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Messages - indyfabz

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$20? Geeze. On the GAP I stayed at the private Husky Haven Campground in Rockwood. Porta-potties, picnic table and free, sheltered firewood at every site. While there is no running water on site, campers may use the guest house across the river in town, where there is an ample supply of gallon milk jugs for water to bring back to the campground. (The owner returns the jugs after you leave.) Use of the bath houses and the common ammenities of the guest house (e.g., pool table, bike washing area) are included in the fee, which was only $10.

Routes / Re: Cycling through Zion National Park
« on: January 13, 2015, 08:51:26 am »
The tunnel is only 1.1 miles long, so there is your distance figure.

Here is a map of UT 9 from the junction with U.S. 89 to La Verkin:

If you run your cursor along the red line on the map it will coordinate your location with the profile at the bottom and give you grade information. According to the map, there are some really nasty grades on those spikes before mile 20. The ruling grade appears to be 28.5%, and there are other sjort stretches where grade is 20% or higher. But it's all very short.

Routes / Re: Missoula to Ovando, G-town Lake, Wisdom
« on: January 10, 2015, 09:13:00 am »
Most of these are Montana Fishing Access Sites (FAS) - some free, some with a fee.
FAS camping is low-intensity and some of the nicest to be found in the West.

+1. Many years ago I camped at the FAS outside of downtown Ennis. Nice setting and quiet with a great pump for water.

Routes / Re: Missoula to Ovando, G-town Lake, Wisdom
« on: January 09, 2015, 01:46:50 pm »
If you provide the route details I might be able to give you some guidance and/or suggest alternatives.

In advance of that....

Once you are up on the Georgetown Lake plateau, the terrain of MT 1 is pretty level until you get a bit east of Silver Lake. From there, it's basically all down hill to Anaconda. The grade is steepest when you start descending and levels out the closer you get to Anaconda. I have done this portion in the opposite direction twice. Last time was June of last year. I had a slight to moderate headwind both times. The shoulder along Georgetown Lake was narrow in most place and was also a bit chewed up in spots. The further south, the better the shoulder. I rode this on weekdays in late June/early July and the trafffic was pretty minimal. There are some U.S.F.S. campgrounds in the lake area. If you seach Google maps for "Campgrounds near georgetown lake, anaconda, MT" they will show up. The only commerical place I saw between the lake and Anaconda was a marina with a deli. As you are descending you will pass a road that dives down to your right just before a large, reddish brown sign relating the story of a gold strike in the area. Just down that road there is a spring outlet with plumbing for water. It's close enough to the highway that you can walk to it. Came in handy the first time when the day was quite warm.

Anaconda has plenty of places to eat and an Albertson's grocery store next to a pharmacy. As for camping, there is this place:

Wisdom is a very small town. There is a small grocery store that's open until around 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. Selection is somewhat limited. There is no commercial campground, but outside of town on MT 43 there is an Americon Legion or something park where you can camp. Make sure you have bug spray, at least in June. All three times I stayed or passed through there the place was teaming with mosquitoes, hence the screened in shelter at the park. The one time I camped there I pitched my tent inside it. The Nez Perce Motel in town is another option. The Crossings at Fetty's has good food and adult beverages. There is also a dive-looking bar in town.

I might be able to provide more assistance once I see your route plan. For example, if you are going to pass through Philipsburg I have spent two nights there during two different tours. And if you want to add some miles/days, you could ride the Pioneer Mountians Scenic Byway and get to Wisdom from Anaconda the long way through Jackson with a stop at Elkhorn Hot Springs.

Routes / Re: New York - Virgina Beach
« on: January 07, 2015, 10:10:54 am »
Despite the dense population New Jersey, my home state, is a fine bicycling state.

I love riding in many parts of NJ, especially Hunterdon, Warren and Sussex Counties. And every year I usually do a couple of overnighters from Philly to Belleplain State Forest in Woodbine, taking the PATCO train to Lindenwold to avoid the Camden and Cherry Hill areas.

General Discussion / Re: Help with: From Jasper to ??
« on: January 06, 2015, 10:57:48 am »
I have had good luck with interstate and intrastate one-ways from Avis, but it appears their Jasper agency does not allow one-ways to the states.

If you cannot find a inter-country, one-way rental or one that's affordable, consider having your mate's spouse rent at the ride's destination (e.g., FCA airport) drive the 425 miles to Jasper and then drive back to the destination.

General Discussion / Re: Travel Insurance
« on: January 06, 2015, 10:13:42 am »
That's why it is important to read the fine print before you purchase. I am sure there are disclosure requirements.

Routes / Re: Rt. 2 across North Dakota
« on: December 29, 2014, 09:59:27 am »
I understand most of the oil work is in the western part of the state so I'm thinking of riding to Minot ND the head north and back south just before Mt. border or after and landing in Culbertson Mt.

Maybe I am misunderstanding this, but heading back south just before the MT border would put you in the Williston area, which is the epicenter of ND oil activity. It's my understanding that that activity also extends into pats of eastern MT.

Are you aware that since 2009, ACA had rerouted the Northern Tier route in that general area to avoid oil-related traffic? See this, Sections 3 & 4:

Mid-Atlantic / Re: Pick-Up/Drop-Off Service in Maryland
« on: December 26, 2014, 03:14:15 pm »
On the official GAP web site there are links to shuttle services.

Another option in some cases is a one-way car rental. For example, I have ridden the Atlantic Coast Route from Port Jervis, NY to my home in Philly twice by renting cars one-way to Port Jervis. I have also taken two trips across PA to my home using rentals to get to the starting points.

General Discussion / Re: GDMRB 2015 Casual Ride!
« on: December 23, 2014, 03:27:12 pm »
I hope you realise how cold it gets there Harry. I spent 3 months working in Montreal over winter a few years back.

Depends where in B.C.. With an average January high of 46/6 and an average low of 26/2, Victoria isn't that bad.

Routes / Re: I90 into Missoula
« on: December 23, 2014, 07:50:20 am »
Some photos of Rock Creek Rd.:

I went mostly with those that show road conditions. That white stuff you see if calcium chloride. The Forest Service puts it down in places to control dust. It makes the road surface damp, resulting in a dirty spray. We had to hose off our bikes at the campground. The cable bridge affords a nice view of the rapids rushing underneath. Finally, I included a photo of the I-90 entrance ramp. It was probably taken around 9 a.m. I ride to work in heavier traffic.

Routes / Re: I90 into Missoula
« on: December 22, 2014, 01:09:45 pm »
A couple of other things...Red Barn Bicycles, just off Sleeping Child Rd., is worth a look see. It really is in an old, red barn, and the people who work there have been nice the two times I have stopped in. There is nothing between Darby and the start of Sklalkaho if you take Old Darby Rd. and Sleeping Child Rd. (which I recommend), so you will have to go to U.S. 93 and into the center of Hamilton if you need supplies. There will be a Safeway supermarket on your right in the middle of town.

Don't know when you plan on starting, but Skalkaho can experience closures due to slides/washouts caused by melting snow in June. We intended to ride it in early July of 2011, but it was impassable at the falls. Earlier in the trip we fortuitously ran into an ACA employee at a hot spings. He is the one who told us about Rock Creek Rd. as an alternative out of Philipsburg.

When I rode it this year, part of it was officially closed south of the falls due a slide, but I was able to get through with a bike. Only had to walk a short distance, and the space between the barriers was wide enough to squeeze through with the loaded bike. There was heavy equipment up there but no road crews on a Friday afternoon. If you call 511 you reach MDOT's automated road conditions report. The best source of real life conditions are the locals. This year, the slide had already happened when I started my trip from Missoula. I cheked with the shop on U.S. 93 in the center of Hamilton and Red Barn on day one and was told I should be able to get through. Since I was riding it from north to south later in the trip, I inquired at the Gem Mountain retail store in Philipsburg and then again at the mine itself. Everyone thought I would be able to get through.

Closure can be a good thing. The only vehicles I enountered between Gem Mountain and the small, U.S.F.S. Black Bear Campground outside of Hamilton were a convoy of dump trucks taking dirt up to a small section of the road north of the pass that was being graded.

Routes / Re: I90 into Missoula
« on: December 22, 2014, 11:05:08 am »
I just made a few edits to my response.

If you go here, this photo and all but the subsquent ones but the last three were taken on Skalkaho (one at Gem Mountain) from near the junction of Rock Creek Rd. towards Hamilton:

The top of the pass sign looked to have been broken off in an avalanche so I fixed it. I was there in late June and you can still see some patches of snow near the summit.

I will try to post some photos from Rock Creek this evening.

Routes / Re: I90 into Missoula
« on: December 22, 2014, 10:33:38 am »
Fine. You don't have to be on it for long. Get off at the first exit west of Rock Creek Rd. and then follow the parallel roads to the north of I-90. IIRC, there is even some bike trail/rideable sidwalk. Keep goingf past the post office and golf course and then you will evetually cross under I-90 and end up on E. Broadway. This is basically what we did to ACA's headquarters:

Rock Creek Rd. is a wonderful ride. Did it from the Jct. with MT 348 in 2011. If you want a commercial campground, there is a nice one right by the creek just before you reach I-90. No groceries near, but the restaurant is good.

I think we stayed in site No. 14.

Maybe 10 miles before you get there, you will pass Trout Bum, which is an outiftter and real estate agency. They have good coffee (including espresso). They also sell energy bars if you need a snack.

Just a bit of a warning: I see you plan to ride Skalkaho. This past June I rode the entire length, from MT 1 to Hamilton. Up from Hamilton, it's a long slog, and once you hit the dirt it can get steep, bumpy and rocky in places. The descent down to Rock Creek Rd. is a nicer surface and is actually paved for a decent stretch in the middle. Dirt ends just before Gem Mountain.

The Gem Mountain c-store shown on your map had very limited snacks and drinks, including bottled water (no drinkable tap water), and a few nukeable sandwiches. It's not really a store per se. They just sell stuff out of the office. If you have an hour or so to kill, I recommend buying a bucket of dirt and panning for sapphires. Make sure you have bug spray.

Once you turn left onto Rock Creek Rd., you will pass The Ranch at Rock Creek, which is an exclusive, all-inclusive resort where cabins go for over $5K/night. Doesn't seem like the place to pop in for a snack. Trout Bum, mentioned above, will be the next source for snacks. I think or more of the campgrounds shown on your map have water.

There is a really seedy bar at the I-90 interchange which is home to the "Testicle Festival." If they serve food, they were no longer serving it when we walked there for some take-out beer. Even if they had been serving food, I would have only eaten there if I had been starving. Treat yourself to a steak and salad bar if you stay at Ekstroms Stage. It's going to be a long day if you come from Hamilton.

General Discussion / Re: Best Time to Leave
« on: December 19, 2014, 10:27:28 am »

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