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Old 04-23-2013, 12:58 PM   #1
chris7s OP
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Florida To California Early May

Hey guys this is my first post up in AdvRider.

First of I just want to thank you guys for this amazing resource. I've gotten some amazing ideas lurking through this website.

I'm a 20something college student at UF. I've been wanting to take a trip across the country for as long as I can remember. I finally have the opportunity to do it. I'm going to try to leave around May 6th ish for 6 weeks or so.



Having lurked here, reddit, craigslist, etc, I've got it in my head to just camp and couchsurf as much as possible.I'll probably get a sleeping bag and a little propane stove thing. Maybe check into a crappy motel if i haven't showered in too long.

The locations aren't set in stone or anything, so if I managed to get some people to tag along I'd be down to deviate a little bit.

My few biker friends I have aren't down enough to hop on something as serious as this. So far I'm just planning the trip solo.

I figure it'll give me an opportunity to see all sorts of things I won't get a chance to once I have to join the "real" world and work; epic scenery, skateboard random new stuff, lots of random friends along everywhere, stories, etc.

I have a 07 Suzuki Boulevard C50 and a 03 GZ250 that I'm trying to get out of right now. I'm trying to score an 1100 shadow. Hopefully I land one with a windshield and hard saddles.


If it sounds like something you'd be interested in.. Even just parts of it. Or if you'd like to give me your two cents of advice on things to bring, or do, or see (or anything else!) then by all means.. Also, if you're anywhere along the route and would like split some brews and share some wisdom with a younger mind.. Let me know.
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:27 PM   #2
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Sounds like a good first trip. As a Missouri boy I'm not gonna dis our state for some nice roads, but, if you take that particular route from Denver to Nashville you have successfully skipped the nicest riding between the coastal mountain ranges. Dip down somewhere in Ks. into the Ozark Mountains (SW Mo, NW Ark) thence to Memphis. Short trip from there to Nashville.
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:41 AM   #3
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Hi chris7s -- It's a little hard to tell from your map, but it looks like you have routed from Los Angeles to Santa Cruz on what - I-5?? If you don't take Hiway 1 up the coast, you are truly missing out on one of the most scenic roads in the state, if not the country.

Here's my suggestion for a Los Angeles- Santa Cruz stretch: Not sure where you are starting from in the LA area, but get onto I-5 heading north. At Gorman, head west on 138 and then take 33 south to Ojai and then Ventura. From Ventura, take 101 north and then at Santa Barbara, take 154 north and meet up again on the 101 northwest of Los Olivos. Continue on the 101 until San Luis Obispo, and from there, get on Hiway 1 and take it all the way to Santa Cruz.

This stretch of Hiway 1 gets a fair amount of traffic, but if you get an early start (say, spend the night in the San Luis Obispo area), you can avoid much of the traffic. BUT you will also probably get lots of fog. Spring and early summer gets fog on the coast -- it's just the way it is.

If you could link your route, we all could get a better view of your proposed route and have more suggestions, too.

Also, get yourself a Parks Pass:
http://www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:47 PM   #4
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Don't over think it. Bikers have been doing this for years.
Yosemite rocks.

There is an even better collection of big trees in Arnold CA about 2 hours away (we went there first) and a great ride.
Big Trees State Park http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=551 You can get much closer and not a fraction of the people running from tree to tree like in Yosemite.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Don't over think it. Bikers have been doing this for years.
Too true.........

Might want to consider this
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=776925
instead of 'couchsurf'
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:17 AM   #6
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Since you mentioned brews, you may want to make a stop at Stone Brewing Company in Escondido, CA. They have everything from light beers to their Vertical Epic series, which is close to mead. They are my second favorite brewer in California behind Lagunitas, which is another hour north of San Francisco in Petaluma. Petaluma is a cool spot, because they have the Lagunitas Brewery with a cheap motel 2 doors down, and are near Drake's Bay Oyster Company, which has the biggest and best oysters in the country, IMHO.

Santa Cruz will be a cool stop for a skater. I grew up just over the hill from there. When you leave Santa Cruz, consider taking the long way out: Highway 9. It leads up into the redwood rain forests, complete with banana slugs and salamanders. At the top of Hwy 9 you'll find Skyline Blvd., which is the sport bike mecca for the SF Bay Area. The famous Alice's Restaurant is up there.

Your timing is pretty good as far as the Sierra mountain passes opening. Tioga Pass (Hwy 120) is scheduled to open May 11. If there is still ice or bad conditions when you get there, just keep heading north until you find a clear pass. Each one is different. Hwy 120 is stark and rocky with huge cliffs; about as opposite from FL as you can get. Hwy 108 (Sonora Pass) is forested and rocky, with some great views of alpine meadows and lakes. Hwy 4 (Ebbets Pass) is a crazy one lane supermoto haven. That's where the redwoods are, and they have Snowshoe Brewery in Arnold. Further north, you'll find Highways 50 and 80, which are the main corridors, and pretty much open year round. Lake Tahoe is worth a look too. You can ride the tram to the top of Heavenly Ski Resort, but it is rather expensive.
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:57 AM   #7
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PART 1
https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=G...,14,18&t=m&z=5
PART 2
https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Y...mra=ls&t=m&z=8

Quote:
Originally Posted by rufusswan View Post
Sounds like a good first trip. As a Missouri boy I'm not gonna dis our state for some nice roads, but, if you take that particular route from Denver to Nashville you have successfully skipped the nicest riding between the coastal mountain ranges. Dip down somewhere in Ks. into the Ozark Mountains (SW Mo, NW Ark) thence to Memphis. Short trip from there to Nashville.
Any particular routes? On that note, I'm guessing I need to find something better than google maps to map this route. That and I need to get something to hold the smartphone up in front of me on the handlebars..

I was totally haphazard in choosing where to stop, and the routes are just google's fastest option. I'd like to avoid doing that on the actual trip since I know interstates skip a lot of the best scenery. It was pretty much "let me pick a bunch of cities that will take me on a circular path across the country and back." So there hasn't been that much thought into it. I'll definitively look into passing through arkansas.

I changed the route based on some of your suggestions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyes Shut View Post
Hi chris7s -- It's a little hard to tell from your map, but it looks like you have routed from Los Angeles to Santa Cruz on what - I-5?? If you don't take Hiway 1 up the coast, you are truly missing out on one of the most scenic roads in the state, if not the country.

Here's my suggestion for a Los Angeles- Santa Cruz stretch: Not sure where you are starting from in the LA area, but get onto I-5 heading north. At Gorman, head west on 138 and then take 33 south to Ojai and then Ventura. From Ventura, take 101 north and then at Santa Barbara, take 154 north and meet up again on the 101 northwest of Los Olivos. Continue on the 101 until San Luis Obispo, and from there, get on Hiway 1 and take it all the way to Santa Cruz.

This stretch of Hiway 1 gets a fair amount of traffic, but if you get an early start (say, spend the night in the San Luis Obispo area), you can avoid much of the traffic. BUT you will also probably get lots of fog. Spring and early summer gets fog on the coast -- it's just the way it is.

If you could link your route, we all could get a better view of your proposed route and have more suggestions, too.

Also, get yourself a Parks Pass:
http://www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm
Definitively planning on riding up along the coast on that stretch. I hadn't planned to that much detail the specific routes I was going to take. Definitively going to take hwy1 then. I put up the route.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colemanfu View Post
Don't over think it. Bikers have been doing this for years.
Yosemite rocks.

There is an even better collection of big trees in Arnold CA about 2 hours away (we went there first) and a great ride.
Big Trees State Park http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=551 You can get much closer and not a fraction of the people running from tree to tree like in Yosemite.
I did a funny loop thing to swing by there. Could you see if you think the route I zig zagged in the map is a good one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Opa View Post
Too true.........

Might want to consider this
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=776925
instead of 'couchsurf'
Or in addition to for sure. I might start hitting up people closer to when I'd be there I guess? I don't really know the etiquette for something like that. Originally I was just going to rely on people I meet along the way or asking for a floor on craigslist or whatever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by High Country Herb View Post
Since you mentioned brews, you may want to make a stop at Stone Brewing Company in Escondido, CA. They have everything from light beers to their Vertical Epic series, which is close to mead. They are my second favorite brewer in California behind Lagunitas, which is another hour north of San Francisco in Petaluma. Petaluma is a cool spot, because they have the Lagunitas Brewery with a cheap motel 2 doors down, and are near Drake's Bay Oyster Company, which has the biggest and best oysters in the country, IMHO.

Santa Cruz will be a cool stop for a skater. I grew up just over the hill from there. When you leave Santa Cruz, consider taking the long way out: Highway 9. It leads up into the redwood rain forests, complete with banana slugs and salamanders. At the top of Hwy 9 you'll find Skyline Blvd., which is the sport bike mecca for the SF Bay Area. The famous Alice's Restaurant is up there.

Your timing is pretty good as far as the Sierra mountain passes opening. Tioga Pass (Hwy 120) is scheduled to open May 11. If there is still ice or bad conditions when you get there, just keep heading north until you find a clear pass. Each one is different. Hwy 120 is stark and rocky with huge cliffs; about as opposite from FL as you can get. Hwy 108 (Sonora Pass) is forested and rocky, with some great views of alpine meadows and lakes. Hwy 4 (Ebbets Pass) is a crazy one lane supermoto haven. That's where the redwoods are, and they have Snowshoe Brewery in Arnold. Further north, you'll find Highways 50 and 80, which are the main corridors, and pretty much open year round. Lake Tahoe is worth a look too. You can ride the tram to the top of Heavenly Ski Resort, but it is rather expensive.
I've been debating if I should dip down to san diego and then I'd be able to skate encinitas and then i'd be able to swing escondido. I think it might add too much to the trip since its so out of the way from las vegas. I guess I'm just gonna have to choose between san diego and yellowstone because I don't see myself making the trip in the time otherwise. The other thing is that I really want to avoid feeling like I'm in a rush to finish. I'll only have 6 weeks or so. I mapped the route to take hwy9 out of santa cruz though. It kind of works out perfect with the pass recommendations since I mapped zig zagging there to go through both of those.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:42 AM   #8
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I would recomend looping above the Grand Canyon, hit the North rim and Zion NP rather than the South Rim.

If you do come to San Diego there is a cool skate park right. at. the. end. of I-8 in Ocean Beach. At the stop light at the end of the highway you are literally looking at the park across the street!

Got a bunk for you here if you need it.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:14 AM   #9
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Routes?

If you get down here I can help a bit, or even a beer and a camp night.

You can pick your routes and destinations, and when roads are flat and straight, one road is as good as the next.

From Yellowstone you're just going to be riding home, the only thing you need to decide is where do you want to cross the Mississippi.

Straight east then down the Missouri to StL would be OK by anybody as would coming across on the southern Route 66 thru Tulsa & Joplin, or even some catty-corner way across the plains. But, 66 from Tulsa to StL exists just to mark the southern edge of the Great Plains so that folk avoid falling into the Ozark Mountains.

The bottom 50-100 miles of MO down to Little Rock is IT. Tons of good to great roads, cross the Mississippi at or between Cape Girardeau and Memphis.

I'd put Joplin, MO as a for-sure spot on your map.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:14 AM   #10
High Country Herb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris7s View Post
I've been debating if I should dip down to san diego and then I'd be able to skate encinitas and then i'd be able to swing escondido. I think it might add too much to the trip since its so out of the way from las vegas. I guess I'm just gonna have to choose between san diego and yellowstone because I don't see myself making the trip in the time otherwise. The other thing is that I really want to avoid feeling like I'm in a rush to finish. I'll only have 6 weeks or so. I mapped the route to take hwy9 out of santa cruz though. It kind of works out perfect with the pass recommendations since I mapped zig zagging there to go through both of those.
If I had to choose between San Diego and Yellowstone, I'd choose Yellowstone. For one, I prefer the majestic scenery up there to California beaches. Also, the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone are much more different from Florida than San Diego is.

If you want to visit a California micro brewery, you could visit Lagunitas in Petaluma just north of San Francisco. They have live music almost every night, and a $55 motel 2 doors down, which might be cheaper than finding someplace in San Francisco. It will also give you an excuse to cross the Golden Gate, which is free heading north.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris7s View Post

Or in addition to for sure. I might start hitting up people closer to when I'd be there I guess? I don't really know the etiquette for something like that.
For Tent Space etiquette: You can contact most folks by sending them a PM a few days before you expect to be in the area. Some people have an email or phone number, and you can use those as well. Just give them a few days notice, and that way, you will know if they will be around also. As a guest, you will be expected to provide tales of the road!
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:53 AM   #12
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More route stuff....(thanks for linking your routes!):

-Did you specifically want to go to Albuquerque? If not, I would suggest this route through New Mexico: From Roswell, take 380 west, then to Socorro, then 60 west to Datil. At Datil, take 12 southwest, and then go to Luna and then Alpine, AZ. From Alpine, take 191 north to Eagar, then 60 to Show Low, and then 260 to Payson. From Payson, head north on 87, then take 260 to Camp Verde and then Cottonwood, then head north from Cottonwood on Alt 89 to Flagstaff.

-On your trek across Kansas, you might want to take US50 instead of I-70. Follow I-25 to Pueblo, CO, and then pick up US 50 from there. We have found the US routes to be a little bit more interesting than the interstates because you end up going through some cool little towns which are a nice alternative to the rather boring sameness of the interstate eateries.

-In Cody Wyoming, there is a great museum, The Buffalo Bill Historical Center. Worthy of a visit if you are going through Cody anyway: http://www.bbhc.org/

-Flagstaff has a couple of good breweries:Beaver Street Brewery and Flagstaff Brewing Company:
http://beaverstreetbrewery.com/
http://www.flagbrew.com/

-The Hotel Monte Vista in Flagstaff is kind of old and funky, but it's within walking distance of the breweries:
http://www.hotelmontevista.com/
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:50 PM   #13
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sure looks like way too much interstate time
and you completely missed Colorado
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Old 05-10-2013, 02:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adios Pantalones View Post
I would recomend looping above the Grand Canyon, hit the North rim and Zion NP rather than the South Rim.

If you do come to San Diego there is a cool skate park right. at. the. end. of I-8 in Ocean Beach.At the stop light at the end of the highway you are literally looking at the park across the street!

Got a bunk for you here if you need it.
I added a lot of looping around there to my route to see a lot of other nearby parks. Is the north rim a lot better? It mightnít be a huge mission to loop both or skip the south and go straight to the north. Iíll hit you up if I swing by SD for sure.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rufusswan View Post
Routes?

If you get down here I can help a bit, or even a beer and a camp night.

You can pick your routes and destinations, and when roads are flat and straight, one road is as good as the next.

From Yellowstone you're just going to be riding home, the only thing you need to decide is where do you want to cross the Mississippi.

Straight east then down the Missouri to StL would be OK by anybody as would coming across on the southern Route 66 thru Tulsa & Joplin, or even some catty-corner way across the plains. But, 66 from Tulsa to StL exists just to mark the southern edge of the Great Plains so that folk avoid falling into the Ozark Mountains.

The bottom 50-100 miles of MO down to Little Rock is IT. Tons of good to great roads, cross the Mississippi at or between Cape Girardeau and Memphis.

I'd put Joplin, MO as a for-sure spot on your map.
Iíll swing through Joplin then. Iím really thinking I might get more out of the trip if I skip Yellowstone and just head east after Yosemite. That way I can go through Colorado and see a lot more. Itís also much less out of the way so it makes the whole trip less rushed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by High Country Herb View Post
If I had to choose between San Diego and Yellowstone, I'd choose Yellowstone. For one, I prefer the majestic scenery up there to California beaches. Also, the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone are much more different from Florida than San Diego is.

If you want to visit a California micro brewery, you could visit Lagunitas in Petaluma just north of San Francisco. They have live music almost every night, and a $55 motel 2 doors down, which might be cheaper than finding someplace in San Francisco. It will also give you an excuse to cross the Golden Gate, which is free heading north.
Iím starting to debate skipping Yellowstone altogether (and SD) to have more time for Colorado. As far as San Fran, looking at the map, I was thinking about taking a ferry in not-free direction (because ferries are just awesome) and go over the golden gate in the free direction. Iíll check out Lagunitas.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyes Shut View Post
More route stuff....(thanks for linking your routes!):

-Did you specifically want to go to Albuquerque? If not, I would suggest this route through New Mexico: From Roswell, take 380 west, then to Socorro, then 60 west to Datil. At Datil, take 12 southwest, and then go to Luna and then Alpine, AZ. From Alpine, take 191 north to Eagar, then 60 to Show Low, and then 260 to Payson. From Payson, head north on 87, then take 260 to Camp Verde and then Cottonwood, then head north from Cottonwood on Alt 89 to Flagstaff.

-On your trek across Kansas, you might want to take US50 instead of I-70. Follow I-25 to Pueblo, CO, and then pick up US 50 from there. We have found the US routes to be a little bit more interesting than the interstates because you end up going through some cool little towns which are a nice alternative to the rather boring sameness of the interstate eateries.

-In Cody Wyoming, there is a great museum, The Buffalo Bill Historical Center. Worthy of a visit if you are going through Cody anyway: http://www.bbhc.org/

-Flagstaff has a couple of good breweries:Beaver Street Brewery and Flagstaff Brewing Company:
http://beaverstreetbrewery.com/
http://www.flagbrew.com/

-The Hotel Monte Vista in Flagstaff is kind of old and funky, but it's within walking distance of the breweries:
http://www.hotelmontevista.com/
Could you look at this route?
[link]
Google maps wonít let me drag the route through 260 between show low and payson. I donít know if thereís a road closure or if google maps is just dumb.
That whole route you suggested looks awesome.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eakins View Post
sure looks like way too much interstate time
and you completely missed Colorado
Yeah Coloradoís starting to sound like a better idea than Yellowstone. Also, Iíve just been taking the fastest (interstate) route and modifying it to take the us roads to hit good stuff. None of the maps Iíve put up are final by any stretch. I havenít done very extensive route planning.




Thanks all of you for the input.

On an update note, I scored that shadow I wanted. I wanted to have left Tuesday.. Unfortunately Iíd been waiting on some parts for the Shadow. Just got them today. Gonna finish putting her back together with the new stuff and head out tomorrow or the day after.
I have a question.. Florida doesnít require me to carry insurance. If I get pulled over in an insurance-requiring state, will I be in trouble?



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Old 05-10-2013, 08:14 AM   #15
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Why wouldn't carry insurance ? If you're talking about collision, that's your risk choice. If you're talking about liability, you could be bankrupted forever if you don't have it. Not having insurance is just plain stupid.
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