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28th Anniversary of Three Month Motorcycle Trip Called the Big One-Travel Blog

It's approaching midnight where I'm at and 28 years ago today, on June 20, 1987, my father and I had left Phoenix, Arizona on our motorcycles to begin a long talked about motorcycle trip called The Big One. A motorcycle trip that would last for 3 solid months, riding with no particular place to go, except home.

We traveled from coast-to-coast across the United States and crossed into Canada at Niagara Falls, hugging the western coast of Ontario, coming back into the U.S. at Sualt Ste. Marie, Michigan, continuing west towards the Pacific ocean. When we pulled back into Phoenix we had ridden over 12,000 miles together, not just as father and son, but as they said in the old Wild West, "Saddle Partners".

28 years ago tonight we had made our first of many camps at the Four-Corners area at a State Park campground.

We lived the motto: "Live to Ride, Ride to Live". My father is gone now and the greatest inheritance I have is the memories of that trip. For the next 3 months I will feel the wind in my face, smell the smoke of many campfires, have visions of the grandeur's of the United States, the beauty of Canada. I will hear my father's voice speaking to me through an original piece of wire that Alexander Graham Bell spoke through, at a Smithsonian.

He will bring to life the entire Battle of Gettysburg as we took the self guided tour, he was an authoritarian on the Civil War.

Together we would celebrate my 26th birthday sitting in a tent during a raging rain storm on southern shores of Lake Huron, the most memorable birthday I've ever had. 

Later, after standing in awe of Mount Rushmore, we would have a beer at the No. 10 Saloon before visiting Wild Bill Hickok's grave on Boot Hill.

He was more than my father, he was my personal history teacher, he was my Saddle Partner. It will be my 9th year that I will not have him to reminisce about the greatest 3 months of my life and with all his world travels, he said those were his too as they were not just a fulfillment of a dream, but of a promise made to me when he bought me a 50-cc Ducati mini-bike for my 9th birthday, saying that, one day, when I was old enough to ride a street bike we would take a long motorcycle trip together, a Big One. And we did, beginning 28 years ago today.


"Don't cry because its over, smile because it happened." ~Dr. Seuss.

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