WFO-6 Trip Planning July 2007

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Allan's 2007 WFO-6 Trip Planning

This page is here for historical interest. I planned this trip in the spring and summer of 2007 and invited others to come along. In the end, I rode it by myself. You can see some pictures and read about my adventure on my WFO-6 Trip page.

Over the weekend of July 26-29 of 2007 there is a motorcycle event, the "Western FJR Owners" gathering. It's the sixth of that name, or WFO-6.

I plan to ride to the event (in Park City, UT near Salt Lake City) from my home in the San Francisco area, but I plan to go the long way. North. In six days.

Maybe you want to come along? I can plan this as a group ride, or I can go solo. It's all good. Let me know if you're interested. You don't have to be committed just to contact me - let's just talk.

I have a discussion thread going about this plan at the FJR Forum. I originally billed it as a camping trip, but that might scare some folks off. So now we'll talk about camping after we see who's interested at all.

Elsewhere on my web site, I've captured some of the "What's your favorite road?" discussion from the LDRiders mailing list and elsewhere. You can visit the all-state index or o directly to the pages for CA, OR, WA, and ID.

Below is a draft of what I have in mind. As you can see, I'm not into freeways! Route suggestions are welcome, regardless of whether you want to join.

Plot this in your own map software like so:

  • San Francisco, CA
  • Eureka, CA
  • Happy Camp, CA
  • Medford, Bend, and Hood River, OR; Randle, WA (but not that simple)
  • Lewiston, ID
  • Bozeman, MT
  • Red Lodge, MT
  • Jackson, WY
  • Park City, UT

The way I'm thinking about it so far, the days and highlights break down like this:

  1. Saturday, July 21: leave San Francisco for Happy Camp, CA. 467 miles. Battle traffic leaving the Bay Area to the north, probably as far as Healdsburg, then clear sailing. Maybe take 128 to the coast. Visit the Avenue of the Giants.
  2. Sunday: to Medford, OR and up the first half of Ken Hattan's "Oregon Cascades" ride. Overnight near Bend somewhere. 440 miles.
  3. Monday: back to the Oregon Cascades route, north to Randle, WA. Then turn east and spend the night near Kennewick, WA. This looks to be 500 miles.
  4. Tuesday: Kennewick through Lewiston, ID and east to Bozeman, MT. This includes the amazing (by all accounts) US12 across Idaho, with the famous "Winding road next 77 miles" sign. My plan has us pounding freeway from Missoula to Bozeman for 200 miles - sorry! Got any better ideas? Total 550 miles.
  5. Wednesday: Bozeman to Red Lodge, then across Beartooth Pass and through Yellowstone National Park. The Motel 6 south of Jackson makes it 400 miles. Long day in the park with a 35mph speed limit.
  6. Thursday: Jackson, WY to Park City. An easy 240 miles, time to get to the hotel, shower, take it easy, and rest up in preparation for the festivities.

This is a very ambitious ride. We will have a lot of daylight but we'll have to use all of it, without long breakfasts or lunches.

As the instigator of this ride, I would coordinate hotels (or campsites!). With two or three people, we can ride together or just say "That's the next hotel, see you there."

My earlier, less-ambitious plan didn't include the Oregon Cascades. I had it going from Ashland to Lewiston via Burns and Pendleton. This makes for much shorter days. Definitely still a possibility. Also, Bozeman due south through the park to Park City cuts off a whole day at the end without having to miss Yellowstone. Any time past Burns, there's I-80 or I-15 to Salt Lake City as a safety valve against bad weather.

So, are you interested? Like I said, Let me know by e-mail so we can start talking and see if this will really happen.


Some route points to ponder

One long pole in the tent is that going through Yellowstone is slow and we might want to stop a few times. So it has to be planned as a low-mile day. Makes sense to stop after Yellowstone to keep Wednesday reasonable. This also makes Thursday short - 260 miles. That's probably a good thing, lets us get there in the afternoon, register, kick tires, and recover.

I just don't see us wanting to do Bozeman-Yellowstone-Park City all on Thursday. That's 470 miles, including our time in the park (with low speed limits!). It would mean we can't stop in the park or else we get to Park City really late. Also, that route hits the park but misses Beartooth Pass, which I would be sorry to do.

Monday from Bend can be made shorter by going north only as far as I-84, then turning east to the northern part of Ken Hattan's Hells_Canyon_Ride_2006 loop. Stop in La Grande, OR and you've only gone 412 miles since Bend, but you're farther east than Kennewick. Then Tuesday's 550 miles take you to Bozeman as before.

On this ride I think the overall average (counting slow roads, meals, and stops) will be noticeably less than 50mph. So if a day is 500 miles that's over 10 hours from "start your engines" to the overnight stop. On the other hand, it's summertime and there are many hours of daylight. It'll depend on the mix of people who want to come along - are they up for 9-hour days or 12-hour days?

Returning home

Because I want to see Bryce and Zion, I will take two days to get home:

  1. Sunday, start early, go south, ride through Bryce, Zion, and Dixie. Overnight in Cedar City or St. George along I-15.
  2. Monday, burn across Nevada, through Tonopah and Yosemite, and home.

Gotta have a National Parks Pass for this trip...


This page was last edited April 26, 2008.