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Thread: Coast to coast

  1. #1
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    Coast to coast

    Good day...

    I have been a member for quite a few years, but do not post very often (bit of an understatement to say the least). But I have learned much from the bigger group. I have been riding a 2007 1200GS since new, and really enjoy the ride. Very soon, I will embark on a big trip, solo. I live in Vancouver BC, and am heading to Toronto, then PEI, and back. Family reunions and stuff. This is my first multi day trip, and will involve loooooong days on the road. Needless to say, I am a bit anxious. I am looking for a little bit of advice in a couple of areas. My chosen route east is most likely going to be south of the 49th. I have already driven the Canadian route from west to east. Perhaps I will return east to west using my home country. Initially I will most likely head south on I-5, then cut over east just before Seattle (Seattle traffic is brutal). I would like to make it to Butte or Bozeman by the first night. From there I will head east towards Duluth on my way to Toronto. Given that there are any number of members across the country, would there be any recommendations for "you must stop here" or places I should avoid? Is there any particular route east to west that is "best", or highly regarded for scenery, interesting sights and stops? I am not really planning much more than a day in advance, as I am not sure how I far I will be able to go each day. Camping is an option, as I will have a very light camping kit. Would there be any specific Hotel/Motel accommodations that I should look for? I am on the lookout for some unique accommodation, as I try to avoid the big Hotel/Motel chains. I want something different and more memorable. Anyway, I am getting excited, and have almost got my bike and all the kit sorted. Thanks for any information or advice you may offer. I have 5 days to complete the trip to Toronto where I will meet up with my wife and kids. Cheers.

    Bill

  2. #2
    RK Ryder
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    Definitely ride north of Superior. After an hour or two of leaving Thunder Bay, you will have the lake on your right and the Canadian Shield on your left. The scenery is spectacular. Provincial campgrounds are abundant in northern Ontario. The things that comes immediately to mind would be to take the Chiceemaun Ferry from South Baymouth to Tobemory in Ontario. From there it is a relatively short ride to Toronto. You will miss the Big Nickel in Sudbury but this should save you about a day of riding. Plan you ride such that when you reach Toronto it won't be rush hour and, try to use our very expensive toll road, the ETR 407, to get close to where you are meeting up with your wife. If possible, do avoid the 401 in the Toronto area. It is either 16 or 20 lanes of erratic traffic or a parking lot; neither very pleasant.

    If you haven't been east before, go up the CN Tower. Ripley's has an aquarium nearby that is worth a visit. However being so close to Niagara, don't miss the Falls, especially from the boat ride at the bottom of the Falls.

    Cheers!
    Paul F. Ruffell
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Niagara Riders & Knights of the Roundel #333

  3. #3
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dovetailwilly View Post
    I would like to make it to Butte or Bozeman by the first night.

    Bill
    Do you have the option of shorter days?
    Averaging 1,200 to 1,300 Km per day will not leave you much time to check out interesting stops.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  4. #4
    RK Ryder
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    If you are riding across Michigan's UP, be on the lookout for deer. One day while riding across the northern mitt, I encountered over a dozen deer hit along the shoulders.

    Your daily mileage sounds rather ambitious. I have frequently done that mileage for a couple of days back to back, but I know that I am quite whipped when I get home. Leaving a couple of days sooner and shorter riding days might make your ride more enjoyable.

    If you should detour through Wyoming, allot some time at Wall Drug.
    Paul F. Ruffell
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Niagara Riders & Knights of the Roundel #333

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    If you should detour through Wyoming, allot some time at Wall Drug.
    Whoops! South Dakota!!
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  6. #6
    RK Ryder
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Whoops! South Dakota!!
    Paul F. Ruffell
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Niagara Riders & Knights of the Roundel #333

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    If you are riding across Michigan's UP, be on the lookout for deer. One day while riding across the northern mitt, I encountered over a dozen deer hit along the shoulders.

    Your daily mileage sounds rather ambitious. I have frequently done that mileage for a couple of days back to back, but I know that I am quite whipped when I get home. Leaving a couple of days sooner and shorter riding days might make your ride more enjoyable.

    If you should detour through Wyoming, allot some time at Wall Drug.

    OK, OK...now I've never been, so go easy on me ... But .... I have been through S/Dakota a few times, and have seen the Wall Drug signs but ......... why,oh why would i want to carve out time on vacation to go to a drug store
    Ron Prior {AMA member ,MOA member}
    Milford,Oh
    2002 KLT
    2004 Roadster

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by 71243 View Post
    OK, OK...now I've never been, so go easy on me ... But .... I have been through S/Dakota a few times, and have seen the Wall Drug signs but ......... why,oh why would i want to carve out time on vacation to go to a drug store
    It is about four square blocks of amazing tourist trap with free water and very cheap ice cream cones - 5 cents last time I was there. Souvenirs galore and a good place to sit back in the shade and observe the human condition.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  9. #9
    '99 '03 '06 National Co-Rally Chair Friedle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    It is about four square blocks of amazing tourist trap with free water and very cheap ice cream cones - 5 cents last time I was there. Souvenirs galore and a good place to sit back in the shade and observe the human condition.
    Forget about Fargo. This sounds like the ideal location for an MOA National Rally !

    Friedle
    Ride fast safely

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the replies. Itís all great info. I know itís an ambitious goal for daily mileage. Iím not sure how I will hold up, and may need to make some adjustments. I am sure that is why I am quite anxious about the trip these past few days, especially as I get closer to leaving. I have some family commitments in Toronto, but my return ride is my own time and may use that time to enjoy some stops along the way. Work for me is pretty damned flexible, so that is a sure bonus. And yes, deer and other wildlife scare the heck out of me. It doesnít matter if Iím in the car or on the bike.... it would be bad either way. Anyway, Iím excited and anxious at the same time!

  11. #11
    TravelsWithBarley.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by 71243 View Post
    OK, OK...now I've never been, so go easy on me ... But .... I have been through S/Dakota a few times, and have seen the Wall Drug signs but ......... why,oh why would i want to carve out time on vacation to go to a drug store
    Take every tourist trap you've ever seen, condense it down into a few blocks, toss in every bit of cheap junk on the planet (sprinkled with some genuine items of folk art)...and you realize why they had signs for two hundred miles in every direction trying to draw business. It's impressive in a consumer excess sort of way.

    Good riding along your route? Lolo Pass, Beartooth, Big Horns on either 14/Alt 14 or 16, Needles Hwy in the Black Hills, Badlands NP. If you go over Superior Sleeping Giant Parc and a string of small very private and scenic bays near Agawa. If you go under Superior the Keewenah Peninsula (sp?), have lunch at the Gay Bar (Gay MI) then follow the coast and cross at the SOO. Definitely recommend the ferry across Georgian Bay to Tobermery. Be careful on the approach to Toronto; the signs are in both English and French but it appears a large percentage of drivers speak neither language!

    Pete
    '18 R1200GSA for solo rides
    '12 R1200GSA with Hannigan sidecar for rides with Glenlivet
    '15 Honda CRF250L for exploring places I'm afraid to take the big GSA!
    http://travelswithbarley.com/

  12. #12
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    Wall Drug? I can't think of any reason to stop other than to take a look and wonder why?! Huge tourist trap with a ton of fake trinkets.
    From the only real Fargo, ND!

  13. #13

    Around the Great Lakes

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    Definitely ride north of Superior. After an hour or two of leaving Thunder Bay, you will have the lake on your right and the Canadian Shield on your left. The scenery is spectacular. Provincial campgrounds are abundant in northern Ontario. The things that comes immediately to mind would be to take the Chiceemaun Ferry from South Baymouth to Tobemory in Ontario. From there it is a relatively short ride to Toronto. You will miss the Big Nickel in Sudbury but this should save you about a day of riding. Plan you ride such that when you reach Toronto it won't be rush hour and, try to use our very expensive toll road, the ETR 407, to get close to where you are meeting up with your wife. If possible, do avoid the 401 in the Toronto area. It is either 16 or 20 lanes of erratic traffic or a parking lot; neither very pleasant.

    If you haven't been east before, go up the CN Tower. Ripley's has an aquarium nearby that is worth a visit. However being so close to Niagara, don't miss the Falls, especially from the boat ride at the bottom of the Falls.

    Cheers!
    I've done the East/West thing a couple of times. The North route around the Great Lakes is Highway 11 and/or 17(I believe) and Paul is right, the scenery is great and the ferry ride from Manitoulin is fun. I have also done the southern route through Wisconsin and Michigan and crossed lake Michigan on the SS Badger. I did a late night crossing and rented one of their little cabins for a great sleep. Riding through Wisconsin and Michigan is quite nice. That route is somewhat shorter and you can cross back into Canada at Sarnia or Windsor and it's a straight poke to Toronto and points east.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    It is about four square blocks of amazing tourist trap with free water and very cheap ice cream cones - 5 cents last time I was there. Souvenirs galore and a good place to sit back in the shade and observe the human condition.

    Well ..... maybe I'll check it out then, if'in I ever get back up that way.
    Ron Prior {AMA member ,MOA member}
    Milford,Oh
    2002 KLT
    2004 Roadster

  15. #15
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    Time to go....

    Well, the time has come. I hit the road tomorrow morning. Weather forecast is perfect. A sunrise rollout will get me underway. Sunset should bring me to a stop with a full day of travel behind me. Thanks for all the info, comments and suggestions. I am ready.

    Bill

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