Sep. 1st, 2006

Iron Butt

Sep. 1st, 2006 03:20 pm
jeneralist: (forest biker)
I know that I've mentioned the Iron Butt before: a motorcycle rally dedicated to the concept that what is worth doing, is worth overdoing. The Iron Butt Rally, held every two years, covers at a minimum 11,000 miles in 11 days. Those trying for a win, rather than a mere finish, must earn bonus points with side-trips: say, visiting Key West on a route from Denver to Maine.

I ain't gonna do that.

Then there's the Iron Butt Association. This larger group awards membership to those riders who have demonstrated, in a smaller way, the ideals behind the Iron Butt Rally. 11,000 miles in 11 days not your style? Well, what about the "50cc" ride: coast-to-coast in 50 hours. (You get more time if you do it through Canada, which is wider than the Jacksonville-San Diego route.)

No? How about the "Saddlesore 1000" -- 24 hours for the 1000 miles of your choice. Go whenever you want, pick the course that appeals to you, just document that you've done 1000 miles within 24 hours. Heck, you can even spread it over two calendar days if you want. If you trust yourself enough, you can even sleep.

I ain't gonna do that, neither.

For those who have already used up their lifetime allotment of voluntary sleep deprivation (generally in the realms of medical education, or for the more extreme, parenting) there is one option more: the Iron Butt Association National Parks Tour Master Traveler Award. For this, you simply need to visit 50 national parks in the US or Canada in at least 25 different states, provinces, or similar regions over the course of a year. At each park, get a dated stamp in your "passport" (actually a cute little promotional gimmick available for under $8 from, or at the parks themselves).

Living as close to NYC, Philly, and DC as I do, the 50 shouldn't be a problem. It's the 25 different regions that will be difficult.

The tally thus far:
Quebec Fort Lennox
New York Saratoga National Historic Site
Martin Van Buren National Historic Site
Kentucky Cumberland Gap National Historic Park
North Carolina Blue Ridge Parkway, Folk Art Center stop
Tennessee Great Smoky Mountains, Sugarlands visitor center
Georgia Chickamauga Battlefield
Alabama Russell Cave National Monument
Missouri Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (Gateway Arch)
Wilson's Creek National Battlefield
Kansas Brown v. Board of Education NHS
Nebraska Homestead National Monument of America
South Dakota Missouri National Recreational River
Minnesota Pipestone National Monument
Iowa Effigy Mounds National Monument
Indiana Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Or, 16 sites in 14 states/provinces. Looks like I have some more travelling to do.....

The fine print: I have a lot more stamps in my passport than those 16. For example, I've also got one from the visitor center in the North Carolina part of the Great Smokies. But scoring 2 stamps from the same park is a no-no. And at the Missouri River site in South Dakota, I also got stamps for the Lewis and Clark Trail and the Pony Express Trail. Again, scoring the same site multiple times is a no-no.)



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