This is a story where I went to add 2 more states to my list and went to see a friend, then got rather lost. Traveling during a “pandemic” raised several questions “Where will I eat”, “do I need a mask” and “are hotel rooms even open in some states”. I had planned to just hunker down and wait this “Covid-19” thing out, but then when the Hawaii vacation I had booked got shut down due to “covid-19” I was beyond frustrated. I added a bunch of masks, hand sensitizer and sanitizing wipes to my kit and decided I could do this in a safe and responsible manner – If I kept my distance and washed my hands every chance I got.
The first Challenge – where to eat? Most dining areas were closed – I became adapt at quickly packing a picnic lunch from the gas station, and then trying to find a park bench in the shade to eat it at. This added to the overlanding challenge and let me to find some out of the way places I would not have found otherwise. I actually started to enjoy hunting for parks and having a relaxing lunch all by myself.
The next thing I noticed is some states / counties required masks and some didn’t. It was odd back then and not everyone wore a mask – so I really stood out. I decided to mask up, put up with the locals staring at me as I protected them and more importantly myself.
When I was plotting this course I saw there was a “Sturgis” Michigan and I thought to myself “yes” that will be my waypoint. After all how could you not stop at a Sturgis on a bike trip.
I met up with MotoMonkey AKA Death Magnet in Ohio and he decided he wanted to get out of the house and convinced me to extend my little trip and pick up a few more states (West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware).
MotoMonkey had came up with this route that would hit those states and put us on this crazy bridge / tunnel system called the Chesapeake bay bridge / tunnel. Who wouldn’t want to go under a bit of the Atlantic ocean and then over it. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is 17.6 miles long, with 2 tunnels that go under the water for 1 mile each (about 100′ down), ohhh and its 56 years old with 2,523 support trestles holding it up. This route would also ideally put us on the Maryland peninsula which we assumed would have some cool stuff going on. To do this little trek we had 4 high level waypoints, to make our way toward to make the trip I took a picture of what MotoMonkey had on his computer, so I could plot them into my GPS. Below is the picture – let me know if you see the potential error.
It turns out there are at least 2 Chesapeake Beach’s (in different states) and I programmed the wrong one into the GPS making the trip an authentic “Coddiwomple” Please watch the Video below based on my Garmin InReach data of the route that actually taken.
We got pretty lost and figured things out a little late – but it didn’t matter because it was beautiful weather and found some absolutely great roads.
Did I mention that I was still working during this trip, and we had to pull over so I could take important meetings. This often times translated into getting food from a drive through and sanitizing a park bench. Again we were not sure about the virus – so it was all out social distancing.
The trip took place in July of 2020, covering 3,100+ miles and 13 States: Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, & Indiana.
Its official 2020 was a sucky year and while I didn’t do the normal amount of miles I did at least get out and get some miles in – while attempting to stay as safe as possible. Since I didn’t get sick I can only assume all the hand sanitizer worked.
In 2021 I will planning another rambling trip to knock out
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- Rhode island
Until the virus situation gets under control I have no idea when I will pick off Hawaii and Alaska. However; until then be safe and ride.