Jump to content
IGNORED

MD to NV, April-May 2011: Advice sought


Mdcruiser

Recommended Posts

I'm riding to Las Vegas this Spring -- my wife will fly there, and we'll then do an Edelweiss tour on my bike (shipping the bike home and flying home together afterwards). Leaving around April 27 (anyone wanna ride out west with me??) I had originally planned to take US 50 all the way out, but I have concluded that weather across the Rockies won't work. Here is my tentative itinerary to Las Vegas -- no slab riding, by the way, except where indicated and to get around big cities like Cincy. [i like to take blue highways, stop in early to mid afternoon, and explore interesting towns.]

 

Comments and improvements and alternate stopping points (only Scottsdale, AZ is unchangeable) and places to see ARE MOST WELCOME:

 

Day 1 Potomac MD to Athens, OH: 334 miles

Day 2 Athens OH to Madison IN: 220 miles

Day 3 Madison IN to Ste Genevieve MO 327 miles

Day 4 Ste Genevieve MO to Clarksdale MS 348 miles

Day 5 Clarksdale MS to Shreveport LA 321 miles

Day 6 Shreveport LA to Albany TX 343 miles

Day 7 Albany TX to Whites City NM 319 miles

Day 8 Whites City NM to Willcox AZ 376 miles (incl. a bit of slab)

Day 9 Willcox AZ to Scottsdale AZ 197 miles (visiting family there)

Day 10 Scottsdale AZ to Las Vegas NV 307 miles

Link to comment

That sounds like a great trip. You aren't missing much crossing Nevada on Hwy 50. Parts of that road are sleep inducing. I like the idea of taking your time and staying under 400 miles a day. There is some great country and some nice small towns to visit on the trip and that kind of pace gives you plenty of time to do some exploring.

Link to comment

Well, I wouldn't write off the Rockies if you can remain flexible and check the weather a day ahead. Only a few of the highest roads would be closed, and it is most often quite nice by then. The Southern Utah Deserts are certainly open then, if you want to swing north. However, there are plenty of great attractions along your route in the west.

 

I can't comment on your eastern portion, except that two days crossing that part of TX sounds like a chore to me.

 

Sticking for now with your original route, and picking up with Western New Mexico:

 

The area around Silver City NM is supposed to be nice. (Still trying to get there myself). The loop from Silver City to Alpine and back on US 180, and 191 and AZ-NM 78 was the subject of a well regarded BMWST ride one fall. I have ridden the 191 portion of it and can highly recommend it. Should be open by then without any problem. Definitely suggest some riding time in that region.

 

At Willcox, you can go South to Chiricuhua National Monument. Very worthwhile. From the monument boundary up to the overlook is a great little ride. Amazing scenery, and if you sit quietly or walk slowly in the canyons, great wildlife.

 

In the Tucson area, do not miss Saguaro National Park East Unit. If you have more time, then consider adding Sabino Canyon (take tram or walk), the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Gates Pass (Tucson Mountain Park) and Mission San Xavier del Bac.

 

From Scottsdale, consider a day trip out the Apache Trail. AZ-88 through Tortilla Flat. It goes to dirt eventually and you can either turn back or go on. Most say it is RTable on the dirt, but I dropped my bike by catching 2nd gear in a steep turn on the dirt. The paved part is very worthwhile on it's own, but the most spectacular part is out on the dirt. I would say it was my screw-up and it is RTable, but obviously the margin for error is lower than on pavement. Either way it is good.

 

Scottsdale to LV: If you can work in the area around Jerome and Sedona, on AZ 89A, you will be most happy, despite some congestion in Sedona. Also, I might recommend to consider South Rim Grand Canyon. If you are staying on your original route, I assume US-60 and US-93, do stop and look around at the Joshua Tree forest, and also the area north of Wikieup for some nice scenery on 93.

 

Hoover Dam and the new bypass bridge are worth a stop as you near Las Vegas. A nice place to stay and eat is in old Boulder City. On 93 north of Kingman and before Hoover Dam you will be going by the road in to the newish Grand Canyon Skywalk on the reservation. I have never been and hear it's not worth it, but many go each year, and if it is your interest, then it may be worthwhile.

 

If you decide you want UT/CO advice, let us know.

 

Link to comment

Thanks Jan!

 

The Edelweiss tour we will take upon arrival in Las Vegas will encompass the GC and several other places you indicate. I will now seriously look into your TX and NM suggestions!!

Link to comment
Charles Elms

Since you are going that far....You don't get a change to ride the west very often when you live in Maryland. Have you considered slabing it out in 4 days and then spending time saved by riding from New Mexico to Montana and in between. While there are things to see on the way out, they don't compare to what you see when you get there. Just a thought.

Link to comment
Paul Mihalka

Some thoughts: If you ride West roughly following the I70 corridor - PM me and I can point out some nice two-lanes - you can hit Pueblo CO just East of the Rockies. There you can check the weather and either go toward Durango or farther South into Northern NM. You don't have to go as far South as Texas. Crossing NM via Santa Fe, Taos can be very nice.

April/May is too early to plan going North toward Wyoming/Montana.

Link to comment

I'm sure you picked Ste Genevieve, MO for the ferry across the mighty Mississippi. Good choice, a very neat little town. There is a great bar across from the courthouse (don't remember the name) that serves a great plate lunch. I assume you're hitting Clarksdale, MS for the blues/crossroads angle and that is just fine but that part of the US ain't what I would call great riding. I would look into heading more due WSW from Ste Genevieve to take any road through the Mark Twain National Forest in south Missouri into Arkansas and then west through the Ozarks of Arkansas to Eureka Springs, AR for an overnight. It might be a little longer ride than you planned for one day but it is some great riding. Of course I agree that TX ride would be a chore and the Taos/Durango should be doable and much more enjoyable. If not a great ride south from Eureka Springs on HWY 7 to Hot Springs, AR and onto Shreveport. You can't go wrong in that area.

 

Enjoy your trip and ride safe. Take lot's of pics and post in Ride Tales!

Link to comment

Found it! The Anvil in Ste Genevieve, MO., good food and a great atmosphere! Right across from the Courthouse.

 

2010083020100830_67.jpg

Link to comment

don't know what routes you have planned for day 1, but you'll be soo close to OH 555 it would certainly be a shame to miss it. Basically from OH river up to a little north of Athens at Zanesville. Although the Athens area has some real winners as well.

Link to comment
don't know what routes you have planned for day 1, but you'll be soo close to OH 555 it would certainly be a shame to miss it. Basically from OH river up to a little north of Athens at Zanesville. Although the Athens area has some real winners as well.

 

I fully agree! I rode 555 en route to the MOA rally in Lima a few years back!

Link to comment
  • 2 months later...

At one month before departure, my itinerary is pretty much set. In addition to these tremendously useful comments, I want to thank Jamie Jensen, author of Road Trip USA, for his personalized advice by email.

 

We cancelled our group tour, by the way -- we will be seeing everything by ourselves.

 

Here are my nightly destinations, which are fixed (take it for granted that all travel will be on "blue highways," interstates used only to circumvent metro areas such as DFW and El Paso): if anyone has advice about any of these destinations, such advice is still quite welcome!

 

1. Potomac MD to Athens OH (via VA and WV)

2. Athens to Madison IN (via KY, bypassing Cinci)

3. Madison to Sainte-Genevieve MO (cutting south into IL well before St. Louis, crossing into Sainte-Genevieve by the little ferry into town)

4. Sainte-Genevieve to Clarksdale MS (via IL and TN, staying at Shack Up Inn!)

5. Clarksdale to Jefferson TX (crossing into AR at Greenville MS and riding over to Texarkana)

6. Jefferson to Abilene TX

7. Abilene to Marfa TX

8. Marfa to Lordsburg NM

9. Lordsburg to Scottsdale AZ (visiting relatives in this city)

10. Scottsdale to Las Vegas NV (pick up my wife at the airport) (steps 11-13 are 2-up)

11. Las Vegas to Palm Desert CA (through via 29 Palms)

12. Palm Desert to Sedona, AZ and the Grand Canyon

13. Then back to Las Vegas where we ship the bike home (from Las Vegas BMW) and fly home.

Link to comment
Well, On 93 north of Kingman and before Hoover Dam you will be going by the road in to the newish Grand Canyon Skywalk on the reservation. I have never been and hear it's not worth it, but many go each year, and if it is your interest, then it may be worthwhile.

The Skywalk is a tourist trap IMHO. It will set you back $75 and you have about a 20 mile stretch of some washboard gravel in and out. (at least this time last year it still was) The Skywalk is actually over a side canyon. Kind of neat but not worth the price of admission IMO.

Link to comment

Unless you have a secondary reason for going to Palm Desert that I would switch out and hit the Canyon and Southern Utah. The ride over to SOCAL is not impressive.

Link to comment
You aren't missing much crossing Nevada on Hwy 50. Parts of that road are sleep inducing.
Not that it matters to the OP but I totally disagree. I've crossed NV on US50 more than 30 times, I still enjoy it as long as it isn't too hot.
Link to comment
Unless you have a secondary reason for going to Palm Desert that I would switch out and hit the Canyon and Southern Utah. The ride over to SOCAL is not impressive.

 

I fully agree. You guessed it -- relatives in Palm Desert to see. Will see the Canyon via Sedona, but will miss southern UT.

Link to comment

Since you are in the "hood"...

check out the river road loop.

from Alpine TX head south on 118 to Butte-Terlingua. Then head west on FM170 (river road). Head North North to Marfa, TX via hwy 169 or 67 out of Presidio, TX

Link to comment

Thanks, Angel. I will actually be staying in Marfa, as it turns out -- heading there from Abilene, and staying at the Paisano hotel. [Changed my itinerary a bit from what is put above.] From Marfa I'm heading to Silver City NM.

 

I see you've moved to Maryland. Welcome!! I hope we can ride together upon my return -- I live about 10 miles west of you.

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...