Igor Tolkov
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US Tour · Mt. Rainier · Everest Base Camp · Oregon Coast · Yakima · Taiwan

Around the US

Between spring and fall of 2019 I plan to cycle around the US(+Canada). The trip from Seattle to the East Coast and back will pass through 33 states and 18 US national parks. So far, I've biked ··· and climbed ···.

The route can be roughly divided into three parts, as follows:

Pacific Coast (Seattle to Santa Monica)
Distance2553 km / 1586 mi
Elevation gain23700 m / 77758 ft
Riding time137 hours over 26 days
Daily extremes132 km / 82 mi (Apr 18), 1567 m / 5141 ft (Apr 16)
Nights55% camping, 19% friends, 16% hotel, 3% hostel, 7% other1

Pacific to Atlantic (Santa Monica to Bar Harbor)
Distance8367 km / 5199 mi
Elevation gain61089 m / 200423 ft
Riding time449 hours over 82 days (includes 6 fun days2)
Lowest pointDesert Beach, CA (-77 m / -252 ft)
Highest pointMonarch Pass, CO (3448 m / 11312 ft)
Daily extremes169 km / 105 mi (Jun 18), 2113 m / 6934 ft (May 19)
Nights48% camping, 20% hotel, 14% hostel, 12% friend, 6% other

Atlantic to Pacific (Bar Harbor to Seattle)
Distance7750 km / 4800 mi (estimate)
Elevation gain50000 m / 164000 ft (estimate)
Riding time66 days (estimate)
Lowest pointBar Harbor, ME (0 m / 0 ft)
Highest pointTogwotee Pass, WY (2919 m / 9577 ft)

(1) I don't like to stay with WarmShowers because it's too much of a cognitive load for me to send out stay requests, then stay at someone else's house, and it usually doesn't work out anyway. I prefer to camp or stay at a hostel instead. But this does make the trip more expensive: an average hotel night costs me $90, while an average hostel night costs $30, and an average camping night costs $15 (organized campground) or $0 (dispersed camping).

(2) I don't just ride. The distance / elevation totals in this page include some hiking, too, as well as a few out-and-back rides. The days when I start and end at the same place are what I call "fun days".

Month by Month

Month 1: Ride down the Pacific Coast and visit the Dutch town of Solvang. Seattle » Redwood National Park » San Francisco » Solvang » Los Angeles

Month 2: Cross the desert and experience America's monuments. Los Angeles » Joshua Tree National Park » Grand Canyon National Park » Zion National Park » Bryce Canyon National Park » Capitol Reef National Park » Moab

Month 3: Continue riding through the Rocky Mountains, crossing the continental divide. Then descend via the plains of Kansas and Nebraska. Moab (Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park) » Black Canyon National Park » Monarch Pass (Continental Divide, 3447 m) » Iowa City » Chicago

Month 4: Visit friends in the Midwest and on the East Coast. Chicago » Indiana Dunes National Park » Ann Arbor » Cleveland » Cuyahoga Valley National Park » Washington, DC » New York

Month 5: Ride up the Atlantic Coast to Bar Harbor. Then turn back West through Maine, into Canada, and along the St. Lawrence River. New York » Boston » Bar Harbor (Acadia National Park) » Quebec » Montreal » Ottawa » Toronto

Month 6: Cross Upper Michigan and the Northern Plains. Toronto » Bruce Peninsula National Park » Duluth » Badlands National Park » Custer

Month 7+: Cross the Northern Rockies and return to Seattle. Custer (Mt. Rushmore National Memorial) » Grand Teton National Park » Yellowstone National Park » Missoula » North Cascades National Park » Seattle

The tour as I envisioned it before I left - parts of the route have since changed

Of course, I don't really know right now how long this will take me, or whether I can finsh this at all. Only time will tell.

Month 1, Pacific Coast

This is an abbreviated Pacific Coast tour, starting from Seattle (instead of Vancouver / Victoria) and ending in Los Angeles (instead of Tijuana). I took a few days' break in San Jose.

Month 2, Deserts and Canyons

The eastward journey begins as I cross the desert and climb into the Rockies until my next extended rest stop in Moab.

Month 3, Continental Divide and the Great Plains

From Moab, I make my way to and over Monarch Pass in Colorado, crossing the Continental Divide at 3447 m, then descending to Colorado Springs.

After a few days' rest in Colorado Springs, I begin the 11-day eastward push to Iowa City. I have to get there on time to visit a college friend. From Iowa City, it's three days to Chicago.

Month 4, Northeast US

The tour slows down here again, as I focus more on sightseeing in the Northeastern US, traveling the rest of the way from Chicago to Washington, DC and New York.

Month 5, New England, New France

I ride north along the coast toward Bar Harbor, Maine.

At Bar Harbor I turn back and head west through central Canada.

Month 6, The Journey West

I keep riding west, taking a ferry to Manitoulin Island, crossing the International Bridge in Sault Ste. Marie, riding through the Upper Penisula of Michigan and forests of Wisconsin, and finally crossing the prairies of Minnesota and South Dakota. I end the month in scenic Badlands and Black Hills.

Month 7, Northern Rockies

The road takes me back into the Rockies, as I ride along the continetal divide through Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and the Idaho / Montana border. At last I return to Seattle.