Soon we’ll be sharing more on The Great Race 2014, which is a 2,100 mile adventure in antique cars from Maine to Florida. There are three Spirit of Stahls’ teams participating this year and we’re all very busy preparing for this fun yet exhausting endurance event. However, I recently learned that a long time member of the GroupeSTAHL Board of Directors is about to take off on a long distance journey of quite another caliber.
I’ve known Paul Falcone for a very long time–in addition to being a member of our board for decades, our daughters used to be in Indian Princesses together. A CPA by trade, Paul runs a well-respected accounting firm but has quite an adventurous spirit for an accountant. An experienced sailor, he has participated in the Port Huron to Mackinac Race (AKA the Bells Beer Bayview Mackinac Race), many times, including one time “double handed,” which means he completed the race on a boat with just one other sailor.
But this week, he plans to take off on a 6,000 mile motorcycle trip from Michigan to Alaska! Paul has been riding motorcycles since 1979, and he and his wife have made many long distance trips, including a 3,500 mile jaunt to Nova Scotia on a Harley, five trips to Sturgis, North Dakota and a few rides to Colorado. 6,000 miles is another animal altogether however, especially when 2,000 of those miles are dirt roads, some made of crushed seashells. Yes, he’s going to be riding through Canada. Paul chose to ride through Canada for several reasons, but mainly because it’s more rural and because he doesn’t like expressways. There are some stretches where there are no gas stations for 240 miles (he can go about 320 miles on a fill-up), so he is taking an extra gallon of gas on the bike, as well as an extra tire. He’s even rented a satellite phone, since there will also be areas with no cell reception. He jokingly told me he wants to be able to call his wife when he’s about to be attacked by a bear. Yes, he will be
going through bear country.
When I asked Paul what inspired him to do this ride, he just shrugged and said, “I’ve just always wanted to ride a bike to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.” He estimates the trip will take about 17 days. He plans to ship the bike back from Fairbanks and fly home. One thing Paul is really looking forward to about the trip is that it will allow him to experience the Summer Solstice (June 21) when he is up in the Arctic Circle. He won’t quite be to Prudhoe Bay yet, but he will be in a northern area where he will experience the “midnight sun” or basically 24 hours of daylight. I can’t wait to hear all about his adventure when he returns. Stay safe on the road friend. Watch out for bears! But I know you are well prepared. Drop a line from the road if you can.