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Messages - indyfabz

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Many years ago I did much of what you have laid out, only in the opposite direction. Seattle north to the NT just outside of Anacortes. Took that all the way to Glacier NP to climb up the west slope to Logan Pass. Then I doubled back to Columbia Falls and took the GPN to Missoula, then the TA to Fairplay, CO where I picked up the GPS and took that all the way through Dolores to Cortez. (I did the entire NT the year before that.)

Overall, I enjoyed it very much. Didn't like the traffic in Tetons/Yellowstone areas and in some parts of CO, like heading towards Breckenridge. I highly recommend the detour to Glacier. Going to the Sun is a spectacular ride. It would only add about 3 days to go off route, ride the west slope the following day, and then return to the NT route in the Whitefish/Columbia Falls area.

In addition to the WA passes noted, you will have other challenges. The route from Dolores to Telluride is a long slog up. Then you will have Dallas Divide, Monarch and Hoosier Passes. The latter two are over 11,000'. Strong winds in WY, Togwotee Pass at nearly 9,700’, and there is a long stretch (Rawlins to Lander) with few services. The climb out of Ennis, MT is a bear.

Rode the much of the TA between Missoula and Twin Bridges this past June (and in '11). The free cyclist-only Bike Camp in Twin bridges rocks. There is a good grocery store in town and a library with computers. Jackson Hot Springs, west of Big Hole Pass, is a nice place to stop for the night. They have rooms or you can camp. Either way, the price includes use of the pool (and a towel) which is fed by a hot spring. There is bar food and a more formal dining room. There is also a café across the street that I think serves Mexican food. Don’t camp in Wisdom unless you have some heavy duty mosquito repellant. If you do stay there (there is a screened picnic shelter in the park where they allow camping), The Crossings at Fetty’s serves up good grub and adult beverages. The climb from Wisdom to Chief Joseph Pass is long, but most of it is not steep. The Gibbons Pass Alternative is a relatively easy climb up, but the west slope was very bumpy/rocky when I did it in June. And it’s very narrow. If you are up for that sort of riding, the scenery is worth it. The store at the campground in Sula closes at 5 p.m. and has very limited groceries. Darby has a good grocery store and is a better option. The Old Darby Alternative between Darby and Hamilton is well worth the seven or so miles of unpaved riding and gives you a rest from U.S. 93. The road was in good shape when I was there in June.

An alternative to Big Hole Pass and Jackson Hot Springs is to take the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway, which starts on your right between Badger and Big Hole Passes. The summit is 7,900’, but only the last five miles of the climb are difficult. Then you get a very scenic 27 mile descent into Wise River. There are a couple of U.S.F.S. campgrounds with water along the descent but no food source. However, before the summit, at the Grasshopper Inn, which may or may not be open (It was this year when I passed through), you can go off route a short distance to Ma’s Country Store or whatever it’s called and pick up groceries there. Wise River has a nice bar/restaurant and a small grocery store. From there, you can head west on MT 43 to Wisdom to get back on route. This alternative is more effort but worth it in my opinion. The meadows you pass through during the descent are gorgeous.

I could go on a bit more, but I recently got back from a 9-day trip across PA and need to dig out from under some work.

Routes / Re: CDT Ride - Anaconda MT area (2-3 day)
« on: September 16, 2014, 05:19:03 pm »
I don't have my map handy, but IIRC, that section includes the famed Fleecer Ridge, which is quite a steep slope down heading south.

The Wise River Club is a neat place with good food and adult beverages. There is also a small mercantile in town. This summer I did a road tour through there after crossing the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway south to north. Saw a bunch of participants in the Great Divide MTB Race while I was there. There is no established tent camping in town that I know of, but I recall reading a journal on Crazy Guy where the rider got permission from the club's owner to camp out back. If you head south on the Byway for a while, there are some U.S.F.S. Campgrounds, but that would take you out of your way.

I know there is a paved option from Wise River back to Anaconda that I believe crosses the CD. You head west on MT 43 then make a right onto MT 569/Deep Creek Rd. That will take you back to MT 1 just outside the center of Anaconda.

Food Talk / Re: Food budgeting help
« on: September 03, 2014, 08:22:42 am »
Buy inexpensive food basics, like rice, beans, pasta and oatmeal, and add to that. $15 for one meal out should be doable depending on your tastes and where you happen to find yourself. You are not going to get a good steak for $15, but that should buy you a decent burger, fries and a good beer.

I am leaving for a tour on Friday. I always promise myself that my next tour will be the one where I write down all my expenses, including food expenses. If the past is any guide, I will grow tired of doing that by the second day at the latest.

Gear Talk / Re: A folding bike for touring?
« on: September 02, 2014, 01:40:28 pm »
We did over 500 serious miles together. The only downside to them seemed to be that the tires wore quicker than 700Cs

I commuted on my BF New Word Tourist. About 20 miles/day, three days/week for two years. Rode Schwalbe Marathons.  The tires did wear quickly, and I only carried a relatively light load in a messenger bag.

General Discussion / Re: Riding on the US Interstates
« on: August 29, 2014, 10:26:16 am »
In 2009, the Goethels Bridge eastbound to Staten Island carried an average of over 38,000 vehicles per day. Over 2,700 of those were large trucks. The decision to ride a bike on that Interstate (and many others) should not be left to the individual.

General Discussion / Re: Riding on the US Interstates
« on: August 28, 2014, 02:08:11 pm »
Again, all interstates are not created equal. I have ridden on I-80 in Wyoming, I-94 in North Dakota, I-90 in a couple of places in Montana and I-84 in a couple of places in Oregon.

That's a lot different than, say, trying to cross the Goethels Bridge into Staten Island, NY, which has only two narrow lanes, no shoulder and plenty of big rigs. That's a lot different than riding on the New Jersey Turnpike, where you very well might find the shoulder blocked by a disabled vehicle and a concrete wall preventing you from getting around it on the right and thus having to venture into the travel lane with vehicles flying past at speeds of over 80 mph. I could go on and on.

The blanket suggestion that all interstates should be open to bikes is not supportable from a safety (or any other) perspective.

General Discussion / Re: Busiest ACA or other trail intersection?
« on: August 27, 2014, 11:17:21 am »
I cast my vote for the vicinity of Jeffrey City
Jeffrey City was (is?) so memorably godawful and anything improving that would spoil it. I think a book could be written of Jeffrey City stories. I've no recollection of a church there but I did stay in the dismal motel before it closed, incredibly expensive, $70+, for a freezing room, broke TV and a leaking toilet.

My suggestion was a bit tongue in cheek. Not long before the motel closed, a cyclist reported having mushrooms growing out of his carpet. I stayed there in '00 with a Menonite couple who was crossing the country on a Bike Friday tandem. Only motel I have stayed in that was cash only. I had to lean into the wind while walking up the road to the cafe. Later that evening I sat at the bar and talked with a woman about the town's history and the effect the crash of the uranium market in the early 80s had on the town. A guy who looked to be a ranch hand came into the bar. He was wasted. He bought beer to go and drove off in his pickup.

General Discussion / Re: Riding on the US Interstates
« on: August 27, 2014, 08:24:42 am »
On my trip across the US in 2012, I used the interstate highway across North Dakota, the only state which allows cyclist on the interstates, as I understand things.

From this single experience compared to the thousands of miles on back roads, I know for  sure  that cycling on the interstate highways in the US is much safer

I would like to see AdventureCycling take this on as a campaign to get this stupid prohibition lifted right across the US.  If I were a US citizen I would certainly start such a campaign

1. As noted by others, riding Interstates is permitted in many places.

2. You obviously are not familiar with highways such as the New Jersey Turnpike, which is part of I-95, or the Staten Island Expressway, which is I-278.

General Discussion / Re: Busiest ACA or other trail intersection?
« on: August 25, 2014, 03:53:09 pm »
Like any endeavor involving humans, there is the chance, maybe even a likelihood, that poor behaviors of the odd individual can ruin a good thing for the rest of us.

IIRC, something similar happened in or near Jeffrey City within the last few years. As I remember the story, there was a church that was allowing cyclists to spend the night. There was a posted list of rules. Some incident or incidents involving violations of those rules resulted in the church no longer allowing cyclists to stay there.

General Discussion / Re: Busiest ACA or other trail intersection?
« on: August 25, 2014, 10:12:01 am »
You might consider how needed the service is in the location.  That might be more important than volume of bike traffic.

Good point. And with that in mind, I cast my vote for the vicinity of Jeffrey City, WY between Lander and Rawlins, which is a long stretch with not much in between. You can probably get a place dirt cheap there (pun intended). Maybe the now shuttered JC Motel is available.

Routes / Re: ACA Green Mtns Route in early Oct?
« on: August 25, 2014, 08:14:23 am »
You might want to make reservations due to the number of "leaf peepers" that time of year. Also, if you plan on staying in the Burlington areea, note that UVM's homecoming weekend starts 10/10.

General Discussion / Re: Sour clothing - after washing!
« on: August 21, 2014, 02:46:23 pm »
Some fabrics hold onto these chemicals and gases  at a molecular level and nothing you can do will break those bonds.

Funny. Just last evening I pulled a junky old tee from a drawer because I had to do some dirty work around the house. Many years ago, I worked out in the shirt, got it really sweaty, put it in a plastic bag I got from the gym and forgot about it for a while. Despite being washed numerous times since then, it still has a funky odor. It's destined to become my next bike cleaning rag.

I haven't cycled the Grasslands National Park, but a quick look at Google Maps Street View reveals that at least the one main road near and through the park is not paved. It also reveals that roads connecting to the road that is shown on Street View are also unpaved. Don't know if that makes a difference to you. Some people are steadfastly opposed to dirt riding and/or may not have the equipment to handle it. Also, services in that area seem like they may be somewhat limited.

I once rode the route Carla mentions, but in the opposite direction. It's nice. Camped at a state park in Big Fork and then Lake Inez or Lake Alva U.S.F.S. campground (Can't remember which. The one that has water) before heading to Missoula.

If you do go into Canada after Glacier N/P., I highly recommend going to Waterton Village for a rest day if desired. The towne campsite is in a dramatic setting along the shore of the lake. Plenty of services in town, and there is a combination boat ride/hike you can do. Just don't underestimate the difficulty of Chief Mountain Highway, especially if you do that leg the day after Logan Pass. And both times I rode the spur off of PR 5 into Waterton I had a pretty stiff headwind. On the flip side, the tailwind from on PR 5 through Cardston to Magrath was awesome.

Routes / Re: before I'm 70
« on: August 20, 2014, 09:29:44 am »
Yeah. I don't see much ACA route map mileage there, except maybe for some Northern Tier mileage. In NY, OH and IN.

The stretch through/near places like Gary and Hammond, IN and south of CHI could be gnarly. Lot's of industrial areas in those parts. I would also expect camping to be an issue.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: N tier to Seattle to Coast route?
« on: August 18, 2014, 07:40:26 am »
We started the Northern Tier in Seattle and joined the route in Rockport. We had a beautiful ride via Darrington, Arlington, and Snohomish. From Snohomish north you are on a great trail called the Centennial Trail.


I believe that route takes you on 530. As noted above, that route was closed by a fatal slide. Did you do this route recently (i.e. after the slide)?

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