Bucket List Road Trip


Reports and stories from trips, planning of gatherings, questions about how to get there!
  • Sponsored Links
User avatar
landrrr
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:01 am
Location: Vars, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 2007 Honda Goldwing GL1800
2006 Yamaha Midnight Venture
2004 Yamaha Tour Deluxe
2003 Suzuki Boulevard C-90

Bucket List Road Trip

Postby landrrr » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:45 pm



Looking for advise, tips and what not to miss. Here's what we have planned to date. Leaving from Toronto, CA riding to Mount Rushmore via Chicago then to Vancouver and Victoria (10 days). From Victoria, we plan to ride along the coast to San Francisco and Los Angeles (10 days). A week in Vegas and 5 more days to explore the Grand Canyon through to Flagstaff. From there we plan to ride to Memphis (5 days) and then take the last 3 days for the trek back home. In all, approx. 7600 miles in 34 days between mid June to July 2013. Doable??? Both the wife & I have iron-butts and can withstand several 700 miles days.
Other than the obvious, such as Alcatraz, Golden Gate and Hollywood, are there hidden gems we should not miss. Are there preferred roads and/or places to avoid. Your comments will be greatly appreciated...


2007 Honda Goldwing GL1800
2006 Yamaha Midnight Venture
2004 Yamaha Tour Deluxe
2003 Suzuki Boulevard C-90

User avatar
twostrokes48
Posts: 577
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:21 pm
Location: San Antonio,TX
Motorcycle: 98 Goldwing 1500 trike
75 GL1000 (restoring)
98 Goldwing with landing gear (for sale)
94 Goldwing 1500- towpac trike (sold)
88 Goldwing 1500- (sold)
84 GL1200 Aspy-SOLD
75 GL1000(stolen 87)
88 GW trike (totaled)
1972 750k2

Re: Bucket List Road Trip

Postby twostrokes48 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:32 pm

Well, you are picking some areas that sure have a lot to see....I have traveled much of those hwys....There is a lot more to see than Mt. Rushmore when you are in that area. I suggest you visit sites with tourist guide stuff for Rapid City, SD....you have the black hills, the bad lands, crazy horse, a couple state parks that have some really really neat roads (twisties) and stuff....I visited all that stuff when I went to Sturgis Rally 2010.... When you ride downt the coast to LA....there again look on the internet for hwy101 travel guides.....there are lots and lots to see along that route. I drove it from Seattle to SDiego in 2009....great trip, You have the Redwood forest, Hearst Castle, and many things in between.
One thing I can tell you....When you leave LA for Vegas, leave very very early (4am) or you will regret the 115 degree temps you will hit before getting across the desert. We made the mistake of getting some paperwork done in LA and didn't leave LA proper until about noon. By the time we got two hundred miles away it was 116 deg. and we were in full leathers....We stopped for the day and got to sleep as early as we could so we could be on the road by 3:30am to get out of the area before the temps got to the 100's again.

You have got a great trip planned. You might look at your departure from the Grand Canyon and if you can set your route to visit Window Rock I think it is worth it, then swing down into New Mexico and catch Carlsbad Caverns on the way out. You will be sort of going in the right direction to head to Memphis anyway. That is two more things worth visiting without altering your plans very much. I assume you will be going to Graceland (reason for Memphis?)....Enjoy, we went there last year.
Have fun.

User avatar
SKMURDOCK
Posts: 72
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 9:45 pm
Location: Merced,CA
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate

Re: Bucket List Road Trip

Postby SKMURDOCK » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:33 am

For a hidden gem in northern California you can give Russian Gulch State Park a try. Beautiful, small little gulch on the wild northern coast along Highway 1, just north of Mendocino.

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=432

The link includes a picture and information, directions, etc. It also includes our now obligatory statement of the fiscal mess that California made for itself, but there is little I can do about that! We here in the inland portion of the state cannot outvote LA and SF! :?

Enjoy your trip!

User avatar
Pam
Posts: 311
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 12:19 pm
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1982 Kawazaki KZ 1100 1983 Yamaha Venture Royal (sold and miss it) 2006 Goldwing GL1800 1992 Yamaha Virago

Re: Bucket List Road Trip

Postby Pam » Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:25 am

Better take a big lunch..... Been through the Black Hills in a vehicle a couple of times, Lots to see just wish I was on the Bike when I was there

User avatar
Mag
Posts: 1298
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:58 am
Location: Silverlake, WA
Motorcycle: 1982 Yamaha Venture (Crashed/Sold)
1982 1100 Silver Goldwing (sold)
1989 1500 Beige Goldwing (sold)
1988 1500 Beige Goldwing (current ride)

Re: Bucket List Road Trip

Postby Mag » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:39 pm

I would assume any of the "attractions" will need to possibly be purchased ahead of time. Check Alcatraz, that is a reservation arrangement I believe.

Sounds like a great trip. I know some day (either cage or bike, prefer bike) I just want to hop on and head down a highway and see where it takes me. Find the hotels as I go, etc., etc.

User avatar
Dusty Boots
Posts: 573
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:25 pm
Location: Alvinston, SW ON
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500Aspencade

Re: Bucket List Road Trip

Postby Dusty Boots » Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:14 am

Sorry to say, but IMHO you have bitten off more than you can chew with trying to see all that and spending that amount of time at those places, within such a short time frame.
From experience, I know it will take you at least 10 days to ride out to just Victoria and back (with no sight seeing) riding 700mi/day, day after day after day on the boring Interstates!
There is so much to see between those two points, that there is no way to accomplish all the things/places you want to do in that time frame.
I suggest you either head to Victoria and back, or Southern California and back. You will have to prioritize what it is that you want to see the most and do that. There is plenty to see and do in either section to more than fill up your allotted time frame

The SW (Death Valley/Vegas,NV/AZ/UT/NM/TX/OK) is extremely hot n dry that time of the year. (June/July/August)
Death Valley was 117* when I was out that way in Sept, so I rode it @ 3 am, when it cooled off to it's low of 98*. Didn't see anything. Vegas was 100*+. The combination of the heat, very low humidity and riding a bike means keeping hydrated is extremely critical Can not stress that enough!!

The SE is still plenty hot, besides being very humid :x
Here's a shot from Eureka Springs, AR, taken in early July. Note the temp at that early in the morn. By afternoon it was 116, with a Humidex of 127!



Best time to do the South is April through mid May and later Sept through Nov.


Lake Diaz, Lone Pine, CA. @ Sept 9/09 (temps were in the mid 90s)



Zion NP, UT @ Sept 11/09



SR 12, north of Escalante, @ Sept 17/09 - temps in the high 80s



Taking a break from the sun/heat (mid 80s) in the shade during a hike in Canyonlands NP, UT @ April 16/07



In 2011, I went on a 3 month/210000+mi tour, where I went out to the west cost twice. I had planned on riding back through the SW after arriving out at the N Cal. coast for the 2nd time in later Aug, but the SW was so hot that I decided to go north instead and then head south from northern CO, to a M&G in Eureka Springs, AR for Labour Day. Temps there then were mid 90s yet

Near Eureka, CA. @ Sept 7/09




Your planned time frame is excellent for the northern section of your planned trip. Temps and weather conditions are warm/hot on the plains and in the valleys out west, although there is a very good chance there will still be snow in the mountains and higher passes that early in the summer. Elevation makes a very big difference in temps/conditions when you get out west among the high mountains!!

Here's a shot taken in the Bighorns of WY @ June 20/09



Beartooth Pass, MT @ June 21/09





Banff, @ July 9/2011 (temps were ~ 42*)



Banff @ Sept 14/06







If you want more info on places to see, routes etc., feel free to PM me! I've been 'around' some. ;)


Dusty

User avatar
themainviking
Posts: 2579
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:59 pm
Location: North Bay, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 2009 GL1800 AD

Re: Bucket List Road Trip

Postby themainviking » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:26 am

Dusty Boots wrote:In 2011, I went on a 3 month/210000+mi tour,
If you want more info on places to see, routes etc., feel free to PM me! I've been 'around' some. ;) Dusty


I'd say so. You are my hero, that's for sure. I was on the road for thirteen months and only did about 65% of what you did in three. What were you riding - an X-Wing fighter from Star Wars? :lol: :lol: :lol: Just kidding. I think you put one too many zeros in there Dusty Boots.
It ain't about the destination - it's all about the journey

ImageImage

User avatar
Fatwing Chris
Posts: 741
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:10 pm
Location: Ont.,Canada
Motorcycle: 2004 ABS Model Goldwing

Re: Bucket List Road Trip

Postby Fatwing Chris » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:46 am

themainviking wrote:
Dusty Boots wrote:In 2011, I went on a 3 month/210000+mi tour,
If you want more info on places to see, routes etc., feel free to PM me! I've been 'around' some. ;) Dusty


I'd say so. You are my hero, that's for sure. I was on the road for thirteen months and only did about 65% of what you did in three. What were you riding - an X-Wing fighter from Star Wars? :lol: :lol: :lol: Just kidding. I think you put one too many zeros in there Dusty Boots.


Knowing Dusty it probably wasn't a misprint. :lol:
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
Chris
Double Dark
Darkside # 1602

User avatar
Dusty Boots
Posts: 573
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:25 pm
Location: Alvinston, SW ON
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500Aspencade

Re: Bucket List Road Trip

Postby Dusty Boots » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:57 am

:lol: You are correct, as it was a typo. It should have read 21,000+ miles! :oops:

User avatar
redial
Posts: 1993
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:17 am
Location: Kapunda, SouthAustralia
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500 Spectre Red Aspencade

Re: Bucket List Road Trip

Postby redial » Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:22 am

I was going to say, that many miles in 90 days would work out to be about 2 333 miles per day - now that is a big effort!
Len in Kapunda

The world is not going to finish today, as it is already tomorrow in Australia and New Zealand, and other islands of foreign nations such as Guam and Samoa.

GRAPEAPE94
Posts: 150
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:01 am
Location: VENICE, FL
Motorcycle: 2006 GL1800

Re: Bucket List Road Trip

Postby GRAPEAPE94 » Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:28 am

I am also planning my bucket list trip for this summer. From S.W. Fl. I plan on seeing The Alamo, Carlsbad Caverns, the Petrified Forest, Painted Desert, Zion Natl. Park, Monument valey, the grand Canyon, a few days in Vegas,then Sequoia Natl. Park, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier Natl. Park (the Road To The Sun), Devils Tower, Mt. Rushmore for July 4th then to Cleveland, Ohio for my 50th year class reunion and back home to Fl.

I m leaving mid May and will be back late in July.

User avatar
landrrr
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:01 am
Location: Vars, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 2007 Honda Goldwing GL1800
2006 Yamaha Midnight Venture
2004 Yamaha Tour Deluxe
2003 Suzuki Boulevard C-90

Re: Bucket List Road Trip

Postby landrrr » Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:38 am

Making the detour through Mount Rushmore/Bad Lands area is optional, however this will be the only R&R part of the 1st leg (Toronto to Victoria) as this destination is work related. Baring exceptional circumstances, such as extreme weather condition, we are confident to make that deadline. The balance of our trip through the SW & SE is more relaxed and worrisome... Hopefully we can ride through our intended path as most of the hotels, attractions and Vegas shows are reserved. I will take your guidance regarding the extreme hot temperature and plan accordingly. Thanks for your tips and pics on POI’s; as time is limited, we will have to skip some for the next ride, however after further research, we have now included some the recommended destinations to our ride. This trip will give us the opportunity to map-out areas to come back to next winter once my better-half is retired.
2007 Honda Goldwing GL1800
2006 Yamaha Midnight Venture
2004 Yamaha Tour Deluxe
2003 Suzuki Boulevard C-90

User avatar
Dusty Boots
Posts: 573
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:25 pm
Location: Alvinston, SW ON
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500Aspencade

Re: Bucket List Road Trip

Postby Dusty Boots » Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:33 am

GRAPEAPE94 wrote:I am also planning my bucket list trip for this summer. From S.W. Fl. I plan on seeing The Alamo, Carlsbad Caverns, the Petrified Forest, Painted Desert, Zion Natl. Park, Monument valey, the grand Canyon, a few days in Vegas,then Sequoia Natl. Park, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier Natl. Park (the Road To The Sun), Devils Tower, Mt. Rushmore for July 4th then to Cleveland, Ohio for my 50th year class reunion and back home to Fl.

I m leaving mid May and will be back late in July.



I highly doubt the Going-To-The-Sun-Road (GTTSR) in Glacier NP will be cleared of snow by then.
I have been thwarted trying to ride it twice. Once was on June 22/09 and once again on July 7/2011

I did however get to finally ride it later on in the year, when I rode through the park again on Aug. 25/2011. 8-)





One thing that "Flatlanders" don't understand is that the high mountains out west dominate the weather and that elevation plays such a major role in the weather out there. While it may be 100* in late May/early June in the south and out on the plains, Temps are often in the 30s/40s in the mountains/higher passes because there is still a lot of snow and foul weather going on in the mountains, as the clouds have to dump any moisture in them to get over those mountains and it falls in the form of snow when you get up in the higher passes and elevations.!!!!
Even in June/July, I carry my heated jacket liner with me if I'm riding in the mountains. You can get snow anytime of the year!!!!

Here's a shot I got from a buddy, when he and his wife rode the GTTSR in later July of 2011. This will give you an idea of the amount of snow in the mountains out west.





Here's a link that you can check out their progress in clearing the GTTSR - http://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/r ... status.cfm

Another thing to remember about riding in the Rocky Mountain states is that it is very common to get a good thunder storm (which can include snow/sleet/ice pellets/rain/strong wind gusts, or combinations) in the afternoon/later afternoon.

There's an old saying about the weather in the mountains. "Be prepared for the worst and if you don't like the weather .... wait ten minutes"

Here's a series of shots from when were finishing up riding the Bighorns Loop in WY and were heading back towards Cody. This Thunder Cell blew in from over the mountains, seemingly out of nowhere and included a very high amount of Lightning strikes! Keep in mind that less than 2 hrs transpired between the 1st and last photo in this sequence.(click on them to enlarge)






Dusty

GRAPEAPE94
Posts: 150
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:01 am
Location: VENICE, FL
Motorcycle: 2006 GL1800

Re: Bucket List Road Trip

Postby GRAPEAPE94 » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:16 am

I might be a "flatlander" now, but I have spent my time in the mountains both here in the States and in Europe. One time in 1974 while crossing from Germany to Switzerland they only cleared a one lane road through the pass and the snow was well above my head. There was a traffic light at each end to control the traffic. At the time I was riding a Honda 500 4 cylinder. That bike took me all over Europe and gave fits to BSA 650s. I have also ridden in the snow both here and over there. I don't like it but I have done it.

Good pictures. I will not make it to The Road To The Sun until around the last week in June.

User avatar
Dusty Boots
Posts: 573
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:25 pm
Location: Alvinston, SW ON
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500Aspencade

Re: Bucket List Road Trip

Postby Dusty Boots » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:26 am

Just trying to let you know what you could be in for road and weather condition wise, that's all. ;)

User avatar
twostrokes48
Posts: 577
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:21 pm
Location: San Antonio,TX
Motorcycle: 98 Goldwing 1500 trike
75 GL1000 (restoring)
98 Goldwing with landing gear (for sale)
94 Goldwing 1500- towpac trike (sold)
88 Goldwing 1500- (sold)
84 GL1200 Aspy-SOLD
75 GL1000(stolen 87)
88 GW trike (totaled)
1972 750k2

Re: Bucket List Road Trip

Postby twostrokes48 » Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:37 pm

And, that is always good informaiton. I learned the hard way when I took my trip in June.....Even at the Grand Canyon there were snow banks 3 feet deep on either side of the road although the road was clear. I did not expect that in June..Also just beat a major snowstorm in the mountains going into Seattle from the east. Forget which road I was on, but within hours of us stopping in Seattle for the night, the road had been closed due to snow. All we hit was a lot of rain...and was it cold rain...sheeeh lasted until nearly reaching Calif...I remember the radio saying it was the coldest (HIGH) temps on record...My luck. It was still a great trip though.

User avatar
redial
Posts: 1993
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:17 am
Location: Kapunda, SouthAustralia
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500 Spectre Red Aspencade

Re: Bucket List Road Trip

Postby redial » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:29 pm

My favourite drive (it gets a bit bumpy to ride a mc across the Pacific), is from Denver, to Durango, Silverado, and from there through the mountains. I have done it a few times (because I like it), and find it better going west than east. The last time I came east, and the wife did not like looking down the valley about 500ft below, and no guard rails, and the white edge line about 12inches from the edge - interesting when a tanker comes the other way, though. Beautiful scenery, and places to pull over and check out the views and the wildflowers. Watch out for deer at the wrong times, though.
Len in Kapunda

The world is not going to finish today, as it is already tomorrow in Australia and New Zealand, and other islands of foreign nations such as Guam and Samoa.

User avatar
themainviking
Posts: 2579
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:59 pm
Location: North Bay, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 2009 GL1800 AD

Re: Bucket List Road Trip

Postby themainviking » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:27 pm

redial wrote:My favourite drive (it gets a bit bumpy to ride a mc across the Pacific), is from Denver, to Durango, Silverado, and from there through the mountains. I have done it a few times (because I like it), and find it better going west than east. The last time I came east, and the wife did not like looking down the valley about 500ft below, and no guard rails, and the white edge line about 12inches from the edge - interesting when a tanker comes the other way, though. Beautiful scenery, and places to pull over and check out the views and the wildflowers. Watch out for deer at the wrong times, though.


Sounds like the Black Canyon of the Gunnison onto the Million Dollar Highway run. I have done that several times. I have done it when it was hot, and I have rode that road when it was snowing on me, my wife, and the motorcycle. I rode the million dollar highway at below freezing temps with a lunched out clutch on a 1974 Harley FLH, and had to ride that way till I got to Grand Junction, which was the closest place I could get a clutch and a primary drive chain. They were too busy at that dealership to get me in, so I rebuilt the primary drive system in their parking lot. The following day - this was in June - we hit 118 degree heat in Vegas, and it only dropped to 112 at night. We went to bed at seven in the evening, and got on the road at 1 AM to beat what we could of the heat for the rest of the ride through Nevada through Barstow and up to Hanford for the MMA early summer run. On the way back we rode the Mohave highway in the same temperatures. Man it was hot. It didn't get cool till we got to Flagstaff. Cool was still over 90 in the shade. Darn, I miss those days. Wild, free, ten feet tall and bulletproof. Now I am Tamed, secure, less than six feet tall, and very softsided, :lol:
It ain't about the destination - it's all about the journey

ImageImage

r-man
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:40 pm
Location: Idaho
Motorcycle: 2002 GL1800

Re: Bucket List Road Trip

Postby r-man » Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:35 pm

+1 on Beartooth pass if it is open, Road to the Sun through Glacier Park, Highway 12 across northern Idaho, the road between Banff and Jasper (including Lake Louise)..... If you can catch any of these I think you will be glad you saw them.

User avatar
landisr
Posts: 393
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:18 pm
Location: Gilbert, AZ
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000
1994 GL1500A

Re: Bucket List Road Trip

Postby landisr » Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:04 am

We were married on Memorial Day weekend here in Michigan and took a 3 week ride out across the I-80 corridor to Denver, then down and over through Durango, 4 corners, across to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, LV, then Death Valley (yes, in June), up to Lone Pine, over through Yosemite, down to Fresno, over to the Ocean, down past the Hearst Castle and back. We did hit some cold, but no snow. We also hit heat, but it was expected.

In the past, I have made trips like yours/this: Pound the pavement to get from one "visit area" to the next, then shifting gears for a couple days, then repeat. Sounds like your stopovers are already planned, so just follow your timeline and dress in LAYERS. Follow the veterans' advice here and elsewhere regarding riding in the heat (hydration, etc). It is great that you are treating this is a scouting trip to gather ideas for future rides. A tough job but somebody has to do it. 8-)

I'm sure you will enjoy it. Ron in MI


Beam me up, Scotty. There's no intelligent life down here.


Return to “Trip Info, Reports & Gatherings”




Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest