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Old 08-27-2014, 08:21 PM   #1
Spike Paddy OP
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Texas to Minnesota and back?

I've made this trip a few times in my truck because my mother lives there and I'm not a big fan of the trip. Basically from San Antonio to somewhere around Alexandria, MN. I-35 will take you the entire way and there's not much to look at in terms of scenery. North Texas/South Oklahoma is pretty, Kansas seems deserted on the turnpike and it's usually night time when I get there so there's nothing to see other than the yellow lines. Usually go through Missouri at night and Kansas City is kind of pretty when it's all lit up. Not much to look at in Iowa or Minnesota, at least not on I-35.

I'm looking for a route that is more scenic and off the beaten path a bit without being too far out of the way. Also my budget isn't much so I'm looking for a route that would give me opportunities to camp rather than pay for a hotel. Anyone have any advice?

Edit: I realized perhaps I should have posed this in the America forum so if this is an issue please move this, thanks
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:48 PM   #2
LONG DONGER
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How much time do you have and what are you riding?
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by LONG DONGER View Post
How much time do you have and what are you riding?
Tiger 800 XC. Time isn't really a big issue other than I'd like to avoid hotel costs and I'd like to not be gone too long because my dog has me wrapped around her finger and we hate being away from each other. The trip in my truck I could do easily in 20 hours one way, 24 if I need a little sleep. I don't know, I'm thinking maybe a week total when I take my bike? Up to 4 days of travel time and a good solid 3 day visit with my mother sounds good.
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:00 PM   #4
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Would you consider riding NW into CO? The Triple is good for it.
Great time of year, assuming you are leaving soon.

You could push to the bad lands and in South Dakota and then east to MN.
Could have some wind in southeast WY, but will have a tail wind once you are S.D.

You would have to add at least two days going and take away two days on the way back and make a bee line home.
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The_Precious_Juice screwed with this post 08-28-2014 at 06:34 AM
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:06 PM   #5
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354 miles west

You have to go roughly 354 miles west at the beginning, and then 354 miles east to back track.

Looking at curvey roads and random stops in the Rockies, that is about a day a piece.



I am not asking you to stop by Big Bend, but just 354 miles traviling west will open up a awsome tour.

Come'on
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Precious_Juice View Post
You have to go roughly 354 miles west at the beginning, and then 354 miles east to back track.

Looking at curvey roads and random stops in the Rockies, that is about a day a piece.



I am not asking you to stop by Big Bend, but just 354 miles traviling west will open up a awsome tour.

Come'on
That sounds interesting...any highways in particular you're thinking of? I'm trying to picture it on the map.
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Old 08-28-2014, 05:18 AM   #7
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Hwy 281 to Grand Isle, NE. Then cut over to Sioux City, IA. Then straight shot to your destination.
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:23 AM   #8
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Only bad part of the Colorado route is having to cross the Plains twice. Otherwise, if you can work that in, go for it.

Other options.. I hear Texas 21 is nice heading into Louisiana, then head north thru Arkansas on Hwy 7. Jump over to Missouri 19 north up to I-70. Work your way north thru Iowa, maybe jump over to the Mississippi Valley like Prairie de Chien, or just hang thru the corn fields on back roads. You can find campgrounds in Ark and Mo easily enough. Not sure of your time frame, but it's hot here now.

Or do east Texas, up to 259 thru southeast OK, up to Talimena Scenic Drive, head east on it. Then just pick some roads heading north (23 or 21 are great) thru Arkansas, then do the same thing thru Missouri and Iowa. Loess Hills Scenic Byway is worthy of some attention in northwest Iowa.

I think you'll be surprised at the beauty you can find just getting off the interstate onto the back roads, even in Kansas. Much slower going, but an entirely different appreciation of the country side.
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:26 AM   #9
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Take a plane... There isn't anything worth seeing :P
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:57 AM   #10
LONG DONGER
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Better yet, fly Mom to Texas over a weekend. Let her visit for three days, use the other four and ride the Texas Hill Country....
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:39 AM   #11
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Here's a three day ride...

Day 1: San Antonio to Mena, AR. http://goo.gl/maps/0nUUk

Day 2: Mena to Chillicothe, MO. http://goo.gl/maps/bU53c Revised: http://goo.gl/maps/1aHLX

Day 3: Chillicothe to Alexandria, MN. http://goo.gl/maps/ArwKk

Hard to make Day 3 interesting...

NFE

Revised to avoid Springfield and Branson...

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Old 08-28-2014, 11:35 AM   #12
The_Precious_Juice
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Not really

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike Paddy View Post
That sounds interesting...any highways in particular you're thinking of? I'm trying to picture it on the map.
I do not have any highway routes.

FWIW, if you go to the Rockies regional forum, it is damn near all CO riders.

If anyone could help you with a route from west Texas to the SD bad lands , it is those dudes.

Once in SD ride through the Badlands National Park. It is pretty much west to east and worth it.


Like I typed, you have the triple. So you should be ok and not be too tried.
Just do a rough estimate on milage and see how many miles per day it is.

Maybe take the 800 out for a ride at that milage and see how you feel. If you are smoked, then it is not worth it.
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:51 AM   #13
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Best roads follow the river

All the good roads I know of in Iowa, MN or WI follow the river or at least connect up with it.

That is where you will get your twists, turns and elevation change.

Honestly, your route from TX to Alexandria, MN. seems like a tough one to spice up.

My best advice would be to map out something along the river north and see how it goes. I know there are lots of camping opportunities along the way and quite a few cheap hotel/motels too. If it turns out OK, head back the same way. If it is boring and too much hassle, just take I-35 back home and at least you tried it.
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:02 PM   #14
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Some great ideas, thanks guys! Might take that 281 to NE idea...it's mostly straight line but I should mention this trip would be by far the longest trip I've ever taken on a bike. Might be a good way to test how well I'm able to handle it. That way on the way back I'll have a better idea on how far out the way I can go while still having a good time. I'd simply fly my mother here but she's in no condition for that, and also I really want to go on a long trip with my new Tiger 800.
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:15 PM   #15
LONG DONGER
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No False Enthusiasm View Post
Here's a three day ride...


Day 2: Mena to Chillicothe, MO. http://goo.gl/maps/bU53c Revised: http://goo.gl/maps/1aHLX



Revised to avoid Springfield and Branson...
Chillicothe is the home of Sliced Bread, can't get any better than that.

And I avoid Branson like the ebola....
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