Planning Early summer adventure - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 15 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 11:37 pm Thread Starter
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Planning Early summer adventure

I know that this may seem a little early, but I have been thinking about my first really long ride since 1980. Cross country long ride. I have a disabled niece graduating in Vermont in June 2007, it almost a must to be there. As I have already traveled by MC in all the western states, Vancouver, BC, south and central mid west USA, I am trying to put together a three week trip to actually drive in all the other states and DC that I have not been in. I will be leaving from AZ eastbound. My thoughts are this sequence of states: AZ, NM, TX, OK, KS, NE, IA, SD, ND, MN, WI, Upper MI, into Canada via Sault St. Marie, east to Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec, Maine, NH, VT. Then home: Via MA, RI, CN, NY, PA, NJ, DE, MD, WV, DC, VA, NC, (have to do the dragon) SC, GA, FL, AL, MS, LA, TX, NM, AZ.

From this I will be able to color all the states in on my patch, as well as, a few Providences in Canada. I would like some input on routes, weather, construction, etc. Of course any riding companions along the way.

Rob Asay
99 Canyon Red Lt
"The True Red Dragon"
1982 Honda "Silver Wing"
1986 Gold Wing Interstate "Blue Babe"
1978 Gold Wing
1976 Kawasaki 900
1967 Honda 305 Scrambler
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post #2 of 15 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 4:59 am
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My thought would be to get the hot/humid states done first.
Much better to be in FL,Ga,Al,Ms,La and Tx late May or early June than later June.
Just ride it in reverse (LT has reverse doesn't it )
Have fun

Mick
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'99 LT Basalt grey "Coyote"
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post #3 of 15 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 6:57 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robasay
Upper MI, into Canada via Sault St. Marie,
Be warned, the brige at Sault St. Marie is a steel deck bridge with potential for high winds. I have crossed a few steel deck bridges on my LT and have had the occasional squirmy feel. Keep an eye on the weather since I have heard reports were they won't let you cross on bike if the weather is bad.

Roy Gregersen

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post #4 of 15 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 6:57 am
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you might want to make sure and have a passport if your traveling into Canada, I believe they will be required in 2007.
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post #5 of 15 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 8:15 am
 
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A few quick suggestions...
  • A agree with Mick. It seems to me that you're going the wrong direction for your time frame. You want to take this trip counter-clockwise.
  • Get a passport!
  • Yes, you have to do the Dragon. But while you're in that neck of the woods, the Cherohala Skyway is so much better, IMO there's no comparison. Also, the south end of the Blue Ridge Parkway should also be on your short list.
  • Go to Mackinac Island, if only for a few hours. You're headed passed it anyway. And the Mackinac Bridge is a sight to see as well.
  • If you have a GPS, we can send you waypoints. Let us know.
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post #6 of 15 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 8:15 am
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Ditto on all the previous advice with a few additional comments,
My advice would be to leave a month earlier and do the Southern states first
Mick is correct regarding the heat in Florida and LA MS AL GA, it's not like AZ,
think humidity that will leave you feeling like a wet dish towel.
Your route is a very attractive route until you get to the East coast,
I understand you want to pencil in those states but,
although there are some real pretty parts, VT NH and Maine
personally I would go hundreds of miles out of my way to avoid the Eastern parts of the US especially MA NY PA NJ DE MD DC, the traffic is horrendous and the attitude of the drivers just plain rude.
I'm not trying to discourage you from doing it, more or less just preparing you.
Lets just say once you've completed this leg, you'll be very happy you live in AZ


Hans
St. Petersburg FL

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post #7 of 15 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 12:38 pm
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I agree the Cherohala Skyway and BRP are better than Dragon.
Foothills Parkway also very nice.
DO NOT do Cades Cove 19 mile scenic loop unless you have many hrs. to kill and like riding at a crawl in stop-n-go bumper to bumper car line.

Mick
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post #8 of 15 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 7:31 pm
 
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You probably can't change the wedding date at this point! So the dates are the dates. I would have to agree that the reverse route sounds better.

You can check with someone official but passports aren't required at land border crossings until 2008.

When you get your dates refined let me know when you'd transit ottawa.
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post #9 of 15 Old Dec 21st, 2006, 10:52 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for the Words of Wisdom

Thanks all for the info. I have a passport and I have been in OH, KY, TN, AR, and TX in the June time frame. I have also been in Houston in early fall, very humid. But Costa Rica in the latter part or June by the ocean was the absolute worst. I could do the reverse leaving around the 28th to 29th of May to get to VT on the 8th. I have driven on short steel bridges in the midwest in 1980 with two up, this will be just me until I get to VT for a few days. The information on the BRP and other scenic drive is very helpful. I plan long riding days in locations of not much interest and little slower in areas just made for two wheels and two eyes.

I know it sounds different, but you know what they say, "different strokes for different folks". I have always had the goal of riding my two wheels in every state of the lower 48. As the weeks go buy I will start looking at routes and daily milage possible. I will also put out my purposed routes at different times for the various states and ask for input about them or better routes.

Thanks again for you responses.

Rob Asay
99 Canyon Red Lt
"The True Red Dragon"
1982 Honda "Silver Wing"
1986 Gold Wing Interstate "Blue Babe"
1978 Gold Wing
1976 Kawasaki 900
1967 Honda 305 Scrambler
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post #10 of 15 Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 6:29 am
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A few thoughts:

1. Assuming you are reversing the course, run around the north of Lake Superior on the way back i.e. don't cross back into the US at Sault St Marie, fun though that bridge is. Thats a most excellent ride.
2. I assume you have done Glacier NP since you've said you have done all theWestern states....
3. The routing for you for the east coast would be to come up past Atlanta and, depending which way you come, get to Tellico Plains, TN. Thats the western end of the Cherohala, the road they spent $100M on just for LT riders. Ride thru to the 129 near Robbinsville in NC. Then west on the 129 thru Deals Gap. Pop out the other end of the Gap and a few miles later turn north on the Foothills Parkway. North on that to the 321/441 to near Gatlinburg (there is a cut off thats best here) and then over the main range east on the 441. As you are coming down close to Cherokee, you will see the sign for the Blue Ridge Parkway. Take it for 500 miles of beautiful roads north. The east coast will look a lot better from the BRP than the 95 (Hans comments - anyone that lives in flat, hot Florida has a rather perverse sense of geography anyway :-)). I'd take it the whole way. The southern third and the top third are best, but I believe the period you are travelling in is when the rhododendrons are out...imagine several hundred miles of clear curvey roads lined with flowers...'tis beautiful. At the top end get off at Waynesboro...don't get on the Skyline Drive, the traffic is much worse and its much more heavily patrolled. You should then go to Gettysburg on your way north.
4. An idea....ride in NYC....its not as bad as people make out, its fun to do in a weird sort of way and its a good notch on your belt for a West Coaster! Go to Brooklyn Heights on the Brooklyn side or Weehawken on the NJ side to get great views.
5. On leaving NYC take the West Side highway (9W I think), go over the George Washington Bridge and ride the Pallisades and Taconic Parkways north towards Vermont. This takes you past West Point. Parkways on the East Coast are a special designation for roads from which commercial traffic is banned and which are usually maintained in a park-like setting making for scenic travel. This route which is due north or the Hutchinson/Merrit Parkways to the NE are good ways of leaving the NYC area that are easy-to-locate.

I can send you some MS Streets & Trips files of these routes if you are interested.

Ralph
Located: Auckland, New Zealand...
but I left my biking heart along the Scenic Byways of America.....

"Come fill the cup that clears
Today of past regrets and future fears." ....Omar Khayyam
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post #11 of 15 Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 8:23 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmg08057
A few thoughts:
- anyone that lives in flat, hot Florida has a rather perverse sense of geography anyway :-)).
Hey now ralph, Isn't Philly the city of brotherly love?
I had my morning coffee on my front porch wearing shorts and no shoe's,
how's your day going?

Really I don't want to start a pissing contest over geograpy
and I think you gave Rob some pretty good advice,
some of which I actually agree with.
You see my wife and I just did this trip in October of this year,
riding all backroads (no interstate) we rode through GA SC NC
and the full lenght of the Parkway and Skyline Drive
( which in my opinion is no where near the East coast )
VA WV MD PA NY MA and up to Bar Harbor Maine for some Lobstah
then VT NH NY to Niagera Falls then along Lake Erie OH into Michigan to visit my brother,
from there IN IL KY TN MO to the Ozarks for a week then OK and TX for some barbeque
and LA MS AL GA and home.

So why am I telling you all of this?
well because the trip is still very fresh in my mind,
I love the Parkway, do it at least twice a year.
Maine VT NH were spectacular (we hit the colors just right)

If only you didn't have to go through PA NY MA to get there,
what a miserable place to ride, You couldn't pay me to ride into NY city
(my insurance agent tells me that the life expectancy of an unattended LT there is 26 minutes)
and it's obvious to us (my wife and I) that the people that live there feel the same way about it,
as it is reflected in their attitude.

We love the New England area, but won't be coming back there for quite a while,
the riding and the attitudes of the people in the Western states
is much more appealing to me than the East coast,
and I am of the opinion that by the end of next summer Rob will most likely feel the same.


Hans
St. Petersburg FL

2002 K1200LTE
"Silver Buffalo" Totaled 5/06
2005 LT
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post #12 of 15 Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 11:40 am
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Hans

Different stokes for different folks. I love NYC, I would live there in a heartbeat if I could afford it. After a lifetime in the suburbs of the world, I am now very happily a certified inner-city resident of Philly (20th and South)...as happy as a pig in the proverbial.

Who knows what Rob likes....I know I like variety. As for the people, I'm not certain of them on the East Coast either after 10 years here, but I'm not sure a tour on an LT is the place to be able to draw meaningful conclusions about the people from. Anyway....riding in snow in NYC...now thats what I call fun (in the short term!).

Ralph
Located: Auckland, New Zealand...
but I left my biking heart along the Scenic Byways of America.....

"Come fill the cup that clears
Today of past regrets and future fears." ....Omar Khayyam
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post #13 of 15 Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 11:12 pm Thread Starter
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Well now look what I started. A North vs. South squabble. he he he. Ralph, love the tips and that type of road and ride is what burns into your memories. I will add your suggestions to the front of the list. Hans, I have always had the opinion that I never lost anything in NYC so I do not need to go find it. My wife on the other hand, since she is a VT girl loves to go to NYC, for what else, shopping. As my original idea was to at least touch my wheels in each state. So it really does not matter how much of the wheel or how long. Kind of like going to Four Corners to hit four states at once. Living in the Phx area. I am familiar with lots of heavy slow traffic. I will only put up with on this trip to accomplish the goal of riding in each state. But I will cherish those back roads to get from point to point.

Y"all keep the suggestions coming as I am sure they'll be good ones.

Rob Asay
99 Canyon Red Lt
"The True Red Dragon"
1982 Honda "Silver Wing"
1986 Gold Wing Interstate "Blue Babe"
1978 Gold Wing
1976 Kawasaki 900
1967 Honda 305 Scrambler
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post #14 of 15 Old Dec 23rd, 2006, 3:37 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robasay
Well now look what I started. A North vs. South squabble. he he he. .
Yup it ain't over yet,
I hafta admit though, that judging from his demeanor,
Ralph is a Yank that this here Southern boy wouldn't mind having as a friend.

And he's "right on" by recommending the Blue ridge Parkway,
that has to be the best 475 miles of motorcycle road in the Eastern states,
speed limit is 45 for the full length (it is technically a park) with many turn outs and scenic places,
it will take a full two days to ride it all if you stop to take in the scenery along the way.
Skyline Drive which is similar and another hundred miles north of that is a National Park,
entry fee is $15. and the speed limit is 35 and strictly enforced.
If you've got the time it's nice, plan on 3-4 hours.
The Adirondacks in New York state are interesting and your wife can tell you that Vermont,
New Hampshire is another Norman Rockwell painting around every corner as is Maine,
although it gets "crowded" along the coast in the summer time.
I haven't done much of Canada except Ontario from Niagra Falls to Detroit, which is boring,
however the upper Peninsula of Michigan has some great riding roads and scenery.
And last, it's never to soon to start planning your next trip.


Hans
St. Petersburg FL

2002 K1200LTE
"Silver Buffalo" Totaled 5/06
2005 LT
"Esperanza"
BushtecGenesisTrailer
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post #15 of 15 Old Dec 23rd, 2006, 4:07 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBuffalo
Yup it ain't over yet,
I hafta admit though, that judging from his demeanor,
Ralph is a Yank that this here Southern boy wouldn't mind having as a friend.

And he's "right on" by recommending the Blue ridge Parkway,
that has to be the best 475 miles of motorcycle road in the Eastern states,
speed limit is 45 for the full length (it is technically a park) with many turn outs and scenic places,
it will take a full two days to ride it all if you stop to take in the scenery along the way.
Skyline Drive which is similar and another hundred miles north of that is a National Park,
entry fee is $15. and the speed limit is 35 and strictly enforced.
If you've got the time it's nice, plan on 3-4 hours.
The Adirondacks in New York state are interesting and your wife can tell you that Vermont,
New Hampshire is another Norman Rockwell painting around every corner as is Maine,
although it gets "crowded" along the coast in the summer time.
I haven't done much of Canada except Ontario from Niagra Falls to Detroit, which is boring,
however the upper Peninsula of Michigan has some great riding roads and scenery.
And last, it's never to soon to start planning your next trip.
The Blue Ridge Parkway falls under the National Park Service, just like Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. While the BRP's posted speed limit is 45 MPH, caught for speeding on either one will cost you $500 minimum. There are folks on this site that know, thankfully I'm not one of them.

On His Ride,
Steve
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Last edited by Steve_R; Dec 23rd, 2006 at 4:13 pm.
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