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As the cold and nasty weather begin to take hold, it's time to think about 2019. Another rider and I will be riding from Ontario Canada through MI, WI, MN, IA, SD and MT into Western Canada in May 2019. Tentatively something like this --> https://www.google.ca/maps/dir/44.0420115,-77.7375245/SD-87,+South+Dakota+57730,+USA/Mt+Rushmore+National+Memorial,+South+Dakota+244,+Keystone,+SD,+USA/Silver+Gate,+Cooke+City-Silver+Gate,+MT,+USA/Sweetgrass,+MT,+USA/@45.4006164,-95.5488876,4.98z/data=!4m28!4m27!1m1!4e1!1m5!1m1!1s0x877d2d6c36973909:0x9d0b36324328c4fa!2m2!1d-103.492788!2d43.7264057!1m5!1m1!1s0x877d35d8b53ed6df:0xdaf53dbe055cc641!2m2!1d-103.4590667!2d43.8791025!1m5!1m1!1s0x534e54586db448d7:0x87499f74bcfa5917!2m2!1d-109.9896287!2d45.006884!1m5!1m1!1s0x536be248f2ae9581:0x19f7265005f0cc02!2m2!1d-111.9675751!2d48.9961099!3e0

I rode this a few years ago (eastbound, not westbound), and loved it. Two highlights that particularly stood for me were Beartooth Pass (MT) and Needles Highway/Mt. Rushmore (Central Hills Loop) (SD). Other notable mentions were Going To The Sun Road (MT), and Kickapoo River Valley (WI).

There are two things we especially like when riding - (1) challenging (i.e., twisty) roads, and (2) great, out-of-the-way, funky, non-chain, once-in-a-lifetime, must experience, unusual, memorable, mom & pop eateries - restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, etc. And we are certainly open to any other must see attractions or vistas or museums or whatever.

So for the above-mentioned states (MI, WI, MN, IA, SD and MT), what are your recommendations?

As always, TIA!!
 

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Quite a few ((all?) of the scenic higher altitude roads will be iffy if not closed(likely) in May and into at least early-mid June, or even later. You may want to schedule this trip for later. I was out there last year and in late June both Going to the Sun and Beartooth in WY were closed yet.

In WY, do consider going across on US14A. Much gooder than the interslab. That is assuming it is open in May.
 

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Quite a few ((all?) of the scenic higher altitude roads will be iffy if not closed(likely) in May and into at least early-mid June, or even later. You may want to schedule this trip for later....
Pretty sure that "Going to the Sun" will NOT be open then, but WHENEVER you get into that area, ADD MN 89 from St Mary, [at the E entrance to Going to the Sun] S to MN 49, then follow 49 S to East Glacier Village, and return. Repeat till sundown....:yeahsmile: Takes around 45 minutes each way. :clap:(OLD memory, just in case I'm 'off' a bit on time.)

THOSE roads are SO GOOD that when heading there I (usually) camp near Two Medicine Lake (off 49), so I get to ride 89/49 MORE OFTEN!!!

:thumb: - :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Quite a few ((all?) of the scenic higher altitude roads will be iffy if not closed(likely) in May and into at least early-mid June, or even later. You may want to schedule this trip for later. I was out there last year and in late June both Going to the Sun and Beartooth in WY were closed yet.

In WY, do consider going across on US14A. Much gooder than the interslab. That is assuming it is open in May.
Yeah, I was wondering about winter conditions in May. Our challenge is that my buddy is attending a wedding near Calgary, Alberta on May 24th. So we're building our ride around that. And we need to do it before May 24th, not after, because of other obligations.

On my map I see US14 and USalt14. Is alt14 what you mean when you say US14A?
 

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I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance in the mid 70s and the next year rode back to B.C. from Toronto through the northern states route you propose.Very inspiring trip.Two years ago while fall riding in central Washington I met a young guy from Ann Arbour straddling a KLR on a riding "pilgrimage" based on that book and his ride. The book is definitely about more than just a road trip,good luck on that part.Good winter reading, it will put something extra into your journey! If you look up "Pirsigs route" you will find a bunch of stuff,some very recent I think....
 

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I've traveled all over the US on my harley, and bear tooth pass was my favorite ride. while in SD if you are around Sturgis go to sheridan wy.Take hiway 14 through the big horn Mountains to cody wy.(my wifes favorite ride). from cody take chief joseph hiway(which has some awsome switchback) to bear tooth pass. Some people have said hiway 14a out of sheridan is better, but I can't say because I haven't tried it yet. anyway hope you enjoy your trip.
 

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Yeah, I was wondering about winter conditions in May. Our challenge is that my buddy is attending a wedding near Calgary, Alberta on May 24th. So we're building our ride around that. And we need to do it before May 24th, not after, because of other obligations.

On my map I see US14 and USalt14. Is alt14 what you mean when you say US14A?
Yup, 14 Alternate. !4 and 16 are quite nice but the view on the west side of the Bighorns just before heading west to drop down to the plains is breathtakingly awesome. And the road does not suck winding down or up.

I also just read of a good micro brewery in Tensleep, WY with free boondock camping.

With those time constraints there is pretty much no chance that Bear Tooth or Going to the Sun will be open. And do check ahead for 14Alt.
 
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