crossing the cascades and rockies in mid november

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Epicurus, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Epicurus

    Epicurus Adventurer

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    Nov 7, 2007
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    well, I am thinking this might be inadvisable, but past experience has taught me that very little is impossible. I don't havemuch riding experience and I want to go on my first long road trip on my xr600 to colorado to visit a friend from Seattle. This would mean crossing mountain passes and snow... but I don't know how much snow. If I got the right tires would this trip be possible? Has anyone made a trip like this or do you know someone who has? Let me know- thanks
    #1
  2. Van Isle

    Van Isle Been here awhile

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    Victoria, BC, CDN
    Anything is possible (LINK) but you need to judge the cost/benefit for yourself.

    It's not like it just takes a bit longer than normal; you could be stuck for a long time making 10MPH...add to that picking up the bike 2 or 3 times every hour, more rest, not to mention environmental aspects, and that is a whole other ball game. And things could get serious real quick.

    I'm not an expert in that area's weather, but it could be a watch and shoot proposition that time of year, or it could be totally crap. Or you might fluke and coast through on dry but cold roads, and wonder what all the fuss was about.

    I dunno. Take pics. :clap

    VI
    #2
  3. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

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    VI's got it right.

    Pick the right weather window and it could be quite nice. But it will probably be miserable at times. And it could be dangerous. If your time and sense of adventure are up to it, go for it. But speaking personally, riding 2K highway miles on an unfaired XR600 in mid-Nov across the high Rockies sounds like about as much fun as a 40-hour root canal.

    On routes, if the weather is at all sketchy, you'll want to cross as few high passes as possible, I think that probably means I-90/Snoq to get across the Cascades, I-84/Deadman's to cross the Blues in Oregon, then the low pass near Snowville on I-84 to make it into the SLC basin. Depending on where you CO you are going, from here you can either take I-80 towards Rock Springs onto the 5K-high (and typically very bleak, cold and windy) plateau of Wyoming over to Cheyenne and S (which once in Wyoming has no high passes), or head S to Green River and attempt the high passes on I-70 and the Eisenhower Tunnel (nicer route, but several very high passes).

    In some fall forays (Sept/Oct not Nov), I've found very nice weather by taking the extremely N route across I-90 until getting into Montana and clearing all the mountains, then heading S across Wyoming. But man oh man, bring your best cold weather gear as Wyoming is an incredibly cold place in late-Fall and winter. Yellowstone consistently has some of the earliest winter weather and coldest temps in the country.

    Good luck,

    - Mark
    #3
  4. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

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    The weather is getting nasty from Lewiston to Spokane for the next week. Windy, rain showers, temps around 40 +/- 5. Wear your woolies.
    #4
  5. smokinjoe

    smokinjoe hippie kicker

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    So.....what if you breeze right through to your pals' house, and it snow blows your hiney while you're there? Justa "what if" thing to think about. I guess you could rent a U-Haul truck to bring your bike back.:cry I'm no more an expert than the previous posts, so I haven't a clue!
    #5
  6. skunk

    skunk Mid-life crisis ver. 2.5

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    Missoula Montucky
    You MIGHT be able to find a window soon, but it's already snowing up in the hills. I would ride over Snoqualmie to Missoula, then south to Boise, then
    I-84 thru Wyoming to Colorado. That saves going over Cabbage and thru
    Le Grande. Just my two cents.
    I wouldn't even think about it without heated clothing and grips. It gets DAMN cold in Wyoming! Seems it's always very windy there...:eek1
    #6
  7. Neil_The_Wheel

    Neil_The_Wheel Long timer

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    Snow can be ridden through but ice and cold will kill you.

    Cold weather riding is something that is learned in stages and heading out on a big trip like this is a bad idea without the best in heated gear and experience in cold weather riding. The cold is cumulative and slows down your thoughts and reflexes.

    Ice is the enemy and will dump you before you see it. The only motorcycle tires that grip ice are studded.

    Don't do it.
    #7
  8. Tempo

    Tempo Stumptown Native

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    Oregon
    I hate to dissuade you from having an adventure but I'm with Wind_Rider. Without a lot of experience under your belt it's probably not the best time of year for such a trip. My $0.02.
    #8
  9. Epicurus

    Epicurus Adventurer

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    alright, you guys convinced me, I've decided to take a more modest trip to the oregon dunes. Should be fun anyway, and it will alow me to get more time in the saddle- thanks all!
    #9