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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Howdy folks,
I wrote on this site about a year ago talking about a trip I was going to take from West to East coast. That trip fell through, but this one is going to happen... 100%. So, I've stayed up many late nights figuring out where the hell I'm going to go, and what sort of detours to take along the way, so here it is. I feel I've got this pretty well coverend, but maybe there is something I'm missing. this is the itinerary and it is solid, but if you all know some sweet trips along the way, please let me know. I'm always up for an adventure. Ok, so here goes it... Here are all my stops:
Starting in San Clemente, Ca
Las Vegas -- (night on the town never hurt nobody)
Grand Canyon --- (really just a photo stop)
Moab, UT --- (gonna cruise castle valley and Arches National Park and then from Moab to next destination will take 128 to the 70)
Denver, Co ---(via Pikes Peak)
Rapid City, S.D. --- (may stay an extra day to ride and enjoy that part of the country. Will ride through the badlands to the next destination)
Omaha, NE---(Yeeeeaaaaahhhhh... if anybody has any ideas, please...)
St Louis, MO --- (hear the ride down the Mississippi is nice. Will do it)
Nashville, TN --- (another night on the town)
Asheville, NC ---(via the dragon, of course)
Ocracoke, NC --- (Camping on the beach)
Southern Shores, NC --- (hope the sunrise is beautiful that morning as I ride up the coast)
Vienna, Va --- (via the long bridge and up MD)

So that's that! I'm pretty pumped up about it. Never done anything like this, but as I said, thought I was going to do this last year, so I've been prepping. Plus, I'm going to be working my ass off for the next few years, so I'm not going to get another chance like this for who knows how long. If there are any tips to prepare, tips for the trip, or routes I should think about, let me know. I'm eager to hear back.
 

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nice route

But I'd check with TNDOT about riding the dragon. Last I heard it was only rideable from the east side due to a rockslide on the TN side. One way in, one way out. Other than that, enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'll check on that. this trip is going to be in a little over a month, so... Hey, If I've got to go around and ride from the east only, then there it is, I'm riding from the east only. just a minor inconvenience. thanks for the heads up
 

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You seem like Omaha will be a boring stop. However there is a great air museum there you may be interested in looking into. On the grand canyon, i believe the south rim may be the preffered stop since there is a nice museum. Its been years since i have ridden there. Although if you aint on a budget the indian reservations sky walk over the canyon would be the way to go. Its pricey so be prepared to pay and get there early as i believe they only take a certain number of people per day. In the Denver area, Estes Park is an awesome area and if you ride through the Rocky Mountain National Park, there are some great views. Check to make sure the pass is open as it can even be closed when its nice and sunny. There can also be a huge climate change from the top of the summit and denver....I loved my ride through there. As for Vegas there are alot of options but I prefer to stay in henderosn and ride over to the strip. I cant comment on any of the other destinations.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Omaha...

I just know absolutely nothing about the place. The air museum is a good tip though. Unless something amazing pops out between now and then, I'll be checking it out. thanks
 

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Sounds like a heckofa tour.

Is your only reason for going to Rapid City to see the Black Hills and the Badlands? Plan your route through the Black Hills from Colorado and you'll get that done and still be able to see Mount Rushmore.

If you must see the Badlands make it a priority to do so when the sun is low. Either for sunrise or sunset. If you plan on just a cruise through with a couple of photo stops you'll miss out. To fully experience the Badlands you've got to get off the pavement and walk a bit.

The Air Museum is located just west of Omaha on I-80. Do yourself a favor and take Highway 2 through Nebraska once through the Badlands.

Enjoy and let us know how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Rapid City

Yeah, this is going to be one hell of a trip. Main reason I'm doing it is I'm moving from west to east, but instead of putting both bikes on the trailer (like the wife wants me to), I figured I'd just tow one on the wifes car, toss my car on the back of a truck, then fly back to California and ride the Wee back east. Now as far as hitting Rapid City, that's exactly why I'm heading out there. I've heard incredible stories of the riding out in the black hills, seen some amazing pictures, and need to experience it for myself. I also plan on doing the early departure and riding into the badlands while the sun is coming up, plus it gets me on the road a little early to make for a better time cushion in case something happens to catch my attention. Can't wait to see it
 

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Omaha

I live near Omaha. I would suggest looking here: http://www.visitomaha.com/visitors/things-to-do/

The SAC Museum is just west of town on I-80. It is a great place.
We have a zoo, among the best in the country, for sure. The zoo is across from the the soon-to-be-replaced Rosenblatt Stadium of College World Series fame. The Omaha Royals play there, too.
Downtown's "Old Market" area has some good restaurants and shops.
Omaha has a fairly active music scene. Check for concerts in the area. There are several venues, large to intimate, including the Qwest Center, which draws all kinds of entertainment.

Riding-wise, it is not a fantastic area, but if you go east or northeast of here into the Loess Hills of Iowa, there is some very nice riding. You may like to work that into your route.

Have a safe trip. Feel free to PM (if you can PM newer-ish members) if you have any questions.
 

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cal to va.

Be sure to stop in Maggie, Valley, N. C. The "Wheels Through Time" mc museum is locate there There are many rare and running vintage motorcycles to be seen. It is not far from the "Dragons Tail". Plan a whole day. It is worth it
 

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USAF Museum in Dayton, OH. Barber Museum in Birmingham, AL. These are must-stops, at least for me.

As to Tennessee, lots of ideas for stops Here. There are also a lot of photos from Arizona to Tennessee from a couple of trips on This Page.

Arches is fantastic. Leave plenty of time for that one. From Utah all the way down to I-40 at Albuquerque is gorgeous country. Lots of national parks and scenic byways throughout the area.
 

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Not sure how it lays out on the map but alternatives to Omaha might include either Darwin, Minnesota or Cawker City, Kansas - home to the largest ball of twine (12 feet, by Francis A. Johnson) and the second-larget ball of twine (11 feet, by Pastor Karen Erickson), respectively.

It was only a matter of time until someone brought it up.

Have a great trip, I ride by Vienna VA every day on the way to work so you'll be in the thick of things, population- and traffic-wise (but near great riding country once you get here).
 

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When is your launch date? I'll be riding my Rocket, or perhaps my Strom, to South Carolina in late June. We are gathering for an uber western Virginia/North Carolina/eastern Tennessee ride, to include exploring the Dragon.

PM me if you want to chat about routes.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Oh yeah, I grew up in Vienna... Very aware of the chaos, but you know what? for some reason it doesn't bother me there. There are more than enough side and back roads to avoid 66/495/123 all together. I'm going to be a Marine Corps recruiter and was trying to get back to NoVa (Fairfax/Chantilly/Manassas/Falls Church), but ended up with my orders to Frederick,MD. Lots of work, but the reward is lots of good riding, and I'm gonna be sure to take advantage. I'm looking forward to being back closer to home... just wish I were allowed to split lanes over there. commuting on two wheels just isn't the same when you can't pass everybody standing still. UGH!!!

My departure date window is going to be a little after the 4th of July some time. I have planned everything to end in the Outer Banks, NC on July 23rd (my b-day). Rolling up the coast from Ocracoke is my birthday present to myself, and if the weather is just right, I couldn't ask for anything more. The only thing that's still up in the air is when I'm actually leaving, though. I am planning on doing the trip in either 13 or 14 days. still yet to be determined, but it'll probably be the 10th that I start moving. Our windows are different, but what are you going to be riding? I couldn't imagine a long trip hunched over, but I do know people who've done it. You're a tougher man than me.
 

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"Moab to next destination will take 128 to the 70"

Million Dollar Hwy (550) is a great, great ride.

"St Louis, MO --- (hear the ride down the Mississippi is nice. Will do it)"

Hannibal to Cairo is pretty nice, if slow. If nothing else Hannibal to St. Louis.

Nashville is soggy but open. Might call ahead for rooms as Opryland Hotel was 25% of the city's rooms.

"Asheville, NC ---(via the dragon, of course)"

The Dragon may still be closed on the TN side, but it can all be ridden from the NC side. Cherohala Skyway is a must ride, so east on Cherohala to Dragon for out and back then continue east (run the Dragon during the week if you can). Blue Ridge pky from Cherokee to Ashville is excellent.

TN, NC, NGa: weeks if not months of great roads.

It will be a great trip. Enjoy!
 

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As far as Virginia goes, your missing the Blue Ridge Parkway. Did a 160 mi trip today. You could take it from Ashville alll the way north just west of Vienna.
Not that I think you should omit Ocracoke. Used to fly in there for the day and it's pretty much a must see except for the mosqitos. From there up to Vienna you will be going through the more undesirable areas of VA . So maybe diverting west to pick up the BRP might not be too bad especially since it would be cooler in the summer. If you do, let me know and I'll meet you up there & ride north if I have the time off.
 

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Denver

From Denver north I would stay off I-25. A great ride is from central city to estes park via the peak to peak highway. From estes take the Thomson Cannon to Loveland. You will see longs peak, Rocky Mountain national park. This is great riding!!:thumbup:
 

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Oh yeah, I grew up in Vienna... Very aware of the chaos, but you know what? for some reason it doesn't bother me there. There are more than enough side and back roads to avoid 66/495/123 all together. I'm going to be a Marine Corps recruiter and was trying to get back to NoVa (Fairfax/Chantilly/Manassas/Falls Church), but ended up with my orders to Frederick,MD.
Obviously you know what you're getting into in Vienna so I won't caution you. There is very nice riding between Frederick, Thurmont and Harper's Ferry.

Good luck with ride. Looks like a lot of fun. Thanks for your service and I hope to see you out on the WV roads later this year (that's where the really good stuff is).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
aldntn and DBQ,
You're advice has been noted, and will definately change my route in Colorado, as well as enjoying a little more of NC. thanks

I was thinking about the Blue Ridge Pkwy from NC up, but my family lives in the OBX, so that's what brings me there. I've ridden part of it when i was living back east and it definately is a great ride. I'll have the next 3+ years to enjoy it some more.
 
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