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  1. #1
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    Sep 2006
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    15 Days - Albuquerque to Seattle

    Not really sure where this belongs, because it kind of belongs in every forum

    The wife and I are moving to Seattle from North Carolina, and while all of our stuff is being moved in a moving truck we are planning to enjoy a nice vacation/road trip. I'm leaving Wednesday (7/29) and driving straight to ABQ in two days hopefully, picking her up at the ABQ airport on Friday and we are heading to Taos Sat morning and I'm hoping to ride South Boundary Trail. From there the trip is wide open but likely headed toward Durango/Telluride next. I think the big dilemma is either to head west across Nevada (ugh) to Tahoe and then head north through Oregon and NorCal, or to head through Utah, up to the Tetons, then to MT/ID and West. Looking to time it just right to avoid having to rush at the end and being able to enjoy as much as possible.

    We have whitewater boats (creek and play), mountain bikes, and camping gear...and a very active dog all crammed in/on a Subaru Forester. No rules, no plans.

    What would you do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    700
    I'd do 1 of 2 routes, plenty to explore on both ways and also a number of other ways to do it.

    1) Albq -> Telluride -> Grand Junction -> SLC -> Boise -> Bend -> Hood River -> Seattle

    2) Albq -> Telluride -> Grand Junction -> SLC -> Jackson -> Bozeman -> Missoula -> Couer d' Lain (sp?) -> Seattle

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Have an amazing trip and ping me if you need a good real estate agent!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by oftpiste View Post
    Have an amazing trip and ping me if you need a good real estate agent!
    Just closed on our house in NC, looking for a good shed to move into out there

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    2,896
    Not sure what you like in MTBing, so that might determine route some. We have excellent cross-country style riding in the Boise area, and also some similar (a bit more technical) in Sun Valley. If you're a white water enthusiast, you kind of owe it to yourself to spend some time on the Payette River outside Boise.

    Also, from ABQ to SLC you should choose the route that takes you through Durango and Moab. But plenty of people here know that stretch of country much better than I do.

    If you choose a southern Idaho portion, a partial itinerary might look something like this. Camp on the N.Fork of the Big Wood River (just north of Ketchum), there are campgrounds, but also some areas allowing dispersed camping once you get far enough from town. If you fish, the Big Wood is great this time of year. Ride some of the local trails. For beers and food stay away from Ketchum, go to the Powerhouse in Hailey (just my opinion). The Big Wood also ofers an easy and mellow paddle if you want a mellow day on a beautiful river (not sure who would arrange a shuttle for you). There are multiple MTB trails, simple internet searches will find them for you.

    Move on to Boise, spend an afternoon riding our mellow, smooth cross country trails, get a great workout on the climbs, flow the descents, feel mellow and satiated afterwards. Get out of town before dark, so you can hit one of the campgrounds on teh Payette River (several along Route 55). If necessary stop off at Idaho River Sports or Cascade Outfitters (kayakers seem to prefer Idaho River Sports, rafters Cascade Outfitters) for info and any necessary gear.

    Paddle the Payette, too many options to discuss here. Main, South Fork, North Fork, pick somethign that matches your ability level and risk profile.

    If you need a night in a room, stay at The Hub in McCall. A little bit pricey, but really not bad, and the owner and workers there are totally awesome, complete outdoors people, and brew an excellent cup of coffee. There's lift-served MTBing at Brundage Mountain just outside McCall. There's also really mellow flatwater paddling at the upper inlet to the lake, it's a pretty awesome place to take a canoe (rent one, or the owner the Hub will loan you his if you stay there) with your dog, and smoke one up, drink a couple beers, take a picnic and enjoy being in the woods. In the alternative, go bakc to the Payette and get some more adrenalin on.

    From McCall yhou either head north to Coeur d'Alene and Spokane area, or a short jaunt back to the south puts you on Interstate 84 and allows you to explore eastern OR and WA, as you head towards Seattle. Also, from McCall, it's one long day of driving to Seattle, or two easy days. To break it up, I sometimes drive to Yakima, and camp on the Yakima River just north of the city of Yakima, WA. There are campgrounds, and it's a popular floating river (no real whitewater, just a float), and has some pretty good trout fishing.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridinshockgun View Post
    Just closed on our house in NC, looking for a good shed to move into out there
    I can help ya. Many local mag references!

  7. #7
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    Sep 2001
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    I do that route at least twice a year on the way back from Sea->ABQ.

    My aim is skiing and views so I'd factor in the slide from Taos up to Del Norte via 285, then over Wolf Creek to Durango. It's pretty and Pagosa is on the way with hot springs. The Pinewood Inn in Pagosa is less expensive and decent. Chimney Rock is just out of Pagosa along the way too.

    Another way out of Taos less travelled goes through Chama (which is a notorious speed trap) is to split off from 285 onto 64 to 84 which takes you on a high wide arc across some incredible landscape. It's pretty, but desolate and you end up in Pagosa. There's a great Thai restaurant in a strip mall on the hill just W. of Pagosa proper. Pagosa will be crowded with southerners escaping the heat.

    From Durango to Telluride you can go either 550 over Coal Back Pass then Molas Pass on Otto Mears 'Million Dollar Highway' through Silverton or over to Dolores and up the Dolores River basin.

    Along 550, there's campgrounds (Durango Riverside) and Purgatory/Durango Mountain Resort where there's DH mtb using the chairs.

    Silverton is there which is nice. The Silverton Hostel is a little rough, but inexpensive and there's camping too. If in Silverton, hit the Avalanche Café for their beer and pizza.

    On the way to Telluride is Ouray and their hot springs which require a soak; there's a town pool but the Weisbaden in Ouray is built on top of the native steam caves, it's a little more $ than the town pool, but quiet and a little uptight (smokers not allowed). O'Briens is good for beer and food in Ouray (their corned beef and cabbage rox). Another hot springs is near Ridgeway, the Orvis hotsprings. A little funkier than the Ouray scene, clothes optional. Good Thai food in Ridgeway too and a big reservoir there for lake paddling and camping.

    T'ride has lots of info (check in @ the Camel Garden Hotel for mtb info , eat at La Marmotte), but then, I'd suggest heading up through Norwood and going to Moab which may be hot, but has a ton of mtb. Plus Arches is right there and incredibly cool and you should see it.

    If you go the Dolores way, take the time to hit Mesa Verde. 145 from Dolores through Stoner and Rico then Lizard Head Pass is nice, but not a lot of amenities. Again, the road less travelled.

    From Moab, take 191 to I-70 to just past Green River to pick up US6 to Price and up over Soldier Summit. Ask Danno, there's camping there. Then down into Provo on I-15 (not during rush hour) up through SLC into Idaho and on to I-84 up to Boise. Sun Valley is worth a stop along the way. Another path from Moab is to go along 128 to Cisco and I-70 since it's just beautiful.

    On I-84 past Boise at Ontario, you'll have the option of heading over to Bend through a desolate 4+ hour patch or continuing along I-84 up to La Grande. If you stay on I-84, you'll be along the Snake for a while with paddling options.

    I highly recommend splitting off from I-84 @ La Grande and going over to the Wallowas for a couple of days. It's gorgeous with a State Park on Walllowa Lake. Along that way, there's Enterprise and the Terminal Gravity Brewpub, an absolute must.

    Back to I-84, just roll on up to I-82 and Yakima. The PNW snowpack didn't happen this year, so rivers out Cascade way will be running low.

    Bend is awesome in a zillion ways. From Bend , go N. on US97 to Hood River and then either along I-84 to Portland and up I-5 to Seattle (not on a Friday or Sunday). But you could also stay on US97 from Hood River and head to Yakima. Or you take 20 and zoom over Santiam Pass to snag I-5 by Corvallis/Lebanon. The Deschutes River has a lot of volume and there's a lot of paddling around Bend.

    At Yakima you have the option of staying on I-82 to pickup up I-90 at Ellensburg, with paddling options on the Yakima, stop at Alpental to worship, then roll down past N. Bend into Seattle.

    But I recommend heading from Yakima up US12/SR410 over Chinook Pass where you should have on a very strong hat because the view of Rainier from up there will blow your mind. 410 before (East) of Chinook Pass has a lot of great camping, paddling, tubing and lots of mtb. You can stop at Crystal on the W. side of the Pass and I also recommend going up the Sunrise Road to White River campground and Sunrise itself in Mount Rainier National Park. Again, bring the hardhat.

    Oftpiste is a great guy who has handled several transaction I know of with class. I'll be lurking in Silverton likely August 7-15 and back to Seattle by 7/18. Seattle is still great, but it's gotten crowded and expensive. Good luck.
    Last edited by Buster Highmen; 07-31-2015 at 09:19 AM.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    You seem pretty keen on going the mountain route. But driving to San Diego and then spending time coming up PCH would be awesone.
    Best Skier on the Mountain
    Self-Certified
    1992 - 2012
    Squaw Valley, USA

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Seattle
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    651
    Thanks for the suggestions! Lots of good stuff here. Oftpiste I'll try to pm you sometime in the next couple weeks.

    Trip is well underway made it to Santa fe last night after two big days to get the fuck out of the furnace that was Arkansas, OK, and Texas.

    Hiked Raven Ridge from the ski area to shake off the road legs. Ready to get on the bike now. I probably need to start a TR thread




  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    north aspect
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    Did you arrive or we're you consumed by smoke & fire?
    bF
    Alpental Indigenous

  11. #11
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    Nov 2006
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    probably chilling' with Buster in Silverton!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Seattle
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    We did arrive, hell of a trip. Unfortunately the arrival was anti-climatic - the heat wave kept us in the mountains of Idaho and avoiding Bend or Coeur D'Alene leading to a miserable push across Eastern WA the last day to Leavenworth where we fried in the 100 deg temps before coming in over a zero vis Stevens Pass on a rainy Friday, which we decided was the only way to welcome us here

    Some great hiking, camping, kayaking, and mountain biking in NM, CO, and Idaho. The gravitational force in Durango was very strong, as it was in Banks, ID. We spent 3 nights camping each of those places.

    I got to paddle the Bottom 5 of the NF Payette, rode South Boundary Trail near Taos, Engineer Mountain near Durango, we kayaked the SF Payette and soaked in hot springs, just an incredible trip.

    Columbine Lake
    IMG_4126 by Clinton Koontz, on Flickr

    Happy Pup
    IMG_4058 by Clinton Koontz, on Flickr

    No shame in taking the Gondola up at T-Ride and hiking to the adirondack chairs at the top. Gaping with style


    Durango riding (Engineer Mountain, absolutely incredible views)





    Snowslide Lake, ID
    IMG_4187 by Clinton Koontz, on Flickr

    Grand Mesa
    IMG_4141 by Clinton Koontz, on Flickr

    NF Payette
    IMG_4153 by Clinton Koontz, on Flickr

    Sunset over the Olympics from downtown Seattle
    IMG_4240 by Clinton Koontz, on Flickr

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