A map of Brian Brettschneider’s US-Canada Year-Round 21℃ – 22,400 km Road Trip
Alaska climate scientist Brian Brettschneider released three 21°C Road Trips, that promise to keep long-distance rubber tramp warriors comfortable as they travel around North America throughout the year.
One of the year long routes hugs the coasts, a second travels up the interior of the US, and a third route crosses into Canada and up to Alaska.
The ban excludes motorcycles, ATVs, quads, buggies, etc., from local roads and trails in the Parque Natural del Alto Pirineo, a national park in the Pyrenees and the largest in Catalonia, Spain.
The Pyrenees mountain range spread across Spain, France, and Andorra. The challenging twisty roads are known attract drivers and riders from around the world who seek challenging roads.
The regulations described in the ‘Action Plan for the declaration of a zone of special protection of acoustic quality in the Alt Pirineu Natural Park’ distinguishes motorcycles, mountain bikes, quads and buggies as ‘particularly noisy’ vehicles, without take into account their type approval or the level of decibels they emit.
The action plan includes the following:
Limit the passage of noisy vehicles to certain areas of the ZEPQA, taking into account the regulation of motorized traffic inside the park, restricting access to certain tracks either throughout the year or at certain periods.
Restrict motorized access to the entire network of forest trails and paved paths of the ZEPQA of Alt Àneu and Farrera, except the access roads to urban centres, by vehicles considered excessively noisy consisting of all types of vehicles such as motorcycles, quads, ATVs and buggies that are not electric, except those of registered residents, beneficiaries of livestock forest exploitation, public services and those duly authorized by the Alt Pirineo Natural Park and/or the respective local entities.
Promote the use of electric vehicles.
In addition, there is a specific point dedicated to ‘Carrying out awareness actions specifically aimed at drivers of vehicles that emit more noise: motorcycles, mountain bikes, quads and buggies.’
Crossing high-altitude deserts with snow-capped mountains rising on the horizon, meandering through gorges along vertical rock walls. And that for 766 miles! How can that not be attractive to any overland traveler? The largely unpaved road alternates with smooth asphalt and paved stretches that have turned into washboards and potholes, so you never know what to expect around the corner.
The Pamir Highway challenges you to stay alert every second.
You inflate your tires because it seems that ‘from now on the road is good’ and deflate them after half a mile on rock-protruding road surface that is killing your suspension and your back. Your mood swings from wondering what the heck you’re doing in this desolate part of the world seeing nobody and nothing for ages to marveling why you have never heard of this gorgeous route before.
Welcome to the Pamir Highway, locally dubbed the Roof of the World!
In every direction, fire-red sand fanned out across the land. Everything that wasn’t red seemed covered in it: the boab trees, the spinifex, the termite mounds stretching like tiny Towers of Babel towards the sky. The road itself shimmered like a sea of rubies. We were just hours from Alice Springs, Australia‘s de facto inland capital, and already alone on the Tanami Track.
As it happens, that’s part of the appeal.
The Tanami, as locals call it, is one of Australia’s greatest Outback adventure tracks. The 1,077km road bisects the namesake Tanami Desert – one of the most isolated and arid regions in the world – connecting the Red Centre and Kimberley region, the country’s rugged north-west frontier.
For many reasons, soft bags are the way to go. They cinch down with less stuff, so, as you’re rolling along, consuming food, you can make your bags smaller.
The lightweight traveler should always factor in bulk as well as weight. You may look at the cost of an ultra-light sleeping bag and think, “I can put $400 of gas in my bike and ride through most of Central America for that price.” The difference—and you’ll feel it after the first sandy road in Baja—is you’re getting a good-quality bag that weighs 19 ounces and packs down to the size of a football, instead of something that, although much cheaper, can weigh more than 5 pounds, and doesn’t even fit in your panniers when rolled up.
Some true diehards out there can ride for a month with a tarp and a match, but that’s not for this Girl Scout.
“The limited range of electric vehicles can put people off,” said Paul. “But Orkney, with its proliferation of rapid-charge points that take a battery from empty to full in 40 minutes, coupled with the vehicle’s 120-mile range on an island that is only 26 miles across, is the perfect place to try them.”
Over the next couple of days we explored the island’s landmarks, continuing our oscillation between time periods. We strolled along the beach at the Churchill Barriers – causeways created in the second world war to stop U-boats from entering Scapa Flow. Snorkellers were exploring the rusting wrecks that poked out from the waves.
While the campervan was plugged into a handy rapid-charge station in the island’s capital, Kirkwall, (I only charged it once in three days, and that was just to play it safe rather than necessity), we wandered around town, taking in its old Viking cathedral – built in 1137 – and Orkney Distillery, where the hydrogen is harnessed to produce gin with no emissions other than water.
In 1948, with dreams of fame and fortune, a young Australian mining engineer and his American wife set out to circumnavigate the world, by land and sea, in a single vehicle.
The vehicle in question was an amphibious jeep developed by the U.S. Army, which Carlin named Half-Safe. It was a mechanical cross-breed that was supposed to move with equal ease across land and water but in practice wasn’t much good for either.
Ben Carlin and his wife Elinore started their adventure from Montréal, sailing across the Atlantic Ocean to the Sahara Desert.
10 years later, upon returning to Montréal on May 12, 1958, Frederick Benjamin Carlin became the first person to circumnavigate the world in an amphibious vehicle.
The extraordinary adventure had covered 17,780 km (11,050 mi) by sea and 62,744 km (38,987 mi) by land, crossing three oceans and passing through 38 countries over five continents.
Anyone who grew up in the 1970’s in North America or Europe will know that van life is nothing new.
Months after meeting, Gay and Jack Reineck outfitted a VW van in London and set out on an adventure. Living in the van for the next 12 months, and 25,000 miles, they travelled through Europe, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, to India, and back.
Available from Rufus Guides, the couple have written about their adventure.
A travel diary, journey of discovery, and personal memoir, VAN LIVING 1971 is the story of two young designers beginning a life together.
Along the way they created an enduring love that would last for more than 50 years.
It wasn’t until the fourth moon landing, two years after Apollo 11, that NASA supplied an Apollo crew with the tools it needed to take real advantage of its presence amid the “magnificent desolation” of that forbidding, airless environment: A beefed-up lunar module capable of supporting three full days on the regolith. Redesigned backpacks that supplied air, water, and power for longer explorations. And the most transformative equipment of all, a spindly aluminum go-kart that folded like a business letter to fit inside the lander and weighed all of 78 pounds in the moon’s one-sixth gravity.
Its tires were made of wire mesh. Its seats looked like beach chairs. Its four electric motors together managed just one horsepower. Its floorboard was one-fiftieth of an inch thick, about the same as the slimmest wood veneers, and would snap under an astronaut’s weight on Earth. Yet the lunar rover—or, in NASA parlance, the lunar roving vehicle, or LRV—upended all expectations of what was possible in a brief visit to another world.
“They were looking at how could the astronauts get the most bang for the buck—in getting around, in picking things up, in exploring,” says Saverio “Sonny” Morea, who oversaw the project at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. “A car came up pretty fast.”
A couple of seconds passed before he added: “Though it’s not a car. It’s really a spacecraft.”
Please tread lightly, pack out your trash, and treat every person and location with respect.
Please do not bury waste or wipes – even those that are biodegradable. Always pack out bags, sanitary wipes, and feminine hygiene products to minimize impact on the environment and the spread of disease.
If you find any errors, have any tips, or see anything that might need improving, please let me know.