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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Motorcycle Trip in the Planning

I am going to a gathering of my motorcycle association in 2014.  The gather is from Wednesday, June 25th to Wednesday, July 2nd.  I plan to take off from June 20th to July 8th in order to ride my motorcycle from Brandon, Mississippi to the gathering location on the coast of Oregon.

Going the Google Maps way would take 43 hours of driving about 2,608 miles.

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This is pretty big, since my longest trip before this has been only 1,060 miles of riding over the course of four days.  This trip will be well over twice that in the same time period.  YIKES!!

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Of course, the Google Map default route to Oregon seems fairly boring.  So, I'm thinking of taking a route that would take 43 hours and add 117 miles, but be a lot more interesting.  Then, I plan to take a more scenic route home, that will take 51 hours or so and add around 500 miles.

View The Oregon Trail in a larger map

So, the trip there will be "Total: 2,725 mi - about 1 day 19 hours"  or 43 hours of riding.  Lets think about 700 miles per day will take me four days to get there, but I will take five.  I think I'll spend some time in Denver.  The return trip will be "Total: 3,206 mi - about 2 days 3 hours", so thinking about 700 miles per day, that will take me four and half days - all five days to do.  I am going to try for one or more certificates from Long Distance Riders.

Lets go over the trip there.  I will leave the Flying J Truck Stop in Pearl, MS at around 5:30 PM.  I'll roll down I-20 West almost to Vicksburg, MS and take Hwy 61 - the Blues Trail - up to Leland, MS.  I'll head West on Hwy 82 and try to make it to Warfield Point Park in Greenville, MS, to camp right on the Mississippi River.  That will be 150 miles down.

From there, I will try to do 732 miles to the Amarillo KOA campground.  This should easily get the Easy Rider cert from LDR.  If the KOA is priced like I have heard - asking them via email revealed $26.67 per night - then I will not stay there.  I'll go on down to the Sun Down RV Resort and pay $14 for a campsite.

Leaving Amarillo early in the morning, Sunday will be a leisurely 435 miles to Denver, CO.  There, I hope to stay with friends or camp in their yard.  This will also be a nice break after the push of Saturday and help prepare for the mountain ride on Monday.

Monday, I will head over the mountains toward Salt Lake City, Utah.  I have two options for the night, Crystal Hot Springs campground or Lottie-Dell campground.  Lottie-Dell is 600 miles, Crystal Hot Springs is 560.  If the trip over the mountains really wears me out, there is Willard Bay State Park at a mere 543 miles.

Lets assume I make it to Lottie-Dell.  Either way, Tuesday is a tough ride through a small, twisty mountain road. (yah!)  At 520 miles, there is the Ochoco Divide campground, another campground 5 miles down the road, but I'd like to make it to Smith Rock State Park in Oregon.  That would be 568 miles from Lottie-Dell.

That would leave around 200 miles to make it to Waldport, OR and the gathering.  An easy ride on Wednesday morning.

Then there is the way back home....  It will start out Wednesday afternoon and take the Coast Highway southbound.  There is a KOA in Sacramento, CA - but not much else.  Lots of camping supply stores, no camping sites.  LOL!  I will probably just do 400 or so miles and hit up the Red Bluff Diversion Dam Recreation Area for camping.

From there, it is 700 miles to Las Vegas, baby!!  I'll just look at the city from a distance and camp at Boulder Beach Camp Ground.

Albuquerque has a KOA, but other than that, it is kind of hard to find campgrounds.  I may just wind up camping off the side of the road somewhere. However, I think I will try to eat at "The Frontier." Lets say 550 miles for Friday.

Saturday starts off early and the destination is 454 miles to Davis Mountain State Park in Texas.  Of course, the route will be through Roswell and Carlsbad, New Mexico.  Area 51 and Caves!!

Sunday will be a harsh ride - 684 miles to Oak Leaf Park in Orange, TX for camping.  The route will take me within arms reach of the Mexico Border and through Houston, TX.

Monday will be a nice ride up the Natchez Trace, 365 miles to Home.  Then a day off on Tuesday to rest up before work on Wednesday.

Of course, I may just hit Carlsbad, NM and get to I-20 and take a left instead of a right and shave off several hundred interesting, yet unnecessary, miles just to get home quicker.  Then again, I hate that stretch of I-20 as I have traveled it way too much.

The trip there will start the 20th of June around 5:00 PM.  I plan to ride as far as I can before stopping for the night and wake up early, early to get started again.  The trip back will start July 2nd in the early afternoon, same plan - ride as far as possible and waking up early.

So, anyone want to join up for a stretch of the ride, let me know!!