Author Topic: First time x-country, seeking route advice  (Read 1903 times)

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Offline oiselette

First time x-country, seeking route advice
« on: April 25, 2010, 11:54:07 am »
Hi! I'm looking to go from the Midwest (either Chicago or Columbus, have family in both I'd like to visit before leaving) to Seattle. I'd be leaving in the middle/end of June and wouldn't have to be done until the middle of September.

The way I see it, in order to go west and get the bulk of the way there I'd need to take either the Transamerica, the Lewis and Clark, or the Northern Tier.

What I'm looking for is less heat (I know it'll be hot anyway, anywhere in August) and more trees. It's looking like the Northern Tier is my best bet, but that's just from looking at the map and a little reading. Any advice from those more experienced?

Thank you!


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Re: First time x-country, seeking route advice
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2010, 01:53:37 pm »
I can only tell you what we experienced on the NT, and in referring to trees I am assuming you mean for shade purposes while riding.  We went west to east, but I will try to work backwards:

IL:  Zero shade.  We came as close to CHI as Streator, IL.  100 or close in late July.

IA:  No real shade to speak of save maybe in a few places.  Oppressively hot and humid when we were there in mid to late July.

MN:  Porbably has the most shade east of the Rockies.  Humid many days, but usually not opressively hot in early to mid-July.  And there were a few day where it was downright chilly due to stormy weather.

ND:  Forget about shade on the road.  Towns have trees, but in between it's pretty much wide open farmland. Bring good sunblock.  We crossed ND between June 28th & July 7th.  Temps were not bad at all and the humidity was manageable.

MT & AB:  The eastern 2/3 of MT along the "Highline" will be pretty much like ND.  At Cut Bank, you will head north into Candada.  Same thing.  Even coming back into the U.S. via Chief Mountain will be pretty much shadeless.  (Was just there again last spring.)  It's not that there aren't trees at this point.  It's just that the forests are typically set back far enough from the road that they won't shield you from the sun.

As you progress west you will tend to pick up more tree shade.  Can't compare temps since we started in Seattle in late May and were into Glacier National Park by mid-June.