If you have read my Alaskan Trip Journal, you know that I had planned to wander across the country on my motorcycle in the spring of 2005, meeting up with the rest of our group in Seattle for the Alaskan cruise.  Alas, I came down with a flu bug just before I was scheduled to leave, so the bike stayed home and I took a plane to Seattle.  So a few months later, when Eric and I began to plan our annual fall bike trip, we decided that West was the way to go.  Neither of us had ever seen the Black Hills of South Dakota, and we both wanted to spend some time in Colorado.  We headed west with those two goals in mind, and not much more.  We both liked the idea of having a loose schedule for this trip, and it worked just fine.

It had been 3 1/2 weeks since Hurricane Katrina had ravaged the Gulf Coast when I left home, and another hurricane, Rita, had just made landfall in about the same spot (near New Orleans).  Fuel prices were skyrocketing, and many gas stations on the coast were pumped dry.  So the availability of fuel was a concern on this trip.  So was the availability of hotel rooms, since tens of thousands of evacuees were scattered around the country.  We met hurricane survivors in hotels as far west as Kansas City.

We didn't know how many miles we would cover, where we would go, what we would see, or whom we would visit when we struck out.  All we knew for sure was that Eric needed to home by October 7th.  We had 14 days, 2 motorcycles, a couple of credit cards, and a case of wanderlust.  This is our story.