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Messages - jamawani

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A WYDOT press release on Tuesday afternoon stated the detour could be completed in two weeks.

“WYDOT continues to work closely with the U.S. Forest Service and other agencies to secure the area and investigate long-term reconstruction options. Currently, WYDOT geologists and engineers are confident they can build a safe, temporary detour around the slide area using local fill material and paving two temporary lanes,” the press release stated.

Westby praised the work of the geologists, engineers and construction crews as they work round-the-clock at both sites, as well as the cooperation of local, state and federal officials.


Please do not attempt to "go around" as some have suggested.
Construction is going on 24/7 and there is a $750 fine.

Temporary ACA Route Road Closures / Re: Teton Pass is Closed
« on: June 08, 2024, 08:43:22 pm »
I've biked Teton Pass a few times.
I biked the Old Pass Road and skied it in winter.
Plus, I've driven the pass bunches of times.

There is almost no space for equipment,
so it will have to be marshalled along the roadway itself.
WYDOT will not be allowing anybody in there.

Perhaps like the Blue Mesa Bridge in Colorado -
The Old Pass Road will be upgraded to a bare minimum standard
and cars and small trucks will be allowed thru at certain times with a pilot truck.
Then the question becomes - will they shuttle bikes in the pilot truck?

A huge number of employees (who make less than $100K)
commute from Idaho to Jackson over Teton Pass.
Hotels, restaurants, park service, the hospital.

Temporary ACA Route Road Closures / Re: Teton Pass is Closed
« on: June 08, 2024, 03:04:20 pm »
Then again - -
Why not just ride thru Yellowstone?
The secret is to ride super early from sunrise to 9 or 10 a.m.
Then quit for the day and enjoy the park.

Evening riding is also pretty good - with most cars and almost all busses off the road.
And since the campgrounds have hiker.biker sites, you are fine getting in late.
Not to mention that you see more wildlife in the early and late hours.

Temporary ACA Route Road Closures / Re: Teton Pass is Closed
« on: June 08, 2024, 03:00:09 pm »
There's always Old Teton Pass Road.  (Used to live in Jackson)
Since the landslide (MP 12.8) is on the west side, the western segment starts .2 miles west of Teton Pass.
It is a rough, steep, dirt road. Much easier pushing your bike up than trying to ride down.

BUT - - -
They might not want anyone up there besides the construction crew. Period.
So, the road may be closed to all use.
You can also take Old Teton Pass Road up the east side - much better road than west side.
Still, you have to get on Hwy 22 for that .2 miles at the pass.
And they may prevent cyclists from doing that.
Not to mention that the entire segment may be unstable.

Then there's the mudslide at MP 15.
My guess is that WYDOT will put clearing that up on the back burner.
Since the major issue is the road completely out above.
And the mudslide will also discourage folks from trying to get thru.
So, even if you do use Old Teton Pass Road - you still have the mudslide.

I used to beg money from gullible American tourists
when I was growing up in Puerto Rico.

That said, cyclists are not just affluent outsiders to South American villagers.
Many communities along the GDMBR are struggling, too.
Butte, Rawlins, Walden, Saguache, much of rural N.M.
In stark contrast to Whitefish, Jackson, Crested Butte, and Taos.
The natives are friendly, I hear, but skeptical.

When are you doing this?
How old, how experienced riding is your son?

Mitchell Point Tunnel was supposed to open this past April,
but like so much of ODOT stuff, they are late.
And they don't appear willing even to post a new target date.

If Prineville is not a destination Hwy 19 to Dayville is fantastic.
From Hood River to Dayville is sweet riding with almost no traffic -
including the best sections of the Historic Columbia River Highway Trail.

The stretch from Troutdale to Hood River is fair.
I would avoid weekends on the Multnomah Falls section.
East of the falls the trail is good all the way to Viento S.P.
Then you have to use the I-84 shoulder to Hood River.

If the Mitchell Point Tunnel is opened in time -
it may require an out-and-back because there are no links eastwards.

Have fun. - - J

Kebler Pass opened today - May 31st - at 4:00p.
It is a through gravel county highway,
but it is likely to have more traffic than it can handle.
Still, it is the best alternative until US 50 reopens.

Gunnison County Public Works says Kebler Pass will open Friday afternoon, May 31st.
It is a high-quality gravel road and pleasant with low traffic.
BUT - it will have fairly heavy traffic until Blue Mesa bridge on US 50 reopens in July.
I would advise camping halfway thru the gravel section so you can ride early and late.
Plus, it's beautiful up there - but still a bit snowy.

Pacific Northwest / Re: Where to ride
« on: May 28, 2024, 07:20:20 am »
Given three weeks -
ACA's Northern Tier is a good option.
Anacortes, Washington to Glacier National Park -
Ending with Going to the Sun Road.

You can roll your bike onto Amtrak's Empire Builder
for an overnight trip back to Seattle.
From East Glacier, but if you don't get that far
other options are West Glacier or Whitefish.

Traffic is moderate to light - compared to heavy on US 101.
There is always the risk of smoke and fires in late summer in the Pac NW.
Most importantly, there is a great deal of climbing - starting on day 3.
So, you don't get much easy riding to warm up with.

General Discussion / Re: Best weather app for GDMBR ?
« on: May 22, 2024, 07:51:02 am »
Tim -

You are aware that there are many long stretches of the GDMBR with no connectivity
and also long stretches without any place to recharge devices.
Satellite phones and solar chargers do get around this,
but part of the attraction of the GDMBR is the disconnection.


Bike Clubs / Re: Biking Yellowstone
« on: May 11, 2024, 10:08:43 am »
Welcome - you'll find a lot of helpful info here.
You may wish to do a site search on Yellowstone info since it has been discussed many times.

A few quickies -
a) Yellowstone has heavy tourist traffic and fairly narrow roads.
Some people are against riding there, but there are ways to do it and avoid most traffic.
Most families and tour busses don't get out until after 9am and are gone by by 5pm.
Getting up at dawn and riding is chilly, but amazingly worth it.
All but one campground have hiker/biker sites so you can ride late knowing that there's a spot.
b) Yellowstone's climate is the exact opposite of Phoenix's.
So when it's brutal in Phoenix, it's nice and pleasant in Yellowstone.
And when it starts to cool off in Phoenix - i.e. Sept. - the snow returns to Yellowstone.
September is gorgeous but very changeable. Also, facilities start closing.
c) Remember - NEVER eat in your tent.
Not in Phoenix, not in Iowa, and certainly not in Yellowstone.
You may not be able to smell the peanut butter from last month,
but the bears can.

Happy trails! - Jama

Routes / Re: Boulder,CO to Missoula,MT
« on: May 08, 2024, 02:36:53 am »
I also suggest the TransAm.
I would suggest riding up to Fort Collins, then West on Hwy 14 to Walden.
I think starting off with Trail Ridge Road thru Rocky Mountain N.P. would be a little much.
Plus, it may not be open by Memorial Day given recent snow and cold temps.

Kebler Pass Road isn't too bad. Done it a few times.

Maintained by Gunnison County - usually opens by Memorial Day.
Colorado DOT has offered to help open it sooner.
BUT - - - that means it will end up having way more traffic than usual.
Hwy 135 from Crested Butte to Gunnison has shoulders most of the way but is really busy.
Add the additional traffic and you may not have time to smell the columbines.

Creasted Butte is charming, but mobbed with upscale tourists. Like Aspen or Jackson.
From Kebler Pass there is an alternate route to Gunnison via Ohio Pass.
I've done both and the Ohio Pass route is lovely - if you wish to skip Crested.

USFS and county roads, unpaved until you get down into the valley.
But well maintained once open - after Memorial Day.

Pix - westbound
1. Heading Up thru the Aspens
2. Ohio Pass
3. West Elk Mountains

Routes / Re: US 40 in Illinois- HORRIBLE!
« on: May 02, 2024, 08:52:14 pm »
PS - Crossing the Mississippi River

The Eastern Express has you crossing the Mississippi at Alton on the new bridge. Safe, but meh.
You have a view of the river with lots of cars zooming by, and not riding along the river on the west side.
There is a bike trail along Hwy 100 to the Illinois River free ferry then the Golden Eagle Ferry across the Mississippi.
Hwy 100 is a fairly busy 4-lane road with the bike trail on the north side, under the cliffs.
It's a nice feeling to cross the Mississippi on a ferry when you are riding cross-country.
On my first X-USA trip in 1987, the Golden Eagle Ferry was still a side-wheeler.
(The Grafton Ferry - in between - runs only on weekends and is not as scenic.)
Some extra miles.

Routes / Re: US 40 in Illinois- HORRIBLE!
« on: May 02, 2024, 08:28:38 pm »
I am not a big fan of the Eastern Express - - too many miles of busy roads.
(I'm guessing from the place names and US 40  that you are doing that route.)

Once you get to Missouri you will be on the Katy Trail and traffic-free,
but parts of the Eastern Express in Kansas, US 36, I cannot recommend.

Illinois has a state DOT website with traffic counts. (AADT - Average Annual Daily Traffic)
Less than 500 - Super, 500-999 - Nice, 1000-1999 - O.K., 2000-2999 - Middling, 3000-4999 - Iffy, 5000+ - Tough.

Looks like you were in the 4500-5000 range from the state line to Marshall.
US 40 is in the 2000-3000 range West of Marshall to Montrose,
but pops back up towards 5000 the closer you get to Effingham.
Of course, US 40 is diagonal - and diagonal roads are rare in the Midwest.
From Illinois to the Rockies, if the road is diagonal, it is likely to have a lot of traffic.

But then, zig-zagging at right angles does add miles.
Also, you need to be careful because county roads may or may not be paved.
And when wet, Illinois farm roads become quicksand.

If you use the Illinois DOT traffic counts and Google Street View,
you should be able to map out alternate routes.
Roads that have almost no traffic.
With Street View, if they are not highlighted, they are probably not paved.

Good luck and happy trails - - Jama

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