The initial route plan for my cross country bicycle trip
Start in Astoria, Oregon and proceed east…
Note: This was my original planned route. My actual route was similar but different, thanks to life’s little inconveniences and adventures. My blog goes into more detail as to where I actually rode.
I started with the Adventure Cyclist maps for the Lewis & Clark route from Astoria, OR to Bozeman, MT.
From Astoria – East on Route 30 to Portland. I plan on Highway 14 in Washington which runs adjacent to the Columbia River. Then jump on Highway 12, across Idaho over Lolo Pass into Missoula, MT.
From Missoula, head south on Highway 93 along the Bitterroot River, then through the Big Hole River valley and cut over to Dillon. From Dillon, take Highway 41 to Three Forks then south to Bozeman on county roads. My brother lives in Bozeman, so I hope to spend a couple days visiting the area. I’m estimating Bozeman to be 900 miles from Astoria.
From Bozeman, head east on frontage roads along Interstate 90 and then south on Highway 89 through “Paradise Valley” to Yellowstone National Park, home of the big RVs. From there I will follow the Northern Wyoming Route that I downloaded from the Wyoming DOT website. Basically a mixture of Highways 14/16/and 20. This route will go past Devil’s Tower of “Close Encounters” fame. Maybe it will still be alien tourist season when I get there. Then cross into South Dakota and head south on 385 to Mt Rushmore. From there I was going to go Highway 44 through the Badlands in South Dakota then parallel Interstate 90 into and across Minnesota. I’m guessing that this is cornfield country.
Again, I got a traffic volume map of Wisconsin from the DOT website, with the intent to travel low volume county roads as much as possible from La Crosse to Manitowoc. There is a 100-mile bike route (rails to trails) from La Crosse to Reedsburg. From Manitowoc, take the ferry across Lake Michigan to Ludington MI.There are rumors swirling that this coal burnng ferry may be closed down by the EPA in the future.
From there, I have an Adventure Cyclist map to get me through Michigan to Monroeville, IN. For crossing Ohio, I sent away for a trans-Ohio route map (via the internet). This map has mainly county roads, away from cities, and ends up near Beaver Falls, PA. Pennsylvania has several trans-PA routes on the DOT website. So I chose to cut and paste sections of the routes to get me where I need to go. I grew up in Tyrone, Pennsylvania and intend to ride my bike into good ol’ Tyrone. It’s been something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time and a big part of my motivation for the trip. From Tyrone, I would get back on the trans-PA route which goes real close to Gettysburg (another tourist stop for me), past Valley Forge and ending at Washington Crossing on the Delaware River. I really had no idea how to get across New Jersey. Originally, I thought that it would be a fitting end to dip my toe in the Atlantic Ocean in Atlantic City on Highway 30 (Highway 30 starts in Astoria). I had doubts about this because parts of Atlantic City really isn’t the nicest place to be with a bike. Anyhow, I found a website hosted by the “map guy”.
He had maps of Central NJ and devised a cycling route from Washington Crossing to the Atlantic Ocean in Asbury Park (former stomping ground of Bruce Springsteen). So I figure, if I am not too worn out from the trip, I’ll go to Atlantic City, otherwise, it’s Asbury Park. I’ll have plenty of time to think about it.