Ever since I first heard of the Iron Butt Association in the 90s, one of my life goals has been to earn the right to membership. To qualify for the IBA, you have to ride at least 1,000 miles in 24 hours or less. But it's not enough to claim you've done it; you must prove it. You have to provide the IBA verification staff with a detailed trip log, along with time- and date-stamped gas receipts and signed witness statements from the beginning and end of your ride. Only after they have certified this evidence do you get to call yourself a member of this exclusive club.
So after years of daydreaming and saying "someday," I finally resolved to do it.
This was not my longest ride, nor did I add any new states to my collection, but it was nonetheless a fun, scenic road trip and a much-needed mental health break. (All photographs are by me.)
I headed out late on Wednesday afternoon on a short repositioning leg up to Lake City, Florida, which would serve as the staging point for The Big Ride. After organizing the necessary paperwork, I went to bed early so that I would be well rested for the following day's ambitious itinerary.
I woke up at 5 a.m. and was on the road by 5:45. There was no time to dawdle, so I didn't stop to take any pictures on the Iron Butt segment of this journey, except for this one, to commemorate the moment: crossing the Texas state line about an hour before sunset.
The view looking east from the patio. Note the ancient volcanic cone with the letters "DC" (for Dell City) inscribed on the slope. I climbed to the top on Saturday, and the view of the town and surrounding landscape was marvelous. (It's a lot bigger than it looks from here.)
The spectacular monolith of El Capitan, the southernmost extent of the Guadalupe range, its pinnacle shrouded in the ever-present November storm clouds. Behind it, invisible in the mist, stands Guadalupe Peak, at 8,751 the highest natural elevation in Texas.
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