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Southwest / Re: Stops near Tornillo and Fort Hancock, TX (El Paso to Sierra Blanca)
« Last post by hikerbob on September 20, 2017, 06:00:50 pm »
Terrific journal, Richard.  Thanks for posting on crazyguy, I"m enjoying the read.  Tho I live in ole El Paso now, I lived in San Antonio for years and my family was in El Paso.  I now own property in San Antonio, still.  So I have made "the crossing" a hundred times but never on bike so you journal is fascinating to me. I'm dreaming up some of that route with my TREK 7200 & trailer.  I'll be thinking of you on my next "crossing" as well, as I'll make a pit stop in honor of youse threes stopping at the old convenience store in Fort Hancock, there since before convenience stores became a national phenomena.  I will post here again as I complete your journal of El Paso to San Antonio.
Temporary ACA Route Road Closures / Re: GDMBR Between Fernie and Whitefish
« Last post by CMajernik on September 20, 2017, 10:32:19 am »
You will need to read through the posts here in the "Temporary ACA Route Road Closures". Since fires close roads temporarily we post closures here instead of in the addenda. Look for any posts titled "GDMBR" with 2017 in the title. Some of these fires have been burning for 2 months. It's only in the last week that it's rained in Montana so fires aren't out yet. In the posts there are links to a specific fire page which should give you up-to-date information.

Between Fernie and Whitefish the Gibralter Ridge fire is burning east of Eureka, MT. There's a detour listed due to road closures.
Food Talk / Re: to cook or not to cook?
« Last post by J Griffin on September 20, 2017, 08:59:28 am »
My stomach doesn't respond well to greasy fast food, so I cook pretty much all the time.  Not really a problem as I love to cook anyway.  But..we tend to be bikepackers rather than on the road, so we're pretty much working over the dehydrated stuff.  We have a good dehydrator, so that's not really an issue with the veggies.  Fortunately we live in an area that has frequent access to fresh seafood, shellfish and such-even here in the eastern Cascades where you wouldn't expect it.  I'm always carrying pasta, and if there's a market with shrimp or crab, we grab it and i'll do scampi or a crab linguini on the Trangia.  I also carry one of those Platypus wine bags so we can get the shrimp, ride out of town into a campground, do the meal and enjoy a couple of glasses of wine too.  Why eat cardboard freeze-dried stuff?
Temporary ACA Route Road Closures / GDMBR Between Fernie and Whitefish
« Last post by English Duo on September 19, 2017, 11:04:27 pm »
Hi All,

Does anyone have any information on route closures/changes on this section due to the ongoing wildfires or otherwise? Even if the route is open, is it too smoky to ride? The Elk Lake closures further North came as a surprise to us as they are not mentioned on the addendum so we are trying to avoid a repeat of that. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Pete and Meg
Great Lakes / Re: Seeking route suggestions--Minneapolis to NT in New York State
« Last post by John Nelson on September 19, 2017, 07:49:00 pm »
I went across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and enjoyed it. Mackinac Island was a special treat. Eating all those pasties was a bonus. The Pere Marquette Rail-Trail in the Lower Peninsula is really nice.

The Lake Erie Connector (northern shore of Lake Erie in Ontario) was very nice too, and you get to see Niagara Falls from the Canadian side.
Routes / Re: Western Express EB start end of this month
« Last post by CycleVin on September 19, 2017, 05:39:09 pm »
I wish to thank you all again for this valuable information, and ACA for this Blog!
I have postponed this adventure for another day to enjoy!

Safe rides!!
Great Lakes / Re: Seeking route suggestions--Minneapolis to NT in New York State
« Last post by jcostanz on September 19, 2017, 02:35:08 pm »
I have done several tours in the area and linking them together I would suggest if time is not a issue, starting in Green Bay and follow the Lake Michigan coast North East, cross the Mackinaw straight using the ferry to Mackinac Island (possibly staying a night on the island).  Follow the Lake Huron Shore down through Bay City, head due east across the thumb, I used Deckerville RD.  South along the lake shore and along the St Clair River, crossing to Canada at the Marine City ferry.  Heading South East near Rondeau Park and then following Lake Erie shore thru Port Colborne.  At this point either heading North along the Welland Canal (nice paved bike path) to Thorold and then Niagara Falls, or keeping with Lake Erie and catching the Friendship trail (paved bike rail trail) to Ft Erie and then following the Niagara River to Niagara Falls. 

You could also head North after St Ignace and cross into Canada at Sault Ste Marie heading towards Manitoulin Island.  I did a tour this summer from Sudbury thru Manitoulin Island, along Lake Huron back to Niagara Falls, but I have no experience from Sault Ste Marie to Espanola other then some planning and remember that there is only 1 road and very desolate area.

A shorter route would be to take the Ferry from Manitowoc to Ludington and cross Michigian to Bay City, (I haven't done this).

Food Talk / to cook or not-thoughts on stoves and "stuff"
« Last post by J Griffin on September 19, 2017, 12:31:42 pm »
Most of us are vacationing, not doing epic tours, so in this spirit, and as an amateur chef, here's what I've learned on grub:  First, everybody eats, so how much work do you want to put in to this?  Second, is resupply an issue?  Third, how much junk do you really want to carry, and fourth, how many days between resupply?   Resupply's critical: if there's no chance other than the occasional trout out of the stream, it's freeze dried stuff.  You only need to boil water for this, and there's lots of food available.  It's when resupply is available that it gets interesting.  Tara Alan's book "Bike Camp Cook" is fantastic, but I don't like her choice of stove.  Whisperlites are sooty, and are a pain to properly simmer stuff.  The International model's great if you're off into some third world location though-it'll pretty much run on anything flammable.  I haul a Trangia set, and for simmering it's superb.  High enough heat to do crepes, and low enough for stews.  The little alcohol burner can turn out dishes like scampi easily where there's fresh shrimp available, or one of my favorites; crab linguine in a lemon-cream sauce.  Stews are easy since heat control is excellent  I've used pretty much every stove available, from the old Svea 123 to a Jetboil, and the Trangia does it best!
Routes / Re: Western Express EB start end of this month
« Last post by zzzz on September 19, 2017, 10:21:48 am »
I will pick up where Bclayden dropped off except to say I found the Caroll Summit alternate right after Middlegate to be one of the best sections of the route and I wouldn't miss it.

The climb up from Cedar City is not bad, make sure you get off your bike and do the small hike thats needed to go see the Cedar Breaks. Also, make sure you make time to turn down the road and ride the 10 miles  down 63 to Bryce Canyon and take a few hours to hike around. There's a couple of sharp little pitches on the climb out of Grand Staircase. If you made it over the climb out of Cedar City, the climb over Boulder Pass is about the same, a 2 hour grind.

The toughest part of the route to me was Hanksville to Blanding. I did it in a day and it was the toughest day I ever had on a bike. I think most people do it in 2 days which is much more sensible. Very, very desolate stretch. Verify that Hite is open before you get there or pack all the water and food you need for the 130 miles in Hanksville.

Lizard Head pass was a joy. It runs along the Delores River the whole way up which means it's very pretty and a very gentle grade. And I was assured by the proprietor of the Delores River Inn that I would have a tailwind the whole way up even though the flags outside his place were pointed straight out in the opposite direction as he was telling me this. And he was right. According to Sven(?), the wind on the mountain blows west to east 300+ days a year.

I stayed the night in Sargents so I would hit Monarch first thing in the morning. Again, this is a great climb. A natural pass that you can distract yourself by trying to figure out where the road will take you as it follows the folds in the topography, unlike the east side where they just ground the road into the side of the mountain. I had the grade reading up the bike computer and it never strayed from 7% for the 11 miles. btw: I went over Monarch in mid September and it snowed the night before.

One thing to keep in mind on the big passes. I am always soaked in sweat when I get to the top and I have a set of dry clothes easily accessible that I can change into when I get to the summit. It's usually at least 10° colder up there and your going to be going at a pretty good speed on the downhill side and you don't want to be freezing the whole way down.

Jamawani alluded to this but was not specific. October is the shoulder season and you could run into some pretty unfortunate weather. Pack plenty of warm clothes and keep posted on the weather as it can change in a hurry at altitude. You may have to wait out a front or if your luck is really bad you may not even be able to finish your trip. Fortunately, there seems to be a ethic out west that if someone is in trouble you help them out. If you employ some common sense you are unlikely to get yourself into a dangerous situation that you can't get out of.

Routes / Re: Western Express EB start end of this month
« Last post by CycleVin on September 19, 2017, 09:10:36 am »
Thank you - All good information - I jest some about Uber, however not my plastic, or
perhaps a hitch up the mountain passes!!
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