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Transamerica trail

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WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Transamerica trail

I'm planning a west to east US trip from early march to the end of may in 2020 (self supported)

I'm still hesitating on what route to take considering it will be early spring : is Astoria (OR) to Yorktown, Virginia via Yellowstone feasable during these months or should I consider the southern tier ?

Thank you for any advice


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WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Southern Tier Only in March

Too cold crossing the Sierra Mountains on the Transamerica.

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Also suggest a southern route

I agree with Jack, it can quite cold and snowy in the mountain ranges for latitudes north of the Los Angeles.   The Rockie Mountains in particular can be dangerous until mid-May, in my experience.  Have you considered leaving from San Diego, my home.  The southern deserts can be spectacular at that time of the year.

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
southern tier and Amtrak

So, I' m going for the southern tier.

BUT I' try to avoid Texas...

I have an other logistical question : I will land in DC, my daughter lives here and I hope I can expect a bit of help from her....

I'm planning to take a train from DC to Southern California (to lower my CO2 foot print,  somewhat a wishfull thinking I guess).

Is there a train with a relatively direct path accepting bikes and not too slow ?

I know that US train system is slow, fuel powered and not so reliable. But I take it as part of the experience.


WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Train ride

The Southwest Chief takes you to San Diego....relaxing 3 day ride..Amtrak from DC to Chicago switch to Southwest Chief!

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Thank you John !

I posted these questions on both CGOAB and the bike forum, all I had were very vague answers.

Yours are short but extremely helpful.

I do have another question : Since getting a more than 90 days visa seems complicated, do you think That San Diego to DC is doable within those 90 days ?

I calculated, it's going to be a mere 42 miles (ca. 68 km)  a day, provided there's not too much mountainous places to cross.

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
90 day crossing

90 days is plenty time to make the crossing.  I crossed from Hilton Head Island to Seattle in 60 days and I was 74 years old at the time.  You have to cross two major mountain ranges omitting the Sierras because your route is pretty far south.  They are spectacular in their beauty.  The Rockies are fairly easy climbs and the Alleghanys are nothing if you take the best route.  So angle north to see the real beauty of National Parks, the mountains and the USA.  You won't regret it.  It flattens out after Denver and angle north some more.  You can hop on an Amtrak passenger route if you get behind.  (I have experience with trains if needed).  Pass through Pittsburg so you can jump on the GAP/C&O trail (350 miles) that gets you through the Alleghany Mountains on an easy and beautiful rail trail and take it all the way into D.C.  Easy, peasy. 

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TransAmerica trail

I agree - that 3 day AMtrac train ride is an interesting ride across the USA. I have taken my bike across the USA three times, using differnt routes each time. I did not book a cabin, just slept in my seat. It seemed that the train crew made an effort to avoid having the long-distance passengers have anyone sitting next to them, especially overnight. That meant that most of the time I had two seats to myself, to spread out in.  Also, when I last used AMtrac, there was a 30 day ticket available only to people with non-American passorts, that made it cheaper for me to buy the 30 day ticket, then just a single ordinary ticket from DC to LA. I don't know if that is still available or if it was a short term promotion. 

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