The bad news is that this year I won’t be able to do a big long tour. I had hoped 2016 would be the year for a couple month long jaunt, but it’s not in the cards. I need to save up some money again to do that, and I wouldn’t be able to leave my job that long, especially in the middle of the summer. (Well, I can quit, but I don’t want to deal with the whole “figure out my life again” thing when I come back.)
But there is good news. This year I’ll have basically almost four weeks of paid vacation. There’s a lot I can do with that! I won’t do a month long tour, but maybe I can work out something that’s almost two weeks long! That’s the type of tour I’d like to do if I could.
But where to? I’d like to stay in the Northwest because of logistics, and because there’s so much to be explored. I would love to get up to BC and do the Gulf Islands and part of Vancouver Island. I’ve never been to the west side of Vancouver Island, the Pacific Time, and that’s a time commitment in itself. So that’s an option for a longer tour, something that would be great in September.
The other big option is the southwestern corner of Oregon, with is just referred to as Southern Oregon here. It’s the mountainous area south of Eugene, from the coast to the Cascades. It’s a part of the state I’ve spent little time in, besides driving through it on I-5. I’ve toured the coast through this area, and have hit up Crater Lake which is on the edge of it. But there’s lots more to this region. And it’s easy to get to and from, if I use the Amtrak stations in Eugene and/or Klamath Falls.
I’d also like to do a few smaller tours, mini tours if you will, things that only take 3 to 4 days. I need to get into the Cascades, and have been thinking about something around Gifford Pinchot National Forest in SW Washington. And I’d like to finally complete my ride of the Iron Horse Trail!
As for not specifically bike tour travelling, I’d like to get down to the Bay Area again, possibly late winter. A lot of this depends on how much they get socked with El Nino, as I don’t want to leave the drier NW for soggy
Also, I’m leaning on doing the Lake Pepin Three Speed Tour again in May. This would be my third year (and third in a row), so three seems like an appropriate number. 😉 I realize that I won’t be able to make it every single year, and didn’t know for sure if I would do it again so soon after last time. But time has passed, and the desire to go back out that way has become stronger.
In the more distant future, I would like to do a tour of the Northern Rockies again, something using bits of the Great Parks and Great Divide routes. Maybe 2017 will be the year for that? There is the possibility of getting a “sabbatical” from work at some point in the future, something up to two months off. The biggest problem is it has to happen in the “off season” which means winter. Yeah, I know, I could go to the Southern Hemisphere if I did that, but I’d probably head down to the Southwest instead. We’ll see, we’ll see…