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Old 05-26-2009, 06:59 PM   #1
n8foo OP
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Laid Off trip Across the US

Howdy fellow ADV riders. After getting laid off a few weeks ago, I decided it's time to tour the US. I am planning to take a 6 week solo trip across the US, to see the Space Shuttle liftoff on June 13th. I leave San Diego on June 1st and head for the desert. I'm planning on camping most of the trip, but with the heat I may try to find a couch to crash on or two. If anybody is game, I'll buy the beer. :)

This is my first solo trip so I'm sure I'm off on a few base assumptions. ;) I'm also looking for some good routes and advice on places to stay/camp/drink.

General plan: June 1st leave San Diego to Phoenix AZ. After that, I am not really planning on where to stay other than just a planned route. Areas I'll be going thru: Roswell, NM. Corpus Christi or Austin, haven't decided yet. Houston/Galveston, New Orleans. I want to camp out on the bayou, have no idea if that's even doable...skeeters may eat me alive. Continuing on to Gulfport, Mobile AL, Pensacola, Panama City, Apalachicola Bay (sounds fun). Gainsville, Ocala National Forest (camping?), Daytona Beach.

At that point I am going to hang around a few days at Cape Canaveral and watch the shuttle launch. Been wanting to see that all my life. Thanks to Nickel for the inspiration on that one. I wish I could get media access to film the lauch. :)

Once the launch is over, I plan on going down to Miami and on to Key West. I'd like to camp on one of the Keys for a night or two. That just seems so awesome.

My route 'back' is not as defined. I am going to spend a week in east TN with my folks. Probably ride the Dragon. Maybe spend some time in DC. Start heading West on June 30th. I have friends in Boulder and Salt Lake city, so planning on a day in each of those. I'dl like to make it out to Laguna Seca to see the last day of MotoGP if I can. Then back down to SD later that week.


Here is my route:

SD to Cape Canaveral: http://tinyurl.com/o799g3

Cape to Key West: http://tinyurl.com/q2oysj

Key West to Knoxville: http://tinyurl.com/qfd446

Knoxville to Laguna Seca:
http://tinyurl.com/qlwr3n

Laguna Seca to San Diego, CA: http://tinyurl.com/p8dgcq


BTW, the bike is a BMW F800GS. I'm going to try to video tape the whole trip in HD, especailly the launch. Anyone have thoughts on a decent cam-corder mount for bikes? I am going to try to turn the content into a Moto-Adv video podcast when I get back. :)

I'm bringing a tiny laptop and plan on blogging, taking pics, twittering (@n8foo), updating ADVRider, etc. And applying for jobs, d-oh.

-N8
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:22 PM   #2
FastEddy760
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*jealous*

Wow!

Wished I was going. Have fun and I'll buy you a beer and some Prep H for when you get back.

Happy trails.
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:44 PM   #3
pyoungbl
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Route home

As I look at your route back to the west coast is seems that you are going via interstates. Try US50 instead. That will take you through some much more interesting scenery, lots of smaller towns, and make the trip into more of an adventure than just a way to get from A to B. I have done both and the two lane version is more fun.

Peter Y.
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:15 AM   #4
n8foo OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyoungbl
As I look at your route back to the west coast is seems that you are going via interstates. Try US50 instead. That will take you through some much more interesting scenery, lots of smaller towns, and make the trip into more of an adventure than just a way to get from A to B. I have done both and the two lane version is more fun.

Peter Y.
Thanks Peter, awesome. I have revised my route. :)

Knoxville to Laguna Seca
: http://tinyurl.com/p5c3tq
Knoxville to Laguna Seca (revised)
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:58 AM   #5
cruceno
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n8

I live in New Orleans, and I've got a couch you can crash on, and a garage to wrench/change oil in. And I'd be up for riding a ways with ya! Give me a shout!

Brent
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:32 PM   #6
n8foo OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n8foo
Anyone have thoughts on a decent cam-corder mount for bikes?
After some advice from a friend and some research, I purchased some of the RAM-Mount system stuff from GPSCity.com. Looks to be good quality stuff and reasonably priced. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cruceno
I live in New Orleans, and I've got a couch you can crash on, and a garage to wrench/change oil in. And I'd be up for riding a ways with ya! Give me a shout!
Brent,

Thanks for the offer, I may have to take you up on that. I will PM you with details later. Have you ever ridden out in the Mississippi delta? How about camping out there? Any words of advice? Will alligators try to sneak into my tent?

-N
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:44 PM   #7
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When are you heading back west? I am heading out to South Tx. for a week to meet up with the family but if work is still slow like it has been, I am going to take another week and take the long way out. I may leave from North Ga. as early as 6/13.
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:10 PM   #8
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Once in NM take Hwy 90 at Lordsburg up to Silver City, head east a little on US 180 and catch Hwy 152 at Central. Take 152 east to I-25. We found 152 by accident while detouring around some mud during the Divide ride in '07. Really terrific twisty paved road!

It would be a cryin' shame to go through NW Arkansas on I-40 Some of the best riding in the country to be had. I would cut NW from Little Rock up to Joplin, MO (or maybe Springfield) before heading west. Hard to go wrong in that area but I might be able to come up with a route for you.
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:11 PM   #9
pyoungbl
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Your new and revised route

Welllll,
The part of US 50 that you will miss by going to Denver is pretty impressive. From Pueblo I'd stay on 50 until it merges with I70( this is a beautiful alpine stretch with decent smaller towns), then get off 70 when 50 drops off again. This will head you into the area known as the lonliest highway in the lower 48. Get the T-shirt so you can brag to your friends. This is the part of the US where you will find yourself on the crest of a hill with the road ahead just as straight as a survey line for as far as the eye can see, no trees, no cross traffic, and no oncoming traffic. If you want to wring the throttle to the stop, now's the time 'cause it's just you and God. Make sure you don't pass a gas stop without filling up since it might be 100 miles before you see another drop of fuel or water. If you want adventure, this is the place.


Damn, I gotta get back!

Peter Y.
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:06 PM   #10
cruceno
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n8foo
Have you ever ridden out in the Mississippi delta? How about camping out there? Any words of advice? Will alligators try to sneak into my tent?

-N
I've riden down to Venice, which is about as far as you can go down the delta by road. You can't actually get to the mouth of the river by road. There's a lot of nice open (read wide, moderately well paved, and not speed controlled!) roads down to there, but really not much to see. Once you get south of New Orleans, civilization nearly drops off the map. There's an oil refinery here, and a little town there...but not really worth the trip in my opinion.

There's some bayou riding in another direction, if that's what you're looking for.

As for camping and gators....let's just say that I haven't camped here yet.

Let me know when you expect to be here, and I'll try to get a few days off work to ride and show you around.

Brent
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:02 AM   #11
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Sounds like a great trip. I rode from Maryland to Arizona last September and had the time of my life. For a June departure, I would be a little worried about the heat in the southern third of the country -- having lived in central and southern Arizona, getting enough water to stay hydrated on the road isn't easy, especially given how far apart the watering holes are. Take a bunch of water with you and stop frequently to drink up.

On your way from FL toward DC, I would suggest riding the length of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive -- cooler, less traffic, and entirely lovely. Heading west from DC, I went through West Virginia (the eastern third of the state has some great riding), Ohio (stop at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington), Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and then across the fascinating and desolate Lincoln Highway (US 30) in Nebraska. Colorado has some awesome riding -- stay in the mountains and you can't go wrong. Southern Utah and northern Arizona are lovely, too -- US 89A through Flagstaff, Sedona, and Prescott is great.
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:11 AM   #12
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The Air Museum at Pensacola NAS is wonderful.
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruceno
Once you get south of New Orleans, civilization nearly drops off the map. There's an oil refinery here, and a little town there...but not really worth the trip in my opinion.
Wow! That's exactly the reason I like the ride to Venice. It's such a different life down there.

Katrina did a bad thing to the region, but the oil rigs and fishing are the lifeblood of Plaquemine's Parish, and it's fascinating to see.

You can ride down 23, which dead ends just past Venice. The road goes out through the docks where all the crew boats and eventually the shrimping boats are parked. The shrimp boat marina is crazy with all the boats so closely packed and the rigging all stacked up.

You have no choice but to ride back up 23, at least as far as Pointe a la Hache or Belle Chase where there are (or used to be) free ferries. Then ride up 39 on the other side of the river.

There's an old fort you can tour (though it may not yet be reopened), a high school built on stilts, and a some really cool small towns along the way. I've camped in Empire. The people have thick New Yawk accents.

Lake Hermitage road is a well maintained gravel which goes back to a small fishing village about as far away from anything as you can get.

It's not the ride of a lifetime, but it's a place like no other. I can't imagine why Brent would suggest it's not worth the trip.

Be aware that it is quite a ways. It takes longer to get to Venice than you might think. There and back with a couple stops to see stuff will take up most of the day.

Man... just talking about it makes me want to go again.

Oh, and I wanted to add, though you're probably well aware. Shuttle launches often get postponed. Sometimes for only a day, sometimes for a year. Occasionally they'll scrub a launch with just a few seconds left in the countdown. Prepare yourself for the likely possibility that you might have to wait a few days at best to get the opportunity to watch the launch. Most often they scrub because of weather or a faulty sensor. They try again the next day.

When I went to view a shuttle launch (STS-91) the temperature was sitting right at 100F and right at the safe limit for launching. I waited for four hours in the heat as they discussed whether or not to launch, and at the last minute they gave a go, and it went. Right on schedule. I got lucky.

Jamie
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:00 PM   #14
cruceno
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Z
I can't imagine why Brent would suggest it's not worth the trip.

In my defense, I've been down there only once. It was for work, and I was kinda in a hurry. I must have been more in commuting mode than ADV riding mode.

Maybe I need to slow down and enjoy the ride a little more?

I have heard about the fort down in Plaquimines, but not sure if its open or not.

Either way, I'm up for a ride, and we can go wherever!
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Old 05-30-2009, 03:10 PM   #15
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This is great advice everyone. Thank you so much. I will be changing my route to accommodate many of these place that you all have recommended. I set up a blog where I'll be posting updates on the trip, pictures, video, etc. http://www.n8moto.com/ I'll probably be coming back to this thread to talk to the ADV crowd and ask for advice.

I was worried about having inadequate gear so I picked up a RevIt Cayenne Pro jacket and pants, some RevIt gloves to replace an older pair and a set of Sidi Discovery boots. Any advice on breaking in the boots?

I have foot issues so I had planned on bringing another pair of shoes or light boots for walking around when I'm off the bike or don't need the rain-proof Sidi's. What do you guys typically do for spare shoes?
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