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Coast to Coast USA - advice please

Discussion in 'Americas' started by EXRM193, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    FWIW, it's called "fly over country".

    Actually, we're glad that most of you folks on the coasts fly over instead of riding through...

    :deal

    :wink:
    #21
  2. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    Best of luck with your trip planning.
    #22
  3. Pantah

    Pantah Jiggy Dog Fan Supporter

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    Actually, one of my fav rides was I-90 from the Mississippi River through SD and WY. The Big sky, those rolling plains of buffalo grass, the Badlands and Black Hills were almost spiritual to me after slogging the toll roads from Buffalo. Can't say the same for MO/KS/OK stretch tho...
    #23
  4. RBrider

    RBrider Been here awhile

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    EXRM193

    Please clarify, are you turning the bikes in at Los Angeles, or Orlando. Is this a one way trip accross the US, or round trip? Hope I've caught you at a sober moment:D .

    I recently did a sport tour accross the SE US, including two days of riding NW Arkansas mountains(beautiful country & excellent riding), and two days of riding in SW North Carolina/north Georgia mountains (even more beautiful country/even better riding:D ).

    I live 75 miles form Orlando and did this trip in 9 days/3600 miles and avoided the interstate almost entirely. On a BMW Rockster. And I wasn't feeling beat up when the trip was over.

    Point being, if you're turning the bike in at Los Angeles, you've got plenty of time to map out (&ride)a nice route across the southern US. I wouldn't waste any of it on the interstates, except maybe the last day when you make a mad dash for the Rental turn in and the airport.

    I've ridden coast to coast twice from Florida on my Buell, avoiding the interstate almost entirely.
    It makes for a much more enjoyable trip, imo.

    Next time you come back, if time is a problem, pick an area, like the SW US and concentrate your ride in the area. That is to say: Fly into and out of the same airport.

    Of course, if you are riding coast to coast, round trip this time, then you probably need to stick to I 10. Sorry 'bout that.:norton

    Hope you have a safe trip and happy traveling which ever way tou go.
    RB
    #24
  5. EXRM193

    EXRM193 Been here awhile

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    It`s going to be pick up in Orlando - off to Daytona Beach (so we can say we saw the sea one side)
    Drop off in LA (See the sea the other)

    The mileage is not a problem. Most I have done in one hit was 973. Barcelona to back home on a GSXR 1000. So the miles per day is not a problem. We all ride big distances together in Europe. (have a look at our web site)
    I appreciate there is loads to see. Some twisty roads would be nice. Grand Canyon is on the list although the Skywalk I think we`ll give that a miss. Looks like a rip off!
    We want a few beers in a proper redneck bar. Same kinda deal as on the Blues Brothers film where you can throw bottles at the band if they are rubbish. Where would be the best state for that??

    Also fancy calling in to somewhere like the "Titty Twister" the bar in Dusk Til Dawn.
    I`d crawl naked, through broken glass and razor blades just to lick Selma Hayek`s sweat from stinging nettles.:D
    #25
  6. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    I erased my original reply as it avoided the reality of your statements-I will second Jamie to avoid the interstates at all possible costs- UNLESS -I read your actual words correctly-if your only interest in the eastern two thirds of this country is "cracking on to Texas" then I say I will tell it like it is-you are wasting our time and need to do some trip planning before you ask or, the Interstate system is right down your line!(if you want avoid 2/3 rds of the USA)I suggest you change your tickets to west coast only and drive around to the only places you make mention of and throw your bottles at the band out their(thus saving several hundred million of us in the eastern 2/3's of the country the possible cost of paying for your jail time afteryou do so.I know I am being offensive but it is the dumbest thing I have ever heard in the way of trip questions in a long ,long time to ask about only things 2000 miles west of where your starting out. Fly in or out of Las Vegas or LA and I suspect you will be very happy staying out there?
    #26
  7. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

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    Ahhh, you want some nightlife. I'm not a gambler or a bar hopper, but I've not seen a "Roadhouse" bar in the west. Maybe in the South, where there is a more dense population. I've been looking for Salma Hyak all over the west. I haven't found her, or her twin, yet.

    Stop in Laughlin(south of Vegas) or Wendover, Utah (Bonneville) for "small" town gambling. Kind of like small versions of Vegas or Reno. Cheap rooms in Wendover. Jackpot...roadside casino. Nevada has casinos at every road that exits the state. And Brothels with neon signs, etc. hwy 93 is the only road in, Nevada, that I would call nice. Mostly vast tracts of empty to be traversed, and yet I like it there. Really empty.

    Heavy traffic, on 15, from Vegas to Salt Lake City. SLC has nasty traffic, really nasty. Denver is quite bad, also. I-25 runs thru concrete walls with no place to flee in an emergency. At times Tucson is getting bad, it is growing fast and they aren't keeping up with the roads. Lots of construction. Nice desert scenery around Phoenix and Tucson.


    Since you can run big mileages may suggestion would be to cross on a southern route. Enjoy some southern hospitality and eat some crayfish. Blast across Texas. you'll see plenty of it. Spend a few days in New Mexico and the Four Corners area, southern Utah, and the Grand Canyon. Maybe Vegas and Death Valley, cross Tioga to Yosemite. West of Yosemite going gets slow. Lots of humanity. Around Lake Tahoe is very slow. 35mph and traffic on narrow roads. I liked Virginia City. A tourist trap, but an amiable one.

    If you are low on time, at this point, head south. If not catch some of north Calif twisties and the coast hwy.

    The other option would be to head toward Grand Canyon first, then Four Corners, then head north along the east side of Utah or west side of Colorado. Moab, Dinasaur Park, Flaming Gorge, Yellowstone, then head west thru Idaho. Salmon to Lowman to Boise (hwys 93-75-21) one of the most pleasant scenic hwys in the west. (I am biased). Head south on 95 thru the rugged Oyhee Desert. Run down the east side of Calif, catching the Parks. Do Ebbets pass west then Yosemite and Tioga going west. On to Death Valley and LA.

    Get a National Park Pass. One fee gets you into all the parks. Maybe not Mon Valley. It is owned by the Navaho. You can get good pics from the hwy. The park is rough with deep silt, etc. They have tours, but take a long time.

    Most everyone likes the Northwest, so I urge you to get up here if you can.
    #27
  8. dukethedog

    dukethedog Been here awhile

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    Not that it matters, but the interstate system was actually designed for the quick mobilization of our military and its equipment. The widths and bridge heights were designed with that in mind. It was Eisenhower's brainchild. He determined that the U.S. was vulnerable to attack due to the size and expansiveness of our borders.
    If anyone needs any more useless info, please don't hesitate to ask.....
    #28
  9. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    I'm pretty sure the intent of the ride is to do a "sea to shining sea" ride. He says they fly into Orlando, ride to Daytona and its beach, then head West to Los Angeles to dip thier tootsies in the Pacific Ocean as well...

    Otherwise, you are correct. If the Desert Southwest is the main objective, it would be much easier to fly into Las Vegas or Los Angeles and make a loop of The Four Corners States...

    It sounds like he is in the early planning stages and was simply asking for advice to fill in the gaps in NM and AZ. Orlando to L.A. is only 2500 miles and would be an easy 3 to 5 day deal. He's trying to decide what to do with his other 10 days in the USA.

    It's tough enough for people from the Eastern USA to grasp the immense size of the Western USA. Probably much more so for Brits/Europeans...
    #29
  10. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    Every little town has bars where "the locals" hang out. All you have to do is ask where that is when you're eating at the cafe' or checking in to the hotel/motel.

    I know your references to American movies was tongue-in-cheek... The best place to find those kinds of bars is in those kinds of movies...

    New Orleans/Dallas/Houston/Las Vegas have lots of strip bars...

    Your trip will be what you make of it... Personally, I get plenty of booze and women at home. When I'm riding out West, I'm looking for curvy roads and out of the way places...

    PM me if you'd like specific recommendations on roads/places to stay/things to see...
    #30
  11. Pantah

    Pantah Jiggy Dog Fan Supporter

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    I wouldn't fly. Sea to shining sea is a good thing. They can make Taos in 3-4 days, and fun days at that. Even on the slab they get to see the deep south, the French Quarter, Spindletop and even freaking Midland! On top of that, they get to ride through those strange plains thunder bumpers you can see coming for a hundred freaking miles...how bad is that?

    They've seen enough air terminals to last a lifetime. I vote for sea to shining sea. :D
    #31
  12. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    +1 :thumb
    #32
  13. idea man

    idea man Remote Plate Spinner Supporter

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    Just returned form a family vacation and drove to both the Grand Canyon and Zion. Been to both before. Asked the kids which was better and they said hands down it was Zion. Much more interractive.
    National Park pass is a good idea if you go to more than two.
    We also went to Laughlin and Vegas. Seems like you need to go to Vegas. If nothing else to do a drive through and keep on moving. Nothing like it in the world. There's also Hoover Dam (near Vegas) and Glen Canyon Dam (near Page, AZ) both are spectacular in their own way.
    Someone else mentioned New Orleans. Yeah. Thats good.:freaky

    For more input about riding cross country, perhaps read Neal Peart's Roadshow. He did some of the routes you have available to you.
    Two weeks to go all the way one way across the country is not bad. As referred to elsewhere in this thread, parts of the drive are godaweful (Speed limit across most of Texas on the interstate is 80 mph however:clap ) and you can dispatch those quickly. You'll find various places of beauty in all the places mentioned above. It's a big country. Pick your spots and lay them out on a map using Microsoft Streets and Trips or some such thing. That will give you the perspective and give you the miles and be easily adjustable.
    Best of luck.
    #33
  14. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    I did not vote for a flight vs. a ride-I simply stated that as there has been zero interest expressed in anything other than Daytona in the eastern 2/3 of the USA why not just fly out there and do that. As far as distances in the west-I grew up in the wide open spases and the last time I checked a mile is a mile and it seems the Mississippi river is sorta near the center of the country so there must be a lotta stuff in the smaller eastern part??? that these guys don't mention having any interest in???
    #34
  15. EdOriginal

    EdOriginal Been here awhile

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    I've traveled across the United States at least 12 times and the advice from some to take the back roads to smell the roses and check the bars is obviously someone who has never traveled under a time constraint, but most likely someone who has not traveled much.

    You're getting good advice from Boondox, Pantah and Rocker. I'd add, if you don't have Microsoft Streets and Trips software to plot the trip...it will save you time and money in planning a trip...it is $25 at most places. Time is your enemy!

    "Take the back roads"....Geesh! Like someone above said, you'll be following yellow school buses and beer joints at 35 mph and a month getting to California. Try to get thru Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas as quick as possible on interstate freeways...with the exception of the northwest corner of Arkansas... there is just not that much to see compared to the western states. And I've covered those states from top to bottom, side to side, on both backroads and interstates just not much to see compared to New Mexico, Colorado, California, Utah, and Montana.

    Good suggestions:
    Taos, Shiprock, Mexican Hat, Monument Valley, Bruce Canyon, Zion NP, , Arches NP, Canyonland, Moab, White Sands, Escalonea, Capital Reef
    (all of the above are roughly a 1,000 mile circle in Utah, NMexico, Arizona.

    Joshua Tree Park(Calif),
    (I did all the above in Oct of 2007 and it was 7,106 miles from Atlanta (350 miles north of Florida) to Los Angeles airport).

    Other good suggestions:
    Yellowstone NP
    Yoshemine (sp?) (it's in California)
    Alabama Hills (it's in California)
    Glacier Natl Park (Montana)
    Badlands (Dakota)
    Colorado (entire state is a royal treat)
    Utah (entire state is awsome)

    Bad suggestions:
    Grand Canyon (not that big a deal anymore and usually too smokey in summer to see anything). (been there 4 times and still feel it is overblown; but maybe good for those that have never seen it, the skywalk is not that big a deal for the distance you have to travel).
    Petrified forest (tourist have stolen all the good stuff)

    Also if you qualify a National Park Pass would save money!
    #35
  16. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

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    This sounds like someone who hasn't traveled much. I know you said you've been through there numerous times, but I don't really think you know those areas.

    When people suggest taking "back roads," I don't think people mean any little patch of pavement crossing the desert. There are lots of high-speed US and state highways crossing the nation. I've (nearly) done an undocumented SS1000 entirely off the interstate highway system earlier this year, 840 miles in about 18 hours coming from southern Texas to Memphis.

    Back roads don't mean 35mph. They mean roads that go through towns, rather than zoom past a mile away. You get to see the heart and culture of the places you're visiting. When on the interstates, you often end up merely seeing other people who are in a hurry.

    There is fantastic stuff to see and great people to meet wherever you go. I'm a big proponent of making fewer plans and seeing where your map takes you and what happens along the way.

    Jamie
    #36
  17. rockmurf

    rockmurf IBA #31100

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    If you are going to daytona make sure you stop and see destination daytona. It is in ormond beach, a few miles north of daytona, and has the worlds largest harley dealership with much much more
    #37
  18. EXRM193

    EXRM193 Been here awhile

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    Sir. I fall at your feet and beg forgivness. Your superior intellect and knowledge brings a big lump to the back of my trousers (I guess you have pants)
    How foolish of me to ask advice from people who actually live in the country. I`m so sorry that I am wasting your time. Perhaps you feel life is to short to help someone who has never visited USA before. I do apologise.
    Tell you what, If you ever visit Europe and want some route planning advice, please get in touch. You`ll have to get your head out your arse first mind you!
    A big thankyou to everyone else by the way. I`ll do one of those ride report things in the other forum. And yes, film references were tongue in cheek. I do fancy a visit to where the Simpsons live mind you. 742 Evergreen Terrace isn`t it??
    #38
  19. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    God how I love the British wit! :rofl:rofl:rofl

    The Simpsons live a few miles south of me in Springfield, Vermont. If you decide to detour up my way do get in touch. I'll provide introductions and escort you as far as a week's vacation time will take me.
    #39
  20. Osprey!

    Osprey! a.k.a. Opie Supporter

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    Jamie Z... for some reason, I never thought about using Google Maps to do route planning by clicking the avoid highways option. Sure, I've used Google Maps lots of times but never this way.

    With the new terrain feature plus the old satellite option, it's very informative. What a useful tool!
    #40