Original Trip Research

General Statistics & Info
States Traveled:
  1. Minnesota
  2. North Dakota
  3. South Dakota
  4. Montana
  5. Wyoming
  6. Idaho
  7. Oregon
  8. California
Gas Stops:
Few gas stops are referenced. I estimate maximum usable range of the Honda at 140 or 150 miles, which may be optimistic. He fills up three consecutive times on Day 14 at shorter intervals. They travel 349 miles that day, the longest of the trip.
  1. Day 2, Ch 5: Hague, ND
  2. Day 3, Ch 6: Lemmon, SD
  3. Day 12, Ch 22: Missoula, MT
  4. Day 13, Ch 25: New Meadows, ID
  5. Day 14, Ch 26: Unity, OR
  6. Day 14, Ch 26: Dayville, OR
    (80 miles from last)
  7. Day 14, Ch 26: Prineville Junction, OR
    (104 miles from last)
Oil Changes:
For some reason the frequent oil changes described in the book attracted my attention. I estimate he performed one every 700 miles or so. He seemed to do them very quickly in parking lots or alleys. Soon I realized he was just dumping the oil on the ground and putting in fresh oil. I guess that's what they did in 1968?
  1. Day 2, Chapt 5
  2. Day 4, Chapt 8
  3. Day 13, Chapt 25
  4. Day 15, Chapt 28
Malteds:
Another trend I noticed throughout the book is the author's preference for chocolate malted milk shakes (referred to only as "malteds" in the book). Yum. Normally ordered at diners with lunch.
  1. Day 2, Chapt 5
  2. Day 13, Chapt 24
  3. Day 14, Chapt 26
  4. Day 14, Chapt 26 (2nd of the day)

Pirsig's Route Summary

As best as I can tell from the information in the book, this is the route and schedule of what occurred.
I believe this site to be the most accurate representation of the actual trip that can be found on the web.

Click on the day to view detailed information about that day's route.

Show Detailed Information (lodging, meals, etc): 
Day July 1968 Start Finish Miles Sleep Breakfast Lunch Dinner Chapters TZ Track
Day 1 Monday, July 8 Minneapolis, MN Oakes, ND 294 mi Hotel [unknown] unspecified stop in Oakes, ND 1, 2, 3 C GPX
Day 2 Tuesday, July 9 Oakes, ND Lemmon, SD 274 mi Camp restaurant in Ellendale, ND hamburgers and malteds at an A & W place in Mobridge steaks at camp 4, 5 C/M GPX
Day 3 Wednesday, July 10 Lemmon, SD Miles City, MT 206 mi Hotel bacon and eggs and bread at camp restaurant in Bowman, ND or Baker, MT unknown, probably in Miles City, MT 6, 7 M GPX
Day 4 Thursday, July 11 Miles City, MT Laurel, MT 171 mi Hotel [unknown] (late start in Miles City) steaks for lunch in Miles City, MT late lunch of snacks in random town, dinner unknown 8, 9, 10 M GPX
Day 5 Friday, July 12 Laurel, MT Gardiner, MT 165 mi Hotel eggs and hot cakes and coffee, restaurant in Laurel, MT hot beef sandwiches in Cooke City, MT restaurant in Gardiner, MT 11, 12 M GPX
Day 6 Saturday, July 13 Gardiner, MT Bozeman, MT 77 mi DeWeese hot cakes and coffee, unspecified location glass-and-chrome restaurant in Bozemant, MT brook trout and glasses of Bay county Chablis at DeWeese's 13, 14 M GPX
Days 7-11 Sunday - Thursday Bozeman, MT Bozeman, MT N/A DeWeese - - - 15 - 21 M N/A
Day 12 Friday, July 19 Bozeman, MT Lolo Pass, MT/ID 243 mi Camp [unknown] (probably at DeWeese's or in Bozeman) restaurant with steak and coffee in Anaconda, MT pizza and milk at restaurant at Lolo Pass 22, 23 M GPX
Day 13 Saturday, July 20 Lolo Pass Brownlee Camp 296 mi Camp eggs, hot cakes, sausages, milk and orange juice at lodge malteds in restaurant in Grangeville, ID supper in Cambridge, ID 24, 25 M GPX
Day 14 Sunday, July 21 Brownlee Camp Bend, OR 349 mi Camp [unknown] malted milks in Prairie City and Dayville, OR supper in a modern restaurant at Bend, OR 26, 27 M/P GPX
Day 15 Monday, July 22 Bend, OR Grant's Pass, OR 264 mi Hotel ham and eggs for breakfast at LaPine, OR hamburgers at a roadhouse near Klamath Lake [unknown] (probably in Grant's Pass) 28 P GPX
Day 16 Tuesday, July 23 Grant's Pass, OR Fortuna, CA 184 mi Hotel waffles, syrup and sausages at restaurant in Grant's Pass restaurant in Crescent City, CA chili and beans and drink coffee at diner in Arcata, CA 29, 30 P GPX
Day 17 Wednesday, July 24 Fortuna, CA San Francisco, CA 291 mi unknown breakfast in Weott, CA crowded restaurant in coastal town (Fort Bragg, CA?) [unknown] 31, 32 P GPX

Download Full Contiguous Route, Single Track
Download Full Route, Separate Daily Tracks

All references listed are from:
Pirsig, Robert M.. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

Information here was put together largely from close study of the location references in the book, followed by some logic and deduction, and lastly some gaps are filled in by research done by other people that can be found on the web. I use that as a last resort because in most of those cases there is no data to back up their assertions, and I've found a few of them to be incorrect.