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Old 09-23-2012, 12:54 PM   #1
nochwas OP
Joined: Oct 2009
Oddometer: 3
Seattle to CO in October on an R100RS airhead-- first multi-day ride-- route advice?

hi all; I'm in Alaska but am shipping my 1978 R100RS down to Seattle... current plan is to ride from Seattle to Denver area, Colorado, in mid October. Looking for route advice. I would like to avoid interstates and instead ride on more interesting roads. Want to make decent time, i.e. not planning to make tourism stops in National Parks etc but won't be 'in a hurry' and would be nice to see some good countryside; might even camp out if weather is good. Not kitted out for full camping (planning to bring bivvy sack, light sleeping bag, and small stove for coffee/tea) so probably will stay in motels most of the time. Main concern is avoiding high country or at least having optional routes to go around high country; I'm sure this is a mixed-weather time of year. Any advice on routes/weather/highlights would be very welcome! This will be my first multi-day ride so am a little hesitant, especially since I've been stuck in Alaska for years so have kind of lost track of road-tripping basics in the lower-48. Thanks in advance for responses!

nochwas screwed with this post 09-24-2012 at 08:30 PM Reason: more clarity in title
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:27 PM   #2
Rock Fodder
Joined: Jul 2011
Location: Betwix the Cascades and Puget Sound
Oddometer: 205
There are a number of ways to get to where you want to go. I'll let the locals in Oregon and Idaho give you their insights (easter OR has a plethora of great two-lane roads). Keep in mind that you WILL be riding in the rain in WA at that time if year so pack accordingly.

For Washington, one of the most fun ways to get south on a motorcycle and maximize your turns per mile is to run the east border of Mt Rainier and Mt St Helens. Here's a map to get you there: NOTE: There's very little in the way of civilization south of Packwood so gas up there and load up on groceries. You'll also need a Discovery Pass if you wish to make the side trip into Mt. St. Helens which you can get in Packwood as well. (Ask at the Shell station).

Stevenson will provide a place to refuel both the bike and the body. You can call it a day there or keep heading into OR and up the Columbia to the Dalles to find a room.

Hope this helps!
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:38 PM   #3
nochwas OP
Joined: Oct 2009
Oddometer: 3
dave- thank you very much for the info and for the map. That looks like a great route for a southern leg out of Seattle. I'm hoping some Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming folks weigh in-- seems like one big question for that kind of diagonal route is whether to go north around the big block of National Forests in N. Idaho, or go south around. Using your route, down to the Columbia, I'd be headed along a more southern diagonal, which probably makes sense given the late season. Anyone out there have tips to connect with Dave's proposed route-- especially ways to avoid the big interstates connecting Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and CO?
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:00 AM   #4
Just passing thru
Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Oddometer: 4,332
hwy 12 is a good route across WA and ID (Centralia WA to Missoula MT), but watch the speed. Lots of police, state and local, patrol eastern WA and ID.

If you go further south, hwy 14 (north side of the Columbia River) is my preference to get thru the gorge. 14 then cross the river at Umatilla to the OR side. Continue east to connect to 12.

Boise to Salmon Idaho is an excellent route across south ID. Maximum scenery, nice wandering road, but able to make good mileage. Go east into Montana at Lost Trail Pass toward Wisdom or cross Lemhi Pass (south of Salmon) and on to Dillon and I-15. Both Scenic and historical.

You can go east around the top of Yellowstone or the bottom of Teton Park.

Elevations are OK thru ID but start rising to the east.

I-90 is OK as a freeway from ID thru MT. I-15 is good around Dillon. I--84 is good from Baker City OR to Boise and mind numbing east of Boise.

I often ride long trips in Oct, and am planning one right now. Weather is usually dry and stable.

The Cascades can generate weather , but If you watch the forcasts there are seldom "surprise" storms in the interior.

We are currently running warm temps. Near *80 in north Idaho, nights are cool, *40's. It is predicted to last for at least another week.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:39 PM   #5
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Colorado
Oddometer: 1,073

October can be variable in Colorado.

We've already had snow in the high country, and a couple inches more (above 11,000 feet) is on the way tonight. Generally in Oct. the roads will be rideable the next day or two after a fall storm. I'd pick out a nice route, say over Cameron Pass and down Poudre Canyon from Walden to Fort Collins; or south over Douglas Pass in the far west of the state to Grand Junction and on through to Montrose and Gunnison and over Monarch Pass towards Denver.

If the weather turns bad, head back to I-70- It's most likely to be the first road safely rideable after a storm.

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Old 10-07-2012, 03:59 PM   #6
nochwas OP
Joined: Oct 2009
Oddometer: 3
thanks for the tips-- aiming to launch this week

thanks Tourist and Shu, those are great tips. Currently plan is to split from Seattle this Wednesday or Thursday 10 or 11 October-- see how the weather looks, might start south with the leg that DaveStockwell recommended, then head east as theTourist recommends to Umatilla... then a bit of interstate to Boise, and then depart from the interstate cutting across ID through the National Forests... then weather permitting cross over into WY south of Teton, head down into northern CO and (again, weather permitting) cross CO on hwy 40/32. Might bail out onto I-80 to Laramie and cut down on 287 if the weather looks chancy. Here's a provisional map:

Of course that route is all up for change in response to weather and local info along the way... but if any folks here on ADVrider have suggestions about that route-- if I've picked some bad/boring roads or skipped some better options-- please reply! And tips on choice places to overnight along the way are also very welcome! Thanks everyone!
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