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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 2 Jun 2011
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San Francisco, CA to Vancouver, BC in late June

Hey, everyone.

I'll be riding from San Francisco, CA to Vancouver, BC in late June and was wondering if anyone along that stretch:

1) has any advice as to things I shouldn't miss along the route. I don't know much about the Pac coast beyond Humboldt, CA.

2) has any advice as to what kind of weather I should expect along the route. I just assumed that I would stay along the coast where possible but I'll also come in-land when there is something to see and/or if the weather along the coast gets crappy.

3) wants to tag along for part or all of the ride. I'll be camping / roughing it along the way trying to save money.

FWIW, I'm a relatively new rider (< 1 year) but I'm safe and I've been doing lots of riding clinics to get as much skill as fast as possible. I'm heading to Vancouver because I'm shipping myself and the steed to Europe for a long Summer/Fall of touring Europe and Asia.

Appreciate any advice! Thx!
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Old 3 Jun 2011
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Well there are hundreds of neat places to ride along the way. Don't rule out the dry side of the Cascades. The weather normally is good in June, this is not a normal year, been wet so far. When you get to Washington stop in at the shop (farm/contracting) where we always have a place to camp and I can give you some routes from here north. Address 349 SR 508, Chehalis WA.
Bob
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  #3  
Old 3 Jun 2011
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Oragon coast hwy . The Museum of Flight 9404 East Marginal Way South, Tukwila, WA 98108, United States Snohomish County News | Paul Allen's airplane collection lands at Paine Field | Seattle Times Newspaper
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Old 4 Jun 2011
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Thanks for the heads up on the planes. I would love to see an P51 in good condition. Might head up there.
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Old 4 Jun 2011
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OP, you don't say what sort of riding you favor or what sort of sights you're interested in. That leaves a lot to the imagination. For example, paved or dirt; dual sport or street bike; city stuff (e.g., Museum of Flight) or the natural world; mountains or oceans; sedentary or active; etc. etc. etc. You also don't say anything about how long you've got: some make the trip in a few days; others take a month. That'll have some bearing on what you "shouldn't miss."

I've never, ever suggested that anyone head for Tukwila (unless at gunpoint or well-paid). The fact that going there sounds like a good idea to you and to #3 proves my point: give more information about yourself if you want useful advice or ideas.

Mark
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Old 4 Jun 2011
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Mark,

Ha ha. Thanks for the advice. I just finalized dates yesterday. I'll be leaving SF on the 22nd or 23rd of June. I have to be in Vancouver by the 26th to drop the bike for shipping on the 27th. So not too much time to dick around unfortunately.

I'm riding a V-Strom but I need to make this a relatively easy trip on the steed as it's going to need to last me for 6 months or more in Europe/Asia. So not much off-pavement / opportunity to break anything.

I guess the route will have to be focused on:

1) Nice riding scenery.
2) Relatively quick/direct route.
3) Campsites along the way.

Thx for any advice you can offer! I'll be mapping the route out today while I'm having some service done on the rear shock.
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Old 4 Jun 2011
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Ok, you've got three days to cover a thousand miles. It'll take two days on the interstate as long as nothing major goes wrong: the days are long and you'll be full of enthusiasm about your big trip.

That leaves a day to spare, or maybe two days if you actually leave on the 22nd (but preparation and packing tends to take longer than you think--ask me how I know this). You can spend your extra day taking less-efficient roads--the ones with all the fun curves and scenic views on them--or you can spend it visiting Tukwila and maybe a few other places along the main route. Either way, you've got to hustle to Vancouver.

Personally, I'd make it a motorcycle trip rather than a museum trip. That means three full days in the saddle. I'd follow the coast highways if the weather forecast looked good: Highway one and 101 the entire way until I ran out of time, then cut across wherever is convenient to Interstate 5 and follow it through the border to the airport or the port. I'd make a point of stopping in one of the redwood parks for a stroll, eat lunch on one or another beach in Oregon viewing sea lions, and hope I had time to check out the Hoh rainforest, Hurricane Ridge, or the beaches in Olympic National Park. In the end you might find you've got to skip the Olympic Peninsula entirely due to time constraints. Don't forget to allow for the ferry ride from Port Townsend or Port Angeles (and if the latter, another ferry from Victoria Island).

If the weather looked gloomy, I'd definitely plot a route up the east side of the Cascades: the string of volcanoes includes Lassen, Shasta, McLaughlin, Crater Lake, The Sisters, Jefferson, Hood, Adams, Mt. St. Helens, Rainier, Baker. But first you'll need to find out which roads are plowed out: Rt. 20 (the North Cascades Highway in WA) just opened, the Lassen Park road will probably still be snowed in, and everything in between is up for grabs. That route doesn't include the windy roads you'll find near the coast, but there are ample little side trips if you like mountains and can figure out which ones are plowed and open--Lassen, Crater Lake, the Cascade Lakes Highway, Rt. 242 in OR, Timberline, the roads around Rainier, the North Cascades Highway are all great.

There are campsites everywhere if you're just a bike and a tent, and paid campgrounds everywhere else. Don't even worry about this, although do be prepared for the crowds and elevated prices in (especially) California State parks.

Don't forget to leave some extra time to package up thirty pounds of stuff you realize you don't really need and send it home.

I'll say again: you're going to be rushed, and you'll have time to do hardly anything at all aside from ride ride ride. Come back again someday with some more time.

Mark
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  #8  
Old 16 Jun 2011
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Thanks for the recommendations, Mark. I'm actually one of the rate motorcyclists who isn't all that thrilled by twistys. I might actually focus on the Eastern side of the Cascades because I've seen a lot of the coast up and down CA already.

Will let you guys know how it goes.

Thx again!
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