Colorado - Royal Gorge Bridge

The Royal Gorge Bridge crosses the Arkansas River. Ride a zipline, gondola, or walk across the bridge. $23  www.royalgorgebridge.com
The Royal Gorge Bridge crosses the Arkansas River. Ride a zipline, gondola, or walk across the bridge. $23 www.royalgorgebridge.com

"The Royal Gorge Bridge is a tourist attraction near Cañon City, Colorado within Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, a 360-acre  amusement park located along the edge of the Royal Gorge around both ends of the bridge. The bridge crosses the gorge 955 feet  above the Arkansas River and held the record of highest bridge in the world from 1929 until 2001 when it was surpassed by the Liuguanghe Bridge in China. The Royal Gorge Bridge maintained the title of the world's highest suspension bridge until the Beipan River Guanxing Highway Bridge was completed in 2003, also in China. The bridge remains the highest bridge in the United States and was among the ten highest bridges in the world until 2012."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Gorge_Bridge

The Gorge is located 58 miles SW of Colorado Springs, CO.

See the Google Map.


"There are multiple ways to experience the grandeur of the gargantuan Royal Gorge Bridge. Stroll across to stand 956 feet above the Arkansas, marvel at the structure’s complex engineering and peer over the edge to spot whitewater rafters cruising the rapids down below. Or glide across to soak up jaw-dropping 360-degree panoramas of the rugged canyon and neighboring mountains from the comfort of a slick aerial gondola. ... The Cloudscraper ZipRider is North America’s highest zipline and allows intrepid visitors to soar 1,200 feet above the Arkansas using the latest harness and breaking systems. Open March 11, 2017–January 7, 2018, the zipline is a hand-free, bucket-list-worthy ride. The Royal Rush Skycoaster, which drops visitors in a 50-mile-per-hour free fall and dangles them above the river, is another stomach-flipping experience. Up to three people can embark on the ride together — so you don’t have to brave the coaster alone! ... With slides, nets, tunnels, 20-foot towers and a splash pad, the park’s new Tommy Knocker Playland keeps little ones occupied for hours. Other grin-inducing activities for kiddos include gold panning and a classic carousel. Meanwhile, the new Visitor Center is the place to watch zipliners fly across the gorge from the sunny deck, grab a bite to eat amid incredible views at Café 1230 and pick out souvenirs at the gift shop. And shutterbugs will delight in the numerous Photo Lookout Areas located throughout the park — making it super easy to capture Insta-worthy photos of the bridge, gorge and surrounding area."

http://www.colorado.com/articles/5-reasons-spend-day-royal-gorge-bridge-park

Click above to buy this book at Amazon.com now.
Click above to buy this book at Amazon.com now.

Mountain Falls near I-26

 

"This road is not for novice riders.  It is not for sissies.  There are very few guard rails.  Death and danger lurk around every curve."

Shunkawauken Falls on White Oak Mountain Road, near Columbus, NC off I-26 not far from the NC / SC border.
Shunkawauken Falls on White Oak Mountain Road, near Columbus, NC off I-26 not far from the NC / SC border.

"Shunkawauken Falls cascades down the side of White Oak Mountain, and is an unusual fall in that most falls of this magnitude do not occur this close to a mountain's summit. At this point, most streams are mere trickles. There is a small plateau on the summit of White Oak Mountain containing several small ponds which give Horse Creek its unusual size."  http://www.carolinatrails.com/NorthCarolina/Polk/Shunkawauken/Shunkawauken.htm

A far away, but decent view of the falls can be found in downtown Columbus, from point such as the Food Lion parking lot, especially in the winter and in wet weather."   https://www.wncwaterfalls.info/waterfall/1047/Shunkawauken_Falls 

 

 See the photo at http://www.carolinatrails.com/NorthCarolina/Polk/Shunkawauken/Shunkawauken.htm


Shunkawauken Falls, 4 miles off I-26.
Shunkawauken Falls, 4 miles off I-26.

"Are you looking for a fun motorcycle ride near Asheville, North Carolina or Greenville, South Carolina or Charlotte, North Carolina or Spartanburg, South Carolina or Tryon, North Carolina?  Can you find your way to Columbus, North Carolina?  Columbus is the county seat of Polk county.  If you are traveling west on Interstate 26, Columbus is the first exit across the South Carolina North Carolina state line.  It is exit number 67.  From downtown Columbus, ride up to the top of White Oak Mountain. ... This road is not for novice riders.  It is not for sissies.  There are very few guard rails.  Death and danger lurk around every curve.  There are plenty of curves. There are plenty of extreme curves.  When you get to the top, you can see all the way to Walt Disney World. ... The highlight of the ride will certainly be Shunkawauken Falls on Horse Creek."  http://rondclimer.blogspot.com/2016/02/a-waterfall-motorcycle-destination.html


  

"Shunkawauken Falls is a roadside 150-foot tall waterfall just outside Columbus (near Tryon and Saluda) on the twisting, scenic White Oak Mountain Road. Along the way, see some panoramic vistas as you climb 2,000 in elevation in five miles to the top of the mountain. ... Start your drive up White Oak Mountain Road at the First Peak Visitor Center for Polk County in downtown Columbus (20 East Mills St). From the center parking area, turn right onto Houston Road. Drive a short distance and Houston Road will fork to the right. Then turn left onto White Oak Mountain Road."  https://www.romanticasheville.com/shunkawauken.htm

 

"The winding road crosses the falls in 2 places for easy, drive-by viewing. There isn’t room to park or walk along the road. Continue up the road .7 miles to Sunset Rock overlook. Enjoy the views, then head back down the way you came."  https://www.visitnc.com/listing/shunkawauken-falls


Northern Tennessee Switchbacks

North of Wilder TN you come upon these wooded switchbacks. Click the photo for the Google map.
North of Wilder TN you come upon these wooded switchbacks. Click the photo for the Google map.

The Cumberland Mtn General Store / Diner is on US 127 in north central Tennessee.
The Cumberland Mtn General Store / Diner is on US 127 in north central Tennessee.

 

The Cumberland Mtn General Store and Rock-A-Billy Diner is between Knoxville and Nashville, north of I-40 on US 127. They host Friday night Cruise-ins during May thru October.  The 50's style diner serves old fashioned burgers, hotdogs, fish, fries, onion rings, milkshakes, hand-dipped ice cream and more! There's syrup flavors for your fountain drinks. Check their limited hours, especially on weekdays. See the menu here.

 

The Rock-A-Billy Diner at the Cumberland Mtn General Store in north central Tennessee.
The Rock-A-Billy Diner at the Cumberland Mtn General Store in north central Tennessee.

Off US 127 in north central Tennessee this 143 mile ride waits just north of I-40.
Off US 127 in north central Tennessee this 143 mile ride waits just north of I-40.

 

FREE Ride Maps at West Fork General Store, Alpine, TN

 

Go North of the switchbacks, also on our 140 mile route.  Charles Childers says on Facebook — "If you are ever in Alpine TN at the junction of TN85 and TN52 make sure you stop in and talk with the owner Kathy Smith; you won't meet a nicer business owner/lady/person. Kathy exemplifies country charm and kindness which seems to have been lost in society today, especially the big cities. While you're there, buy something, have a snack and/or a sandwich which Kathy will be glad to make for you.

The West Fork General Store is a rare gem I didn't think existed anymore. The West Fork General Store is also located on a superb motorcycle ride, "Aces and Eights" (best done in a clockwise direction) just north of Crossville TN. Kathy has plenty of maps provided by wildrides that illustrate the "Aces and Eights" ride as well as many others in NC, SC and TN.; the maps are available free along many popular motorcycle routes in these three states."

 

 https://www.facebook.com/pages/West-Fork-General-Store/137338292974878

 


Standing Stone State Park has campsites, cabins, and group lodges.

 

"The park has 36 campsites, each with grill, picnic table, water and electricity. There are also 17 historic WPA cabins and seven more modern cabins available that can be reserved up to a year in advance. All cabins are completely equipped for housekeeping including appliances, microwave oven, cooking utensils and linens. The park has three group lodges ranging in size and accommodations. 

The famous National Rolley Hole Marble Tournament is held here every September. The largest of its kind, the tournament has been an annual event at the park for more than 30 years. This traditional marbles contest draws some of the country’s best players to a tournament where players match wit and skills with special flint spheres on a smooth dirt surface. The festival includes kids’ games, marble making, swap meet, tournament play, demonstrations, music and food. (Registration is required for the Rolley Hole Tournament.) This one of a kind family experience has been featured by ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CBS, CNN, Smithsonian Institution, National Geographic and Charles Schulz's Peanuts comic strip. Watch the great video our friends at Wild SideTV made about this internationally recognized tournament."  http://tnstateparks.com/parks/about/standing-stone

 


Total Solar Eclipse over USA on August 21

Eclipse photo from mashable.com - click it to see
Eclipse photo from mashable.com - click it to see

 

You have a great chance to see the total solar eclipse this month as it crosses the US from Oregon at 10:15am PDT to South Carolina, exiting at 2:50pm EDT.  The eclipse will be viewable from most locations, but it won't be a total eclipse unless you are close to the path - so check the NASA maps here.  

 

Maine will only see a 50% to 60% eclipse, 75% in San Francisco, 85% in Orlando and Chicago, 60% in Los Angeles, and San Antonio, TX. 80% eclipses for Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and DC.  Check the NASA maps here.

 

You'll see at least a partial solar eclipse from anywhere across America in the lower 48 states.
You'll see at least a partial solar eclipse from anywhere across America in the lower 48 states.

eclipse path over Cherohala Skyway - click to enlarge
eclipse path over Cherohala Skyway - click to enlarge

 

 Total solar eclipse on Mon, August 21, 2017

about 2:30 pm over western NC.

 

Viewable from Tail of the Dragon US129 & Cherohala Skyway on the TN / NC border. Unicoi Crest overlook would be a great place to view the eclipse. 

 

The 2017 eclipse path crosses the US from Columbia, SC to Salem, OR.

 Click here for more NASA eclipse info.

 


2017 Total Solar Eclipse MegaCast: Exclusive path of totality coverage across multiple platforms

 

For four hours surrounding the eclipse, NASA will host an Eclipse Megacast providing unique broadcast coverage across multiple phenomenon programming, and allow NASA to interact with the scientists and member of the public across the country as they watch and study the eclipse. The Megacast will be picked up by NASA TV as well as many other local and national TV stations. In all, hundreds of millions, worldwide, will be able to experience and learn about the eclipse through NASA programming.  https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/eclipse-live-stream


Headed for Sturgis ?

Stugis Motorcycle Rally is held each August. Click the photo for our Sturgis page.
Stugis Motorcycle Rally is held each August. Click the photo for our Sturgis page.
There's more to see when you go to Sturgis. Click the map to enlarge it.
There's more to see when you go to Sturgis. Click the map to enlarge it.

 

Headed east after Sturgis there's a nearby museum with over 275 classic cars, 60 tractors, 60 motorcycles, and tons of antiques and memorabilia.  The Pioneer Auto Museum is 160 miles east of Sturgis, just off I-90 in Murdo, SD.  http://www.pioneerautoshow.com/


 

Mitchell, South Dakota, 75 miles east of Sioux Falls on I-90, is home to the Mitchell Corn Palace, an impressive structure covered with corn and other grains. I had lunch with Bill & Cheryl, riders from southern Wisconsin, who visited on a trip to Mt. Rushmore. There's even a Corn Palace Festival.

Corn Palace photo by Parkerdr - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6028862
Corn Palace photo by Parkerdr - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6028862

National Parks Senior Pass - price increase

One of the many incredible rock formations  that tower above you in Zion National Park, Utah.
One of the many incredible rock formations that tower above you in Zion National Park, Utah.

 

National Park Service to increase price of Senior Passes.

"On August 28, 2017, the price of the America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass will increase for the first time since 1994. The additional revenue will be used to enhance the visitor experience in parks.

 

The lifetime Senior Pass will increase from $10 to $80. ... The current passes are lifetime passes and will remain valid. ... US citizens or permanent residents 62 years or older are eligible for the Senior Pass.

 

Annual and lifetime Senior Passes provide access to more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by six federal agencies: National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, US Forest Service, US Army Corps of Engineers.

 

The passes cover entrance and standard amenity (day-use) recreation fees and provide discounts on some expanded amenity recreation fees. ...  traveling companions can also enter for free. The Senior Passes admit pass owner/s and passengers in a noncommercial vehicle at per-vehicle fee areas and pass owner plus three adults, not to exceed four adults, where per-person fees are charged. (Children under 16 are always admitted free.) Also, at many sites, the Senior Passes provide the pass owner (only) a discount on Expanded Amenity Fees (such as camping, swimming, boat launching, and guided tours).

Senior Passes can be purchased at any federal recreation site, including national parks, that charges an entrance or standard amenity (day-use) fee. Proof of age and residency is required. See the complete list of sites where the pass is available (PDF).

 

Passes can also be purchased online or through the mail from USGS; an additional $10 processing fee will be added to the price. Visit the USGS store to buy the pass online or find instructions for purchasing by mail."

 

https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/senior-pass-changes.htm

 

PLEASE NOTE THE COMMENTS BELOW:

"We are experiencing a major increase in Senior pass sales. If you need your pass in less than two months, consider purchasing your pass at the first site you visit. Online Senior passes are currently being processed within nine weeks. Mail in Senior and Access pass applications are currently being processed within twelve weeks.

 

All eligible Senior pass orders postmarked before August 27 will be processed at the $10 price.  Lifetime Senior pass orders postmarked after August 27 will be processed at the $80 price.  Additional processing fees of $10 apply."  

 

Order your pass online today at https://store.usgs.gov/senior-pass


Western New York - Curtiss Motorcycles

Curtiss V-8 Motorcycle set the land speed record of 136 mph in January 1907
Curtiss V-8 Motorcycle set the land speed record of 136 mph in January 1907

"The Curtiss Museum exhibits a truly excellent and varied collection of vintage motorcycles and antique motorcycles. More than half of the motorcycle collection pre-dates WWI. Of special interest is an exact reproduction of Curtiss's 1907 World Record V8 Motorcycle (136.4 mph). Another interesting bike is the 1915 Williams "Clady's Model" that sports a three-cylinder rotary engine fixed to the rear wheel."  http://www.glennhcurtissmuseum.org/motorcycles.php

 

"The Curtiss V-8 motorcycle was a 269 cu in (4,410 cc) V8 engine-powered motorcycle designed and built by aviation and motorcycling pioneer Glenn Curtiss that set an unofficial land speed record of 136.36 miles per hour (219.45 km/h) on January 24, 1907 ... Curtiss remained "the fastest man in the world," the title the newspapers gave him for going faster than any vehicle, on land, sea or air, until 1911, when his absolute record was broken by the 141.7 mph (228.0 km/h) Blitzen Benz automobile. No motorcycle surpassed the record until 1930. Curtiss's success at racing strengthened his reputation as a leading maker of high-performance motorcycles and engines."  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtiss_V-8_motorcycle


The Letchworth State Park is advertised as "The Grand Canyon of the East", and it certainly is quite impressive and beautiful, even though it cannot stand comparison with the Grand Canyon. This video shows views from the Gorge Trail and from West and East rims, with the Lower, Middle and Upper falls. 


187 miles in Western NY state from Niagara Falls to Corning, NY. Click the Google map to enlarge it
187 miles in Western NY state from Niagara Falls to Corning, NY. Click the Google map to enlarge it

THE CORNING MUSEUM OF GLASS - "There are some experiences so incredible you can't wait to do it again. The Corning Museum of Glass is one of those places, offering a glimpse of more than 3,500 years of historic glass, daily live glassblowing shows, demonstrations by special guest artists from around the world and a chance to make your own glass. We're sure you'll be mesmerized by the largest collection of art glass in the world. Oh, and kids 17 and under get in free!"  http://www.corningfingerlakes.com/towns/corning

"THE ROCKWELL MUSEUM (Corning, NY) tells the story of the American experience through fine art.  Housed within the Old City Hall building of Corning, this diverse collection includes a mix of nineteenth-century American paintings, historic bronzes, and Indian artifacts as well as twentieth-century modernists, illustration art, contemporary photography, and historic firearms. Featured galleries represent the works of Andy Warhol, the Taos Society of Artists, and masterworks of Remington and Russell."    https://rockwellmuseum.org/exhibits-collections/collections/


Watkins Glen waterfall by Flickr user: Peter Rivera Stamford, Connecticut http://www.flickr.com/people/riverap1/ [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Watkins Glen waterfall by Flickr user: Peter Rivera Stamford, Connecticut http://www.flickr.com/people/riverap1/ [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

"Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum is a historic carousel factory building located at North Tonawanda in Niagara County, New York. The factory complex was constructed between about 1910 and 1915 and consists of six primary structures and five contributory additions. The primary structures are: the Mill Building (ca. 1910), Carving and Pattern shop (ca. 1910), Paint Shop and Storage Building (ca. 1915), Roundhouse (ca. 1915), Machine Shop (1915), and Assembly and Testing Building (1915). Also on the property is the Number One Special Three Abreast portable carousel, built in 1916. ... The Herschell Carousel Factory Museum is located at the original factory site on Thompson Street. It was first open to the general public in 1983, with a full operational carousel from 1916. The first floor of the factory has been opened up to provide exhibits and demonstrations. Two operating carousels give visitors first hand experience of the magical ride and authentic band organ music."  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herschell_Carrousel_Factory_Museum


Jell-O Museum, LeRoy, NY - "Anyone in Western New York for any period of time needs to make tracks for the Jell-O Museum and Gallery in Le Roy. Run--do not walk!--to Le Roy. This is one of those small, quirky, joyful roadside oddities that make America great. I'd add that the employees were extremely knowledgeable and personable; their kindness and enthusiasm are unfeigned and contagious. I really, really enjoyed this museum."  https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48041-d215743-Reviews-Jell_O_Gallery_Museum-Le_Roy_New_York.html


A geyser near Asheville NC

Andrews Geyser photo by Dwalter5, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10337823
Andrews Geyser photo by Dwalter5, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10337823

When in operation, Andrews Geyser shoots water continuously to a height of about 80 feet. Its water supply is drawn from a pond located at the current site of the Inn on Mill Creek, a local Bed & Breakfast. The Inn's property contains the original dam constructed by the railroad in the late 19th century, and the pond formed by the dam with the water of the Long Branch of Mill Creek. A 6-inch-diameter (150 mm) cast iron pipe runs from the dam, through a hidden gate valve, then underground approximately two miles downhill to the fountain. The water comes out a half-inch nozzle pointed skyward, and the 500 feet of elevation difference creates the pressure that drives the fountain. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrews_Geyser


80 mile loop northeast of Asheville, NC. Click the map to enlarge it.
80 mile loop northeast of Asheville, NC. Click the map to enlarge it.

Mount Mitchell sign photo by Jbarta - Own work, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16453748
Mount Mitchell sign photo by Jbarta - Own work, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16453748

Mount Mitchell - "The mountain, previously known as Black Dome for its rounded shape, was named after Elisha Mitchell, a professor at the University of North Carolina, who first explored the Black Mountain region in 1835, and determined that the height of the range exceeded by several hundred feet that of Mount Washington in New Hampshire, commonly thought at the time to be the highest point east of the Rocky Mountains."  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Mitchell

View of Mt Mitchell from the Blue Ridge Parkway overlook.
View of Mt Mitchell from the Blue Ridge Parkway overlook.

"Craggy Gardens, just north of Asheville, North Carolina, is one of the most dramatic viewpoints on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Stunning vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains stretch far into Tennessee to the west and toward central North Carolina to the east. These views can be enjoyed from the parking area near the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center and along nearby hiking trails. ...

In early summer, Craggy Gardens becomes a mountain-sized bouquet when the rhododendron thickets on the upper heights cover the landscape in pink and purple. A favorite hiking trail, Craggy Pinnacle, leads hikers through a "tunnel" of rhododendron to the summit which offers 360-degree view. This 1.5 mile round trip is an easy walk."  http://www.blueridgeheritage.com/attractions-destinations/craggy-gardens

"The Great Craggy Mountains are an area of exposed rock surfaces and high peaks that provide breathtaking views of distant southern Appalachian ridges. Large expanses of native rhododendron cover the slopes and summits of the Craggies. The area has long been known as Craggy Gardens. Throughout the summer, smaller native wildflowers cover the ground with vibrant splashes of color. ... Our favorite hike here is the Craggy Pinnacle Trail. It's a 1.5-mile roundtrip hike to the top for exceptional panoramic views (pic above) that are hard to top in Western North Carolina."  https://www.romanticasheville.com/Craggy.htm

 


The Folk Art Center is home to the Southern Highland Craft Guild. The center showcases the finest in traditional and contemporary crafts of the Southern Appalachians. In addition to an Eastern National bookstore and Blue Ridge Parkway information desk, the center houses three galleries, a library and the Guild’s oldest craft shop. Beginning in March each year, visitors can see live craft demonstrations daily in the Folk Art Center lobby. The Folk Art Center is located in east Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway, a five-minute drive from downtown.  http://www.southernhighlandguild.org/folk-art-center/


SE Utah - an Arch & Petroglyph

Newspaper Rock is located along Scenic Hwy 211 in southeast Utah. Click the photo to see more.
Newspaper Rock is located along Scenic Hwy 211 in southeast Utah. Click the photo to see more.

 "Newspaper Rock is a petroglyph panel etched in sandstone that records perhaps 2,000 years of human activity in the area. Etched into the desert varnish are symbols' representing the Fremont, Anasazi, Navajo and Anglo cultures. The exact nature of these symbols meaning is still not clearly understood. But they are typical of many sites throughout the U.S. in their use of universal symbols, be it graffiti or a true "newspaper," recording events of the times and earlier."  https://www.desertusa.com/newut/du_newut_vvc.html


SE Utah has great rock formations. Click on the Google map.
SE Utah has great rock formations. Click on the Google map.

Southeast Utah has lots more to offer besides Monument Valley on the Arizona border and Arches National Park near Moab, UT. Ride 25 miles south of Moab on US 191 and you'll find Wilson Arch, a natural sandstone arch with a span of 91 feet and height of 46 feet, visible from the road to the east. There are turnouts for parking. Further south, Utah hwy 211 takes you to the Newspaper Rock petroglyph shown above.

Wilson Arch is 46 ft high and visible from US 191 just 25 miles south of Moab, Utah (Arches NP).
Wilson Arch is 46 ft high and visible from US 191 just 25 miles south of Moab, Utah (Arches NP).
Wilson Arch on US 191 in southeast Utah is 91 ft wide.
Wilson Arch on US 191 in southeast Utah is 91 ft wide.

Or click this link for a 360 degree view of Wilson Arch at http://www.naturalarches.org/panoramas/UTwilsonarch.html


The 60 mile round-trip to Big Spring Canyon Overlook provides more to see on SE Utah Hwy 211.
The 60 mile round-trip to Big Spring Canyon Overlook provides more to see on SE Utah Hwy 211.

 

"The Needles district is named for the Cedar Mesa sandstone spires that jut up from the landscape. Located in the southwest section of Canyonlands National Park ... The Needles district can be accessed from towns along Highway 191 by heading west on Highway 211 to the Visitor Center, which is open year-round. From there, a scenic road winds through a section of the Needles to Big Spring Canyon Overlook for an expansive view. Stops along the way include Roadside Ruin, Cave Spring, Pothole Point, and Slickrock Trail. Short interpretive trails at these stops are a great way to experience the park for visitors with only an hour or two to explore."

"There are three small campgrounds in the Needles district to accommodate overnight visitors: Squaw Flat, Wooden Shoe, and Split Top. Squaw Flat Campground is the largest, with 26 sites, bathrooms, grills, picnic tables, tent and RV pads. Campgrounds fill fast from March to October, and reservations are required for large groups."

http://www.utahscanyoncountry.com/utah-canyonlands.html

 


Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum

 

"Visit Edge of the Cedars Pueblo, a village inhabited by the ancestors of contemporary Puebloan peoples from AD 825 to 1125, and climb down a ladder to enter the 1,000-year-old kiva. View the largest collection of Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) pottery on display in the Four Corners area. Enjoy programs for adults and children, including archaeology and art exhibitions. Our goal is to inspire and educate museum visitors about the prehistoric and contemporary American Indian cultures of the Four Corners region." https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/edge-of-the-cedars/discover/

 


Camping is available along US 291- Devils Canyon: https://www.recreation.gov/camping/devils-canyon/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=70568

 

For more scenic byways in Utah's canyon country: http://www.utahscanyoncountry.com/utah-byways.html

 

One of many rock formations along US Hwy 191 in the southeast corner of Utah. Google Maps view.
One of many rock formations along US Hwy 191 in the southeast corner of Utah. Google Maps view.

Twisted sisters of NE Tennessee

Highways 31, 66, and 70, just west of Kingsport, TN could be called the Tennessee Twisted Sisters.
Highways 31, 66, and 70, just west of Kingsport, TN could be called the Tennessee Twisted Sisters.

 

Two hours north of Gatlinburg, TN nestled between I-81 and I-75, these three parallel roads are waiting to be ridden. (See larger map) There's easy access from I-81 west of Kingsport, TN and east of Knoxville.  US Hwy 421 is also nearby. 


SW Colorado's 2 National Parks

Our 700 mile route begins in Durango and ends at Mesa Verde National Park. Click the map to enlarge it.
Our 700 mile route begins in Durango and ends at Mesa Verde National Park. Click the map to enlarge it.

By Terry Foote - I took this photograph while visiting Black Canyon National Park, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50790086
By Terry Foote - I took this photograph while visiting Black Canyon National Park, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50790086

National Motorcycle Museum - Eastern Iowa

The National Motorcycle Museum in Alamosa, Iowa has over 450 motorcycles for you to enjoy.  65 miles west of the Mississippi River, Alamosa is also the home to J&P Cycles.  Click the photo for the Google map.
The National Motorcycle Museum in Alamosa, Iowa has over 450 motorcycles for you to enjoy. 65 miles west of the Mississippi River, Alamosa is also the home to J&P Cycles. Click the photo for the Google map.

Donate to be eligible to win National Motorcycle Museum's 2017 Indian Chief Vintage, MSRP $20,999.

"The non-profit National Motorcycle Museum is one of America’s motorcycling treasures. Large in scale with over 450 motorcycles from over a dozen countries, with diverse collections and interpretive exhibits, it tells the great stories of American motorcycling. So we are always grateful for your support; you have helped make it happen. We hope the new larger facility with more motorcycles, more memorabilia are something you feel part of, something you can say you helped to create through your support."  

 

"The drawing for the two winners*, motorcycle and jacket, winner will be held on Friday, December 29, 2017 at 2:00pm. ... "

 

"The National Motorcycle Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that relies on donations and fund-raising activities including this raffle to help preserve and present the exciting history of motorcycling."

http://www.nationalmcmuseum.org/win-this-2017-motorcycle/

Win this Indian Motorcycle 2017 Chief Vintage. Donate to the National Motorcycle Museum to be eligible to win.  Click the photo for more info.
Win this Indian Motorcycle 2017 Chief Vintage. Donate to the National Motorcycle Museum to be eligible to win. Click the photo for more info.

North Carolina 209 - the Rattler

Fifteen miles from Maggie Valley and Asheville, our route begins in Canton, NC and includes Crabtree Mountain Road CR 1509, NC 63, and others. Click the Google map to enlarge it.
Fifteen miles from Maggie Valley and Asheville, our route begins in Canton, NC and includes Crabtree Mountain Road CR 1509, NC 63, and others. Click the Google map to enlarge it.

NC 209 aka the Rattler has the twisties.
NC 209 aka the Rattler has the twisties.

"For many motorcycle enthusiasts, North Carolina Highway 209 is as good, if not better, than either the “Dragon” or the “Snake.”  There is almost zero traffic, great scenery, and a little bit of everything: high-speed sweepers, twisties, elevation changes, and a couple of scenic valley straightaways."

 

"Best of all, you have all of the amenities of Hot Springs at the finish line — places like Iron Horse Station — and Trust General Store & Cafe to break up your run.

Trust General Store & Cafe is the perfect pit stop, sitting almost smack dab in the middle of I-40 and Hot Springs.  We have plenty of parking, fuel, food and refreshments, T-shirts, hats, and more.  If you’re planning a motorcycle run on NC-209 with a large group, give us a call in advance and we’ll make sure we’re prepared for your arrival.  Just call (828) 622-7455 and let us know you’re on your way!"

http://www.trustgeneralstore.com/motorcycle-touring/

Trust General Store and Cafe, at the intersection of NC 209 and NC 63, is a popular motorcycle stop.
Trust General Store and Cafe, at the intersection of NC 209 and NC 63, is a popular motorcycle stop.

Hot Springs, NC at the northern end of Hwy 209 has the only hot mineral spring in the state of NC. Rent a hot tub for an hour, or book a cabin or campsite at the Hot Springs Resort and Spa. (Read the description and click the link below.)

 

Hungry? The Smoky Mountain Diner received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.  "We had a huge breakfast here our last morning in town. Coffee was good, food was good and a lot of it. The pancakes were just like grandma's! We got a sandwich to go for the trail and they were huge. Perfect Diner!"

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g49229-d838323-Reviews-Smoky_Mountain_Diner-Hot_Springs_North_Carolina.html

 

Hot Springs Resort & Spa

"Come to where Mother Nature waved her magical wand and created one of the most natural of all wonders, Natural Hot Mineral Waters. Heated deep within the earth, these crystal clear carbonated waters are world famous for their mineral content and legendary healing powers. ...

Hot Springs, located in the mountains of Western North Carolina, and cuddled along the banks of Spring Creek and the French Broad River, is a town rich in history and beaming with natural charm, this town serves as an intersection along the historic Appalachian Trail and is part of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. ...

Located across the road from the Mineral Baths is the Hot Springs Campground. Here you can find peace of mind with ease and comfort. We feature eight primitive camping cabins, over a hundred tent sites (primitive, group & sites with partial hook up) & Full RV Hookups. ... 

Hot Springs Resort & Spa also offers other lodging options for those looking for a relaxing getaway."  https://www.nchotsprings.com/

 


South Carolina, Caesars Head State Park

Caesars Head State Park sits 2000 feet above the valley below.
Caesars Head State Park sits 2000 feet above the valley below.

"Caesars Head is one of South Carolina’s most famous natural landmarks. At 3,208 feet above sea level, Caesars Head provides a panoramic view of the mountain country. 

Another significant landmark in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area includes Raven Cliff Falls, a 420-foot mountain cascade that awaits day-hikers at the end of a moderately strenuous two-mile trail.

This area of the Blue Ridge Escarpment ends in South Carolina with an abrupt drop of some 2,000 feet to the foothills below, where the state’s Piedmont region begins. This escarpment affords spectacular scenic vistas and waterfalls, and provides a protected environment for many rare and endangered plant and animal species."

http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/caesarshead/caesarshead-unique.aspx

Raven Cliff Falls
Raven Cliff Falls

 

"... Every fall, from the easily-accessible overlook atop the rocky peak of the Blue Ridge Escarpment, sight-seers are treated to the Hawk Watch program and a spectacular view that extends into North Carolina and Georgia. ...  One of the most popular trails at Caesars Head is the four-mile, round trip Raven Cliff Falls trail. This hiking trail leads to 420-foot Raven Cliff Falls, where a suspension bridge offers one of the two publicly accessible overlooks to the falls as they plunge deep into the mountain cove below."  http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/caesarshead/introduction.aspx

(photo) http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/caesarshead/photos.aspx

 

US 276 loop passes Caesars Head State Park
US 276 loop passes Caesars Head State Park
View of nearby Table Rock, from Caesars Head State Park
View of nearby Table Rock, from Caesars Head State Park

 

Here's a continuation ride on US 276 from yesterday's post. Further south, after crossing into South Carolina, stop at Caesars Head State Park for some awesome views.  This loop includes SC Hwy 11, the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway which passes on the south side of Table Rock, shown above. Click the Google map to enlarge it.

 

If you'd like to camp at Caesars Head, check the camping info page. http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/caesarshead/camping.aspx

 


US Hwy 276 is 100 miles from the Dragon

This stretch of US Hwy 276 crosses the Blue Ridge Parkway, is just 30 miles from Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, and 100 miles from the Tail of the Dragon on US Hwy 129 near the Tennessee Border.  Looking Glass Falls is 10 miles south on 276.
This stretch of US Hwy 276 crosses the Blue Ridge Parkway, is just 30 miles from Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, and 100 miles from the Tail of the Dragon on US Hwy 129 near the Tennessee Border. Looking Glass Falls is 10 miles south on 276.

"Looking Glass Falls is one of the most popular and beautiful waterfalls in North Carolina. And it's perhaps the easiest to view ...  The name "Looking Glass" comes from Looking Glass Rock, where water freezes on its sides in the winter and then glistens in the sunlight like a mirror or looking glass. ... 

It's easy accessibility makes Looking Glass Falls a popular spot for travelers along U.S. 276, Forest Heritage Scenic Byway, near Brevard in the Pisgah National Forest. Enjoy nice views from the parking area along the road. Or take a short walk for a closer look. The waterfall is 60 feet tall.

Steps lead down to the falls for a close-up view. You can venture onto the rocks in the stream below the falls, and even do some wading and swim underneath the falling water when water flow is lower. For photographs, the sun comes up over the waterfall in the morning. So afternoon lighting or a cloudy day is best. And visit during the winter to see beautiful ice creations. ..."  https://www.romanticasheville.com/looking_glass_falls.htm

60 ft tall Looking Glass Falls can be seen from the parking area on US Hwy 276 near Brevard, NC.
60 ft tall Looking Glass Falls can be seen from the parking area on US Hwy 276 near Brevard, NC.

Twisty detour off I-40

Tennessee Highway 32 provides a twisty detour from I-40 north of Asheville, NC
Tennessee Highway 32 provides a twisty detour from I-40 north of Asheville, NC

Maybe you need a diversion from riding the I-40 super slab, or the crowds of Gatlinburg, TN?  Here's 8 twisty miles (above) in the center of this 22 mile detour right off I-40 NW of Asheville, NC, and 25 miles east of Gatlinburg on US 321.

See larger map.

 

Gatlinburg is a great destination and puts you in the heart of great riding. Head south on US 441 to the Sugarlands Visitors Center, then west on Fighting Creek Gap Road to The Sinks and Meigs Falls. Click here for some nice photos.

 

"Meigs Falls is viewable from a pull off along Little River Rd between Sugarlands Visitor Center and the Townsend Wye. Nearby on the Little River is an area called The Sinks with a small but powerful cascade. You can also access the Meigs Creek Trail from The Sinks parking area which will take you on a moderate hike to the 18' high Upper Meigs Falls.

Directions: From the Sugarlands Visitor Center, drive west on Little River Rd for 11.8 miles and turn left into the parking area right before the bridge. This is also the parking area for the Meigs Creek Trail and is very busy during tourist season.

Meigs Falls photo by Martin Belan
Meigs Falls photo by Martin Belan

To see Meigs Falls, drive another 1.1 miles and look for a long pull off area with a retaining wall on the left. Meigs Falls is maybe 100 yards or more up Meigs Creek before it empties into the Little River. There is no trail to this waterfall. The parking and viewing area for the Sinks received a nice makeover a few years ago. You can view the cascade from the parking lot by getting out and looking over the wall, but you can also take a very short trail to another viewing area." http://www.ncwaterfalls.com/meigs1.htm 

 

Martin Belan posted this nice photo on his blog page in June of 2015.  http://blog.martinbelan.com/2015/06/meigs-falls-a-smoky-mountains-waterfall-right-along-the-road/

Meigs Falls is right off the road but easy to miss.  The GPS for Meigs Falls is 35.668972, -83.675110.
Meigs Falls is right off the road but easy to miss. The GPS for Meigs Falls is 35.668972, -83.675110.

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WV 100 miles on US Highway 50

This 277 mile detour might be of interest if you're travelling I-81 in northern Virginia. Click the map to enlarge it.
This 277 mile detour might be of interest if you're travelling I-81 in northern Virginia. Click the map to enlarge it.

Someone on our Facebook page recommended the 120 miles of US Highway 50 between Winchester, VA and Grafton, WV. So here is a detour that begins and ends at I-81. It's about 100 miles from Baltimore, Pittsburgh, or Richmond, crossing the Appalachian Mountains twice - on US 50 and US 250.

 

US 250 crosses Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio going all the way to Lake Erie in Sandusky.  Click the map to enlarge it.
US 250 crosses Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio going all the way to Lake Erie in Sandusky. Click the map to enlarge it.

Southern Colorado Sand Dunes

Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado has the tallest dunes in North America. See the photo and more info at http://www.alamosa.org/things-to-do-in-alamosa/alamosa-scenic-wonders/387-the-great-sand-dunes-national-park-preserve
Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado has the tallest dunes in North America. See the photo and more info at http://www.alamosa.org/things-to-do-in-alamosa/alamosa-scenic-wonders/387-the-great-sand-dunes-national-park-preserve

 

Mountain peaks, sand, and water - that's Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado, near Alamosa.

 

"Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is nothing short of a natural wonder even among a diverse terrain of grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, alpine lakes and tundra. ... with views along the way of many of Colorado’s famous 14ers (mountains exceeding 14,000 feet above sea level).

None of Colorado’s famed 14ers lies within the park, though—park elevations range from 7,515 feet to 13,604 feet above sea level. Still, there’s no shortage of awe-inspiring scenery. If it weren’t for the towering alpine peaks in every direction, you might imagine you’re lost in the Arabian Desert. ... In early spring to late summer (the only months water flows through the area), activities include skimboarding (which is sort of like surfing in very shallow water) and building sand castles on the shore of Medano Creek. After traversing the creek, you can hike up the dunes to “sand-sled” down, or hike above tree-line into wilderness.

Yet with all these options, the park offers exceptional solitude and quiet and, according to the National Park Service website, some consider it to be the quietest national park in the 48 contiguous United States." 

https://www.recreation.gov/marketing.do?goto=acm%2FExplore_And_More%2FexploreArticles%2FGreat-Sand-Dunes-National-Park-and-Preserve.htm&type=_article_

 

There's lots of area info and a free travel planner at www.alamosa.org

 

Sand Dunes National Park is 34 miles NE of Alamosa, Colorado. Click the map to enlarge it.
Sand Dunes National Park is 34 miles NE of Alamosa, Colorado. Click the map to enlarge it.

"The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad excursion train rides take you through breathtaking mountain valleys and passes through charming and historic western towns from the heart of the San Luis Valley.  See Colorado's unspoiled territory as it was centuries ago.  Relive the golden age of railroads and discover a Colorado few get to see.

Excursion trains offer a great seat any day of the week.  Pick the class of service and prepare to discover a ride full of train history, mining tales, wildlife sightings, and geology.  Come see why USA Today named the RGSRR a Top Ten Ride."

http://www.alamosa.org/things-to-do-in-alamosa/alamosa-outdoor-activities/391-rio-grande-scenic-railroad-alamosa

 

While in Alamosa, maybe you'd like to take a train ride?
While in Alamosa, maybe you'd like to take a train ride?

"Piñon Flats is a National Park Service campground located one mile north of the Visitor Center. It is open April through October each year." See the campground details at the link below.

https://www.nps.gov/grsa/planyourvisit/pinonflatscampground.htm

"The campground is situated among pinon pines and sagebrush beneath the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Most sites have beautiful views of the snow-covered peaks.
A wide variety of grasses and wildflowers can be found throughout the area, and mule deer are commonly seen in and around the campground."

https://www.recreation.gov/camping/pinon-flats-campground/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=96669


The Snake - Northeast Tennessee

489 curves in 33 miles on "The Snake" from Mountain City, TN to Bristol, TN on US 421
489 curves in 33 miles on "The Snake" from Mountain City, TN to Bristol, TN on US 421

 

Travel 25 miles north of Boone, NC on US 421 across the NC/TN line to the small town of Mountain City, TN and ride "The Snake" and it's 489 curves in 33 miles.

 

"The Snake" is about 200 miles northeast of the "Tail of the Dragon", the most famous of all rides in the Smoky Mountains, with it's 318 curves in 11 miles.

Main Street in the town of Bristol is the border of Tennessee and Virginia
Main Street in the town of Bristol is the border of Tennessee and Virginia
US 321 travels 150 miles across eastern Tennessee from Boone to Gatlinburg.  The famous motorcycle and sportscar road, Tail of the Dragon on US 129, is south of Maryville, TN.  Click the map to enlarge it.
US 321 travels 150 miles across eastern Tennessee from Boone to Gatlinburg. The famous motorcycle and sportscar road, Tail of the Dragon on US 129, is south of Maryville, TN. Click the map to enlarge it.


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Beaver Bridge in NW Arkansas

Beaver Bridge in NW Arkansas near Eureka Springs. By Brandonrush (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Beaver Bridge in NW Arkansas near Eureka Springs. By Brandonrush (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

"The Beaver Bridge in Beaver, Arkansas is a historic one-lane suspension bridge carrying Arkansas Highway 187 over the White River at Table Rock Lake. Built in 1949 by the Pioneer Construction Company, the structure is the only suspension bridge open to traffic in Arkansas. The Beaver Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990." 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaver_Bridge_(Arkansas)

 

The map shows the location of the Beaver Bridge in NW Arkansas, near Eureka Springs. NW Arkansas has great roads for motorcycle riding.
The map shows the location of the Beaver Bridge in NW Arkansas, near Eureka Springs. NW Arkansas has great roads for motorcycle riding.

 

One of my favorite roads in NW Arkansas was the 25 miles from Harrison to Ponca on Hwy 43 with the early morning fog in the valley below.  See more NW Arkansas riding.

Early morning on Arkansas Hwy 43 from Harrison to Ponca.
Early morning on Arkansas Hwy 43 from Harrison to Ponca.

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NorCal's State of Jefferson Scenic Byway

"Aside from being a great road to ride, California Highway 96 also has a high number of reported Bigfoot sightings. The town of Happy Camp has a great statue to honor the wooly beast."  http://www.fuzzygalore.com/2011/10/meeting-bigfoot-on-the-highway/
"Aside from being a great road to ride, California Highway 96 also has a high number of reported Bigfoot sightings. The town of Happy Camp has a great statue to honor the wooly beast." http://www.fuzzygalore.com/2011/10/meeting-bigfoot-on-the-highway/

Ride this 109 scenic miles on the State of Jefferson Scenic Byway. We begin in Yreka, CA, 35 miles north of Mt. Shasta, near the Oregon state line. From Main Street we ride north on Hwy 263 then west on California 96, which follows the Klamath River to Happy Camp, where this Bigfoot Statue waits. Greyback Road takes you north to O'Brien, Oregon. Many locals call this area the "State of Jefferson".

Northern California - 109 mile State of Jefferson Scenic Byway. Mt. Shasta in the bottom right corner stands 14,179 ft high and can be seen from I-5.  Click the map to enlarge it.
Northern California - 109 mile State of Jefferson Scenic Byway. Mt. Shasta in the bottom right corner stands 14,179 ft high and can be seen from I-5. Click the map to enlarge it.

The State of Jefferson

In October 1941, the mayor of Port Orford, Oregon, Gilbert Gable, said that the Oregon counties of Curry, Josephine, Jackson, and Klamath should join with the California counties of Del Norte, Siskiyou, and Modoc to form a new state, later named Jefferson.

 

On November 27, 1941, a group of young men gained national media attention when, brandishing hunting rifles for dramatic effect, they stopped traffic on U.S. Route 99 south of Yreka, the county seat of Siskiyou County, and handed out copies of a Proclamation of Independence, stating that the state of Jefferson was in "patriotic rebellion against the States of California and Oregon" and would continue to "secede every Thursday until further notice." ...

 

On October 24, 2014, Modoc and Siskiyou Counties delivered their declarations for independence from the state of California to the California Secretary of State's office. On January 15, 2015, three more counties, Glenn, Tehama, and Yuba, submitted their official declarations as well.”  Click the link below for more info.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_(proposed_Pacific_state)

 




51st annual Bigfoot Jamboree Sept 1-3, 2017 in Happy Camp, CA.  http://www.bigfootjamboree.org/blog
51st annual Bigfoot Jamboree Sept 1-3, 2017 in Happy Camp, CA. http://www.bigfootjamboree.org/blog

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Southeast Minnesota - Caves, Trout, & Amish

Southeast Minnesota features two caves, trout fishing, and Amish country.  Click the map to enlarge.
Southeast Minnesota features two caves, trout fishing, and Amish country. Click the map to enlarge.

 

This ride map includes two caves, trout fishing, and the Minnesota Amish country. It's south of I-90, where Minnesota meets Wisconsin, Iowa, and the Mississippi River.  Niagra Cave, on highway 30 near Harmony was rated #2 on the USA Today 10 Best list.  “The top 10 winners in the category Best Cave are as follows:

  1. Kartchner Caverns - Benson, Ariz.
  2. Niagara Cave - Harmony, Minn.

    http://www.niagaracave.com/index.html

  3. Fantastic Caverns - Springfield, Mo.
  4. Blanchard Springs Caverns - Mountain View, Ark.
  5. The Lost Sea - Sweetwater, Tenn.
  6. Ruby Falls - Chattanooga, Tenn.
  7. DeSoto Caverns - Childersburg, Ala.
  8. Carlsbad Caverns - Carlsbad, N.M.
  9. Mammoth Cave - Mammoth Cave, Ky.
  10. Glenwood Caverns - Glenwood Springs, Colo.

 

Besides our winners, the following caves were also nominated:

  • Ape Cave in Cougar, Wash.
  • Cathedral Caverns in Woodville, Ala.
  • Caverns of Sonora in Sonora, Texas
  • Jewel Cave in Custer, S.D.
  • Longhorn Cavern in Burnet, Texas
  • Luray Caverns in Luray, Va.
  • Meramec Caverns in Stanton, Mo.
  • Natural Bridge Caverns in San Antonio
  • Penn's Cave in Centre Hall, Penn.
  • Wind Cave in Hot Springs, S.D.” 

http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-cave/

Niagra Cave in southeast Minnesota - http://www.niagaracave.com/index.html
Niagra Cave in southeast Minnesota - http://www.niagaracave.com/index.html

Lanesboro, is in the heart of Minnesota Amish country, which includes Preston and along US 52, near the SW corner of our route. Here’s a map to some other Amish country businesses.  Maybe you'll even see a bison in a parade, outside downtown Lanesboro's Iron Horse Outfitters and Inn.

 


Preston, also known as "Minnesota's Trout Capital", is a welcoming family-fun destination offering visitors a variety of entertaining, educational, & recreational activities to choose from:

 

  • Fish blue ribbon cold water streams
  • Bike, hike, or ski along 60 miles of paved bike trails
  • Visit the National Trout Center
  • Fish Preston's 9-Hole Fishing Course
  • Take a naturalist led Mystery Cave tour at Forestville State Park
  • Tour Historic Forestville - a 19th century pioneer village with costumed guides
  • Step back in time on a guided Amish tour
  • Canoe, tube, or kayak along the Root River
  • Snowmobile Fillmore County's 260 miles of groomed trails

 

 

http://www.exploreminnesota.com/events/2405/preston-mn

 

Preston, MN is famous for trout fishing, as depicted by this giant trout.  Photo by Roadside Architecture. http://www.roadarch.com/critters/fish3.html
Preston, MN is famous for trout fishing, as depicted by this giant trout. Photo by Roadside Architecture. http://www.roadarch.com/critters/fish3.html

Visit Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park to see natural wonders above and below ground. In the summer, beat the heat with a visit below ground. Explore the world of Mystery Cave with its stalactites, stalagmites, and underground pools. Park naturalists provide tours of the cave throughout the summer and on weekends in the spring and fall. The temperature stays at a constant 48 degrees Fahrenheit. … Above ground, stop by Historic Forestville, a restored 1800s village … Five camper cabins are available year round. … Reserve a cabin in advance …” http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/forestville_mystery_cave/index.html

 

See the park camping and lodging page. http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/forestville_mystery_cave/camping.html

Do not rely on your GPS unit or online driving directions when visiting the main park or Mystery Cave area, as you may be routed to a closed bridge!

 

Park Entrance: Approximately 5 miles south of Wykoff. Entrance to the park is 4 miles south of State Highway 16 on Fillmore County Road 5, then 2 miles east on Fillmore County Road 118.

 

Mystery Cave Entrance is 6 miles south on County Road 5 from State Highway 16. Right-hand turn on 180th street west, 3/4 mile, turn right on Old Cave Road, travel 1/2 mile north. On your left is Mystery Cave Entrance Road.

 

 

 


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Western Minnesota lakes region

Fergus Falls and Otter Tail County are great locations for touring motorcyclists - See more at: http://www.visitfergusfalls.com/pages/motorcycle-touring#sthash.1LFladAt.dpuf
Fergus Falls and Otter Tail County are great locations for touring motorcyclists - See more at: http://www.visitfergusfalls.com/pages/motorcycle-touring#sthash.1LFladAt.dpuf

This easy to follow 90 mile loop, just off I-94, offers a scenic ride thru western Minnesota. This route has fewer highway changes than the nearby 150 mile Otter Trail Scenic Byway, which shares some of the same roads. There's lodging and restaurants in Ottertail. Get some BBQ at Elmer's Authentic Texas Bar-B-Que or stop at Zorbas on Ottertail Lake for some handmade pizza. Glendalough State Park has campsites and cabins

 

Glendalough State Park

 

Activities
Kayak rentals are available as well as canoes and rowboats. They are available first-come, first-serve unless you have a canoe-in site reservation. 

Camping
Staying overnight? There are 22 cart-in sites; 3 canoe-in sites; 1 group camp and 1 camper cabin. The camping and lodging facilities close for the season on Sept. 3, but the park remains open for day users.

Permits
A Minnesota state park permit is required for each vehicle. You can buy them upon entry.

There are no restaurant facilities at the park. Bring your own food and stove, or forget the stove and cook over a campfire.

 

 

 

http://www.co.otter-tail.mn.us/591/Glendalough-State-Park

 


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Idaho - Thousand Springs Scenic Byway

 

Begin at I-84 near Bliss, Idaho and follows US 30 southeast through Twin Falls to Idaho 50, then north on Idaho 50 to I-84.  Also US 93 from Twin Falls north to I-84.

 

The Thousand Springs Scenic Byway winds through 67 miles of the most remarkable geology and natural beauty in Idaho. Here, you’ll find thousands (really!) of incredible waterfalls, soothing hot springs, charming small towns, and Idaho’s famous trout.

 

The byway drops almost immediately into the massive Snake River Canyon. ... There are waterfalls and hot springs everywhere. ... Have a soak yourself at Miracle Hot Springs, Banbury Hot Springs, or 1,000 Springs Resort. Both have public and private pools, as well as camping and RV facilities. … Towering Shoshone Falls is worth a side trip; this spectacular waterfall is 212 feet — higher than Niagara! See it at its peak in early spring ... While you’re at Shoshone Falls Park, get on the Centennial Trail. You’ll see unbelievable panoramic views and the launch site of Evel Knievel’s ill-fated 1974 jump.”

 

https://visitsouthidaho.com/about-southern-idaho/thousand-springs-scenic-byway/

 

 

Order your free southern Idaho visitors guide.

 


Rocket from Evel Knievel's Snake River jump in 1974 as seen in this Huffington Post photo.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/roadtrippers/evel-knievel-is-riding-in_b_6278668.html
Rocket from Evel Knievel's Snake River jump in 1974 as seen in this Huffington Post photo. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/roadtrippers/evel-knievel-is-riding-in_b_6278668.html


In 1974, Mr. Knievel decided he would jump 1,600 feet across the Snake River Canyon in Idaho. Before thousands of spectators and thousands more on a closed-circuit television broadcast, he took a rocket-powered motorcycle up a 108-foot ramp at 350 miles an hour and soared some 2,000 feet over the canyon floor.

 

But his parachute opened prematurely, and he and the cycle drifted to the canyon floor, leaving him without serious injury.”

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/01/us/01knievel.html

 

 

See the Smithsonian Channel video about the jump.

 


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Colorado's Independence Pass - Hwy 82

Colorado 92 may be unknown, but has curves and views like this - Google Maps photo
Colorado 92 may be unknown, but has curves and views like this - Google Maps photo
Independence Pass on Colorado 82 east of Aspen is closed in winter.
Independence Pass on Colorado 82 east of Aspen is closed in winter.

 

East of Aspen on CO Hwy 82, Independence Pass crosses the Continental Divide. It's closed in winter. Get current road info at the Colorado DOT website.

 

"Independence Pass, originally known as Hunter Pass, is a high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado in the United States. It is at elevation 12,095 ft (3,687 m) on the Continental Divide in the Sawatch Range. The pass is midway between Aspen and Twin Lakes, on the border between Pitkin and Lake counties.

State Highway 82 traverses it, in the process reaching the highest elevation of a paved Colorado state highway on a through road. After Cottonwood Pass to the south, it is the second-highest pass with an improved road in the state, the fourth-highest paved road in the state and the highest paved crossing of the Continental Divide in the U.S. Because of the heavy snowfall at its elevation, it is closed in wintertime, isolating Aspen from direct access from the east during the ski season.

When the pass is open in warmer weather, it is a popular destination. A scenic overlook near the pass allows visitors to take in the alpine tundra environment above treeline, and offers excellent views to the east of Mount Elbert, Colorado's highest peak and the second-highest mountain in the contiguous United States. Rock climbers are drawn to nearby bouldering opportunities, and informal paths lead to nearby mountain summits of even higher elevation. Backcountry skiers make use of the slopes during the late spring and early summer. Since 2011 the pass has been on the route of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Pass_(Colorado)

 

Click above for the Aspen Chamber of Commerce website, www.aspenchamber.org
Click above for the Aspen Chamber of Commerce website, www.aspenchamber.org

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Northern California Hwy 36

Road sign in Red Bluff, CA - Google Maps photo  by Rinya
Road sign in Red Bluff, CA - Google Maps photo by Rinya
CA Hwy 36 from famous Hwy 101 to not-so-famous Lassen Volcanic National Park
CA Hwy 36 from famous Hwy 101 to not-so-famous Lassen Volcanic National Park

Northern California has great riding, for example, 200 miles on Highway 36. Or try CA 96 which follows the Klamath River before turning south at Happy Camp. Click on either map to enlarge it.

 

CA Hwy 96 follows the Klamath River, then heads south through Bigfoot country
CA Hwy 96 follows the Klamath River, then heads south through Bigfoot country
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Self-balancing motorcycle

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PA US 30 - The Historic Lincoln Highway

US 30 between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh is part of the Historic Lincoln Highway
US 30 between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh is part of the Historic Lincoln Highway

This section of the Historic Lincoln Highway is not far from the Pennsylvania / Maryland border and includes Gettysburg, Bedford, Lancaster, and the Flight 93 Memorial near Stoystown. Dutch Wonderland is an amusement park with 3 roller coasters. The Historic Lincoln Highway is close to Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Philadephia. 

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Bedford, PA on The Historic Lincoln Highway

Bedford, PA's Art Deco Gas Station - Trip Advisor photo
Bedford, PA's Art Deco Gas Station - Trip Advisor photo

Along this 200 mile stretch of the Historic Lincoln Highway is the town of Bedford, PA where the covered bridge loop is a Trip Advisor favorite. Catch a movie at the Pitt Theater, in operation since 1939. Pinball fans may enjoy a stop at Pinhead Amusements.

 

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Clear Shot visor & eyewear cleaner

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Tennessee - 100 mile Knoxville ride

Highway 116 offers some twisty riding near Knoxville, TN on this Google map. Click the map to see the entire 100 mile route.
Highway 116 offers some twisty riding near Knoxville, TN on this Google map. Click the map to see the entire 100 mile route.

 

Ride about 25 miles north from Knoxville, TN to the city of Rocky Top, where highway 116 takes you down the valley southwest thru Fratersville and Briceville. A few miles later the road suddenly doubles back northward over the mountains and becomes a great deal more exciting.

Ten miles later, the highway crosses the New River and heads southwest again toward Fork Mountain. Then there's 5 miles of twisties, as shown in the photo above. Finally, our 100 mile route follows highway 62 back to Knoxville. Click on the Google map to see the entire route.


Big Ridge State Park is about 25 miles north of Knoxville, Tennessee.
Big Ridge State Park is about 25 miles north of Knoxville, Tennessee.
Wikipedia photo by Brian Stansberry - Own work, CC BY 3.0
Wikipedia photo by Brian Stansberry - Own work, CC BY 3.0

"Big Ridge State Park was first developed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the National Park Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s as part of the greater Norris Project. The park was one of three of the project's demonstration recreational areas that eventually became state parks (Norris Dam State Park and Cove Lake State Park are the other two)." 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Ridge_State_Park

 

 


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Virginia Fall Color at 4000 feet

This maple tree on US 58 shows off it's fall color.
This maple tree on US 58 shows off it's fall color.

Yesterday we went west on US 58 and found splendid color in the elevations above 4000 feet. The scenery between Mouth of Wilson, VA and Damscus, VA was very colorful - what a nice ride.

 

Nice color at elevations above 4000 feet near Grayson Highlands State Park in SW Virginia.
Nice color at elevations above 4000 feet near Grayson Highlands State Park in SW Virginia.
This highway has lots of color this weekend. You can take US 58 across southern Virginia.
This highway has lots of color this weekend. You can take US 58 across southern Virginia.

 

"Near Mount Rogers and Whitetop Mountain, Virginia's two highest mountains, Grayson Highlands SP offers scenic views of alpine-like peaks more than 5,000 feet high. Facilities include a visitor center, campgrounds, and hiking trails leading to waterfalls and overlooks. Scenic horse trails and a horse camping area with electric and water hookups, stables and parking for trailers are available. The park provides year-round access to the Appalachian Trail and the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail."  http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/grayson-highlands#general_information


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Louisiana's Long Bridges

No land in sight on Lake Pontchartrain Causeway near New Orleans, Louisiana
No land in sight on Lake Pontchartrain Causeway near New Orleans, Louisiana

Louisiana has 3 of the 10 longest bridges in the world.

 

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway - 126,122 feet

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is the longest continuous bridge passing over water, the waters of New Orleans's Lake Pontchartrain to be exact. The bridge is so long that for 8 of its 24 miles, you can't see land in any direction.

 

Manchac Swamp Bridge - 120,440 feet

Back in Louisiana, approximately one third of I-55 passing through the state is carried across swamplands on the Manchac Swamp Bridge. Since each of the concrete piles had to be driven more than 250 feet into the swamp, each mile of the bridge cost an average of $7 million to complete.

 

Atchafalaya Basin Bridge - 96,100 feet

When driving through Louisiana, it sometimes feels like you're never not on a bridge, especially when you're driving down I-10 between Baton Rouge and Lafayette. This stretch of highway passes over the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest swamp in the United States.

 

See the entire top 10 list at: 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/2013/04/28/10-longest-bridges-to-drive-across/2118739/

 

Our 202 mile route in southern Louisiana crosses 3 of the longest bridges in the world.  Click above to see the Google map.
Our 202 mile route in southern Louisiana crosses 3 of the longest bridges in the world. Click above to see the Google map.

Baton Rouge Weather

 

Find more about Weather in Baton Rouge, LA
Click for weather forecast


Click to order this book at Amazon.com
Click to order this book at Amazon.com

 

Tabasco Tours at Avery Island

 

South of Lafayette, off US Hwy 90, you can visit the home of Tabasco Brand Hot Sauce and see how this famous sauce is made. Note: The Bottling line is open Monday - Thursday. http://www.tabasco.com/avery-island/visitor-information/

Tour the grounds where the famous Tabasco Pepper Sauce is made in Avery Island, Louisiana.
Tour the grounds where the famous Tabasco Pepper Sauce is made in Avery Island, Louisiana.

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Womens Black/Pink Mesh Armored Jacket

My wife loves this jacket. Order this mesh jacket from Amazon.com
My wife loves this jacket. Order this mesh jacket from Amazon.com

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Palm Springs CA - 100 mile detour ride

Part of the 100 mile detour ride near Palm Springs, California. Click the photo for the Google map.
Part of the 100 mile detour ride near Palm Springs, California. Click the photo for the Google map.

This 100 mile detour begins and ends on I-10 near Palm Springs, and may just be the highlight of your trip across southern California. The route heads south from Banning, CA and loops back north thru Palm Springs. Other areas of interest nearby are Joshua Tree National Park and the Salton Sea.

This mountain ride on CA Hwy 243 is a welcome change from I-10 near Palm Springs, CA. Joshua Tree National Park and the Salton Sea are nearby. Click above for the Google map.
This mountain ride on CA Hwy 243 is a welcome change from I-10 near Palm Springs, CA. Joshua Tree National Park and the Salton Sea are nearby. Click above for the Google map.

Joshua Tree National Park
Night Sky Festival: October 28-30, 2016

NIght Sky Festival at Joshua Tree National Park - October 28 - 30, 2016
NIght Sky Festival at Joshua Tree National Park - October 28 - 30, 2016

Salton Sea History Museum & Visitor Center

North Shore Beach & Yacht Club and museum on the Salton Sea in the southern California desert.
North Shore Beach & Yacht Club and museum on the Salton Sea in the southern California desert.

"Originally opened in 1959 as the North Shore Beach & Yacht Club, the newly renovated building is now a historic site.  The Albert Frey designed building was re-opened on May 1, 2010 and is home to the Salton Sea History Museum & Visitor Center."  http://saltonseamuseum.org/salton_sea_history.html


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California - Bixby Bridge and Big Sur

Bixby Bridge, along California's Big Sur coastline, is a favorite with photographers. Photo by www.visitcalifornia.com
Bixby Bridge, along California's Big Sur coastline, is a favorite with photographers. Photo by www.visitcalifornia.com

"Welcome to one of the world’s most unforgettable stretches of coastline. This roughly 90-mile-long stretch of redwood- and fog-trimmed waterfront between Carmel-by-the-Sea and Hearst Castle has no specific boundaries, no urban core, drawing you (and writers like Henry Miller and Beat Generation darling Jack Kerouac) in with a magic allure that is almost palpable. This is, quite simply, a place you want to be—bluffs, sea, and sky.

 

Drive Big Sur’s length via twisting Highway One, with plenty of pullovers at places like seen-it-in-a-million-car-commercials Bixby Bridge..."

 

http://www.visitcalifornia.com/attraction/bixby-bridge

 

 

Big Sur has pleasant fall temperatures. See more at www.visitcalifornia.com
Big Sur has pleasant fall temperatures. See more at www.visitcalifornia.com

"Another favorite photo op: McWay Falls, a silvery cascade that falls some 70 feet from the sea cliffs to a remote beach below. Look up to see endangered California condors, North America’s largest birds, or look down to scan the swells for migrating whales or sea otters floating among dense beds of kelp, California’s signature seaweed. Try the famous Ambrosia burger on the deck of Nepenthe, then nurse your beer to watch the sunset."

"Want a short hike with a huge reward? The ½-mile/1-km round-trip Waterfall Overlook Trail at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park could be the biggest-bang-for-not-much-work hike on the planet. The almost flat stroll ends an oceanfront overlook with flawless views of McWay Falls, a favorite spot of Big Sur pioneer woman Julia Pfeiffer Burns, for whom the park is named. Let’s just say Julia had good taste. The plume of water drops some 80 feet/24 meters from the top of a granite cliff to a sandy cove below (not even footprints on the sand mar the perfection, as this beach is closed to the public)."

http://www.visitcalifornia.com/attraction/bixby-bridge

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is 21 miles south of California's famous Bixby Creek Bridge south of the Monterey peninsula. Click the map for directions and the Google map.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is 21 miles south of California's famous Bixby Creek Bridge south of the Monterey peninsula. Click the map for directions and the Google map.
Moon Monterey & Carmel travel guide. Click above to get yours today at Amazon.com
Moon Monterey & Carmel travel guide. Click above to get yours today at Amazon.com

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Big Bend National Park

Santa Elena Canyon Overlook in Big Bend National Park. Google Street View photo.
Santa Elena Canyon Overlook in Big Bend National Park. Google Street View photo.

About 400 miles west of the Texas Hill Country, Big Bend National Park, one of the least visited parks, has 800,000 acres of wild country. Typical September high temperatures are 80's and low 90's. October is typically 65 - 85 degrees. Click here for daily temps on Wunderground.com.

Big Bend National Park is about 400 miles west of the Texas Hill Country. Click to see larger map.
Big Bend National Park is about 400 miles west of the Texas Hill Country. Click to see larger map.

"In the heart of Big Bend National Park, you'll find the uniquely located Chisos Mountains Lodge nestled in the basin of the majestic Chisos Mountains. As the only lodging in the park, our accommodations provide modern comforts with our famous Texas hospitality. Our guests are treated to stunning scenery and serenity, as well as a vast undisturbed wilderness, all within a quick walking distance to our services and easy access to many of the park's world famous hiking trails."  http://chisosmountainslodge.com/

Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive vista in Big Bend NP in west Texas. Google Maps Street View.
Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive vista in Big Bend NP in west Texas. Google Maps Street View.
Click above to order your copy from Amazon.com
Click above to order your copy from Amazon.com

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Wyoming's oldest soda fountain

Chugwater Soda Fountain in Chugwater, WY celebrated their 100th birthday. Google maps photo.
Chugwater Soda Fountain in Chugwater, WY celebrated their 100th birthday. Google maps photo.
Chugwater, Wyoming is on I-25, between Denver, CO and Mt Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota
Chugwater, Wyoming is on I-25, between Denver, CO and Mt Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota
http://thenewworld.typepad.com/the-new-world/2012/07/welcome-to-chugwater.html
http://thenewworld.typepad.com/the-new-world/2012/07/welcome-to-chugwater.html

On the way from Denver, CO to Mt. Rushmore, about 35 miles north of Cheyenne, WY on I-25 is the town of Chugwater, population about 244.

"The Chugwater Soda Fountain is Wyomings oldest and still operating Soda Fountain. We make sodas the way they did at the turn of the century. Sodas, shakes, malts and great tasting soda fountain drinks in a variety of flavors."  http://www.chugwatersodafountain.com/


These books are available at Amazon.com

Click to order your Mt Rushmore book
Click to order your Mt Rushmore book
Click here to order your Dakotas Guide
Click here to order your Dakotas Guide


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New York's Grand Canyon of the East

Waterfalls at Letchworth State Park near Buffalo, NY
Waterfalls at Letchworth State Park near Buffalo, NY
Letchworth State Park is 60 miles SE of Buffalo, NY
Letchworth State Park is 60 miles SE of Buffalo, NY

"Letchworth State Park, renowned as the "Grand Canyon of the East," is one of the most scenically magnificent areas in the eastern U.S. The Genesee River roars through the gorge over three major waterfalls between cliffs--as high as 600 feet in some places--surrounded by lush forests. Hikers can choose among 66 miles of hiking trails. Trails are also available for horseback riding, biking, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. Letchworth offers nature, history and performing arts programs, guided walks, tours, a summer lecture series, whitewater rafting, kayaking, a pool for swimming and hot air ballooning. Experiencing Letchworth by hot air balloon is unforgettable, as seen in this video clip."

http://nysparks.com/parks/79/details.aspx

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Roanoke Virginia Highway 311

Virginia Hwy 311 runs through Paint Bank as it crosses the mountains north of Roanoke into West Virginia.  The Paint Bank General Store, Swinging Bridge Restaurant, and Tingler's Mill are all at the one location.
Virginia Hwy 311 runs through Paint Bank as it crosses the mountains north of Roanoke into West Virginia. The Paint Bank General Store, Swinging Bridge Restaurant, and Tingler's Mill are all at the one location.
The Paint Bank General Store - Google maps photo by TWatkins
The Paint Bank General Store - Google maps photo by TWatkins

"The Paint Bank General Store has "a little bit of everything"... come see for yourself when you visit our authentic, small-town general store located in the heart of Paint Bank.

From the old wooden floors to the tin ceilings of yesteryear, the heart of the old-time, genuine country store is still present. You will find everything from grocery items to gift items. You can purchase our own delicious, farm-raised buffalo meat, with have many different cuts available, including burgers & rib-eye steaks. Call the store to order by phone either for pickup or we can ship to you.

Upstairs you will find many gift items and our year 'round Christmas shop. Feel free to take a stroll across our real swinging bridge and enjoy our realistic wildlife displays and carvings.

After your shopping is done, be sure to visit The Swinging Bridge Restaurant, located inside The Paint Bank General Store. Established in 2006, The Swinging Bridge offers you a unique dining experience in a cozy setting. Outside dining is available on the screened-in back porch. On your way out to visit Tingler's Mill, stop for a game of horseshoes or corn hole. Bikers, take note! Scenic Highway 311 (Paint Bank Road) takes you right into town."  http://www.paintbankgeneralstore.com/

Tingler's Mill in Paint Bank, VA - Google maps photo by TWatkins
Tingler's Mill in Paint Bank, VA - Google maps photo by TWatkins

"Tingler's Mill has a long and varied history. As a present-day decorative fixture of Paint Bank, its presence makes a grand statement about revitalization and historic preservation. In the past, however, it was an important element of everyday life in the town of Paint Bank, Virginia, serving area farmers and residents as a source of grain and flour by grinding corn and wheat."  http://www.tinglersmill.com/


Nearby Lewisburg, WV serves up it's Chocolate Festival each spring, to benefit the United Way.  http://lewisburgchocolatefestival.com





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Virginia - Big Walker Lookout on US 52

View from Big Walker Lookout on US52 near Wytheville, VA - Google maps photo by likethelivindead
View from Big Walker Lookout on US52 near Wytheville, VA - Google maps photo by likethelivindead
105 scenic miles on US 52 from Mt Airy, NC to Bramwell, WV. Click the map to see it in Google maps.
105 scenic miles on US 52 from Mt Airy, NC to Bramwell, WV. Click the map to see it in Google maps.

I-77 runs through Virginia / West Virginia from Columbia, SC on it's way to Cleveland, OH. It crosses over and through the Appalachian Mountains (there's even a couple of tunnels). But there is another way - US Highway 52 meanders through the countryside. Catch US 52 north out of Mt. Airy, NC (Andy Griffith's hometown) for a ride you won't soon forget.

The old Sheriff's car in Mt Airy, NC reminds us of the Andy Griffith Show. Mt Airy was Andy's real hometown.
The old Sheriff's car in Mt Airy, NC reminds us of the Andy Griffith Show. Mt Airy was Andy's real hometown.

Approaching Fancy Gap, VA you climb over 1000 feet on this twisty stretch of road. In Fancy Gap, I've enjoyed both The Gap Deli and the Lakeview Restaurant (good catfish, but no lake view), and you can grab a drink or snacks at the gas station or the Dollar General. There's also an entrance for the Blue Ridge Parkway, where you can visit the Blue Ridge Music Center (south) or Mabry Mill and restaurant (north - just past Meadows of Dan), each within 20 miles. While you're in Meadows of Dan follow your sweet tooth to Nancy's Candy Company. The black licorice is wonderfully soft, unlike most hard licorice you find today.

Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Meadows of Dan, VA
Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Meadows of Dan, VA

"The sounds of the fiddle, banjo, and guitar are likely to welcome you when you visit the Blue Ridge Music Center. Experience regional traditional music each day of the week with FREE local Mid-Day Mountain Musicians playing on the breezeway of the visitors center from Noon - 4 PM.

The Music Center hosts a summer Roots of American Music Concert Series. Concerts take place in our beautiful outdoor amphitheater (capacity 2,500) at the base of Fisher Peak, feature local, regional, and national touring performers and bands, and are presented most Saturday evenings from late May through September."

http://www.blueridgemusiccenter.org/


See the Mayberry Trading Post page on Facebook.

Mabyerry Trading Post just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at MM180 between Fancy Gap and Meadows of Dan, VA has an interesting assortment of goodies for sale, but no gas here.
Mabyerry Trading Post just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at MM180 between Fancy Gap and Meadows of Dan, VA has an interesting assortment of goodies for sale, but no gas here.

Continuing north of Fancy Gap on US 52 there are nice views both north and south of the next town, Hillsville, where US 58 is turned into a huge flea market each Labor Day.

North of Hillsville, US 52 quietly crosses the New River, far below the busy I-77 overpass before continuing north to Wytheville and on to Big Walker Lookout and the BW Country Store.

"At an elevation of 3,405 feet, Big Walker Lookout affords one of the  most spectacular views of the Appalachian Mountains to our visitors."

http://www.visitwytheville.com/big-walker-lookout.html


 "A "Rails to Trails" project, the New River Trail State Park meanders through Grayson, Carroll, Wythe and Pulaski counties in southwestern Virginia and parallels the scenic and historic New River for 39 miles. Hiking, biking, horseback riding and boating on or near the trail. There are many different access points along the trail, with the southern end beginning in Galax going 57 miles to the Town of Pulaski in the New River Valley. Information and parking at Shot Tower Historical State Park; at the Fries visitors center; and at the Cliffview visitors center, near Galax." http://www.virginia.org/listings/OutdoorsAndSports/NewRiverTrailStatePark/


Pinnacle Rock State Park near Bramwell, WV - Google maps photo  by MarkTurner777
Pinnacle Rock State Park near Bramwell, WV - Google maps photo by MarkTurner777

 

"Located along Route 52, near historic Bramwell in Mercer County, Pinnacle Rock State Park is one of the more interesting day use parks operated by the West Virginia State Park system.

Towering above the rugged mountains of southeastern West Virginia, Pinnacle Rock is an unusual sandstone formation reaching 3,100 feet above sea level. This park provides a relaxing picnic area in an unusual scenic setting. http://www.pinnaclerockstatepark.com/

The Corner Shop in Bramwell, WV has a soda fountain and candy counter.  Burgers and other food is served.
The Corner Shop in Bramwell, WV has a soda fountain and candy counter. Burgers and other food is served.

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ACF-50 Anti-corrosion Spray

"When applied ACF-50 forms an 'Active' ultra-thin clear film that will kill any existing corrosion cells and will protect your bike against new corrosion forming. On areas such as switches or under the tank and seat, one application will last up to 12 months. Other more exposed areas will need topping up more regularly. ACF-50 has the ability to 'chemically neutralise road salt' and water will bead on contact and literally bounce off. Ideal for the bike that is used all year round in all weathers, a superb service spray as ACF-50 is also a lubricant and penetrant (without loosening structural attachments) and if you put your bike away for the winter, applying ACF-50 will ensure that moisture will not be allowed to cause any damage! Untreated moisture will creep into cracks and will not freely evaporate - ACF-50 actively ejects moisture from these areas." http://www.acf-50.co.uk/motorcycle/streetbike.htm

 

"ACF50 comes from the aerospace industry and the list of companies approving the product is rather serious. Firms such as Boeing Helicopter, Cessna, British Aerospace and Sikorsky all find the product acceptable, as does the FAA ... Application is easy on a bike and a tin lasts a long time. The best approach is to put a tiny blob on the surface to be treated and wait for it to disperse between any cracks. For example, the un-plated horn on our Suzuki V-Strom was an absolute certainty to corrode but it remains perfect after four years.

 

Any surplus can be spread externally with a finger or brush. Surprisingly, because chemically things which work are normally dangerous, ACF 50 is completely non-toxic and your finger won’t drop off if you touch it.

 

Once applied, the treatment lasts up to two years. ... As a by-product, it’s not a bad light duty lubricant for things like locks and cables, as well as being approved by its Mil-Spec (Mil-C-81309E Type II) for use in switches and on contacts."  http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/2013/03/article/acf-50-corrosion-preventative-review/

 

The 13 oz aerosol can is currently available for less than $13 plus shipping, which was $16 and $18 from Pilotshop.com and skygeek.com. Amazon's price + shipping was much lower.  Click below to buy now.



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Malibu, CA area - Latigo Canyon

Latigo Canyon Rd near Malibu, CA - Google maps photo by teebone.
Latigo Canyon Rd near Malibu, CA - Google maps photo by teebone.

California has some serious riding fun. The mountains north of Malibu north of LA have many twisty roads for your enjoyment, like the 10 miles on Latigo Canyon Road.  Looks like a west coast version of Tennessee's "tail of the dragon".  Anyone counted these curves?

 

Map of Latigo Canyon Road heading north from the Pacific Coast Hwy in Malibu, Calfornia
Map of Latigo Canyon Road heading north from the Pacific Coast Hwy in Malibu, Calfornia

Mulholland Highway

Mulholland Highway, north of Malibu, is a favorite among local California motorcyclists.
Mulholland Highway, north of Malibu, is a favorite among local California motorcyclists.

"Mulholland HIghway is an amazing road, a ribbon of blacktop that meanders through the Santa Monica mountains overlooking Los Angeles. It’s a popular destination for anyone who loves to drive or ride. But one section is revered above all: The Snake, a two-mile stretch that ends with what could be the most crashed corner in Southern California."  http://www.wired.com/2014/02/mulholland-the-snake/

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Oregon's Historic Columbia River Hwy

Take a few hours and ride east from Portland, Oregon along the Historic Columbia River Highway. Stop at Vista House for the great views. You also pass Wahkeena Falls, and Horsetail Falls (aka Ponytail Falls). This old highway is a delight for motorcyclists and hikers.

Crown Point Vista House is a scenic view along the Columbia River east of Portland.  Google maps photo by Dennis Cheasebro
Crown Point Vista House is a scenic view along the Columbia River east of Portland. Google maps photo by Dennis Cheasebro

"The Vista House was built in 1916 at the same time as Highway 30 (what is now the Historic Columbia River Gorge Highway, and the only way to reach Crown Point). The building was designed to be a place of refreshment and enjoyment of the Columbia Gorge.

The octagonal building with its green ceramic tile roof houses a museum, gift shop and interpretive display of historic and geologic points of interest in the Gorge."

http://oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=parkPage.dsp_parkPage&parkId=108

Historic Columbia River Highway runs east from Portland, Oregon. It's highly recommended for motorcycles.
Historic Columbia River Highway runs east from Portland, Oregon. It's highly recommended for motorcycles.

"Beautiful Bridal Veil Falls is an elegant and graceful lady that can be fully appreciated from the deck of a viewing platform rebuilt in 1996. The creek hustles down from the top of nearby Larch Mountain, tumbles over the cliff and eventually flows into the mighty Columbia River.

 

No visit to the Columbia Gorge should be considered complete without a tour of the area of Bridal Veil and a visit to Bridal Veil Falls State Park."

http://oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=parkPage.dsp_parkPage&parkId=107

Bridal Veil Falls in spring, Oregon State Parks photo.
Bridal Veil Falls in spring, Oregon State Parks photo.


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Arkansas 2 hour detour

This 2 hour detour off I-40 shows what Arkansas offers to motorcycle riders.
This 2 hour detour off I-40 shows what Arkansas offers to motorcycle riders.

West of Little Rock on I-40 take this 2 hour detour into the Arkansas countryside between Russellville and Clarksville. If you've never had the pleasure of riding here, this route will show you some of what you're missing.

See the Google map with directions. 

Early morning fog on Arkansas Hwy 21.
Early morning fog on Arkansas Hwy 21.

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69 miles in 2 days, Virginia & WV

Harrisonburg, VA is only 69 miles south of Winchester, VA on I-81, but 488 miles on our more scenic route.
Harrisonburg, VA is only 69 miles south of Winchester, VA on I-81, but 488 miles on our more scenic route.

 

Ride for a couple of days, mostly in West Virginia on two US highways. US 50 is the northern leg from Winchester, VA to Parkersburg, WV and crosses the western tip of Maryland for about 10 miles.  See the Google map.

 

The southern leg is on US 33 from Ripley, WV to Harrisonburg, VA. There's more to ride just south on US 250, which travels northwest from Staunton, VA all the way to Sandusky, OH on Lake Erie.

 

This ride is just south of Pittsburgh, near Front Royal, VA (the north end of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive) and is easily accessible from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. It touches I-77, I-79, & I-81. Enjoy the ride.

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The Freedom Rock - Iowa

The Freedom Rock created by artist, Ray "Bubba" Sorensen II, stands along Iowa 25, south of I-80 near Menlo, IA.   www.thefreedomrock.com
The Freedom Rock created by artist, Ray "Bubba" Sorensen II, stands along Iowa 25, south of I-80 near Menlo, IA. www.thefreedomrock.com

"The Freedom Rock is a large (approx. 60+ ton) boulder located in rural Iowa that is repainted every year with a different Thank You for our nation's Veterans, to honor their service to our country.  The artist, Ray "Bubba" Sorensen II, was inspired by the movie Saving Private Ryan, as well as, wanting to give Veterans a unique recognition on Memorial Day."  http://www.thefreedomrock.com/

 

The Freedom Rock is about 50 miles west of Des Moines, Iowa.
The Freedom Rock is about 50 miles west of Des Moines, Iowa.

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Coal country curves on VA / KY border

There's plenty of curves on this stretch of Hwy 160 crossing the KY / VA border
There's plenty of curves on this stretch of Hwy 160 crossing the KY / VA border
Country music legend, Loretta Lynn
Country music legend, Loretta Lynn

 

On the Kentucky side you can stop in Lynch and visit an underground coal mine at Portal 31. Two miles further west stop at the Kentucky Coal Mine Museum in Benham, where "Country music legend Loretta Lynn, "The Coal Miner's Daughter," has housed some of her personal collection on the third floor of the museum. Her floor of the museum is now open." 

http://www.benhamky.org/Museum/

 


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Palo Duro Canyon, Texas Panhandle

Deer poses for a photo. Palo Duro State Park, Texas.  Google maps photo by Sergio Rebolledo.
Deer poses for a photo. Palo Duro State Park, Texas. Google maps photo by Sergio Rebolledo.

 

"As the second-largest canyon in the United States, it is roughly 70 mi long and has an average width of 6 mi, but reaches a width of 20 mi at places. Its depth is around 820 ft, but in some locations, it can increase up to 1,000 ft. Palo Duro Canyon has been named "The Grand Canyon of Texas" both for its size and for its dramatic geological features, including the multicolored layers of rock and steep mesa walls similar to those in the Grand Canyon."

 

 

Palo Duro Canyon State Park near Amarillo, TX.  Wikipedia photo by Leaflet - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7743612
Palo Duro Canyon State Park near Amarillo, TX. Wikipedia photo by Leaflet - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7743612

 

Looking to go camping?  "Choose from campsites with water and electricity, primitive drive-up sites, equestrian sites, or backpack camping areas. Stay in one of three cabins on the canyon’s rim or four limited service cabins on the canyon floor. Rent our new pavilion for a wedding, reunion or meeting."

 

 

Palo Duro Canyon State Park near Amarillo, TX. Google maps photo by Bobby McCracken.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park near Amarillo, TX. Google maps photo by Bobby McCracken.

Caprock Canyon

Caprock Canyon formation near Amarillo, TX. Google maps photo by Jeff Lynch.
Caprock Canyon formation near Amarillo, TX. Google maps photo by Jeff Lynch.
Bison herd at Caprock Canyons State Park near Amarillo, Texas.
Bison herd at Caprock Canyons State Park near Amarillo, Texas.

Caprock Canyons State Park has more formations, 2 hours southeast of Palo Duro. Plus you can check out their Bison herd. "History was made on Aug. 19, 2014 at Caprock Canyons State Park as cow #120 took the first steps to lead the Texas State Bison Herd into their new range within the park. The herd now has over 10,000 acres to roam. This legendary bison herd was started by famed cattleman Charles Goodnight and his wife Mary Ann in 1878. It is one of the five foundation herds credited with saving this magnificent animal from extinction." 

 

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The Oregon Sisters - McKenzie Pass

Close up photo of the 3 sisters peaks seen from McKenzie Pass. Google photo by wolfram.burner
Close up photo of the 3 sisters peaks seen from McKenzie Pass. Google photo by wolfram.burner

 

Warning! Highway 242 has steep drop-offs with no guard rails.

It is not recommended for inexperienced riders.

 

The 3 sisters peaks rise above the lava field. Google maps photo by Orbiker.
The 3 sisters peaks rise above the lava field. Google maps photo by Orbiker.

"Dee Wright Observatory (Hwy 242 is closed Nov - June) is an observation structure at the summit of McKenzie Pass in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. The structure is an open shelter constructed with lava stone. It is located in the midst of a large lava flow, and offers an exceptional view of numerous Cascade peaks."

 

"The observatory is an open shelter built with lava stone found at the construction site. The viewing windows are cut to specifically highlight the neighboring mountains. These "lava tube" viewing holes allow visitors to easily identify the different Cascade peaks. There is also a 36 inch (90 cm) diameter, bronze azimuth-like "peak finder" on the observatory’s roof to help visitors locate nearby geologic features as well as the surrounding mountain peaks. From the top of the observatory, visitors have a panoramic view of the Cascade Mountain Range including Mount Hood in the far north."

 

"The half-mile long Lava River Interpretive Trail begins at the observatory, and takes visitors on a 30-minute walk through lava beds. The trail is paved and easy to follow. Interpretive panels, located along the trail highlight the geology of the area. The trail also offers open vistas of the surrounding landscape."

 

 


Oregon highway 242 to Dee Wright Observatory at McKenzie Pass is closed November thru June.
Oregon highway 242 to Dee Wright Observatory at McKenzie Pass is closed November thru June.


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Kaaterskill Falls 260 feet - Catskills NY 23A

Bastian Falls on Highway 23A in the New York Catskills. Google Maps photo by bsilva81
Bastian Falls on Highway 23A in the New York Catskills. Google Maps photo by bsilva81

"Kaaterskill Falls is a two-stage waterfall of Kaaterskill Creek, located in the eastern Catskill Mountains of New York, on the north side of Kaaterskill Clove, between the hamlets of Haines Falls and Palenville in Greene County's Town of Hunter. The two cascades total 260 feet (79 m) in height, making it one of the highest waterfalls in New York, and one of the Eastern United States' tallest waterfalls.

The waterfalls are one of America's oldest tourist attractions, being depicted or described by many books, essays, poems and paintings of the early 19th century. Long before Alexis de Tocqueville's famous essay on America, Kaaterskill Falls was lauded as a place where a traveler could see a wilder image, a sort of primeval Eden. Beginning with Thomas Cole's first visit during 1825, they became a subject for painters of the Hudson River School, setting the wilderness ideal for American landscape painting. The Falls also inspired "Catterskill Falls", a poem by William Cullen Bryant."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaaterskill_Falls


"This is one of the most popular hikes in the area, in part because everyone likes waterfalls, and in part because it’s a relatively short hike to a huge, 260-foot payoff, divided over two drops.

Another highlight along the way is the smaller-but-still-awesome Bastion Falls, which flows past the trailhead and is easily visible from the road."

http://hikethehudsonvalley.com/kaaterskill-falls/

Kaaterskill Falls is 50 miles south of Albany, New York.
Kaaterskill Falls is 50 miles south of Albany, New York.

Mike Todd has posted some nice photos in a Picassa Web Album here.

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Wisconsin's River Road, 250 miles

"Enjoy history, bluff-top views, outstanding trails and charming river towns along the Wisconsin Great River Road—Wisconsin’s only designated National Scenic Byway. The Wisconsin Great River Road parallels the Mississippi River for 250 miles ... Nearly two-thirds of the Wisconsin Great River Road passes along or through protected natural areas ... Scenic overlooks along the Wisconsin Great River Road are some of the best places in North America to see bald eagle ... The Wisconsin Great River Road passes through a region filled with farms, orchards and pastures ... For an unforgettable family road trip, a great getaway or a weeklong vacation, explore the Wisconsin Great River Road."

http://wigreatriverroad.org/

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US 12 Minneapolis to the Pacific Ocean

Beartooth switchbacks have snow in June. Photo by Tony Taylor.
Beartooth switchbacks have snow in June. Photo by Tony Taylor.
Red Lodge, Montana is just 2 hours south of US 12.
Red Lodge, Montana is just 2 hours south of US 12.
.
Idaho has beautiful scenery like this ride along the river. Photo by Tony Taylor.
The Salmon River, Riggins Idaho, elevvation 1801. Photo by Tony Taylor.
The Salmon River, Riggins Idaho, elevvation 1801. Photo by Tony Taylor.
1700 miles on US Highway 12 from Minnesota to the Pacific Ocean
1700 miles on US Highway 12 from Minnesota to the Pacific Ocean

See Google map with directions.

 

Over 1700 miles of US highway 12 begins at Wayzata, MN and ends in Washington state at the Pacific Ocean. A highlight of this ride is central Idaho, the Lewis and Clark Trail.

Lewis and Clark were some of the first to travel this road. Photo by Tony Taylor.
Lewis and Clark were some of the first to travel this road. Photo by Tony Taylor.
Click the map to order yours at Amazon.com
Click the map to order yours at Amazon.com

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Highway 92 - the Colorado Dragon?

Colorado 92 may be unknown, but has curves and views like this
Colorado 92 may be unknown, but has curves and views like this
Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP by Lisa Lynch
Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP by Lisa Lynch

 

"Big enough to be overwhelming, still intimate enough to feel the pulse of time, Black Canyon of the Gunnison exposes you to some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America."

 

https://www.nps.gov/blca/index.htm

 

Painted Wall is one of the highlights of a visit to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, near Montrose, Colorado. This NPS photo by Lisa Lynch shows the Gunnison River flowing along the bottom of the shear canyon walls. See this and other photos at the link below. 

 

https://www.nps.gov/blca/learn/photosmultimedia/index.htm

60 mile round trip on Colorado 92 may just be Colorado's unknown "Dragon"
60 mile round trip on Colorado 92 may just be Colorado's unknown "Dragon"

Is this 30 miles on Highway 92 (above) Colorado's version of the "dragon"? Combine these two maps for a half-day adventure from Montrose, Colorado featuring some nice curves, scenery, and the not well known Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

South rim of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is on Hwy 347 just east of Montrose, CO
South rim of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is on Hwy 347 just east of Montrose, CO


"However, my favourite feature is the “Plan winding route” function which suits my spur-of-the-moment sense of adventure and the need to try different roads. I reckon it’s brilliant and just what many bike riders have always wanted. We don’t always head out with a clear intention of where we are going, so this is very handy for those riders."

http://motorbikewriter.com/tomtom-rider-gps-review/


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Luxury camping in NW Georgia

Yurts and other camping options in NW Georgia at Cloudland Canyon State Park

"Cloudland Canyon has many options for overnight camping, and a few yurts for some glamping. These more modern, quirky yurts are an extremely popular choice among those looking for a few more amenities than a tent provides, so make sure you reserve early."

http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/georgia/glampgrounds-in-ga/

Cloudland Canyon State Park is 2 hours from Atlanta, a few miles from Chattanooga
Cloudland Canyon State Park is 2 hours from Atlanta, a few miles from Chattanooga

"Cloudland Canyon State Park is a 3,485 acre (14.10 km²) Georgia state park located near Trenton and Cooper Heights on the western edge of Lookout Mountain. One of the largest and most scenic parks in Georgia, it contains rugged geology, and offers visitors a range of vistas across the deep gorge cut through the mountain by Sitton Gulch Creek, where the elevation varies from 800 to over 1,800 feet.[1] Views of the canyon can be seen from the picnic area parking lot, in addition to additional views located along the rim trail. At the bottom of the gorge, two waterfalls cascade across layers of sandstone and shale, ending in small pools below."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloudland_Canyon_State_Park

Cloudland Canyon waterfall - photo by Ronmacal at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain
Cloudland Canyon waterfall - photo by Ronmacal at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain
Click here to buy yours today from Amazon
Click here to buy yours today from Amazon

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Back of the Dragon - VA Hwy 16

There's a slideshow of aerial photos from VA Hwy 16, aka Back of the Dragon. 

Visitvirginiamountains.com has a nice slideshow of aerial shots from VA Hwy 16
Visitvirginiamountains.com has a nice slideshow of aerial shots from VA Hwy 16

 

"Thirty two miles and over three hundred curves, the Back of the Dragon is the premier riding road in the nation! Ideal for sports cars or motorcycles, this road offers the most spectacular views you can find in the Appalachians. Crossing three mountains in its course from Marion, Virginia to Tazewell, Virginia, the Back of the Dragon offers knee dragging curves, switchbacks, limited access and elevation changes that no other motorcycle route can offer." http://www.virginia.org/Listings/OutdoorsAndSports/BackoftheDragon/

 

Virginia Highway 16 has lots of curves between Marion and Tazewell, VA.
Virginia Highway 16 has lots of curves between Marion and Tazewell, VA.
Virginia Travel Guide

This laminated, easy to fold Virginia map is a great, quick reference tool while travelling.
This laminated, easy to fold Virginia map is a great, quick reference tool while travelling.

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Florida to the Adirondacks

 

Part 1 of our journey takes us 600 miles north to Durham, NC, home of Duke University. We'll mostly follow US 301 to Orangeburg, SC and then US 601, US 1, and US 501 with about 20 miles on I-85 near Durham. See the Google map.

In Florida, you can pickup US 301 anywhere north of Tampa. You'll have a few smaller cities, like Wildwood, Ocala, and Starke, to deal with traffic lights. There's also a lot of open space in between. In Baldwin, near I-10, you can stay on 301 or follow our route via FL 121 before connecting again with 301.

If you're familiar with US 1 along the Florida east coast, you'll be surprised to find it inland in North Carolina. You'll pass the former Nascar track, Rockingham Speedway, which is now up for auction.

Further north, Southern Pines is a quaint little town in the heart of golf country. Nearby Pinehurst is world famous. "Pinehurst No. 2, the centerpiece of Pinehurst Resort, remains one of the world’s most celebrated golf courses. It has served as the site of more single golf championships than any course in America and, in 2014, hosted 14 days of championship play with back to back U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships for the first time in their history."  http://www.pinehurst.com/golf/courses/no-2/

If you have the time to spend, this 600 mile ride is much more enjoyable than I-95. Leaving Durham, we're taking US 15 north thru Virginia and Maryland, into Pennsylvania. Click the button below.

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Georgia waterfall ride

Panther Creek Falls in Rabun County, Georga

"Georgia is known for having some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the entire country. We’re talking truly breathtaking cascades. Some people will flock all the way from out-of-state just to hike those gorgeous Georgia trails and wind up at a majestic waterfall. But did you know there’s a way to see a majority of the most alluring waterfalls in Georgia in just one trip?

 

That’s right. We have come up with the ultimate waterfall road trip. Whether you’re already making your summer bucket list, or you’re ready for a last-minute weekend getaway, we’ve found 10 of the most stunning waterfalls in all of Georgia and made a comprehensive road trip for you to use as your guide. Get this; the trip is less than 200 miles and clocks in at just above five hours travel time."

http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/georgia/waterfall-road-trip-ga/

 

200 mile ride in north Georgia covers 10 waterfalls
200 mile ride in north Georgia covers 10 waterfalls

 

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Switchback on Idaho Highway 11

Switchback on Idaho highway 11 - Google maps photo
Switchback on Idaho highway 11 - Google maps photo
Idaho highway 11 has multiple switchbacks
Idaho highway 11 has multiple switchbacks

If you're looking for solitude and have an extra 4 hours, you might enjoy this 71 miles to nowhere. Then the pavement ends and dirt continues east to Riverbend, Montana and I-90.  See the map of the entire route.

 

Idaho highway 11 leads to highway 247, which becomes dirt in the middle of nowhere
Idaho highway 11 leads to highway 247, which becomes dirt in the middle of nowhere

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Virginia and Maryland on US 15

Banana split anyone?  Pa Pa Jim's on US Highway 15 - Troy, VA.
Banana split anyone? Pa Pa Jim's on US Highway 15 - Troy, VA.

Ice Cream sold here

 

There's at least 3 chances to enjoy a local ice cream shop on US Highway 15 in Virginia - Effee's Frozen Favorites in Warrenton, Pa Pa Jim's in Troy, and Dillwyn Dairy Freeze in Dillwyn are all on this ride.

US Highway 15 runs 260 miles through Virginia and Maryland, and south to Durham, NC
US Highway 15 runs 260 miles through Virginia and Maryland, and south to Durham, NC

 (Above)

Going north from Research Triangle / Raleigh / Durham area of North Carolina?  US Highway 15 takes you from Durham, NC to Harrisburg, PA about 40 miles north of the Maryland border. 

 

 

Save up to 40% Off MSRP on Highway Bars for a Limited Time ONLY at CruiserCustomizing.com! No code necessary.

 

 

Turn west on Main Street in Orange, VA to visit

Montpelier, home of our 4th President, James Madison.

 

"MONTPELIER was home to President James Madison, Father of the Constitution and Architect of the Bill of Rights, and Dolley Madison, America’s first "First Lady." It was here at Montpelier where James Madison shaped the ideas that would become the U.S. Constitution. For six months Madison sat in his upstairs library, where he meticulously studied past forms of governments and organized his thoughts into what he believed were the ideal principles for a representative democracy. Madison’s ideas would become the “Virginia Plan,” and later the framework for the Constitution."

https://www.montpelier.org/visit

By Aigrette - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12559450
By Aigrette - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12559450

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Michigan Upper Peninsula

Wagner Falls, Munising, MI - photo by Two Hearted River - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3015941
Wagner Falls, Munising, MI - photo by Two Hearted River - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3015941

Beautiful Wagner Falls, south of Munising earned a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.


800 mile ride loop around the upper peninsula of Michigan
800 mile ride loop around the upper peninsula of Michigan

See larger map with directions


Need a map?

 

UP guide book?

 

Wisconsin?

 



The Pure Michigan website has travel info for the upper peninsula
The Pure Michigan website has travel info for the upper peninsula

A few miles west of Paradise, on Michigan highway 123

Waterfalls at Tahquamenon Falls State Park near Paradise, Michigan
Waterfalls at Tahquamenon Falls State Park near Paradise, Michigan

"Tahquamenon Falls State Park encompasses close to 50,000 acres stretching over 13 miles. Most of this is undeveloped woodland without roads, buildings or power lines. The centerpiece of the park, and the very reason for its existence, is the Tahquamenon River with its waterfalls.

 

 

The Upper Falls is one the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi. It has a drop of nearly 50 feet and is more than 200 feet across. A maximum flow of more than 50,000 gallons of water per second has been recorded cascading over these falls. Four miles downstream is the Lower Falls, a series of five smaller falls cascading around an island. Although not as dramatic as the Upper Falls, they are equally magnificent."

 

http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?id=428&type=SPRK

 


Sable Falls, Grand Marais

 

"Just past the restrooms, you’ll find a sign that directs you to ether the Grand Sable (French for “big sand”) Dunes or Sable Falls. Make a right toward the falls and you’ll arrive at a few hundred wooden stairs just waiting to carry you down to your destination. ... This was our first time to Sable Falls but I’d seen some absolutely beautiful pictures of the place, and it did not disappoint."

 

http://www.thingstodointheup.com/sablefalls/

 

Road H-58 winds along this lakeshore in the Michigan Upper Peninsula near Grand Marais
Road H-58 winds along this lakeshore in the Michigan Upper Peninsula near Grand Marais

Woodland Park Campground, Grand Marais

 

"This sandy, wooded campground overlooks a breathtaking Lake Superior beach in a stand of mixed pines and hardwoods with facilities for the entire family. Owned and operated by Burt Township, Woodland Park is a full service campground with 125 grassy sites plus group areas, fire pits, two bath houses, cable TV, wireless Internet, electric, water hook-ups, dump station, an open-air picnic gazebo, playground, basketball & tennis courts, and public phone with good paved and gravel interior roads. No pull-throughs. Open from April 15 through October 15."

http://www.grandmaraismichigan.com/camping.php


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Lake George to Lake Champlain loop

NY Hwy 9 over the Ausable River - By Mwanner - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18761306
NY Hwy 9 over the Ausable River - By Mwanner - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18761306

Ausable Chasm

 

"Explore the Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks. Come visit Ausable Chasm for an assortment of adventures you will not find at any other single location in the Adirondacks. Hike, float and/or climb as you go back in time as you experience one of the oldest natural attractions in the United States (Est. 1870). Immerse yourself in a primeval Adirondack forest as you stroll past Rainbow Falls, Elephant's Head, Column Rock, Hyde's Cave and the eerie quiet of Mystic Gorge. Descend hundreds of feet to walk on natural stone walkways and gaze upon eons of geologic history etched in stone." They have cabins and a campground http://ausablechasm.com/

Ride a raft thru the gorge carved by the Ausable River at Ausable Chasm New York
Ride a raft thru the gorge carved by the Ausable River at Ausable Chasm New York

Lake Champlain from NY Highway 9 - Google maps photo
Lake Champlain from NY Highway 9 - Google maps photo

Hero's Welcome General Store was built in 1899 and run by the Trudhope family for 90 years. Restored in 1993, they have a generous assortment of trinkets, and their famous sandwiches on their deli menu

277 mile loop from Lake George, NY to Lake Champlain and Burlington, VT
277 mile loop from Lake George, NY to Lake Champlain and Burlington, VT

Enjoy this 277 mile loop when you ride the Kancamagus Highway in the White Mountains near Laconia, NH or Vermont 100 in the Green Mountains, or the Adirondacks in upstate New York.

 

Fort Ticonderoga

 

"Fort Ticonderoga is home to one of America’s largest collections of 18th-century military material culture.  Fort Ticonderoga's artifact collections are among the most important of their type in the world.  Preserved within the collection is 18th-century military weaponry, unique military uniforms, artworks of all types, and a vast collection of archeological artifacts recovered on site during its restoration.

 

- Weapons - Muskets, Bayonets, Pistols, Swords, Pole Arms, Artillery

The weapons collection is composed of over one thousand muskets, bayonets, pistols, swords, pole arms and cannon representing most of the major types of weapons used in the colonial wars and struggle for American Independence. The museum’s collection of 18th-century artillery is considered the largest collection of its type in the western hemisphere."  Ticket info.

http://www.fortticonderoga.org/history-and-collections/artifacts-collections

 

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Texas to Canada, 1200 miles on US 75

The Talimena Scenic Byway crosses from Arkansas into Oklahoma on east to west mountain ridges.

"Travel a short drive to the Talimena National Scenic Byway. Explore the golden valleys of a majestic byway and discover historic towns along the way. The Talimena Scenic Drive offers you more than 50 miles of the most breathtaking vistas ..."  http://www.talimenascenicdrive.com/

Do take the time to ride 89 miles east of our route in Calvin, OK and enjoy the Talimena Scenic Byway. from US 271 in Oklahoma to US 71 in Mena, Arkansas. It's similar to the Blue Ridge Parkway, with no trucks allowed and many views. 

See Google map with directions.


Dallas to Omaha - 653 miles

Dallas to Omaha - 653 miles on US Highway 75 passes the Little House on the Prairie Museum

"The Kansas prairie, with it’s open skies, seemingly endless horizon, and tall grasses waving in the wind attracted homesteaders from all over the world. 

 

When Charles P. Ingalls, his wife, Caroline Lake Quiner Ingalls, and their daughters, Mary and Laura camped on the Kansas prairie in 1869 they had no way of knowing that it would change their lives and children’s literature forever.

 

The cabin that now sits on the Little House on the Prairie Museum site was reconstructed according to Laura Ingalls' own descriptions by Brigadier General William A. Kurtis and his wife, Wilma Horton Kurtis, with the help of volunteers from the local chapter of the Jaycees from Independence in 1977."

http://www.littlehouseontheprairiemuseum.com/menu/


Omaha, Nebraska to the Canadian border - 586 miles

Omaha to the Canadian Border on US 75
Omaha to the Canadian Border on US 75

 

Fort Atkinson State Historical Park

"Fort Atkinson was the first United States Army post to be established west of the Missouri River in the unorganized region of the Louisiana Purchase of the United States. Located just east of present-day Fort Calhoun, Nebraska, the fort was erected in 1819 and abandoned in 1827. The site is now known as Fort Atkinson State Historical Park and is a National Historic Landmark. A replica fort was constructed by the state at the site during the 1980s–1990s.

 

The post, which included soldiers, traders, trappers, and other frontier people, has been credited by the Nebraska State Legislature as the first town in Nebraska. Founded almost 30 years before the creation of the Nebraska Territory, Fort Atkinson had more than 1,000 residents. It included a brickyard, lime kiln, stone quarry, grist mill, saw mill, and cooper shop."

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Atkinson_%28Nebraska%29

 

Fort Atkinson, Fort Calhoun Nebraska - Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=522081
Fort Atkinson, Fort Calhoun Nebraska - Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=522081

Why Carter Lake, Iowa is located in East Omaha

Due to an 1877 shift in the Missouri River, Carter Lake, Iowa is surrounded by Nebraska
Due to an 1877 shift in the Missouri River, Carter Lake, Iowa is surrounded by Nebraska

 

"As it so often did in the 1800s, the Missouri River changed its course during an ice jam in 1877 that dug a new river channel near Saratoga Bend. When the waters shifted, a crescent-shaped body of water called Cut-Off Lake was all that remained of the river’s previous channel. Alongside the lake, which still had the Missouri River lapping into it from the east, was a small slice of land owned by Council Bluffs resident Thomas Jefferis that had been on the Iowa side of the river before the flood. ...

 

One of the plants was the Carter White Lead Works – which later evolved into Dutch Boy Paint – owned by a man named Levi Carter. The lake and the town itself assumed the name Carter Lake in 1909 after his widow donated much of their land along the shoreline to the city of Omaha. ...

 

Council Bluffs officials, however, saw Omaha’s intrusion as a brazen attempt to snatch land that rightfully belonged on their tax rolls. The ensuing legal battle over whether Iowa or Nebraska had jurisdiction over Cut-Off Island went to the Supreme Court. In its 1892 ruling, the court sided with Iowa on the basis that state lines remain the same when a river avulsed, or dramatically altered, its path in 1877. Therefore, the land had never left Iowa, despite its position on the Nebraska side of the river."

 

from the 2012 article by John Schreier,  jschreier@nonpareilonline.com

http://www.nonpareilonline.com/news/carter-lake-s-colorful-confusing-history/article_45d603ec-338f-5a45-9bb9-1843542ae556.html

 

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Michigan car museum has motorcycles

Familiar faces of Toucan and Snap, Crackle, Pop are on this building's wall not far away.
Familiar faces of Toucan and Snap, Crackle, Pop are on this building's wall not far away.

"The Gilmore Car Museum began in the early 1960s when Donald S. Gilmore began collection vintage automobiles. We know know that some of the first vehicles in his collection included 1927 Ford Model T, a 1913 Rolls Royce, a 1930 Pierce Arrow. Restoring that classic Pierce-Arrow—which is still on display at the museum—ignited a passion. ... To accommodate his collection, he acquired 90 acres of farmland in southwestern Barry County, Michigan in a small town off of Gull Lake known as Hickory Corners. He also purchased several historic barns, had them dismantled, and moved to the site—a stroke of inspiration that gives our museum its unique character. It was Genevieve who came up with the idea of turning the collection into a museum, which would allow future generations access to Donald’s one-of-a-kind collection. The Genevieve and Donald S. Gilmore established a non-profit foundation and opened the museum to the public for the first time on Sunday, July 31, 1966."

http://www.gilmorecarmuseum.org/about/history-and-mission/

 

 

Gilmore Car Museum, Hickory Corners, Michigan is north of Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.
Gilmore Car Museum, Hickory Corners, Michigan is north of Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.

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Pennsylvania 760 miles on US 6, 209, 322

Our 350 mile northern leg follows US 6.  See larger map with directions.

160 miles on mostly US 209 is next.  See larger map with directions.

250 miles along mostly US 322 returns us to the starting point near Erie, PA.  See larger map with directions.


"However, my favourite feature is the “Plan winding route” function which suits my spur-of-the-moment sense of adventure and the need to try different roads. I reckon it’s brilliant and just what many bike riders have always wanted. We don’t always head out with a clear intention of where we are going, so this is very handy for those riders."

http://motorbikewriter.com/tomtom-rider-gps-review/


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Hudson Valley from central PA on US 209

US 209 is a nice ride to the Hudson Vally north of Kingston, NY
US 209 is a nice ride to the Hudson Vally north of Kingston, NY

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300 mile loop Ventura California

California Hwy 101 north of Ventura has ocean views
California Hwy 101 north of Ventura has ocean views
CA Hwy 33 north from  Ventura begins this 312 mile route that ends with ocean views
CA Hwy 33 north from Ventura begins this 312 mile route that ends with ocean views

There's more good roads to ride a motorcycle near LA than you might think.

 

California Highway 33 has this 35 mile stretch of twisty road along our route below.  See larger map.

 

California Hwy 2 is another outstanding ride in the LA vicinity, as is Hwy 39 to Falling Springs. Check the LA County website for current road closures.

 

Mt. San Antonio (aka Mt. Baldy) is the highest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains, 10,000 feet at the summit.

 

Use our Parts Finder for your motorcycle needs!

These roads are all just north of Los Angeles. The Mt. San Antonio summit is just over 10,000 feet.
These roads are all just north of Los Angeles. The Mt. San Antonio summit is just over 10,000 feet.

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Central CA Yosemite and General Sherman

By Neal Parish from Oakland, CA (IMG_0794) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Neal Parish from Oakland, CA (IMG_0794) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

"General Sherman is a giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) tree located in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in Tulare County, in the U.S. state of California. By volume, it is the largest known living single stem tree on Earth. The General Sherman Tree is neither the tallest known living tree on Earth (that distinction belongs to the Hyperion tree, a Coast redwood), nor is it the widest (both the largest cypress and largest baobab have a greater diameter), nor is it the oldest known living tree on Earth (that distinction belongs to a Great Basin bristlecone pine). With a height of 83.8 meters (275 ft), a diameter of 7.7 m (25 ft), an estimated bole volume of 1,487 m3 (52,513 cu ft), and an estimated age of 2,300–2,700 years, it is nevertheless among the tallest, widest and longest-lived of all trees on the planet." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Sherman_(tree)

 


400 miles in central California including Yosemite and the General Sherman tree
400 miles in central California including Yosemite and the General Sherman tree
300 miles on CA Hwy 49
300 miles on CA Hwy 49

CA Hwy 168 is fun to the Huntington Lake dam.
CA Hwy 168 is fun to the Huntington Lake dam.

 

Warning!

The road to Big Creek

is Not recommended!

 

Huntington Lake Rd (Hwy 168) is a fun ride. But the warning is that the road past the dam to Big Creek is poorly maintained, very steep with lots of granite gravel, mostly one lane on the face of a granite cliff, with no guardrails.

 

Our thanks to Ron on the Motorcycle Tourers Forum for the heads up.

Stay at Lakeview Cottages. See info.


 

Quaking Aspen Campground

 

"Located along the Western Divide Highway a quarter of a mile past the end of State Highway 190 (27 miles east of Springville).  The campground was named for the quaking aspen trees that grow in the area.  The trees are a shimmering brilliant green in the spring and deep russet-gold in the fall.  Hiking is available on the many trails near the campground. ... New for the 2015 season are furnished Yurts (canvas tents elevated on a platform)  available through reservation only."

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NY Hwy 30 Adirondacks and Catskills

The Adirondack Park is a popular outdoor destination.
NY Highway 30 takes you almost 300 miles through the Catskills and Adirondack Mountains.
NY Highway 30 takes you almost 300 miles through the Catskills and Adirondack Mountains.

New York highway 30 travels north and south through both the Catskills and the Adirondacks, nearly 300 miles to the Canadian border. Lodging is available in Malone, NY at the end of this ride.

Historic marker in Malone, NY boyhood home of Almanzo Wilder. Trip Advisor traveler photo.
Historic marker in Malone, NY boyhood home of Almanzo Wilder. Trip Advisor traveler photo.

Adirondacks map by Peter Fitzgerald, User:Jackaranga, User:Algorerhythms, User:Daniel Case, OpenStreetMap  [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.
Adirondacks map by Peter Fitzgerald, User:Jackaranga, User:Algorerhythms, User:Daniel Case, OpenStreetMap [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.

"However, my favourite feature is the “Plan winding route” function which suits my spur-of-the-moment sense of adventure and the need to try different roads. I reckon it’s brilliant and just what many bike riders have always wanted. We don’t always head out with a clear intention of where we are going, so this is very handy for those riders."

http://motorbikewriter.com/tomtom-rider-gps-review/


Map by Pfly (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Enlarged Wikipedia map shows the mountain ranges in the northeastern US.
Enlarged Wikipedia map shows the mountain ranges in the northeastern US.

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US 50 Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP

Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP - Google maps photo by Leon Dolman 2015
Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP - Google maps photo by Leon Dolman 2015

I discovered Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park on the map when I was researching a trip to ride Colorado. The south rim is 7 miles north on CO Highway 347 off U.S. Highway 50, just east of Montrose, CO.

 

"Big enough to be overwhelming, still intimate enough to feel the pulse of time, Black Canyon of the Gunnison exposes you to some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America. With two million years to work, the Gunnison River, along with the forces of weathering, has sculpted this vertical wilderness of rock, water, and sky."

http://www.nps.gov/blca/index.htm

 

A great story by Ken Bingenheimer with photos is on Eagle Rider's forum.

http://forums.eaglerider.com/t/riding-the-black-canyon-of-the-gunnison-top-to-bottom/46

Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP is 73 miles from Silverton, CO on US 550, the Million Dollar Highway.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP is 73 miles from Silverton, CO on US 550, the Million Dollar Highway.

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