American West tour this summer - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
West and Southwest CA, AZ, NM, CO, HI, NV, UT

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post #1 of 13 Old 05-02-2010, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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American West tour this summer

This summer I'm heading from Austin, Texas to Pasadena, California and all points in between.


I did a similar trip in 2005 with the exception of a detour in Maine and the cruiser I was riding (current bike is WeeStrom, and I plan to do more offroad). This year I don't have as long, maybe 3 or 4 weeks to play, so I'll only go west.

My plan is to visit Southern Utah. I already bought a National Parks pass and want to see Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, Monument Valley, and the Northern Rim after riding to Moab. I'd also like to ride through Death Valley. One the way back I haven't decided to do a more southerly route or one more north, probably I'll head west from LA and then back east, saving the Parks for after my workshop.

Google Maps trip planned
4000 miles before any sightseeing


I don't know the exact dates yet. It might be July or August. If anyone wants to join me for part of all of the trip, send me a PM. I'd like the company.

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post #2 of 13 Old 05-03-2010, 02:06 PM
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I live in Pasadena. I can show you some great places to ride around here.

Givi Windscreen, Madstads, E21 & E41 Panniers, E52 Top Case, Scorpion Stainless Exhaust, Famsa Tank Bag & Panniers, Symtec heated Grips w/ Grip Puppies, Pat Walsh Engine Guard / Skid Plate, OEM Handgaurds, OEM Center Stand, SWMotech Mirror Wideners, Metzler Tourance, 4" ABS Tube, AutoCom Pro 7, GIPro, Sargent Seat, BSS Fuse Block & Relay, Garmin Zumo 550, Stebel Air Horn, Aux Powerlets, Alaskan Leather, PIAA xtreme white, Superbrace, ToolTube, Kaoko Throttle Control, Highway Pegs, Risers (1" up 1" back) Sonic Springs, 1" raising links, PIAA 510 ATP, Touratech LED Tail Light, Touratech Zumo mount.
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post #3 of 13 Old 05-03-2010, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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I live in Pasadena. I can show you some great places to ride around here.
That's a nice offer, thanks. I'll be there a week for a workshop but can get their early or stay late to see the local rides.

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post #4 of 13 Old 05-05-2010, 06:39 PM
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Very nice! I did a very similar ride (LA - Austin - LA) many years ago. However, that was in October. Death Valley in the summer is going to be murderously hot. Plan to ride through at dawn or dusk if you can.
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post #5 of 13 Old 05-05-2010, 11:38 PM
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I'm just back this afternoon from a trip out to Ely, NV on Highway 50, from my home on the Northern CA coast near Eureka. Weather was a little chilly, but otherwise very nice. Mountains are capped with snow, and the desert is actually green from the relatively wet winter.

By the time you get there, expect brown vegetation and HOT temperatures. Be prepared in whatever fashion you find works for you, and carry lots of water.

Much of Nevada is underrated for its scenic beauty due to most people only seeing it from their quick trip across the state on I 80, probably the most scenicly challenged major highway in the USA.

Try US 50 (east-west), US 93 (north-south), and you will get an entirely different impression.

You also might want to avoid State Route 375. It is VERY barren out there, and the gas station and "restaurant" that used to be in Rachel is now closed.

I agree with the previous comment regarding Death Valley in the summer. You might want to seriously consider holding back on visiting there until you can get out during the spring. Go to the National Park web site and they will keep you posted on the spring flowering season so you can time your visit for the best time. Don't worry about missing the hot season, 'cause even in April they often have 100 degree temperatures during the day.

If you decide to ride US 50, (yes I know it's in the center of the state), stop in Ely and get the "Highway 50 Survival Guide" by the Nevada Commission on Tourism. It's a neat memento in its own right, and if you visit the five towns listed in the booklet and send in the card, they will send you some cool mementos. When you visit Austin, NV, make sure to eat a meal at the International Cafe. If you find out what the deal is with the women's panties and bras hanging from the deer antlers in the bar, let me know.

Before going to Utah, get a listing of all the Utah State campgrounds, and plan on checking them out. They are generally in very scenic locations, or locations of some historical or scientific interest, and they are clean and cheap. Last year I paid $7 per night at most sites, with hot showers included!

Looking back on what I've written, I think you will get the most satisfaction if you develop your summer trip itinerary with an eye to staying in the higher elevations during the summer season in order to avoid the really serious heat that will be encountered at the lower elevations.

If you are truly a survivalist and are intent on challenging yourself, well, go for it, but remember not all survivalists survive their tests!
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-06-2010, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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If you are truly a survivalist and are intent on challenging yourself, well, go for it, but remember not all survivalists survive their tests!

That's true. I've done something like this before though and plan to take care of myself. What I really want to see is Southern Utah, and this summer is the best opportunity I'll get for a while. I just got my Wee outfitted with all the gear she'll need, now I need to prepare myself.

It's good to remember that it won't be comfortable for part of the trip.

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post #7 of 13 Old 05-06-2010, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
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Try US 50 (east-west), US 93 (north-south), and you will get an entirely different impression.

You also might want to avoid State Route 375. It is VERY barren out there, and the gas station and "restaurant" that used to be in Rachel is now closed.
Great tips! I also recommend stopping in Baker, NV (just off 50, right near the UT line) and visiting the Silver Jack Inn. Great little place with good food and cheap rooms. It's practically at the gates to Great Basin NP.
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-12-2010, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Great tips! I also recommend stopping in Baker, NV (just off 50, right near the UT line) and visiting the Silver Jack Inn. Great little place with good food and cheap rooms. It's practically at the gates to Great Basin NP.
I'm not sure how far north I'll get in NV because the plans are all in flux right now. The only thing for sure is that I'll be in Southern Utah for almost 2 weeks. Before and after things can change.

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post #9 of 13 Old 05-25-2010, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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Great tips! I also recommend stopping in Baker, NV (just off 50, right near the UT line) and visiting the Silver Jack Inn. Great little place with good food and cheap rooms. It's practically at the gates to Great Basin NP.

I've heard several times about the GB NP, so maybe I'll head up there. Sounds like a nice place.

I'm really looking forward to this trip. Just got back from 8 days in Colorado and New Mexico where the roads were great. I'm back in tour mode! Can't wait until July.

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post #10 of 13 Old 06-07-2010, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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looks like I've had to revise my trip a little to accomodate schedule. Will be in Albuquerque on June 30th and Mesa Verde/Cortez one or two days later.

That puts me in Moab around the 3rd or 4th of July. If anyone is interested, here is the current plan.

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