For some time now I've been playing around with Garmin's Road Trip software to work out a potential route for this trip. Here's what I ended up with.
That's not to say that we have to stick to it, but I wanted to inform myself and get a feel for where we might want to go and how much time it might take. Also, since we've got the Jeep coming with us, we don't have the luxury of being able to squeeze a few bikes into whatever space is available on a ferry, so we've had to make reservations for the major ferries. Unfortunately this limits our flexibility a bit, but such is life. Small price to pay, in my opinion -- I'm glad to have James along on this trip, first because he's my friend, and second because having a support vehicle for the bikes is going to be fantastically convenient.
Also, this map is Mark-centric as it begins and ends at my house in Burlington. Dan lives in Quechee, VT, and Keith in Rockville, MD. (Keith's trip actually begins today as he sets off to Connecticut to visit family, then tomorrow he'll be heading up to Vermont.)
I guess I'll talk a little about preparation, in case anyone cares. I debated for quite a while whether to ride my XR650L on this trip or my V-Strom 650. I decided that the conditions on the Trans-Lab were enough of an unknown quantity that the XRL makes more sense. It's an easy bike to ride on dirt/gravel roads, even very loose ones. The Strom is much more of a handful, not being as well-suspended, not to mention a good 150lbs heavier. And I want to be able to enjoy the scenery on the Trans-Lab, not spend all 700 miles of dirt focusing solely on the road ahead. The Strom would be more fun once we get back to pavement in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, but the XRL is no slouch in the twisties either.
Dan, Keith, and I were all considering bringing spare tires on the trip (since we have the luxury of being able to put them in the Jeep), especially after reading Sakurama's RR in which he had to install nine plugs in his rear tire in a 150-mile stretch. But I think we've come to the conclusion that bringing a few pairs of spare tubes should be sufficient.
I'm bringing a small assortment of spare parts for the XRL, plus a good selection of tools should roadside repairs be necessary to any of the bikes or even the Jeep.