San Francisco - Florida Keys

Discussion in 'Americas' started by TinCrow, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. TinCrow

    TinCrow Adventurer

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    Ill be leaving December 2nd for a cross country trip to the keys in Florida. I am riding a 2009 Kawasaki Versys. I was hoping to take the 40 but it looks like it passes high country such as Flagstaff. Anybody rode through there in December? I suppose it would depend on the weather that particular week?

    Ive got 5 weeks and plan on spending most of my sight seeing time in Florida and some of the surrounding states. Id like to make a loop out of the trip, but that seems to be weather dependent. Any ideas? Thanks.
    #1
  2. 35xj

    35xj Long timer

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    i have driven out to southern california to desert race the last 4 years. Typically in late january. Every single year i have ended up stuck somewhere on 40 in a snowstorm, Usually somewhere around NM/texas.
    I 10 is a much better bet in terms of weather, but its a little scary. LOTS of border patrol, stripped cars along the road. last year we took I10 into New Orleans, not a terrible trip. Keep in mind, gas is really hard to find on 10 across texas:huh
    #2
  3. Eyes Shut

    Eyes Shut See no evil

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    I have family in New Mexico and have taken I-40 from CA to NM in December for years. Some years Flagstaff is dry as a bone, and other years, it's a winter wonderland. So, yes, check on the forecast first. A big rainstorm in southern California usually translates to snow in northern AZ and NM, so also look at the SoCal forecast.

    As mentioned, I-10 is a good alternative to I-40 if the weather is not good.
    #3
  4. Jnich77

    Jnich77 Been here awhile

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    2x on I-10. Its usually decent riding weather in the winter. Just be careful if you go through west Texas... high winds and not many places to get a hotel or fuel.
    #4
  5. TinCrow

    TinCrow Adventurer

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    How about 62 through Guadalupe Mts., Carlsbad? or the 70 to the 82 through Lincoln National forest? Im planning on stopping by Lubbock to see my sister. So I could drop in from the north or head up from the 10 at Ciudad Juarez and avoid Sierra Blanca.
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  6. Jnich77

    Jnich77 Been here awhile

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    I have rode that area many times, I have family in Alamo... beautiful part of the country. 70 and 82 are both excellent roads when the weather is nice. If I had to pick, I would take 82, 70 runs through Ruidosa so you'll have to deal with people headed to the casino and to the ski resorts. On 82 you'll go through Cloud croft, nice little town and a good place to fuel up. Not to many gas stations east of Cloudcroft while you are in the mountains.


    62 isn't bad, but it is mostly desert and hills... very nice but not nearly as pretty as 82.

    You have to pay close attention to the weather, it changes very fast. If it was me I would spend the night in Alamo then hit it in the morning. Once the sun starts to set it can get icy and in hotels are few and far in between.
    #6
  7. GastonUSAChile

    GastonUSAChile Been here awhile

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    The weather East of texas is going to be ojn your favor. I have done Houston to Miami on this season and no problem at all, always dry , blue sky and perfect roads.
    As for South Florida , the best time of the year to come and ride.
    Take Tallahasse to Tampa roads, and coast the West part of Florida to Naples, then cross the Everglades through road 41 to Miami. If you want to skip Miami, as soon you get to Krome Ave. turn south in your way to the Keys.

    My 2 cents
    #7
  8. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    If you take I10, keep your distance from the big rigs. Every time I drive that stretch, I am amazed at how much re-tread rubber is littered along the highway. I'd hate to be right behind the truck that lost it, or beside a truck when a tire blew out.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I've always wanted to ride the Keys. That would be the one place I wouldn't ATGATT. My wife and I want to rent a full dress HD, throw our snorkels in the saddlebags, and drive the keys in swim suits!<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    Don't bet on the weather east of Texas being pristine. It very well maybe, but just as likely cannot be. As for the last part of the above, definitely turn south on Krome. There is a very large casino at the intersection. You can,t miss it.
    #9
  10. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    You don't have to stay on the interstate the whole way.
    Try state # 9 in New Mexico, Straight shot across , with little traffic.
    62/160 in Tx. takes you the Guadalupe mt.s and it's a short hop to the Caverns from there.
    Lots of roads in Tx. are pretty straight with fairly high speed limits.It's kind of off the path , but, have you considered Big Bend ?
    #10
  11. deersSlayer

    deersSlayer Been here awhile

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    Here is the one twisty road that I know of in Florida (who knows, there be be 2 twisty roads in FL!)

    http://tinyurl.com/9wkblck

    Not long, and it's a dead end. But it has many tight curves, and one really tight one (nearly catches me every time!)
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  12. Jnich77

    Jnich77 Been here awhile

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    X2 I have rode that many times.... definitely a fun one. around Tallyhassee you can find some good roads too.
    #12
  13. buls4evr

    buls4evr No Marks....

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    You don't have to take I-10 to stay on a South route. Look at the secondary roads across AZ and NM and TX. They are all pretty empty and hi-speed capable also. In AZ try 191 to NM78. Then to 180 and NM 152 over to Caballo LK. Jog down South on 187 along I-25 to Las Cruces then 70 over to Alamogordo. From there East on 82 toward Cloudcroft and out at Carlsbad. East into TX to the hill country/ Austin area....and so on. No need to get on the interstates much unless you really need to make time. This route below 40 also keeps you out of the bad weather. Enjoy.
    #13
  14. tjt94

    tjt94 Been here awhile

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    I-40 sucks all times of the year unless you like looking at too many trucks.
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  15. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    The comment about gas being hard to find on I-10 in west Texas is strange. In the western part of Texas towns, exits, and gas stations are spaced a bit more widely, so if you are getting down between half and a quarter, you probably need to top up as soon as possible. Once you get out of the far west, its just like anyplace else.
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  16. No False Enthusiasm

    No False Enthusiasm a quiet adventurer

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    Here's a route across Texas with stops every 120-130 miles for gas... should be no problem. http://goo.gl/maps/pyKa3

    East of Fredericksburg, I diverted to some ranch roads that would take you by Pedenales Falls State Park. Purty country.

    A faster way would be to stay on 290, through "Drippin' Sprangs"... and on to Austin.

    NFE
    #16
  17. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    The notion of riding all the way across the USA to get to Key West is not for me. FL is flat! The highest point is like 700'+! There are almost no twisties there. When you get to Key West you can hunt for a parking garage & wander through traffic-is that your idea of a good destination? A camping spot there(if you can get one)costs more than a room elsewhere.The waters not that great for diving , at least not unless you go all the way out to Tortuga on a ferry. Riding the gulf coast in Dec will get you into some seriously nice days & possibly very wet & windy too.You will have passed by far better places to ride in the SW enroute to FL. FL is for fishing & other trendy stuff like Disney , etc.. Leave the biking to better places. My 2 cents...
    #17
  18. HeyWhatever

    HeyWhatever HTFU !

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    I did San Francisco to LA, then across to New Orleans and all the way down to Flamingo in the Everglades... and back up to NC, my final destination.

    I started January 10th and rode through March 14th, 2011... I had one of the coldes twinters on record in the recent past... but I really lucked out, because I had one day of snow and one day of rain in 10 weeks!

    Places I would not miss if you have time:

    Joshua Tree National Park, California
    Big Bend National Park, Texas
    Fontainebluea State Park, Mandeville... North of Lake Ponchatraine, Louisiana

    If you want a link to more info you can PM me.

    Charlotte:clap

    PS One thing I should have known, as I am a geologist... from Alamogordo toward Carlsbad... if you GO toward Cloud Croft and east... ahhh you may end up like I did. Six inches of snow on the bike and you do not want to ride on cinders... That escarpment is the eastern edge of the Rio Grande Rift Valley... in other words, you go UP UP UP and then you will not come down right away... excpect anywhere from 20 degrees drop or more, and do not do it when a storm front is coming in... I was helped out by some nice cowboys... but if you do go that way, make sure it is clear...

    PSS South Florida drivers suck donkey's d*cks... only place I have ridden in my 17 years of riding where I felt people were actively out to get me...
    #18
  19. Jnich77

    Jnich77 Been here awhile

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    State parks, <40.00 a night to camp
    We might not have "twisties" but we make up for that with some of the worlds most beautiful beaches.
    We have plenty of nice places to dive, some accessible from the shore.
    Parking in Key west this time of year is not bad at all, especially between christmas and new years.
    #19
  20. TinCrow

    TinCrow Adventurer

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    Thanks, I will be looking into these options and some others that have been posted. I all ways appreciate the road less traveled.

    Thanks for the link. This looks like a nice place to be, and id like to make it out that way.
    #20