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Messages - jamawani

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Routes / Re: Montana route info...
« on: May 05, 2012, 12:13:00 pm »
I've ridden both US 287 and CR 435 from Augusta years ago.
US 287 has very little traffic - CR 435 almost none.
Both have expansive views of the Front Range - CR 435 a bit closer.
With the views comes the risk of wind - can be brutal.
Bean Lake - a MT Fishing Access Site has nice camping / primitive.
There's a bar/store at the xing of US 287 and MT 200.
Wolf Creek is very recreation friendly.

Oops! The gravel section was fine - usually a track to follow without much gravel.
However, gravel roads vary considerably from year to year.
The worst for cyclists is heavy, fresh gravel.

Routes / Re: Route Advise Needed: Across Wyoming
« on: May 05, 2012, 11:57:17 am »
Burlington - yes.  Arlington is in southern Wyoming.
It's a small LDS community - very friendly.
Small store, cafe, grassy park with sprinklers - caution.
Camping here is good - because -
The ride into COdy can be against a stiff wind.
Best to do it in the morning when wind is low.

Routes / Re: Route Advise Needed: Across Wyoming
« on: May 04, 2012, 04:08:45 pm »
Nothing is a variable term.
I live in Buffalo and can give you more detail.

US 16 is far preferable to riding I-90 - albeit about 33 miles longer.
Services are available at the Spotted Horse bar - all you really need including camping.
Then Arvada is at the Powder River a mile off the road - with bar and camping, if nec.
Leiter is further down the road with water and food if the restaurant is open - - iffy.
Next is Clearmont - a small town with store - you can beg to camp in the park.
Finally there is U Cross - the Art Foundation is open to public with restrooms, water.

My suggestion is to camp at Clearmont -
Then ride in the morning with the sun illuminating the snow-capped Bighorn Mountains.

Climbing the Bighorns is not for wusses.
Although the elevation gain between Buffalo and Powder River pass is 5000 feet -
The actual climbing is more like 7500 feet because of 7 ridges.
The Bighorns do have the most spectacular wildflowers in the West in late June/early July.
Plan to spend a night up top - but plan to be chilly.
Then Tensleep Canyon is eye-popping.

I suggest Nowood Valley to Manderson, then Basin, Arlington, Cody

Routes / Re: Astoria to Portland non-ACA Route
« on: April 27, 2012, 08:56:42 pm »
Have done a range of routes from Astoria east - -
(Did my grad research on thed Lower Columbia)

1st x-USA trip was on US 30 - - bleah!

OR 202 is way nicer - there are sufficient facilities -
Been a while - but the traffic was almost nonexistent after you get out of the Astoria area.
Vernonia is about 60 miles from Astoria and has great camping and bike-oriented facilities.

For my money, WA 4 across the river is the ticket.
It means riding across the Astoria bridge - woo-hoo!
(Or getting a shuttle if you aren't ready for that.)

I like Cape Disappointment way more than Fort Stevens.
The coastline at CD is rugged - at FS it's a sand spit.

Then the ride along the Columbia River is spectacular in places.
I would suggest riding down to Chinook (a bit busy)
Then up to Naselle - then east to Skamokawa and Cathlamet.
There's a back road thru Columbia Wildlife Refuge right on the river.

Skamokawa and Cathlamet are both wonderful Lower Columbia fishing communities -
Beautiful campground on the river at Skamokawa -
Marina at Cathlamet which permits camping on riverbank.

If you are heading east on the L & C - you can stay on the north side -
And skirt the northern suburbs of Vancouver, WA.
WA 4 does get a little busy at 8 and 4 with little shoulder heading into Longview.

Or you can take the Cathlamet ferry - a nice feeling -
And either do US 30 - or climb up OR 47 to Vernonia.

You really can't beat Skamokawa and Cathlamet -
To give the start of your trip a nice feeling.

Routes / Re: TransAmerica from DC, but I need to go east first.
« on: April 24, 2012, 11:44:00 pm »
Sorry, I don't consider a shuttle that charges nearly $100 for two cyclists to be a "shuttle" - especially when the toll is $4 for a car - and that only in the eastbound direction.  So, technically, if two riders were doing a loop that required crossing the Bay Bridge in both direction - it would be almost $200.  For a car it would be $4.

There's a serious problem here.

Not to mention that if requires a couple of days riding and shuttling as the person above did on Crazyguy.  There really is no easy way to get from DC out to Lewes/Rehoboth.  As I said earlier, the most convenient route - although counter intuitive - to to fly into Philly - take Jersey Transit to Cape May - then the Ferry over to Lewes.  Relatively easy, direct, adn scenic.

Not to mention that a ferry ride is always a good start to a x-country trip.

Routes / Re: N. Colorado Rt. 9/Hwy 9?
« on: April 20, 2012, 10:18:59 pm »
If you are heading south from Walden on Colo 125
You can simply turn south from US 40 at Parshall -
And skip Kremmling altogether.

Don't know how much dirt you are willing to do - if any.
Unfortunately. for mountain Coloradoans -
The closer you are to Denver - the more you are treated as a backyard.

Since you have a big jog in the Rockies in south central Wyoming -
Which corresponds to the Great Divide basin - you have a number of choices.
I tend to ride further west in the Colorado Rockies.

There is an excellent ride from Glenwood Springs to Gunnison via Crested Butte.
(You can opt either for McClure Pass - longer - or Schofield Pass - more remote.)
(Or from Carbondale over Independence Pass to Buena Vista.)
Instead of heading east from Jackson to Rawlins -
You head south thru Pinedale to Rock Springs and Meeker.

Another possibility from Maybell is -
Steamboat, Toponas, Eagle, Leadville

If you are willing to do a couple of 20-mile dirt sections -
Your route options increase geometrically.
I haven't riden Colo 9 in years for the good reasons above.
US 24 south of Leadville has great views, but heavy traffic.
(Some sections still have no shoulders.)

Here's one of my trips - -

And the Colorado DOT traffic volume website - -

But Colo 9  - - - nah.

Routes / Re: TransAmerica from DC, but I need to go east first.
« on: April 07, 2012, 08:02:01 pm »
Ya know - -
You could ride from Point Lookout, Maryland to Cape Lookout, Oregon??

Here's an image of Point Lookout -
(I don't think cruises out to Smith Island start until after Memorial Day.)

Then St. Mary's City is the oldest colonial settlement in Maryland -
Gives you a nice colonial/Eastern feel for the trip's start.
And a lot easier to access.


Routes / Re: TransAmerica from DC, but I need to go east first.
« on: April 07, 2012, 02:16:05 am »
First - getting east is problematic.

Since you will be flying cross-country you will either be getting in rather late or early if you take the "Red Eye".  The most direct Atlantic access from DC is via a 5 hour Greyhound ride with connections to Ocean City, MD.
If you insist on getting to Rehoboth/Lewes - then you can take Greyhound or Amtrak to Wilmington -
then take DART busses with two connections to Rehoboth.  7 hours, iffy bike carriage.
Of you can take Amtrak to Philly, 2 different NJ Transit routes to Cape May, and the ferry to Lewes.
6-7 hours, but Amtrak tricky with bikes.

Given the time and the cost, it may be cheaper and better to reschedule your flight into Philly.
Taking on a one-way shuttle from DC to PHL is super expensive right now.
Finally, there is the possibility of one-way car rental or limo - - probably pricey.

There really isn't a good way to get from DC out to the Atlantic.
You will probably have to make some compromises - - time/cost.
(Plus, you can't bike across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and there is no shuttle)
One close-in alternative is Point Lookout - near St. Mary's City - state park.
There's a Maryland Transit Commuter bus that runs out from DC.


Routes / Re: Status of detour around Williston ND aera?
« on: March 09, 2012, 12:22:59 pm »
No, it bypasses Fort Mandan - which is outside of Washburn, not Bismarck.
It's about 40 miles north via the old L & C Route.
Both the NT and the L & C should include the segment Stanton to Washburn.

General Discussion / Re: Affordable/free camping idea
« on: March 07, 2012, 04:17:24 pm »
Yes, I did check guests' Warmshower pages.
But when the director said it wasn't their job to do anything
about someone with a recent sexual assault conviction -
That's where I take exception.

He accused me of being a witch hunter.
I said I didn't want anyone who did that to frat pledges in my home -
And when informed about the probablity of such a conviction -
Warmshowers should at the very least inquire.

I agree, no system is perfect -
But when the desire to be counter-counter culture -
Trumps common safety and prudence -
That's when I get off the bus.

General Discussion / Re: Affordable/free camping idea
« on: March 07, 2012, 03:06:16 am »
PS - Although most USFS maps are not available online - California forests are.

Click on one and then click a section.
You can see the grid, the roads - paved & unpaved, the developed sites, and the land ownership.

General Discussion / Re: Affordable/free camping idea
« on: March 07, 2012, 03:00:55 am »
Generally, you can camp anywhere on USFS or BLM land as long as you are 1/2 to 1 mile from a developed area.  More than once I have found a lovely campsite just down the road a piece - much quieter - and I have the water pump and picnic tables only 1/2 mile away.  There are a few exceptions - in forests surrounding ski towns like Jackson and Aspen there are camping restrictions - otherwise the entire forest becomes an outhouse for hipsters chillin' out in the party towns.  It is unfortunate, but abuse of the resource led to the ban.

Most of the time the managing agency will NOT let you stay in group campsites unless all other campsites are full and there is no one using the group campsite.  Usually it's the ranger's call.

BTW - Many of the same camping options apply to Crown Lands in Canada.

General Discussion / Re: Affordable/free camping idea
« on: March 06, 2012, 08:49:43 pm »
Sorry, I disagree about Warmshowers.
I was a member for a couple of years.
Never stayed - but hosted quite a few folks.
Most were quite nice - a few rude -
Such as showing up drunk or having to be asked to get a move on.
(What is so hard to understand about - "I will be leaving at 8:00"?)

Last year, I randomly checked out someone.
His name - not absolutely unique, but fairly uncommon -
Was the same as someone convicted of sexually molesting frat pledges.
I did a thorough web check - his blog site confirmed identical details.
When I brought this to the attention of the Warmshowers director -
He said that it wasn't their job to screen persons using the website.

Maybe there are only a few risky folks - but it only takes one.
Plus, websites such as that DO have the potential to attract sociopaths.
Sorry, but that is how sociopaths think and operate.
They actively seek out persons who may be trusting or vulnerable.
I immediately ended my participation in Warmshowers.

General Discussion / Re: Affordable/free camping idea
« on: March 06, 2012, 06:02:56 pm »
In small-town churches nowadays, the pastor is more likely to be a she.
Quite often, the church sign will have the pastor's name.
Sometimes, they have multiple churches they serve in a few nearby towns.
It's easiest to ask - "Does Rev. Smith live here in Smallville?"
If she lives 30 miles away - then ask if a minister does live in Smallville.
So, the Baptist minister - Rev. Johnson - lives over on Maple Street.
So you call Rev. Johnson, instead, and ask.  Don't expect.
But you will usually be pleasantly surprised by the generosity.

As for public lands - I find the purchase of National Forest maps worth it.
They show surface ownership patterns - with a scale of 1 inch = 2 miles.
So they are pretty detailed for touring and back roads, too.
They have them in paper ($5) and plastic ($10).  Or thereabouts.
Even one night of pricey camping more than covers the cost of a plastic map.
Most larger towns near forests have a Forest Service office.
Plus, town libraries will often have areas maps, too.

General Discussion / Re: Affordable/free camping idea
« on: March 06, 2012, 01:20:34 pm »
Show me the $$$.
It's all about money these days and there's no money in it.

There are, however, many opportunities for free camping that have been discussed online - here, at BikeForums, and at CrazyGuy.

If you want the conveniences of town you are usually going to have to pay.  Some towns in Iowa and Nebraska have very minimal costs - then you have the stores, cafes, and taverns to choose from.   The rule of thumb is - "Smaller is better."  If the town is big enough to have a private campground, then obviously, they are unlikely to let you camp for free in the town park.  Your best bet is with towns under 1000 that have, maybe, one cafe and one store - which is really all you need.  Another option is to ask at churches.  Liability issues have made churches more squeamish, but the pastor may allow you to camp out back and use the facilities.

The most widespread free camping is on federal lands.  You can camp for free on almost all Forest Service and BLM land - but you need to know where it is.  Most is in the West - but there are national forests all over the U.S.  This does NOT apply to National Park and National Wildlife Refuge lands - where random camping is prohibited.  Most states lease state lands to ranchers or other users so random camping is not allowed.  Some states DO allow camping at fishing access sites and on state game lands.  Finally, don't random camp on Indian Reservation lands.

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