2015 Southern States Tour

2015 Southern States Tour Route

2015 Southern States Tour map

Red markers indicate the route from Seattle to Key West. Blue indicate the return route. A more interactive map, displaying each marker’s location, can be found here (Zeemaps).

This is Leisure Travel

30 days to get there, 30 days to get back, and a week in Key West. Nightly destinations are not set in stone, with a few exceptions where I’m visiting friends. I will be camping when the opportunity arises and the weather is cooperative. The entire route is just under 13,000 miles.

One weekend in Santa Cruz, another in Huntington Beach, two nights in both Carlsbad and New Orleans lead up to a week in Key West. There are days off throughout the return trip as well. No reason not to enjoy the company of friends and the beautiful country along the way.

Weather Considerations

Tornado alley
Tornado Alley

I plan to be in Oklahoma City during the first weekend of June. This is the middle of tornado season and not the best timing. When I leave Oklahoma City, I’ll try to get into Colorado, and out of the path of potential tornadoes in a single day. The idea behind this plan is to spend a minimum number of days on the road in Tornado Alley.

Snow on the roads is a possibility in Montana and Wyoming during the first half of June, and the routes may change because of snow. I would probably return from Colorado via Utah, Idaho and Oregon in that case.

Current Dates

Seattle Departure – April 13th
Key West Arrival – May 12th

Key West Departure – May 19th
Seattle Arrival – June 17th

Tentative Route Details to Key West

I plan to leave on a Monday, allowing me to arrive in both Santa Cruz and Los Angeles for the weekend 🙂  The shortest distance from Seattle to Key West is 3,454 miles. This route gets me there in 6,366 miles, almost twice the distance. Suggestions and comments welcome! 

(Mon) Day 1 – Seattle to Cape Lookout
302 miles including detour inland to Timber and back to the coast along Hwy 6
(Tue) Day 2 –  Cape Lookout to Coos Bay
257 miles along another detour inland to Corvallis and back to the coast along Hwy 34
(Wed) Day 3 – Coos Bay to Leggett
314 miles with diversion to travel the Avenue of the Giants
(Thu) Day 4 – Leggett to San Francisco
266 miles with diversion into Napa Valley foothills
(Fri) Day 5 – San Francisco to Santa Cruz
90 miles along Skyline Blvd (Hwy 35) and Hwy 9

(Sat) Day 6 – OFF
(Sun) Day 7 – OFF

(Mon) Day 8 – Santa Cruz to Morro Bay
192 miles of scenic beauty including Big Sur
(Tue) Day 9 – Morro Bay to Newberry Park  **UPDATED**
232 miles with diversion east of Sierra Padres National Forest
(Wed) Day 10 – Newberry Park to Palmdale  **UPDATED**
99 miles with diversion through the mountains north of Valencia after service
(Thu) Day 11 – Palmdale to Beaumont  **UPDATED**
239 miles through the Angeles and San Bernardino Mountains
(Fri) Day 12 – Beaumont to Huntingdon Beach  **UPDATED**
139 miles through the San Jacinto and Santa Ana Mountains

(Sat) Day 13 – OFF

(Sun) Day 14 – Huntington Beach to San Diego
113 miles with detour through San Marcos (optional)
(Mon) Day 15 – San Diego to Yuma
286 miles with diversion to Cibola
(Tue) Day 16 – Yuma to Nogales
461 miles with stop at Kitt Peak Observatory and Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge
(Wed) Day 17 – Nogales to Las Cruces
351 miles through Douglas
(Thu) Day 18 – Las Cruces to Carlsbad
284 miles through Lincoln National Forest and Roswell

(Fri) Day 19 – OFF

(Sat) Day 20 – Carlsbad to Big Bend National Park
293 miles along the border
(Sun) Day 21 – Big Bend National Park to Del Rio
250 miles further along the border
(Mon) Day 22 – Del Rio to Fredericksburg
278 miles through Texas Hill Country
(Tue) Day 23 – Fredericksburg to Austin
168 miles further through the hills of Texas
(Wed) Day 24 – Austin to Beaumont
306 miles taking us to the Gulf
(Thu) Day 25 – Beaumont to New Orleans
326 miles more of Gulf Coast

(Fri) Day 26 – OFF

(Sat) Day 27 – New Orleans to Panama City
308 miles and into Florida!
(Sun) Day 28 – Panama City to St. Petersburg
373 miles and into Tampa area
(Mon) Day 29 – St Petersburg to Naples
151 miles for an easy day of riding
(Tue) Day 30 – Naples to Key West
238 miles and arrival !!

Tentative Return Route Details

The details below are a sketch of the return trip. Daily destinations may change as I learn more about the area or find more interesting places to stop, like a campground, etc.. Daily distances average in the low 200 miles to allow time for photos, eats, and exploration. Total distance for the return trip is 6,532 miles, making the round trip distance 13,264 miles. Comments and suggestions are welcome!

(Tues) Day 1 – Key West to West Palm Beach
230 miles leaving time for traffic, stops and side trips
(Wed) Day 2 – West Palm Beach to Daytona Beach
208 miles not including a side trip to Cape Canaveral
(Thu) Day 3 – Daytona Beach to Savannah
241 miles leaving time for stops and side trips
(Fri) Day 4 – Savannah to Myrtle Beach
200 miles with time for sightseeing

(Sat) Day 5 – OFF

(Sun) Day 6 – Myrtle Beach to Mt Airy
248 miles towards the Blue Ridge Parkway
(Mon) Day 7 – Mt Airy to Ashville
206 miles along Parkway
(Tue) Day 8 – Ashville to Tellico Plains
345 miles including Tail of the Dragon!
(Wed) Day 9 – Tellico Plains to Chatsworth
218 miles and last day in Smoky Mountains
(Thu) Day 10 – Chatsworth to Leeds<
251 miles and ready to visit the Barber Vintage Motorcycle Museum

(Fri) Day 11 – OFF

(Sat) Day 12- Leeds to Vicksburg
294 miles with stop to visit friends

(Sun) Day 13 – OFF

(Mon) Day 14 – Vicksburg to Hot Springs
278 miles with stop in Little Rock
(Tue) Day 15 – Hot Springs to Mountain View
239 miles and on an Ozarks mini-tour
(Wed) Day 16 – Mountain View to Hermann
317 miles tentatively bypassing St Louis
(Thu) Day 17  – Hermann to Branson
270 miles and last full day in the Ozarks
(Fri) Day 18 – Branson to Oklahoma City
370 mile dash to OKC hoping to limit exposure to potential weather

(Sat) Day 19 – OFF
(Sun) Day 20 – OFF

(Mon) Day 21 – Oklahoma City to Trinidad
463 mile dash into Colorado and (hopefully) out of tornado alley
(Tue) Day 22 – Trinidad to Durango
296 miles towards the Million Dollar Highway
(Wed) Day 23 – Durango to Basalt
335 miles via the Million Dollar Highway and Hwy 50
(Thu) Day 24 – Basalt to Steamboat Springs
181 miles and last night in Colorado
(Fri) Day 25 – Steamboat Springs to Grand Tetons
380 miles with first visit ever to Grand Tetons
(Sat) Day 26 – Grand Tetons to Yellowstone
60 miles to Norris Campground

(Sun) Day 27 – OFF

(Mon) Day 28 – Yellowstone to Missoula
303 miles – seems I can’t stay away from Missoula 🙂
(Tue) Day 29 – Missoula to Walla Walla
319 miles that include LoLo Pass and 99 miles of windy roadway
(Wed) Day 30 – Walla Walla to Seattle
280 miles and back home

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