Midwest Tour planning - advice?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by TraumaQueen, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. TraumaQueen

    TraumaQueen WW( ;,; )D?

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    Hello all,

    I'm looking for feedback on a trip I'm planning for early August through the Midwest. In particular, are the roads I'm choosing decent, are the routes fun/scenic/relatively safe, and are there any areas I should avoid or not miss?

    I MUST hit Houston, Austin, and Guthrie in TX; McPherson, KS; and Sullivan, MO.

    So here's what I've been thinking.

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    Under consideration: Worth seeing? Best way to go?

    Iowa

    • Loess Hills
    Missouri

    • Ozark National Scenic Riverway on Hwy 106 between Ellington and Houston

    • Highway 19 from Hermann to Winona

    • Elephant Rock State Park
    Kansas

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    Austin, TX

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    Ouachita National Forest

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    Thanks for any advice/help you can send my way!
    #1
  2. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    You will see lots of corn growing & have no trouble staying warm on that trip. As to safe, Houston will obviously be the least and the rest will be a piece of cake. Hard to be scenic & hit your must goes, but NE AR can be great riding & very scenic , if you take the best way through . If you like sort of lonely places with open vistas head for the Flint Hills in KS then down to McPherson-tweak that part for certain by choosing the scenic roads. I suggest you go on the several "motorcycle roads" websites to gain some interest in the trip. Compare those routes to what you have now and keep some slab & add some interest to the trip.
    #2
  3. Schnickelfritz

    Schnickelfritz pick, grin, repeat

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    Looks like you've got 177 (Flint Hills Scenic Byway) on your itinerary. Several ways to get from Topeka to Lawrence. From Lawrence, take 24/40 to Bonner, then 32 into KC parallels I-70. I'll PM a route to you if you're interested in some non-slab Lawrence/Leavenworth alternatives in northeast KS area.

    There are lots of great roads north and south of Sullivan, MO. In the Ozark Riverways area, 19 goes 130 miles from Eminence up to Hermann, and 106 heads east from Eminence to Ellington. Check out any of the large springs in the area, all very cool and very cold. From Ellington, north to Centerville on 21, then left on 49 up to 19. Or twist it up a little more by taking J east from 49 at Black, continue west to KK, then up to 32 and then east 2 mi. to 49. 32 will also take you back west to 19 at Salem, very fun road if there's not too many mine trucks and it goes through Bixby (iconic ADV general store photo op). Hell, any of those roads is great. Don't miss Johnson Shut-Ins State Park if you have time for a swim in one of the clearest rivers in a state full of them, on Hwy N east and then north from the junction of 21 and 49 north of Centerville. You could also take 21 to Potosi and then NW to Sullivan through Pea Ridge area with several twisty choices.

    Lots of nice 2-lane low-traffic roads between Jeff City and STL south of the Missouri River, including (from W to E from Jeff) 100, 89, J/N, Y. Then, east of Hermann, there's YY, Z, V, and T which takes you to Manchester Rd and the STL burbs.

    Eric
    #3
  4. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

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    You are bypassing some of the best roads in the country in northwest Arkansas.

    http://www.motorcycleroads.com/Routes/Arkansas_79.html

    The Loess Hills are way west near the Missouri River. If you really want to go that way I can help you out. Personally I would spend any extra time in NW AR.
    #4
  5. Dirt2007

    Dirt2007 Long timer

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    I would'nt go too far out of my way to see the highest point in Oklahoma. Arkansas, yes. New Mexico, yes. Oklahoma's is not a mountain, just a high plain.

    Talamena drive scenic byway in southeast OK is nice.

    Have a good trip.
    #5
  6. louie5

    louie5 Adventurer

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    TQ,
    Ditto on the roads in NW Arkansas. Looks like you may be planning on going down Interstate 540 but Hwy 23 (The Pig Trail) which runs from Eureka Springs down to I-40 is a great ride. Lots of fun roads to ride, that's just one of them. I live in Joplin and have plenty of room for you to pitch a tent if you're interested.....comes with the usual inmate amenities (beer & supper).
    Good luck.......sounds like a great trip...........Louie
    #6
  7. TraumaQueen

    TraumaQueen WW( ;,; )D?

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    You are all so awesome!

    By the way, if you're ever passing through the Twin Cities and need a place to crash, I've got a couch and maybe even a hot meal for ya.

    The only catch is you have to play fetch with the dog. It's a house rule. :D

    Cat
    #7
  8. TraumaQueen

    TraumaQueen WW( ;,; )D?

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    On Monday, my riding buddy and Big Pig took a spill in Arizona -- two days into his 3-week trip. Turns out it's right dangerous to drag a peg at low speed.

    Bad news: He has a broken clavicle, probably broken ribs, a broken bike, and a broken vacation.

    Good news: He's a big proponent of ATGATT and it could have been MUCH worse.

    He evidently didn't know how much damage he'd taken and rode 30 miles to the next town to get help.

    So my trip is on hold until we determine how to get his bike home. I may be heading down in a cage to trade him, since it's hard to ride properly with a clipped wing and/or on Rx painkillers.

    Thanks you guys. I feel like I"m in good hands here on ADV. :D
    #8
  9. Schnickelfritz

    Schnickelfritz pick, grin, repeat

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    Damn. Sorry to hear he broke his vacation! That's real sad.

    :D

    Hope the rest heals up quick, too!

    Sooo...when it does, you gonna take the River Road to STL? If on the MO side and the city isn't on your itinerary, I'd get off near Elsberry or Winfield, MO. If you're on the IL side, the Brussels and Golden Eagle ferries will get you into MO just north of the St. Chas I-70 corridor, kind of east of ideal and I don't know which roads, if any, are reasonable alternatives to slab. The ferries are the only Missouri River crossing between US54 at Louisiana and US67 at Alton.

    Anyway, from Elsberry or Winfield, MO, head SW on any of the small roads to either Hermann or Washington to cross the Missouri River, then it's your choice of fantastic roads on down to Sullivan. Hermann is a little longer trip but it's nice and the roads south are great: H to Stony Hill, 324, ZZ, Y to Gerald, then H south to Sullivan. Or something like that. Can't really go too wrong in Gasconade and Franklin counties. Anyway, hope you get to make the trip soon.


    #9
  10. Looper

    Looper The Dude Abides!

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    Once you get near the Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa border, I would reccomend following the Mississippi River on the Wisconsin side road up to the twin cities, you willl forget that you are in the midwest. Don't be afraid to explore the bluff coulee region around LaCrosse region. Check out the twin cities, then head northeast through Stillwater, cross the river to 63 and head toward Hayward on your way to Bayfield Wi. I did a circumnavigation of Lake Superior a while back and enjoyed it. Plenty of beauty on MN, WI and MI shores.of Superior.
    #10
  11. TraumaQueen

    TraumaQueen WW( ;,; )D?

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    Tomorrow is Day 0!

    Here is the final map. The theme is no longer "high points." I decided to incorporate my Chasing Smoke goals instead. I bet I can find a BBQ joint in Kansas City... :lol3


    [​IMG]

    If anyone is along this route and wants to ride along for a while, PM me! Also, if you have tent space in your yard, I'll buy the beer. :D
    #11
  12. rufusswan

    rufusswan Been here awhile

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    #12
  13. TraumaQueen

    TraumaQueen WW( ;,; )D?

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    Thanks! I'll look for it!

    Cat
    #13
  14. Barone52

    Barone52 ThumperJournal

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    Enjoy the food in the Amish countryside!
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  15. TraumaQueen

    TraumaQueen WW( ;,; )D?

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    FYI: I'm in Austin TX tonight and it's HOT here! :nod
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