Coast-to-Coast-to-Coast Trip - Suggestions Needed - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-06-2009, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Coast-to-Coast-to-Coast Trip - Suggestions Needed

I need some help from this diverse group of folks.

I am planning a mid-life crisis trip for this Spring. I will be doing a coast-to-coast and back loop departing from Wilmington, NC. I have laid out a tentative route based on info that I've been able to glean from various sources (big thumbs up to www.motorcycleroads.us).

My hope is that folks from the various areas through which I will pass will look over my proposed route and either bless it or offer other ideas of better roads to take. Keep in mind that I only have 16 days, so I have already come to terms with the fact that there are millions of cool spots along that way that I will have to pass without seeing.

My original plans was to string together secondary roads for the entire loop. That quickly proved to be impossible if I wanted to actually see any actual sites along the way. I opted for a compromise wherein I will superslab it between destination locations and then meander through those areas. The main areas have turned out to be:

1. Colorado
2. Southern Utah
3. Northern California
4. Washington
5. Yellowstone
6. Sturgis/Badlands

There will be a few side trips in other areas, but unless someone makes a strong case for changing my main route, I will spend most of my time in the above areas.

Attached is .zip file of a Garmin MapSource file with my route. For those that can't read the .gdb file, I've also included a spreadsheet containing a table of the tentative route.

Thanks to any of you that are able to offer suggestions. If possible, I'd like to try to meet up with some of you along the way as well.
Attached Files
File Type: zip Trip Planning.zip (389.1 KB, 258 views)

Chris in Oneonta, NY
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>>>> states on a bike <<<<
>>>> East Coast done <<<<
>>>>> Westward HO! <<<<<
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-06-2009, 05:20 PM
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If you are doing Washington, make sure you do the Cascades highway from Rockport to Winthrope, one of the most scenic rides in North America. Its closed in winter, but a fantastic ride.

http://maps.yahoo.com/#mvt=m&lat=48....=winthrop%20wa

Not sure how much time you have, but lower BC and AB are also outstanding and very uncrowded. You could go up from Winthrop to BC, Hope-Merritt, Kelowna and then Yellowstone.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sadd...e=UTF8&t=h&z=6

Or forget that and take PCH from Cannon Beach OR to as far as you want to go in N CA.

BC might not fit with the rest of your route. But for uncrowded great roads can't be beaten.

Machog
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-06-2009, 05:29 PM
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Hey good luck with that trip . Im heading down from Victoria doing the 101 to the redwood forrest and over to reno and up to yellowstone park and through montana and up into the Alberta Badlands.. and back over to my island in the sun (Vancouver Island)

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-06-2009, 08:35 PM
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just got back from the arizona, vegas, utah area.....as far as utah is concerned, based on your time frame...go to Zion national park....absolutely fantastic!!! i give it 4 stars....thought it was nicer than the grand canyon....not too much else in that part of utah, worth mentioning....yellowstonw, and sturgis are great, spend some time in arizona....look up SLIDE ROCK, just outside of sedona...very nice...i'm in roanoke Va....wish i was going with you...should be a blast.P.S.....monument valley was cool to
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-06-2009, 09:26 PM
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Question

Do you have tenative dates for this ride?
I will be departing AZ in May and heading for Chicago...


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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-07-2009, 05:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the suggestions so far. I can already see that I'm going to have to make some tough choices between so many great options.

amir_zwara, my plan has been to depart in late May or early June. A lot depends on the weather around that time. I want to wait until things are a bit cleared out in the Rockies and so forth. If we have a temperate winter, then I will probably leave on the early side. I might wait until mid-June if it looks like that will make for a better ride through the higher elevations. It would be cool to hook up for part of the way, though, so let's stay in touch as it gets closer.

tsunamichop007, sounds like you need another road trip. Pack your bags around late May.

Machog, no fair. You're not supposed to temp me with a whole new area. I looked it over on the map last night and that looks like a great ride. I'll probably have to pass on the Canada parts, but I need to see how I can rework things to include Cascade Highway. I had not planned to go further north than Ranier, but I had already planned to contact you directly for hot spots in WA since I see you're in Redmond. I'll shoot you a PM soon with a little more detail.

xprovince, between you and Machog, it's a little tough to keep from being jealous. It sounds like you guys have some first rate riding available pretty much right outside of your front door. I love the Southeast US, but I can't wait to see what you're neck of the woods is like someday.

Thanks again all. Keep it coming.

Chris in Oneonta, NY
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-07-2009, 11:59 AM
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DB, don't forget to look me up if you have time, maybe we can hook up for a ride. There are about 1/2 doz V's in the Northwet, that get together on an infrequent basis-the Viagra's (VersysIntoAdventuresandGreatRidesAnytime)!!

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-07-2009, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Will do, Machog. Thanks.

Chris in Oneonta, NY
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>>>> states on a bike <<<<
>>>> East Coast done <<<<
>>>>> Westward HO! <<<<<
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-07-2009, 06:46 PM
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I'll jump in here with a few of my favorites I have biked. I like to get around.

Colorado. Anything is good but 14 into the Rockies from Ft. Collins is swell. And I adored the Leadville area.Downtown Leadville has a great Irish Pub.


Mt. Evans you can ride yer bike nearly to the summit of a Fourteener.





Around Rapid City dont miss Vanocker Canyon, Nemo Road, and The Needles Hy. But not during bike week. Too crowded.

Wyoming Hy 14A



And The Chief Joe and The Beartooth Hy into Montana.



Montana has Going To The Sun Highway in Glacier National Park.



And Looking Glass Highway south of St. Mary.



Watch out for bears, beef cows, and horses on Looking Glass.



Yer this close to Idaho might as well find 77 miles of bliss on Hy 12.



But the best I have found is the New Denver area of British Columbia. Top shelf roads and few cops. And a few free ferry rides.



A link to some great,great B.C. roads. Top shelf riding in the Kootenays.

http://www.valhallainn.biz/motorcycle_tours.html

Have fun. There's a lot to see out west.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-07-2009, 06:55 PM
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ah yes beautiful BC. I love this province ... if anyone has the chance to get up to Vancouver Island please dont forget your bike we have some great roads and scenery..

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-07-2009, 07:03 PM
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Speak in whispers. Be very quiet. Don't let the secret of the Kootenays leave this room...
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-07-2009, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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siyeh, excellent input. Thanks.

BTW, I already have several of those roads on my tentative route. After leaving Yellowstone my plan is to run up to Red Lodge on 212 and then double back to take the Chief Joe into Cody. From Cody I'm planning to take 14 over to Ranchester. I'm hoping that's the same as 14A that you referred to. I'll need to check it on a map.

I have all of the roads around Rapid City that you mentioned. BTW, when is bike week? I want to make sure and stay as far away from that as possible. If I stick to my current plan, I will be coming through that area in mid- to late-June. If that puts me near bike week, then I will change my itinerary.

I'm sure wishing I could get some BC into my route, but I don't see that happening this trip. Just too far from here to there to hit everything. Washington State is going to be enough of a stretch.

Thanks again to everyone that has posted. This is very helpful so if anyone has any more info, even if it's just to confirm what others have already said, let's have it. I want to know that I've made the most of my opportunity, so any input is appreciated.

Ride safe.

Chris in Oneonta, NY
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-07-2009, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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UPDATE -

Okay, I just checked the map and it looks like 14 and 14A are both viable options to get from Cody to Ranchester. Both look to offer great twisties, and they converge west of Ranchester to share some nice road (at least as far as I can tell on my GPS software). 14A loops through Bighorn Nat'l Rec Area and crosses Yellowtail Reservoir, so I'm guessing it's the more scenic of the two.

siyeh or anyone else that knows, please comment whether or not this is right. I'm just going off of what I'm seeing on maps and such.

Thanks,
Chris

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-08-2009, 12:07 PM
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Bike Week I believe starts the first full weekend in August. And IMO? 14A is more scenic than 14. Have done both.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-08-2009, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, siyeh. Glad I'm not going to be close to bike week. 14A it is. Glad I asked.

Chris in Oneonta, NY
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-08-2009, 09:20 PM
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Those are some awsome pictures! I'd love to ride my bike in an area like that. It makes the area where I live look pretty boring. A boring ride compared to the places in those pictures.
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-18-2009, 07:17 PM
 
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"1. Colorado
2. Southern Utah
3. Northern California
4. Washington
5. Yellowstone
6. Sturgis/Badlands"

Most Excellent choices!! I have made a few mad-dashes across country on various bikes along various routes and I think you've pretty much nailed some of the best states for riding! This summer I did a run around Colorado and it was better than I remember it when I rode through there in 1986. Southern Utah is beeeoootiful -- through ZION etc.. (except you have to pay $20 just to ride through it)... Many nice places in Utah. Northern California has one of the best roads that meanders from Eureka(?) east for miles, and I mean miles - alongside some river (can't recall the name..)
Bottom line is -- sorry if I offend anyone - but most of the midwestern states are pretty boring. I rode through Kansas, ONCE, and I think it is a checkerboard. Texas is HUGE and boring.... most of it anyway. So, the bottom line is you have picked the best states to ride. Montana is great too!
Have a great trip. Mid-life crisis' are fun!!
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-19-2009, 12:31 PM
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I believe that "Looking Glass Hwy" south of St Marys is Hwy 89. If so it's one of the FINEST twisties road I've ever ridden! (...MANY times!)
Ed
...and "Going to the Sun" thru Glacier Park is a scenic wonder!
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-19-2009, 01:31 PM
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My boys and I took a trip through Colorado last summer. Here is the thread and pictures. If you get a chance, hit Cripple Creek. It is a very twisty road getting there and is about 10,000 ft.

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...3083#post13083

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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-19-2009, 07:18 PM
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i gotta tell you, i admire your determination to make that trip in the time you have alotted..i did va. to wyoming and back in 14 days and felt i needed WAY more time, there were so many things i wanted to check out but lacked the time
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