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Old 03-31-14, 07:35 PM   #1
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Cross Country Tour -- How to get Thru Washington / Into CA

So, I'm planning the final legs of my cross country tour, and am hitting a decision point--How to get down to CA? My end point is San Francisco so I'm looking at ways to get down there.
I'm basically looking at either the ACA coast route or the ACA route that takes me by Crater Lake. I would really love to see Crater Lake, but taking this route would make it a bit tougher to get back over to San Fran when I get farther down into California.

Here are the things I'm thinking so far:

A. Take the Lewis and Clark til the coast, dip my tires to ceremonially complete the coast to coast journey, then head south.

B. Head straight down towards Crater Lake and dip my tires somewhere farther on down the line.

C. Head to the coast, dip the tires, then head backwards to go back down by Crater Lake.

I would like to stop by both Walla Walla and maybe Seattle if possible, but I realize this would be a ton of meandering around the Pacific Northwest.

Anyways just throwing this out there, looking for some feedback. Thanks!
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Old 03-31-14, 08:56 PM   #2
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This is just me, but I would probably do something like Trans-Am to Sierra Cascades south to Crater Lake, then out to the coast from there. I love the Columbia Gorge (on Lewis and Clark route), but there is one big drawback during summer months: a pretty reliable and STRONG headwind heading westward. You may get some headwind on the Trans-Am, but it probably wouldn't be as severe as it could be on the L&C.

And I find it a little funny that you titled your post "How to get through WA" when you're mostly talking about Oregon.
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Old 04-01-14, 10:42 AM   #3
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Just curious why Walla Walla? From WW you could head to Seattle then from there follow the Seattle to Portland route as far as across the Columbia at Longview then west to the ocean. Meandering back east to Crater Lake would also be worthwhile although doing all of the above will add I'm thinking at least a week to your tour. From Crater Lake to San Francisco is an almost direct shot down 97 and 5.
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Old 04-01-14, 10:52 AM   #4
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I have a friend in Walla Walla I'd like to visit, and if I'm dealing with strong headwinds as mentioned above, a hot meal will be most welcome

And I don't mind adding a week or more to the tour, all I have is time. Thanks for the tips, I'll check all this out!!
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Old 04-02-14, 08:15 PM   #5
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I would stay on the coast- once you get there, you'll have reliable tailwinds all the way south.

Usually. I remember a rainstorm blowing in from the south in August when I was goofing around at Fort Stevens, near Astoria.
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Old 04-06-14, 03:28 PM   #6
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From Walla Walla, I'd be inclined to roll down the east side of OR, like on 395 (tailwinds!). If I wanted to include Crater Lake, I'd cross over to Bend, over McKenzie Pass and then take the Aufderheide and then the back-way down to Dorena Lake ( I think Mtnbud and Shifty have routes for this leg) and on to Crater Lake. From there, there are a couple of decent ways to the coast, one of which is the infamous route from Grants Pass to Gold Beach that a family from the Bay Area mistakenly and fatally took one wintry day a few years back.

Such a route avoids prevailing wind issues, but substitutes a bit of climbing. I'd always rather climb than deal with headwinds. If you decide to roll the ACA Sierra Cascades route, you're going to fight the delta breeze all the way to SF no matter where you leave that route. I think it's better to go west before CA in part to avoid that relentless wind and in part because I enjoy riding in both the coast range and along the coast.
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Old 04-08-14, 05:58 PM   #7
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since I have been here for 17 years I'm biased in favoring the Coast.
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