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Between Hood River & Cape Cod, road-trip ideas?
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gregnw44



Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 246

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 3:05 pm    Post subject: Between Hood River & Cape Cod, road-trip ideas? Reply with quote

I plan on driving approx. 7000 miles in 2 1/2 weeks X-country, BAF between the NW and NE part of the country !!!

Mostly, I'm cruising through... and planning on only a little bit of sight-seeing along the way.

The big deal and tortuous challenge to me is -
* Next Mon... on May 20th... I start driving by myself, from Hood River to Cape Cod.
* I plan on arriving, Cape Cod on Fri May 24th. (5 solid days of driving, east)
* I will sail there Sat & Sun Memorial Day weekend, for the "Buzzards Bay Crossing" windsurfing event.
* I will leave Cape Cod and start driving back west, on Mon the 27th.
* I plan on arriving Hood River, on Fri the 31st. (5 days of solid driving, west)

I'm actually leaving home from the Seattle area... all packed up, this Fri. May 17th. I'll be in the Gorge for the weekend.
And then, the X-country drive begins Mon the 20th Smile
And upon my return from Cape Cod, to Hood River on May 31... I'll stay there for the weekend, again.
Retuning home in the Seattle area, on Mon, June 3rd.

All this driving - Seattle to the Gorge... Gorge to Falmouth Cape Cod... Falmouth back to the Gorge... then back to Seattle... plus just a bit of sight-seeing... will add up to about 7000 miles !!!

Half the reason I'm doing this, is because I want to do windsurf racing in the Buzzards Bay event, all Memorial weekend. I remember reading about this long running race, back in the day, every year. And now a couple energetic and passionate NE windsurfers are resurrecting this classic event, this May 25 & 26th. I HOPE it is very well attended !!!!!

The other half of the reason, I'm interested in this trip, is that I've always thought it would be cool to drive cross country. Although, I might be making TOO BIG a challenge by doing it by myself BAF, with only a 2 day break in Cape Cod.

I have been getting my 9 year old van fixed up, and looking at maps, etc. trying to prepare... but I'm posting this email, because...

* I'm open to hearing suggestions related to doing a marathon X-country drive !!!
I've never done a road trip of this magnitude, but I'm sure many of you have... and you might have a suggestion that would be helpful. Also... you might be familiar with some of these areas I'm driving through, so tips would be great. I am NOT familiar with any of this, east the northwest!
(I mean, I've flown to a couple places on the east coast for vacations, but not anywhere in between. And, I have NOT driven across the country before.

* I'm also posting this, because I'm interested in things with a windsurfing theme that are along my route (or, close enough to it) like... possibly interesting places to sail... windsurfing shops... do you live along my route, I'll buy you a cup of coffee if I'm on schedule, etc.

* I'm packing longboards to shortboards, and sails from 10.5 to 5.0 !!

Seattle - Hood River, I'm very used to. But, I'm dividing the BIG part of my route into 2 sections... "The 2/3 section" and "The 1/3 section" !!!
2/3 of my route will be between Hood River, OR. (the Gorge) and Gary, IN.
1/3 of my route will be between Gary, IN. and Falmouth, MA. (Cape Cod).

My route for the first 2/3, heading from Hood River to Gary, departing this Monday... will be to head east through the Gorge and then SE down I-84 past Boise, ID... to near Salt Lake City. And then getting on I-80 and going east across south WY and through Cheyenne. Then still I-80 though the middle of Nebraska. Eventually to Omaha. Continuing I-80 through Des Moines, IA. Through IL. and will actually by-pass Chicago and converge at Gary, IN at the very S end of Lk. Mich.

Then the 1/3 section, from Gary, IN to Cape Cod will be...
East on I-90 to Toledo and Cleveland, OH... then more northeasterly up along Lk. Erie through a bit of PA, then to Buffalo NY. Then east still on I-90 to Albany. Then SE towards Springfield, MA. And then SE down I-495 to Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod !!!

THEN after only two days of racing and socializing, I do the WHOLE trip in reverse, ARGH... lol Smile

The 1/3 section, will be the same (but in reverse) heading west back to Gary, IN.

But... the 2/3 section going west from Gary, will be a different route back to Hood River. Maybe, I-90 up though Chicago. Then drive NW on I-90 past Madison, WI. Then west along the bottom of MN. to Sioux Falls. (Or I might drive NW of Chicago to Rockford and then Dubuque, then west to Sioux City, then north to Sioux Falls.) Anyway, then straight west through S. Dakota. Then I-90 heading west across the NE corner of Wyoming. Actually I have another choice here - either stay on I-90 from Rapid City and Sheridan up to Billings. Or after Rapid City at Spearfish I get on Hwy 212 to Billings. Anyway, past that and west still on I-90 to Missoula. Then over Lookout Pass into ID. Then Spokane WA and head SW back down to the Gorge for the weekend of June 1st & 2nd for the weekend.

Then, head home to Seattle on Monday, June 3rd.

WHEW !!
I don't really even know if this is possible for me Sad I get sore sitting in a car in only 2 hours. I don't know how I will sit and drive for five straight 10-hour days in a row, driving east. And then, two days later (after sailing Buzzards Bay) do the same thing, driving west for five consecutive 10 hours driving days !!!

Ideas, suggestions, tourist things within an hour of the freeway, national places of interest, windsurfing related locations...

Thanks, Greg Smile
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Darbonne



Joined: 27 Jan 2012
Posts: 134

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds fun. Good luck. I go to Michigan every year in the summer. If you have never spent time at the Great Lakes you should plan a stop. We go to Union Pier which is east of Chicago about 90 miles. It's like being at the ocean only it's fresh water, crystal clear and no dangerous critters. I sailed there for the first time last year as I am just getting started windsurfing. Maybe some of the Michigan folks could recommend a good spot. We rent a place on the beach and I had to carry my gear for what seemed like a mile to the water. There are plenty of public beaches. Conditions range from completely flat to 3-5 surf.
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gregnw44



Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 246

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, And no... I never have spent any time in the HUGE "Great Lakes" area.
But I know it's an incredible place with tons of history... and beautiful spots... and lots of windsurfing.
My planned route will take me along I-90 between Toledo and Buffalo, both directions... so I imagine I'll get some good looks at Lk. Erie.
If I have time to stop, and or, go some place special... I won't know till I'm there (like A WEEK from today Smile but I'm open to hearing "practical suggestions".
(or anywhere else along my route)

Greg Smile
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dhmark



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 214

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Web site for Chicago kitesurfing (I am not a kitesurfer) has very detailed descriptions of places to launch from Wisconsin to Michigan.

Does not show the principal windsurfing spot in Chicago (kiting not allowed), which is Greenwood Beach, Evanston, good on SW, S, N, NE winds. Your time will be preseason, so we launch at a beach a few blocks south in Evanston called Lee St. which does not require permits to park. dhmark
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beaglebuddy



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 687

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin is a wind area, they have a shop, races, etc...
Lake Superior is the best great lake IMO, the water is much cleaner but colder as well.
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xander.arch



Joined: 23 Apr 2009
Posts: 179

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This may be too ambitious, but why not do Buzzards Bay and the Waddell AWT!?!?!?!?!

This would force you to take a bit more of a Southern route on the way back. That way you could cross the Rockies from Denver, see the amazing national parks in Utah (they really are incredible), swing through vegas, LA, and then up the Cali coast to the comp just north of Santa Cruz. This is a better drive in my opinion and would make an awesome windsurfing themed trip!

The AWT at Waddell is running May 30 - June 3. How cool would that be to sail the comp in Buzzards Bay and then the Waddell Comp as well! If you drove like hell you could make it for day one of the comp. But even if you made it for day two you could join the losers bracket. Or maybe at least you could watch the comp for a day on your way back to the Gorge. Seeing Levi and the boys rip it up live is pretty freking amazing! This would work really well if you could give yourself a few more days on the back end of your trip.

Hell, now I'm thinking of doing this. I live in SF, and used to sail Buzzards Bay as a kid. I even did the crossing once - probably in '89?
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gregnw44



Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 246

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This may be too ambitious, but why not do Buzzards Bay and the Waddell AWT!?!?!?!?!

This is a great idea.
And... maybe not as scenic as your suggestion, but way more direct... I could just stay on I-80, leaving the Gary IN area, heading west. And after 2000 miles I'll be in the Bay area... a faster way to Waddell.
And after that, I could head down to Cabrillo and start training for National's.

Actually, you're right... that IS TOO ambitious for me. Geez, I'm having second thoughts all the time about even trying to drive solo... and I've been thinking about for a month !!
I don't have the "Go for it, what can happen to me" attitude of a college kid anymore. And I don't have the "TIME and resources"... that a retired guy might have.
But.... I like the ideas... and the spirit, LOL
Greg -
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5761

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The big downside to your trip is all the driving in such a short period of time. Why torture and punish yourself? Why not do everything in a more leisurely and relaxed pace by spending a bit more time so you can smell the roses, see some interesting people and places, and sail a bit more. I would think that this trip is a once in a lifetime venture, so why hurry things and abandon all the fun and adventure that could be had. Bargain for more time if you have to. I think 3-4 weeks would be the minimum time needed for such a vast trip. If things become too boring and drawn out, you can always come home early.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14037

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I, often with my wife, have driven most freeways and many back roads within the Miami-Nova Scotia-Seattle-San Diego-Corpus Christi "pentagon" defining the lower 48 states. Driving was a blast, speed limits depended more on horsepower than on traffic or cops (thus we never got sleepy), and gas was comparatively free by today's standards. We did just what you're doing: researched points of interest, marked them on the maps, connected the dots, and returned by different routes for variety.

WSing changed our points of interest faded from ... well ... points of interest ... to mostly bodies of water. Having seen most of the usual "sights" we want to see, we now just drive, with eyes on the map and the trees and ears on the weather radio or cellphone wind data. Unfortunately, your tight schedule constrains you. Fortunately, there's not a helluva lot to stop and see between the Rockies and the east coast besides the WSing spots your thread will reveal. This time of the year you may encounter enough wind to fill your spare time on a plane, with no time left for seeing any tourist spots. You might want to stop at Cedar Point near Toledo and catch a few of the world's finest roller coasters, and the Corn Palace in South Dakota is quite interesting if you have the time.

We've driven most of the routes you describe half a dozen times (Gorge to Ohio), 20 times (NY to Ohio), and at least 50 times (Gorge to Salt Lake). Your biggest challenge may be staying wide awake under today's speed constraints and after a string of strange motels. My world-renown sleep disorder physician says Rule #1 on the highway is this: if you catch yourself nod even once, even just the usual head snap/shake, hit the brakes NOW and get the hell off the road before you kill yourself. Ignoring that warning is fatal many thousands of times every year (to different individuals, I presume). Take a nap before leaving again. Nothing else works; the difference between that nod and falling completely asleep is luck, often bad.

There's squat before Ogden, but if you see wind as you approach Ogden, stop and sail at Willard Bay (the north exit) 100 yards off the freeway. That's not the Great Salt Lake; it's a huge fresh water lake with very steady wind as fronts pass through.

Another tip: I've been told that driving 11 over the speed limit in Ohio will cost you an arrest, your license for a year, and a $1,400 fine. Asinine, purely political, but from an Ohio resident. And Wyoming has speed limits now.

And there some incredibly beautiful off-the-freeway routes through SW Montana, if you have an extra hour or two to spare on your way back.

Personally, these days, I'd do something I haven't done since my last short-notice trip to Ohio in the 1990s: I'd fly. That's a LONG, largely mundane, often outright boring chunk of the continent you're looking at. Its primary saving grace MIGHT be wind this time of the year, given the late spring east of here.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5761

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One last thing, you should plan on the possibility of a car problem along the way. If you lose a day or two because of car problems, it would blow a huge hole in your schedule and put you in an untoward position and potentially spoil your trip. Give yourself some space and the room to move should the unexpected event arise.
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