I was born and raised in the Intermountain West of Utah. My family, with it's pioneer Mormon roots, settled the area back when Brigham Young dragged them all west in 1847. As a kid, we traveled the all over in our camper and truck (grgardner.livejournal.com/15054.html) and it was by my parents doing so that I was given the gift of wanderlust and the love of the road. There is one main North-South highway in the West that runs from the Mexican border to the Canadian border and travels the route that the early Mormon's used to colonize what was then the State of Deseret. It's US-89. It can almost be viewed as my family's "Route 66". My grandparents, my parents, and myself have all been born or raised or lived at one time within a short distance of US-89. Much of my family as well as my personal history takes place in towns along that road. I'm 47 years old, and I'm going to revisit some of those places on this trip, and, good Lord willing, write something about it -- and in the process, discover more about myself.
To plot this trip, I'll be using some antique highway maps that I've had in my collection for some time. US-89 does not really exist in many places anymore -- being replaced by the dreaded Interstate Highway. Much of it doesn't show up in my modern day Harley Road Atlas which is my bible on the road. To find the old road, I had to turn to old maps in my collection - from the days when they had service stations and "the man with the Texaco Star" who wiped your window, checked your tires and oil and gave out free maps. This one -- from a long ago and most likely vanished Texaco station in Levan, Utah is the main one. It dates from 1958.
In order to write about it I'll have this laptop and a new digital camera, but there is nothing like making hand written notes and sketches as well. To do that I bought a new journal. This isn't just any journal either. I found a wonderful craftsman at Seattle's Pike Place market last fall who makes leather bound journals with hand-made acid free paper. They feel so nice in one's hands that you can't help but write in them -- and they look remarkably like the journal Kevin Costner had in the movie "Dances With Wolves". I bought a personal one and have been using it from time to time, and thought as I got ready for this trip that I'd need one for the bike. I contacted the woman who makes them and had her make me a custom one that I'll cary in the tank bra of the Dyna. I can stop and jot down notes and observations, sketch out things, and use it to help my aging brain remember things. It will, along with what I post here, be the basis for the book.