Pacific Northwest to Texas in Late March

Discussion in 'Americas' started by big_weight, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. big_weight

    big_weight Adventurer

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    Planning a solo trip from Vancouver, WA to Central Texas (and back) on a GS last week of March - first week of April. Have 10 - 14 days to make trip. I would like to go later in year, but timing is not optional.

    Have one suggestion to take I-5 down to Stockton,
    Then from Stockton down 99 to Bakersfield; up over Tehachapi Pass; to Barstow east on to Needles and then over into AZ. I-40, to Flagstaff and tthen into New Mexico. Stay on I-40 to Al'querque and east to Santa Rosa, NM, and still on I-40 and just of east of Santa Rosa, cut down on 84 to Ft Summer, then east to Texas.

    Not sure what ice/snow conditions that time of year would be east of Cascades in Oregon, or east of mountains in California. Is 395 an option? Other suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Bill
    #1
  2. GhostriderADV

    GhostriderADV Adventurer

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    Although I've never done the 395 on a bike, I've driven it on the way up to Mammoth / Bishop. There are some big stretches of nothing, but probably better than the 5 and 99. The 5 and the 99 are super busy and the big trucks will run you down. I would maybe consider taking the 101. It's a beautiful ride and probably a little safer. It is a little out of the way, but worth it IMO. Another option is avoiding the 40 and taking a clockwise approach to your trip. Maybe go through Utah Colorado Kansas. I've driven from Los Angeles to Oklahoma many times now and its a boring boring drive. My brother took the Utah, Colorodo, Kansas way and he said it was much more enjoyable. If you need more specifics, let me know, I'd be glad to help.

    I just noticed when you're leaving. I drove your route once during spring break, which i believe was in March, and got hit hard with a snow storm passing through Flagstaff and one in Texas. Could have been a freak storm, who knows.
    #2
  3. pickler

    pickler Adventurer

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    I did this a couple years ago in February. My reccomendation is to ride the coast down 101, and then cut across Arizona and New Mexico. Crossing the Sierras or Cascades that early would be very difficult if not suicidal.
    #3
  4. Eyes Shut

    Eyes Shut See no evil Super Supporter

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    I agree that I-40 through Flagstaff can be iffy in March/early April -- it could be totally clear, or snowy. Also, if the weather's bad, the stretch east of Flag (Winslow, Holbrook, and on to Gallup) can be windy and snowy.

    Maybe I'm weird, but I enjoy 395. There are some passes along there that could be a problem if a storm is going through; but in late March will probably be okay.

    The coast route, down 101, is a good suggestion.
    #4
  5. big_weight

    big_weight Adventurer

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    Thanks guys. GW, wouldn't the Utah, Colorado, Kansas (UCK?) way have a higher likelihood of snow and ice that time of year? What route are you suggesting?
    #5
  6. GhostriderADV

    GhostriderADV Adventurer

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    The route I've done numerous times is the Barstow, Needles, Flagstaff, Albuquerque...

    If I had snow on the I-40 in March, you are most likely to have snow going through Colorado. When I first wrote the response I didn't realize you were intending to go during March.

    Suggestions for heading East? You can take Route 66, which parallels the freeway, but other than that I don't know how else you can make a pleasurable trip without making frequent stops at tourist attractions through Arizona and New Mexico. Coming South, I would suggest the 101, or even Highway 1 south of Monterey Bay to LA, then just cutting across the 210 to the 15 to the 40, then just setting the cruise control for 1000 miles East.

    Even during the summer months I would get hit pretty hard with thunderstorms crossing the 40, so have some rain gear with you. Here's a great quote that reminded me of driving on the 40:

    "Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything. ~Charles Kuralt
    #6