Coast to Coast and back again

Discussion in 'Americas' started by longtail, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. longtail

    longtail n00b

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    :norton On June 9th I fly to New York from the UK to ride my bike from New York to Seattle and then back again, flying out of NY on August 14th. This is giving me 10 weeks to do the trip.

    I intend riding to Niagra Falls then around the top of Lake Erie and onto Detroit where I want to see the Henry Ford museum. I will then drop down to Toledo before picking up the US20 and heading west. It is my intention to stick as far away from the interstae as possible.

    I will spend a few days at Yellowstone and Teton before striking up to Seattle before turning back on the US2. I will follow the US2 to Saulte Ste Marie before cutting into Canada and via Ottowa and Montreal before turning back through New England and down to Boston to follow the coast back to NY.

    I will be doing Hotels/motels until Chicago but will then buy a tent and sleeping bag and alternate nights under canvas with motels.

    That is a brief summary of my planned trip so now I need to know what to see along the route and more importantly where to stay - all suggestions most welcome.

    So come on guys, thinking caps on to make mytrip memorable.:freaky
    #1
  2. basketcase

    basketcase lifelong reject fixer Supporter

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    Having driven through Chicago traffic at mid-afternoon, I would recommend going through there at around 2 AM to anyone passing through on a bike.

    Seriously, it is bumper to bumper rude drivers who want every inch of asphalt covered space they can push you out of. I would personally ride a bike through there only as I noted -- at a time as far from rush-hour as possible.
    #2
  3. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Look at www.campmor.com for camp gear-they have a store in NJ if you want to visit from NY at your start. They cannot be beat unless you use ebay or some other longer route to bargins. As far as routes-you have the right idea-to really see this country you MUST! get off the interstate system, however ,I would use it at times to save time & to get me to the next general area of interest. If you are attracted to the Henry Ford then the Smithsonian in D.C. is a no brainer for you! I would also consider doing a southward route on the Blue Ridge PKWY, which is a high elevation "linear" National Park. It will take you into the Heart of the Smokie Mtn National Park and one of the most beautiful and scenic places in the eatern USA. The Rocky Mountains are another area to enjoy both for scenery and riding fun. The list gets longer but I would plan a route that twisted around throughout as many places in the Rockies as time will allow. Each state out there has much to share. It is also important to get off your bike and then really see what the various areas have by walking around some-I suggest a whole lot if you like to hike , as I do. Enjoy!!! The BMW MOA members have a book called "Anonymous" which will provide you with hundreds of us that are available for everthing from conversation to parts and mechanical repairs plus some as myself offer camping space and tools for assistance and more. It would almost be worth the $35 for that book alone while travelling here for 10 weeks. Go around the big cities unless they have some special thing you want to see and then look for a way to enter without your bike or ask here for advice . Look online for the club website. Pm me if you have further questions about USA travel in general or KY specifically.
    #3
  4. longtail

    longtail n00b

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    :evil great advice about Chicago, will try to duck under it.

    Thanks for info re BMW book and camping website in NJ. Blue Ridge eh, will take a look at my maps and try to amend the route.:clap :clap
    #4
  5. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    It is restricted to 55 mph and has nice enjoyable pace-you will see lots of gawkers and bicycles too-the challenge is to be on it when the fog burns off and if your'e lucky the views are just awsome! There are some nice side trips from the pkwy- an example is to go over to D.C., another much closer one is to go to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello home-it is worth the visit. Places to avoid -unless you want to go in t-shirt type tourist traps- are Cherokee,NC-it's not hard to avoid, as you can just ride on thru town . All of the north GA mtns and western NC area are extremely scenic and a diffrent kind of place than the western US mtn areas. If you want to do a ride thru in Smoky Mtn Pk -take the time for the Cades Cove Loop where you will see a preserved actual mtn community. If you REALLY want get the feel , get off and hike up for a couple of hours to 5-7000 ft elevation and take in the views. New England area is very nice too, but given the choice between one and the other I'd head for Smokies every time( my opinion of course). There are nice, quiet,safe, campgrounds the entire route of the pkwy and it is easy to shoot over to a town for food and more. Another neat place to bike that will give you the deep south to a large extent is the Natchez Trace Pkwy, another 400 mile plus linear national pk that starts in Nashville,TN and ends in Natchez,MS-again you can shoot of to nearby sights and food and camp along the way. If you go that route you can pass thru the southern USA and go north when you desire to the rockies at some point. I reccomend Colorado as a first choice and lots of other places as second choices that are also neat. The Teton National park will remind you of the european alps and Yellowstone is awesome but for the overall best place I'd do Rocky Mtn Nat Pk if I were going to go to one place and spend a short time in the high mtns-again feel free to ask questions.
    #5
  6. Eyes Shut

    Eyes Shut See no evil Super Supporter

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    You might also want to consider going through Custer State Park and Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota. In the Rushmore area, there is a wonderful road, Iron Mountain Road: scenic, twisty, and with two "cork-screw" turns in the road.
    #6
  7. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    My 2 cents again,

    If you were from the Dakotas and you had never been anywhere else, you would think the higher elevations there are pretty neat, however, most people would tell you they are just not to be compared with the Rockies-the Mt Rushmore area is HEAVILY touristed as well.If you are looking for twisty roads to ride, see:VA,WV,western NC,north GA,eastern TN and eastern KY and most of Vermont , New Hampshire, up state NY, some of Maine and parts of PA. The north west -Oregon, Washington ,Idaho are really beautiful! CA if you can avoid the hordes that live there-nice place with too many people in a lot of it...
    #7