USA East to West - Ideas and company?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by LiamH91, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. LiamH91

    LiamH91 Been here awhile

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    Made a noob mistake and forgot to click "page 2" haha ... did not expect so much feedback so soon :)

    This veggie food sounds gooooood :D I will be starting in Miami mid - late March so will make my way slowly through to the west and wouldn't get to Yellowstone for a month hopefully so April/May time ... probably still crazy but I'm from the UK ... it rains here, A LOT! Sort of used to being cold :)

    I'm going to search more on these Grand Tetons, they sound and look fantastic! Though I will still visit Yellowstone as I think it's a must see ... bloody tourist :p

    Zapp just because Leela won't put out for you don't ruin my dream :p aha! Snow is extremely beautiful ... kind of like a rose and its thorns, you don't get beauty without the danger! And yeah I've heard that sort of thing about getting people to register the bike etc etc but it could go tits up and I could end up out of pocket completely which will screw up the rest of my trip so I'll play it safe for now and spend the pennies on shipping!

    Dusty boots thank you for the concern too but you know by putting those photos up you've just made me want to go more :) They really are some cracking photos! And if you think it's me who is crazy ... you're wearing an open face helmet??? I'd have snot trails for miles hahaha!!
    #21
  2. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    Late March is sounding OK for a starting time since Florida is the starting point. It's just that when you leave Fla. ,it's still early in the year. Mid -April would allow you warmer conditions to go north into the Appalachian Mt.s for that portion of your trip.
    Any National Park is worthy of a visit as they are our Crown Jewels, so to speak. You can get a Interagency Annual Pass that will cover admittance for you and 3 others with you at all the parks and other government administrated recreational areas. The cost is $80.00 for a year.
    Everyone has their own trip planning method. What I like to do is look for smaller roads that generally avoid large cities and still get me where I want to be. I avoid Interstates unless I've run out of time and just have to be somewhere by a pre-determined time. I'm not afraid to go into a city if there's a compelling reason to go.
    I'm sure at a decent bookstore in the U.K. you'll be able to find a U.S. road atlas, Rand McNally is one good brand, get one and start your planning now.
    #22
  3. Dusty Boots

    Dusty Boots Been here awhile

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    Hate to say you're a daft bloke with the warnings you've been given, but ....... :eek1

    Sorry, April and May will still see Yellowstone and a lot of other higher elevation must see areas basically closed for anyone on a bike

    A lot of the most scenic high passes will be as well at that time to and other higher passes will most likely be covered/centre bare in snow and/or ice. At that time of year in those places, you don't get rain, ya get snow ... sometimes as much as 4 feet at once! This ain't merry ole England!!!
    #23
  4. LiamH91

    LiamH91 Been here awhile

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    Ok bk, if you've just showed me that I can get a ticket to camp almost anywhere in the USA, at beautiful sites as many times as I want ... I'm pretty sure I owe you a beer or two :D The smaller back roads are also my plan! It's the same where I live to get to many places, I can either hammer it down the M25 or take a more scenic route ... tough choice hey!

    Ahhh Dusty don't tell me things like that :O I will have to sweet talk my way up to the top then! That or park up the bike, pack my life on my back and hike to the top :) the slower way often finds much better photos too and if there is snow there is beauty :) I was gutted it didn't snow here in the UK this year so maybe I will get the ol' white stuff after all :)
    #24
  5. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    OK, say more about what you wanna see & we can guide you. FWIW, like I suggested, the highest road in Rocky Mtn park is cleared, traditionally on Memorial Day-Trail Ridge Road. Let that a guide of sorts but other scenic roads are clear sooner.
    For paved but MC friendly roads guide: www.motorcycleroads.us It doesn't begin to have them all but enough to give yo ideas in certain places. It also doesn't have the many thousands of miles of gravel or dirt roads in USA. Your UK definition of rural is gonna get re-invented. I did find that Ireland & Scotland had some back country spots but nothing like here. Actually here is pretty tame these days other than the far west. National Geo magazine did a thing a few yrs back as to how few places here were now within a certain distance of a paved road. My county in eastern KY has few people and no red lights, zero. No factories, no coal mines, no fast food, no lots of things, yet we are only a 50 mile RT to Wally World,box & chain stores. 58% national forest,here & rest mostly private forest with little tillable land. Typical of the Appalachians.
    In states that are the population centers of the whole world like NYC, much of the rest of the state is forested and rural. Your challenge is to balance your time between these various "huge locales" and pick your parties, so to speak. A swing through here & there will give you the flavor but not a real taste.
    As an e.g., the Tetons as mentioned are magnificent to view & Alps like a mtn we think of as classic in shape,etc.. To see them is one choice but to really understand whats there you have to take a day & walk into them & be amongst them. Take my word thats the only way-a drive by or a walk into them and it's the exact same thing on my place. You can drive by & say hmm, trees & really green or you can come into the woods & get swallowed up for a few miles and be in a different world of giant trees & quiet.
    Take a look @: www.visitvirginiamountains.com , click on trails then you are into arguably the best riding east of Mississippi River in USA. It's not the rockies but it's a spot to go to for certain. Holler & I'll come & ride some...
    #25
  6. LiamH91

    LiamH91 Been here awhile

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    Right I'm going to sit my arse down and plan a loose route asap!! I know there are major things I want to do and I will draw up a google map with a rough route on ... after that it'd be great to hear from some locals who know of hidden trails and off the beaten track, non-tourist things :) after all I'm not planning on being ultra tourist and embarrassing myself ... much haha
    #26
  7. cwc

    cwc Been here awhile

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    Many UK riders don't fully appreciate the distances here in the US .

    Take a look at this http://www.sarmonster.net/UK.htm

    It didn't work very well in Firefox or Chrome but did in Internet Explorer.
    #27
  8. LiamH91

    LiamH91 Been here awhile

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    cwc, that's an awesome picture :) I most definitely appreciate the distance! I also hope it brings diversity and continuous change! The thing I worry about more is crossing Mongolia and Kazakhstan ... at least the majority of the USA is paved and populated (by people who speak English too). It'll be me trying to make more friends ... in the other 2 countries it will be me, my bike and the "road" haha!

    In a way I'm going the American leg of the journey first to see if I can hack it. If I can it will get harder and I will know a little bit of what faces me ahead :)
    #28
  9. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Before our UK trip I posted here in regional while fishing for ideas and was quickly reminded that I shouldn't think of the UK as a tiny little island. Not that I brought it up either so must be a touchy point with some over there? Not saying the OP feels that way either. In UK as you travel it's a constant parade of one village ends & another begins-not so here exception being the heavy population areas in USA which can make for slow travel and bumper to bumper tedium & especially bad on a MC. Even certain I-roads can become dead stops & hours of gridlock-commute times are the worst & noonish on occasions. It's a tough call which kind of traffic is worst here on a MC, roads like I-81 with so many 18 wheelers you feel like an ant blowing about amongst them(parts of it are fairly tame) or sitting dead stopped and unable to move on a rush hour gridlocked road. Know how & where to get away from/avoid these spots. Roads obviously filter into big cities and knowing how & when to go around them(unless your going in to partake of their history/culture,etc.) is valuable to you. Picking your routes will enable those that live there to comment.
    I'll toss you this on travel distances in USA: I'm from KS & live in KY. It's 700+ miles from my house to my relatives. If your on the right bike that's a very doable one day trip if you leave early & only buy fuel & piss your way there via I-64 & I-70! You will have missed the more scenic routes but will have covered some distance you might not care about. Each of the states you went through has it's scenic places,historical spots etc., so it's pick & choose time on routes. Priorities are tough for large developed countries with lots of roads. Instead of 10 hours that same trip could be a day in KY, another day meandering southern IN & ILL, then another day or more in Ozarks of MO. Decisions, decisions.
    #29
  10. gregkzoo

    gregkzoo Adventurer

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    if it was me I would head for the the north east ride across upper new York, ohio, Michigan to the upper peninsula, upper Wisconsin and northern Minnesota, maybe the badlands south Dakota. then youre out west, pick any or all of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah. Then Ride as much of the pacific coast as possible.
    #30
  11. LiamH91

    LiamH91 Been here awhile

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    Bit by bit I'm piecing parts together ... it's taking longer than expected though! Thanks for your ideas greg I'll look in to them :)

    My best quote has been by sea to Jacksonville I believe ... £595 by HCtravel and then up to $100 handling fee the USA side. I will have them seal the deal via email and if the fee is higher try and work stuff out.

    From there I have as long as I want to volunteer for the St Augustine Wild Reserve which looks fantastic and then on to Miami to meet a friend. From there it will be up to Tennessee for the JD tour and to listen to some good music. It will take a little while from Miami to Tennessee so still searching stops between :)

    Cheers
    #31
  12. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice In Garrison.

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    What an intriguing development. I'll leave that same time.

    I'll push out of Roanoke, VA toward Cincinnati, then westward toward the Black Hills.
    Then to northwestern WA for the ferry.

    Let me know when you get your in the works thread up.

    OP
    If going to Alaska from WA, be sure to secure a slot on the Marine Alaska ferry during the summer time. Peak season.

    Also, if inTEXAS cech out the three sisters. Really great roads in the hill country.
    #32
  13. LiamH91

    LiamH91 Been here awhile

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    Gutted people seem to be going May sort of time ... I just can't contain myself and want to leave sooner :D


    #33
  14. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I just read the part about being vegetarian. You will have no problem finding good food in any larger city. For the smaller towns, you might try Indian restaurants (India, not Native American). They tend to have some interesting stuff. In Murphys, a little town here in the Sierra Neveda foothills, there is a restaurant that specializes in vegetarian meals. Just check out the pictures of some of their dishes:

    http://www.mineralrestaurant.com/gallery/

    If all else fails, the appetizer menu usually has tasty options. You could also order no meat pasta or veggy pizza.
    #34
  15. TassieMark

    TassieMark Been here awhile

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    Great advice.
    You don't need a carnet, but do yourself a favour and buy a local bike, they are cheap in the USA. If you fall in love with it you can always freight it home when you are finished in the Americas. You will most probably want to return and do more trips anyway. Its easy to find some place to leave it.
    After America, fly to Vladivostok and buy a used Ural unit and ride it to the UK.
    That's my plan anyway. I'm doing it in stages, I'm currently halfway? through doing the Americas.
    Cheers,
    Mark
    #35
  16. LiamH91

    LiamH91 Been here awhile

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    The veggie ideas and restaurant look perfect :) cheers for that!! Also I'm kind of in love with my drz :p and I know its mechanically sound so there's a lot less stress there and I'm shipping it home from LA and going to Australia and probably buying a bike there to avoid carents and the £1500 bill of shipping back to the UK. Any one know the logistics of buying in Aus?
    #36
  17. nadredrum

    nadredrum Been here awhile

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    I would have an alternative route incase weather is still to cold and snowy for the northern states, it has been one of the coldest winters on record over here. I was in Yellowstone and the Teton's late July a couple years ago in a 4x4 and got stuck on Teton pass for about a half an hour in a freak snow storm. Anywhere north of Denver in the rocky mts it can snow any day of the year when you go to the higher altitudes and almost all of Yellowstone is above 8,000ft. But who knows maybe I will run into you out on the road somewhere I am planning to head out the first week of May but I haven't decided on where. Lastly most of the drivers in the U.S. don't exactly fallow the speed limit on the bigger highways, and if you get on them you may be finding yourself stuck in traffic pushing speeds over 100mph, on your bike I would avoid interstates when possible.
    #37
  18. LiamH91

    LiamH91 Been here awhile

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    Hmmm contemplating buying a bike in the USA now ... Any advice there? And I really hope it doesn't get too cold haha!! Early may? Where will you be leaving from/going to?
    #38
  19. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    So you will go to Yellowstone in late winter...OK, no big deal. If there is too much snow to get around on the bike, park it and hire a tour from one of these guys:

    http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/transbusn.htm

    I knew a guy who went in mid winter. He said he would never forget watching the Old Faithful geyser erupt, and the mist turned to ice as it fell back to Earth.

    I be you could rent a pair of snowshoes somewhere as well.
    #39
  20. LiamH91

    LiamH91 Been here awhile

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    A tour guide for a day or so would be a fantastic idea!! Thanks for the link! Ahh I'm getting more excited by the day! I've found a klr for sale in ft Lauderdale from a shop that I've contacted so I've got to see if its possible to buy (paperwork wise).

    Very happy camper :D
    #40