The USA Four Corners is the second longest-running, long distance riding tour that SCMA offers. In 1976 Joe Usatin came up with the idea to ride to each corner of the United States. George Keller, the first “route scout”, started out in 1977 but had repair delays due to hitting a coyote and was unable to test-ride the tour in 21 consecutive days. Board members Russ Trumbull and Ron and Dorothy Watkins also worked to plan the ride, with Russ Trumbull completing it in1979. The first USA Four Corners tour was offered in 1984 and chaired by Seth Johnson.
How did the 21-days become the maximum number of days required to qualify as a USA Four Corners Finisher? Joe Usatin ventured out as the first rider in 1976 along with his nephew. When they reached their 4th corner, their elapsed time for their journey was 21 days. The SCMA has used that as the standard ever since.
Later, a board member had the idea of issuing a challenge to ride the Four Corners in a True X pattern. In 2011 Chuck Gatecliff of Brighton MI and Barry Bullington of Neoga IL, decided to take up the challenge. Using Lebanon KS, geographic center of the contiguous US, they began at one corner and rode to Lebanon KS, then to another corner and back to Lebanon KS, then to a third corner and back to Lebanon, and finally to the 4th corner to complete a True X pattern across the continental USA. Although the distance almost doubles, it was decided to only allow an extra 5 days to complete the event. You have 26 days to complete the True X average distance of 11,000 miles.
Even though GPS now has “extreme corners” down to a finite science, the original destinations corners of Blaine, WA, Madawaska, ME, Key West, FL, and San Ysidro, CA are still used because they have travel accommodations such as gas stations, restaurants, and lodging.
The freedom of the ride is that you can begin at any corner and there is no fixed route to follow. You can do your own route at your own pace as long as you do all four corners in 21 days or less. You can take time at the beginning or the end of the ride to visit friends, relatives or see more of the United States.
USA Four Corners has proven to be a popular choice for riders from all over the North American continent and has drawn riders from Europe and Africa.
It is a challenging ride that will leave you with lasting memories!