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Old 04-10-03, 11:03 AM   #1
dogbuckeye
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Portland, OR to Denver, CO via coast, cascades, canada

Friends,

In late May I'm doing a solo ride from Portland, OR to Denver, CO via the coast, olympic peninsula, northern cascades, a chunk of Canada, Montana, Yellowstone, Wyoming and on to Denver, CO.

Do you have a map or guidebook to share for any part of this trip -- like those Adventure Cycling maps (coast or northern tier)? Or any general route advice, great places not to miss.

Plus, what's the prevailing winds along the coast from Oregon up north along the olympic peninsula?

in spirit,

Mark
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Old 04-10-03, 11:47 AM   #2
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Mark,

The prevailing winds are definately from the NW so going up the coast might be a bit windy. Also, May is still late spring here. That means there could definately be rain (could?....WILL!).

Have fun! I am doing the Trans-Am ride from North Carolina to Oregon starting May 11th.
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Old 04-10-03, 01:56 PM   #3
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I don't know if it is still in print, but "THE CANADIAN ROCKIES Bicycling Guide" by Gail Helgason and John Dodd has loads of info, and not just on the Canadian side. There is a section describing routes in Glacier national park, and northern Montana.
Sounds like a great trip, but it can still be pretty wintry in some of the more northern parts of your route.

Tom
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Old 04-11-03, 03:25 AM   #4
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wow! cool trip!

for the Coast part, there is a book i have at home - uh, Pacific Coast Tour or something like that by a couple from about 7 years ago. it is good and pretty much the classic there.

as to the winds: yes, they are mostly from the NW, but i don't think it'll be too bad (ok, i cycled the other way, so i could be wrong as you don't notice until you have the headwind). but also in the book he mentions that it can be done south-to-north with only a few disadvantages... and since you're only doing a section should be fine.

for the inland parts, i don't know much... although will you be along the Continental Divide trail? (it sounds like you'll be going north to canada and then mostly south through montana, western wyoming, so this should be near the continental divide) as i understand it was in 2000, there were 2 of these: 1) a near-complete one of mostly fireroads and 2) another higher/longer trail of mostly singletrack. i'm not sure, but there were a few internet websites and these might have book references. i met a guy in summer 2000 in Yellowstone who was doing the single trail as much as possible with a Bob-trailer.

are you camping or going supported? if camping are you taking a Bob or panniers? i REALLY respect mountain self-contained tourists as i've never done one - i've done "self-contained" camping tours like the pacific coast as well as mountainous tours like the TransAlp in Europe but there i stay in huts every night snd so have very little overnight gear and food.
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Old 04-11-03, 03:29 AM   #5
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Sounds like a great trip, but it can still be pretty wintry in some of the more northern parts of your route.
yeah, in late May... i agree

the Coast will definitely rain almost every day in May. and if you do any mountain passes or anything with high elevation in Canada/Montana you will likely encounter snow. i was in Glacier Park in mid-July in 2000 and if i remember right many of the roads had just been opened one week earlier and there was still a lot of snow alondside the road passes.

i think a high mountain trip can more safely be done in July/August or even June/September, but May...
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Old 04-11-03, 05:58 AM   #6
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Originally posted by neguypdx
That means there could definately be rain (could?....WILL!).

In Colorado, at least, you can expect snow in May and June in the high elevations, and even in July. And the rain is ALWAYS cold, cold rain generally accompanied by small hail.

In fact, even in August I have been freezing and pretty well stranded with a cold thunderstorm with ice pellets at 10,000 feet.

Keep warm and have fun.
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Old 04-27-03, 10:21 PM   #7
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Definitely expect snow near the divide at that time of year.
Don't miss Logan's Pass in Glacier Park Montana.
The going-to-the-sun highway is one of the most spectacular rides in North America. I don't know how early it will be open, check ahead.
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