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Discussion Starter #1
I'll be leaving on my "2011 Bucket List Tour" on July 1 and have a couple of questions about U.S. Highway 12. I am planning to get on 12 near Willmar, Minnesota and will ride it all the way into Washington State. I have heard it's a good road and it will keep me off the Interstate for most of my trip. U.S. 12 will take me through MN (75 mi.), SD, ND (SW corner), MT, ID and WA (to Waitsburg). Here is a LINK to a Google Map of the route. Stops for the night on this leg of my trip will be Miles City, MT, Missoula, MT and Orifino, ID. (Note: I'm slowing down to allow time for sight seeing, picture taking and enjoying the trip.)

Here are my questions:

  • Does anyone know of any issues to be aware of or places to avoid (construction zones, major delays, etc.)?
  • Are there any "must see" POIs along the way that I should not miss?
  • Anyone have any recommendations for good eating establishments on Hwy 12 between MN and WA?
Any answers, suggestions or help would be appreciated.

Thanks!! :yes1:
 

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must see

Jim,

Where to start? How much time do you have? It's your b-list, what have you already got on it? There is so much (obvious) must see near your route that it would take a travel book to mention all of them. Just to start you off I would suggest that, if the weather is clear, you go to Glacier National Park. If not, you haven't discussed your return route. What's most important? Riding classic roads, beautiful places, wildlife? Have you been to that part of the world before? I just did a trip like this last Sept. I took 28 days and 10600+ miles and if I could I'd do it again this year I would be making plans myself. There's so much out there to see and do that if you've never been there, it'll be hard to convince you how massive a place it is and riding a motorcycle through it is the absolute best way to see it. Narrow it down a bit and I'll help all that I can.

Richard
 

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There is a LOT of water along US 12, through South Dakota. Several places, the road is closed. Be prepared for several detours, which aren't all bad either.....they may take you by some unique place you may never knew was there!

If you have it, take your time & explore along your planned route. I agree with Richard, There is so much to see. If you haven't seen Glacier it is a must do. North Dakota's Badlands are much different than South Dakota's, worth the time to enjoy.

You are going to be amazed at the hospitality & friendliness of folks along your route. Stop in, ask them what you should see. Mom & Pop motels, local Cafes on Main Street! Small town America at it's best!

Enjoy,

Sleddog
 

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12

You will enjoy it, great ride.
 

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http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/News/2011/05/31_US12PackPatience.htm

If you don't mind going a little further west on US 12, this is a great ride...

http://goo.gl/maps/AJVs

You do have to either have a Nat'l Parks pass, or pay for entrance into Mt. Rainier NP. But, it is a gorgeous view up at the Visitors Center at Paradise. It's about 28 additional miles as compared to shooting across US 12, probably an additional hour or two depending upon your interest at hanging around the visitors center.

Another side trip (adds about 70 miles, would be to go to the aptly-named Windy Ridge view point for the Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument.

http://goo.gl/maps/Jo2e

When you realize that until she blew 30 years ago (well, within recorded history times, anyway), MStH was one of the most symmetric, gorgeous peaks in the Cascades. The route takes you through the easterly blast zone -- where you can be riding along and see trees that have been there for scores of years, come around a turn around a ridgeline, and see where the trees were scorched and blown-down in the blast -- and there is only recent growth and broken-off stumps (as well as the blown-down trunks)
 

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Just for your info, Here is a shot of the Logan's Pass visitor center, in Glacier N.P. taken on June 4th this year.
The rangers have no idea when the pass will be open.

Check it out before heading to Glacier.

Have a great ride.

Harryco.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
I appreciate everyone's suggestions so far. I guess I didn't include enough info in my OP.

I have been to this part of the country on my motorcycle before. I've done the Badlands, Custer State Park, Glacier, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, Beartooth Pass, Chief Joseph and most of the major tourist attractions in those areas. I've even been to Walldrug! :lol:

What I am mainly interested in for this trip are the things I shouldn't miss that are right off of, or not too far away from U.S. Hwy. 12 between Willmar, MN and Waitsburg, WA. I'll be traveling solo and heading to my ultimate destination of White Salmon, WA and have added extra time for sightseeing on the last two days of the trip. I'll be staying with a friend for two weeks in Washington who is also a rider and he has some nice day trips planned for us and a couple of overnight camping trips too. So my time in Washington is pretty well planned out at this point.

Daylight, I think Mt. Rainier NP is already on the "to do" list but I'll make sure it is.

Keep the suggestions coming. Thanks! :thumbup:
 

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I appreciate everyone's suggestions so far. I guess I didn't include enough info in my OP.

I have been to this part of the country on my motorcycle before. I've done the Badlands, Custer State Park, Glacier, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, Beartooth Pass, Chief Joseph and most of the major tourist attractions in those areas. I've even been to Walldrug! :lol:

What I am mainly interested in for this trip are the things I shouldn't miss that are right off of, or not too far away from U.S. Hwy. 12 between Willmar, MN and Waitsburg, WA. I'll be traveling solo and heading to my ultimate destination of White Salmon, WA and have added extra time for sightseeing on the last two days of the trip. I'll be staying with a friend for two weeks in Washington who is also a rider and he has some nice day trips planned for us and a couple of overnight camping trips too. So my time in Washington is pretty well planned out at this point.

Daylight, I think Mt. Rainier NP is already on the "to do" list but I'll make sure it is.

Keep the suggestions coming. Thanks! :thumbup:
Both "The Mountain" and Mount Saint Helens are good rides.

Hopefully your friend has Canyon Road (between Ellensburg and Yakima) on the potential trip list. It isn't a long ride, by itself, but it is some SERIOUS twisties... and, if geomorphology holds any interest to you, the buckled/twisted rock strata in the canyon are hard to be believed.
 

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The section from Missoula to Lewiston is AMAZING...

Plan on making a fwe stops along the way just to sight see and relax...

Get gas in Missoula BEFORE you leave and enjoy the next 220 miles through the Lolo Pass, and Clearwater national Forest.

I did it last year in September and it was tranquil, peaceful and fun.

Twisty roads but all clean and new pavement along the river.

A MUST DO for certain....

I will be back some day..:thumbup:
 

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I'm leaving via the MI UP August 29th and will be following US 2 to Glacier and then down to Missoula to WA. Had an earlier trip planned but things got changed. Sept. will be a beautiful month to travel though.
I did just receive my inhanced DL so the Canadian side is also on the list.

Fred
 

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I would suggest checking with Idaho DOT on the status of some large loads that are planned to be moved via US 12.

Here's some info from the Boise paper...

"Things did not go smoothly overnight in the first leg of an ExxonMobil mega-load test shipment. The rig struck trees, knocking one 20-foot-long branch to the highway. Then it hit a guy wire near milepost 47, slicing the high-voltage power line, closing the highway for about an hour and knocking out power to hundreds of residents along U.S. Highway 12 in north central Idaho. The Idaho Transportation Department ordered Mammoet, Exxon's transport company, to investigate the incident before resuming the trip.

The rig is parked near milepost 61 today, just outside of Kooskia, Idaho. Exxon wants to roll the mega-load across Idaho and into Montana, in an effort to prove that it can move more than 200 shipments efficiently and safely up to its Kearl Oil Sands project in Alberta, Canada.

The test rig, weighing 490,000 pounds, is three stories tall, 24-feet-wide and 250-feet-long, making it the largest load ever to move across U.S. 12."
 
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