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Thread: Belgian adventure in US 2018

  1. #1
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    Belgian adventure in US 2018

    Hi,

    After several years of traveling in Europe my spous and I are planning to cross the ocean and to spent traveling a couple of months in Amerika.
    I don't know if this is the right place but I'm looking for information must do roads and things to see.
    We have just started to collect information and good place to start, was my idea, is with like minded.
    It is a small question but I hope I will receive a lot of information.
    The plan is to do Alaska, Canada and rest of the US, so every information is welcome.
    Of course I'm willing to share my experience.

  2. #2
    Adventurist nakwakto00's Avatar
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    Here are my suggestions (in no order):
    1. Visit Utah - spectacular scenery particularly Zion. If on a GS try to travel backroads through Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument.
    2. Visit Colorado - again great scenery. Independence Pass, Rocky Mtn. National Park, Million Dollar Highway, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Mesa Verde National Park - all beautiful.
    3. Go over the Beartooth Highway to Yellowstone National Park. Very beautiful.
    4. Go up Vancouver Island (Canada) take ferries to Bella Coola or Prince Rupert then ride to Alaska. If going to Prince Rupert can take Cassiar Hwy which is quite beautiful. Then ride back down. When on Vancouver Island take a side trip to Bamfield or Cape Scott, or Gulf Islands. When riding the ferry you will see lots of marine wildlife - whales, dolphins.
    5. Coastal roads in Northern California and Oregon - especially the small state highways leading in/out from the coast - twisty beautiful gems.

    Other tips:
    1. Stay off of Interstate highways as much as possible. Try ride US Highways (2 lane) or State Highways especially those with 3 digits, e.g., 212, 666, etc.
    2. Stay out of cities as much as possible. If needed go way around them. Avoid them because of crime, traffic, cost, etc.
    3. Look for roads that go through National Forests - less traveled, very scenic.
    4. Don't be afraid to ask locals especially at local diners or cafes for trip/camping suggestions.
    5. Don't make it a marathon to travel 400-600 miles or more a day. Rather try less than 300 miles or even 200 miles. Leave some days to take a day off to explore local sites.
    6. Visit out of the way places like, Burgdorf, Idaho - beautiful ride, rustic cheap stay in a cabin, and a great hot spring soak, or Yaak, Montana - beautiful way out of the way ride, Bickleton Hwy to Glenwood, Washington and so many, many more out of the way places.
    7. Look into riding state scenic or national byways such as US 50, Columbia Gorge, Lewis & Clark Trail, etc.
    8. When in remote areas get gas often even if you don't need it.
    -don
    #161988
    "If you don't treat yourself right, no one else will."
    '06 R1200RT, '13 F800GS, and '16 R1200GSA (wife's)

  3. #3
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaakgs View Post
    Hi,

    After several years of traveling in Europe my spous and I are planning to cross the ocean and to spent traveling a couple of months in Amerika.
    Hi and welcome to the Forums. I thoroughly agree with don's suggestions. I just completed 8890-miles from Boston to Portland, OR, to LA and then home across the Southwest and South. Interstate highways, that is, anything which starts with I- (as in I-90, I-81, I-10) will keep you away from seeing real people, will wear your tires in odd ways, and are mostly boring. They're good for moving goods around thus the heavy truck or lorry traffic which uses them.

    US Highways, as in US50, etc. are the predecessors of interstates, and were the main routes of migration of people and goods from the 1920s to the 1950s. They're still pretty nice, and here's a photo taken heading west on US50/US6 in Utah:

    IMG_1590.jpg

    Some folks call this the "Loneliest Road in America" in its route through Utah and Nevada.

    As to cities, they are not motorcycle-friendly. A trip to Boston, New York City, LA, or Chicago is perhaps something you should not do on a motorcycle. New England (the US states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) have some very nice riding. New York has some gorgeous riding in the Adirondack Park which is a huge area in the northern part of the state.

    Of course, this is just a start. The USA is a huge country, and many others will offer their ideas.

    By the way, the use of the word "Amerika" is probably not a good one to use. "amerika" or "Amerika" is a
    word used to describe the worst sense of the United States, i. e. imperialism, corruption, and the global exportation of American culture. However, other may have a different view of this.

    In any case, I hope the trip is a good one for you and the Missus!
    John Gamel
    2015 Ebony Metallic R1200RT
    BMW CCA 2006 - Present; BMW MOA 2009-Present
    Walt Kelly: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

  4. #4
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    Thank you for the information. Already some great ideas to start.
    Concerning the remark on Amerika I agree but our idea is, if we have enough time, to start with the USA and Canada and then go to South-Amerika.
    But we will start with the USA. Cities are not on our list, not at the moment, for the same reasons as mentioned. We have done already the West-coast,Florida and New York by car.
    I'm not really planning to go to Florida with the bikes but maybe I'm wrong?

    Another question is cocnerning the period. Our idea is to start in April and do first Canada and Alaska. Afterwards we want to go down towards the middle of the US.
    Is this a good logic?

    David

  5. #5
    Registered User GeorgeR1200RT's Avatar
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    Touring Alaska and Canada in April could be quite cold with roads still dealing with snow and ice. It may be similar to touring northern Sweden and Norway at that time of year.

    You may wish to consider starting in southern or mid USA and work your way north.

    I have experienced 18 inches of new snow in Colorado at the end of May when taking my brother to California from Michigan for a summer job.

    There are wonderful, interesting roads all over the USA and Canada. I ride the interstates to get somewhere quickly and the secondary roads to experience an area.

    To put things in perspective, it is nearly 3,000 miles (4,828 kilometers) from Baltimore, Maryland on the Atlantic coast to San Francisco, California on the Pacific coast...the same riding distance from Belgium to Egypt. It is more than 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometers) from Fairbanks, Alaska to New Orleans, Louisiana.
    George
    R1200RT. Previous K1200RS, K1200LT, R80RT, R100R, R75/5

  6. #6
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    When I lived in Rock Springs, Wyoming, it snowed four times in May. Some mountain passes aren't open until late May.

    Harry

  7. #7
    Registered User Beemer01's Avatar
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    Canada-Alaska

    The earliest I'd attempt the Alaska Highway is late May - trust me you'll probably be happier mid June...warmer weather, flowers and generally nicer roads. But no guarantees. Our distances are vast.

    We have many ride reports here that can further guide you, we are a pretty social and well travelled group here - always happy to offer advice.

    I recently posted a ride report on Yukon/Akaska which can provide some color on the types of road and weather conditions experienced last June

    http://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread....laska-Yukon-16

    But to be fair most of these conditions were on the endless gravel 'highways' of the Northland. If you stayed on paved roads, you'll see a lot less, but will also have far better road conditions.

  8. #8
    Out There Somewhere ricochetrider's Avatar
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    I will second the notion of sticking to lesser roads- the U.S. Highway "system" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United...Highway_System

    still has plenty remnants of days gone by- older mom-n-pop (read: locally owned) businesses, such as motels and restaurants/diners, roadside gargantua such as WORLDS LARGEST SKILLET etc.

    If I were planning such a trip, I might include a full run of the Appalachians in the East as well. begin (or end) at Niagra Falls, and included the mountains of Western Pennsylvania (state name abbreviation:PA), West Virginia (WV) & Virginia (VA), Western North Carolina (NC) and Eastern Tennessee (TN), down to around somewhere north of Athens in North Georgia (GA). Of course there are all manner of "famous" roads named after various parts of The Dragon:

    Tail Of The Dragon http://tailofthedragon.com/

    Back Of The Dragon http://backofthedragon.com/

    and other reptiles:

    The Snake http://www.421thesnake.com/

    etc around these parts- but really every other road is just as good and way less traveled or tourist-y. Of course the

    Skyline Drive https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvis...line-drive.htm

    & Blue Ridge Parkway http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/

    are both National Treasures, while you're in the East. There's a mountaintop motel at Little Switzerland along the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) in North Carolina that might be worth a stop at while riding the Appalachians.

    http://www.littleswitzerlandnc.com/

    Then there's the awesome Wheels Through Time motorcycle museum in Maggie Valley, NC http://www.wheelsthroughtime.com/

    - and if you want to go that far, you could always swing down to

    Barber and see their museum at Birmingham, Alabama (AL) http://www.barbermuseum.org/


    If you time it right at Barber, you might catch some vintage Motorcycle racing or perhaps their major Vintage Motorcycle Festival. Don't forget to eat some Bar B Que while down south. Dreamland has several locations throughout Alabama. I've eaten at the original in Tuscaloosa, which is GREAT. http://www.dreamlandbbq.com/content/.../Locations.htm

    Then you might ride the Natchez Trace https://www.nps.gov/natr/index.htm

    From Northern Alabama to Natchez, Mississippi, and noodle on down river past the antebellum mansions & sugar cane fields to New Orleans for some rice and beans or gumbo.

    If I were to ride the U.S. northern border, I'd ride up into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, take the ferry across to Wiconsin, then make my way westward thru Minnesota's 10,000 lakes. Definitely get up to Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

    http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,1607,...6507--,00.html

    https://www.ssbadger.com/

    And of course the Rocky Mountains are wonderful as well, MUCH BIGGER than the older mountains elsewhere in the country...

    Good luck!
    Cheers.
    Be The Change You Want To See In The World

  9. #9
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    Hi Guys,

    Thank you all for the replies and information. I will start the next coming weeks with a frist draft. Already a lot off reading and very nice things to do and see.
    Can't wait to start with making this dream come reality.
    First need to work a bit on my 100GS but by the end of the week she should be ready.
    Keep you all posted about the progress.

    Have a save ride

  10. #10
    Registered User jamesdavidhoward's Avatar
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    Some more suggestions...

    • Please be sure to have a copy of - or have on-line access to - the BMW Owner's Anonymous guide to contact locals that can share a coffee, chat, provide suggestions, or even help with repairs or lodging.
    • Several suggestions by prior respondents and here are in USA National Parks; might be good to get a park pass to get into anywhere without delay or hassle - https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm
    • Oregon/Washington Hells Canyon area is breathtaking; check Google Earth for 45.997679N, 117.278499W (amazing twisties) and points south Enterprise/Joseph, Halfway
    • Washington wine country and Walla Walla, WA - a cute yuppie-ized boutique-filled town 46.067224N, 118.338082W
    • If you are OK with riding 2-up on good-quality gravel roads:
      • Oregon's Steens Mountain is excellent 42.702731N, 118.574556W (esp. Kiger Gorge overlook, where you might see a bunch of wild horses)
      • Leslie Gulch 43.304760N, 117.240108W
    • Waterfall area along Columbia River Gorge 45.577491N, 122.118680W (avoiding I-84, following old Hwy 30 as much as possible)
    • Wonderful wineries on both sides of the Columbia River gorge, and micro-breweries that even produce quite a bit of Belgian-style beer and Lambic!
    • Mount Hood's Timberline Lodge 45.330586N, 121.710250W
    • Overlook into caldera of Washington's Mt. St. Helens' devastation 46.250409N, 122.135801W, still rumbling, but last really active in mid-1980s
    • Mt. Rainier National Park Paradise Lodge 46.786175N, 121.732723W
    • N. Cascades Hwy: 48.523086N, 120.653417W - and the wonderful bakery in Twisp, WA
    • Banff and Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada 51.371476, -116.10807

    I'm sure others could go on and on!
    James D. "Jim" Howard jhoward@alumni.caltech.edu

  11. #11
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    Started with the planning

    Thank you all for the information. We have started with the planning, marking on the maps.
    More information is still welcome. The more we look at the map the more eagier we are start riding.
    For the moment doing some off road in Belgium and thinkg of all the things we still ,need to prepare.

  12. #12
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    Plan is becoming concrete

    We spent the last months with collecting and processing all information and finally we have a more or less complete plan. So hard to make decisions on what to do and what to see.
    We start riding from Orlando on the 1st of March 2018 and plan to fly back from Toronto and of October 2018.
    The track is our guidance but it is possible we will follow it 100%. Estimated distance will be about 40000km.
    This month we will make the paperwork and transportation concrete. First symptoms of worsening of Travel Fever a showing
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1bt...js&usp=sharing

  13. #13
    Registered User RIDERR1150GSADV's Avatar
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    I may be late to the game but I agree with what already has been said about the Interstates. Charles Kuralt was an American journalist and said this about them... "Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything".
    So very true and I found that taking the byways and state roads allow you to travel almost as fast, if need be, with actually seeing something and meeting people.
    Have fun on your trip!!
    MOA # 108516
    Current ride 2017 R1200RT White
    Past rides '04 R1150RT, '05 K1200LT, '06 R1150GSA

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIDERR1150GSADV View Post
    I may be late to the game but I agree with what already has been said about the Interstates. Charles Kuralt was an American journalist and said this about them... "Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything".
    So very true and I found that taking the byways and state roads allow you to travel almost as fast, if need be, with actually seeing something and meeting people.
    Have fun on your trip!!
    That is exactly what wee want to do, meeting people and driving not crossing the country in the fasted way

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaakgs View Post
    That is exactly what wee want to do, meeting people and driving not crossing the country in the fasted way
    fastest way

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