I have used an etrex for an on/off road tour and it worked out well. Personally though I found it a lot more trouble to program in the route, deal with batteries, and so on than it is worth on most routes especially if you will be on the road only.
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Is it always necessary to do this ?No it isn't always necessary. I think there were a couple times that we did and way more where we didn't. More often the town parks were in small enough towns that there were no police to ask even if we had wanted to. I think we did ask a few times, but mostly only where the AC map specifically said to do so.
IMHO, Yosemite is striking, but after two days in the valley and perhaps a day going over the pass, I would think you'd have seen it all. (Unless you're taking lots of pictures, and want to capture five different features/angles each at sunset or sunrise.)
Yellowstone has a day or two of geothermal features, but the north and northeast quadrants are much more scenic than the southwest leg the TransAm takes you on. You'll be so close to the Tetons it'd be a shame to miss that. A week's sightseeing in Yellowstone and the Tetons seems reasonable, with short day hikes and different scenery every day. The tough part is getting out of there; the Jackson airport is perhaps the best choice up to Bozeman or Billings to catch a bus a distant second choice.
To reply to staehpj1 - from the Oregon Department of Transportation website regarding McKenzie Pass.Thanks. I looked and found it there since you mentioned it. I will add that when they said that the road was scheduled to open June 20th, they also said "weather permitting". To me that makes it sound like it won't be any earlier, but might be later depending on the amount of snow in late winter and spring.
McKenzie Pass is currently expected to be open to traffic the third Monday in June.I am curious where that date came from. It would seem to be hard to predict accurately with the rest of the Winter and Spring still ahead of us. I'd agree that is a fairly likely opening date, but wouldn't count on it being at all accurate though.
I think that there can be a few factors in that. Compared to bar ends I find them about the same as far as ease of reaching them if not a little easier. For me they are pretty much the same height as bar ends but further back. That is at least in part because I ride a fairly small frame and have my bars pretty low. Folks with larger frames and higher bars will see more difference. The fact that I spent a lot of years using down tube shifters is a factor as well.On the original question. I like that they are simple, work well, are very reliable, and are out of the way.
Yes indeed, and that is their main disadvantage. They are out of the way when you really need to get to them.
Pete Staehling is the only person I've seen advocating for downtube shifters.Not sure I exactly advocate for them, but I do like them pretty well myself. I also like brifters quite well, but have a dislike of bar end shifters.