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Cross Country Trip Planning
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  (#1)
I hate Hybrid drivers
 
david636's Avatar
 
Posts: 4,780
Join Date: May 25, 2006
Location: Woodbridge, VA
Cross Country Trip Planning - October 17, 2008, 04:14 PM

Next summer (August 2009) I am planning a cross country trip on a motorcycle (planning on purchasing an HD, donít judge).

The trip would start in Woodbridge and head West going through the Northern states, winding up at the famous Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah for Speed Week (Aug 10-16) then heading South into Southern California to stay at my grandmaís house near Yuma AZ. I plan to stay there for 3 days, then head home going through the Southern States.

I want to stop along the way to see cool things in America. I am into natural beauty, unusual mechanical things, weird stuff in peoples yards and the like. I am planning to stop in Austin and New Orleans on the way home. I made a google map. I donít know how to let other people add to it or I would just let everyone put stuff on it and remove what I didnít plan on stopping at.

So if you were going on a cross country trip, where would you stop?

My map so far
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en...,69.433594&z=5
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October 17, 2008, 08:06 PM

Been to the Grand Canyon?


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October 17, 2008, 08:08 PM

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October 17, 2008, 08:42 PM

Add:
-Grand Canyon
-Palomar Mountain
-Pacific Coast Hwy

Maybe add:
-Barbour Museum
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I'm a Rookie, How do I Wheelie?
 
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Join Date: October 17, 2008
Location: Bristow
October 17, 2008, 09:28 PM

I did a similar trip a few years back. I road a Honda VTX 1800. I took the entire month of August and made it to CA and back. It ended up being 7k miles. The best stops were the national parks, but there were some other cool stops along the way. Here's the list.

Corn Palace (Mitchell, SD off of RT. 90) only takes a few hours
MT. Rushmore & Black Hills, SD (you could spend a 2 days to see Sturgis, Deadwood, 16A is a good road)
14 or 14A is good road over Big Horn MT. in Wyoming.
Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons were ok
Bryce Canyon in Utah is highly recommended.
Grand Canyon is the best thing you can see on the entire trip.
South of Grand Canyon take 89A thru Oak Creek Canyon and then head towards Sedona, AZ. Amazing sights there as well. 89A is a great bike road.

We camped out along the way so if you need advice in that department just let me know. You might want to get a Honda so you don't have to worry about breaking down on that Hog. (jk) You'll have a great time!
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October 20, 2008, 10:10 AM

Sweet, that's the kind of info i am looking for. I do plan on camping in the Western States. Sometimes just on the side of the road and sometimes at a camp ground. I plan to put camp grounds on my map.


Quote:
Originally Posted by craw View Post
I did a similar trip a few years back. I road a Honda VTX 1800. I took the entire month of August and made it to CA and back. It ended up being 7k miles. The best stops were the national parks, but there were some other cool stops along the way. Here's the list.

Corn Palace (Mitchell, SD off of RT. 90) only takes a few hours
MT. Rushmore & Black Hills, SD (you could spend a 2 days to see Sturgis, Deadwood, 16A is a good road)
14 or 14A is good road over Big Horn MT. in Wyoming.
Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons were ok
Bryce Canyon in Utah is highly recommended.
Grand Canyon is the best thing you can see on the entire trip.
South of Grand Canyon take 89A thru Oak Creek Canyon and then head towards Sedona, AZ. Amazing sights there as well. 89A is a great bike road.

We camped out along the way so if you need advice in that department just let me know. You might want to get a Honda so you don't have to worry about breaking down on that Hog. (jk) You'll have a great time!
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October 20, 2008, 10:37 AM

If you hit Bryce Canyon, I would also stop at the Arches State Park (...and before anyone mentions it, yes, the main arch pictured on the Utah lic. plate has fallen).

Post up before you go; you might have a riding buddy, if you want.

San Antonio would make for a good stop, too.
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October 20, 2008, 10:47 AM

I was thinking about doing something very similar but I was going to do it on a Honda VFR. Comfy but you can still have fun if you run into twisties.

I second the arches and also I notice that there are no stops in Cali? PCH is beautiful and will give you more pictAr opportunities then you'll know what to do with.


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October 20, 2008, 10:58 AM

TJ, Mex. and if time allows, cruise down the Cali/Mex peninsula
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October 20, 2008, 01:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by craw View Post
I did a similar trip a few years back.
+1
Quote:
Originally Posted by craw View Post
I road a Honda VTX 1800.
+1
Quote:
Originally Posted by craw View Post
I took the entire month of August and made it to CA and back.
July
Quote:
Originally Posted by craw View Post
It ended up being 7k miles.
7.5k lonesome miles
Quote:
Originally Posted by craw View Post
The best stops were the national parks, but there were some other cool stops along the way.
+1
Quote:
Originally Posted by craw View Post
We camped out along the way so if you need advice in that department just let me know.
+1
Quote:
Originally Posted by craw View Post
You might want to get a Honda so you don't have to worry about breaking down on that Hog.
+1. I bought the water-cooled VTX knowing that I was going through the desert in July. I really don't think an air-cooled engine could have made it sitting in traffic for two hours in 120 degrees trying to get over the damn Hoover dam. Hell, I barely made it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by craw View Post
You'll have a great time!
+1

I took the interstate for three days out to Arizona before stopping to enjoy the sites. (I wanted to spend the majority of my time out west.)
- Route 66
- Canyon De Chelly
- Monument Valley
- Valley of the Gods Road (a 20 mile dirt road detour - never saw another soul all day. It seriously felt like I was all alone in another world.)
- Mokei Dugout (A puckerfactor of 7)
- Lake Powell/Glenn Canyon
- A Glenn Canyon "shortcut" where I got stuck in sand. Just drive the long way around - trust me.
- Bryce Canyon
- Grand Canyon
- Las Vegas
- Yosemite
- LA
- Northern CA

Places that I planned to hit but decided to skip for time/heat/etc.:
- Death Valley
- Searchlight, NV at night
- Golden Gate Bridge
- Pacific Coast Highway
- Hollywood
- Yellowstone
- The Grand Teton (went back out and climbed it the following month though)
- Mount Rushmore
- Niagara Falls

I camped the whole way, mostly at National Parks. (Google to find out which are free/open.) Some nights I had to drive until I found a random Mom n' Pop campground (or a KoA as a last resort). I didn't carry any food, instead stopped at random (and recommended) diners for meals.

I packed:
- Tent/bag/pad
- Climbing gear for Yosemite (the majority of my luggage weight/size)
- Minimal clothing, found laundromats at a few parks (Glenn Canyon) along the way.
- Any tool, fluid, or part I thought I might need for the bike. Had to find a bike shop in NM to get a new rear tire (should have changed it before I left) and changed the oil in a parking lot in CA before the return trip home.

You should bring:
- Sunscreen. I never use it and was roasted within 30 minutes driving into Albuquerque, NM. The temperature went from 70 degrees to 110, and stayed there for the next few days.
- A lot of water if you're hitting the desert regions in the summer.
- Don't eat packaged sandwiches at middle-of-nowhere gas stations in Arizona. You'll get food poisoning, which turns out to be very annoying during a trip like this.

Here was my planned trip (I took the interstate all the way home from CA because I needed to be back at work in 4 days):
http://www.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF...,79.101563&z=4


Hope this helps in your plans, I spent a few months making and changing my route before I was happy with it.

Edit: One more thing I forgot - know where you can find gas. I planned my route through the southern desert knowing I could only count on getting 100 miles/tank. Some stations were 70~80 miles apart. I didn't think I would have a problem with the northern part, and drove right past a gas station entering Utah from Nevada at 50 miles out from the last. Well, there wasn't another one for 70 miles (totaling ~130 on a bike that gets 120 tops). I spent the last 30 miles drafting a big rig through the salt flats. He wasn't very happy about having me 2ft off his bumper, but I got to the station with 1/4 of a gallon to spare.

Last edited by Ninja636; October 20, 2008 at 01:46 PM..
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October 20, 2008, 01:43 PM

I could spend the entire time in Cali so that will have to be done another time. I have family and friends there so not a problem.

I have been to Bryce canyon but will go again for sure. Not sure about Mexico. I might go just to say I did. Or I'll enter in one area and ride to the next border crossing and get the hell out of there.

I doubt i'll find a riding buddy, none of you wanted to go to Ohio with me, suckers.
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October 20, 2008, 01:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by david636 View Post
I am into natural beauty, unusual mechanical things, weird stuff in peoples yards and the like.
You'd like the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX. There's a lot more strange things like this to see along Route 66.

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October 20, 2008, 02:11 PM

Do it on a bicycle. Much easier to take in the sites at 17mph.


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October 20, 2008, 03:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninja636 View Post
Hope this helps in your plans, I spent a few months making and changing my route before I was happy with it.
You rock. I'll continue to do my research and look into the places you mentioned. I'm rethinking the HD. I might buy a metric bike just for this ride, then sell it and buy a Harley. Many a HD has crossed this great land tho.
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and go
 
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October 20, 2008, 03:49 PM

I wanna come!
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