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Old 05-22-2011, 11:50 AM   #31
HogWild
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Originally Posted by Countdown View Post
Scott, This sounds like something only a rocket scientist could do. Can you create a file with just the basic (low resolution) GWT.org path and the Benchmark map path?
Like I said, I have is Big Dog's very crude Saved tracks, and someone elses hand drawn tracks.
I don't have any Benchmark maps, so unless you can provide a link to a scanned one online, I can't do anything with that. I need a scanned JPEG or GIF. And it has to be to perfect scale so everything lines up correctly when overlaid in GE.

What I will do today is post a Google Earth file that will have overlays of each state map from GWT.org, plus the tracks you posted, plus the tracks wbb posted.

I'd rather teach a man to fish than give him a fish, so it will be up to you to to draw the tracks (paths) in GE yourself. It's no more difficult than in Mapsource, except GE doesn't have a join tracks or break track tool. Once you have a series of GE paths drawn, even a caveman can save them and convert them into a GDB or GPX file using THIS tool.
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:36 PM   #32
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"But it looks like GWT goes East from Lees Ferry, bypassing the Page area"

I assume you meant West and not East. In the GPS file I have been creating with waypoints taken from either the "official" map or Benchmark maps I show it following 89A up into the mountains and then north on forest road 278 up to Winter Road. Last year we saw a big GWT sign at the intersection of Winter rd and House Rock Creek rd.

I show it crossing 89 about 6 miles east of Johnson Canyon road on Seamon Canyon road. But none of my GPS maps show a road going thru as it continues north.

I do not believe it goes up Smokey Mountain Rd from Big Water to Escalante as I think Jerry shows on his map.
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:02 PM   #33
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I assume you meant West and not East.
Sorry, yes West, not East.

Ok Jerry, here's my mega Google Earth file for the Great Western Trail:
http://www.HogWildRacing.com/other/G...-22May2011.kmz
Right-click the link, and "Save Target As...", then open it with GE.
This has all the map overlays from gwt.org, all aligned to their proper location.

I set the transparency for each map such that you can sort of see the lines marking the trail, yet still see through the map image to the GE roads and terrain below it. You should not enable more than one of the overlay maps at a time, or things start getting pretty hard to see. To turn them on or off, ckeck or unckech the box beside the map name in the "Places" window on the left side in GE. Also, when trying to draw a path in GE, I find it helpful to adjust the transparency level to highlight either the overlay map, or the GE imagery below. To adjust the transparency level, RIGHT-Click on the overlay map name in the GE "Places" window, select "Properties", then adjust the slider bar to make the overlay more or less transparent. With these fine instructions, even a caveman could do it!

Also included in the GE file are the two GPX files you guys posted earlier. You can see right away which GPS tracks follow the paths on the maps, and which ones don't It appears the paths drawn on the maps from gwt.org are somewhat rough, in that they don't always exactly match existing roads, but rather were drawn sort of as smooth flowing lines in the approximiate locations of the roads.

It turns out I've accidently ridden a bit more of the GWT than I thought. The section between Tuba City and Bitter Springs lines up with what I rode earlier this year. I included my tracks for that section in the GE file. I also had drawn tracks that match well with the section between Cameron and Tuba City, though I didn't actually ride that section. It think parts of that section are not heavily traveled, if at all, and may not be passable by larger adventure bikes these days. Somebody hurry up and ride that before the road is completely taken back my Mother Nature!

I included the gas stations I'm aware of in the Northern Arizona section.

It appears the Big Dog tracks don't follow these GWT maps except in a couple of areas.

Though my tracks between Tuba City and Bitter Springs are where the GWT line goes, I highly recommend going along the edge of the Grand Canyon as Crawdaddy did in his "Navajo Overlooks" track instead. The views along the edge of the Grand Canyon are WAY better than what you'll see East of there.

Other than the short sections around Tuba City I didn't add any further tracks, but with this GE file it shouldn't be too hard to do that for the whole length.
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:11 PM   #34
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I can open it and see it all out of focus. How do I get a .gpx file of it?
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:58 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Countdown View Post
I can open it and see it all out of focus. How do I get a .gpx file of it?
Something's not working with your Google Earth if it's blurry. Did you give it a minute to download the imagery before deciding it was blurry? If you're internet connection is slow, it could take a bit longer to get the clear imagery. You should be able to see even a bush 3 feet wide in most areas. I can usually see single track trails if they are not under tree cover. Given what you do on a daily basis, you REALLY need to get GE working properly, and spend a little time learning a few of its basic features, like tilting the view to see 3D perspectives of the mountains and terrain. You could save yourself so much time by taking a peek with GE before you head out looking for stuff like that Pony Express stopover. Remember you had been looking for it for a long time, and I found it on GE in about 15 minutes!

There's not much to see if I convert my GE file into a GPX. It's all the same stuff you guys posted, plus just two new tracks I added into and out of Tuba City. The real value is looking at that stuff overlaid with the gwt.org maps. It gives a completely new perspective of the whole thing.

In the time since I posted that GE file, I've been drawing tracks in GE over the top of the map overlays. In about two hours I've probably got over 300 miles of new tracks for the GWT that are not in either of your files. This approach of having the maps overlaid on GE, and being able to see the actual roads on the GE satellite imagery directly below the GWT lines on the overlaid maps makes it so easy to draw tracks it's laughable!

I've also been able to see which of the GWT paths go places motorcycles could not go. There are clearly sections that are for hiking only. You could spend a lot of days and a lot of gas running into dead ends of you tried to ride that stuff without seeing some of the details in GE.

If you want my help getting up to speed on GE, let me know and we'll spend some time on the phone walking through it. And I'll walk you through the simple process of converting a GE file into a GPX file too!
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:09 PM   #36
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How do I get a .gpx file of it?
Ok, I guess you're too old to learn a new trick.
Here's a 750 mile GPX bone for at least opening the GE file (see 3rd post):
http://www.gpsxchange.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3209
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:26 PM   #37
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Ok, I guess you're too old to learn a new trick.
Here's a 750 mile GPX bone for at least opening the GE file (see 3rd post):
http://www.gpsxchange.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3209
Problem is not just learning but then remembering!

What was your source of the route in Utah?

Going to Prescott for big art show this weekend. I will pick up an AZ Benchmark (had most other western states) there and check out what shows.

After a while I did see GE clearly but what is the colored highlights? Could not exactly find your tracks?
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Old 05-24-2011, 04:55 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Countdown View Post
Problem is not just learning but then remembering!
You can buy a few gigabytes of good flash memory for pretty cheap these days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Countdown View Post
What was your source of the route in Utah?
I used the Utah map from gwt.org overlaid on GE, and drew the tracks on the roads that best aligned with the GWT lines on that map.

I think you're still not quite understanding what I'm doing, but you're getting closer. Hang in there a bit more with GE and a whole new world will open up in front of you! Soon enough you too will be able to draw 750 miles of great tracks in just a couple of hours. And while you're drawing them, you're also pre-running them in a sort of virtual way. In GE you can't tell a locked gate from an unlocked gate, but you can tell the differences between a well maintained dirt road, a somewhat overgrown road, and a single track trail. And you can tell how steep things are when you get into mountains. And you can see the scenery along the route so you'll know what's the "cool" way vs the "boring" way, and the "hard" way vs the "easy" way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Countdown View Post
After a while I did see GE clearly but what is the colored highlights? Could not exactly find your tracks?
The tracks I drew near Tuba City are orange lines and pink lines. The tracks I just made for Utah are not in that GE file. The tracks from your file and wbb's file show up as blue lines. The gwt.org map overlays are set to be semi-transparent, so if you zoom way way out you can sort of pick up various tints defining national parks, indian reservations, and things like that. To see the GPS tracks or map overlays, they must be "turned on" in GE. To turn things on or off, find the item in the "Places" window on the left side of the GE window, and check or uncheck the box next to that item. If you don't see the "Places" window (along with "Search" and "Layers" windows), goto the main GE menu, select "View", then check "Sidebar", or just hit Ctrl+Alt+B.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:48 AM   #39
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Scott,

Thanks for creating the Utah tracks. I will plan on using them on a future ride.

I see there are some discrepancies between the official map and the Benchmarks. One is between 89A and 89. The BM map shows the GWT on roads a few miles east of your tracks. But it is obvious from you maps the GWT is more of a corridor than a single fixed route.

A good way to buy Benchmark maps is to order them online. You can search around for the best price and buy a few at a time. IMHO they are a must for trip planning in the west.

I copy the relevant pages and mark the route and bring them with me on trips. Then I save the copies and reuse them on other trips.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:12 AM   #40
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I see there are some discrepancies between the official map and the Benchmarks. One is between 89A and 89. The BM map shows the GWT on roads a few miles east of your tracks. But it is obvious from you maps the GWT is more of a corridor than a single fixed route.
As I was drawing the Utah tracks, I ran into several places where the GWT goes where no motor vehicle could possibly go. I ran smack into straight up cliffs, and straight over mountains too steep for any road, and no visible signs of even a hiking trail. In one long segment the line on the map follows a mountain ridgeline for many miles, yet there is no sign of a road anywhere near there. I also read that there are competing forces in the organizing of the GWT, some pushing for hiking trails and others pushing for dirt roads. Apparently they can't agree on one official route, which is what leads to multiple parallel routes. So it seems there is no such thing as the "official" GWT. It's just a collection of possible North-South routes that can be connected together forming a great adventure.

Just North of Hwy 89 I drew 3 tracks heading North. The one I drew furthest East is the one that matches the gwt.org map, but it goes up a wash that looks very sketchy for larger bikes. A dirtbike could probably do it just fine, but many others could have problems there. So, I drew the two alternate routes West of there. The middle one is dirt, and also goes up a wash, but it's not as bad as the East wash. The West track takes the highway around that section. So, I suppose I've just added my own personal additions to the GWT. Pick the one that works for you. By far the majority of the tracks I drew in Utah matching the gwt.org maps are on deluxe dirt and gravel roads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wbbnm View Post
A good way to buy Benchmark maps is to order them online. You can search around for the best price and buy a few at a time. IMHO they are a must for trip planning in the west.
I rarely use paper maps. I do everything on GE, which shows things the way they were within the last couple of years. I find roads all the time on GE that are not on any paper maps. But my rides are different than most people do, so my approach may not be so good for them.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:24 AM   #41
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As I was drawing the Utah tracks, I ran into several places where the GWT goes where no motor vehicle could possibly go. I ran smack into straight up cliffs, and straight over mountains too steep for any road, and no visible signs of even a hiking trail. In one long segment the line on the map follows a mountain ridgeline for many miles, yet there is no sign of a road anywhere near there. I also read that there are competing forces in the organizing of the GWT, some pushing for hiking trails and others pushing for dirt roads. Apparently they can't agree on one official route, which is what leads to multiple parallel routes. So it seems there is no such thing as the "official" GWT. It's just a collection of possible North-South routes that can be connected together forming a great adventure.
.
Sounds like "we" should pick our prefered motorcycle route(s) and publish it on the standard web sites?

Since I am going to Prescott for the weekend, I think I will take my 610 and ride from Cave Creek to I-40 and see what it is like.

I have been looking at optons but untill I get forest service maps, not sure what is legal. Also Bob Nickelson (retired from Honda Sports Dept) lives there and helped layout some sections. I will see what he knows.
Attached Files
File Type: gpx GWT AZ.gpx (1,002.0 KB, 78 views)
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:44 AM   #42
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"Since I am going to Prescott for the weekend, I think I will take my 610 and ride from Cave Creek to I-40 and see what it is like."

Is this a Husky TE 610 or something like that. How do you like it both on and off hiway?

I like my 07 KLR, but I am getting a lot of miles on it and maybe to the point where I wont trust it as much on long trips in remote areas. I had a nasty crash on our ride a couple of weeks ago and dented the gas tank pretty bad. I also dented my knee and will not be riding for probably a few more weeks.

All the guys I ride with have KTMs, but they are expensive and require expensive setup to be rideable.
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:05 PM   #43
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Is this a Husky TE 610 or something like that. How do you like it both on and off hiway?
Yes TE610, I don't ride any highway unless necessary (see Mex2Can.com). OK in dirt but is no Dual Sport bike. My next bike will be 07 525EXC. That is the best all round Dual Sport bike out there (not a fan of 530). My real hard core dirt bike is CRF230.

IMHO TE is the best of the small Adventure Bikes (650 class). The best Jap bike is DR650, the worst is KLR.

I will take 610 on this trip because I will be riding highway from Flag back to motorhome at Cave Creek.

wbbnm (what ever that is) did you look at my file? Half of it is your stuff. Can you add anything?

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Old 05-25-2011, 02:20 PM   #44
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Jerry,

Thanks for the bike info. My serious dirt bike is a KTM 450. We do enough hiway riding on our DS trips that suitability and comfort are a factor. We have the ridden the TAT east and west in two different trips. Both times we rode pavement all the way back home ~ 1400 miles.

BTW my name is Bill Boyer. My handle is just my initials with nm for New Mexico. (I am terrible at dreaming up clever names for things and don't even bother trying anymore.)

Yes I did look at your maps. Lots of good stuff there. As I noted somewhere you cannot get out of Jerome to the south. That track was my hand-drawn trip plan.

My Benchmark map shows that you can get back on the GWT if you go to the top of the mountain heading west out of Jerome and pick up a dirt road south at whatever that pass is up there. I sort of intended to do that on our trip after we left Jerome but went too far west. So we decided to bag that section and head over towards Payson. We did get in the Fossil Creek run on the way which was really nice.
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:45 PM   #45
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Bill,

Thanks for that info, didn't see it in your post. Added two options to file above. Like I said I will try to get forest maps in Prescott before I go out. What do you know about Coconino Rim road up by GC?

I am thinking about riding a few days while I am over there and checking as much of that part of the country as possible.

I don't think I have ever met another person with a KLR & and EXC kind of mutually exclusive! Should have siad unless you are very tall, there is no highway seat for a TE.

Hope Scott gives his opinion before I leave in the morning.
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