Sept 2006 - Sept 2007
I was starting my RTT (Return To Texas) trip in September 2006 and thought this would be a good kick-off for my IBA's National Parks Tour (NPT). The Iron Butt Association (IBA) is an international organization dedicated to safe long-distance endurance motorcycle riding. To be a member, you have to complete one of their certified rides.
I started out going after the NPT Master Traveler, but before my year deadline was up, I managed to obtain stamps from the four corners to include even one from New Brunswick, Canada to qualify for the Silver Certificate.
NPT Master Traveler:
Requires one to visit at least 50 National Parks in at least 25 different states within one year.
NPT Master Traveler Silver:
Requires the same as above, but must include parks in the four corners -- to include Washington, California, Florida, and Maine.
NPT Master Traveler Gold:
Requires the same as a Master Traveler, plus Alaska for the NW corner.
More detailed information on the Iron Butt rules can be found here:
This Fleeter Log will be a summary of my 12 month NPT stamp collecting quest.
So, now armed with my Annual Park Pass, Passport book, and a basic outline of where to find these ink stamps, I set out on my odyssey.
My first stamp was from King's Mountain NMP in South Carolina.
(See Fleeter Log #39 http://fleeterlogs.blogspot.com/2006/09/39-npt-stamp-hunting-in-south-carolina.html )
My first battlefield was Chickamauga Battlefield in Georgia.
(See Fleeter Log #40 http://fleeterlogs.blogspot.com/2006/09/40-chickamouga-to-gadsden.html )
(See Fleeter Log #47 http://fleeterlogs.blogspot.com/2006/09/47-missions-of-san-antonio.html )
(See Fleeter Logs #51-54 http://fleeterlogs.blogspot.com/2006/10/51-fleeter-sputters-and-dies.html )
(See Fleeter Log #55 http://fleeterlogs.blogspot.com/2006/10/55-hells-half-acre-at-stones-river.html )
I had a wonderful ride in The Great Smoky Mountains!
(See Fleeter Log #56 http://fleeterlogs.blogspot.com/2006/10/56-great-smoky-mountains.html )
(See Fleeter Log #58 http://fleeterlogs.blogspot.com/2006/10/58-guilford-courthouse-nmp.html )
The most stamps found in one place. The Survey Lodge in Washington, DC WAS the home for many of the stamps representing various monuments in the DC .
The southernmost stamp collected was on a rainy day in the Florida Everglades.
(See Fleeter Log #62 http://fleeterlogs.blogspot.com/2007/03/62-rain-on-florida-turnpike.html )
First stamp collected by flagging down a Park Police officer of the Ozark National Scenic Waterways and asking him to open a locked campground office so I could access the stamp I had seen through a locked door. Nice fellow...he was glad to help me out.
(See Fleeter Log #69 http://fleeterlogs.blogspot.com/2007/04/69-riding-mo-ozarks.html )
(See Fleeter Log #89 http://fleeterlogs.blogspot.com/2007/07/2007-july-16-204-miles-pnw-trip-day-9.html )
Biggest disappointment: Not getting the Crater Lake stamp. I let time get away from me as I gazed into the deep blue water of the lake and the visitor center was closed by the time I arrived. (See Fleeter Log #91 http://fleeterlogs.blogspot.com/2007/07/91-crater-lake-in-oregon.html )
(See Fleeter Log #92 http://fleeterlogs.blogspot.com/2007/07/91-crater-lake-in-oregon.html )
And #93 http://fleeterlogs.blogspot.com/2007/09/93-zenia-california.html )
I didn't get very far south in California. If I had, the trip would have doubled in time and miles -- there's just that much that I would want to see in that direction. But checking the calendar, I reluctantly turned back eastward at Garberville, CA.
Making my way across the mountains from Garberville to Zenia was interesting to say the least. This route would more likely be tackled by motorcycles with names like GS, KLR, DRZ, or Vstrom with knobby tires. I was nervous about the road conditions, but the magic of the land made the trek more than worthwhile! (See Fleeter Log #93 http://fleeterlogs.blogspot.com/2007/09/93-zenia-california.html )
Lassen Volcanic National Park was worth the stop before leaving California.
I follow the road higher and higher into Lassen. Looking back to where I'd just been.
(See Fleeter Log #94 http://fleeterlogs.blogspot.com/2007/09/94-lassen-volcanic-np.html )
After collecting stamps as I zig zagged through Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming...I made it to Colorado.
(See Fleeter Log #98 http://fleeterlogs.blogspot.com/2007/09/98-rmnp-delay-in-greeley.html )
The Easternmost stamp was found in Canada on Campobello Island in New Brunswick. This was also the corner for my most northeasternmost point.
(See Fleeter Log #109 http://fleeterlogs.blogspot.com/2007/09/109-ne-corner-easternmost-point-usa.html )
These are the states that I collected stamps from -- also New Brunswick, Canada.
With all my stamps documented and organized, I submit them to the IBA for approval and certification.
Less than two months later, this arrives. Found lying in the mulch under the mailbox...soaking wet and folded up inside a rubber band! It arrived while we were at the Cape Fear Rally in North Carolina.
I very carefully peeled it open and laid out the contents to dry.
Here's the slightly crinkled certificate after it had dried.
The IBA heard what happened and sent another certificate. The replacement arrived safe and dry. Matter of fact the mail carrier hand delivered it to me with an apology about the first delivery.
The quest took me far and wide to locations I would otherwise not have found. It was a great year!
Butt it looks like I might have to do it again so I can do better with my timing at Crater Lake!
Fleeter and I earned the coveted license plate backer and membership into the Iron Butt Association! ...and had a blast doing it!