Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Planning, Trip > Route Planning

Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 19 Dec 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Victoria BC
Posts: 5
Blaine, WA to Los Angeles, CA NOW

Does anyone have advice for making a motorcycle journey from the US border at British Columbia (Blaine, WA) to Los Angeles, CA, at this time of year (Dec. 18 or in the next few days)?

I have ridden up from LA once but failed to note where the difficult spots might be in winter.

So, does anyone have info on:

best route south?
difficult/highest points?
anything scenic/warmer/less traffic/more interesting?

Thanks for any input.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 19 Dec 2009
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: bellingham, WA, USA
Posts: 1,990
You probably know how to get from Blaine down to Burlington, where you can turn off onto Route 20 west to Anacortes, Deception Pass and the Port Townsend ferry. From there, follow the coast the entire way unless you've got fresh information indicating safe riding along I-5 or other routes. Even along the coast it snows sometimes, and there can be ice late or early in the day.

I-5 is more subject to continental air masses, which are colder than the normal breeze off the (relatively warm) water. You live in Blaine, so you're aware of this, right? You just need to check the weather channel each night and be prepared to alter your plans whenever there's weather trouble ahead. FWIW, the most troublesome sections along I-5 are in Oregon, where you're furthest from the coast, especially through the Siskyous into California and past Mt. Shasta. It's not that you can't take I-5; it's just that there are a lot of times when it won't be particularly comfortable or safe.

Very minor differences in elevation can make a huge difference in your safety--for example, the so-called Chuckanut Pass just south of Belliingham, which is really only 500 feet or so above sea level, often has snow on the road and whiteout fog while it rains in Bellingham. This can really ruin your day on a bike, as I happen to know well. There are lots of these little elevation changes between Blaine and California. Outflow winds, like you get in Blaine coming down the Fraser Valley, can wreak havoc as well--I've seen northern Whatcom covered in a sheet of ice for a week at a time while Bellingham had nothing in particular.

This means your trip will take a lot longer, potentially, than if you were just shooting down the I-5 corridor. Cold rain takes a lot out of you as well, and there will likely be some of this. Plus, the days are short. Still up for the ride? None of this means it's not a great trip.....which is how I know these things.

Highlights include the redwood parks, much of Northern California rt. 1 at least as far south as through Big Sur, the southern part of the Oregon coast, etc. etc. etc. But side trips tend to get problematic due to the weather, and this limits exploration (for example, the roads accessing the Lost Coast all run up into the coast range).

Hope that helps. Your questions ("Best route....difficult...warmer") are sort've vague,, but then again your options are limited by the fact that anything further inland is far more likely to cause vast amounts of difficulty.

Mark

(Cuzco, Peru switching out tires and oil and headed south towards summer)
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 19 Dec 2009
John Ferris's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Reno,NV,USA
Posts: 564
I looked at the weather and it looks like rain.
National Weather Service - NWS Seattle
How long a trip is this, 1 day, 1 week or more ?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 19 Dec 2009
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: bellingham, WA, USA
Posts: 1,990
John, are you asking how far it is from northern Washington State to southern California? And whether this can be ridden in a day?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 19 Dec 2009
John Ferris's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Reno,NV,USA
Posts: 564
I was wondering how much time he was planning for the trip.
That will have an effect on how many places he will want to stop and the short term forcast is for rain for the northern part of the trip.
A longer trip would allow the front to go past and maybe some clearing after the storm.

The border to border (Canada - Mexico) is just under 1,400 miles and I know a couple of people who have done it in under 24 hours.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 19 Dec 2009
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: bellingham, WA, USA
Posts: 1,990
Ah, I see; that wasn't clear to me.

If you can average 60 mph including stops, you can certainly drive from Blaine to LA in a day. Personally, I can't even do that in a comfortable car with cruise control, perky music and giant thermos bottles full of coffee....but abilities definitely differ.

A more rational schedule, especially this time of year when the sun sets at 4:00 and rises at 8:00 (in Washington) would aim for three days in good weather on the interstate, 6 days on the coastal highways. That would allow, for example, stopping to eat, sleep and/or urinate from time to time, in addition to perhaps sightseeing and snapping a few photos. It would allow waiting for ice to melt off the roads; absence of rain often means clear skies which means black ice.

It would not allow undue dallying. Most people would consider 500 miles a day in winter to be pushing pretty hard. In fact, most people in Washington and Oregon put up their bikes until the monsoons ease and temperatures moderate....which in my home town sometimes means June. Or July. I'm not one of those, and neither is the OP, apparently.

Hope that helps. Mileage varies.

Mark

(posted while waiting for the llamaderia to figure out how to deal with my rimlocks here in the Andean damp)
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Los Angeles to Seoul ivan2332 Trip Transport 3 6 Nov 2009 21:20
Los Angeles - Grand Canyon barbalace Ride Tales 3 19 Feb 2009 16:03
Bike wanted near los angeles! davidR TRAVEL Bikes for Sale / Wanted 3 15 Oct 2006 05:10
Los angeles to Guatemala marcosusabue Central America and Mexico 2 11 Feb 2005 07:26
Rio de Janeiro to Los Angeles Alon Carter Trip Transport 0 4 Feb 2003 02:34

 
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 15:09.