Freedom.  Adventure.  Wanderlust.  A Way of Life.

life on the road . . .


Three Years on the Road – 80,000 Miles Around the World!

Thirty Days on the Road – Visiting 49 States in 10 Days or Less, Camping in Wyoming, & Sturgis!


Gary has a SPOT Personal Tracker so you can track his 48 Plus! adventure and his return travels while camping out, visiting Sturgis, and traveling home.  He will be posting daily journals on his blog Life is a Journey . . . that reports 'states visited' and 'miles traveled' during his 48 Plus! ride, and he will be Tweeting photos and other spontaneous updates throughout the 30 days from his @AmJourney handle using the #IBA48Plus and #BikerHaiku hashtags.


Stay tuned here for a ride report that details the time it took Gary to finish this 48 Plus!




Gary and his trike The Patriot will begin their epic adventure this year of 30 days on the road in Stafford, Virginia on Saturday, July 18.  Their first 10 days on the road will be a thrilling Iron Butt Association ride called 48 Plus! that involves visiting all 48 lower states plus Alaska in 10 days or less.  Legendary rider Ron Ayres set the record in 1998 when he visited the lower 48 states in 6 days and 5 minutes and all 49 states in 7 days and 20 minutes.  Gary's goal is to safely ride through all 49 states in 9 or 10 days.  Then after resting in Hyder, Alaska for a day, he plans on a relaxing ride back through British Columbia and Alberta, Canada and camping out for 5 or 6 days in Wyoming and Montana.  He will then meet up with some 1.2 million of his best biker friends August 3 – 9 at the 75th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Overall, Gary's route to Hyder will entail a planned 73 gas stops over 8,991 miles.  For those who like calculators, at 10 minutes (very optimistic) for each gas stop, that’s more than 12 hours pumping gas during the 8 – 10 day ride from Stafford, Virginia to Hyder, Alaska!  The 48 Plus! ride and the remainder of his trip returning from Hyder, camping in Wyoming and Montana, touring around Sturgis for a week, and then cruising home will add some 12,890 miles or more to The Patriot's odometer in less than 30 days.  In context – 12,890 miles is farther than half way around the earth at the equator; it is farther than traveling from the North Pole to the South Pole; and it is twice as far as traveling from Beijing, China across the Asian and European continents to Lisbon, Portugal. The Patriot and Gary's planned route are displayed to the left.

Their three-year epic journey is to travel some 80,000 miles around the world, visiting 50-plus states spanning 5 continents.  They began their odyssey in Seattle on September 9, 2014 – and had their first breakdown on September 9.  They plan on averaging about 100 miles per day.  Sadly, Ducati passed away on March 18, 2015 from a tragic fall while he, Mike, and Shannon were camping for the evening in Nicaragua.  Ducati had been their pet since his birth.  


What does S&M Boiler Works mean?  What is Sustainable Unaccountability?  How many fish have they caught?  And where are Mike and Shannon Ducati today?  Check out their website and blog at S&M Boiler Works.

S&M Boiler Works is the nom de guerre for a family of three.  Mike the husband with his black 2009 Suzuki DR 650 named The Black Donkey, Shannon the wife with her bright yellow and purple 1997 Suzuki DR 650 named Zippy, and their 10 year old, 12 pound Chihuahua named Ducati with his comfortable white carrier on Mike’s pillion.  Mike and Shannon have been best friends since high school and last hailed from Seattle, Washington, where Mike served as a refrigeration engineer for a blood bank and Shannon served as a project manager for a nonprofit global-health NGO.  

Epic Journeys.

These rides are not your typical weekend excursions to see brightly colored leaves on a warm sunny day or to grab a bite to eat a few miles up the road.  They are not even an 1800-mile road trip to the annual motorcycle mecca in Sturgis.  Epic journeys are extreme and hard core.  They are unusual and exciting, sometimes hazardous, sometimes death-defying, always difficult and challenging, and perhaps even heroic, historic, or legendary.  Adventurous bikers dream of these once in a lifetime journeys