Author Topic: Northern Tier, plus North Lakes, Great Parks, TransAm, PacCoast?  (Read 4287 times)

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Offline oiselette

I'm planning a summer-long bike tour from Ohio to Seattle, with the goal being to visit as many of my friends/family I've lost touch with since going to college. Everyone is out West, so I don't much care which route I take across; as far as I'm concerned the more scenic/pleasant weather (read: not too hot), the better. I've singled out the Northern Tier as my best bet for fewer hills and cooler weather (advice I was given by an experienced tourer... I haven't bought my maps yet, so if anyone has further advice, I'll gladly take it!). Looking at the route network, the North Lakes route (esp the uppermost part) looks like a great way to see Michigan and the UP, which I've heard is beautiful. It would skip the parts of Indiana and Illinois that I've mostly already seen. I'll be a bit sad about missing Iowa, which I've heard is a beautiful state. Plus, I would get to go through WI, which I love.

Here's where I first need advice: is North Lakes more difficult/costly/time consuming than the part of the NT I'd be skipping? Should I go for the NL route or just stick with the NT?

For the second leg of my journey, I'll be taking the NT across to Whitefish, catching the Great Parks route south to the TransAm, and visiting some family in Idaho. From there I'd like to continue across to Eugene/maybe Florence and visit some friends. More importantly, I need to get to Portland, and I can't cut out my excursion into Idaho.

My next bit of needed advice: What would be the best way to get from the TransAm in OR to Portland? I've driven Eugene to Portland plenty of times and am familiar with the Willamette Valley, and it seems like there must be a way to get from Eugene to Portland safely via bike.

For the last part of my journey, I'll catch the Pacific Coast route in Oregon and make my way up to Seattle.

So the last bit of advice I'm asking for is: do you see any problems with this route? Anything I should be aware of?

Thank you for any suggestions/advice you may have!