2018 Trip West from Massachusetts

Discussion in 'Americas' started by ERRN, Nov 18, 2017.

  1. ERRN

    ERRN Huh! What?

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    Planning on heading out West in late July or early Sept depending on feedback. Looking for tips on routes. My initial thought is to head north out of Boston on 93N to 89N and do the trans-canadian out to Thunder Bay at least, then drop down into the US for 2 reasons, congestion and heat. After that it west through the Plains and into the northern Rockies to the west coast. My plan is to slab it for the 1st part to make time but after Thunder Bay I welcome local knowledge for routing west on secondary roads (not a big highway guy). Im riding a BMW R 1200RT so gravel is out. Thanks for your input.
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  2. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    I'm confused? By the time you get as far west as Thunder Bay (not counting west coast BC, CA) there's hardly anyone living in Canada and not too many in the USA either, plus it's gonna be hot then on either side of the border unless it's higher elevations at night.
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  3. ERRN

    ERRN Huh! What?

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    Agreed, on the heat for sure in July, I figured the trans canadian would be faster than trying to go through the states to that point west. Really trying to get feed back on local routes west of Thunderbay instead of the slab all the way to the Rockies. Ive never been to the Plains so for an east coast guy seeing that much open space will be an experience in itself. My dates are open so I can delay until September to let it cool off a bit. Your right about the population, Im not worried about traffic just looking for any good routes out to Yellowstone ect then it'll be pretty easy to find great stuff through the mountains. Also, Ive never ridden the Trans-Canadian so any feed back on that what thats like would be appreciated as well. Thanks for any input.
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  4. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    I saw a recent fuel price for Canada @ above $5.00 CND? Makes the northern choice cost more to gain what? I'll assure you this difference-it's lots less roadside trash the further north one goes!
    Unless your in the Rockies September is still mostly hot.
    The plains are one persons boredom and the other persons liberation. Big sky country has clean air and safer roads too. I miss those spectacular sunsets here nestled in these KY hills!
    For the big picture to plan any trip on land, take a paper road atlas and look for roads that sort of line up with your A to B basics.
    Maybe across PA then eventually Nebraska?
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  5. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority

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    A great way to research trips like this is to use Google Maps. Choose start and stop locations for each section and use the directions to allow Google to suggest routes. In the route options area of the directions window, there is an option to avoid highways. Once that map comes up, it is easy to choose intermediate points for alternate ways to get to where you want.

    Here is an example for going from Thunder Bay to West Yellowstone: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Thu...0!2m2!1d-111.1041092!2d44.6621493!2m1!1b1!3e0
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  6. HotChilliColdBeer

    HotChilliColdBeer Human Swizzle Stick

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    Crossing the Cascades in Washington, take Highway 20 rather than 2 or 90. Quite the ride. Ride 20 to Keystone, jump on the to Port Angeles ferry, and then take the 101 west. Ride up to Hurricane Ridge while you're out there.

    Early September you could encounter snow crossing the Rockies, but that's the time I'd chose. Kids are back in school, less camper/motorhomes on the road, cooler temps.


    You make it to Seattle~ish and need a beer or a maintenance stop, hit me up.




    Charlie
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  7. ERRN

    ERRN Huh! What?

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    Thanks, thats the info I'm looking for and when I get there I'll hit you up. Thanks much
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  8. HotChilliColdBeer

    HotChilliColdBeer Human Swizzle Stick

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    Don't know how far up or down the coast you're going? How long you have to get here and back? Or maybe you're planning to ride-store-fly home?

    If it were me, I'd ride Glacier National Park east to west, and out of Whitefish I'd take the 93 back into Canada. I'm not bagging on Montana/Idaho/Washington, but I'd chose to ride in British Columbia over any of them.

    What's the grand scheme of your ride?




    Charlie
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  9. ERRN

    ERRN Huh! What?

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    Pretty wide open. Ive got some time constraints but have a buddy in Denver where I can store the bike, and one on the west coast as well so I can fly home, fly back ect for the whole of the summer. Ultimately I'll drive the bike back or maybe ship it if it gets too time/weather crazy on the back end. I gotta drive it out just so I can say I did. Thanks for the input.
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  10. ERRN

    ERRN Huh! What?

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    Thanks, thats generally what I do when route planning as well. Just hoping for some local input on which routes might be more scenic/fun ect.
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  11. HotChilliColdBeer

    HotChilliColdBeer Human Swizzle Stick

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    Sounds like time is on your side. I would strongly suggest riding British Columbia. As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't get better. Excellent roads, outstanding scenery, great people.

    Banff to Jasper on the Icefields Parkway should be on every motorcyclist's to do list. The Sea to Sky from Lillooet to Horseshoe Bay is brilliant. The Trans-Can from Cache Creek to Hope. Crowsnest Highway. Just to name a few.

    Ride the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier first, cause if you ride it after the Canadian Rockies, it won't be as impressive.




    Charlie
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  12. Motomantra

    Motomantra Registered Lurker

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    Consider your time frame puts you in some of the most congested areas. If you must see Glacier, Yellowstone, etc. it will be busy.
    Have a good ride.
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  13. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

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    I haven't been north of the border past Thunder Bay, but I do know Rt 2 across MN, ND and MT gives a sense of how huge this country is!!! Quite a difference from the confines and congestion of the east. Wide open space, small towns and wonderful people are very enjoyable and rewarding to experience.
    I'm guessing north of the border would be similiar...but no personal experience.
    Yet.
    :evil
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  14. ERRN

    ERRN Huh! What?

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    Thanks Charlie thats the kind of info I'm looking for because it will shape my trip. Local knowledge is key. If you came out east I could tell you what to see and not so I appreciate your help. I'm starting to think that BC is where I want to go.
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  15. ERRN

    ERRN Huh! What?

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    Thanks, I was just going to do the trans canadian because of less congestion than slogging through the Interstates past Pittsburg, Youngstown ect all the way west. Ill tie in Rte 2 heading west and look forward to wide open spaces. Around here you can't see a half mile ahead because of trees and curves, which are great but a little variety is what its all about. Thanks much.
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  16. Switchglide12

    Switchglide12 Been here awhile

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    I know you are looking for local input, I went to Sturges and Yellowstone from NJ in 2016. I used interstate 80 till Youngstown OH. Then I took back roads US-20 from OH. I camp on Indiana Dunes great spot for camping. It is right off US-20. From Indiana Dunes I headed bit North pick up US-14 to the Badlands NP then Sturges. From Sturges Hwy 12 then back on 14 to Yellowstone NP north entrance. Come out of Cody WY on Southern end to Colorado, then took US-36 cross KS and back to OH then picked up US-6 all the way home. I never used GSP just paper maps I got for each state from AAA. Good luck on your travels you will have good time.
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  17. ERRN

    ERRN Huh! What?

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    Thanks for that! Ill look up your routes and plot them out. That may be the way to go if I do a September trip vs a July trip.
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  18. Switchglide12

    Switchglide12 Been here awhile

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    I did it in August it wasn't hot at all. Out West I had to use heated gear few mornings in August.
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  19. ERRN

    ERRN Huh! What?

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    Just looking over your route on Google Maps, looks good. I will probably stitch together suggestions from Buffalo Bill, scootac and yourself for a pretty epic plains route west and east bound. Thanks for the input
    #19
  20. Spfd308

    Spfd308 Here for the Entertainment

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    US212 beartooth hwy out of Red Lodge, MT is a great ride. US 14 & 16 thru the big horns in WY. Us 20 between shoshoni nd thermopolis WY. US12 between Lolo MT and Kamiah, ID. A few roads I enjoyed.
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