particularly one this long.  A few things to contemplate involve lodging, safety, rider fatigue, potential detours, points of interest, extreme temperature, weather surprises (tornadoes, fire, hail), packing, bike maintenance, hydration, and so forth.  As I plan for such an outing, I have to confess that I enjoy the preparation part almost as much as the riding.  

In an earlier post, I referenced how I super enjoy going down to my local AAA Auto Club to pick up paper maps of the U.S. States and/or Canadian Provinces which I will travel through.  For this particular road trip, my journey will lead me through California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and back home.

These AAA paper maps are such a key component on ANY trip.  They are especially essential for helping me get to where I want to be, when I find myself in an area where there is no cell phone reception and thus no GPS help.  

The joy of my pre-trip planning involves scouting out the “road less traveled.” 

On this particular evening I find myself in a bit of a quandary.  Should I head South on Highway 16 through Theodore Roosevelt National Park (in North Dakota) or head West along Highway 23 into the Killdeer Mountains?  Both options promise beautiful scenery and potential buffalo sightings.  Both options are likely a winner. 

Hey North Dakotans, which route would YOU choose?

I just queried my Father-in-law.  Clarence now lives in Southern California close to my wife and I but he lived most of his life in North Dakota.  Who better to ask for input on this road choice.  His advice: AVOID all roads out of Williston.  They will likely be bogged down with oil trucks and Semi’s going to and fro from the Fracking Fields. 

Problem solved.  The best part is that Clarence has never driven on Highway 16.  So you know what THAT means don’t you?  This is yet another opportunity to explore something new.  Highway 16 it is!





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