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Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: CarmignanoCaponord on March 20, 2013, 01:32:41 pm

 
Title: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: CarmignanoCaponord on March 20, 2013, 01:32:41 pm
Hi guys,


I'm Andrea and I'm writing from Italy. In summer 2013 (july and august) I will be in US to do the TransAmerica Trail, a wonderful trip supported and sponsor by a great global brand. Respect to the original trail that starts in Florence Oregon I would like to do, for the first part of the trip, a different route. I'll start in San Francisco e I would meet the TransAmerica Trail after Nevada and Utah. I have to study the route but before to imagine to go through Nevada and Utah in summer I would like to know some informaztions about temperature. I already visited Las Vegas in august and if even in North Nevada would be so hot...would be better to starts from Oregon. The route I identified in Nevada is about 500 km up to Vegas, is possibile to find a human temperature?? Somebody can help me with data about medium degrees in Nevada and Utah??

This is an image of the route I thought to do..


(http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/4076/immagine1fdr.png)

Thank you for every help you can give me!
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: jamawani on March 20, 2013, 03:52:16 pm
Andrea -

Scusi ma - - the route you have selected is terrible.
You will be almost completely on the autostrada with that route.
(In the West there are often no back roads exccept the autostrada.)

Here is a website with maps of U.S. average temperatures.
http://www.prism.oregonstate.edu/products/matrix.phtml?vartype=tmax&view=maps
(Remember that in the U.S. they use degrees F, not C - also miles, not km.)

I am not sure why you chose this route - particularly in July/August.
If you are flying into San Francisco, you can take Amtrak up to Oregon.
Oregon would be a much better start to your trip.
If you need a shorter route - you can cut thru central Idaho via Stanley to Yellowstone.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: cgarch on March 20, 2013, 04:17:19 pm
Agreed. Traveling along Interstate 80, while possible, is not the preferred choice. But let's not forget that eastern Oregon can be mighty hot too at that time of year.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: CarmignanoCaponord on March 20, 2013, 04:44:18 pm
Hi Jama & jgarch! ;)

I'm just trying to understand which is the best route, also in consideration of mileage, for my coast to coast. TransAmerica trail for me would be perfect but in only 2 months I think that 4.200 miles are really too much, I want to rest in NYC for the last 5-6 days of august. So, start from SF and meet the TransAmerica in Wyoming would allow me to have a shorter trip. I thought to Nevada and Utah because I love desert and desolated landscapes. I haven't booked my flights, the idea is to fly to NYC for the intercontinental and take an internal flight to go to Pacific coast.

With start in Oregon I can go through Idaho for a shorter mileage yes, but I should trace a new route for pass Wyoming and Nebraska, would meet the northern tier just at Muscatine, Iowa, to go to the east coast.

I haven't more time to organize this American trip, some suggestions?
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: tsteven4 on March 20, 2013, 07:50:31 pm
Ciao Andrea,

sf, ca to pueblo co, western express, pueblo,co to yorktown, va trans am.  this will be a bit shorter, but you can hit extreme heat.  On this route in Utah in July we hit 115 degrees F = 46 degrees C.  Our strategy on the western express was to leave between 2am and 5am, and try to finish by noon or 1pm.  At times we had to carry 8 liters of water per person.  The western express is a beautiful route, but you need to be prepared to enjoy it.

you can see all the ACA routes here http://tsteven4.qwestoffice.net/maps/ACARoutes.html
western express, with waypoints here http://tsteven4.qwestoffice.net/maps/WesternExpressRoute.html
trans am, with waypoints here http://tsteven4.qwestoffice.net/maps/TransAmericaRoute.html

Steve
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: jamawani on March 20, 2013, 08:16:53 pm
Given that you are riding in the hottest months -
And given that you have fewer than 60 riding days.
A direct route from Oregon to NYC would seem best.

If you are flying into SF, you can take Amtrak to Eugene, Oregon and connect to the coast.
Or you can fly into Portland, Oregon and connect to the coast from there.

A direct route would start on the TransAm - plus you would have benefit of bike route services.
Then a route across Idaho thru the Sawtooth Mountains and Stanley - beautiful!
Then on to Yellowstone NP, the Grand Tetons and across Wyoming.
(Most two-lane highways in the rural West have low traffic - especially Wyoming.)

If you follow the state line between South Dakota and Nebraska you will reach part of the Lewis & Clark Route.
Then you should cut across Iowa to Muscatine and pice up the Northern Tier.
(Personally, I think you should take another route so you can see Lake Michigan.)

If you cut off of the Northern Tier in eastern Ohio, you can pick up a route across northern Pennsylvania.
And then you can come down the Delaware Gap into New Jersey and New York.

It WILL require some planning to do all you want in the time you have to do it.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: JasmineReeseII on March 20, 2013, 10:21:01 pm
I am taking the ACA route from Pueblo, CO to SanFrancisco, CA around June, July. Will I also run into crazy heat?
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: John Nelson on March 20, 2013, 10:45:28 pm
I am taking the ACA route from Pueblo, CO to San Francisco, CA around June, July. Will I also run into crazy heat?
Yes, you'll run into some pretty hot weather. But it's manageable if you carry enough water. Ride early in the day. Pay attention to where the services are ahead of you.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: mathieu on March 21, 2013, 11:32:22 am
Hi Andrea! I am from The Netherlands. I have done several bike trips in the US, including the TransAm. From your question I guess that you are new to biking in the US.
Here is some advice.
1. In any case, take an ACA mapped route. This will save you a lot of time in navigation and keep you away from awful, busy roads, e.g. Interstates. The maps also provide information on services ahead, which are vital in sparsely populated areas. You will also meet other bikers going the same way.
2. If you want to start in San Francisco, the only ACA route to the east is the Western Express. It connects to the TransAm at Pueblo-CO. As others have commented, it is exceedingly hot in summer. Compared to the full TransAm, it saves about 500 miles, but your riding hours will be less too because of the afternoon heat. Buy the ACA maps asap to make up your mind. They give you an idea about the distances you should cover each day to get to required services. Maps also have information on Climate, e.g. temperature statistics.
3. The full TransAm took me 60 days, including rest days, in May/July. This amounts to 80 miles/day. With your time plan, you need to cover 80-90 miles/day. To get a more relaxed scheme, you may consider to start your bike trip in Denver-CO.
4. Think well how you want to travel with your bike to New York. When you follow the TransAm to the east, you get to Richmond-VA from where you can take a train to Washington and New York. However, Amtrak requires to box the bike. A boxed bike is nice for air travel, where ground personnel does the handling, but it is a millstone around the neck for rail travel, as you have several other bags to care for. It is easier to send the bike home by mail, but this is a lot more expensive than the charges of airlines for bike transport  (I got quotes of about $600).       
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: RussSeaton on March 21, 2013, 02:28:55 pm
Not sure it applies.  But it was mentioned cycling across Iowa.  Iowa has a Bicycle map for the state.  Shows county roads suitable for bicycling.  Its pretty easy to get across the state without riding on busy roads.  See the links below to request a map.  Not sure it will work if you are overseas.

http://www.iowadot.gov/maps//msp/index.html

http://www.iowadot.gov/maps//msp/state.html

http://www.bikeiowa.com/Trail/Maps  This one has a link to order the map.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: cgarch on March 21, 2013, 04:38:39 pm

3. ...This amounts to 80 miles/day. With your time plan, you need to cover 80-90 miles/day.       

Atozzi, you haven't spec'd whether you're camping or moteling . . If you take Western Express and expect to land at a town, your choices though Nevada and part of Utah are either 60-70 miles/day or 120 miles/day. Most of the towns across NV on US50 are just about 60 miles apart with nothing (I repeat Nothing) in between - no water, no shade, nada (and I-80 is actually not much different).

As for wide-open spaces, the Western Express can't be beat, but you will find plenty of similar wide-open terrain in Eastern Oregon. Don't be fooled into thinking E. Oregon is like the coast - not even close.

cg
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: CarmignanoCaponord on March 21, 2013, 07:00:54 pm
Hi guys!!

Thank you so much for your suggestions and ideas!! I usually study very well my bike travel (for Australia I studied for 7 months and TransEurope, from Firenze to Nordkapp almost 1 year!), this year, as I said, I have a brand that supported me but the bad aspect is that this partnership has change my plans without more time in programing...I had to go to Iceland not in US on 2013 ;) So..I'm very very happy to do coast to coast but this kind of travel needs a good organization.

@Cgarch
For the night I have a tent and a sleepingbag so is not so important for me, camping or Hotel/B&B is always ok.

@Mathieu
Hi! I have decided to do coast to coast so..I think Denver is not the right place to start my travel ;) Nevada 50 was in my mind ;) but I hate extreme hot and is not a good idea.. about NYC and the way to go there, if I start from Oregon I use the first section of TransAm, Yellowstone and Grand Teton and after, Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa until Muscatine. From Muscatine a part of Northern Tier until Ashtabula, leave NT and Pennsylvania until NYC. What do you think?

In case of north starting I would like to start from Florence Oregon, (same name of my city!). I will looking for flights from NYC to Portland..

So..do you know some good routes in Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa?? Same height of Yellowstone and GTeton of course..



Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: jamawani on March 21, 2013, 08:44:40 pm
Andrea -

If you have toured Firenze-Nordkapp and across Australia, then you don't have to stick with ACA maps.
They are good and provide reassurance for novice cyclists - but you are experienced.
Given the number of days you have and the time of year - you should pick what works best for you.

Starting in Florence on the Oregon coast would be nice - but the coast is not very interesting there.
The amazing part of the Oregon coast is just to the north - between Newport and Florence.
(It's easier making connections from Portland to Newport than to Florence, too.)
Oregon has special hiker/biker campsites for $5 and is very bike friendly.

From the coast you can follow the TransAm almost all the way across Oregon.
That would be a nice way to bump into other cyclists and get started comfortably.
The cut-off towards Idaho is in eastern Oregon - staying on US 26 to Ontario.

Here is a map of traffic volume for Oregon -
http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TD/TDATA/tsm/docs/2010_Flow_Map_GIS.pdf
As you can see, there is very little traffic on the section of US 26.

Going through central Idaho is beautiful - Sawtooth Mountains - with snowy peaks and hot springs.
Also, there's lots of free camping on public lands - (NOT in National Parks).
I'll go over details of the Idaho section to Yellowstone in another post.

Photo - Redfish Lake in the Sawtooth Mountains
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: John Nelson on March 21, 2013, 09:40:53 pm
You could do the Northern Tier, and thus avoid some of the heat. Officially the route is 4288, but there are a number of mapped shortcuts available. You can skip Alberta and save 87 miles. There's a 125-mile mapped shortcut in Minnesota. Taking the ferry across Lake Michigan saves 215 miles. And a number of people end in Portland Maine (not mapped by the ACA), which saves quite a few miles over going to Bar Harbor. I think you can get the NT mileage down to about 3700 miles, which will get you there in 55 days with an average of 68 miles a day.

The NT misses Yellowstone and Grand Teton, but it picks up the spectacular Glacier National Park and the pretty-cool Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: mathieu on March 23, 2013, 07:59:42 am
Andrea, sorry I misjudged your cycling prowess. I can understand that you want to see magnificent Yellowstone and Tetons, although in summer the narrow Yellowstone roads filled with traffic jams of huge recreational vehicles and distracted drivers are dangerous to cyclists. I admit that I am running out of my area of competence, but it seems that after continuing the TransAm towards Lander-WY, you could turn east to Riverton, Casper and into Nebraska to pick up the Lewis and Clark route near Bonesteel. I still believe that a mapped route offers a lot of benefits.
See http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/RouteNetwork.pdf .
Others might have better suggestions to get you as straight as possible to NY.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: CarmignanoCaponord on May 05, 2013, 03:20:42 pm
Hi Guys!


Finally I bought my airplane ticket to Portland. I decided to start my adventure on the coast of Oregon, could be Astoria or Newport, I have to decide. The road I will do follow the TransAm until West Yellowstone, where I will take one or two days to visit this fantastic NP. About Yellowstone, there are some risks for cyclist regarding Grizzly and other animals? In the park I will stay in the lodge and in Grant Village campsites.

After Yellowstone (from the coast of Oregon, with the TransAm trail, are about already 2000 km done), I will go to east accross BigHorn NF and accross Wyoming, then Rapid City and Sioux Falls in SD. Then Iowa and until Muscatine to take Northern Tier. In Cleveland I will leave the NT to go towards NYC, via Pennsylvania.

What do you think?? The only thing I was thinking is that the central part of my trip seems a little boring..SD and Iowa are flat and with endless road. Suggestions more than welcome ;)
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: John Nelson on May 05, 2013, 03:58:40 pm
About Yellowstone, there are some risks for cyclist regarding Grizzly and other animals? In the park I will stay in the lodge and in Grant Village campsites.

If you stay in established campgrounds and store your food in the provided bear boxes, you will have no problems with bears or other animals. Be aware that the lodges are quite expensive and require reservations far in advance. If you have camping equipment with you, the campgrounds are very nice and I don't see a need to stay in the lodges.

The only thing I was thinking is that the central part of my trip seems a little boring..SD and Iowa are flat and with endless road.
If you want to see America, then you'll want to see the central plains too. Every place has its own charm. Those flat roads for a while will seem like a nice break from all the hilly terrain you will have been doing. Many towns on the plains will let you camp in their city parks and use their swimming pools for free. And the people are very friendly.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: CarmignanoCaponord on May 05, 2013, 04:35:16 pm
Hi John!

Yes I will have everything for camping, tent, food and camp kitchen! I was thinking to Lodge only to be sure with bears ;) Personally I love to do camping and I would like to sleep in my tent in YNP. For the flat territories I have no problem with them, I love desolated and desert landscapes, after Australia 2012 I think I will have no problem with central america.. just a view of SD and Iowa extremely flat...but as you said, will be a nice break from the very hard terrain did before in Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming too! ;)

Can't wait to be there!!

Andrea
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: BikeFreak on May 05, 2013, 05:30:34 pm
Although too late already ...

+1 on Northern Tier suggestion. I did both the Northern Tier and the Transam and I would choose the Northern Tier any time.

Andrea: You mention hard terrain in Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming ... wait till you get to Missouri, Kentucky and Virginia ... it will hit you like a sledge hammer :-).

Many cyclists try to explain the severeness of the hilly roads in the Eastern states. Below I personally think I managed to illustrate what people are trying to explain. In one day you might have 20-30 of those crazy hills - I would prefer 2 Rocky Mountains passes in one day at any time:

Lucas
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: CarmignanoCaponord on May 06, 2013, 02:43:54 am
Hi Lucas

Understand what you mean, I just ended my first Ultracycling event from Paris to Milan and believe me...it was terrible talking about terrain! Exactly hills like yours in photo, I did 1322 km in 6 days and 9102 mt of altimetry! Crazy ;) Better an high pass than 30 hills right! I think that the very hard part of my trip will be in the first part until Big Horn National Forest, then with the central states should be a more relaxed and fast trip. I thought to take northern tier from the start, but Yellowstone and Grand Teton have a very strong appeal!

Andrea
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: John Nelson on May 06, 2013, 01:15:33 pm
A high pass is better than 30 hills, mentally at least. With a high pass, it seems like you're actually getting somewhere. With 30 hills in a row, they all seem pointless.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: BikeFreak on May 06, 2013, 02:38:09 pm
Hi Lucas

Understand what you mean, I just ended my first Ultracycling event from Paris to Milan and believe me...it was terrible talking about terrain! Exactly hills like yours in photo, I did 1322 km in 6 days and 9102 mt of altimetry! Crazy ;) Better an high pass than 30 hills right! I think that the very hard part of my trip will be in the first part until Big Horn National Forest, then with the central states should be a more relaxed and fast trip. I thought to take northern tier from the start, but Yellowstone and Grand Teton have a very strong appeal!

Andrea

Andrea:
I think we share some cycling experiences because I have also biked to Nordkapp, I also circled Australia and I also circled Iceland. Moreover I have done the Continental Divide passing the outskirts of Yellowstone, Grand Teton etc. I did the Northern Tier, Southern Tier, parts of Western Express ... I have seen a fair amount.

From ALL what I have seen in my entire life, nothing comes close to the scenery in southern Utah along the Western Express - not even the Grand Canyon. I was completely amazed - I could have taken photographs constantly. It is just SO beautiful and picturesque. The scenery up North in the Yellowstone is well ... something you can find many places - you find similar scenery even in Norway - however without any grizzly bears.

A Utah promotional video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6ut9vDAgXk

Lucas
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: jamawani on May 06, 2013, 07:58:07 pm
Andrea -

I'm from Buffalo, Wyoming and have some strip maps I made a few years ago crossing northern Wyoming.  The Bighorn Mountains are nothing to laugh at - big climbs - esp. from the West, 2000m.  I am planning to be gone - but some family member should be there at my house in Buffalo - big house on a hill with mountain views - if you need a place to relax and do laundry.

I also have route guides for crossing Idaho through the Sawtooth Mountains.  I know you only have about 60 days with stops - so saving 4 or 5 days with a more direct route may be helpful.  Plus, the Payette River has hot springs and the Sawtooths are stunning.  Not to mention that it puts you on a course to see both the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone without backtracking.

As for the Great Plains - if you ride through the Black Hills of South Dakota you will be surprised how lovely they are - plus by late July they are MUCH cooler.  You may want to do a sunrise ride thru Badlands N.P. - but remember as you get out on the Great Plains it will be HOT!!  40C or more.  Best to ride super early - from sunrise to 11am - then quit.  There is a fabulous route - Nebraska Hwy 12 - that runs right on the NE/SD border and has very little traffic.

Your choice of the Oregon state is much better for the time of year and your plans.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: CarmignanoCaponord on May 06, 2013, 11:18:19 pm
Lucas you can't imagine how I wanted to do Utah and Nevada! But now is not the better period to do Western Express. I suffer extreme heat ;(


Hi jamawani,

I traced a route in Idaho from Baker City to Missoula in Montana, can you say me what is the route through Sawtooth Mountains? In my route, after Missoula, I should back to south towards YNP and GTNP, could be better follow your route. My route until YNP and GTNP is the TransAm.

I don't find Nebraska 12 between NE/SD.. along the border I see only the 18..?

Andrea
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: CarmignanoCaponord on May 09, 2013, 07:16:29 am
After many many valutations..I have decided to do the Northern Tier and cut some miles where is possible, maybe even ferry on Michigan lake. So Glacier NP, no Yellowstone no Grand Teton..may be next time;) For the logistic I have to resolve how to go to Anacortes from Portland, I think the best way is Greyhound, just checked their website and no problem to go to Mt.Vernon/Anacortes (even good fares!). Somebody knows the policy about bicycle? Last year with Greyhound Australia I prepared the bike for the transport without the front wheel and it was enough. How does it work with Greyhound US?

Andrea

Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: tsteven4 on May 09, 2013, 08:10:55 am
Andrea,

Have you considered the train from Portland to Mt Vernon?   We took this train from Seattle to Mt Vernon with our bikes last year.  If you do this I would highly recommend you make a reservation for your bicycles using the "Walk-On Bicycle Service".  With this service you do not need to disassemble or box your bicycle in any way.

http://www.amtrak.com/cascades-train
http://www.amtrak.com/bring-your-bicycle-onboard

Steve
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: CarmignanoCaponord on May 09, 2013, 08:57:54 am
Thank you Steve!!

I thought that trains would accept bicycle only in a box..good news!! I'll take a look ;)
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: Pat Lamb on May 09, 2013, 09:27:09 am
FWIW, Anacortes is close enough to Mt. Vernon to be an easy day round trip.  Doing it as a day trip saves you making the connection out to Anacortes, a nice shuttle but it takes an extra hour.  Starting in Mt. Vernon would give you a good shake-down ride after assembling everything, and there's bike shops in both towns should you need something fixed or adjusted.  If you must make progress that first day, extend the return trip to Sedro-Wooley or even Concrete.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: John Nelson on May 09, 2013, 11:40:04 am
I suppose it's too late to change your flight to go to Seattle instead of Portland? Bellingham would be even better. It's about a 40-mile ride from Bellingham down to Anacortes. If you want to skip going to Anacortes itself, it's only 25 miles from the Bellingham airport down to join the Northern Tier in Bay View along the beautiful Chuckanut Drive.

There are many ways to cut miles, but IMHO one you should not cut is Going To the Sun Road in Glacier National Park. Do not take the Marias Pass alternate or you will miss the absolute best part of the whole route!!!

You can cut out 35 hilly miles by staying on 89 from St Mary, MT to Cardston, AB and 40 more by skipping Alberta entirely and heading straight for Cut Bank from St Mary. You can save some miles by staying on I-94 across North Dakota, but I recommend against it unless you really like interstate riding. You can cut off 125 miles in Minnesota by taking the Little Falls Alternate (and a few more by taking the Donn Olson modifications to the Little Falls Alternate). You can save 215 miles by taking the ferry across Lake Michigan (assuming you're taking the North Lakes route), but you'll lose the better part of a day on the ferry itself. There are lots of places where you can save 10 miles here or 10 miles there (particularly in Ontario if you're taking the Lake Erie Connector), at the expense of busier roads and missing some charming back roads. You can cut off another 150 miles by finishing in Portland, Maine rather than going to Bar Harbor. I don't recommend any of these shortcuts, but if you need to cut time, then compromises need to be made.

Spend an hour to take the $20 ride on the Maid of the Mist when you're at Niagara Falls. It's worth it. And camp along the Erie Canal across New York--the towns are charming and the hospitality is great.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: CarmignanoCaponord on May 09, 2013, 02:03:35 pm
Hi John!

mmhhh....it's too late to change flight. ;) Few time to organize and many things to keep in mind..something wrong. But there will be no problems to reach Anacortes. I hope to keep the Northern Tier as much as I can without cut. Possibly I will cut something when I will be close to Michigan lake but instead to take ferry I could also go down, along the lake, until Chicago. Glacier NP surely is a place that I want absolutely see and enjoy.

In every case I will go to NYC, In Cleveland or Ashtabula I'll leave the NT to accross Pennsylvania and go to NYC, so my NT will be shorter than original, I think could be within the 5500-6000km. Tomorrow I'll start to trace the road.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: CarmignanoCaponord on May 09, 2013, 06:10:30 pm

There are many ways to cut miles, but IMHO one you should not cut is Going To the Sun Road in Glacier National Park. Do not take the Marias Pass alternate or you will miss the absolute best part of the whole route!!!


John, you mean that I should follow the road towards Lake McDonald, Saint Mary and up to Alberta right?
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: John Nelson on May 10, 2013, 12:09:23 am
Yes, follow Going To The Sun Road along Lake McDonald. Then continue on Going To The Sun Road over Logan Pass and down to St Mary. You can camp in any of the Glacier NP campgrounds for only $5. Once you get to St Mary, you can then either go into Alberta (following the ACA route), or go off-route for a shorter trip to Cut Bank if you need to save time.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: CarmignanoCaponord on May 10, 2013, 08:39:56 am
Hi Guys;)

I'm now trying to organize and planning places where I'll stop for the night. For camping, I found the recreation.gov (http://www.recreation.gov) site, that allows to make reservations for campingsite. Should I always reserve in advance a place in these facilities? Or is possible ask directly there for a night? I would like to keep some flexibility.. I have no time to organize all 60 nights during the travel and I was thinking, except some places where is highly recommend to book in advance, to find something directly there. Just for info, I will travel with Gps Oregon 450 and with no maps.

Thank you for helping me! ;)
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: John Nelson on May 10, 2013, 12:02:10 pm
I camped all the way across the Northern Tier, never made a reservation or even called, and never found a campground full. The ACA maps show you all the campgrounds along the way. Virtually none of the campgrounds I stayed at are listed on the web site you cited. If you're in a car, you can easily go 30-50 miles off route to a campground. If you're on a bike, not so much.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: CarmignanoCaponord on May 10, 2013, 12:47:33 pm
I will not use ACA maps john. I'll travel with my Gps and usually is very useful to find every kind of facilities wihin few miles, food, shops or accomodations to sleep. Of course I'm studying territories and pieces of route with no services. I'll upload on Gps the whole route of Northern Tier (re-traced with GoogleMaps) with some modifications/cut and should be enough. Only I was asking me if is needed to reserve even the campground cause in many sites there is indicated that many of them could be full in the summer. Free camping in NP is not my favourite solution for bear danger.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: John Nelson on May 10, 2013, 03:22:04 pm
I agree that when camping in Grizzly country, the bear boxes available in formal campgrounds are well worth it. Once you're past western Montana, however, that's not an issue any more.

One advantage of the ACA maps is that they list lots of free and legal places to camp that are not actual campgrounds, and thus would not show up in any Google search for campgrounds. E.g., the town park in Hebron, North Dakota or the Bicycle Bunkhouse in Dalbo, Minnesota (neither of which has bear worries). My experience is that the ACA maps pay for themselves many times over just in saving me money on camping. Of course, if you're not on an ACA route, they are of no value.

As I said before, reservations are not usually necessary, and most campgrounds will accept a bicycle tourist even if the are full. One of the problems I have with reservations is that I usually don't know where I'm going to end up at the end of today, let alone a few days from now. Another problem with reservations is that I occasionally find the place I was heading for to be a unacceptable (and I have very low standards) and moved on. But some people like to make reservations anyway for the peace of mind.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: CarmignanoCaponord on May 10, 2013, 04:13:13 pm
I agree with you John, when possible I avoid to do in advance any reservation, cause I want to have freedom to go or to stop when I want or when I'm tired. I think to buy some section of NT, just for the reasons you said and to check sometimes during the day.

Until Fargo, ND, I'll do exactly the ACA "NT", after that instead, I'll leave the route to go to Lake Michigan towards Milwaukee and then, ferry or down to Chicago along the coast.

Andrea
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: CarmignanoCaponord on May 29, 2013, 04:55:28 pm
Hi Guys!  :D

I'm preparing a travel plan about Glacier National Park. I was reading on NPS website (http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/bicycling.htm) that for some pieces of the Going to the sun road, bicycles are prohibited in both directions, form 11am to 4pm. From Apgar Campground to Logan pass! Do you know what's the situation?

Thanxs!
Andrea
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: Pat Lamb on May 29, 2013, 09:27:11 pm
You read that correctly.  The normal approach eastbound is to camp at Apgar or Avalanche (riding up after 4:00 to Avalanche), then get up and start riding about dawn, which gives you a reasonable amount of time to get to Logan Pass.  IIRC you can ride up the east side all day, but you have to stop at Avalanche on your way down and let all the cagers leave to find supper before riding the rest of the way down.

They had shuttles when we were there, so you could load the bikes onto racks and carry panniers.  But that'd take the romance out of cycling GTS.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: CarmignanoCaponord on June 04, 2013, 08:06:00 am
No shuttle ;) I will stop until 16 and then I'll go to Avalanche for the night as you said. Perfect! Meanwhile, my planning brought me in the east side of Montana. I saw to go to Dickinson from Glendive there are some roads out the interstate 94. But I'll will travel with a road bike with thin tyres and I don't know if will be a good idea to cycling on unsealed roads. Is so dangerous to do a short piece of interstate 94? How is the traffic there?

Thank you for every suggestion!

p.s. I have received the Northern Tier maps, section 1 and 2. Full of informations!
p.p.s. Regarding Amtrak.. I bought a ticket from Portland to Mt. Vernon, I did a reservation for the bicycle. Should I specify that the bicycle is not in a box? Is not so clear on the Amtrak site. I saw there are many options to carry the bike onboard (full size bicycle or folding bicycle) but when I reserved my travel I have only chose 1 bicycle...
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: tsteven4 on June 04, 2013, 08:53:48 am
Andrea,

When we were there their was a hiker biker site on Lake McDonald named Sprague Creek, I recommend it and a swim in the lake.  With a reasonably early start you shouldn't have a problem making it to the top of the pass in time.

Steve
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: CarmignanoCaponord on June 04, 2013, 09:04:53 am
Grazie Steve!

Sure I'll visit that place ;)
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: JMilyko on June 04, 2013, 10:18:09 am
Meanwhile, my planning brought me in the east side of Montana. I saw to go to Dickinson from Glendive there are some roads out the interstate 94. But I'll will travel with a road bike with thin tyres and I don't know if will be a good idea to cycling on unsealed roads. Is so dangerous to do a short piece of interstate 94? How is the traffic there?

On Section 3 of the Northern Tier route between Glendive and Dickinson, there are stretches on I-94. Where it's not, the route is on secondary, parallel roads. All roads are paved but can be rough in places. I think you'll be ok. Traffic will increase as you approach Dickinson.

Hope this helps.

.Jennifer.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: CarmignanoCaponord on June 04, 2013, 10:25:25 am
Grazie Jennifer!  :D
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: John Nelson on June 04, 2013, 02:38:48 pm
There are places on I-94 where the shoulder is 10 feet wide, but the rumble strips are 8 feet wide. It's kind of annoying trying to hit that one-foot clear part on the right side of the shoulder every 50 feet. There are fewer than 50 miles of the Northern Tier on I-94, and not all of them have such annoying rumble strips.

There are also places on Old Highway 10 that are an exercise in pothole dodging, but it is very pretty and peaceful back there. Because it is shorter, some people prefer to follow I-94 all the way across ND, but I really liked the back roads.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: CarmignanoCaponord on June 04, 2013, 03:14:39 pm
Thank you John! Thank to all guys ;)

OK, I will decide there but if the back roads are sealed, surely I'll take back roads.  In Montana & North Dakota there are many pieces of road without big towns and so I plan to stop even in some lonely and nice little towns (Nashua, Circle,Kindred and others) but in many of these there isn't campground neither motel and other facilities, as last choise can I do free camping? Did you do sometimes?


Andrea
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: John Nelson on June 04, 2013, 05:29:11 pm
The ACA route through ND is all paved, but it warns you that if you try to make up your own route on the fly, you might have to deal with dirt because many paved roads go on for many miles before they suddenly turn to dirt.

I spent nights in ND in Theodore Roosevelt National Park (not free, but well worth the $10 camping fee), Hebron (free camping in the city park), Bismarck (Warm Showers host), Napolean ($10 to camp in the city park), Gackle (free camping), Enderlin (free camping in the town park) and Fargo (where I was spontaneously offered a home to stay in while riding down a residential street). In some cases, I camped in the town park even though the ACA map did not list the town park as a possible camping spot. I think the chances that somebody will run you off from some of these small town parks are very low.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: CarmignanoCaponord on June 04, 2013, 06:31:09 pm
I think the chances that somebody will run you off from some of these small town parks are very low.

The answer I wanted! ;) For the road ya, from Google Maps satellite view I saw some back roads that after some miles become unsealed. Is not a big problem in every case, in doubt I will follow the main. I will stop even in Enderlin for one night ;) And what about shops or place for food and water? Do you have had some problems to find supplies?
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: CarmignanoCaponord on July 02, 2013, 02:32:27 am
Hi guys!

Finally I'm here and tomorrow I'll start my trip from Anacortes. Before to go I would like to ask you wehere I can find alcool for my Trangia Camp Kitchen. I try at Walmart but they have only propane and other fuel. Which is the name of the product here in the US? For us in Italy is simply alcool, pink colour.

Thank you!
Andrea
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: Pat Lamb on July 02, 2013, 09:40:20 am
You'll be looking for "denatured alcohol" or perhaps, if you're desperate, grain alcohol.  Almost any hardware store will have it (look for a big red Ace Hardware), or you can look at the big box stores like Home Depot or Lowes.  Come to think of it, Walmart or Kmart might have it in the paint section -- not sure.

Grain alcohol will be at a liquor store.  It costs more, because it's taxed way more, because you can drink it -- if you're desperate.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: adventurepdx on July 02, 2013, 01:31:34 pm
...where I can find alcohol for my Trangia Camp Kitchen. I try at Walmart but they have only propane and other fuel. Which is the name of the product here in the US?

Besides looking for denatured alcohol in hardware stores, big box stores, or the Walmarts of the world, look in gas stations for "HEET". It's methyl alcohol and comes in a yellow bottle. (It's important that you get the one in a yellow bottle. Sometimes they have one in a red bottle, but that has isopropyl alcohol in it as well, which doesn't burn as well.) It's usually by the motor oil and all that stuff. That's what I use for my Trangia.
Title: Re: North Nevada & Utah in summer
Post by: cheesehawk on February 20, 2014, 04:47:27 pm
Andrea -

I'm from Buffalo, Wyoming and have some strip maps I made a few years ago crossing northern Wyoming.  The Bighorn Mountains are nothing to laugh at - big climbs - esp. from the West, 2000m. 

I also have route guides for crossing Idaho through the Sawtooth Mountains.  As for the Great Plains - if you ride through the Black Hills of South Dakota you will be surprised how lovely they are - plus by late July they are MUCH cooler.  You may want to do a sunrise ride thru Badlands N.P. - but remember as you get out on the Great Plains it will be HOT!!  40C or more.  Best to ride super early - from sunrise to 11am - then quit.  There is a fabulous route - Nebraska Hwy 12 - that runs right on the NE/SD border and has very little traffic.



Hi Jamawani,

I've been searching old posts for route information. I'm heading West from Virginia to Madison, WI, and then more or less due west from there (home) to Yankton SD. I think this is where you might be able to help me.

I'm thinking about taking 12 or the Cowboy Trail across northern Nebraska, and then cutting north at Valentaine to the Badlands, and then west to Rapid City/the Black Hills.

From the Rapid City I'd like to head South on the trail with a detour for Mt. Rushmore, and from there I would like to make my way to Yellowstone/Grand Teton. I was thinking about skipping the Big Horns and making for Douglas, Casper and Jeffrey City, there joining up with the TransAmerica Trail to Yellowstone/Grand Teton. My concern is that there appear to be few towns or services between the Black Hills and Jeffrey City, with a huge stretch after Casper with much of nothing. Am I picturing this correctly? Is there a better route from the Black Hills to Yellowstone?

I'll likely be solo after the Badlands, if that makes any difference. I'll probably arrive in the Badlands around the third week of June, 2015. I'll most likely be on a recumbent. I tend to tour loaded, but I don't tend to carry my own cooking gear, preferring to stop at cafes etc., especially where I'm solo.

Thanks for any advice.