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Old 03-24-2013, 09:01 AM   #1
mpatch OP
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Non boring route to get across the plains states?

Is it possible to get across any of the plains states (Nebraska, Kansas, South/North Dakota, Oklahoma, N Texas) that isn't boring? Or just super slab it and be done with it?
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:11 AM   #2
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Consider South/North Dakota - Black Hills area, Theodore Roosevelt national park, lake area north of Bismarck, and head east just a little south of Canadian border. Some interesting cold war relics there including a couple of neat missile silo tours and the remnants of the only anti-ballistic-missile system ever implemented. A few hours of flat then you can get into northern Minnesota, the Itasca state park area, then the Great Lakes.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:21 AM   #3
b dash rian
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Through OK there are some decent roads. Avoid Tulsa and OKC, but skirt around the edges, then there are some alright "byways" through the rest of it.


Or just slab it and call it done.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:26 AM   #4
TooTallRacing
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Yea that's a tough one, still are still plenty of better options than the Interstates.

I've crossed Southern NE on 34, 36, and 136. It's not too bad, several small towns will let you camp in the town parks for free. I have also crossed KS and MO on highway 36 and found it enjoyable.

In general Southern MO and IL have better roads than the Northern parts of the state, but I have found decent ways across the State up North.

I live in Indiana and I highly recommend Hwy 68 until you get to Dale then use 62 East all the way across the state. If you have time drop South and take 66 across the state. The road hugs the Ohio river and is quite enjoyable.

Once you hit KY there are plenty of options that will get you to the Smokies Mountains where the fun really begins.
I don't know where you are going or how long you have to get there but I would stay off the Interstates if possible. The worst two lane road is better than any Interstate around here.

I live a mile off 62 in Eastern Indiana if you need a place to crash for the night.
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:38 PM   #5
Sjoerd Bakker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpatch View Post
Is it possible to get across any of the plains states (Nebraska, Kansas, South/North Dakota, Oklahoma, N Texas) that isn't boring? Or just super slab it and be done with it?
Boring ???????
Really now, . What do you find boring?Sure there aren't any snow capped mountains in summer or many tightly winding roads --- they are the Great Plains.
If you adjust your expectations there is lots to see and experience .Sit back and spend two days riding across the area and LOOK and experience the space, the open vistas the small towns. Don't dismiss the region because you have the seeming need for non-plains and cannot muster the patience
It really is a matter of perception , adjust your expectations .....or maybe take a plane or bus and play video games onboard
Crossed all the states you mention many times and have no complaints, pick any of the US highways and alternate with state and county roads along various river vallies , through sites of interest marked on most maps and if roads on map show some wiggles it could be a beacon to investigate.
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:46 PM   #6
ALinUTAH
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[QUOTE]The worst two lane road is better than any Interstate...[QUOTE]

I agree. If you are dreading it, why make it worse?

Boring is subjective. I love remote country even if it's flat and straight. I rode across SD, MN and WI one time on state and US hwys and really enjoyed it. 24 and 36 across northern KS are nice. US380 clear across TX and NM was fun in its own way. Stay off the beaten path and away from cities and you'll probably have huge stretches of road to yourself.

I'm actually planning a trip where I'm going to ride around in NE and KS for a week on purpose. Sandhills, flint hills, forgotten roads, Wild West history. If you are just trying to get thru it, at least choose the little roads. You might actually enjoy it. The plains are really nice in their own way. Al
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Old 03-24-2013, 04:00 PM   #7
kantuckid
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Does your riding style include getting off the bike to take a hike, fish or do museums or other points of interest? If so that's a start toward a less boring and safer trip as you get off and keep from the tedium that can set in when slabbing. KS(my home state) take hwy US36 or 24 from CO. Enjoy some sunshine,clean air,sunrise/set & vistas when you can!
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:24 PM   #8
mpatch OP
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I currently live in CO and from WI and have made the trip back and forth via every state mentioned numerous times was wondering if I have been missing something. I do agree that the plains do hold a beauty in their own way but to me six or more hours of flat straight roads do nothing.

Eta: I have made the trip about 30 times roughly. Sometimes with a day and a half to make it others with weeks and it still seems like a bunch of nothing to me from I25 to I35.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:25 PM   #9
ThumperStorm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjoerd Bakker View Post
Boring ???????
Really now, . What do you find boring?Sure there aren't any snow capped mountains in summer or many tightly winding roads --- they are the Great Plains.
If you adjust your expectations there is lots to see and experience .Sit back and spend two days riding across the area and LOOK and experience the space, the open vistas the small towns. Don't dismiss the region because you have the seeming need for non-plains and cannot muster the patience
It really is a matter of perception , adjust your expectations .....or maybe take a plane or bus and play video games onboard
Crossed all the states you mention many times and have no complaints, pick any of the US highways and alternate with state and county roads along various river vallies , through sites of interest marked on most maps and if roads on map show some wiggles it could be a beacon to investigate.
I have to agree. The plains can be very beautiful.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:47 PM   #10
darmahman
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If you just stay of the interstate and take it down a notch the states mentioned hold their own, just differently.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:54 PM   #11
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I'll second the suggestions for Black Hills and NE sand dune region, off of the Interstates.

Back roads and small towns are best when/if you have some time traveling across said plains region.

Make lemonade...and you'll find it tasty.

We can become too picky at times.
The instant gratification need only leads to frustration.
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:06 PM   #12
mpatch OP
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Originally Posted by Lone Rider View Post
I'll second the suggestions for Black Hills and NE sand dune region, off of the Interstates.

Back roads and small towns are best when/if you have some time traveling across said plains region.

Make lemonade...and you'll find it tasty.

We can become too picky at times.
The instant gratification need only leads to frustration.
I have spent much time in the black hills/ badlands region but there is still the other 400ish miles east of there that I was wondering about.
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:58 PM   #13
oldmanb777
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Boring? You got to be kidding! check this out

http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...t=great+plains


There is some epic exploring to be had on the Great Plains, you just gotta find it.
Look for a website called Fort Tours. Has lots of great historical places to visit, lots on the plains.





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Old 03-24-2013, 08:05 PM   #14
oldmanb777
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Try the secondary roads. lots of interesting old towns to explore. Some real suprises too, like the paint mines near Calhan, The old stage roads near LaJunta, or the Internment camp @ Heart Mountain. Or the one near Lamar. Old Bents fort is worth the stop. Check out the Sand creek massacre sight, or Beacher Island. How about Picture Canyon near Springfeild,Co. Or any of the other hidden canyons of Colorado. And most of those old farm towns, have some great little country dinners.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:03 AM   #15
kantuckid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpatch View Post
I currently live in CO and from WI and have made the trip back and forth via every state mentioned numerous times was wondering if I have been missing something. I do agree that the plains do hold a beauty in their own way but to me six or more hours of flat straight roads do nothing.

Eta: I have made the trip about 30 times roughly. Sometimes with a day and a half to make it others with weeks and it still seems like a bunch of nothing to me from I25 to I35.
Gotcha beat: I'm from KS & in the 40 yrs I've lived here/KY I know every(that's every!!!) fence post on I-70 across MO,I-64 IL & IN, etc! I hear you. Only since most of family is now gone has it become more infrequent. Back before I-64 was there we had these various ice cream spots on US Hwys & 50/150 that filled in a few gaps. My HS buddy has his own private bike museum in western KS if your into ADV travel stories he's got em from crossing Siberia & more the hard way and before the movie guys did it with a crew waiting on them.
We had one stretch where we saw an accident in St. Louis for 7 years running while doing the trip to KS from KY. Try hwy 24 or 36 in KS or look at www.motorcycleroads.us for ideas of 2 lane MC runs.
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