Riding a KLR across the US and back this summer...
I'm planning on leaving Warner Robins, GA in early May, heading to the west coast, and, once I've found it, turning around and coming back. I don't have a route planned yet, and I figured that determining where I wanted to go and what I wanted to see should probably be the first step in route planning, so I'm making a list based on people's suggestions. My internet travels have shown me that the US is absolutely filled with both beautiful scenery (Grand Canyon, etc) and quirky eccentricities (Carhenge, Salvation Mountain), and those are the kinds of things I'm looking for. Big and small, large and tall, I want to know about anything that you find interesting or beautiful so I can put it on my list! :clap
Without further adieu, I present to you the Big List of Shit to See(TM). This is what I have so far:
Grand Tetons National Park
Fly Geyser, Nevada
Barringer Crater, east of Flagstaff, AZ
Salton Sea/Slab City/Salvation Mountain – Calpatria, CA
Lake Chasm, OR
Painted Hills – Mitchell, OR
Palouse Falls, OR
Cloud's Rest, Yosimite, CA
Niagra Falls, Canada
Carhenge - Alliance, NE
Largest, heaviest ball of sisal twine - Cawker City, KS
Outhouse museum - Gregory, SD
Grand Circle (Brice Canyon, Red Rocks) - UT
Canyons of the Escalante - UT
Highway 1 ride - CA
Rhyolite Ghost Town - NV
Death Valley National Park
Deals Gap, NC
Redwood National Park
Badlands National Park
Glenwood Springs, Garden of the Gods, Flatiron, Gunnison, Steamboat - CO
John Day River/Deschutes River, Painted Hills - OR
Just wondering if anyone has anything to add...
I'll also be camping the entire way (or as much as possible), so if you have a piece of land for me to plop my tent down on and/or a shower for me to wash up in, either would be greatly appreciated! :ear
Crater Lake (and wizard island)
The key to a trip like this is IMO having both TIME and FLEXIBILITY. As you ride, take the time to check neat areas out, ask and learn what is off the beaten track...cause your on a KLR after all! Example: a point of interest mentioned is Niagria Falls, Canada...been there, done that, loved it...but I found out that just north is an area called the North Bruce/Tobermory area...and the trip up there and touring around was great...rural Canada and a fantastic area to explore (including Sauble Beach). When I hit Yellowstone I loved it...but it was crowded...you go outside the park a few miles off the regular RV route and your in the open wild west...much better, no crowds!
Weather can be a big factor...with a smart phone you can monitor weather patterns and plan accordingly. One one trip out west we were right behind a killer heat wave and knowing it was moving east ahead of us we slowed down to stay behind it and choose routes in higher elevations so we had cooler temps...we had 80F and 200 miles east they had 100+F...same idea for big rain weather patterns...be aware and be flexible.
I have a KLR...great tool for everything you might come across BUT interstate slabbing all day long...try to plan route on state highways and skip the interstate drone. Get a 16T front sprocket and a quiet but cool helmet.
Once out west you can easily find good space to stealth camp...and with a smile most folks will not run you off from private land...all free.
We will be waiting for a nice trip report and lots of photos!!!
There is tons off cool things to see or quirky places to visit. Some of the man made stuff is cool like Royal Gorge and Hoover Damn. Have fun.
I did niagra falls on a bike, it really wasn't fun, got stuck in a traffic on the Canada side for an hour at 90+ degrees.
Roy Canyon, New Mexico is a pretty neat little known place to check out, someone actually told me about it while I was on my trip last summer riding near there.
Make sure that KLR is in top shape, and steering bearings are tight, winds out in the midwest can get real sketchy on a klr with sloppy bearings. People have mixed opinion about them on the interstate, I personally sat all day on mine on the interstate without complaints. Get ventilated riding pants tho, huge difference in day after day comfort vs blue jeans.
Get a KOA membership.
Check your insurance policy real good, alot of them have provisions for break-downs and crashes to cover extra hotel rooms on trips and stuff. I didn't even realize mine had it, could have saved me a few bucks.
I don't see Washington state on your list but if when you're in Ore. and have the time to go little more north, enjoy.
I 've been through the John Day area and it's nice enough ,but just west of Hood River there is a strerch of the old road along the Columbia that has several waterfalls , Multnohma is the largest . West of Portland to the ocean you'll ride through the forest that you'll see on Ax-Men. I first saw the beach in Oregon at Cannon's Beach then turned north toward Astoria. The fort Lewis and Clark built to witer over on their big trip [reproduction] is just south of Astoria.
On the coast of Wa. is La Push . I camped there and went to the beach in the morning while the fog was still on. Magic.
Then up in the fartherest west and north is Cape Flattery. You'll be glad you went. Edge of the continent.
I've got more ,if you want.
Havasu Falls, AZ. :D
a fork brace will make the front end much more stable and that is a good thing. Have you done the doo?
Also why not go to Tumbstone AZ for a little of the wild wild west show.
ALso in early May mountain passes may not be open, Yosemite will be open some parts any way, so check the California Depart of Transportation for report on road openings.
Maybe over rated but I like the Golden gate, next time I will like to cross it on foot or witouh a flat tire!
Have a great time
I am planning on a very similar ride leaving atlanta also in May.
How long do you plan on being on the road?
We are planning on seeing a lot of the same things.
Sounds like an awesome trip. You will also find that Palouse Falls is in Eastern Washington, South of Washtukna, not in Oregon. Check out Wallowa Lake in Eastern Oregon if you're near there. The Hwy from Asotin Washington to Enterprise Oregon (Hwy 3) is a great ride.
Thanks for all the suggestions and tips everyone, I've added all of them to my list...
What about you? What's your timeframe and general direction of travel?
Go west first.
You absolutely DON'T want to be in Arizona in August.
off the beaten track
I highly recommend take the Bad River rd between Pierre and Midland South Dakota.
There's a lovely hot springs in Midland SD.
The town was almost deserted.
The badlands, and all the rest will be a tourist circus in June-July.
As long as your in Utah check out Goblin Valley State Park. It's well, weird. Save Yellowstone or Tioga Pass for later in the trip as they might still be closed with snow.
Have a good atlas and a weather radio. (can be found the size of a pack of cards) Each night check the weather, then plan the next day avoiding rain and snow. That's the way you find unique places no one here can tell you about. That's how I found Goblin Valley. Talk to every rider you find in a campground. They will be full of good up to date info and suggestions. As will you. Being adaptable in your destinations will allow this to be an adventure. Following a plan will make it a road trip. There is a vast difference.
I'm over 60 now. Until the day I die I will remember all the adventure trips. The road trips have already faded from memory.
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