In 2008 and 2009 I went on some fairly epic motorcycle trips. I would consider neither of them awesome successes. That being said I wouldn’t trade either for anything.

The first one was trying to make it up to the Arctic Ocean in Alaska. A bent wheel and an absurd schedule we set for ourselves made it an impossible goal. We bent the front wheel of the bike just a few km south of the Yukon border on route 37. We made it as far as Whitehorse in the Yukon before turning back and riding back on the ALCAN with front end bouncing the whole way home.

Last year’s trip to Labrador ended worse: with the bike in a ditch after a bad tank slapper. This time around I was going it alone. While the trip ended quite badly, I saw so much that I can’t even express it in words.

This year before the acquisition we took a trip down into the Smoky Mountains following the Blue Ridge Parkway. This one, thankfully, did not end badly and everything we left with came back in one piece unbent.

The transaction happened and I wound up forfeiting around 190 hours or so of vacation time. That’s time I can’t get back. The lesson I learned is don’t bank so much. You might get to use it. One of the sayings in the Church of the Subgenius is “the world ends tomorrow: you might die.” I didn’t take that heart enough. Few people complain about not working enough. With the new position I’m starting back at square zero.

Mix in the talk of relocation and uncertainty and it started to wear on me. I need a vacation. But 5 hours in the bank does not a vacation make. At this point I’m just looking to the future. By next year if I’m frugal with my time off I should be up a full two weeks.

Next year I will reattempt one of the trips! It gives me something to look forward to!

If I’m still out East: Labrador! better prepared this time though. The addition of the steering damper and more off-road experience should solve my off-road problem. Maybe this time I can go clockwise instead of counterclockwise.

If I’m in the West: Alaska! Ok, well I won’t be able to go all the way up to the Arctic Ocean in two weeks (and get back in time) but it’ll let us spend some more time in the places we wanted to last time anyway!

Something to look forward to makes all the difference in the world.