Riding a KLR across the US and back this summer...

Discussion in 'Americas' started by theblahmonster, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. novamandan

    novamandan Danny B

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    Hey dude;
    I'd definitely put Arches, Canyonlands, Moab, San Rafael Swell, and Lake Powell on your must see list. These are all in Utah and are all extremely bad ass. Additionally, I would see Jackson Hole and Redwood trees around santa cruz...Pretty bad ass highway that follows the US/Mexico border down by san diego as well that is well worth the ride. HAve a good one!

    D
    #21
  2. theblahmonster

    theblahmonster Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Thanks for all the suggestions! Between the suggestions here, at klr650.net, on reddit and facebook, my list has grown to monstrous proportions:

    THE BIG LIST OF SHIT TO SEE
    Grand Canyon
    Yellowstone
    Grand Tetons National Park
    Fly Geyser, Nevada
    Barringer Crater, east of Flagstaff, AZ
    Salton Sea/Slab City/Salvation Mountain – Calpatria, CA
    Lake Chasm, OR
    Painted Hills – Mitchell, OR
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palouse_Falls
    Cloud's Rest, Yosimite, CA
    Niagra Falls, Canada
    Route 66
    Carhenge - Alliance, NE
    Largest, heaviest ball of sisal twine IN THE WORLD - Cawker City, KS
    Outhouse museum - Gregory, SD
    Grand Circle (Brice Canyon, Red Rocks) - UT
    Canyons of the Escalante - UT
    In California, ride the Highway 1 from around San Luis Opismo to Morrow Bay or a little more north at San Simeon (can also go see Hearst's Castle if you want) and go north up to San Francisco (going by the 17 mile drive in Carmel).
    Rhyolite Ghost Town - NV
    Area 51
    Death Valley National Park
    Deals Gap, NC
    Redwood National Park
    Badlands National Park
    Glenwood Springs, Garden of the Gods, Flatiron, Gunnison, Steamboat - CO
    John Day River/Deschutes River, Painted Hills - OR
    17 Mile Drive - Pebble Beach, CA, catch a race at Laguna Seca while there
    Sea to Sky highway, from Vancouver to Whistler, west coast Canada
    Flume Gorge, Franconia State Park - New Hampshire
    Mt Washington - New Hampshire (contingent on research indicating I'm not likely to die on the way up)
    Kangamangus Hwy through the White Mountains - New Hampshire
    Bar Harbor/Calander Islands - Maine
    Cadillac Ranch - Amarillo, TX
    Red Rock Canyon - Sedona, NV
    Foamhenge, VA
    Great Sand Dunes National Park - CO
    Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park - CO
    UFO Watchtowers(?) - CO
    "The Snake" US421 - NC, TN, KY, VA
    "The Dragon" US129 - TN, NC
    The Outer Banks of North Carolina
    Nantahala National Forest - NC
    Mud Pots - Niland, CA
    The Cascades - BC, WA, OR, CA
    Going-to-the-Sun Road - Montana
    Beartooth Highway - Montana
    Try to swing through northern Wisconsin, Wabeno to be specific, around the first or second weekend in June to catch the Ride 4 Research dual sport ride put on by the Wisconsin Dual Sport riders. Fantastic trail, copious amounts of delicious food and wonderful people abound. You would be hard pressed to find a better time on 2 wheels.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Park_to_Park_Highway
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_National_Forest
    Route 100 - VT
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlsbad_Caverns_National_Park
    Michigan Upper Peninsula
    Valle Vidal - NM
    Alpine Loop - CO
    Arches/Canyonlands National Parks - Moab, UT
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumbres_and_Toltec_Scenic_Railroad
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gettysburg_Battlefield
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valley_of_Fire_State_Park
    Ride from Prescott, AZ to Crown King, AZ
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Ridge_Parkway
    Crater Lake, Oregon (free cabin location: https://maps.google.ca/maps?ie=UTF8&ll=43.226479,-121.795115&spn=0.003061,0.004823&t=h&z=18)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wizard_Island
    Cape Perpetua, Oregon
    Martin's Ferry Road (169) and Bald Hills Road. I rode these in 2004 also on a KLR. The west half of Bald Hills is paved and climbs quite high above the red woods, the east half is gravel and winds back down into sasquatch territory. Martin's Ferry Road is single lane (freshly paved, at the time) winding along the Klamath River with virtually no traffic. It's a dead end though at the creepy little community of Johnsons, meaning you'll have to go all the way back, which is a good thing. (https://maps.google.ca/maps?ie=UTF8&ll=41.216306,-123.764849&spn=0.050554,0.077162&z=14)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angels_Landing
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fly_Geyser
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleeping_Bear_Dunes
    http://www.reddit.com/r/travel/comments/g9har/hey_rtravel_im_motorcycling_across_the_us_on_a/c1m59a2
    Galco's Soda Pop Stop - Los Angeles
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devils_Tower_National_Monument
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoover_Dam
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_and_Clark_National_and_State_Historical_Parks
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Flattery
    http://www.smartertravel.com/travel-advice/Hiking-Havasu-Falls-Grand.html?id=11115
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tombstone,_Arizona
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallowa_Lake
    The Hwy from Asotin Washington to Enterprise Oregon (Hwy 3) is a great ride.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goblin_Valley_State_Park
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tioga_Pass
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glacier_National_Park_(U.S.)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icefields_Parkway
    Cascades National forest has great camping.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wyoming_Highway_296
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monument_Valley
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zion_National_Park
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Lemmon
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Rafael_Swell
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Powell

    THE SMALL LIST OF SHIT TO AVOID
    Kansas

    :rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl


    Last year I backpacked SE Asia for 7 months, so I'm pretty well versed on the art of traveling. I don't expect to see everything and I certainly won't kill myself trying to, but I'll pick and choose what's worth seeing depending on the variables at the time. Buzzard, you're absolutely right about going with the flow - if there's one thing I learned while backpacking, it's that sticking with a hard itinerary is self-defeating on a number of levels. It can be tricky to balance flexibility with trying to see as much as possible at first, but you eventually find your groove and it becomes much easier. I expect this trip to be no different.... but wow! There are a TON of beautiful things to see in the US! I've been around the US once before as a kid, but other than that two week trip (which I barely remember), I haven't seen anything of the US outside of the southeast. I'm really looking forward to this trip now...

    As for the suggestion to go clockwise - that's definitely the better way to go. I lived in Kuwait and Iraq for a year each, and if I can help it, I never want to experience that kind of heat (especially without air conditioning) again...

    Thanks again!
    #22
  3. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    141/dolores canyon colo. is a must do!
    #23
  4. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    also make sure you take the smalled paved road to the bottom of the black canyon of the gunnison. one of the steepest roads in the state & one of the coolest one most do not know about.

    is the lost coast/shelter cover/matole road on there?

    #24
  5. Motopapillon

    Motopapillon Eppur si muove

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    Hey, Blah Monster, I would add my vote for doing this clockwise, going west across the south before it gets too hot, and east through the north after it has had a chance to warm up and dry out.

    I'm not going to add anything to your list, because your plate already looks too full to finish at a single sit. My advice? Keep it loose enough to improvise comfortably, and bear in mind you can always fit another trip or two into your life for all the things you miss on this one.

    Happy trails.

    MP
    #25
  6. scudrunner

    scudrunner Been here awhile

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    I have to agree... Plan a route and the things you must see... if you have time then you can explore a little more. I would try to make a base camp for two or three days in a geographical area and then do day trips to sightsee.

    When you check out carhendge give me a shout... I live in Western Nebraska.
    #26
  7. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer

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    I had some time and organized the Big Bucket list by state. I'd bet this entire list would take 4 months to complete...if'n you plan on really seeing the sites.

    The Big Bucket List of Places to see

    AZ-Grand Canyon
    AZ-Route 66
    AZ-Barringer Crater, east of Flagstaff, AZ
    AZ- Tuson, – Mount Lemmon in Santa Catalina Mountains
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Lemmon
    AZ-Grand Canyon National Park
    AZ-Mesa Verde National Park
    AZ-Ride from Prescott, AZ to Crown King, AZ
    AZ-Grand Canyon
    http://www.smartertravel.com/travel-....html?id=11115
    AZ- Hwy 180 from Grand Canyon to Flagstaff
    AZ-Tombstone, Arizona
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tombstone,_Arizona

    NV-Fly Geyser, Nevada
    NV-Death Valley National Park
    NV-Rhyolite Ghost Town
    NV-Red Rock Canyon - Sedona, NV
    NV-Valley of Fire State Park (50 miles North of Las Vegas)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valley_of_Fire_State_Park
    NV-Fly Geyser
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fly_Geyser
    NV-Hoover Dam
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoover_Dam
    NV-Hover Dam – new bridge across the Colorado River

    CA-17 Mile Drive - Pebble Beach, CA
    CA-Sea to Sky highway, from Vancouver to Whistler, west coast Canada
    CA-Salton Sea/Slab City/Salvation Mountain – Calpatria, CA
    CA-Cloud's Rest, Yosimite, CA
    CA-Redwood National Park
    CA-Niagra Falls, Canada
    CA-Mud Pots - Niland, CA
    CA-Yosemite National Park
    CA-General Grant National Park (now part of Kings Canyon)
    CA-Sequoia National Park
    CA-Galco's Soda Pop Stop - Los Angeles
    CA-Sierra Nevada Mountains
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tioga_Pass
    CA-Highway 1 from around San Luis Opismo to Morrow Bay.
    CA-Hearst's Castle
    CA-Yosemite NP
    CA-Alabama Hills (remote but worth it)
    CA-Death Valley
    CA-Joshua Tree NP
    CA-Mojave National Preserve (nothing there but worth seeing, needs spare gas)

    NM-Lincoln National Forest
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_National_Forest
    NM-Carlsbad Caverns National Park
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlsba..._National_Park
    NM-Chama, New Mexico (vast elk population in remote areas)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumbres...cenic_Railroad
    NM-Area 51
    NM-Valle Vadal (Carson National Forest) 1 of largest population of Elk in USA.
    NM-Royal Gorge bridge (amazing)
    NM-Whitesands Missile Range

    SD-Outhouse museum - Gregory, SD
    SD-Badlands National Park
    SD-Black Hills
    SD-Mount Rushmore

    CO-Alpine Loop – CO
    CO-Telluride
    CO-Estes Park (animals everywhere)
    CO-Rocky Mountain National Park
    CO-Glenwood Springs, Garden of the Gods, Flatiron, Gunnison, Steamboat Springs
    CO-Great Sand Dunes National Park - CO
    CO-Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park(go to bottom on narrow paved road)
    CO-UFO Watchtowers

    GA-Stone Mountain
    GA-City of Savannah (Riverwalk Street, at night)
    GA-Tybee Island
    GA-Cumberland Island (have to take a boat to see horses)

    NH-Flume Gorge, Franconia State Park - New Hampshire
    NH-Mt Washington - New Hampshire
    NH-Kangamangus Hwy through the White Mountains

    NC-Blue Ridge Parkway (NC and TN)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Ridge_Parkway
    NC-"The Dragon/Deals Gap" US129 – (TN, NC)
    NC-The Outer Banks of North Carolina
    NC-Nantahala National Forest - NC

    MT-Beartooth Highway – Montana
    MT-Glacier National Park (Going to the Sun Hwy)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glacier_National_Park_(U.S.)
    MT-Upper Missouri Breaks (Hard to get to, dirt)
    MT-Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuse
    MT-Lemhi Pass (MT and Idaho)
    MT-Bannock (western ghost town)

    ID-Gibbons Pass (ID and Montana)
    ID-Hwy 12 (east and west)
    ID-Lolo Motoring Highway (122 miles off-road – very off-road)
    ID-North Fork, North Fork of the Salmon Road (dirt) to the dead end (34 miles)
    ID-Hells Canyon NRA
    NW-The Cascades - BC, WA, OR, CA

    OR-Crater Lake, Oregon
    https://maps.google.ca/maps?ie=UTF8&...04823&t=h&z=18)
    Wizard Island
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wizard_Island
    OR-Lake Chasm, OR
    OR-Tillamook derigibal hanger on the Pacific
    OR-Painted Hills – Mitchell, OR
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palouse_Falls
    OR-John Day River/Deschutes River, Painted Hills
    OR-Crater Lake National Park
    Lassen Volcanic National Park
    OR-Joseph, Oregon
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallowa_Lake
    OR-Cape Perpetua, Oregon
    OR-Six Rivers National Forest - Martin's Ferry Road (169) and Bald Hills Road.
    (https://maps.google.ca/maps?ie=UTF8&...C0.077162&z=14)
    OR-Fort Clatsop (Astoria, Oregon)

    WA/OR-Lewis and Clark State Park on the Columbia River
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_a...storical_Parks
    WA-The Hwy from Asotin Washington to Enterprise Oregon (Hwy 3) is a great ride.
    WA-Mount Rainier National Park
    WA-Mount Saint Helen
    WA/OR-Columbia River Gorge
    WA- Cape Disappointment and Lighthouse

    UT-Arches/Canyonlands National Parks – Moab
    UT-Cisco (ghost town) Hwy 128 –my favorite short road in the USA. (20 miles)
    UT-Utah –Goblin Valley State Park
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goblin_Valley_State_Park
    UT-San Rafaell Swell (unique curvey road)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Rafael_Swell
    UT-Between Arizona and Utah
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Powell
    UT-Bryce Canyon (needs full day and hiking)
    UT-Capital Reef National Park (big)
    UT-Capital Reef to Hanksville, UT (via Hwy 24)
    UT-Monokey Switchback (on way to Monument Valley)
    UT-Monument Valley (UT and AZ)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monument_Valley
    UT-Canyons of the Escalante - UT
    UT-Zion National Park (needs 2 days to hike)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angels_Landing
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zion_National_Park
    UT-Kodachrome Basin State Park

    WY-Grand Tetons National Park (top 10)
    WY-Yellowstone
    WY-Jackson Hole
    WY-Pinedale and Afton, WY (towards Jackson, WY)
    WY-Chief Joseph Scenic Highway
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wyoming_Highway_296
    WY-Devils Tower
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devils_...ional_Monument

    TX-Big Bend NP
    NE-Carhenge - Alliance, NE
    NE-North Platte (worlds largest train yard)
    VT-Route 100
    KS- Cawker City - Largest, heaviest ball of sisal twine IN THE WORLD -
    MA-Bar Harbor/Calander Islands, Maine
    MI-Michigan Upper Peninsula
    PA-Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gettysburg_Battlefield
    MI-Sleeping Bear Dunes – near lake Michigan
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleeping_Bear_Dunes
    VA-Foamhenge, VA
    Washington DC – Smithsonian Natural History Museum & Aerospace Museum
    AK- the state

    Canada –Vancover Island
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Flattery
    Canada- Icefields Parkway
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icefields_Parkway
    Canada - Waterton National Park and Hotel
    Canada - Jasper, Alberta
    Canada – Lake Louise

    Disclaimer: I've been to most of the above and some of these I would not put a high priority on...just a judgement call. Like, I wouldn't ride a 1,000 miles to see a "ball of twine".:deal
    #27
  8. ShanMan

    ShanMan Adventurer

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    Planning on doing the exact same thing on my 2004 KLR from Orlando, so thanks for starting the thread man. Who knows, maybe I'll see ya out there. Cheers!
    #28
  9. DirtDancer

    DirtDancer Slidin' Downhill

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    Thanks for throwing up the lists!! I plan on a slower trip but this helps organize the must see's. If you see a sticker on the back of a trailer, wave, (if my bikes not back there its not my trailer! ) I plan on using trailer as base camp and then riding KLR Everywhere!!:1drink Your posts are appreciated!
    #29
  10. 1marka

    1marka Been here awhile

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    If you make it to Virginia you may want to check out Burkes Garden and Hwy 16 S. between Frog Level and Hungry Mother State park.
    #30
  11. DurtKlod

    DurtKlod Long timer

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    ...or June... or July for that matter. However, if you stick to the high country, even Arizona can be somewhat pleasant during the summer months.

    I'll second the vote for the AZ Prescott to Crown King ride down Senator. I did this ride just last week. It's only 42 miles but it took me 2 hours as it's pretty rough in places. PM me when you get close and I'll join you if you'd like... in fact, there's quite a few of us 'round these parts that would probably meet up with you. Weekdays are better for avoiding all the traffic - quads and their accompanying clouds of dust.
    #31
  12. louie5

    louie5 Adventurer

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    Your welcome to throw out your tent here in Joplin, MO.

    Not that I expect to see ya since I can spit on your shit list from here! :D

    Always have a cold one in the fridge and it'll give you a chance to leave your mark on Route 66................Louie
    #32
  13. Lippy

    Lippy Been here awhile

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    Should be on the endless list
    #33
  14. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    that's one hell of a list.
    in UT i think you meant to say Moki Dugway.
    Givi has the Monokey. :D

    #34
  15. OsoADV

    OsoADV Oso

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    Did a big trip like this a few years back on summer break from school as well. Actually writing out my RR now. Wish I would have known about ADV to help me plan! Will be referring back to this when I do it again!
    #35
  16. LandLeftBehind

    LandLeftBehind Been here awhile

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    Maryland, 'merica
    I havent followed all of this thread, but I took a route out west from MD last summer and I could probably give you some good route/camping tips. Send me a PM if you want to know more.
    #36
  17. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    For what it's worth, I'd skip Tombstone. I spent half a day there a couple summers ago. It's a tourist cliche.

    I went to the re-enactment of the OK Corral. It was a joke. There was a very cool photo exhibit in the OK Corral museum documenting Native American and early settler life.

    Lots of cool stuff to see out there, but the the of Tombstone really isn't one of them. Maybe just ride through to see.

    Jamie
    #37
  18. borezack

    borezack n00b

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    Location:
    Lake Powell Ut
    Hey I'm at halls crossing (lake Powell) Ut if u need help or supplies . Let me know.
    #38
  19. RogueSatchmo

    RogueSatchmo Adventurer

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    I see that there are two folks going that way this summer as well. I am planning on heading to the SW in late May, so depending on where you stop and visit it might work out to link up at some point.

    I don't know what you are thinking, but here is my thread. I have some places to stay planned out through the tent list, but I am flexible. Maybe something would work out.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=869575
    #39