Zartusacan! Road Trip Update

posted in: Motorcycling, Travel | 10

When I introduced our road trip to you back in July I put a note at the bottom asking for suggestions for a name… well it’s been a long time coming due to lack of creativity on my part, but we finally have something thanks to a great friend who thought about it A LOT on our behalf!



Get it? Yes? No? Took me a while I have to admit… thankfully Mark, the creator in question, explained: Zoe & Allister’s road trip in the USA and CanadaI think that sums it up nicely, so consider it settled. Whenever I am talking about this huge road trip that I simply can’t stop bringing up in conversation (I’m sure you can’t blame me…), I’ll use #zartusacan so you all know what I’m on about. And while we’re away I’ll use it to tag photos and blog posts so you can keep up to take with our travels – if you’re only interested in posts about this you can use the zartusacan tag link to search this blog for all related posts.

Riding across Glencoe, Scotland

Oh and did you know it’s ONE HUNDRED days today until we fly out to Vancouver to start this thing? (Hence the “bonus” post for you here on Splodz Blogz today, outside my new four-days-a-week schedule.) I’ve been thinking about this particular trip for nearly a year already and it’s going to be here in no time, and while I don’t want to wish my life away as there is lots to be enjoyed in the next few weeks, I can’t wait to arrive in North America and get started.

I’m often asked how the planning is going, and it has definitely started in earnest. Our London to Vancouver return flights are booked along with accommodation for the first two nights in Canada, we’ve chosen a shipping agent and have been chatting to them about the bikes and all the paperwork that needs completing, we have travel insurance and bike insurance sorted, have got our Canada entry permissions approved and have applied for our EPA exemptions for the USA (so we can import the bikes). We both received a few things for Christmas that are on our kit wish lists but we do need to do a bit more shopping (I really need some nice but practical travel clothing – any suggestions on easy-wear-no-crease-quick-dry travel shirts and underwear?). The list of pre-departure must-dos is still long, but we are definitely getting there.

Riding my F650GS in Lincolnshire

The route is also coming along. We have been going through both of our travel bucket lists as well as all the suggestions you have been making to us of things we shouldn’t miss. We know we will be heading into the USA within just a few days of starting the trip, heading down the west coast through Washington, Oregon and California at least as far as Monteray but maybe as far as LA and San Diego, before winding our way back up slightly more inland via Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Alberta and British Colombia. We have three lists plotted on a map – absolute must-sees, maybes, and if there’s time’s – there must be hundreds of roads, beaches, mountains, sights, cities and towns, restaurants and more on there. North America is absolutely massive and we know we shan’t see it all, so our lists should help us make the most of the ten weeks we do have.

While we are putting a lot of effort into getting organised (and I have to thank LincsGeek so much for all the reading and checking he’s doing to make sure we have the right letters/forms/paperwork completed, it seems needlessly complicated and I am just letting him go through the legalese on my behalf!), we are also consciously making an effort to not over-plan. We shan’t decide the exact route or stopovers until we are there, it’ll all be part of the adventure. We were successful finding somewhere to stay every night while riding to Italy and back last summer, so I’m quite confident we’ll be fine – although every single road trip adventure book or blog I’ve read suggests that sleeping in a bus station at least once is some kind of compulsory element. I hope not. We’ll be taking a tent with us but will also make use of hotels and motels depending on where we are and what we’re doing (and the risk of bears!), and will just play things by ear as far as how far we ride each day and when we choose to take time off the bikes to enjoy other things such as walking and maybe some skiing, surfing, shopping, swimming, and lots of other things not necessarily beginning with s.

30 Days Wild - Glenshee

As you might be able to tell, I am incredibly excited about this pending experience and cannot wait for it to start. 100 days? It’s going to be here so fast! The idea of being away for more than a couple of weeks, having something more than just a holiday, is one that’s still a bit surreal and probably will be until we’re actually there, but I am really looking forward to something incredible.

Do keep your must-see and must-do suggestions coming, I’m sure we can squeeze more pins on that map, and if you have any useful titbits of advice you want to offer us get commenting below.


10 Responses

  1. Shybiker

    How exciting! And that’s a fine name for the trip. I’m sure you’ll have a blast. Researchers have learned that people enjoy the anticipation of a trip as much as the event itself so savor this!

  2. bigdavezz

    This is the post I’ve been waiting to read!….. looking forward to hearing more details and sharing in your excitement…. we follow you out fourteen days later – flying into LA. I’ve even got a little countdown on my desktop to flight time – currently showing 114 days, 3 hours & 36 minutes to take off…

  3. bigdavezz

    Hi Zoe, not yet, though when we met up with Tim and La-La at Motorcycle Live she said she was going to try and “swing it” so she led our group… I’m sure we’ll find out when we pay the balance in March. Are you going to post your MoSCoW list? (Must see’s, Should see’s, Could see’s and Would like to see’s)

    • Splodz

      Ah excellent. We had Jeff, he was brilliant, really relaxed and a great guide. Not sure if I’ll post the full list (it’s soooooo long!) but there will be more about some places for sure.

  4. Kezzie

    Ooooh, I’m so excited for you!!! Brilliant to be so well planned and I definitely think you are right about the anticipation-that’s half the fun. I remember going on my first music tour aged 12 to Italy, I was beyond excited and there was so much build up!!!!Xx

    • Splodz

      The build up is definitely part of the adventure! Just need to stop wishing my life away and making the most of my time at home between now and 1 May 🙂

  5. Gorillalady1

    Hi Zoe, in case you are not aware – from my vague memories of when I went there, there was an hour difference in the time zones in Utah depending where you were in the state. We almost fell foul of it when arranging to meet someone, luckily he asked where in Utah we were. Think it was tied into whether we were on Native American Land

    • Splodz

      Hey. Yes that is true, we came across that when on our Wild West tour a couple of summers ago. We knew when it changed one way but kept having to ask to see where it changed back – was quite disconcerting not actually knowing the time.

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