Author Topic: Help me choose my trip : pacific coast or transamerica :) and wich part ?  (Read 7872 times)

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Offline nasdak

Yes, east, sorry
Bagage service ? Damn, us are complicated !
Amtrack website says there's no train between portland and baker city. About to give up :(
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 03:24:07 pm by nasdak »

Offline John Nettles

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The problem with doing the US in 1 trip is that it is so big.  Sort of like trying to do Europe in one trip.  Northern Germany is so different that Southern Spain and eastern France is so different that Austria.
If you mean you want a "western" (as in the movies with mountains, wooden store fronts, rivers, etc.) American feel then I would fly into Portland and ride to Jackson, WY.

 If you mean a "small town, friendly (but few) people with mostly wide open views" then I would go from Denver to say Chicago or further east OR possibly Chicago to Jackson, WY if you want some mountain scenery too.  Not nearly as pretty (except in western Wyoming) but then you will get a totally different feel as to the western or eastern US.

If you want "older, much more established, busier, more populated" America, then maybe go westbound from Washington, DC, to say Chicago.  And Washington is nothing like Wyoming.

I would encourage you to look at the TransAmerica Route journals over on CrazyGuyonabike.com and look at what areas appeal to you so you can give us a better idea. Then we can narrow where you fly into and out of.
For instance, if you go to Yellowstone, you could always take a fairly cheap shuttle from Jackson to Salt Lake City where the airfares should be a lot cheaper.  We understand the complicated Amtrak better than you.  Sort of like I need a German to figure out the German train website.
Best, John

Offline nasdak

You're so nice !
Portland to jackson seems very beautiful

But that's 2200km... I think too much for about 25 days riding (and some days to rest, hike)...
If we don't make it on time to jackson, is there a backup solution? Is it easy to hitchike with 2 bikes ?

Or maybe we can go southeast from portland to the transAm?

What is a shuttle, a inland flight?

Offline John Nettles

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A shuttle is like a mini-bus.  But Salt Lake Express shuttle pulls a trailer that lets you bring a bike for an extra $10 I think.

Try this for the route and let others comment too.  Fly into Portland OR Seattle and then take a train to Spokane (baggage & bikes allowed). Either ride south to Clarkston (I have a route I can get you) and pick up the Lewis & Clark briefly until you connect to the TransAm in Kooskia, ID. Take that to Jackson, WY.  Either fly out of Jackson or Salt Lake City (SLC).

From Spokane to Kooskia could be somewhat hot bu the Palouse area of Washington is a pleasant ride.  After that, the temps should cool down fairly quickly.

That would be roughly 750 miles.  A shorter version would be the Spokane to Missoula to Jackson at roughly 700 miles.

Tailwinds, John

Offline John Nelson

The problem with ACA routes is that they try so hard to avoid big cities that it makes it hard to jump into or out of a route in the middle.

Buses are going to offer you more options that trains. You can get to Baker City, Oregon on a bus, so maybe you can still execute a modified version of your plan. You could ride from there to Silverthorne, Colorado, and take a bus into Denver from there. One-way car rentals will be available too from some of the larger towns. For example, if you want you could drive from Jackson, Wyoming to Denver, which would give you the time and ability to see some other things.

I agree with your thought to include Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. Those are iconic symbols of the U.S.

Offline nasdak

i can get a "cheap" flight from Lyon (france :D) to spokane :)

no we have to decide if i go back from denver or Salt lake city !
salt lake city seems a better choice as a can take the shuttle :)

John (N) : can you give me the route from spokane to kooskia ?

Offline John Nettles

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I will send you the route via private message as it has lots of turns in order to stay on back roads as much as reasonably possible.

That said, if you want to go to Denver, we can look into options if you want.  As the other John said, one-way car rentals are currently around US$250 for a one-way minivan (bikes do not need to be broken down).  Gas is a LOT cheaper here too than in France.  In Wyoming, is currently is around $2.60 per gallon (about 25 miles in a van).

Tailwinds, John

Offline nasdak

denver is 100€ cheaper per flight (thats 200€ for two)
i'm not very found of renting a car. the idea is not to waste to much gas (the plane beeing already too much....)
is there a public transport from around jackson to denver airport?

update : i found a flight plan, arriving at spokane july 26th, departure from jackson hole august 25th :)
(only 1500€ per person  ::) )
i'm ready to pull the trigger ! it's with british airways, it seems they take the bike as a standard luggage
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 05:17:26 pm by nasdak »

Offline John Nettles

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The USA sucks when it comes to public transportation compared to Europe.  The short answer is yes but the long answer is you don't want to do it.

You would have to take the shuttle to SLC, then box the bike at the Amtrak Station (huge boxes) then get off at Denver and then realistically take a cab 20+ miles to the airport since you would have two big boxes.  This would cost more than the $250 plus gas probably.  This would also probably take 2 full days compared to 10 hours of driving.  Granted the drive is not very scenic but it is WIDE OPEN lands and you could easily route through the more scenic Rockies if you wanted to. 

John

 

Offline jamawani

1) There has not been a train between Portland and Baker City for 20+ years.

2) Shuttle bus from Jackson to Salt Lake City -
http://www.mountainstatesexpress.com/index.html

Can you do 110 km per day?
The TransAm from Tillamook, Oregon to Jackson, Wyoming is 2200 km.
That is 20 days with plenty of extra time to explore or for bad weather.
Even shorter if you take the Lewis & Clark from Astoria to Missoula.
There are multiple buses from Portland to Tillamook on the coast.
(Easier than getting to Astoria)

<<<>>>

Northern Tier route via Glacier to Jackson is about 2100 km.
Seattle has nonstop flights from Paris, Portland does not.
Getting to Anacortes easier than getting to Tillamook.

You may save money taking Southwest one-way from Salt Lake to Seattle
That way you can book round trip Paris-Seattle.

<<<>>>

South to North trip Jackson to Jasper
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=1mr&page_id=26427&v=O5

It was easier crossing the border before 9-11.
There are more delays now, especially if you are not US or Canadian resident.


Offline jamawani

Single Entry Visa -

Remember, most U.S. tourist visas are for ONE entry.
Multiple entry visas are more difficult to get and more expensive.
If you fly into Seattle or Spokane and go into Canada -
you will not be allowed to return to the U.S. with a Single Entry Visa.

For people from the E.U. this seems crazy. (And it is - but it is the law.)
The Schengen Zone allows for visa-free travel.
Until 9-11, the U.S.-Canada border was more open.
Not so any more.

Offline John Nettles

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i'm ready to pull the trigger ! it's with british airways, it seems they take the bike as a standard luggage


You should note that international agreements state the it is the originating flight operator collects any baggage fees based on their fee schedule.  This means that even if you ticket on BA, you will most likely pay bike fees on the return portion since you will depart Jackson on either American or Delta (BA does not fly there) as they are first carrier you fly on your return to France.

If you fly out of Denver, you are able to take BA both ways as the originating airline (first carrier you fly) so the bike fees "should" be waived.

Hope this helps, John

Offline nasdak

Single Entry Visa -

Remember, most U.S. tourist visas are for ONE entry.
Multiple entry visas are more difficult to get and more expensive.
If you fly into Seattle or Spokane and go into Canada -
you will not be allowed to return to the U.S. with a Single Entry Visa.

For people from the E.U. this seems crazy. (And it is - but it is the law.)
The Schengen Zone allows for visa-free travel.
Until 9-11, the U.S.-Canada border was more open.
Not so any more.
Usefull info
Does the northern tier cross borders ?

Offline John Nettles

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It has an optional loop after Glacier National Park (assuming you are eastbound) that goes into Canada briefly.  The NT does not require you to leave the USA.

Tailwinds, John

Offline nasdak

What about doing the lewis and clark from portland to missoula and then the transAm to jackson hole? Is this lewis and clark portion great ?
Update : the first part to clarkston seems to have a lot of traffic
« Last Edit: May 03, 2019, 09:26:26 am by nasdak »