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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
Photo by Anne Knoedler, Floating, Kolyma.

Adventure is what you make it

Anne Knoedler, Floating, Kolyma River, Russia.



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  #1  
Old 1 Sep 2014
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Need suggestions for the USA before Mexico

Hi!

I'm on the second leg of a RTW trip. Currently writing this from Chicago.

Long story short, last year I started in Spain, went through Russia (with some Stans and Mongolia), Japan and shipped to Vancouver. After a short winter break back in Spain, I re-started in Vancouver, and this summer went to Inuvik and Alaska, and then south into mainland US through Idaho, then Montana (beautiful), South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin and now I'm in Chicago.

My tourist permit lasts until the end of October and I would like to go into Mexico through the Baja California by that time. But I still have almost two months to go and I'm not sure what would be my next move.

I'm tempted to do the east coast, since I'm so close... NY, then down to Florida and go back to San Diego through the southern states during October since they will still have good weather.

My other big option is to start heading back west now and spend time in Colorado and Utah before it starts to get too cold for this. I don't really enjoy cities and prefer small towns and camping.

I know it's a very open question, but I'd really appreciate some suggestions from US locals or people that have done this before.

So basically, starting from Chicago where would you ride for two months that ends in Mexico?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 1 Sep 2014
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It all depends on what you're looking for. If it's great riding you're into, I'd head east into Pennsylvania through the mountains into New York state down to see New York City (my home town) since it is somewhat famous. Head west again through Pennsylvania back roads then onto the Skyline drive/Blue Ridge Parkway into Virginia. More great backroads in the smokey mtns to Deals Gap, Cherahola Skyway and on to Nashville. Backroads into Arkansas and the Ozark Mtns into Oklahoma. Cut into Texas through Amarillo on to Taos, New Mexico. then head towards Los Alamos. Take Rt 4 west to 126 from there, great roads then towards Shiprock on to the Apache, Navajo and Hopi reservations to Tuba City. West to Grand Canyon, south to Prescott, Az through the national forest to Yarnel, then west to California.

That's what I did on my way to Mexico and I liked it.

If you want to see Colorado, head north from Taos before heading to Los Alamos.


http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=886176
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  #3  
Old 4 Sep 2014
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Thank you! That sounds like a plan. I'm now in Chicago and next week is NY!
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  #4  
Old 10 Sep 2014
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Originally Posted by MrHicks46 View Post
Thank you! That sounds like a plan. I'm now in Chicago and next week is NY!

If you need a place to stay in NY, PM me.

Mitch
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  #5  
Old 10 Sep 2014
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Or Route 66.
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  #6  
Old 11 Sep 2014
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If you don't mind dealing with East coast insanity and big cities then New York is your Oyster. Enjoy. My guess is much of the South and Southeast are still very HOT and muggy. I can't take that weather.

You've had a great ride so far .. Montana and Idaho are two of my favorite states.

Lots of weird rain going on NOW in mid west and East coast. Watch out for flooding.

I'd get the Hell out of there and head straight to Colorado and ride as many passes as you can. Some great riding. Continue into Utah, another 5 star state for riding. Explore Moab and the Parks for a day or three. Then down to New Mexico maybe some of Northern Arizona/Grand Canyon.

This puts you within a day or two of Mexico. Baja is wonderful but changing fast. Stop at Chapparrel Motorsports in San Bernadino, CA for new tires on your way South (everything is in stock) Like 4 Costco stores ... all bikes. Biggest in USA.

Now you're ready for Mexico. !Que le via muy bien!
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  #7  
Old 11 Sep 2014
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Originally Posted by VicMitch View Post
If you need a place to stay in NY, PM me.

Mitch
Thanks a lot my friend. Still in Chicago... fell in love with the city. But NY is my next move after the weekend. I have some friends there so I should be allright

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Originally Posted by juanvaldez650 View Post
Or Route 66.
Really appreciate it. Will post updates. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
If you don't mind dealing with East coast insanity and big cities then New York is your Oyster. Enjoy. My guess is much of the South and Southeast are still very HOT and muggy. I can't take that weather.

You've had a great ride so far .. Montana and Idaho are two of my favorite states.

Lots of weird rain going on NOW in mid west and East coast. Watch out for flooding.

I'd get the Hell out of there and head straight to Colorado and ride as many passes as you can. Some great riding. Continue into Utah, another 5 star state for riding. Explore Moab and the Parks for a day or three. Then down to New Mexico maybe some of Northern Arizona/Grand Canyon.

This puts you within a day or two of Mexico. Baja is wonderful but changing fast. Stop at Chapparrel Motorsports in San Bernadino, CA for new tires on your way South (everything is in stock) Like 4 Costco stores ... all bikes. Biggest in USA.

Now you're ready for Mexico. !Que le via muy bien!
Thanks a lot for such a great summary. I do want to go to Colorado and Utah. But I'm taking a lot of time in this part of the country. Much more than expected. Mainly because I met some very nice people in Chicago and I'm still here! I wonder if October is still good for Colorado/Utah.
Thanks for all the tips!
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  #8  
Old 11 Sep 2014
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October is sort of the transition month ... in Colorado high country especially, October can start to look a lot like Winter ... use caution in high passes.

Lots depends on sort of year they're having, so check locally when you get there.

Utah is more forgiving weather wise, I've ridden there in October, November and December ... but did FREEZE on one trip near Grand Canyon in December, but October was beautiful. Utah is my Fav. Careful with on coming cops with radar. I got nailed for 90 mph (in 55 mph zone) ... good news? fine was so cheap compared to California.

November/December are beautiful months for much of Mexico, although Northern Baja can be cold/rainy. But once South of Mulege' it's Summer again! Once on mainland Mexico you'll find heat and humidity at their lowest of the year. VERY NICE ... even in Jungle lowlands. The Highlands can be a bit COLD, but ridable.

Chicago is an amazing City. Great to have friends showing you around!
You're so lucky!
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  #9  
Old 14 Sep 2014
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How to Experience the U.S. of A.

Sure you have only a limited amount of time and that bike rental clock may be ticking. Certainly Route 66 is iconic. No one can argue with that.

However to experience the U.S. as only a motorcyclist can, then get yourself a book like the "Most Scenic Drives in America" or a really good road atlas.
Take your starting and ending points and connect them with as many scenic rides as you can. The book shows them by state with a detailed description of what you can expect to see along the way. A good atlas will have series of dots along particular roads noting scenic drives.

Having just got back from an exploration of West Virginia, I am happy to report that even when an unexpected change in plans occurs, the quality of the ride can be maximized with a simple strategic glance of a good map.

While I have nothing against Route 66 and have enjoyed the accomplishment and the retro 50s landmarks, too many parts of the route do not longer exist and that means boring interstate travel.
You can see the U.S. and be able to experience a great ride.

Just my 2 cents.

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  #10  
Old 14 Sep 2014
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Rest stop in Arkansas

If your route brings you to NW Arkansas I will trade a place to stay for info on Spain.
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  #11  
Old 14 Sep 2014
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If you want to do some riding and camping in Colorado you should head west soon. I'm north of Denver and the weather today was sunny and in the mid 70s. Family bike ride was great. Two days ago there was frost on the grass.
Next weekend I hope to cross a couple of high country passes in the dirt and camp before it gets to cold. Oct will be pushing it for high country camping.

If you need a shower and wash let me know I have a guest room.Need suggestions for the USA before Mexico-uploadfromtaptalk1410731253623.jpg

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk
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  #12  
Old 18 Sep 2014
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I live in Yuma, Arizona which is where Northeast Mexico, southwest Arizona, and southeast California meet. You may pass through this way on the way to San Diego. Let me know if you are coming this way, although you might just be passing through (San Diego is only a three hour ride via the interstate from here).
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Old 18 Sep 2014
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Reading Material for down time.

Once you cross the Rio Grande, you will be open to a very pleasant surprise. Pick up a copy of, 'the People's Guide to Mexico' to maximize your experience. Pure gold on every page.
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  #14  
Old 6 Oct 2014
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I had a wonderful time in Nashville and the roads to get there (parkway, blue ridge) and to leave there (Natchez).

Now I'm somehow following Mitch's report and yesterday I had a great experience in Ozarks. Great roads!

My final destination is still San Diego, but I want to go to San Francisco first. I met a very nice girl in Chicago and she's gonna be there 14-16.

Mitch's report goes south. But since it's somehow on my way... I was thinking about going trough the south of Colorado (mesa Verde and San Juan mountains) and Utah (arches, Zion).

Do you think it's too late for that, too cold in the mountains?

After that, grand canyon and death valley.

Which way would you cross Sierra Nevada? Will the passes be open?

Too much for too few days? I'm leaving now Fayetteville

BTW! Thanks for all the answers... I didn't get notifications so I didn't come back. But thanks!

PS. I have to be in mexico before my permit expires the 28th, so it's sf the 14th and mexico the 28th. Too tight for my liking...
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  #15  
Old 6 Oct 2014
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First important tidbit: it's all about elevation where you're headed. Requesting information about the San Juan passes (e.g., Red Mountain, 11,000 ft), Mesa Verde (7000+ ft)and Zion (3500 ft) in the same sentence is asking for trouble, since the weather will reliably differ.

Second important tidbit: riders differ greatly in their tolerance for cold and their skill--not to mention overall sanity--around snow and ice. No one knows whether it's too cold for you already in October. I do know there's been some snow already in Colorado, and there's always the prospect for more....or not.

Third crucial tidbit: the weather is variable and impossible to predict. I don't think I need to elaborate. Just pay attention and have a backup plan.

And fourth: of course you're trying to do too much. You've got 8 days to tour a vast area of some of the most interesting scenery anyplace in the world. And as you've noticed, the more you do, the more you discover you want to do--hence your long stay in Chicago and desire to visit the Bay Area even though you're an avowed "don't-like-cities-love-exploring-the-out-of-doors kind've a guy.

Hope this is helpful.

Mark
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