Tuesday 22 August 2023

USA 2025 - Detailed route planning going well

I established a 3100 mile high level route from Coney Island to Huntington Beach a few months ago. So far, I have chopped up the first 1860 miles into chunks spanning 59 days. That route to Walsenburg crosses 10 states, namely New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Colorado. There's 47,000ft of climbing to be done so far and I see Walsenburg as the final stop before I run across the San Juan mountains (part of the Rocky mountain range).

It's been a reasonably straightforward route so far. The only real difficulty has been plotting a route through the maze of roads west of St Louis in Missouri. It's not just a case of following the optimum route. I have to factor in whether the terrain is suitable for a motorhome. In many cases, that would not have been the case if I'd chosen the quickest route through this part of Missouri. Being in resonably close proximity to the support team in the motorhome is very important for our safety. Sections of the route where motorhome access isn't possible have been kept to a bare minimum. For example, I'll be spending a bit of time on parts of the Katy Trail in Missouri. This is a 240 mile route which will give me an opportunity to get away from the traffic. The longest unsupported section I'll be running there is 18 miles.

I think it will take this weekend to finish the remaining 1140 or so miles through the San Juan/Rocky mountains, Monument Valley, Death Valley then on to the finish line at Huntington Beach. In terms of states that's Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California. That's 66,000ft of climbing over the remaining 31 days.

The route through Death Valley will be quite straightforward. However, the plan and schedule in place to support it will take quite a few months to establish. I'll almost be treating this section as an event in its own right. I'll be in peak physical condition when I enter the park. I must have a plan in place that also takes into account the safety of the support team.   

Watch this space next week for details of the final route across the USA.