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Old 10-09-2010, 06:14 PM   #1
HowlingMad OP
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Six Days From Denver to Boston

I'm buying a KTM 950 Adventure in Denver next Wednesday and need to be home in Boston just six days later. Since the name implies that it is capable of a little more than pavement, I am hoping to include a little dirt on my way home. A quick search for TAT yields a phone book size result and much of the really cool looking stuff seems to be in the other direction.

I'm riding solo on a bike I've never ridden with the factory toolkit, so I shouldn't get into too much trouble on my way home. The bike does have knobbies.

So, I'd really appreciate any tips to help me plan this route. Including some choice sections of the TAT would be cool. Also, old ghost towns like Animas Forks would be awesome as well. I'm also fairly interested in the Santa Fe Trail. Anyone know anything about this?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-10-2010, 05:52 AM   #2
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If the weather is good, peg north and follow the Niobrarra River through Nebraska. Sand Hill region is totally off the grid from the rest of the country. Plenty of indian history around there.

If the weather sucks, peg south, maybe Route 66 historical stuff if you like Art Deco Americana but more importantly, it's an excuse to keep going towards Arkansas and ride twisty roads home.

From Denver to Pittsburgh, the horizon is flat in all directions along the interstates. 6 days gives you plenty of time to search the decent stuff.
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Old 10-10-2010, 05:08 PM   #3
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Cool, I'll research that northerly route this evening.

Good idea to have a plan A and B.
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:09 PM   #4
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You forgot plan C...don;t listen to primates
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:58 PM   #5
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Having driven most of the U.S., in a semi. If I were looking for moderate adventure on a motorcycle from Denver to Boston I would head north. Route thru South Dakota and the Black Hills. Might find some old souls that way. Then I would continue across into North Dakota, experience the windswept northern plains. From there it'd either be into Canada and across the northern edge of Lake Superior or thru Minnesota, where record White Tail Deer live, land of a thousand lakes, Northern Wisconsin and then the UP of Michigan, checking out the Iron Mountains and the southern edge of Lake Superior .. the great inland lake which has seens countless tons of iron ore traverse thru to be used to build much of the worlds infrastructure and supply many wars.

Countless stories have been forged in our great Northlands

You could alternately visit the fartherst northern point in the lower 48s, or spend a night in Chicago. An interesting city in both the culture of the natives as well as diverse architecture.

Then I suggest you consider either a crossing at the suite into Canada, and onto another crossing at thousand islands, then thru Vermmont to your final destination.. or .. a short back leg after the locks, crossing over the Mackinaw bridge and down the eastern shore of Michigan. From there you could cross at Toronto... a stretch thru Canada and cross into New York at Niagara... or head south and along the southern edge of Lake Erie.


Be careful... you could get lost with the multitude of routes to choose from

Easy trails .. have fun
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:44 AM   #6
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Thanks Wind-Venture, lots of good stuff in there. I've traveled much of that route in the past a few times and your description is spot on.

Mrs. Mad and I spend several hours last night trying to find a good way home. I'm currently leaning toward a southerly route since I'd really like to hit more of the Blue Ridge, Cherohala etc. I also remember Arkansas being quite majestic.

I forgot to include that I will probably only average 300 miles per day or so since I like to stay off the slab and just travel back roads.

I'm also headed up to Montreal as soon as I re-dock at home, so I'll see the Vermont/Canada route.



Thanks again for the advice.
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Old 10-12-2010, 02:15 PM   #7
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If you're set on the southern route, I suggest you consider checking out the dunes in Colorado.
http://www.nps.gov/grsa/planyourvisit/directions.htm

Could take a short trip west to Mt Evans, the highest paved road in the continental U.S.. Might find a concert at Red Rocks before you head out?


Then look into either heading thru south park and weaving down the rockies to the dunes or turning back and heading down to Castle Rock and that back way which can take you down to Colorado Springs and up Pikes Peak. Pikes, as you may know, is where they hold a race every year, closing down the road and letting people play with their toys.





Once in Colorado Springs you could check out the AF Academy



and Garden of the Gods.


Then a short trip up Gold Camp rd


towards Victor and Cripple Creek


then down on a back rd to


Cannon city,

short hop to the Royal Gorge,



then route thru the Sangre De Cristos



down to the Great Sand Dunes.

That would get you started.

Over on the East coast you could ride thru the smokeys, check out deals gap, get your picture taken, then either up thru SkyLine Dr in N.C. and VA,

or alternately over to Kill Devil Hills on the coast.


If you choose the later you could still route back to Skyline, about a four hour detour from Virginia Beach. That would get you in good country rather than the crowd of I-95 and mess of DC, Baltimore, Philly, Jersey, Conneticut

take the mountain route, it's a bit longer but well worth the ride

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Old 10-12-2010, 06:09 PM   #8
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More great stuff from Wind-Venture. Thanks for the very detailed suggestions. I think I might be able to swing the Great Sand Dunes NP, but I'm not sure if I have time to head west.

I'm off tomorrow before daylight.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:21 PM   #9
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Mt Evans

might be too much.


Devils Head is on the way from Denver. Just a short jaunt from I-25




I found this map helpful
Teller County Colorado



Do consider Pikes Peak


and Gold Camp rd

http://www.takemytrip.com/colo/79a.htm
Gold Camp Road follows an old rail route between Colorado Springs and Victor. Part of the road has been closed, due to a tunnel collapse (see the note below). So, to access the road, take exit 138 off I-25. Follow signs that lead to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Instead of turning at the entrance to the zoo, go straight--the road turns into Old Stage Road, which turns to dirt, and eventually intersects with Gold Camp Road.

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Old 10-12-2010, 06:31 PM   #10
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Then you could hit Phantom Canyon on the way south.


http://www.goldbeltbyway.com/phantom.htm
This road is one of the most scenic and historic drives in Colorado. The route increases in elevation from 5,500 to 9,500 feet and offers the chance to see a wide range of plants and wildlife in their natural setting. The gravel road follows the route of the Florence & Cripple Creek Railroad built in 1894 as a connection from Florence to the goldfields of Cripple Creek and Victor. The unique bridges and tunnels offer a visual link to the area's historic past.



The Royal Gorge is like 40 minutes west

http://www.takemytrip.com/colo/71a.htm
Who would expect the world's highest suspension bridge to be stretched across a canyon in Colorado? And, who would expect that bridge to be the central attraction, of an old-fashioned roadside tourist trap? Well, both are true, and perhaps the biggest surprise of all is, Royal Gorge Park is actually a kitschy, fun place to spend a few hours.




From there look for a route thru the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sangre_de_Cristo_Mountains

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Old 10-12-2010, 09:00 PM   #11
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Hey... have never done the Santa Fe Trail


This link might be useful
Directory of Santa Fe Trail Sites

Ride easy.. if you get thru the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, give a shout and we can meet up for lunch or whatever. I'e got a few ideas of how you could make your way trhu the Keystone and Empire states if you'd like 'em
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:48 PM   #12
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Hope your journey is going well.
Are you going to post a ride report when you get back?

In case you have an internet connection during the travels, here's are a few links from this site that may help.

TAT resources here, for your spring trip!


Blue Ridge Parkway



Happy trails!
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:36 PM   #13
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Hey Wind-venture, thanks for all the suggestions, my husband appreciated them! Maybe he'll post a ride report when he gets home.. he decided not to bring his laptop so its unlikely he'll be doing any updates from the road.

I can tell you that so far he's got his new toy and is off to Great Sand Dunes NP for the night. I just hope he's not frozen when he arrives, its supposed to hit freezing there tonight... and I'm not sure if he brought his heated gear (or if it would even work on that bike!).

The webcam is showing some clear skies this evening, looks lovely (I am envious!!)

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Old 10-13-2010, 08:57 PM   #14
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I'm Happy to give him the suggestions.

I trust he enoys the ride back. Remind him to take some pics. It's always a good idea to stop and check out the new ride anyway.

Tell him to enjoy... I look forward to hearing of the adventure

I don't have any real good points untill he gets back Missouri way. WOuld be glad to offer some up if he's so inclined past that point
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Old 10-14-2010, 06:02 AM   #15
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If it were me I would go...oh wait, I did do that...

Go east towards Clarksville/Lewisville.

Do the Spiral Hwy
take 12 into Lolo Mt
Head south on 93 into Idaho.
then take off to Yellowstone
Beartooth Pass
Big Horn basin Pass
Mt. Rushmore
Devils Tower
Then head South into Colorado

after that it will suck all the way to the Smokey Mountains
Try to hit those around where TN/GA/NC meet
then follow the ridge north
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