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Messages - indyfabz

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^^This. And please convince your partner not to freak out if she doesn't hear from you for a couple of days. That happened a few years back with someone. I don't recall the exact details, but a family member of a young person who was riding across the country did just that. She started a thread on at least one forum (possibly this one) saying the kid was missing and asking if anyone had seen him. He was fine. IIRC, he accidentally left his phone on, the battery died and he couldn't get it charged for a few days. Whatever the exact details, he was never in any trouble. He simply couldn't get in touch.

Off the top of my head:

I would think indoor lodging would not be a rarity.

Not to hijack the thread, but I was (mistakenly) under the impression that one could get shuttled through the Mt. Carmel tunnel by the NPS. In looking up the matter I came across the this from 2014:


I have ridden through a 5,300', unlit tunnel while riding the abandoned portion of the Pennsylvania Turnpike that is now an unofficial bike trail. Even with a very bright headlamp it was easy to become a bit disoriented. I followed the advice of someone and tracked the highway median stripe, which was still visible decades after the road was abandoned. Most of these people had NO lights. The two who did had only little flashers.

Routes / Re: Portion of the NT Between Bismarck,ND and Dickinson,ND
« on: May 28, 2016, 06:21:37 am »
If you look at Google Maps Street View, 139 turns to dirt/gravel at the junction with 87. Pavement picks up again by the time it crosses 86.

General Discussion / Re: How to figure average miles per day
« on: May 24, 2016, 01:39:18 pm »
Mostly I am asked my origin, destination and how long (in days) it will take. If mileage comes up, it's usually total mileage for the trip.

Between Concrete and S-W, S. Skagit Rd. is really nice. Also, the Cascade Trail runs along the north side of WA 20 between those towns, but I don't know anything about its condition. Further west. Rockport-Cascade Rd. between Marblemount and just south of Rockport is a quiet alternative to WA 20.

Routes / Re: Hwy 2 from Spokane to Newport, WA
« on: May 19, 2016, 10:03:33 am »
Duh. Massive brain flatulence on my part.

The Keith Valley Rd. bridge has been repaired. The road is open to traffic.

Routes / Re: Hwy 2 from Spokane to Newport, WA
« on: May 18, 2016, 01:47:45 pm »
It was good, but not the right thing to eat during a long day.

In any event, you have me confused...I thought you were heading west to the Roosville border crossing in British Columbia. Sandpoint is east of Newport.

Routes / Re: A Loop Through the Black Hills
« on: May 17, 2016, 11:06:14 am »
From Hot Springs to Wind Cave N.P. I think you are stuck with U.S. 385. Once I got out of town there was very little traffic on that road. It probably picked up a bit as more tourists started heading towards the park. From what I read, the loops is best done in the early morning or evening. If you have the time, the Mammoth dig site in Hot Springs is worth the price od admission. You can ride there from the center of town.

If you want to save miles from Custer to Mt. Rushmore, get off U.S. 16A east of Custer and take SD 87 to S. Playhouse Rd. That will take you back to U.S. 16A and will still allow you to ride the switchbacky/pig tail part of U.S. 16A (Iron Mountain Rd.)

Once you get to SD 244 in Keystone (a horribly tacky town), the climb to Mt. Rushmore is short, but boy is it steep in place. Ride With GPS shows nearly 600' of climbing in 1.6 miles with a ruling grade of over 10%. Facing the entrance, there are bike racks on the right. Watch out for flailing selfie sticks.

Here is the map for the Needles Highway loop I did during one of my non-move days in Custer:

Some spectacular views. As you can see from the profile, you want to go clockwise unless you are a masochist.

Routes / Re: Hwy 2 from Spokane to Newport, WA
« on: May 17, 2016, 10:32:24 am »
The first time I ever ate chicken fried steak and biscuits and gravy was in Newport, WA during a century from Ione to Sandpoint. Seemed like a good idea at the time. ;)

BTW...Assume you are following the ACA route to Roosville. Definitely take Le Clerc Rd. rather than WA 20. Really nice back there.

Routes / Re: Hwy 2 from Spokane to Newport, WA
« on: May 16, 2016, 02:47:02 pm »
If you look on Street View there appears to be a very wide shoulder. And if use Google Maps bike directions they keep you off U.S. until Colbert. From Chattaroy north it routes you for a while on a frontage road to the east of U.S. 2. That's available on Street View. Looks interesting. Narrow, but through the forest. You get off U.S. 2 again for a bit along Diamond Lake.

Routes / Re: A Loop Through the Black Hills
« on: May 16, 2016, 02:31:14 pm »
O.k. I looked at the ACA itinerary. If you can swing it and don't mind the climbing, the day from Rapid City to Deadwood via Nemo Rd. is really nice. Here is the route I did continuing on to Spearfish:

The portion between a little after mile 34 and a little after mile 36 is a quiet, gravel road. Once you get to the summit around mile 38.7 it's a cruise into Deadwood. Just before you start that climb there is a private campground with a "burger shack" open to the public. The burger was pretty good. Since I didn't stay in Deadwood I didn't look for camping, but I remember seeing this place. Not sure if it offers tent camping:

This was my second day, from Spearfish to Hill City:

Spearfish has the most amazing municipal campground I have ever seen. And it's right next to a national fish hatchery museum, complete with "tanks" full of fish. The gradual climb through Spearfish Canyon is really, really nice, as is the mileage to Cheyenne Crossing. When you turn on to U.S. 85 is where things get ugly. It was only 3 miles, but that climb was a beast. The sun beating down on me didn't help. Mil3 30 in Edgemont is where I picked up the trail. as you can see, there are two sustained uphill sections. Between the surface and the breeze and me being tired from the early climbing, those sections were harder than I thought they would be. Note that the only place to get any food along this stretch is at a restaurant in Rochford. Pretty sure it's not open on Sunday.

I finished the trail on day 3, passing through Custer and Pringle:

I don't know whether the ACA trip will get off the trail at Pringle and take U.S. 385 to Hot Springs or stay on the trail until it crosses U.S. 18 and taking that to Hot Springs, but from the days mileage, I suspect it's the latter, which is what I would do. U.S. 18 has a wide shoulder and is pretty tame except for that mile or so hill you have to climb before cruising down into town. The ACA trip is going to stay at a place that's just to the north of the center of town. I stayed at a place that is closer to town on the south end. Pricey ($30) for what it was, but it is convenient and there is a lot shade. It's small, so you might want to look into tent site reservations:

This was my day from Hot Springs to Custer via Wind Cave N.P.:

If you looked at my photos, the bison shots were all taken on this day. The nice thing about it being short is that I had plenty of time to one of the longer tours of Wind Cave. Definitely worth the $12 or whatever I paid for it. Get there pretty early or you may have to wait for a tour. When I got done mine the wait for the more popular tours was about 1.5 hrs. Bring food as once you leave Hot Springs there is nothing until Custer. Just before mile 26 on my map I got off SD 87 and took Lower French Creek Rd. That's another gravel opportunity. Very quite and scenic back there. While the map doesn't show it, there is a tail spur extension that goes out to Stockade Lake from Custer. I stayed on the road and was glad I did. There appeared to be some short, super-steep section on the spur. The place I stayed was a bit outside of the center of town. While spending three nights in Custer I saw this place, which had a shaded tent area and is within walking distance of the main drag:

Despite being close to things, it's still pretty quiet back there. One possibly negative is that I looked liked it could be a bit buggy, especially being so close to the creek.

That's all for now. I will update with my thought about Needles Highway.

General Discussion / Re: Demands on energy
« on: May 16, 2016, 10:25:48 am »
Does 5 hr. Energy even contain any energy (i.e., calories)? If you are looking for some liquid food for those hard days with long stretches of no services, I recommend Perpetuem by Hammer. Comes in single-mix powder packs. The downside is that once mixed, it doesn't keep well for more than 2-3 hrs. in high heat.

« on: May 16, 2016, 08:06:55 am »
It's Colonial Creek. I believe there is still a small grocery store in Newhalem. Look them up and give them a call re: their selection. Many years ago we fed 13 people with supplies from that store, but that was some time ago.  BTW...The county park in Rockport has Adirondack shelters, which are quite handy if it's cold and wet.

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