Planning a trip - WI to WA/OR

Discussion in 'Americas' started by djpaulie, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. djpaulie

    djpaulie Tigger Happy

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    Fellow inmates,

    I'm planning a trip at some point this coming summer. Home is Madison, WI. Destination is the upper west coast, specifically Portland and Seattle. There will be 3 bikes along. I may end up riding two up with my girlfriend, but thats yet to be determined. As of right now, we're planning on taking two weeks for the trip, but it may end up longer or shorter, depending on what we decide we want to see and do.

    No real routes have been planned as of yet, but I'd like to begin soliciting some ideas. Definitely will be taking different routes there and back to see new things, probably a north route and a south route. We already have some destinations for things we'd like to see along the way, like the big national parks(badlands, yellowstone, black hills, others), but I'd appreciate any ideas for the following:

    -Camping (we want to camp as much as we can)
    -Sightseeing
    -Good roads, less travelled
    -Good routes through the mountains
    -Best times of year for seeing certain things

    Any ideas or tips would be much appreciated. Cheers

    :ear
    #1
  2. RandyWA

    RandyWA n00b

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    If you make it to western WA, you'll probably want to take a trip around Mount Rainier, which is an easy day trip with gorgeous views and sights along the way. If you have the time then a trip around the Olympic Peninsula is spectacular, but two days or one long one will be needed. If you have even more time, you could take the ferry from Port Angeles at the top of the Olympic Peninsula and spend the day in Victoria BC, and even come back the same day. Of course, exploring the Island by motorcycle could be another adventurous day.

    If you head south down the Washington Coast definitely hit some beaches like Ocean Shores, Westport, Long Beach, and then into Oregon don't pass up Astoria and Seaside. If you like the coast you could pass up the Oregon interior altogether, but heading back towards Portland from Seaside gets you back to the Interstate.

    If you're into theater don't pass up Ashland and a Shakespeare play or two at the world renowned Shakespeare Festival. And while you're in the neighborhood, head on up to Crater Lake.

    June through August is the best time to see these sights. While it will rain, it is less frequent and the roads are good.
    #2
  3. Johnny Drunkard

    Johnny Drunkard Todo utz Super Moderator

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    Here's a Google map of some of (IMO) the Northwest's best. This route is 100% paved. There are plenty of dirt options along this route, particularly in Idaho.

    Click here & give it a minute to load, not recommended for dialup.

    Some highlights of this route:
    • Going to the Sun Hwy, Glacier NP
    • Lake Koocanusa/Yaak River Rd areas, MT
    • Hwy 20, WA
    • Chinook/Cayuse Passes, WA
    • John Day, OR area
    • Lolo Pass, ID/MT
    • Hwy 93, ID
    • Grand Teton/Yellowstone NP's
    • Beartooth Pass, WY
    There's pictures of some of these areas in my Smugmug, click here

    A note on Camping in NW Washington, N Idaho & Montana: This is Grizzly country, take appropriate precautions.

    Any questions, fire away.
    #3
  4. djpaulie

    djpaulie Tigger Happy

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    excellent ideas guys, thanks! keep em comin!


    perhaps if there are any inmates from montana or north dakota, they could suggest some good routes? slabbing it through these states is hard in a cage, maybe slightly better on a bike, but still..... :wave
    #4
  5. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows All - Tells Some.

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    Johnny D's link is great and will get you to some of the best riding and scenery around. Consider taking Hwy 12 all the way here. Yes, MN and the Dakotas will be a grind but there is not much way around them and HWY 12 is pretty fast, yet takes you through some nice country later on. Also from western Montana you can go either north or south depending on what you want to experience.

    My wife and I used to live in Madison, but now we are in the Willamette Valley (McMinnville), home to some of the most beautiful vineyard country around, and it is also a portal to the Coast Highway. If you are interestd in talking about travel this way, drop me a PM and maybe we can talk things over on the phone. Should be a great ride!

    Personally, I like early June, as things are still fairly green and fresh in the lowlands and there is still plenty of snow on the mountains.
    #5
  6. CamoGreg

    CamoGreg aka Camorpheus

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    JD has some great spots listed in his post.

    I'm from Michigan, but now live in NW Idaho. I travel from the same general direction after crossing the ferry
    at Ludington to Manitowoc. Two weeks is not gonna be a lot of time to see some of the great areas there are
    to ride in this part of the country.

    First, I'd suggest making fast slab time on I-90 to the SD/WY border.
    WY-14 and ALT14 is a good ride into Cody, WY.

    There is so much from the Continental Divide - West, that with your limited time, get there as fast as you can.

    Ride out from Cody WY on 120 and ride the Chief Joseph Scenic Hwy. (296)
    When it ends at the Beartooth, turn right and enjoy the Beartooth Pass. Red Lodge is a bike town.
    A good place to spend the night and again ride the Beartooth (like a different ride going the other direction
    - you won't be disappointed) into Yellowstone.
    There's a great little motel at Cooke City, MT. West side of town and reasonable for the Yellowstone area.
    http://visitmt.com/categories/moreinfo.asp?IDRRecordId=1120&SiteId=1

    In the summer, Yellowstone can be a good ride if you start at first light. Much later in the morning, and it's motorhome city.

    From Yellowstone, 89 north to Livingston, MT. Back on the I-90 slab to Missoula. It's a fast road and for a slab, a good ride.

    Hwy 12 and the Lolo pass is a great ride. Hwy 12 will put you between Mt. Ranier and Mt. St. Helens. Each take a full day to enjoy.

    Out to the coast. Astoria has some good riding in any direction.
    One you've used most of your time up (and I bet you will). Get back to I-90. Ride fast and stay the night in Coeur d'Alene, ID.

    If you have any time left, do ride to Glacier Nat'l Park. Going To The Sun road is awesome.

    I-94 will be the fastest route home. I've made Madison in 2 days from here. 3 won't make it painful.

    Promises to be a fantastic ride. Looking forward to a ride report:thumb
    #6
  7. byways

    byways byways

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  8. djpaulie

    djpaulie Tigger Happy

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    You guys rule. Thanks very much for your suggestions thus far!

    byways:
    That thread you linked is amazing! :eek1 Though I don't think I'll be able to do any of that type of riding this time as the bikes coming for sure are a CBR600 and an early 90s Yamaha cruiser -- though there may be a late 70s airhead coming as well, he's unconfirmed. At any rate, we'll definitely need to stay on the pavement. A trip like you posted may be saved for 2009 though! :clap


    CamoGreg:
    Thanks for the thoughts. I'm beginning to come around to the idea of putting up with the monotony of the slab, just to make it out near the mountains as fast as possible. It's starting to occur to me that the tradeoff is going to be VERY worth it!

    Johnny D:
    Just got to finish looking at all those pics in your album. What a fantastic trip! Definitely got my hopes up for Lolo Pass!

    Mista Vern:
    I'm not really sure how much time we'll have in Portland, but I'd love to get out and ride in the surrounding area. If we end up staying a couple of days there, I will definitely look you up!

    Randy:
    Thanks for the ideas in WA! Definitely be hitting at least a couple of those spots!



    This board is the best. Cheers everyone! Keep the suggestions coming!
    #8
  9. klebel

    klebel Been here awhile

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    Hey if you guys want a place to crash on your trip my door is open to fellow ADV riders. I live in the Seattle area out on the Olympic Penninsula right on the water. Excellent area to ride out to the Ho Rainforest. The only rainforest in North America. The fridge is always stocked with beer and I have a full shop in my garage if you guys need to do maintence. Good look with your trip planning!
    #9
  10. djpaulie

    djpaulie Tigger Happy

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    hey thanks for the offer! i'll look you up if we'll be staying in Seattle for more than a night.. checking out the rainforest is definitely on my list for this trip. problem is that the list is real long already :D


    cheers
    #10
  11. klebel

    klebel Been here awhile

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    Either way give me a ring when you guys get out here. It would be good to see someone from the mother land. ;) Maybe I will ride my bike out to see ya guys somewhere in state for a short ride. I grew up in Wisconsin. Dad did medical school at UW, I grew up in Whitefish Bay outside of Milwaukee and ALL of my cousins (16) live within 45 miles of each other in the Milwaukee area and then another group of them up toward Green Bay.
    #11
  12. djpaulie

    djpaulie Tigger Happy

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    very cool! i know of at least 10 people who have moved west from wisconsin, to either portland or seattle. its definitely a popular destination for those seeking refuge from real winters. :D or at least what used to be real winters. i myself will be fleeing the coop in the next few years for warmer a climate, destination undecided. i want to ride all year! :ricky

    i'll definitely give you a holler closer to shove-off date! :freaky
    #12
  13. AKStrom

    AKStrom Long timer

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    Um...

    I have a few suggestions since that routing misses the North Cascades Highway section of WA SR20, SR530, SR9, SR203, Orville Road, FS 25, and SR 14. :huh Revised Wetside Twisties

    I see that Seattle is a stop, and I can understand that. That decision would probably pull 203 out of the list.

    If you insist on spending more time on the Dryside, I'd suggest heading into Seattle via SR20 & SR9, the going out of town via US 2 then the US97's Blewett Pass then down the Yakima River via WA SR821 then down to the Mabton-Bickleton-Goldendale Highway.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=...11,-120.846863&spn=1.393301,2.900391&z=9&om=1

    I don't usually go in for self-aggrandizement, but extreme measures seemed to be called for...
    #13
  14. Johnny Drunkard

    Johnny Drunkard Todo utz Super Moderator

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    Originally it did.

    :scratch

    I agree with you, Hwy 20 from Winthrop to Rockport is one of Washington's best roads.

    I'll see if I can fix the link.
    #14
  15. nwgs

    nwgs Danned

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    Nice, nice, nice, :thumb
    #15
  16. Johnny Drunkard

    Johnny Drunkard Todo utz Super Moderator

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    OK, fixed the link, I think.

    :dunno
    #16
  17. AKStrom

    AKStrom Long timer

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    My wetside link isn't working,
    but out of whack too.
    Perhaps the problem is the board,
    and lieth not with you.

    I'll just re-build the route map
    and repost for review...

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=...8,-120.859222&spn=0.705987,1.450195&z=10&om=1
    #17
  18. AKStrom

    AKStrom Long timer

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    I'd still quibble, but with the modified route you listed, I think it's down to simply differences in taste. Some of the roads you listed might indeed be better for a Tiger rider from WI. (I grew up in Illinois, so I know flat & straight).

    Being a DL650 rider that uses all the tire I can get away with and knowing where the gas stations are, the tighter corners of the S WA Cascades & St Helens are vastly preferred.

    If anyone is following my route, I gas up in northern Pierce County, Elbe if you got a peanut tank, Packwood, side trip to Cougar if you got a peanut tank, and then somewhere near the Columbia.
    #18
  19. Johnny Drunkard

    Johnny Drunkard Todo utz Super Moderator

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    Pheh. My route is better.

    :fitz

    (Just kidding)


    The route down past St Helens on the FS 25 is great. Could check out Windy Ridge too. As for the different route through Wyoming, I haven't ridden the route you posted, so I can't say.

    Oh, and I love my DL 650 too. But, I ride slow, have 2" chicken strips & never took it off road (more sarcasm).

    :lol3
    #19
  20. AKStrom

    AKStrom Long timer

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    Beats me, I've never been to Montana on a bike. Moved out west 11 years ago and took up motorcycling once I moved out here. I focus on the NorthWet. Too much straight and flat out there for me.

    Besides, I just edited your maps and re-posted the URL. The trashtalk is free.:D
    #20