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The next day I road the trail and camped at a campground west of Kellog near a town that started with an "E"
The next day I rode over Thompson Pass and camped in a nice campground on the western edge of the town of Thompson Falls that had an all you can eat buffet ( I tend to remember these things)
Yes, it extends about 20 more miles to Mullen, one of the strangest towns I've ever seen. I'll leave it at that so as not to influence others' impressions.
The trail get somewhat steeper east of Wallace--one of the coolest towns I've ever seen.
Well, I just moved to Vancouver, BC and plan to live here for some years... so perhaps I'll save the exploration of Washington and Olympic Park for another time... I think starting in Oregon makes more sense... Thanks for the tips!
I'm thinking of averaging about 60miles per day. The only thing I'm concerned about is that I remember the Pacific Coast to be quite hilly...
Am I missing much if I skip Washington and start in Oregon? I would love to keep this around three weeks if possible.
1) How long would this take? The route says roughly 1800miles but with all the hills, etc... am I looking at 3 weeks roughly?
3) I have all the gear.. any idea how much a trip like this would cost? I'd prefer to wild camp / warmshowers as much as possible... but also okay to pay for camping when needed. I'm just looking for a ballpark figure.
Have to disagree with the two previous posters. I thought the STP was a great route and would do it again. Most was rural with regular friendly small towns.
The STP is a mostly drab route, but there are some changes you can make to the route to enhance it. Taking the reverse of the STP brings you along OR-30 and over the Longview bridge, which is not really a pleasant experience. OR-30 has a wide shoulder, but it is highway.
I suggest going over the I-205 or I-5 bridge into Vancouver and riding north on the WA side...Prepare for damp conditions that time of year and expect a prevailing northerly wind.
This why, I suggest voting for the preferred method (as in the original posting).
My personal opinion is that U.S. 2 was fine from Columbia Falls into West Glacier. NT routes you on a beautiful back road that turns into a rough gravel road. No thanks, that part needs at least front suspension.
Stopping at South Whidbey State Park is a great option but if one wanted a few more miles camping at Deception Pass State Park is another great place. That puts you right on the edge of Fidalgo Island and you could easily start the Northern Tier from that point (it'd only add maybe 15 miles).
There is a mostly pretty great ride from Seatac to Anacortes. It's a bit over a hundred miles, so if you can do that in a day, then you can. Otherwise there are places to camp on Whidbey Island at roughly the half-way point (South Whidbey Island State Park). This Google Maps route is pretty close to what I'd do though definitely with some tweaks: http://g.co/maps/59uyk
Here's the route with some of those tweaks that adds about 5 miles, but adds some very scenic, lower traffic riding on Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands: http://g.co/maps/nkh7q