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Messages - jamawani

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1
Routes / Re: Transamerica route question
« on: March 21, 2017, 02:30:09 pm »
Jeans ????

Heavy, bulky, take forever to dry.
Many people take a single pair of long, lightweight hikers.
I have a fair complexion so I take two.
Two pair of cotton/poly hikers weigh less than one pair of jeans.

2
Routes / Re: Bicycle Route 66
« on: March 15, 2017, 09:53:31 am »
January 1 ??

Flagstaff, Arizona is probably the coldest and snowiest point on the route - nearly 7000 ft elevation.
Gallup, New Mexico is nearer the Continental Divide, but lower, a bit warmer, and not nearly as snowy.
(Also, it's 200 miles east of Flag, so if you choose a good time for Flag, you should be O.K.)

http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?az3010

As you can see, Flag climate averages for May are Hi 68, Lo 34, snow 1.7".
Needles, 200 miles to the west has May averages of  Hi 94, Lo 67 and, of course, no snow.

So the geographical challenge is getting thru the Mojave Desert early enough,
but not too early for late spring snow and cold on the Colorado Plateau.

Also, late May is the peak for rain and thunderstorms in the Great Plains.
(As if there wasn't enough to deal with.)



3
Routes / Re: Chicago to New York City Route?
« on: March 10, 2017, 09:52:56 pm »
I've loved Bikecentennial / Adventure Cycling for 30+ years - but sometimes I do wonder.
The Chicago-New York routes are very round about.

What blows my mind is that the historic Lincoln Highway route is a back road for 300+ miles in Indiana and Ohio.
From Plymouth Indiana to Fort Wayne it is all back road because 4-lane US 30 is nearby - but usually out of sight/sound.
(Even less traffic on Old Trail Road) Plus Fort Wayne has a fabulous trail system along the rivers.

Indiana Section -
http://www.lincolnhighwayoh.com/v1/1928_indiana_lh.html
http://www.lincolnhighwayoh.com/v1/images/Indiana/1301_001.pdf

You can overnight at the welcoming town of Monroeville - then catch the Old Lincoln Highway again in Ohio.
Tons of history (first transcontinental highway) and camping in or near most county seats.

Ohio Section -
http://www.lincolnhighwayoh.com/v1/preface.html

Pic - Old Trail Road near Larwill


4
Routes / Re: Best/easiest route from the Pacific to Michigan
« on: March 09, 2017, 12:11:02 am »
Denise -

I'm not sure exactly what you have decided on - I've made a few recs as have others.
Most importantly - - some of my recs were based on your mentioning van support.
But then you added that your husband won't arrive for two weeks.

The meaning of "Easiest" changes in this case.
How do you place to get from Portland to your starting point? Which is??
There is one-way car rental to a number of point on the Ore/Wash coast.
A little pricey - but you can get to your starting point easily and get set up.
Public transportation is easiest to Astoria - much harder to places like Westport.

If you can answer those questions - a) starting point b) transport c) route -
Then I can answer your question more effectively.

5
Anne -

As stated above - Santiam Pass is a nearby alternate - more traffic, but O.K..

As for bears, many Europeans (and many Americans, too) do not know basic bear safety.
I live in Wyoming and have toured and hiked solo in bear country for years.

Bears sense of smell is 1000X that of humans.
Since bears are often protected and not hunted, they are losing their fear of humans, too.
Those are key pieces of information.

Generally, they will avoid humans - but humans who are careless attract bears.
Nuisance bears - those that rummage in campgrounds - are usually destroyed.
So it is NOT the bear's fault - but the human's.

NEVER cook or eat in your tent. EVER. (Or, at least, until after you leave the West.)
Since raccoons are a problem in the East - just don't eat in your tent. Period.

If you stay on the TransAm, campgrounds should have bear boxes.
Put all food and cosmetic items in the bear boxes - all of the time.
Cyclists are notorious for leaving stuff out. Even heading over to the bathroom.
If hiker/biker campsites become a problem, the park will close them.

You should learn how to hang your food.
It takes a little practice learning how to throw and tie the cord.
Adding one carabiner and 15m of cord is not much weight.
(Plus it can be a clothes line or other things, too.)
Parks Canada website uses meters:
http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/banff/activ/randonee-backpacking/safety-stewardship.aspx

It saddens me when I see cyclists practice poor stewardship in bear country.
It is not that hard to do - and it allows cyclists to keep using campsites.
But - - most importantly - - it protects bears in their native habitat.


6
Peter -
Could you, please, start your own thread? Thx.

7
Anne -

12 weeks should be plenty of time.
4300 miles (Sadly, yes, miles.) divided by 12 = approx. 360 miles per week
Or 60 per day with one day off each week for rest, fun, weather, repairs, etc.
60 miles = 96 km - - which is a bit on the high side of your estimates.
But 60 miles is nothing after you have been on the road a while.

Two cautions:
First, once you get east of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon, there is much less population.
There will be times where you may me more than 60 miles between services - not many, but a few.
Second, the winter in the West has been pretty strong and is not over, yet.
McKenzie Pass is likely to be closed until late June and higher elevations may still have snow on the ground.
Third, (Didn't I say TWO ??) expect toasting temperatures in Kansas and heat & humidity in the East.
Start as early as possible to escape 100F temps. (Oops! Fahrenheit, too.)
Of course, you Germans seem to love 40C.

VG - Jama

8
I've been thinking about Westport, Washington. I started my x-USA bike trip in 2016 there.
Never had been there before, but had always wanted to.  It was magical.
It had everything, but was out-of-the-way, laid-back - almost like a 1970s beach town.
There's a historic Coast Guard Station and a lighthouse - a great harbor filled with fishing boats.
If you are lucky, on a clear afternoon you can see across Grays Harbor to the snow-capped Olympics.

Westport Harbor -


Downtown, along the harbor, has little one-story shops and cafes - no mega commercial.
There are motels, a grocery, a library, a hardware store. And two nearby state parks.
Best of all - there's a 2-mile paved bike trail along the dunes at ocean's edge.
A memorable way to start a trip.

I've started/ended trips from Cape Flattery down to southern Oregon.
Neah Bay has a great museum and Shi Shi Beach.
Cape Disappointment has great views.
Astoria is easiest to get to with every amenity.
Tillamook is funky and fun. With a cheese factory and bike shops.
Coos Bay has the feel of an old fishing & lumber town.

Average Sunset -


But Westport has the entire package - plus two great routes inland.
The one drawback is that it is somewhat tricky to get to.
But a combination of public train/bus routes will do it - albeit slowly.

<<<>>>

Heading south from Westport, WA 105 has fairly light traffic - except on summer weekends.
And there are a number of quiet backroads thru cranberry farms.
Then there is Tokeland and a sweet ride along the shores of Willapa Bay to Raymond.

Willapa Bay -


Raymond is a logging town - getting by - but with nice parks and river views.
The Willapa Hills Trail is in development from Raymond to Chehalis.
The western end is still rough - but backroads and WA 6 have light traffic.
There is a moderate climb to the crest and then down to Pe Ell.

The Old Movie Theater in Downtown Raymond -


From Pe Ell the trail is hard-pack with the last 5 miles paved.
Rainbow Falls S.P. has a preserve of big trees - always nice in the Pacific NW.
And the trail is a delightful ride into Chehalis - where you can stock up.

Willapa Hills Trail -


<<<>>>

Jackson Hwy out of Chehalis is busy, but has a wide shoulder and doesn't last long.
Middle Fork Rd. and Alpha Prairie are a mix of woods and grassland with light traffic.
The traffic almost disappears on WA 508 into Morton - which has a great town campground on the river.

Fields and Forest -


Heading east, US 12 has moderate traffic and wide shoulders. (Except for the Cowlitz bridge)
And there are two nice stretches of Old US 12 with zero traffic and gentle riding.
Also, you have occasional views of Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier. (Best view - basketball court in Packwood)
Packwood is the last major service stop - and jumping off point for Packwood Lake Trail.
La Wis Wis campground east of town is stunning.

Glimpse of Mount Rainier near Packwood -


The climb up White Pass isn't too bad. Small to moderate shoulders or passing lane.
US 12 has one of the lowest traffic counts of the Cascade passes.
There are two spectacular viewpoints of Mount Rainier - the rest stop and a big dirt pull-out.
Don't count on the store being open at the pass.

Sunset over Mount Rainier -


Then there's the awesome ride down the east side - another story.

<<<>>>

I like Westport because if combines the best of the coast, an easy I-5 traverse, and a great Cascade crossing.

RideWithGPS -
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/19320890

9
Routes / Re: Route advice - Oregon to Maine
« on: March 02, 2017, 10:37:28 am »
Hi Howard -

I've been thinking about Westport, Washington. I started my x-USA trip in 2016 there.
Never had been there before, but had always wanted to.  It was magical.
It had everything, but was out-of-the-way, laid-back - almost like a 1970s beach town.
There's a historic Coast Guard Station and a lighthouse - a great harbor filled with fishing boats.
If you are lucky, on a clear afternoon you can see across Grays Harbor to the snow-capped Olympics.

Downtown, along the harbor, has little one-story shops and cafes - no mega commercial.
There are motels, a grocery, a library, a hardware store. And two nearby state parks.
Best of all - there's a 2-mile paved bike trail along the dunes at ocean's edge.
A memorable way to start a trip.

I've started/ended trips from Cape Flattery down to southern Oregon.
Neah Bay has a great museum and Shi Shi Beach.
Cape Disappointment has great views.
Astoria is easiest to get to with every amenity.
Tillamook is funky and fun. With a cheese factory and bike shops.
Coos Bay has the feel of an old fishing & lumber town.

But Westport has the entire package - plus two great routes inland.
It's one drawback is that it is somewhat tricky to get to.
But a combination of public train/bus routes will do it - albeit slowly.

<<<>>>

FWIW - I know your topic title says, "Oregon to Maine". Heh-heh.
But if you are willing to start a little further north.

<<<>>>

Two constraints on planning a start/finish on the coast in the Pac NW are:
1. Where are you going to cross the Cascades/Gorge?
2. How are you going to get thru I-5 population corridor?

Cascade Crossings -
WA 20 is stunning, but remote - with big climbs early on.
US 2 is beautiful, but has heavy traffic and iffy shoulders on the west side.
I-90 permits cycling - but why? Old US 10 is not continuous.
The Iron Horse Trail is unpaved - pretty smooth - but puts you in the Seattle metro.
WA 410 is the loveliest of all - but extremely narrow - and Chinook Pass opens late.
US 12 is hard to beat - fairly low traffic, services, and nice views of Mount Rainier.
There are a series of paved forest roads in S. Wash, but the route is complicated and remote.
WA 14 was on my first x-USA trip - but it has way too much traffic now.

I-84 - Why again?
The Old Columbia Highway is great but means the Portland metro and puts you onto WA 14 or I-84.
US 26 has nice shoulders and Mount Hood Views - but has really heavy traffic.
Paved forest roads via Timothy Lake are pretty darn nice - access via OR 224.
US 20 Santiam Pass - O.K. shoulders, but again, heavy traffic kills the buzz.
OR 242 - McKenzie Pass is a really sweet crossing, but not dependable for early June.

The I-5 Corridor -
Mount Vernon - Crossing from the San Juan Islands to WA 20 is pretty easy.
Seattle Metro - Great, bikeable city - but just not worth it on a tour.
Centralia/Chehalis - Very easy crossing from coastal routes into the Cascades.
Longview - Tough. WA 4 scenic, but narrow. I-5 riding south. Dangerous Columbia bridge.

Portland Metro - Again great, very bike friendly - but just not worth it on a tour.
Salem - Not too difficult, the Willamette ferry and state park are nice.
Corvallis - Definitely a bike friendly college town. Some high traffic sections with shoulders.
Eugene - Again, bike friendly college town, but bigger. Paved bike trails and mostly wide streets.

<<<>>>

I like Westport because if combines the best of the coast, an easy I-5 traverse, and a great Cascade crossing.

Pic - Westport Harbor with Olympics in the Distance






10
Routes / Re: Route advice - Oregon to Maine
« on: February 28, 2017, 04:49:41 pm »
Howard -

Will do.
Sound like we have similar touring styles - -
Except that I always have to lug all my stuff wiff me.
You will have plenty of time to have a relaxing pace.

I hear you when you say "fairly consistent direction" -
But "fairly" should be the operative word.
If the empty back road is 30 miles and the highway is only 25 - do the back road.

J

11
Routes / Re: Getting Across South Dakota
« on: February 27, 2017, 07:12:30 pm »
Let's start with Wyoming:

1. You need to use caution coming into Wyoming over Teton Pass - it is steep with fairly heavy traffic and so-so shoulders.
Because Jackson is so expensive, ordinary folks commute over Teton Pass - unbelievable! So morning and late afternoon are bad.

2. Are you staying at Spring Creek on top of East Gros Ventre Butte? Or did you just click in the wrong place?
Spring Gulch Road is actually a quiet way to head north - short unpaved section - but you miss any services in Jackson.
There is a bike trail from Jackson all the way into Grand Teton N.P.

3. Do you really aim to ride Antelope Flats Road on the east side of the park?
The bike trail takes you right to Jenny Lake where there is hiker/biker camping.
You can ride the wrong way on Jenny Lake Road - plus you should do a short walk for the views around String Lake.

4. In Yellowstone - You cannot ride on the long-closed trail you marked. You can ride along the lake and on Gull Point Road.
But why not take the lower loop from West Thumb to Madison, Norris, Canyon, and Fishing Bridge?
I mean, Old Faithful is a zoo, but the Firehole River and Norris and esp. the Canyon & Falls are fabulous.

5. Heading east out of the park - just stay on US 14/16/20 all the way to Cody.
There is a grizzly zone for forty miles from Fishing Bridge east with no tent camping.

6. You can take WY 30 thru Burlington (cafe/store/ask to camp) to Basin - much quieter.

7. Orchard Bench Rd south of Basin is a nice choice.

8. Do You really want to take the old, dirt highway up Tensleep Canyon?
It is reasonable, maybe a bit more shade, and has almost zero traffic if you are climbing slowly.
Also, they are doing construction on the main highway this summer.

9. Crazy Woman Canyon is spectacular but can be really muddy in spring. (Klondike Rd., too)
Staying on US 16 gives you those magical wildflower meadows in late June.

10. And stay on US 16 thru Buffalo - maybe checking out the little historic downtown.

11. What's the squiggle east of Arvada?

12. Stay on US 14/16 thru Gillette for services - then to WY 51.

13. What are you doing between Rozet and Moorcroft? Stay on US 14 thru Moorcroft - Donna's Cafe.

14. What are you doing around Keyhole Res? Stay on US 14 to Devils Tower Jct - some big hills.
Ripoff stores next to Devils Tower - Hulett is a nice country town.

Pic - Tensleep Canyon



14.


12
Routes / Re: Getting Across South Dakota
« on: February 27, 2017, 06:20:31 pm »
Was that with Marco Polo on the Silk Road?  ;-)

13
Routes / Re: Route advice - Oregon to Maine
« on: February 27, 2017, 03:59:18 pm »
PS - Howard?

Tell me again how you are framing the trip? Start date - early June? End date?
Touring experience? Expected miles per day? Camping or moteling? Sag wagon? Others riding with you?
Definite places you want to link? (After years, I now ask folks to meet me rather than ride into cites to meet them.)

14
Routes / Re: Route advice - Oregon to Maine
« on: February 27, 2017, 03:53:46 pm »
Ah, Howard -

Your dream and my dream might be quite different.
I love remote - camping in the middle of nowhere - a little town here and there.
Popular destination also mean more traffic on the roads - so I often choose out-of-the-way.

Also, of course, it depends on time of the year.
Quite a few people I have helped out have chosen to bike Wyoming far too late in the season.
I find them climbing the mountain, wet, shivering, and almost hypothermic.
But in late June it can be the most magical place on earth.

I've started/ended/ridden the Wash/Ore coast all the way from Cape Flattery in the north down to southern Oregon.
It's so hard to say what is better or worse. A couple of things do frame any route.
Because of wilderness areas, there are only a limited number of Cascade crossings.
Also, the Columbia and Snake rivers present issues of crossing - and crossing safely.
(I have hitched across rivers in many places - just showing up at a boat ramp - but you have to be willing to wait.)

June in the Pacific Northwest is going to mean snow still in higher elevations and green in the lowlands.
June is cherry and berry season - esp. on the east slope - like the Yakima Valley.
And June in the Palouse is like riding thru an emerald fairyland. I finally did it in June last year.

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=tS&page_id=465080&v=Cv

If you already know the Sawtooths well, I would suggest the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes further north.
Then crossing Thompson Pass to Thompson Falls. That way you could also do the Palouse.

http://friendsofcdatrails.org/CdA_Trail/#.WLSPopDyvrc

And are you aware of the Missoula Floods? The spectacular coulees of eastern Washington?
Since you are not going to do much desert - why not take in something mind-boggling?
Frenchman's Coulee, Drumheller Channels, Palouse Falls.

The I-90 bridge over the Columbia is very dangerous - heavy, fast traffic and zero shoulders.
So, you are advised to catch a lift - either by car (easier) or by boat (harder).
But either one you should have them drop you at the bottom of Old Vantage Highway.
And the road up the coulee is empty. With a waterfall!

Notice that I am backing up from Idaho? Interested?

John

Pic - Frenchman's Coulee


15
Routes / Re: Route advice - Oregon to Maine
« on: February 27, 2017, 03:22:37 pm »
Brian -

I posted on your thread about algorithm errors in Google Maps.
Your previous section had some doozies - as does this one.
I have ridden forest roads in the Ochocos - they are lovely -
but you are also on a private ranch road with no public access.
That's the problem with Google - esp. the bicycle option.

On your route thru the Ochocos -
you have to zig NW towards Mitchell - then do a big climb up the grade again.
In 2015, I rode thru Big Summit Meadow and then took Buck Point Rd down - steep! - 6 miles east.

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=tS&page_id=421099&v=1t

J

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