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Riding motorcycles to Nova Scotia? Or Route 66 to California? Or somewhere?

Melensdad

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We are having our foster son "transitioned" from our home. That is government talk for they are taking our baby away from us. We got him at 2 months old. He is now 16 months old. We are the only parents he know but his maternal grandmother has now been awarded custody.

So we will have time to travel again. But where to go?

We have seriously been looking at Route 66, but honestly leaving Chicago and heading southwest through Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona during the dog days of summer just seems like a stupid idea. High heat on a motorcycle is not really fun. Looking northward we are thinking maybe Nova Scotia might be a better destination, weather will be cooler, and we've never been there before. Canada is relaxing border controls for vaccinated people and we fit their criteria so maybe crossing the bother would make sense. But is Nova Scotia the right destination?

A round trip of 3000 to 4000 miles is reasonable and both of these destinations fit into range.

Anyone have any other suggestions on where we should consider. Departure is city is near enough to Chicago to say we'd be leaving Chicago. So what round trip would you make if you were departing Chicago and heading off somewhere in mid-late August?
 

Melensdad

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Looks like Nova Scotia is NOT possible at this time.

I was reading the details about Canadian travel. They are relaxing SOME rules, but the border still appears to be closed to tourists. PERIOD. We would probably be traveling in mid-to-late August so maybe the border crossing will be open at that time? But that is anyone's guess.

I'm hearing great things about motorcycle riding in Nova Scotia so this is sort of depressing that it is still closed off. We are looking at many different alternatives, one of which includes riding to Maine, and having a PLAN B just in case the Canadian border opens in August for tourism.

Anyone have an ideas on a motorcycle trip that does NOT involve high heat or high humidity travel in August? We'd be departing from the greater Chicagoland area, and are looking for a 3000-to-4000 mile trip, probably 3 weeks of travel.
 
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EastTexFrank

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When I first read of your proposed Route 66 trip I was parked, in my motorhome with both a/c blasting, in the Route 66 Hotel, Casino and RV Resort in Albuquerque, NM, and I thought to myself, "Bob's really lost it this time". It's not a pretty drive and in August it hot, freekin' hot, and windy, dusty and generally unpleasant. From OKC west it is essentially all interstate with all the 18-wheelers and lots of traffic. There are some detours on to old Route 66 but when we took them on a car trip a long time ago, we were generally disappointed. Things may have changed since then but some research would give you a better idea of what to expect now. It would not be my idea of a pleasure trip, especially in August, unless I just wanted to say that I rode the the old "Route 66". I use it to get to where I really want to be which is southern Colorado and northern New Mexico.

I'd explore more possibilities further north. If you can't get in to Canada, Maine would be beautiful. I've never been there but my wife has been several times and absolutely loves the State.
 

jimbo

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This time of year, I would be in the mountains or the north coast.
I agree. I took an August driving trip north from Denver to near the border then through the Sangree de Cristos to Taos. than home. Two things:

It's beautiful.
It's not hot.
 

FrancSevin

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Go south young man. Go south.

Blue ridge mountains, Tennessee and the Virginias. All mountains with fun road. Do the 129Dragon. Stay at Fontana Lodge ( an old but nice resort), or with the clowder of Bikers at Deals Gap.

The air is clean and cool. Mostly red state people who are damn friendly. Good food and far as I know, everything ( that didn't gout of business last summer), is open and welcoming.

Cherokee Village is touristy but still a nice ride through the mountains. Just about any ride around Franklin TN is worth the time.

A quick ride down I-65 then I-74 to Covington. Down I-75 to Lexington KY where the mountain climate begins. A beautiful mountain ride on I-75 to Knoxville. Launch your next run from there. Blue Ridge mountain Highway is 55 MPH but a perfect set for you over the hill fat Harley's .

The scenery is awesome.


Two things, Not as far away as Denver and the mountains are not as high. But, the rivers run cold and it's not hot.
 
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jimbo

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Go south young man. Go south.

Blue ridge mountains, Tennessee and the Virginias. All mountains with fun road. Do the 129Dragon. Stay at Fontana Lodge ( an old but nice resort), or with the clowder of Bikers at Deals Gap.

The air is clean and cool. Mostly red state people who are damn friendly. Good food and far as I know, everything ( that didn't gout of business last summer), is open and welcoming.

Cherokee Village is touristy but still a nice ride through the mountains. Just about any ride around Franklin TN is worth the time.

A quick ride down I-65 then I-74 to Covington. Down I-75 to Lexington KY where the mountain climate begins. A beautiful mountain ride on I-75 to Knoxville. Launch your next run from there. Blue Ridge mountain Highway is 55 MPH but a perfect set for you over the hill fat Harley's .

The scenery is awesome.


Two things, Not as far away as Denver and the mountains are not as high. But, the rivers run cold and it's not hot.
I've driven the Blue Ridge Parkway end to end several times. Worth the trip.

Wore of caution. Speed limit is 45, and 46 gets you busted.
 

FrancSevin

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I've driven the Blue Ridge Parkway end to end several times. Worth the trip.

Wore of caution. Speed limit is 45, and 46 gets you busted.
Thanks Jimbo. You are right, Typo.

It was hard to hold my Crossfire at that speed. But for guys on a Harley,,,,,;Perfect!

Also, taking I-26 north out of Ashville to I-81 and a run north-east up to I-81/I-77 at Whiteville is lovely. Go up I-77, (a toll to Charleston) and on up to Akron OH puts one on a nice I-80 shot home to North Indiana.

I-77 runs through Beckley W VA. and is a challenging bit of Interstate curves hills and views.
 
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Melensdad

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Melen went to Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem NC so I’ve spent plenty of time in that region.

At this point I’m thinking New England may work well and we can hope Canada opens up too
 

m1west

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Thanks Jimbo. You are right, Typo.

It was hard to hold my Crossfire at that speed. But for guys on a Harley,,,,,;Perfect!

Also, taking I-26 north out of Ashville to I-81 and a run north-east up to I-81/I-77 at Whiteville is lovely. Go up I-77, (a toll to Charleston) and on up to Akron OH puts one on a nice I-80 shot home to North Indiana.

I-77 runs through Beckley W VA. and is a challenging bit of Interstate curves hills and views.
Sounds like a fun ride, but where did you get the idea Harleys are slow. Every one I had liked 80 on the highway. 88 Ci. 75 Hp, 6 gears and 600# wasn't underpowered.
 

FrancSevin

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My wife and I used to travel the N England areas, and do B&B's

Not the cognac, cozy small Inns.

Cape Ann MA is great. Maine is also. The White mountains are more enjoyable in summer than with all those uppity ski buffs in their Volvos.

If you want to sharpen your defensive driving skills, try Boston.

Northern NH and Vermont are blue as hell but the people are nice. Ayhya'
 

FrancSevin

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Sounds like a fun ride, but where did you get the idea Harleys are slow. Every one I had liked 80 on the highway. 88 Ci. 105 Hp, 6 gears and 600# wasn't underpowered.
Because whenever one was ahead of me on the 129 Dragon's Tail, I had to hold back whilst their low pipes made sparks on the pavement in the turns. And even though there are plenty of turn offs, the A-holes stayed in their saddles, RUMBLe RUMBLe, blocking the way for the whole 11 miles of 318 curves. Speed limit used to be 55MPH. But the State of NC lowered it to 35 MPH. I guess to accommodate the Harleys. Still they seldom even get to that speed.

Takes 1/2 an hour behind a Harley.

My Kawa 450 KD did the run in 15 minutes and change the first attempt.

My Crossfire did it in 14 minutes 12 seconds.

Anyone can go fast on the Interstate. Even Harleys.


A winding road in the Smoky Mountains.
 
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m1west

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Because whenever one was ahead of me on the 129 Dragon's Tail, I had to hold back whilst their low pipes made sparks on the pavement in the turns. And even though there are plenty of turn offs, the A-holes stayed in their saddles, RUMBLe RUMBLe, blocking the way for the whole 11 miles of 318 curves. Speed limit used to be 55MPH. But the State of NC lowered it to 35 MPH. I guess to accommodate the Harleys. Still they seldom even get to that speed.

Takes 1/2 an hour behind a Harley.

My Kawa 450 KD did the run in 15 minutes and change the first attempt.

My Crossfire did it in 14 minutes 12 seconds.

Anyone can go fast on the Interstate. Even Harleys.


A winding road in the Smoky Mountains.
Maybe its a east coast thing, out here they are doing 80, and the mountain roads look just like those to. Did the street vibrations event in Reno a couple times. The fastest and nicest way there is Hwy 88 to 89 right through south Lake Tahoe to incline village ( the home of the Ponderosa, like in little Joe and Hoss ) Then down the mountain and you're there in 2 hours from Home.
 

FrancSevin

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My behind a Harley EXPERIENCE,,,,BURP , BURP, BURP,,,,

On my '95 Harley Sportster? a whole nuther matter!
 

FrancSevin

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Maybe its a east coast thing, out here they are doing 80, and the mountain roads look just like those to. Did the street vibrations event in Reno a couple times. The fastest and nicest way there is Hwy 88 to 89 right through south Lake Tahoe to incline village ( the home of the Ponderosa, like in little Joe and Hoss ) Then down the mountain and you're there in 2 hours from Home.
Ain't no road out west like the Dragon's tail.
It kills two or three a year.
Jus saying
 

Melensdad

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Actually nothing new to report on the Canadian border opening.

This news story makes it sound like travel is opening up, but the reality is that nothing new is actually happening. At least not until after July 21. And we don't know if they will loosen up at that point. Tourism is still locked down.

I submit, for your reading displeasure, an optimistic spin on nothing much:

blah blah blah ...

...Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have had a full dose of a coronavirus vaccine approved for use in Canada can skip a 14-day quarantine that has been a requirement since March 2020. Eligible air travelers also no longer have to spend their first three days in the country at a government-approved hotel.
Restrictions barring all non-essential trips between Canada and the United States, including tourism, will remain in place until at least July 21...

blah blah blah ...

Full story at the link above.
 

FrancSevin

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Like I said maybe its a east coast thing, Have you ever been in the Sierras? There are plenty of roads like that.
Yes I have and no there isn't. Not that I ever ran across.

I felt the same way hearing stories about the 129 Tail Death Road. I'd be on a tight winding winding road and ask the guys, it the "Dragon like this?"
To a man they said "Nope."

Switchbacks up and down a mountain side are exciting, but seldom as tight and unpredictable as the Tail of the Dragon.

Here's a video as it is experienced behind a Harley, and without the impediment.
Speed limit is 30.

I've got one somewhere with a 2004 Chrysler Crossfire in about 14 minutes of gut wrenching. This was done early morning and before they lowered the speed limit from 55 MPH. Despite a Supercharged 400 HP powerplant on a 3,000 Lb in my wife's 2 seater coupe, I could never find a stretch where I could exceed 85 MPH before I had to break hard for the hairpins.
 
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m1west

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Watched both videos, the road looks like State hwy 36 that I take to Susanville, after leaving the freeway. ( part of it follows the Lassen trail , which was where the settlers in covered wagons came across the Sierras into Ca. in the 1850's ) The first leg on the freeway takes 2 hours to cover 150 miles, then when I leave the freeway in Chico the next 100 miles takes 2 hours. An average 50 mph is the best I have done. Near Lake Tahoe there is a stretch going from Shouth Lake Tahoe to North Lake Tahoe where you are on a 6% grade doing 180 Degree switchbacks. Its fun in the summer, but can be very exciting in the winter. I gave my Roadking to my step son for Christmas a couple years ago. I hadn't ridden it in 2 years. I have switched to off road fun.
 

FrancSevin

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129 Dragon was once used by truckers as a "short cut." Some of the hairpins were so tight, the drivers had to stop and wiggle back and forth to make them. Tying up traffic at best, causing major accidents at worst. Sometime in 2005 or 2006 they outlawed tractor trailer combos on the road.

However, towing a 32 foot camper can still be done and is sometimes testy. Crouch rockets don't care about the speed limits and often come around a turn sparking their foot pegs, and slide into a camper trying to negotiate a hairpin. two or three times a year it is "game over."

Hilariously exciting when the speed limit was 55 MPH. Kind of a waste of time now that it is 30 MPH. That is except for early weekday mornings when the law isn't there.

Back to Melen's subject, despite the danger the 129 tail of the Dragon isn't the only road in the area that is fun on a bike. Any bike. even a Harley. One could spend a week in the area and never have a day without a new adventure.
 
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