Saturday, February 28, 2009

Let the Madness Begin!

Ok, so the Iron Butt Association isn't only about how far and how fast.   There's also a Master Traveler pin to be had that represents having traveled to at least 50 national parks in at least 25 states/provinces in less than a year.  Ok, so that's a measure of how far, how fast, but you're missing the point.  This one actually encourages stopping to smell the flowers.  Ok, it *allows* for smellage. There are some wonderful stories of Travelers before me and the attempts to balance the thrill of the race, the desire to best a friend and the discovery of what you might actually gain if you stop to take in the sites.

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a tad competitive.  I also have a short attention span.   I'm hoping that between these two chemically treatable traits, I can successfully fill my book with enough colorful cancellation stamps to join the ranks of the insane and become a member of the Iron Butt Association.  There's also the Saddle Sore 1k, which will give me another shot at membership this year, but that one's not planned yet, so we'll just have to see...

So, to kick off my commitment, I stopped by a National Site to pick up my Passport To Your National Parks book to make it official.  I intend on becoming a Master Traveler.  There still remains the question of whether I'll go above and beyond for the MT Silver, but that can be decided along the way.  MT Silver includes parks in Maine, Florida, Washington and California.  There's also the MT Gold, but you have to go above a certain parallel in Alaska and find a national landmark and I'm just not as competitive as I am cold-averse.

There happened to be a 1997 Intruder in the parking lot at the Visitor's Center.  I got to chat with the owner while I made my purchase and he pointed me to the stamping station.  It was too cold to ride today, though, so I'll go back for the stamp (and maybe the tour) when the weather warms up and I can do it on two wheels.