Route

Touring cyclist cartoonThe best way to start a cross-country bicycle trip is to pretend you’re not doing it. Convince yourself you are embarking on a series of day trips. It will do no good to anticipate the Rockies while still smelling the salt air of the Atlantic, or to think about the East if leaving from the West.
“One rest stop to another, one day at a time, one state before the next. That’s the essential mind game. It will all add up to a journey exposing you to staggering landscapes, the kindness of strangers and abilities you didn’t know you had.”

Calvin Woodward, The Associated Press, 2006

This is the route, in overview and sectional maps, of the 3,160-mile transcontinental journey we will begin Sept. 18 in San Diego and end, if all goes well, in St. Augustine, Fla., on Nov. 21.

Adventure Cycling Association's Southern Tier Route

Adventure Cycling Association's Southern Tier Route

Overview: San Diego, Calif., to St. Augustine, Fla.  (3,160 miles)

Overview: San Diego, Calif., to St. Augustine, Fla. (3,160 miles)

Itinerary: Day by day
Date…….Day….Overnight location……..Distance
Sept. 18…..1……Gather in San Diego………………..0
Sept. 19…..2……Shakedown ride……………………..?
Sept. 20…..3……Alpine, Calif…………………………38
Sept. 21…..4……Ocotillo, Calif……………………….58
Sept. 22…..5……Brawley, Calif……………………….39
Sept. 23…..6……Palo Verde, Calif…………………..69
Sept. 24…..7……Blythe, Calif…………………………21
Sept. 25…..8……Hope, Ariz…………………………..55
Sept. 26…..9……Wickenburg, Ariz…………………62
Sept. 27….10…..Phoenix………………………………55
Sept. 28….11…..Phoenix (layover)………………0

San Diego, Calif., to Tempe, Ariz. (411.5 miles)

San Diego, Calif., to Tempe, Ariz. (411.5 miles)

Date…….Day….Overnight location……..Distance
Sept. 29….12…..Apache Junction, Ariz………………35
Sept. 30….13…..Globe, Ariz………………………………56
Oct. 1…….14…..Thatcher, Ariz………………………….77
Oct. 2…….15…..Three Way, Ariz……………………….37
Oct. 3…….16…..Buckhorn, N.M……………………….44
Oct. 4…….17…..Silver City, N.M………………………38
Oct. 5…….18…..Silver City, N.M. (layover)………0
Oct. 6…….19…..Mimbres, N.M…………………………50
Oct. 7…….20…..Caballo, N.M…………………………..57
Oct. 8…….21…..Las Cruces, N.M………………………61
Oct. 9…….22…..El Paso…………………………………..45
Oct. 10…..23…..El Paso (layover)…………………..0

Tempe, Ariz., to El Paso, Texas (540 miles)

Tempe, Ariz., to El Paso, Texas (540 miles)

Date…….Day….Overnight location……..Distance
Oct. 11…..24…..Fort Hancock, Texas……………….55
Oct. 12…..25…..Van Horn, Texas……………………..75
Oct. 13…..26…..Fort Davis, Texas…………………….91
Oct. 14…..27…..Fort Davis, Texas (layover)…….0
Oct. 15…..28…..Marathon, Texas…………………….55
Oct. 16…..29…..Sanderson, Texas……………………55
Oct. 17…..30…..Seminole Canyon, Texas………….81
Oct. 18…..31…..Del Rio, Texas…………………………41

El Paso, Texas, to Del Rio, Texas (451.5 miles)

El Paso, Texas, to Del Rio, Texas (451.5 miles)

Date…….Day….Overnight location……..Distance
Oct. 19…..32…..Lazy Laguna Lodge (Dooley Ranch)..61
Oct. 20…..33…..Lost Maples State Natural Area……..59
Oct. 21…..34…..Comfort, Texas…………………………….70
Oct. 22…..35…..Wimberley, Texas………………………..67
Oct. 23…..36…..Austin…………………………………………43
Oct. 24…..37…..Austin (layover)…………………………0
Oct. 25…..38…..Bastrop, Texas…………………………….32
Oct. 26…..39…..Carmine, Texas……………………………62
Oct. 27…..40…..Navasota, Texas………………………….48

Del Rio, Texas, to Navasota, Texas (431.5 miles)

Del Rio, Texas, to Navasota, Texas (431.5 miles)

Date…….Day….Overnight location……..Distance
Oct. 28…..41…..Coldspring, Texas……………………67
Oct. 29…..42…..Silsbee, Texas…………………………75
Oct. 30…..43…..Merryville, La…………………………55
Oct. 31…..44…..Merryville, La. (layover)…………0
Nov. 1…….45…..Oberlin, La……………………………..58
Nov. 2…….46…..Washington, La………………………56
Nov. 3…….47…..Simmesport, La………………………57
Nov. 4…….48…..St. Francisville, La………………….55

Navasota, Texas, to St. Francisville, La. (416.5 miles)

Navasota, Texas, to St. Francisville, La. (416.5 miles)

Date…….Day….Overnight location……..Distance
Nov. 5…….49…..Easleyville, La…………………………..53
Nov. 6…….50…..Bogalusa/New Orleans……………….58
Nov. 7…….51…..New Orleans (layover)……………….0
Nov. 8…….52…..Perkinston, Miss………………………..60
Nov. 9…….53…..Hurley, Miss………………………………62
Nov. 10…..54…..Gulf Shores, Ala…………………………73
Nov. 11…..55…..Milton, Fla………………………………….61
Nov. 12…..56…..DeFuniak Springs, Fla…………………67
Nov. 13…..57…..DeFuniak Springs, Fla. (layover)…0

St. Francisville, La., to DeFuniak Springs, Fla. (430.5 miles)

St. Francisville, La., to DeFuniak Springs, Fla. (430.5 miles)

Date…….Day….Overnight location……..Distance
Nov. 14…..58…..Marianna, Fla……………………………61
Nov. 15…..59…..Midway, Fla……………………………..58
Nov. 16…..60…..Waukennah (Tallahassee East)….53
Nov. 17…..61…..Spirit of Suwannee Park……………68
Nov. 18…..62…..High Springs, Fla………………………59
Nov. 19…..63…..Hawthorne, Fla…………………………50
Nov. 20…..64…..East Palatka, Fla………………………42
Nov. 21…..65…..St. Augustine, Fla. (finish)……….38

DeFuniak Springs, Fla., to St. Augustine, Fla.  (428.5 miles)

DeFuniak Springs, Fla., to St. Augustine, Fla. (428.5 miles)

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15 responses to “Route

    • Ben,
      Is “The route” page what you had in mind when you suggested a detailed map? When I downloaded the map segment images from Adventure Cycling Association, I found that they were GIF images with a lot of white space at the bottom of each map. I needed to crop them to get rid of the white space, but couldn’t do that with Picasa 3, which can’t handle GIF images. So I found a free image converter program on the Web site tucows.com and converted them all to JPG images, which Picasa can handle.
      Love, Dad

    • Glenn Maze

      I stumbled across your blog and found it informative, well organized and stimulating for my planned Rails to Trails Only trip from the northern border (International Falls, MN) to, not really sure the southern terminus, probably in California. I will be 68 by the time I start so I have no time frame to meet—maybe a couple years. The only goal is to cover all longitude GPS points on Rail Trails. I hope someday the American Discovery Trail will be completed and people can take a east west route across America without having to compete with cars.

      • Glenn,
        Many thanks for looking at my blog and for your kind words about it. I’m intrigued by your planned trip. I wasn’t aware that it would be possible to travel from the northern border to the southern border of the United States only on rails-to-trails. Please keep me posted on your plans and your route. Do you plan to do a blog during the trip or before? Here’s wishing you the best for the holiday season.
        Jim

    • I am planning on doing the Southern Tier next year and and trying to sort out how I am going to blog. If you could answer a couple of questions it would really help me.

      1. Did you use a computer or a tablet e.g. ipad for your blog? (Wasn’t sure what I saw in your gear photo)

      2. Did you take photos with a phone camera or a straight camera?

      3. How did you upload your blog? e.g. did you have a separate data account for your computer/tablet or did you download at internet hotspots along the way?

      Many Thanks

      Cher

  1. Susan McCown

    Hi Jim,

    Well, I can see from your website that you are a dedicated bike rider. My friend, Cathy Blondeau, will be on your tour. She’s coming from Victoria, Canada.

    Must admit that just looking at the map tires me. Hope you will give Cathy a big hug from me. Just tell her that “her secretary” sends a hug. She’s asked me to email friends and family as you guys journey across America.

    Have a safe journey,
    Susan McCown

    • Susan,
      Thanks for the good wishes and for looking at my blog. I look forward to meeting Cathy and the other riders in San Diego. I hope I’m not too tired at the end of each day to keep the blog up to date and literate. Take care.
      Jim

  2. Susan McCown

    Hi Jim,

    Cathy is calling me almost daily with updates. Can’t believe what troopers you guys are doing this bike tour. Hope we get to meet all of you when you get to St. Francisville, LA.

    Be careful….hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!!!

    Susan

    • Susan,
      Thanks for looking at the blog. Cathy told me you had been reading it. I’m looking forward to getting to St. Francisville, a very historic town. In fact, I did a blog post some weeks ago about it being the capital of the short- lived Republic of West Florida. It was an interesting bit of American history that I knew nothing about. Take care.
      Jim

  3. I am planning on doing the Southern Tier next year and and trying to sort out how I am going to blog. If you could answer a couple of questions it would really help me.

    1. Did you use a computer or a tablet e.g. ipad for your blog? (Wasn’t sure what I saw in your gear photo)

    2. Did you take photos with a phone camera or a straight camera?

    3. How did you upload your blog? e.g. did you have a separate data account for your computer/tablet or did you download at internet hotspots along the way?

    Many Thanks

    Cher

    • Cher,
      Thanks for taking the time to look at my blog. For blogging on my Southern Tier trip, I used a Dell netbook Mini 9. The iPad and other tablets were not yet available in 2009. I primarily relied on wi-fi hotspots at camp sites and RV parks. But I also bought for the trip a Verizon Mi-Fi device and activated Verizon service for the duration of the trip. This allowed me to tap into the Verizon cellular network and create a mini wi-fi hotspot for other users in our group. That worked pretty well if Verizon cellphone service was available. But you’ll find that along the Southern Tier route cellular service is very spotty, with vast dead zones, particularly in remote areas of the desert Southwest. In Buckhorn, N.M., for example, the only place where locals can make cellphone calls is from a hill outside town. They call it the “phone booth.” They drive to the crest of the hill and make their cellphone calls. Members of our Adventure Cycling Association group had either AT&T or Verizon on their cellphones or portable devices. Verizon seemed to be better on the western portion of the route and AT&T, which I had on my cellphone, seemed better in Texas and points east. By the way, I think that you’ll enjoy the Southern Tier route. It’s the shortest of the cross-country bike routes (at about 3,130 miles from San Diego to St. Augustine, but it has the most varied terrain — deserts, mountains, the Hill Country of Texas (which may have been the most challenging part of the trip, as parts of the Hill Country reminded me of the mountains of southern Colorado), the Gulf Coast, swamps and bayous. Best of luck on your trip. I’ll be following your blog, which I’ll link to mine.
      Cheers,
      Jim

      • Cher,
        One more note on blogging on the road: I chose a netbook with a solid-state hard drive. I sacrificed some capacity, but I didn’t want a mechanical hard drive with moving parts that might not have stood up to the jostling and wear and tear on the road. My netbook had a 16-gig solid-state drive, which was adequate for my purposes. As a supplement, I used a 16-gig thumb drive. After I wrote a blog item or posted a photo,
        I moved that material over to the thumb drive and deleted it from the computer’s hard drive. I had read cross-country journals that told of laptop hard drives crapping out on the road, probably because of hard knocks to the mechanical hard drive. I didn’t want to have that problem. My netbook, contained in a neoprene sleeve and a Ziploc bag, fit nicely into one of my panniers and I had no problem with it throughout the trip.
        Jim

  4. Heather Miller

    stay in sw Virginia. from, a soon to be, Elk Creek resident

  5. Very nice site, found it by mistake… Looks like hours of “iPad Entertainment”

    Brad Wallace
    Edwardsville, IL

  6. Jim’s blog is excellent . His tales and facts are interesting and valuable. He stimulated me to try something unique — cross the USA on trails only. By traversing the country to locate and ride every latitude from the Canadian border to Mexican border, I think I will one of the few—if not the only one—to accomplish such a feat. Thx for motivation Jim

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