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The Parks and Rec Cycling Tour 2012

What is the Parks and Rec Cycling Tour you ask, well it’s my next adventure and it’s going to be my biggest yet. At over 5000 miles of pedaling alone it will surpass my west coast/PCT adventure from 2007. It will be all cycling this go around, so no hiking unless we take a day off to explore. This time I will not be alone, as I’m teaming up with my good friend Mike Fusaro. Together we will be pedaling through at least seven states, one of which I have not been to, driving through three or four others, seeing over 12 National Parks and crossing the Rockies more times that I want to count.

I know I’m teasing you by not telling you where we’re going. Okay, here is the rough plan. Fly to Prudhoe Bay, AK on June 30th. Start pedaling through grizzly country to Fairbanks, where instead of heading east as most do we’re going west so we can go to Denali NP. Next up its Anchorage and then up to Tok, AK. Now we start SE to northern BC and the Cassiar Hwy route #37 but only after crossing through the Yukon. The Cassiar will take us to the Yellowhead Highway route #16, which leads to Prince George and points beyond.

From Prince George we continue east to Jasper NP, then south to Banff NP and Lake Louise. Continuing our southern heading like migrating birds we next hit the US/Canadian border some place in western Montana. We’ll make our way up and over the Rockies again as we ride through Glacier NP on the Road to the Sun. Heading south east once more we come to Yellowstone NP and just a day from there we’ll reach Teton NP.

South of here we have options but the rough thought is to head to Arches NP in Moab. Along the way we can stop in Dinosaur NM and the Colorado NM in Fruita or any other number of places in between. We could also head more due south from the Tetons and go through eastern Utah as well. We’ll see what happens when we get there.

Now that we’ll be in the southwest the tour focuses on the red rocks, arches, canyons and towers that make up the landscape. After Arches it’s Canyonlands, Bryce, Zion National Parks and finally the Grand Canyon. At this point we’ll see where we’re at for time, if we have it we’ll continue to the US/Mexico border just for good measure. This will be where our pedaling will stop and the driving will begin. We’ll rent a car and drive back to Seattle. Along the way we hope to stop at: Joshua Tree NP, the Salton Sea, Sequoia NF, Kings Canyon NP, Mono Lake, Yosemite NP, Lake Tahoe, Mt. Lassen and more?

I will be using the same cycling set up as I did in 2007 on my PCT trip. This time I’m hoping it will be lighter as Mike and I can share the load. I will have a gear list up soon (camp gear / bike gear), so check back or sign up for my newsletter. Journal entries will be really tough in AK and Canada due to the lack cell phone service and the high cost of data roaming so if you don’t want to keep checking back to see if I posted something the newsletter is your best bet. It will notify you when I do post anything. (It’s on the right of the screen just above this paragraph).

It will look like this minus the hiking gear.

Personally I’m really looking forward to seeing my first grizzly bears, wolves, caribou, musk ox?, and more on this trip. I also look forward to seeing the interior of both Alaska and Canada. The mountains should be amazing. I’ll be taking tons of pictures and video which will be available to see on my Flickr and YouTube accounts (when I find a computer to upload them). I have made a Facebook page for our trip, Parks and Rec Cycling Tour. Mike and I will also be carrying a Spot tracker. If you’re not familiar with Spot it’s a device that transmits one’s location via satellite, which can be view online by others. So look for a map on my homepage soon that you can follow our progress along the way. I will also be keeping a journal once again.

I will be leaving my job to do this trip, as they are unable to hold my position for me. As my good friend Jill said, “You just received the keys to your shackles 🙂 congrats!” To understand her meaning you must know Jill. She is a firm believer in living one’s life and that doesn’t mean just going to work M-F and maybe getting out on a weekend. For her it’s about really living and following your dreams. Since I am free to do whatever I want I plan to move to Colorado when I finish. So if you know anyone in Colorado who can help me get a job PLEASE let me know. The road signs have been pointing me towards Colorado for some time now and I’m finally going to listen. Getting there is easy, finding work might not be. Everyone knows it’s who you know when getting hired. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Mike and I are open to suggestions of things to see along our route, so if you have suggestions let’s hear them. Please feel free to ask any questions and we’ll do our best to answer them all.

NOTE THIS POST WILL CHANGE SO BE SURE TO CHECK BACK (I’ll change the date in the title so you know when I’ve updated it)

We plan to be back in Seattle during the last week of September. At that point Mike and I will relax and attempt to integrate back into society. Mike more than me as I’ll be moving to Colorado. My roots will be torn up on June 30th and hopefully planted in the high alpine desert landscape of a small mountain town in southwest Colorado.

The basic route plan:


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3 replies
  1. chris b
    chris b says:

    Hello, I saw a snippet of your plans while using Zite – good luck with your trip! I do have a few suggestions for you whilst you’re in the Canadian Rockies and Montana, if you’re interested? I’ve been riding/driving/hiking through there for 35-odd years, if you’re new to the 4 National Parks around the town of Banff and NW Montana?

    Your map is hard to zoom in on, but no matter – it looks like you’re planning to come south through Kootenay NP. I love Kootenay, but it’s remote (with moose, no musk ox), and that last 10 miles coming down into Radium Hot Springs will be a chore – very steep, very narrow roads. If it were me, I’d double back and ride through Yoho and take in Takkakaw Falls, Lake O’Hara, and Kicking Horse Falls – the roads are wider, and the ride down into Golden from Field is much prettier IMO than what’s in Kootenay. The ride down Hwy. 95 is fairly flat and rolling, but still quite pretty.

    Regarding your Montana transition, I recommend once you intersect with Hwy. 3, continue on Hwy. 3 across to Pincher Creek, then take Hwy. 6 south to Waterton Lakes and eventually cross into the US taking Hwy. 6 (which turns into Hwy. 17 in the US) to Hwy. 89, then south to the Going-to-the-Sun Road, heading west. Once you’ve reached the west end of Going-to-the-Sun, you have a choice of how to reach US Hwy. 2. Once on US Hwy. 2, you’d have your choice of heading to Kalispell for a bit or heading directly (via Hwy. 35) to Hwy. 83 (Swan Hwy.) through the Flathead National Forest. Eventually you’d fork with Hwy. 200 – then there’s several options to segue to heading to Yellowstone. On that note, do take care – the two northern approaches into Yellowstone will like be traveled by people in a big hurry, so take care. Look in the dictionary – synonyms for “lead foot” are Montanan and Albertan.

    Have fun!

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