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Old 07-18-08, 08:56 AM   #1
zeppinger
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Anyone here done Canada to Mexico on the West Coast?

I am planning my very FIRST tour in September starting from Seattle, north to vancouver, and then all the way down to the Mexico boarder! Has anyone ever done this tour? I pretty much have my rig setup, its an Giant FRC3, should be good enough. However, I am not sure how much money I need to save between now and then.... I am going to be camping pretty much all the time except to take an occasional shower or when I go through a big city like San Fran. I think the whole trip will take me around 6-8 weeks but I am still not sure. Anyone know how much money I should have for this trip???? If it is REALY expensive I might cut short and end the trip in San Fran since I live in Sacramento anyways, it would save me a flight from san diego back to san fran or Sac. Got any ideas? Thanks a lot guys!
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Old 07-18-08, 10:02 AM   #2
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i've never done it but i am going to be in september like you. maybe i'll see you on the road!
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Old 07-18-08, 10:38 AM   #3
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How much you spend depends on where you stay and what you eat. First come / first served hiker/biker sites cost about $10 and the reservable regular sites cost about $25. Food runs me between 5 and $20 depending.

I think you should budget $50 per day to be assured that you can dip into a cheap motel from time to time. Around urban areas a motel may be your only option and these can easily cost >$100 during the summer.

IMHO, you should only spend what you can easily afford. If you live in Sacramento, then do the southern part of the tour next year. There are quite a few homeless people on the West Coast and the locals are not tolerant of those seeking a handout.
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Old 07-18-08, 02:42 PM   #4
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Hello,

I did that tour in 2002. It is fabulous. The state parks in Oregon and Cali have excellent hiker/biker sites all almost all have hot showers. When I toured I think camping in OR and Cali was about 4 bucks and the showers were another dolloar or so. I would check the current prices for state parks.

Defienetly check out the fire status in NorCAl the fires this summer go right through the tour I believe.

Also try and start early each day. Those roads are heavily trafficed and filler with tourists driving RVs.

If you need a place to crash in San Diego I live on ocean beach in SD. I would be happy to host a thru rider.

luke
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Old 07-18-08, 05:09 PM   #5
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Yes I've done it, no it's not expensive. By using a combination of 'hiker-biker' sites and things like warmshowers and couchsurfing, you can do it very cheaply. Camping will cost you $3 to $6 per night, then add into that your bicycle maintenance, food, and sightseeing costs. You can read my journal and check out my pictures at http://www.cyclingforacause.com

Check out days 31 to 58, those are the ones that are of interest to you
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Old 07-18-08, 07:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
Has anyone ever done this tour? I think the whole trip will take me around 6-8 weeks but I am still not sure.
I did the Pacific Coast in 1998 but did it in three separate one week segments:
  • First 8-day week from Vancouver to Eugene, Oregon
  • Second 8-day week from Eugene to San Jose, California
  • Third 8-day week from San Jose to Tijuana

I wasn't camping and made some longer days, but 6-8 weeks also seems reasonable. If you make some shorter shakedown trips you might also be able to gauge about how far you like to go in a day.

The other comment I would make is to also consider using Amtrak to get yourself between Sacramento and Vancouver/San Diego. I haven't priced it recently but when I was looking at things an Amtrak berth with sleeper was roughly similar to a flight and a seat w/o sleeper was less expensive. Also their prices for carrying a bicycle box were less.
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Old 07-18-08, 07:50 PM   #7
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Yeah everyone keeps telling me to assume $50 a day but that seems like a lot! If i do some ninja camping and eat cheaply (no fast food) i would be surprised if I spent $20 a day, or am i missing something? As fat as amtrak is concerned... they can blow me. I route from San Diego to Sacramento is as follows. Take train from san diego to LA, bus from LA to bakersfield, train from their to fresno, bus from fresno to San Jose, train from San Jose to San Fran, bus to oakland.... train to sacramento! 23 hours! that was their suggested itinerary for me. Wow.... I think i may be looking at just Vancouver to Sacramento at this point... Money is in short supply but I am super pumped to do this tour before leaving for asia for the next two years Couch surfer is a good idea thanks for that! Anyone else got any ideas to help save moneys?
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Old 07-19-08, 08:11 AM   #8
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$50 a day is a lot but not ridiculous. If you're like me when I did it the first time, you'll find yourself spending money faster than you anticipated, especially on food! If you're really frugal you can spend a lot less utilizing techniques like sleeping out in the woods (no campground), eating lots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (decide how you're going to carry the bread and realize that jars of peanut butter and jam are heavy), buying oatmeal in bulk food sections of stores, etc.

I like to have enough money so that I can stay in a motel when I need to and campgrounds the rest of the time. I make oatmeal for first breakfast and try to find a cafe for second breakfast. I eat lunch in a restaurant or buy a sandwich at a grocery store deli. I cook my own dinner. I save up all year for my summer trips.

For me, $30/day would be a minimum, $50/day would be living large - the actual average is somewhere in between, but I don't keep track of money spent so I don't really know.

Have fun - this is a great trip - one of the best I've done!
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