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AC Great Rivers Route?

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AC Great Rivers Route?

Old 10-15-11, 08:38 AM
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AC Great Rivers Route?

I asked on the AC forums and didn't get any replies so I thought I would ask here.

I'd appreciate any comments from folks who have done this route. I have done some touring in areas somewhat in the vicinity (Trans America and KC to Santa Fe) but not on this route.

How rural and small town is it? Does it have that small town feel where you can typically camp in the town park picnic area without being kicked out? Is other hospitality generally available (and listed on the AC maps) like camping at churches and so on. How are the prices for camping in the state and other parks and how readily available is camping in general? Did you need to resort to private campgrounds much.

How are room prices along the route if I decide to get a room once in a while?

When do you consider the best time of year to go? I was thinking maybe spring, but have not yet looked at historical weather data to see if it might be too wet.
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Old 10-17-11, 10:16 AM
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Pete, I can't contribute too much except for the weather question (from a state and a half over). I'd look at early fall, say leaving in September, and think about going north to south. In the spring, you've got a good chance of rain 1/3 to 1/2 of your days, and occasional Really Bad Weather. Of course, since we had that this year, next year may be lovely.

If you can make it in a month, March is usually the worst fire month (meaning driest weather, leaves, and trees) in the southeast, so you might want to start then. TVA plans to start filling its upstream reservoirs April 15, and they usually really start 2-4 weeks early when the spring storms hit. Again, the floods were bad this year, so next year may be dry with low rivers all along your route.

South to north would be better in the spring, as you follow thawing temperatures north. Reverse is true for the fall, as you race cold weather south. Mid-September to October is usually the best cycling weather for northern Alabama and Tennessee.
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Old 10-17-11, 11:29 AM
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Thanks, Patrick. I have been kicking around the notion of a variation of this trip versus a partial or full Southern Tier.

The variation on the Great Rivers I was thinking of would make an effort to hit more of the Blues Highway (Hwy 61) than the AC route does. Your observations make it sound like a spring trip might be better done on the ST, especially since I want to go N-S on the Great Rivers trip.

My idea for the ST was to start around March 1 in San Diego and to either do the whole thing or stop at my daughter's house in Tallahassee. I could stop in Tallahassee and still call it a coast to coast trip if the Gulf Coast counts Anyway, I might be able to do both in the same year if I do the partial ST and make good time. I am planning to experiment with very lightly loaded touring so making good time seems likely.

I started a couple journals one for the Great Rivers Highway 61 option and one for the Southern Tier. Neither is a definite go at this point.
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Old 10-17-11, 12:31 PM
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StaehpJ1, have you check into the Mississippi River Trail (MRT)? You may get some needed info at that website. There has also been a book written on the MRT by a fellow that has ridden it. Link below.


Good luck!
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