Author Topic: Cross Country, combining routes  (Read 1457 times)

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Offline EmilyG

Cross Country, combining routes
« on: January 02, 2018, 12:01:37 am »
To celebrate our 50th birthdays, we are headed east from Central Oregon, ending in Boston.  Leaving May 15th, and expecting to take 10-12 weeks.  This is our first long tour, after doing a number of short, one-week trips last summer. 
After reading in this forum for a while, and seeing the incredible wealth of knowledge here, I wanted to share the route we've put together, just in case there is a problem or issue that we have not foreseen. 
  • Taking Trans-America route from Central Oregon to Missoula.
    Then Great Parks North to connect up with the Northern Tier route in Columbia Falls.
    Take Northern Tier route to Osecola where we'll go off on the North Lakes route, crossing Lake Michigan at Manitowoc.
    On the east side of Lake Michigan, we'll hook up with the Lake Erie connector. 
    Take Lake Erie connector either down to Sandusky and along southern edge of Erie, or around the northern edge to Buffalo, still not sure.
    Either way, hook back up with the Northern Tier, and  either continue to Brunswick, where we'll move over to the Atlantic route to take us down to Boston.   OR take a US bike route from Lebanon, VT, down to Boston).
We have family and history in Boston, so it's important to end up there.

Any thoughts?  Ideas?  Errors in our ways?
Thanks in advance,
Emily

Offline PNWRider92

Re: Cross Country, combining routes
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2018, 12:29:23 am »
To celebrate our 50th birthdays, we are headed east from Central Oregon, ending in Boston.  Leaving May 15th, and expecting to take 10-12 weeks.  This is our first long tour, after doing a number of short, one-week trips last summer. 
After reading in this forum for a while, and seeing the incredible wealth of knowledge here, I wanted to share the route we've put together, just in case there is a problem or issue that we have not foreseen. 
  • Taking Trans-America route from Central Oregon to Missoula.
    Then Great Parks North to connect up with the Northern Tier route in Columbia Falls.
    Take Northern Tier route to Osecola where we'll go off on the North Lakes route, crossing Lake Michigan at Manitowoc.
    On the east side of Lake Michigan, we'll hook up with the Lake Erie connector. 
    Take Lake Erie connector either down to Sandusky and along southern edge of Erie, or around the northern edge to Buffalo, still not sure.
    Either way, hook back up with the Northern Tier, and  either continue to Brunswick, where we'll move over to the Atlantic route to take us down to Boston.   OR take a US bike route from Lebanon, VT, down to Boston).
We have family and history in Boston, so it's important to end up there.

Any thoughts?  Ideas?  Errors in our ways?
Thanks in advance,
Emily

Have fun! I rode 5,177 miles in 2016 from Portland, OR to Portland, ME and passed through some of the areas you mentioned. You can see the route I took below. Click on the one that says “Portland2Portland Actual Route.” Hope it helps. Happy to answer any questions you may have.

https://secure.travellerspoint.com/member_map.cfm?user=Ty0604
Instagram: Portland_2_Portland

Offline EmilyG

Re: Cross Country, combining routes
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2018, 12:46:01 am »
Thanks for sharing your map!   You did cover some of the same territory.  Looks like you took a chunk of the Lewis and Clark trail? We lived in Vancouver for a time, and did some of the local part of that route.  Had an awesome ride to the coast through Portland.

Because we live in Central Oregon, near Bend, we are jumping on the Trans-America trail, which means we can ride out of our home to our adventure.   

I am curious about your route from Rutland to Boston.   How did you find that part of your journey, and how did you select that route? Is it USBR?
Thanks!!!!

Offline PNWRider92

Re: Cross Country, combining routes
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2018, 01:06:47 am »
Thanks for sharing your map!   You did cover some of the same territory.  Looks like you took a chunk of the Lewis and Clark trail? We lived in Vancouver for a time, and did some of the local part of that route.  Had an awesome ride to the coast through Portland.

Because we live in Central Oregon, near Bend, we are jumping on the Trans-America trail, which means we can ride out of our home to our adventure.   

I am curious about your route from Rutland to Boston.   How did you find that part of your journey, and how did you select that route? Is it USBR?
Thanks!!!!

You’re welcome! I lived in Beaverton at the time so I caught the train 20 minutes to downtown Portland and started my trip from Pioneer Square. I now live in Denver though.

I designed my own route based on where I had friends/family at. I did my ride to raise money for cancer awareness so I was also speaking at hospitals along the way. Therefore why my route zigzags so much.

The only ACA Route I followed on purpose was the TransAm from Missoula to West Yellowstone. I did follow part of the Lewis and Clark Trail but didn’t realize this until after the fact.

I left Portland on May 1 and hit some nasty weather so be prepared for that. You’re leaving a few weeks later so you’ll probably be better off.

You must be talking about Rutland, Vermont? (There’s a Rutland in Massachusetts as well that I didn’t ride through). I have a friend in Williamstown, MA so I made my way down there after visiting family in Upstate New York near the Adirondacks. From there he gave me a route south into Connecticut, east into Rhode Island and then north to Boston from Providence. The route took me through the Berkshires and through some covered bridges, both of which I’d wanted to see.
Instagram: Portland_2_Portland

Offline EmilyG

Re: Cross Country, combining routes
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2018, 01:16:42 am »
How cool (the route with covered bridges).
I wanted to ride to honor the indigenous peoples of North America, but that's more of a personal thing, not something I'm doing for anything. 
My partner is an ER nurse so when he hears about your ride, he's going to be very curious. 

Thank you for your information. 

Offline PNWRider92

Re: Cross Country, combining routes
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2018, 01:20:34 am »
How cool (the route with covered bridges).
I wanted to ride to honor the indigenous peoples of North America, but that's more of a personal thing, not something I'm doing for anything. 
My partner is an ER nurse so when he hears about your ride, he's going to be very curious. 

Thank you for your information.

You’re welcome! Touring is great. I’m leaving April 8 and riding Route 66 Chicago to Santa Monica.

If y’all are on Instagram my username is below.
Instagram: Portland_2_Portland

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Cross Country, combining routes
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2018, 10:19:35 am »
That schedule may put you in Glacier National Park when Going to the Sun Road is not open in its entirety. On June 20th of 2017 I rode up and back down the west side. When I started out early in the morning the road was not fully open to cars for the season, but bikes could ride the west slope to Logan Pass. Not sure if I the east side was fully open to bikes. A few hours later they opened the entirety of the road. Back in 2009, the road was not rideable when I wanted to cross east to west. IIRC, that was around June 22nd. Sometimes it opens earlier, sometimes later. Just something to think about as it would be a shame to miss it.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349603@N05/35835483865/in/album-72157682904463522/

Edit: I actually rode Going to the Sun on June 28th of 2017.

Wayfarers State Park in Bigfork has nice hiker/biker sites with things like racks, tent pads and electric outlets for charging electronics, and you take a dip in the lake if it's hot.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349603@N05/35666395262/in/album-72157682904463522/

Between C-Falls and Glacier don't be tempted to go off router and take U.S. 2 to the park because there is a section without a shoulder. Follow the official route. Much quieter and much more scenic. The few miles of unpaved road are easily doable, and there is a beautiful spot down by the river to stop and have lunch or just soak it in.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349603@N05/35666403202/in/album-72157682904463522/

Also, if you can swing it I recommend doing the mileage up to Alberta and visiting Waterton Village. Good place for a day off.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 07:32:16 pm by indyfabz »

Offline EmilyG

Re: Cross Country, combining routes
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2018, 03:11:40 pm »
Thanks, indyfabz, for the info
Given your input, we've re-routed, and plan to do the glacier park ride as a short summer ride in  2019.
Now we are taking TransAm 2,3, then Lewis & Clark 6, 4, Then Northern Tier 4-6, North Lakes, Lake Erie connector, and Northern Tier 9-11.
We're routing off of ACA routes, south-east around Sharon, Vt, in order to take major rail-trails down to Portsmouth, and then we'll take train into Boston.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Cross Country, combining routes
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2018, 01:10:58 pm »
Hope McKenzie Pass to Sisters is open that early, at least for bikes.

Offline jamawani

Re: Cross Country, combining routes
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2018, 04:18:08 pm »
Emily -

You are most likely going to have to use Santiam Pass in mid May.
Opening and closing dates of McKenzie Pass - not as nice, somewhat busy, but o.k.
http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/Regions/Documents/Region4/McKenzieHighwayOpeningClosingDates.pdf

I note that your revised route puts you in low elevation Montana east of the Divide.
You will be missing all the spectacular wildflowers of the mountains.
Mid June is THE finest time to tour the Montana/Wyoming mountains for wildflowers.

You could head down to Yellowstone on the Trans-Am -
Then take the Wyoming Northern Tier thru the Bighorn Montains to South Dakota.
http://www.dot.state.wy.us/files/live/sites/wydot/files/shared/Planning/Wyoming%20Bike%20Route%20Map.pdf
The Wapiti Valley east of Yellowstone is an amazing ride. As are the Bighorns,

The advantages of Wyo/SD  vs Mont/ND are many.
Wyo/SD has mountains, Black Hills - varied scenery.
Mont/ND has a bazillion miles of prairie - nice, but never-ending.

The challenge, is to do your own routing across SD and southern Minn.
But worth it.

Jama





Offline EmilyG

Re: Cross Country, combining routes
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2018, 06:36:32 pm »
We are leaving from the east side of the Cascades, so no worries about getting over.  :)

I am very curious about the Wyoming/SD route, and will look into it.  Since this is my first long distance, long duration tour, I am leaning towards taking a tried and true route this time, because I'm not confident in my abilities to carve a route out.     But I do really appreciate the info.  Wildflowers are high on the priority, too!
Thank you both for the input!

Offline PNWRider92

Re: Cross Country, combining routes
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2018, 04:20:34 pm »
We are leaving from the east side of the Cascades, so no worries about getting over.  :)

I am very curious about the Wyoming/SD route, and will look into it.  Since this is my first long distance, long duration tour, I am leaning towards taking a tried and true route this time, because I'm not confident in my abilities to carve a route out.     But I do really appreciate the info.  Wildflowers are high on the priority, too!
Thank you both for the input!

If you go back to the link I provided you I also did a SD/WY route mostly. The "bump" you see on there from Madison CG in Yellowstone back to West Yellowstone and down through Idaho into Wyoming via Teton Pass from the west was due to a nasty storm in Yellowstone. I rode around it to stay on a schedule I had.
Instagram: Portland_2_Portland

Offline EmilyG

Re: Cross Country, combining routes
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2018, 02:55:36 am »
Well, all our maps have arrived, and we've been busily poring over them to see what we are really doing.  Just calculated the miles, with all the alternates/adjustments, and we have 4050 miles to our journey.  With 12 weeks set aside, we hope to complete the journey in 10 weeks, but have the buffer just in case we need it. 
Central Oregon to Portsmouth, NH:

TransAm Map 2,3 Prineville to Missoula
Lewis & Clark Map 6, 4 (Missoula to Dickenson, using the Blackfoot Alternate)
Northern Tier Map 4, 5, 6, (Dickenson to Osecola, using the Trails Alternate)
North Lakes Map3 (Osecola to Escanaba to Makinac Island to  Wolf Lake)
Lake Erie Connector (Wolf Lake to Sandusky Via Ferry route A)
Northern Tier Map 9, 10, 11 (Sandusky OH to Lyme, NH)
Custom Route through NH, to end in Portsmouth.

Offline jwrushman

Re: Cross Country, combining routes
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2018, 07:38:07 pm »
I'll be doing a similar route in the opposite direction in June/July timeframe.  Maybe our paths will cross!

I grew up in Michigan and still have a soft-spot for many of it's beautiful areas.  I'm sure many other can give you there thought. 

Mackinaw Island - spectacular, especially since cars out allowed.  Just need to look out for the horse poop.  Are you planning to stay overnight there? If there's a special occasion, a night in the Grand Hotel would be amazing.

Traverse Bay and Traverse City and Sleeping Bear Dunes - spectacular!  If you get the urge to run down the dunes to the lake, the distance is deceiving.  It's a LONG way down and even longer coming up.  I was a teenager (a long time ago) since I've been there.  I wouldn't do it again.  But you should do it once! 

Much of central Michigan is not too exciting but very flat and nice for bicycling.  Hopefully your trip allows for a stop in Frankenmuth.  It's a touristy Bavarian town but has a good brewery.

When you're in Ontario, you'll be going by Point Pelee, the southernmost point in Canada.  I think it's only 10 miles out to the end.  If you're in to bird watching or butterflies, it's a very nice side trip.

Enjoy! 

Offline EmilyG

Re: Cross Country, combining routes
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2018, 08:36:39 pm »
jwrushman- I am delighted that every cool thing you pointed out is already on our to-do list!
We're probably going to just take the ferry to Makinac Is, spend the day there, then take the ferry to Makinaw city to camp.   Unless we feel like splurging on a night in an inn.
And we're planning on camping on Pelee Island, as they allow camping there.
Thanks for the warning about the dunes. Having grown up on an ocean's shore, I love dunes.

Hope to see you on the road!  We have green and blue Bruce Gordon Rock & Road Tour bikes, so that's how you'll know us.   :)