Hoe many miles do I save going to Florence instead of Astoria?
I'm planning a self-contained tour this summer, using the Adventure Cycling maps. I plan on starting in mid-June in Cedar City, UT, and taking the Western Express to Pueblo, CO. From there I'll get on the Trans-Am, take it up to Astoria, OR, and then ride down to San Francisco along the Pacific Coast Highway.
I probably won't be able to leave any earlier than June, and I have to be in San Francisco by about August 15th. I'll have about 60 days. I have the option of leaving in early May, but I would have to make some real sacrifices.
I plan on traveling light: minimal clothes, no stove and fuel, and (if I can manage it) using only two rear panniers (plus stuff on the top of the rack).
I added up the mileage for all the routes, and it came to 3699 miles. To cover that distance, I'd have to travel a little over 60 miles every day, with no room for rest days or leisurely sightseeing. As a first-time tourer, I don't think I can handle that.
I want this to be a physical challenge, but I also want to have fun and enjoy the natural scenery.
I noticed on the Adventure Cycling website that there's a route that heads from Eugene to Florence instead of going north to Astoria. It seems that I could shave at least a couple hundred miles off by heading straight to Florence, then going down the PCH, instead of going up to Astoria and back down through Florence.
I tried to calculate how many miles I'd save using Google Maps, but the mileages seems to be different from those given on the Adventure Cycling website.
Has anybody taken the direct-to-Florence route before? How much time did you save? Would I be missing out too much on the beauty of the Oregon coast by taking a faster route? What other ways could/should I shorten my trip? Is 60 miles a day really something to be afraid of?
Edit: I just realized my embarassing typo in the title. That's what I get for not proof-reading.