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Messages - jamawani

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General Discussion / Re: Oregon Hiker/Biker Rates go up Nov 1, 2017
« on: October 22, 2017, 02:09:55 pm »
All the yurts and cabins and pull-thru, paved campsites, and water, sewer & elec hook-ups cost quite a lot to construct and maintain. I realize that if somebody drops a cool quarter million bucks on a tin trailer, they want the national and state parks to accommodate them. And accommodate them in style.

At Lewis Lake in Yellowstone, there are about a dozen nice sites where you park and have to walk 50 yards to the site. They are the last sites to fill in the park. I guess Americans don't want simple, basic camping - - but I hate that people who do like simple basic camping are pushed to the fringes and, often, have to pay for what they don't use. (Less so with h/b in Oregon than general sites elsewhere.)

General Discussion / Re: Oregon Hiker/Biker Rates go up Nov 1, 2017
« on: October 22, 2017, 12:52:05 am »
That is a 40% increase.

Majorly wrong - - majorly Big Brother.

Inge -

What makes the Willapa Bay region fascinating is that it is an immense tidal lowland - rare on the Pacific Coast.
Public campgrounds from Westport south to Astoria:
1. Twin Harbors SP - hiker/biker sites, easy access to Westport
2. Grayland Beach SP - no h/b sites, reservation suggested
3. Bruceport County Park - 5 miles SW of South Bend
4. Bush Pioneer Park - Chinook tribal park, end-of-the-world location on Willapa Bay
5. Cape Disappointment SP - h/b sites, spectacular cliffs, tiny cove for swimming

There is a private campground in Raymond like an RV parking lot.
There are meh private campgrounds around Long Beach, but you are so near Cape Disappointment.
If you are willing to swim a small channel or hitch a ride, there are wildlife refuge camp sites on Long Island.

It's about 42 miles from Twin Harbors SP to Bruceport -
but just 50 easy miles to Bush Pioneer Park.
Then it's 44 miles from Bruceport or 36 from Bush to Cape Disappointment.

My suggestions would be Twin Harbors/Bush Pioneer/Cape Disappointment.
You could easily loop back into Westport and hit a grocery/cafe - then ride the dune paved trail.
Bay Center is a Chinook community, but the Chinook people are no recognized by the fed govt as a tribe.
(Even though they were the major people and their language was the lingua franca of the Pac NW for a century or more.)
Make sure to visit the Lewis & Clark Center at Cape Disappointment - then go for a swim in Deadman's Cove.

Have a great trip! - J


Pic - Willapa Bay at North Cove

Inge -

I have done the inland ACA route and the coastal Hwy 105 route and a lot in between.
Although the inland route is pleasant, Hwy 105 is stunning - esp. along Willapa Bay.
You should swing up to Westport and the old Coast Guard Station -
Then there is a 2-mile paved trail along the dunes to the lighthouse.
The stretch of Hwy 105 down to North Cove is slightly inland -
but you can do little back roads thru cranberry bogs.

From Raymond, US 101 heading south is also quite nice - but with more traffic.
If you have the time, take Hwy 4 east thru Skamokawa to Cathlamet -
Then take the ferry across to Oregon.
The county park at Skamokawa has spectacular views of the Lower Columbia -
And you can ride levee roads thru the White-Tailed Deer Refuge along the river.

Routes / Re: Two Weeks/Early Oct/900 miles max
« on: September 28, 2017, 12:40:26 am »
Paul -

You will be riding some in southern Utah - esp. Zion National Park.

Also, the trail and back road out of St. George is waaay better than the boulevard with strip stores.
Zion is one of the least bike friendly of the US parks -
No hiker/biker campsites, bike restrictions on roads, required stops when buses pass.
The worst is providing no alternative to get thru the tunnel. Have to beg rides from stopped pick-ups.
(Since the tunnel is one-way - - there are always stopped cars.)
But it is worth it - absolutely.

The problem is that it is usually a choice between the Utah parks loop and Grand Canyon for cyclists.
And if you haven't been to the Grand Canyon - esp. the North Rim - you just gotta.
I've biked the Four Corners region almost a dozen times. Did a fall trip back in 1992. (92?!) Sweet time.

Most of us hate to retrace -
The reason that I did not send you on into Utah on US 163 was the total mileage.
Yes, you could continue on to Medicine Hat and Bluff then south on US 191.
But you would add 75 miles/extra day - and US 191 has a good deal of traffic -
While IR 59 thru Chilchinbito is a paved road with very light traffic - you deserve a quiet road.

(But be aware that people drive fast in the Southwest and that rural areas do have high alcohol use.
And also, that poverty is extreme - third world - esp. on the Navajo and Hopi Rezes.)

Regardless of the ultimate route you take, make sure to hit historic trading posts.
You will probably be too far north to visit Hubbell Trading Posts, but there are others.
If you do the road via Chilchinbito, there is the Rough Rock Trading Post outside of Chinle.
(Also trading posts at Gap on US 89, Tuba City on US 160 - many of the small, remote ones are gone.)

Canyon de Chelly N.P. is as awesome as any park in southern Utah - with ancient ruins.
From Window Rock to Cuba it is pretty darn remote.
Limited services at Crownpoint, Pueblo Pintado, Torreon, and Cuba.
You can always get water at chapter houses - and people are usually quite friendly.
(BTW - Did you get a AAA/CAA Indian Country map of the Four Corners region?)


As an alternative heading into Utah again from Monument Valley -

This is a more northerly route to Chaco Canyon.
I figured you wanted to hit Chaco - despite the difficulty getting there.
It is DEFINITELY worth it. But you will need time to visit the ruins.
(You can bike to the outlying, small Wijiji ruins at sundown.)

Given your time frame - you may want to call it at San Ysidro via Jemez Springs.
Pretty good bus shuttles from San Y - and US 550 really sux the closer you get to ABQ.
** There is a quieter road Hwy 313 thru downtown Bernallilo on the east side of the Rio Grande.
The bikeway follows a giant cement ditch - I'd take Edith Blvd.
But I'm not sure of your destination in ABQ,


Anyhoo, if you are in a bind, I will try to respond quickly - will be in NM from Oct 1-5.

Routes / Re: Two Weeks/Early Oct/900 miles max
« on: September 27, 2017, 11:52:32 am »
I have a few suggestions, only -

Yes, there are a number of out-and-backs
1. It's the only way to get to the North Rim
(Well, there is a way west of Highway 67, but some folks almost died last year getting lost.)
2. Monument Valley - You can do a sunset ride from Kayenta, then a sunrise ride back
Would reserve -
3. Coming into Chaco Canyon from the south - other routes are extremely remote and poorly marked
(Accessing the park using dirt tracks to/from Lake Valley or Pueblo Pintado is illegal - unfortunately.)

About a week to Monument Valley and a week to central New Mexico.
Your weather should be ideal - normally dry and sunny time of year with crisp nights.
It will be cold at night on the North Rim, but fine elsewhere.

If you have the time - I have continued the route past Cuba to Pojoaque.
There are bus connections from both to Albuquerque.
Cuba is rather nondescript - but San Ildefonso and Pojoaque are old pueblos.
It is a tough-ish but gorgeous ride up over Valdes Caldera - then a wail downhill from Los Alamos.
(Los Alamos was where the Manhattan Project came up with the atomic bomb.)

Better service from Pojoaque (Blue & Red routes) than Cuba (Route 8 )

The coordinated Rail-Runner / Rio Metro bus system will get you to ABQ airport from all over northern NM.

Routes / Re: Two Weeks/Early Oct/900 miles max
« on: September 27, 2017, 10:38:25 am »
Have you been to the Grand Canyon before?
If not, then you should toss out any options that skip the Grand Canyon.
Bryce is nice, but not if it means skipping the Grand Canyon.
And the North Rim is just the finest place for cyclists - with magical hiker/biker camping.
Services remain open until Oct. 15. Limited from up to Oct 31.
You could always hike down to Roaring Springs and back.

Don't worry too much about snow, but be prepared.
Snow will melt quickly from paved roads this time of year - and turn dirt roads to glue.
Simply adjust your route accordingly. But you do need warm/dry clothing and tent.

NOAA snow cover maps:

There is almost no snow in southern Utah - looks like only at 8000, maybe even 10,000 ft.
And that is only a dusting - with deeper amounts on north-facing slopes.


I would avoid most dirt roads on the Navajo and, most definitely, the Hopi Reservations -
Unless you check locally, first - often, backcountry riding on rez requires a permit, esp. if camping.


Looked at all three maps -

Would suggest -
St. George, Zion, Kanab, North Rim Grand Canyon
North Rim, Lee's Ferry, Tuba City, Kayenta, Monument Valley
Monument Valley, back to Kayenta, Chilchinbito, Canyon de Chelly
Canyon de Chelly, Sawmill, Window Rock, Crownpoint, Chaco Canyon
Chaco Canyon, Cuba, Albuquerque. (Cuba-ABQ by bus or shuttle?)

Routes / Re: Western Express EB start end of this month
« on: September 19, 2017, 12:08:08 am »
October in the Great Basin and the Rockies??
It's not the altitude of the passes that matters.

Routes / Re: Two Weeks/Early Oct/900 miles max
« on: September 14, 2017, 11:40:17 am »
Agreed, Paul -

It's hard to have a bad day in Southwest when you don't have to show up at the office.
And if you have strong headwinds - just change your plans.
There's so much to see and do.

I am like you about riding in the evening.
It is my second favorite time of day. (But I am an early morning person, too.)
In national parks like Yellowstone - with dedicated hiker/biker camping -
you can ride with little traffic and magical lighting until sundown and into the twilight.
In fact, the best way to see Yellowstone in the summer to ride ride mornings and evenings -
then take the better part of the day to hike and explore.

Best wishes for a great tour. J

Routes / Re: Seattle to Astoria
« on: September 13, 2017, 09:55:27 pm »
PS - Pronunciation Guide

The town of Cathlamet and the river and valley named Willamette are NOT from the French.
Nor should they be pronounced "Cath-la-MAY" or "Wil-la-METTE" - - yikes!
They are Chinookan words with the middle syllable stressed - rhyming with "God damn it!"

So it is "Cath-LAMM-it" and Wil-LAMM-it".

Most Chinook and Salish names have stressed middle syllables.

Routes / Re: Seattle to Astoria
« on: September 13, 2017, 09:44:10 pm »
Jeff -

If you are leaving from Astoria on June 1, there is only one pass that you have to be concerned with - McKenzie Pass in Oregon which is east of Eugene. At the pace you describe, you should not be hitting McKenzie until June 10-12. In previous years the pass usually opens by mid June unless there is major construction or a massive snowpack. In addition, cyclists are often permitted to use the road a couple of weeks early. So there is a good chance you will be able to cross McKenzie Pass. If McKenzie is still closed, the detour is via Santiam Pass 0 a little further, a little lower, a good deal more traffic, but with shoulders. No problema.

As for Seattle to Astoria -
The ACA Pacific Coast map section between Centralia and Longview is rather meh. And Hwy 4 between Longview and Cathlamet is somewhat busy and narrow - but scenic. (I did graduate research in Cathlamet.) A more direct route is to cut west from Elwa to South Aberdeen on back roads, then US 101 South to the Astoria Bridge. The Astoria Bridge is 4 miles long (6.5 km) without shoulders - some cyclists take the bus across, instead.  Two good extras on the US 101 option - a) Take Hwy 105 from South Aberdeen to Westport and then follow around Willapa Bay, the Willapa Bay ride is stunning. b) Instead of taking the Astoria Bridge, ride east on Hwy 4 thru Skamokawa to Cathlamet and take the ferry across the Columbia River. Skamokawa has a county park with the finest views of the Lower Columbia, you can ride along the river's edge thru the Columbia White-Tailed Deer Refuge, and Cathlamet is an old river/fishing town.

And bears -
I never worry and have ridden solo up to the Yukon and Alaska, lived in Wyoming for 25 years. Two key points, though - 1) Never, ever eat in your tent - even if you are not going to be in bear country for weeks. 2) Always store your food and aromatic items in bear boxes or hanging from poles. Carry 50 ft. of nylon cord and learn how to hang when boxes/poles not available. Even if you don't take these precautions, your risks are minuscule. However, if a bear does learn to steal human food, it will be destroyed - - not you.

Have a great trip.


Routes / Re: Two Weeks/Early Oct/900 miles max
« on: September 13, 2017, 01:20:14 pm »
I am a Wyomingite - but I have biked the Four Corners area many times.
Including once in October - but that is only one time.
Also, have family in New Mexico and have hiked, biked northern NM lots.

In most areas that are not altered by local topography there is a strong SW prevailing wind.
There is, however, a return flow in the predawn/early morning that is NE, albeit weaker.
Outflow winds from a distant thunderstorm can produce winds from any direction.
Fall cold fronts and storms can produce easterlies - but are rare and usually quick.

Of course, no set of wind data will guarantee the direction of winds for any particular period.
You can have a week of easterlies where everyone in little towns says, "This never happens!"
It's happened to me more than once and I have to keep a game face as I fight the wind.

If you have a day with forecast tailwinds, you can laze about and do just about anything.
If you have a headwind day, remember, early morning up to noon is the best riding time.
Also, winds drop in the evening - but your daylight/twilight is shorter.

Have fun!

PS - If you have time and can do dirt, I would STRONGLY suggest including Chaco Canyon.
Oldest, largest Ancient Puebloan ruins - very few visitors, camping, fantastic night skies.

Pic - Pueblo Bonito at Chaco Culture NHP

Routes / Re: Two Weeks/Early Oct/900 miles max
« on: September 13, 2017, 09:18:24 am »
Few places have such clear prevailing winds as does the Four Corners region.
And that wind direction is west-southwest.

It is spectacular country and you will have a fantabulous ride - -
But you should expect headwinds east-to-west.

30+ Year Wind Rose for October, Gallup, NM

Routes / Re: TransAm Alternative
« on: September 05, 2017, 07:06:21 pm »
Cumberland Gap

Rather than you biking to Charlotte - have your friends/family meet you at Mabry Mill or Fairystone.

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