Author Topic: How Early Is Too Early? Eastbound from Oregon/Washington  (Read 950 times)

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Offline jamawani

How Early Is Too Early? Eastbound from Oregon/Washington
« on: August 22, 2022, 08:00:05 pm »
This year I started an eastbound trip from Astoria, OR on June 1.
Cold & wet. Cold & wet. Even in eastern Oregon.
Near Baker City at noon on June 15th. 47F with a cold north wind.

If I would have done the same trip in 2021, I would have roasted.
In 2016 I started an eastbound trip from Westport, WA on June 3.
The next day it was a record 98F in Raymond.

Way back in 1990, I started an eastbound trip from Astoria on June 1.
The first few days were fine - then I got heavy snow in the Cascades.
Almost froze to death.

So - - -
When is the best time to start an eastbound cross-country trip from the Northwest coast?
Is the beginning of June too early? Should it be closer to the middle of June?
I actually like to start touring in mid-May, but I think that would be way too early.

What has your experience been?

Pic - Cold & Wet near Pendleton, but Green

Offline ray b

Re: How Early Is Too Early? Eastbound from Oregon/Washington
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2022, 09:23:43 pm »

So - - -
When is the best time to start an eastbound cross-country trip from the Northwest coast?
....
What has your experience been?

All depends on who we are and how fast we travel. I like cold and snow, and one should always be ready for some in the high Rockies.

My philosophy - always easier to wear more clothes. Cold means no bugs. No leaves on the trees - better visibility. Only downside to fall trips are the shorter days. (As we saw this year, spring floods can bring a whole other need for flexibility.)

That said - for those who like to sweat, Late July has seemed good. Rockies in August, Applalachians in early September..., depending on one's speed.

There's always going to be a temperature differential between 11,000+ feet of elevation in Colorado, and the humidity of Missouri and Kentucky.
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline staehpj1

Re: How Early Is Too Early? Eastbound from Oregon/Washington
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2022, 07:21:11 am »
There really is no correct answer to that question.  Obviously we don't all like the same weather, but as you know we go when we should get the weather we want and don't.  The best we can do is look at the history of the weather where/when we are going and see what the average is, as well as what the records are.

I hate hot weather and don't mind some chilly or even fairly cold weather, but try to avoid real winter weather.  Most of my trips I seem to wind up with lots of record heat.

That said since you asked about cross country eastbound from Oregon/Washington...  The only trip I did that qualifies was the Trans America.  We started on June 11, 2007.  That was an okay date to start that year.  We had no fresh snow, a few chilly nights, not much rain, only a little hail, and plenty of heat.  We tried to schedule our start around when McKenzie Pass would be open to bikes, but closed to cars and were lucky enough to hit that mark.

On a different note...  I went eastbound from San Diego from mid February and found that a good time for that route.  Cool days and chilly nights with frost some nights and only a few really cold nights.  Most if not all days got to over 50.  I only remember one miserable riding day when there was pouring rain, a howling wind, and a chilly temberature that probably felt a lot colder than it was with the rain and wind.  Mostly the riding weather was nice for someone like me who likes cool weather.

On another trip (in the Sierras), I headed out a time when I was as early as prudent for passes being open and was greeted with an early heat wave.  We roasted on that trip.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: How Early Is Too Early? Eastbound from Oregon/Washington
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2022, 11:35:13 am »
Twice ('99 and '00) I left Seattle during the last week in May at headed north to pick up the NT a bit east of Anacortes.  Nights were cold.  Got soaked both year riding from Bay View to Rockport.  Got rained and snowed on crossing the Cascades in '99.  I was, of course, warm and dry after that, until Republic, where we experienced snow flurries while eating breakfast.  It also snowed some later that day during the descent of Sherman Pass.  '00 was drier after Rockport but still on the cool/cold side.

Offline jamawani

Re: How Early Is Too Early? Eastbound from Oregon/Washington
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2022, 01:59:47 pm »
Which reminds me -

I had lots of rain eastbound from Anacortes in August 2007 - until I got over Rainy Pass.
(Go figure ...)

Plus, I had serious cold rain in August 2019 heading up to Takhlakh Lake & Mount Adams.
Borderline hypothermia for my riding companion.

<<<>>>

I love dry & chilly. I hate cold & wet.

Offline grncab97

Re: How Early Is Too Early? Eastbound from Oregon/Washington
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2022, 09:50:08 pm »
Hey, I wonder if we crossed paths somewhere?  I started out of Eugene this year June 1 and rode through days of rain, hail and snow before I reached sun in Idaho.  I missed out on Yellowstone because it was closed when I got there. Because the TransAm bike race starts every year in June from Astoria, I figured it was probably the best time to go.   I only had one month free so I stopped when I got to Hoosier (husband drove picked me up in his car) but I kept in touch with friends I met who went through even more torrential rain through KY.  They also roasted in the East when it wasn't raining. 

Have you thought of going East to West?  I did that in 2018 and the temperatures were reasonable.  Started April 22 in Yorktown and hit Utah and Nevada in June so it wasn't hot yet.