ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Regional forums > Central – From Da Nort Woods to the Plane States
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-07-2013, 11:04 AM   #1
ALinUTAH OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Wasatch county
Oddometer: 611
Western Nebraska sandhills

I'm thinking about a plains trip. Explore the sand hills of western Nebraska, then down into Kansas. I'm wondering what the roads are like in the NE sandhills. I want to ride across the middle, west to east, off pavement.

Starting at hwy 87 north of Alliance, I'm looking at Cass Rd to 250

then some unnamed road to 27

King Ranch and Survey Valley Rd to 61

Henderson, Cobie and Dry Valley to 97

Dry Valley and Seneca Rd, or maybe Brownlee Rd

The Loup River Rd

Somewhere in there I'll have to ride down to hwy2 and gas up in Thedford or somewhere.

Are these solid roads with a gravel base, or are they soft, deep sand? I'm trying to figure out which bike would be best. Thanks.

-al
ALinUTAH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2013, 11:41 AM   #2
flyrodder
Donny, please.
 
flyrodder's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Southern Bohemian Alps
Oddometer: 2,959
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALinUTAH View Post

Are these solid roads with a gravel base, or are they soft, deep sand? I'm trying to figure out which bike would be best. Thanks.

-al

Yes!

Sorry, not a flip answer -- but you will find all conditions on the non-hard surfaced roads out there. What kind of bike will you be on?
__________________
"It's sorta like a combination of camping in your Grandma's back yard, and a Frat party. " --fifthcircle
flyrodder is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2013, 12:18 PM   #3
Yossarian™
Deputy Cultural Attaché
 
Yossarian™'s Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: the 'Ha
Oddometer: 9,451
It goes from hard pack to lots of sand and back. Be prepared for slow average speeds; many of those tracks are not often traveled except by locals.
__________________
Successfully surviving motorcycling since 1976.
Yossarian™ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2013, 12:27 PM   #4
Yossarian™
Deputy Cultural Attaché
 
Yossarian™'s Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: the 'Ha
Oddometer: 9,451
Some examples:

Brownlee Road, hard surface:


Hard pack sand and gravel:


McKelvie NF area; heading off highway into sandhills:


Deep sand further south, still by McKelvie NF:
__________________
Successfully surviving motorcycling since 1976.
Yossarian™ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2013, 12:55 PM   #5
ALinUTAH OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Wasatch county
Oddometer: 611
My choices are a Wee or my 250cc DS bike. I originally wanted to do it on the mighty 250, nearly the whole ride will be off pavement so it's perfect for that little bike. Once I run out of sand hills I'll jog south into KS, follow the Republican river for a while, visit family in the area. Visit my alma mater in Manhattan. Then ride the flint hills south. Eventually head back west thru the sand hills around Hutchinson and along the Smoky Hill into Colorado. End up around Pueblo. But I'm thinking I should do it before it gets too hot out in the plains, so early June at the latest, which means I won't be able to ride the high country back thru Colorado. So I started thinking I'd ride the wee so I could just haul ass home on the highway the last day or two. Depending on the sand. But that last picture is no place for a wee. So maybe I'll just take the little bike. Or I could ride the wee and stick to better roads. But that's no fun. -al
ALinUTAH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2013, 01:46 PM   #6
ALinUTAH OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Wasatch county
Oddometer: 611
Maybe someone could recommend a route thru the sand hills, west to east, that eliminates or at least minimizes slab, but they know is Wee-friendly? Only that last picture worries me. If it's short spurts, fine, but miles and miles of that kind of sand would be too much on a Wee. Eazy peazy on the mighty 250. -al
ALinUTAH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2013, 05:04 PM   #7
flyrodder
Donny, please.
 
flyrodder's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Southern Bohemian Alps
Oddometer: 2,959
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALinUTAH View Post
Maybe someone could recommend a route thru the sand hills, west to east, that eliminates or at least minimizes slab, but they know is Wee-friendly? Only that last picture worries me. If it's short spurts, fine, but miles and miles of that kind of sand would be too much on a Wee. Eazy peazy on the mighty 250. -al
If you are not trying to make too much time, the Wee would be fine (DS tires will help, along with low tire pressures). Paging Fifthcircle. I'd take my GS across most of it, but not if you need to make time. If you've got gravel road experience, I suspect you would be fine.

Only two real hard surface roads East to West across the area -- HWYs 2 and 20. HWY 40 NW of Kearney to HWY 92 to Arnold is a great ride -- just on the Southern edge of the Sandhills.

Your timing will be perfect -- should be green and decent temps out there.
__________________
"It's sorta like a combination of camping in your Grandma's back yard, and a Frat party. " --fifthcircle
flyrodder is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2013, 05:27 PM   #8
fifthcircle
Beer Knurd
 
fifthcircle's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2005
Location: Knee deep in diapers, Nebraska.
Oddometer: 5,517
I agree with flyrodder. With that long of a trip, I would run the wee (had one from 04-13...just sold it). I think 80% or 90% of the time you will be fine.

It will be a trade off though...and I wouldn't want to have to ride across western KS on a 250. If you don't mind that though...the 250 will be much less pucker factor if you find the soft stuff.

TKC 80 front and either the same or heidi K60 rear would be best bet for tires on the wee. I wouldn't run anything less aggressive.

The gravel up there is nice, but can be deep in places. It's the really small pea gravel, not big rock gravel. If you get on sand, it usually is isolated to smaller areas, with a mile or two. You can also, usually, find a parallel road that's gravel if needed once you get to the S.E. of the Sandhills area.

Either way though, it should be a cool trip. I will try and get a min to look at your specific route and see if I can tell what those roads are actually like.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by AntiHero View Post

In short, adaptation is the precursor to growth and seeking out difficult, uncomfortable and challenging situations accelerates development, enriches our lives and provides us with the kind of awesome fucking memories that will sustain us until a final sleep rounds our little lives.
BLOG
fifthcircle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2013, 05:53 PM   #9
WESTNEGSRDR
n00b
 
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: gordon,nebr
Oddometer: 3
hi al im located in gordon ne smith lake on hwy250 is an excelent camping place no park permit required survey valley roads are usually very good,roads going east of hwy 61 are very good also hope this helps
WESTNEGSRDR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2013, 08:13 PM   #10
ALinUTAH OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Wasatch county
Oddometer: 611
I just got those roads from gazing at google maps. I figure that roads with actual names might be a little more civilized than all the other unnamed grey lines through the area. I was just looking again and it turns out that the one unnamed road I listed between hwy 250 and 27 is on a regular road atlas so it probably isn't too bad.

And I'll be in no hurry. I just plan on roaming around for a week or two. So I can search around if I feel I need to. Exploring is the whole point. I think you've convinced me to just take the new Wee. Worst case scenario I can deploy the outriggers.

Al
ALinUTAH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2013, 05:21 AM   #11
flyrodder
Donny, please.
 
flyrodder's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Southern Bohemian Alps
Oddometer: 2,959
Quote:
Originally Posted by WESTNEGSRDR View Post
hi al im located in gordon ne smith lake on hwy250 is an excelent camping place no park permit required survey valley roads are usually very good,roads going east of hwy 61 are very good also hope this helps
Did we meet at Copper Mountain last summer?
__________________
"It's sorta like a combination of camping in your Grandma's back yard, and a Frat party. " --fifthcircle
flyrodder is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2013, 09:01 AM   #12
fifthcircle
Beer Knurd
 
fifthcircle's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2005
Location: Knee deep in diapers, Nebraska.
Oddometer: 5,517
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALinUTAH View Post
I'm thinking about a plains trip. Explore the sand hills of western Nebraska, then down into Kansas. I'm wondering what the roads are like in the NE sandhills. I want to ride across the middle, west to east, off pavement.

Starting at hwy 87 north of Alliance, I'm looking at Cass Rd to 250

then some unnamed road to 27

King Ranch and Survey Valley Rd to 61

Henderson, Cobie and Dry Valley to 97

Dry Valley and Seneca Rd, or maybe Brownlee Rd

The Loup River Rd

Somewhere in there I'll have to ride down to hwy2 and gas up in Thedford or somewhere.

Are these solid roads with a gravel base, or are they soft, deep sand? I'm trying to figure out which bike would be best. Thanks.

-al
Cass Rd to 250.... Looks like that turns into ranch roads, and ends up in a pasture prior to getting to 250. HERE ON GOOGLE MAPS It also appears that the next couple sets of roads are similar, in that they are ranch/pasture tracks. As long as you don't get lost in a huge pasture of hills with no good track through it, I think it will be doable. Never know until you get there though. There will most likely be gates. Open and close/ride at your own discretion.
Anyone else have input on this??
I know there are a lot of "cattle guards" out there, and that would be a good thing for you. Just rumble over them, and carry on.

Looking at how "deep into" the sandhills you are wanting to go I would now like to possibly retract my wee strom statement. Some of those ranch roads/pasture tracks will be two track, and all sand. Very cool, but possibly quite rough and/or sandy. I would love to try that route with my DRZ though! I really hope you take good notes (GPS?) and share with us. I've always thought a "Trans Nebraska" route, up through that area would be fun to have mapped out.

By the way, Alliance is a crappy town, don't bother staying there. Plan a place to camp away from there and you will be (pun intended) a Happy Camper. ;)






EDIT:
Here is a pic from my Sportsmans Atlas of the same area that I linked on Google maps.



__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by AntiHero View Post

In short, adaptation is the precursor to growth and seeking out difficult, uncomfortable and challenging situations accelerates development, enriches our lives and provides us with the kind of awesome fucking memories that will sustain us until a final sleep rounds our little lives.
BLOG

fifthcircle screwed with this post 03-08-2013 at 09:29 AM
fifthcircle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2013, 01:05 PM   #13
ALinUTAH OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Wasatch county
Oddometer: 611
It looks like I can jog north from Cass Rd and come out at smith lake. I'm a little concerned about public access though. Don't want to be trespassing. Or backtracking for miles when I run into gates. I'm hoping that the named roads further east mean that they are public roads.

Maybe it would be best to just start the trek at hwy 250. I could launch from Scottsbluff/Bridgeport and check out Crescent Lk NWR and go north from there up 250 before heading east.

The little DS would definitely give me more options. And even though some people think a 3000 mile ride on a 250 is nuts, I really enjoy it. I did 2200mi in 10 days last summer, up in Idaho. Didn't want it to end. I'm actually looking forward to exploring western KS and eastern CO because even though I was born and raised in KS, I never spent any time out there. The only problem would be picking my way thru Colorado at the end, to stay off of hwy 50. But it can be done. The way things are going the high country might be open by June.

Sorry, but I'm an old-skool map guy. Don't own a GPS. But I can definitely report back about what I discover out there.

-al
ALinUTAH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2013, 01:09 PM   #14
ALinUTAH OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Wasatch county
Oddometer: 611
BTW, that sportsmans atlas looks handy. Can you comment on the rest of my proposed route? -al
ALinUTAH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2013, 01:59 PM   #15
ALinUTAH OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Wasatch county
Oddometer: 611
In the pic of your sportsman atlas, the "bitumous" road heading east from Craveth Lk is the unnamed road I mentioned earlier that is actually on my regular road atlas. That seems to be the only road in the area that goes thru from 250 to 27. Too bad it's paved.

Also, on google maps sat view, if I start at Smith Lk and nearby Orr airport (on 250) and work backwards to the west, it looks like there is a major wide dirt road that turns north and then west again thru those pivot irrigated fields, and intersects 87, north of the dogleg in 87, near St. Peters cemetery. Maybe that's my best bet to get thru.

-al
ALinUTAH is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 06:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014