Sunday, June 20 to Monday, August 9, 2010
The Across America North Tour in detail by America by Bicycle:
The Across America North tour will cycle through some of the most beautiful and scenic areas in America. From the natural beauty of the Cascades and Rockies to spectacular river crossings like the Columbia, Missouri and Mississippi, to the national parks and monuments, each day is a unique adventure in itself. The Across America North ride is a scenic and challenging fully-supported 50-day bicycle tour from Astoria, Oregon, to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This great adventure will average 80 miles per day for 3,629 miles and have five interesting and diverse rest days along the way.
The Across America North tour will depart the beautiful Pacific Northwest in Astoria, Oregon. We will head out to the rugged Oregon coast to dip our rear wheel in the Pacific Ocean and begin the trek Across America. From the mouth of the Columbia River we’ll meander along the river to Portland. You’ll see many of the small communities along the way and share in the local history and folklore of the region. Continuing from Portland, we head southeast and begin to climb up through the cascades. The terrain is challenging and the scenery breathtaking. Mount Hood is visible and will continue to get bigger and bigger as we approach and ultimately cycle past the great peak and continue the trek into eastern Oregon. After a few mountainous days, the route will settle down and cross into Idaho - a state also know for its mountains. Here we’ll take our first off day in Boise.
Our route through Idaho will stay mostly in the Snake River Valley. The ride can get dry as we cycle on the Snake River Plain. You will learn a lot about yourself and the country as we pass through small and large western towns and many Indian reservations. Relish the beauty and contrast of the hot, dry plains with the lush green river valley. The views and vistas are remarkable as we cross over the Snake River many times. The mountainous climbing begins again once we pass our last oasis in Idaho, the lush Idaho Falls and begin to head up into the Grand Teton's. “Amazing, breathtaking, tremendous natural beauty, great climbs,” are just a few of the words and feelings you will have as we cycle through this region and down into Jackson, Wyoming. As we depart Jackson, we’ll see many cyclists as we pass the backside of Yellowstone National Park and marvel at the jagged peaks of Mount Hancock. Then you’ll climb over Togwotee Pass (9,658’), cross the Continental Divide and get a nice ride down into the quaint western town of Dubois. The westerly winds can kick up on the high plains. We should get a nice ride into Casper, Wyoming, for our second off day.
After a rest, you’ll be rejuvenated and ready to continue the high plains drift through small western towns, and you’ll soon discover how the west was won. Next, we’ll stretch out our legs a little and cross the border into South Dakota. It’s back into the mountains again. We’ll cycle up into the Black Hills and through Custer State Park. The terrain is a roller coaster of natural beauty. Watch for the wildlife and see some of the devastation of wildfires from years gone by. We’ll climb right up to Mount Rushmore, a jewel of the Black Hills, and you’ll marvel at this great man-made tribute. Can you name all the presidents? We’ll have a great ride out of the mountains to our overnight refuge of Rapid City. We will continue the journey, descending still, onto the high plains of South Dakota, skirting the Badlands and roll into Wall, South Dakota, the town that made the corner drugstore and South Dakota famous. Next we’ll stretch out our legs again for a long, dry ride to Pierre, the capital of South Dakota. From Pierre, we’ll pick up the Missouri River and tag along for awhile. You’ll never believe South Dakota looks like this; it’s green, lush and beautifully rolling along the Missouri River. The views are outstanding and in many cases, you can see for miles along the river valley. Soon we’ll kick out back on the flat South Dakota prairie and spin into Sioux Falls for our third off day.
From South Dakota, we’ll cross into southern Minnesota and ride the sometimes rolling landscape northeast to the Minnesota River. Then due east crossing the Mississippi River into La Crosse, Wisconsin. We are now officially in the East!! The terrain really begins to roll up and down in rural Wisconsin. We’ll pass by real small-town America. The farms and the fields, the animals and the environment, the rolling hills and valleys make for super cycling. The route will take us past the tourist mecca and Wisconsin riverside town of Wisconsin Dells. We’ll continue the roll to Fond du Lac, just south of Lake Winnebago, and make the final rolling push to Manitowoc on the shores of Lake Michigan. Here we’ll take the fourth off day of the tour.
Plenty to do on the off day in Manitowoc, but hurry! At noon, we’ll board the 410’ SS Badger and leave Wisconsin behind. A relaxing four-hour cruise across Lake Michigan will land us in the Michigan town of Ludington. Off the boat, explore town before heading over to this evening's motel. Now it’s off to cross Michigan by bike! We will stick to the country roads, smaller cities and towns as we take a straight shot across this very flat farming region. Ending up in Port Huron, we will cross the border and go “INTERNATIONAL,” as we hop the Bluewater Bridge and cross into Ontario, Canada. Welcome to Canadian Hospitality!! We will continue to cycle very flat rural Canadian farmland and head over to London, Ontario. The next day we’ll continue the trek to Brantford, the birthplace of Wayne Gretzky. We say goodbye to our Canadian friends in a spectacular way as we cross the Rainbow Bridge over Niagara Falls and cycle back into the United States. You will have plenty of time to explore the falls as we will take our fifth and final off day in Niagara Falls, New York.
Our final leg in the Across America North tour will take us across upper New York State through the rolling farm country past Rochester. Then we’ll follow the Erie Canal through Liverpool to Utica and finally past the state capital to Latham. The final few days will take us across the Appalachian mountain range to Vermont and into Brattleboro. Next, we’ll ride the roller coaster road across the border into New Hampshire. The final day, we’ll roll right down to the ocean on the New Hampshire seacoast and dip our front wheel in the Atlantic Ocean. With a special side trip into Maine, you’ll get to add another state to your list of cycling conquests.