New York to Mexico, best things to see?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by marka21, Jun 19, 2021.

  1. marka21

    marka21 n00b

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    I am planing on arriving in NewYork from England in late September early October with my sidecar and dog. I don’t know the southern US at all and I’m looking for advice on what to see on the way to the Texan/Mexican border. I understand that there is lots to see and do but I am looking for the natural highlights such as mountains and forests etc with no interest in man made stuff.
    Mark
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  2. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    First time EVER to visit the Americas? How many weeks are you going to be in the USA ?
    Is Fido excited about the trip ?
    Late September into October places you in the foliage autumn colour change period in the northeastern USA , it gets pretty scenic in the hills covered with hardwoods at its peak stage. It is also a time when periods of mild sunny days may be interspersed with periods of drab, chill rainy days in the north .

    TV weather reports will include updates on where the prime colour areas are . The normal pattern usually consists of a wave of colour which begins in the north and the high elevations and moves south during a month and more.
    Be careful to not get too friendly with the colourful autumn leaves of poison ivy which climbs up into many trees .

    You will of course be inescapably tied to “man made stuff” in the form of the public roads you must use , and public services. for food, fuel, banking, lodging etc. on which you will depend . That is the way it is around the world, regardless of how rugged and remote you may think you are.

    Tell us more about what interests you and the answers should start piling up .


    You could start from New York and head first north into the mountain areas of Maine , New Hampshire and Vermont to take in the colours .

    Give the Boston to Washington population masses a wide berth and cross the Adirondack Mts of New York , continue west to Niagara Falls ( not man made) and then move steadily south from Buffalo on two lane US highways into the mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia . Jog east a bit and follow the APPALACHIAN MOUNTAINS valleys .
    Maybe check out the Lurey Caverns in VA. The Blue Ridge Parkway should be interesting for slow touring along that scenic road following mostly ridge lines south through several states.

    The Smokey Mountains offer some nice touring options and there are plenty of natural- like parks and other “ stuff” you could find interesting.

    Just a start.

    PS : we need a photo of Fido:-)
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  3. marka21

    marka21 n00b

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    Hi Sjoerd
    I lived in theLA region for about 10 years (San Fernando valley) the less said the better. I lived in Santa Fe, beautiful area I love mountains and in 2019 started an Alaska to Argentina trip. I arrived at the Honduran Guatemalan border on March 16 the day they closed it. I spent another 6 months in Guatemala then back to Mexico for a ride and to ship my bike back home. That was in September 2020, I then got a puppy and later a sidecar outfit, which I had been thinking of getting for a while(the sidecar). In bike terms I was on a 2017 bmw Gsa and now I’m a on a 2004 1150gsa with a sidecar.
    I read (on this site I think) that riding in Alaska was a love it or hate it experience with the seemingly endless mountains and the scenery not changing a lot. I absolutely loved it, I am really looking forward to Patagonia.
    When I said the man made thing I was talking more of cities and towns although it’s quite sad to get to the end of the Kenai peninsular and see nothing but RVs (that are camping). So the Smokey and Appalachian mountains are the kind of things I’m looking for.
    I am trying to keep the cold and wet weather to an absolute minimum,( I come from an island in the Atlantic) so it sounds like I will need to head south and not east or north. The dog Fran, is also happier traveling in the warmer weather and so far she can handle days of 150 ish miles, she’s only 8 moths old and seems to be growing into it. I obviously want to avoid interstates and want to spend about a month getting down to the border. D71C88BF-E97A-439C-A61B-98F34464A258.jpeg F594DA3F-C317-413B-A63D-7C88059BEE45.jpeg
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  4. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Hmmmm? RV's are sad? We much prefer our 20' RV trailer to motels/hotels and have mostly aged out of camping and I backpacked for years too. In the Kenai we did cabin stays but would look forward to renting an RV up there too.
    In the USA: say where you'll arrive for a logical progression of advice. From ME down to the end of the Appalachian mtn chain in N GA and N AL one of the two best seasons for riding is Fall as SB says above. Fogs can hamper scenic views but cooler temps and beautiful tree colors are a real treat. Interstates get bad press on ADV byt are also safe, fast means to connect with the good areas for riding. The main spots to remember are the entire north east-including PA & OH, the Blue Ridge Pkwy as a connector down to the SE mtns and the Ozarks of NW AR & S MO prior to the western portion of the ride.
    Late fall gets cold in ME and many CG's are closed as you get well into October. With the fall colors and moderating temps the rains are inevitable. Some years the rains sort of shut down the color season.
    Honestly, if your bothered about the few RV's in Kenai, you'll be seriously pissed at the leaf peepers in fall season here in lower 48 where RV's are far more common? I am a life long rider but also enjoy fall seasons a lot-maybe why I live back in the woods to begin with? Get off the MC and hike if you want an RV free experience. Fact is that's the only way you'll really see the non-manmade stuff you say your after. I've worn this one out but truth be known, mother nature didn't place all the natural stuff beside the road. How many pictures of a MC rider standing beside a hwy elevation sign must I endure?:D Same applies to the Kenai where we say zero RV's back in the woods or out on the water fishing.
    FYI, it gets cold enough to have frost dates by mid-October in the SE USA in the fall unless you well below the best riding in the deep south. Goes from hot in September to real cool pretty fast here.
    Were I in your shoes-I'd fly into the north eastern USA and follow the weather down then west through TN on I-40 into the Ozarks then down to the border from AR.
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  5. marka21

    marka21 n00b

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    Wow, lots to digest there. Thanks. I don’t need to totally avoid RVs but certain places were a culture shock (even though I lived there many years) the Kenai peninsular and Bahia Concepcion being the most extreme. So just avoiding the “extreme” RV locations would be the plan with lots of walking involved too.
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  6. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    You might want to think about the sidecar and which side it's mounted on. Pulling the sidecar all the way out into the opposing lane before you can see to pass can be pretty un-nerving. Having a person in the sidecar who could tell you about oncoming traffic is one thing but a pup, is completely different.

    The time to go to Bahia Concepcion was last winter as all of the Canook Snowbirds had to stay home. :lol3

    Staying off the interstates and traveling south along the Appalachian, Blue Ridge, Smoky mountains. is the way to go. I would do a route similar to this: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/New...519!2d27.5035613!2m1!1b1!3e0?hl=en&authuser=0
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  7. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    MABDR to Damascus, DAT to Telico Plains, TAT to Arkansas, turn South-Soutwest and make a break for Del Rio!
    Don’t forget to stop in Lukenbach and say hi to Waylon & Wille and the boys.
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  8. 4PawsHacienda

    4PawsHacienda Long timer

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    A bit of leisurely sight-seeing to be had on the Blue Ridge Parkway, fall is beautiful and weather pleasant. It is the busy season but weekdays aren't too bad. Another personal favorite route is the Seneca Scenic Highway which could route you through the rolling hills and farm country of Pennsylvania from New York and into the delightful mountains of Virginia and West Virginia if you tried. Have traveled this area on a sidecar rig and thoroughly enjoyed it, smaller towns and beautiful scenery.
    The Chesapeake Bay region is also scenic, if you can bypass the large cities. The only coastal areas I can personally recommend are the NC Outer Banks and Beaufort region. To get a taste of the South I'd suggest a visit to Charleston SC or Savannah GA.
    Most knowledgeable people say the true taste of the south is our barbecue which varies tremendously by region. Do try some hushpuppies, cornbread, and sweet tea while you're in the neighborhood. PM me for a sidecar riding tour guide for a sample of the neighborhood.
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  9. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    The "South" is a widely varied and huge area! Certainly the Piedmont and coastal plain are worth the experience but there's far more to see. generally speaking most folks think they've reached the south when they cross from OH to KY or PA into MD mtns or into VA but realities are varied beyond what's worth typing here. Suffice to say that each general area of each southern state has it's cultural & topographic zones. Same for New England states. When I travel to FL at times "it sounds like" I'm in NYC at times, same can be said for VT & NH as there are so many folks who've escaped a city. ATL is the same way, somewhat. The real south is out there though if you go for it.
    In my area of KY there's lots of BBQ in the cities but the real cooking nearby to me is plain old country cooking with vegetables from the gardens you see everywhere!
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  10. marka21

    marka21 n00b

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    Thanks for all the info, I’ve been checking out the MABDR on YouTube etc and it looks like a good way to see the country but maybe a bit too challenging for the entire journey. A mix of routes like that and smaller highways looks like the way to go. I need to do some research now that I have the subject matter. In terms of weather, when does it start to get cold in Nyc and Pennsylvania, am I pushing my luck wanting good weather at the beginning of October?
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  11. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    MABDR is not challenging on a Ural. If you want more pavement, it’s usually within a mile of 2 either side of the route.
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  12. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Early October is cool a.m. and mostly still warms up as the day progresses. Rains begin in October and early fogs can cover the scenic vistas until it burns off. The BRP is a crap shoot when it's otherwise at it's glorious best in the fall as fog might just keep the best views hidden-timing is everything. For many of us early October is one of the best times of year, given the heat of summers gone and lots of fall color.
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  13. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Fran is cute in her full width doggie goggles and ear muffs .
    Maybe Fran is being trained to warn of oncoming traffic ? Odd that you decided to opt for a Brit sidecar knowing that in the Americas’ traffic it would be easier to manage sight lines if you had a continental model .

    Don't over plan or commit on specific sights and sites to visit . Have a scattered list of " possibles" and keep an eye on the weather conditions day to day forecast . Be ready to alter the route if you can avoid a dreary weather cold-front situation or a hurricane derived storm coming inland from the south .
    Northern Georgia has some great low mountain and hill riding in the northeast that could carry you through"carpet country “ and west into Alabama.
    Picture at Rosman , Virginia 16 October
    CE1229C4-6A3A-4E6F-ACE4-9E493263275F.jpeg
    In south Georgia you might find a visit to the Okeefenokee Swamp tourist center of interest ,that is way deep south .
    The Mississippi Delta flatlands are an interesting feature that extends quite far north ( all"people stuff "though) and west of that you get lots of fine riding in Arkansas which can lead you to the western mountain area and from MENA you can follow state highway AR 88 north and west into Oklahoma along the mountaintop Talimena National Scenic Byway .
    Fran should love it , lots of trees to sniff . No towns up there , the forests were plundered and devastated by the lumber barons who left “ lumber barrens “ , but left alone they have regenerated in the 100 + years after the crash . Now a protected nature area. I put the blue line beside it . F43D54AF-EE34-49C4-8E11-9294668B73E9.jpeg
    ECA7DB51-F746-49BB-B725-780517D746CB.jpeg
    I suppose the idea is to eventually wind up in Mexico so from Oklahoma it could be interesting to head south through eastern Texas where it is still lots of piney woods and small farms and small cities and smaller towns. A good variety of not - busy two lane state , county and US highways gives lots of ways to explore.
    Then around Lufkin begin heading west towards Killeen and Austin so that you can hit the Texas Hill Country .A great variety of neat paved highways exist through those hills ,plenty of curves if you pick the right ones .Too many people live there though in among the oak and juniper forest .Great parts are turning into tony overpriced suburbs of Austin and San Antonio , folk doing " work" by internet ,I suppose .Highways TX 39 , 337 187 are just a few to consider but if you aim wherever you can find nice riding . 71442D51-0D10-48DF-AEEF-5A05899724D3.jpeg
    Then its out of the hills into scrawny rocky plateau sheep ranching country toward the Mexican border , all of it should be scenic 3416B962-86B1-431B-8ED8-FD12D22DF2BB.jpeg l

    With your history of having lived in New Mexico and travel south through Mexico you should be aware of possible winter weather in northern Mexico (.? )
    If visiting the Copper Canyon area it would be advisable that you do that as your first priority as soon as you hit Mexico in October . Avoid the high country of the northwestern states from late November through January . There can be some really cold snowy situations as this past winter again proved .You do not like cold , so stay south and lowland coastal if up north in those deep winter months.
    Or is the aim to head directly for Central America ?
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  14. cmattina

    cmattina Long timer

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    Having done a decent amount of riding in the UK an as well as North America (not to mention many visits to Europe) I can say that you are definitely missing the most spectacular sites to see in the CONUS. That is if you are cutting Southwest from New York, rather than West to the plains, foothills, and Rockies, then south into the desert.
    #14