Rick - Man ..... you're going to have to 'reprogram' yourself and relax while out touring. We experience enough 'rigidity' in our daily life/work schedule, so no need to carry that over while out on the road, enjoying the freedom that motorcycle touring offers!!
Drop the I gotta be "HERE"
at a specific "TIME"
mentality and go with what ever pace you want. See the country side ... smell the aromas that are offered up by the countryside you are currently riding through. If you see something that interests you, stop and check it out. The old saying I'll stop next time I'm through this way is just that - a saying and you never seem to get to go by that area again. If you don't stop then and there, you never will.
It's not all about the destination that makes for a memorable tour, but rather the 'journey' in getting there that is most likely going to stand out, years later.
As an example: During my tour down to NASSIR 2
this past summer, of my 29 days on the road, I had 2 dates that I had to keep. The 1st one was to hook up with Winger77 on Sept 11, at Snow Canyon SP and the 2nd was where we were both to meet with The Big Dog and family for a steak dinner, later that day(Thanks again, Dawson
) That meant that I had 11 days to get to Snow Canyon to meet up with someone I'd never met before. I would be riding through WA, OR, CA, NV, AZ and finally into southern Utah, to meet up with Dave. Although I had a route planned, I made several 'mid-course corrections', even backtracking and and heading west and north
, but still managed to keep to the basic course/route that I had planned. As it turned out, both Dave and I arrived a day early, so we got to enjoy an extra day of exploring the area and getting to know one another. The only time that accommodations were a bit tough to find, was as described above and one other time while on a 11 daytour of the Grand Tetons/Yellowstone/Glacier NPs
. We had started looking for a campsite in Yellowstonetoo late in the day(no accommodations of any type in the park)and had to ride 30 miles to a great spot, just outside Yellowstone. It turned out to be THE PERFECT SPOT for a 3 day base camp. Things go the way they do, for a reason.
I generally like to get an early start on the road(7-8:30) and am usually on the road for at least 8 hours, before I start looking to hold up for the night. Sometimes I'm out there for 12 hours, depending on the time of year and available daylight.
When I plan a tour, I do a lot of research!
When I research routes, I look for a route that offers at least 3 things. Scenery, lack of traffic, probability of gas/food/accommodations(whether hosteling, or camping) and that it takes me in the general direction I want to go. As a general rule, I try to avoid Interstates as much as possible, preferring the quieter, quaint 2 lane blacktop that takes you through small towns. Much more relaxed and usually much more scenic. I alsocheck out 'alternative routes', in case I want to deviate from my original 'planned route', which happens from time to time.
I use Google Maps quite a bit for route planning.When I am planning a route out west, I make prodigioususe of their "Terrain" button, in the upper right portionof the map. They have Topographical lines shown, which denotes elevations. The closer those lines are together, the steeper and usually more visually stunning the area is, thatthe road you're interested in, takes you through. In an area you know nothing about, there are plenty of members here eager to share their knowledge of any particular area. Just ask and they will answer.
In a word, don't sweat the 'small stuff'. I've never had the need to make any kind of reservations while touring(except for the campground at NASSIR 2), just get out and ride and above all enjoy yourselves and all that is around you. Don't be a 'clock watcher'