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Thread: Thoughts on a trip from Memphis to LA

  1. #1
    '05 R1200GS
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    Thoughts on a trip from Memphis to LA

    Greetings from The Great White North eh!

    I am planning a trip across some of the southern states in March and April. Having never driven through this area (either on my bike or in a car), I wanted to ask the MOA members for insights, tips, roads that I *must* travel (and the ones that I shouldn't), etc.

    Here are the details that I have for now:

    Mar.17 - depart Toronto (trailering bike)
    Mar. 18 - arrive Memphis (park car, switch to GS)
    ???
    Mar.27 - arrive in LA for business conference
    Mar.31 - depart LA
    ???
    Apr. 7 (latest) - arrive Memphis (load up bike and head home)
    Apr. 9 - arrive Barrie, ON

    I am looking for your help filling in the ???. Although I don't mind interstates, I want to try to stay off them and see the sights. I am comfortable doing 300 miles per day (maybe a little more) but definitely want to relax on this ride. I am not planning on camping, instead going to hotels, motels or resorts with a comfortable bed and a reasonable price. And, other than being in LA for a business conference, I have no other specific destinations or plans.

    So ... what do you think???
    - DougyB

  2. #2
    Registered User donbmw's Avatar
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    I asome you me the state of LA and not the city of LA by the time you have for travel from Memphis to LA. If you are going to the State of LA following the river roads.

    Don

  3. #3
    Thick As A Brick r184's Avatar
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    Go to your local book store and look at 1,000 places to see (USA & Canada Version) before you die. It should give you some idea's of places to see along the route you'll be taking. While you're there, check out some of the other travel books they have too.

    Also do a Google serach for Diners, Drive-in and Dives, should give you a listing of some unusal eateries to visit too. (If you're not familiar with Diner's, Drive-in and Dives, it's a cable/sat. food T.V. show, showing unusal, but intersting small mom & pop eateries throughout the U.S.)

  4. #4
    '05 R1200GS
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    Quote Originally Posted by donbmw View Post
    I asome you me the state of LA and not the city of LA by the time you have for travel from Memphis to LA. If you are going to the State of LA following the river roads.

    Don
    Don:

    I guess I should have inidicated Los Angeles. You don't think I can make it from Memphis to Los Angeles in 9 days?
    - DougyB

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by GDWallace View Post
    Also do a Google serach for Diners, Drive-in and Dives, should give you a listing of some unusal eateries to visit too. (If you're not familiar with Diner's, Drive-in and Dives, it's a cable/sat. food T.V. show, showing unusal, but intersting small mom & pop eateries throughout the U.S.)

    Thanks for the advice! I'm not sure if I can get "Diners, Drive-in and Drives" up here but I'll check
    - DougyB

  6. #6
    Thick As A Brick r184's Avatar
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    Same advise, just becareful of two things when you get to SoCal.

    1. The traffic, yes it's as bad as people say. The closer you get to L.A., the worse they drive. Avoid the southbound I15 from Vegas to L.A. on a Sunday. (But there are some viable and enjoyable alternative routes to the north & south)

    2. And the wind, if you get here during the Santa Ana wind's season, you'll be in for some very strong wind events.

  7. #7
    Registered User donbmw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougyB View Post
    Don:

    I guess I should have inidicated Los Angeles. You don't think I can make it from Memphis to Los Angeles in 9 days?
    I didnot count the number of day it just looked like it was not enough to go west at a glance.

    I am sure you will get alot of advise on how to go. There are soo many go ways to go.

    Don

  8. #8
    gvpurvis
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    When you get to Memphis head for the Natchez Trace Parkway.Get on near Tupelo,Ms and head South you can't go wrong..

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GDWallace View Post
    Avoid the southbound I15 from Vegas to L.A. on a Sunday.
    Hmmm...good point. I hadn't thought about the weekend traffic coming back into Los Angeles. Perhaps I will modify my schedule so that I arrive on a Saturday instead of a Sunday.
    - DougyB

  10. #10
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    Arrive in Memphis. Send the day on Beale Street. Listen to the Blues. Ride over to Searcy,Ar. Get on Highway 16 and ride it to the Oklahoma border at Siloam Springs Ar. Get on the old Route 66 and take it to LA. Haul ass back to Memphis, then go home. Just an idea.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by barryg View Post
    Arrive in Memphis. Send the day on Beale Street. Listen to the Blues. Ride over to Searcy,Ar. Get on Highway 16 and ride it to the Oklahoma border at Siloam Springs Ar. Get on the old Route 66 and take it to LA. Haul ass back to Memphis, then go home. Just an idea.
    Thanks Barry! I like the idea of checking out Beale St. and taking in some blues. And maybe taking in some of Route 66, either westbound or eastbound.
    - DougyB

  12. #12
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    Do a websearch on LeoGoff bassist. He plays on Beale all the time with a lot of different musicians and bands. He is highly thought of as a bass player of rock and blues. Do a web search of Beale Street Memphis. Neat place for a night of good Blues. Leo is also the top BMW and motorcycle tech in the Mid South area.

  13. #13
    HuskyVarmit
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    Memphis/LA

    The trip from Memphis to LA is a 5 to 6 day ride if you are just piddling along, so you definitely have some fudge room in there.

    BUT....................

    This time of year can be VERY unpredictable weather wise. The northern route ( RT 66) can easily get snowbound. That and the fact that the run through OK and TX can put you to sleep. Not that the southern route thru NM and AZ will be a lot more visually stimulating. Oh, and watch the speed limits in OK, there are a lot of places where they are 20 to 25 MPH and some of those places have no sense of humor. Well, that is true in a lot of the 'off the beaten path' places in the South.

    Seriously, I would look real hard at cutting south as soon as you can, even as far as the Gulf Coast. It will add a couple of days, but the long range forecast looks pretty good. Enough so that I am headed out next week on a trip of about the same mileage headed the other direction - AND I AM STARTING IN TEXAS!!!

    Good luck and have tons of fun!!!

    Varmit out.

  14. #14
    '05 R1200GS
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuskyVarmit View Post
    Seriously, I would look real hard at cutting south as soon as you can, even as far as the Gulf Coast. It will add a couple of days, but the long range forecast looks pretty good. Enough so that I am headed out next week on a trip of about the same mileage headed the other direction - AND I AM STARTING IN TEXAS!!!

    Good luck and have tons of fun!!!

    Varmit out.

    Thanks for the feedback! Over the last few weeks I have refined my plan. I have a buddy near Avinger TX who will let me drop my car/trailer at his farm. I will then head south and west, paralleling 10 (or using it in some cases), jumping onto 8, then heading north through Joshua Tree National Park before cutting west again into Los Angeles. I will be taking my time, with several planned stops along the way to break up the boring stretches.

    Good luck on your trip!
    - DougyB

  15. #15
    Registered User PHMARVIN's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I live in El Paso, TX, but I work in Morenci, AZ at the copper mine there. If I'm in El Paso when you pass through, if you spend the night there, I know some great steakhouses and am always looking for an excuse to go there. Let me know the date you plan to be in El Paso, if you go that way.
    Ride Safe,
    Phil Marvin - El Paso, TX
    '94 K75A/3
    '95 K75RTP

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