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Thread: Going 2 corners

  1. #1
    webbtide5
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    Exclamation Going 2 corners

    I'm leaving from Naperville, IL near the end of May for a trip that will cover the western 2 corners of the USA. The plan is to go from here to Las Cuces, NM where I will meet a friend for the final 2 corners of his 4 corner trip. Once we complete the 2 corner trip our wives will fly out to Seattle where we will depart on our final leg back to Naperville.

    This is really my first trip to the western part of the country on a bike and I am looking for any tips on where to stay what to see where to eat etc... Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    A wandering Bird Vagabird's Avatar
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    I would think that if you are riding two corners of the four, that your friend will want to make time rather than see the sights. Consider US 395 from southern California into Washington. It is much nicer than I-5 and more direct but may take a little longer.

    Once the ride is done - on your way back from Blaine to Naperville - consider Lolo Pass (US 12) from Lewiston ID to Missoula MT. Then take US 93 south to the ID border and go east on MT 43 (Chief Joseph Pass) and south on 278 (Big Hole Pass). This is a beautiful part of the world. Work your way east to Ennis and then down to West Yellowstone. Go through Yellowstone and exit by the NW gate to Cooke City so you can go over Beartooth Pass (a must), but come back into Wyoming to take US 14A up the mountain and over the Big Horn Mountains to Sheridan.

    After that, there are many ways to go, but you will have hit a lot of great roads.

    Actually, I think Beartooth is best going south from Red Lodge. If you want to loop around that way, exit Yellowstone east gate to Cody. (Construction on that road this year, I think.) Then north to Belfry and over to Red Lodge. That way you can go over Beartooth and then down the Chief Joseph Hwy (296) - another great ride.

    Have fun!

    - Kate
    '12 K1600 GT

    What is it you intend to do with your one wild and precious life? - Mary Oliver

  3. #3
    A wandering Bird Vagabird's Avatar
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    Oh, and through Washington, go east on 20 over the Cascades - one of the nicest roads over those mountains. Continue on 20 through northern Washington - a lovely and fairly lonely ride through the hills and forests. Drop down through Spokane and follow 195 south through the Palouse to Lewiston. You can take some of the smaller roads that parallel 195 south so that you go through more of the Palouse - an area that I love with its farmland on rolling hills. Most of the two-lanes in this area are little-travelled and full of smooth curves.

    - Kate
    '12 K1600 GT

    What is it you intend to do with your one wild and precious life? - Mary Oliver

  4. #4
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    +2 to Vagabird's comments, particularly the bit about 395 rather than I-5 superslab route. It will take a bit longer but the actual distance is definitely shorter, the scenery can't be compared as the grind through Central California is WAY boring.

    Route 20 over the North Cascades is simply THE BEST road over the Washington Cascades and is not to be missed. Lot of empty roads, but with a bit more traffic during turista season.

    If you like to ride at a "quick" pace, watch out traveling through Oregon, I travel all of these western states and have found the troopers in Oregon to be a bit more aggressive in handing out high performance awards.

    Sound likes a fun ride, I'm thinking of doing sort of the reverse to visit family in Fort Dodge, IA this summer. Map "study" underway!!!



    Cheers, Bill J

  5. #5
    A wandering Bird Vagabird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeabeckS View Post
    If you like to ride at a "quick" pace, watch out traveling through Oregon, I travel all of these western states and have found the troopers in Oregon to be a bit more aggressive in handing out high performance awards.
    Since Bill mentioned this, I should point out that Wyoming troopers expect you to go close to the speed limit. I've been stopped for 71 in a 65 zone. (It was quite a shock as I had just moved from the east coast where a 15 mph leeway was taken for granted.)

    - Kate
    '12 K1600 GT

    What is it you intend to do with your one wild and precious life? - Mary Oliver

  6. #6
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    And,if you're looking for sort of unique things to see...

    If you travel 395 North through Oregon, you will pass through the old town of John Day. In town is one of the more interesting small museums I've ever seen. It dates from 1876 when it was first established by Chinese immigrants as a trading post and Chinese apothecary. It operated until 1952 when it closed, but after the death of the owner, the property was deeded to the town for the express purpose of making it into a museum. The place was sort of forgotten, until the town "discovered" that it owned the building. Many of the original items were still in the store when it was opened up, and since then it's gone through a restoration project. It's called the Kam Wah Chung & Co. Museum, and well worth a few minutes of strolling about while taking a break from a bike ride.

    You'll be riding mostly desert country from Southern Cal along this route, with the exception of the stretch from Bishop to Susanville, Ca along the eastern slope of the Sierras. More high desert country until you reach Burns, OR, then shortly thereafter, through open Pine forests until you get to Pendleton. That stretch from Burns to Pendleton is one of my faves on 395.

    Northbound from there I might suggest heading through Walla Walla (lot of nice small restaurants and wonderful wineries in this area) to ride through some of the Palouse country. Multiple routes from there to another recommended "tourist trap" of Leavenworth, WA, from whence you can travel west on Hwy 2 into the Seattle/Everett area. Assuming you want to do a 4 corners thing, there's sort of 2 NW corners here, one in the area near Bellingham at the Canadian Border, the other is Neah Bay on the Olympic Peninsula. I prefer Neah Bay (since I'm a lot closer ) but it is sort of remote! Bellingham is another small college town, surrounded by a lot of farming area (where it's flat and not covered by trees).

    My NW corner recommendation would be the Neah Bay route, from Seattle take a ferry to Bainbridge Island, then west from there towards Port Angeles. Neah Bay is aways past PA, and again, very remote. I won't go into more details of an exact routing unless you want, but generally coming back from the Peninsula I'd go to Port Townsend and catch a ferry to Whidbey Island, go north up the island across Deception Pass and you can go to Mt. Vernon and catch the road to the North Cascades Hwy (Hwy 2).

    We currently live on the Hood Canal across from the Olympic Peninsula, but I grew up in Northern Nevada and rode extensively through the Sierras/Cascades from Bishop all the way through CA/NV/OR.

    Let me know if I can help with anything else...

    Cheers, Bill J

  7. #7
    webbtide5
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    Thumbs up

    Thanks so much for the inputs. I'll be on the internet all week-end scoping out the suggested routes. This is my first post on the forum and now I see why people find it so engrossing. Thanks again. If you think of anything else to do/stay please don't hesitate to post.

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