The world famous Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake, Yukon is one of the things I have scribbled down on my life’s To Do List. One day I hope to stop on Alaska Highway’s mile 613 and spend a little time looking at all of the signs left by other travelers.
I have this dreamy idea of what it must be like to stroll amongst the signs, imagining all of the people who had been there before and left something behind. In my fantasy though, everyone is a motorcyclist covered in road dirt, bugs and wearing a happy but windburned face.
What sign would you put up?
I feel like it would have to be something personally meaningful to me; something that would be like leaving a little piece of myself behind. Looks like I’ll have plenty of time to ruminate on that.
I could fill a book with all of the places I’d like to go. Mostly because I want to go everywhere! Do you think if I put it down on paper or type as it were, that I stand more of a chance of making it happen?
I was completely enchanted by the mountains on our Euro trip in September 2010. Being there made you feel like you could ride for an eternity and never get bored. Wouldn’t you love to test that theory?
Ride a winding road with spectacular views on Austria’s highest mountain. I love the “motorcyclists welcome” attitude of so many alpine countries. The Grossglockner actually caters to motorcyclists by offering designated parking, lockers for stowing gear and even surface improvements to make riding safer. Yes, please!
The Col de l’Iseran is the highest paved mountain pass in the Alps. That is enough to pique my curiosity. At a little over 9,000 feet up at the road’s summit sits the lonely and beautiful stone Notre Dame l’Iseran chapel.
This pass crosses between the French and Italian border and rises to over 9,000 feet up. The Col Agnel was long considered to be one of the possible paths Hannibal used to cross the Alps. It’s swooping serpentine curves are calling me.
Few things can excite a motorcycle rider like a sign that reads “Winding Road Next 77 Miles“. Living here on the eastern end of Long Island I find it hard to believe that such signs exist out there in the world. Surely they are just the stuff of legend like the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot.
Route 12 in Idaho and Montana is one American road that can boast such claims. Following along the Lewis and Clark Trail through the Bitteroot Mountains of Montana and Idaho, Route 12 sweeps through the Lolo Pass and the Lolo National Forest. It wriggles on alongside the Lochsa and middle fork of the Clearwater Rivers. Where there are rivers, there are wiggly roads.
No traffic, no people. Just you on your motorcycle in the warm glow of the rising sun. There you are just quietly cruising along; left, right, left, right – racing no one but the river running along side you. Can’t you just picture it? I sure can. Put a tick in the “Someday” column for me.
Does anyone happen to know where the ‘Winding Road Next 77 Miles’ sign is located on the western end of route 12? I can’t seem to find it on Google maps. It would be a shame if I had to ride all the way out there just to find it. /sarcasm
In July of 2009 I posted a listing of 3 New York State rides that I would like to take on my motorcycle. I am slightly modifying one of those rides to make a goal for this year.
Last week while in Pennsylvania, our travels took us past a handful of Mail Pouch Tobacco barns. There were a few I was unable to get shots of as we zipped along the Turnpike. That left me feeling like I’d missed something. I want to go back and photograph them.
With the help of ohiobarns.org, I was able to pinpoint the barns that eluded me. I was also able to map a ton of West Virginia barns using the information on their site. West Virginia, motorcycle, barns, farm land… score! For me that is the making of a great ride.
I would like to string together some barn sites and make a long weekend ride through the great motorcycling state of West Virginia. At this point I don’t have anything more than just a dimly lit light bulb of an idea. But, with so many markers in great areas how can I go wrong?
Surely one doesn’t need a reason to go for a ride on their motorcycle but sometimes having a purpose can turn up the volume on the excitement level, make the journey more like a quest rather than an aimless ramble. Here are three New York State rides with a theme that I would like to take on my motorcycle:
Mail Pouch Tobacco Barns
From the first time that I saw a Mail Pouch Tobacco advertisement painted on the side of a barn in West Virginia a few years back, I found them incredibly charming. New York State is home to a good number of these wonderful slices of Americana. Planning a motorcycle route to photograph some of these barns seems like a great way to spend a weekend. When I think of a barn, I think of a farm. When I think of a farm, I think of rambling country roads and that’s just what I like.
An Around the World Ride
Two summers ago after a trip to Boldt Castle in Alexandria Bay, an idea was born. Tour the world without ever leaving the state of New York. The Empire state is home to cities such as Amsterdam, Vienna and Poland. Make a collection of photographs of the “Welcome to…” signs from each stop. Coordinating lunch stops or meals from the namesake city would only add to the experience. Eat to ride, ride to eat, international style!
New York’s Gentle Giants
My interest in Muffler Men statues is already well documented. Though they all come from the same basic original design, each Muffler Man, Big Indian and Halfwit that remains standing ever vigilant over the decades is indeed different. I’d love to see them all. My home state is a fine place to begin to grow my collection of photographs. Getting to each one by bike would make the journey even sweeter.
So how about it? Do you have any ideas for rides with a theme?