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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 03-12-06, 01:23 PM   #1
Dio Rallen
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Yeah, it's that time of year again and I'm starting to plan and scheme my summerly adventures.

I want to roll across the country, but with my own little twist. I want to go through fruit farming country. Peaches, Oranges, Plums, Watermelon, Strawberries, Figs (ahah, you saw it coming), etc. I want to experience the rural America with vast fields of produce and Farmers with green thumbs and much love.

So the worldy walkers of the forums, is it possible to create a fairly straight fruity tour from San Francisco to Detroit (or New York)? Of course, it need not matter that ever hundred miles is filled with fruit country, I know there are mountains and desert that I will have to cross.

James Schiffer
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Old 03-12-06, 01:36 PM   #2
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Late May - Strawberries - Pajaro Valley, Calif
June - Cherries - Yakima & Wenatchee Valleys, Wash
Sept-Oct - Apples and Pears - Columbia and Willamette Valleys, Ore & Wash
Oct - Cranberries - Mass
Aug - Huckleberries - Rocky Mtns (Grizzlies are looking for them, too.)
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Old 03-12-06, 01:46 PM   #3
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Sounds delicious.

You'll have to work out what areas are coming into season as you pass through. Strawberries are early, peaches are late.

Have a look through this site.
http://www.pickyourown.org/statelist.htm#statelist

Before this year the previous furthest distance I'd ridden was 25km to a local Peach festival. Long ride to peaches and ice cream :-) This year I've already beaten that - two 50km (30mile) and a 80km (50 mile) besides other shorter rides.
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Old 03-12-06, 08:14 PM   #4
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Are you planning on hitting any wine grape hotspots? There are tons of places to visit in California, Washington, and Oregon, of course, and New York wines are now respectable. But I once read that grapes are grown for wine in almost every US state. I have seen lush vineyards in Illinois and Indiana, and I have heard they even exist in Minnesota.

I visit vineyards and taste wines whether possible on my bike tours. Many of the most interesting have been those in "marginal" grape growing areas, where the grape growers and wine makers are in the process of working out whether their ventures are even possible. The most northerly vineyard I have visited was just outside Quebec City, at a latitude of about 46 degrees!
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Old 03-12-06, 11:08 PM   #5
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oh man, what a great idea! I would head north to Oregon and Wash first - they have pears in Southern Oregon, then go north eating berries in the Willamette Valley, then central Washington near Yakima, then start eastward, or just head back down...
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Old 03-13-06, 12:07 PM   #6
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Black Berries, august Vermont
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Old 03-13-06, 12:48 PM   #7
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Agree, go north from San Francisco into Oregon and Washington. Early June in Willamette valley, strawberries by the tons, sweet and juicy. Mid-June Rasberries and cheeries, late June and all July blueberries and marion berries. Then head to the mid-west for apricots and peaches. Have fun, great idea!
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Old 03-13-06, 01:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamawani
Aug - Huckleberries - Rocky Mtns (Grizzlies are looking for them, too.)
August and September are great times for wild raspberries in the Rockies. Blackberries grow everywhere in Oregon and are ripe in late August.

Late August and early September (around Labor Day) is the very best time to be in the Grand Junction/Palisade area of Colorado. Those are the times for PEACHES! Palisade peaches are wonderful!

August and very early September is a great time to be in the Arkansas River valley of eastern Colorado - Rocky Ford cantaloupe! Not a good time to ride a bike there but the melons are legend!

Personal note: I've been cantaloupe stealing from before I was born! It a favorite pasttime in the Valley. My mom was 9 months pregnant and they figured that no body would shoot a pregnant lady
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Old 03-13-06, 04:22 PM   #9
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Late August and early September (around Labor Day) is the very best time to be in the Grand Junction/Palisade area of Colorado. Those are the times for PEACHES! Palisade peaches are wonderful!
You beat me to this!

Also make sure to visit Fruita, Colorado (just west of Grand Junction). And Fruita, Utah is in Capitol Reef National Park.
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Old 03-13-06, 06:36 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by eofelis
And Fruita, Utah is in Capitol Reef National Park.
Shhhhhhhh!

Gees..... since the cat's out of the bag: Fruta UT is cherry heaven on earth. It's an old homestead, now in the Nat'l Park so it's ours for enjoying. The original homesteaders planted a cherry orchard, and they must be the most prolific fruit trees in North America.

But the one you can't miss is a family orchard just outside of White Bird, ID, on the TransAmerica trail. It's at the bottom of the Salmon River canyon -- sister to Hell's Canyon, and hotter than Hades. They grow apricots, peaches, plums -- oh, heck just check the picture. But the real treat is to head into the walk-in cooler on a 98 degree day. It's a self-service setup so you're welcome to drop in anytime; too bad we didn't have a free-standing tent.

There's a NFS campground a mile from the orchard, so you could stay for a week. The elderly farmer is in his late 80's, his children have moved away (we met his youngest son, a school teacher in Oregon who was back for a visit last summer), and the future of the farm is uncertain. I'm afraid next time we're there, it'll be an RV park. We got a personal tour and filled up on samples straight from the trees.

For the OP: that's my kind of tour! It'd be tough to lay out a specific route. Anywhere there's summer, anywhere there's irrigation, if you're there in the right season, you'll find a bounty. Between the West Coast and the Rocky Mountains, in every valley you'll probably find an orchard. We wrapped up our tour last summer coming south down the Okanagan Vally in BC: a fruit stand every mile.

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Old 03-13-06, 06:51 PM   #11
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You beat me to this!

Also make sure to visit Fruita, Colorado (just west of Grand Junction). And Fruita, Utah is in Capitol Reef National Park.
We forgot Olathe corn. Not technically fruit but still...Great sweet corn!
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