Author Topic: What to see and where to stop on the trans-am trail (east to west)  (Read 7158 times)

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Offline Soulboy#1

Hi everyone.

Another question from me relating to my trans-am trip in 2017. Will be heading out east late April, early May and as yet still undecided on a map or maybe a gpx file for the route. But my question relates to where to stop and what to see. I've had a look at the map and the names on the route mean little to me as yet. I would be interested to get some feedback of the best places to stay and maybe to avoid on the route and what to see. I'm taking 3 months off (which will include tacking on the Pacific route down to SF after getting to Astoria). So over to you.

Thank you in advance.

Offline John Nelson

Re: What to see and where to stop on the trans-am trail (east to west)
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2016, 08:07:49 pm »
Since you said trans-am, I'm going to assume you mean the ACA TransAmerica Trail form Yorktown, Virginia to Astoria, Oregon.

I suggest you go over to crazyguyonabike.com and read a number of the 672 TransAm journals there. See what other people liked and where they stayed. For me, the highlight were the Cookie Lady's house, Mammoth Cave, Grand Teton NP, Yellowstone NP, Twin Bridges Bike Camp, the ACA headquarters, Lochsa River and Mackenzie Pass. But there were hundreds of other great places.

Offline DaveB

Re: What to see and where to stop on the trans-am trail (east to west)
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2016, 08:38:22 pm »
For me, the highlight were the Cookie Lady's house.....
I assume you are referring to June Curry from Alton VA.  Unfortunately she died in 2012 so that's one highlight newer travelers won't have a chance to enjoy.

Offline John Nelson

Re: What to see and where to stop on the trans-am trail (east to west)
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2016, 09:17:04 pm »
I assume you are referring to June Curry from Alton VA.  Unfortunately she died in 2012 so that's one highlight newer travelers won't have a chance to enjoy.
Yes, she died at the age of 91 on June 16, 2012. But you can still visit her house, still stay there overnight, and still spend hours exploring the collection of memorabilia there. It's still a highlight.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: What to see and where to stop on the trans-am trail (east to west)
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2016, 11:18:10 am »
The Bike Camp in Twin Bridges, MT. Free (donations strongly encouraged), riverside camping on soft grass with a food prep area, camp sink, indoor shelter with a couch and power to charge electronics, shower and flush toilet. If you can handle gravel, the unpaved alternative between Laurin and Sheridan, MT (check the map addenda for a link to the route) and the Old Darby Rd. alternative between Darby and Hamilton, MT. Spring Gulch Campground a few miles west of Sula, MT has a cyclist-only site. If you don't mind paying a bit more for camping, Jackson Hot Springs in MT comes with free use of the hot springs pool. West from there, Wisdom, MT has free camping in a dramatic setting on the edge of town (great mountain views), but bug spray is a must. I think you can sleep in the screened picnic shelter.

Offline sandwiches

Re: What to see and where to stop on the trans-am trail (east to west)
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2016, 06:43:57 pm »
Newton Bike Shop in Newton, KS is a good place to plan a rest day!

Gillian's property in Ordway, CO, is a good place to check out for an overnight as well. She will ask that you help out for a little bit on her land (I had to pull nails from a few boards) in exchange for letting you stay in her spare trailer but you get to hang out with a bunch of farm animals. She is on Warmshowers.org.

The church/bike hostel in Hutchinson, KS is also a really splendid place to stay for free.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: What to see and where to stop on the trans-am trail (east to west)
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2016, 06:55:26 pm »
If you can take a day off in Canon City, CO, plan on rafting the Arkansas River through the gorge.  For extra fun, ride the train first so you can see what you're going to go through.

Plan on a soak at Hot Sulphur Springs, CO ($), and/or Saratoga, WY (contribution).

As you climb Togwotee Pass, keep your fingers crossed for clear weather just over the top for a view of the Tetons.  It's the most magnificent view I know.

Take another day to ride the bus around Yellowstone (especially to the canyon!), or take a 2-3 days to see it on the bike.

There's a railroad bridge between Troutville and Blacksburg, VA, that looks to me like it was inspired by the Lord of the Rings.  See if you agree.  Also, you'll want to take a picture of the round rock house in Kentucky.  Everybody does!

Offline John Nelson

Re: What to see and where to stop on the trans-am trail (east to west)
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2016, 09:25:34 pm »
round rock house in Kentucky
Huh? Where is that?

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: What to see and where to stop on the trans-am trail (east to west)
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2016, 10:54:48 am »
round rock house in Kentucky
Huh? Where is that?

You didn't see that?  :)

I think it was somewhere west of Sonora (aka where the route crossed one of the Kentucky state parkways), east of Madrid.

Offline zzzz

Re: What to see and where to stop on the trans-am trail (east to west)
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2016, 11:14:28 am »
I too missed the Round Rock house and didn't even recall the town name of Sonora which I thought would of stuck given the southwest name in the middle of Kentucky. I do see that it's very close to the park containing the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln and I remembered the sign for that.

I then clicked on Google images for a picture of the town and this came up :

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sonora,+KY+42776/@37.5321558,-85.9033474,3a,75y,90t/data=!3m8!1e2!3m6!1shttps:%2F%2Ffarm8.staticflickr.com%2F7591%2F26375533633_533b98c7fc_b.jpg!2e7!3e27!6s%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com%2Fproxy%2FvvshahyWHF4frMas4BC8icImpQPiVFnjtUH0fxEpDpbK_g0ULPhCKky15LCFbGxbFIo4Oq9JTLmm-Qyt_OOoOkDhUY-GCVy5YWUy-G1DhbFbcw2ImP7eEOwsAK88BKYDgru0KFBC1qjGl1_DQRGF5uZlkTS_RhE%3Dw114-h86!7i1024!8i768!4m5!3m4!1s0x8868950094f9f431:0xfb85a4001502df7f!8m2!3d37.524226!4d-85.8930192!6m1!1e1

There's something about this picture that speaks to me about so many of the little towns that this route passing thru, I can't even put my finger on it. Some version of "forgotten by time" or "passed by by time" or "preserved from time". The sentiments all a version of the same thing but differentiated by the attitude of the observer.



« Last Edit: December 29, 2016, 11:27:25 am by zzzz »

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: What to see and where to stop on the trans-am trail (east to west)
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2016, 10:12:47 am »
As you climb Togwotee Pass, keep your fingers crossed for clear weather just over the top for a view of the Tetons.  It's the most magnificent view I know.

That reminds me...When I did that portion of the TransAm back in '00 there was a joint ACA/U.S.F.S. cyclist only primitive camp site on the west slope of Togwotee, maybe 5 miles up from Moran. If it still exists and is listed on the map, I highly recommend it. It has an amazing view of the Tetons. It was a bit difficult to access. There was a post-rail fence with a gap in it and a sign indicating no motor vehicles were allowed. I had to push my through the gap and up a small hill and walk with the bike a bit further, but it was worth it. There was a bear locker and, IIRC, a picnic table or two, but that was basically it. Saw some moose tracks and stumps that had been ripped up, likely by bears looking for grub. No water or toilet, so you'd have to practice primitive camping techniques. You'd also have to carry everything you need from DuBois. (I was going east to west.)

Another nice place in that area was the campground at Jenny Lake on Teton Park Rd. Camped there and did an out and back ride to Moose for groceries.

Offline JHamelman

Re: What to see and where to stop on the trans-am trail (east to west)
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2016, 01:11:45 pm »
As you climb Togwotee Pass, keep your fingers crossed for clear weather just over the top for a view of the Tetons.  It's the most magnificent view I know.

That reminds me...When I did that portion of the TransAm back in '00 there was a joint ACA/U.S.F.S. cyclist only primitive camp site on the west slope of Togwotee, maybe 5 miles up from Moran. If it still exists and is listed on the map, I highly recommend it. It has an amazing view of the Tetons. It was a bit difficult to access. There was a post-rail fence with a gap in it and a sign indicating no motor vehicles were allowed. I had to push my through the gap and up a small hill and walk with the bike a bit further, but it was worth it. There was a bear locker and, IIRC, a picnic table or two, but that was basically it. Saw some moose tracks and stumps that had been ripped up, likely by bears looking for grub. No water or toilet, so you'd have to practice primitive camping techniques. You'd also have to carry everything you need from DuBois. (I was going east to west.)


Ah, that was an early Cyclists Only campground we established at the suggestion of a Bridger-Teton National Forest staffer. Unfortunately, the staffer moved on to another forest and interest in maintaining the site waned. It was officially closed it when they realized state Game & Fish were dumping elk and deer carcasses (road kill, etc.) in a spot very close by -- a veritable grizzly bear snack stand. I don't know if that situation still exists though I would guess remnants of the campground still linger.

Jennifer


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Offline o2tour

Re: What to see and where to stop on the trans-am trail (east to west)
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2016, 07:06:07 pm »
Guffey, CO. Ride out of Sisters, Oregon up to McKenzie Pass.

Offline John Nelson

Re: What to see and where to stop on the trans-am trail (east to west)
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2016, 07:34:04 pm »
round rock house in Kentucky
Huh? Where is that?

You didn't see that?  :)

I think it was somewhere west of Sonora (aka where the route crossed one of the Kentucky state parkways), east of Madrid.
Ah, that explains why I didn't see it. I took the side trip to Mammoth Cave and returned to the TransAm via Caneyville (where a famous trail angel used to live). So I bypassed Sonora.

If you have an extra day (two if you take a day to tour the cave--and why would you go there without touring the cave), I recommend the side trip to Mammoth Cave National Park.

Offline misterflask

Re: What to see and where to stop on the trans-am trail (east to west)
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2017, 01:51:38 pm »
If I had it to do over again, I would take the Grand Teton side trip.  Looking at the map, the grades and climbs actually  look fairly relaxing for that part of the trip.

I remember Sonora.  I stopped at a little meat-and-three diner there.  Because I looked so pathetic and voracious they just kept bringing more food and piling it on my plate.  Did not see the round house either, though.

I would recommend riding to Florence, OR and catching some extra miles on the coast highway; the section from Florence to where you meet up with the TA again is awesome.  Admittedly, it might be less fun northbound riding on the side of the road away from the coast.  No map needed other than a state map.  Most of the state parks along the coast have bike-n-hike camping sections.