Original Trip Research
Here are some findings from my research within the book.General Statistics & Info
- Overall Distance: ~2,800 miles
- Average / Riding Day: ~235 miles / day
- 17 days total, 12 days of traveling, 5 days with friends in Bozeman & hiking
- 7 nights in motels/hotels, 5 nights camping, 4 nights (presumably) with the DeWeeses
- Post-trip time in San Francisco, and trip to return home, are unknown
- Highest elevation ~10,900 ft, Day 5, Beartooth Pass, WY (unmentioned - south of Red Lodge, MT), heading to Yellowstone
- Pirsig's bike on the trip was a 305cc 1964 Honda CB77 Superhawk
- The Sutherland's bike was a 600cc BMW R60/2
- Pirsig smokes cigarettes during the trip, and is referenced five times as well as in memories.
- There are 3 time zones across the trip - starting in Central, moving to Mountain, then Pacific.
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
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.
- Day 2, Ch 5: Hague, ND
- Day 3, Ch 6: Lemmon, SD
- Day 12, Ch 22: Missoula, MT
- Day 13, Ch 25: New Meadows, ID
- Day 14, Ch 26: Unity, OR
- Day 14, Ch 26: Dayville, OR
(80 miles from last)
- Day 14, Ch 26: Prineville Junction, OR
(104 miles from last)
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?
- Day 2, Chapt 5
- Day 4, Chapt 8
- Day 13, Chapt 25
- Day 15, Chapt 28
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.
- Day 2, Chapt 5
- Day 13, Chapt 24
- Day 14, Chapt 26
- 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.
|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.