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Thread: Route 36 in Kansas and East

  1. #1
    wags's Avatar
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    Route 36 in Kansas and East

    We will be leaving in a few weeks, heading from Az To Utah to see Zion and Bryce Parks. Then head over to Colorado, going through Cortez and Pagosa Springs to Denver area. Then we will head across Kansas on route 36. Has anyone ridden route 36? And can you offer any comments on sights, etc. We will be pulling our leesure lite and camping. We will wind up in Northern Ill at our sons. Then head north through Wisconsin, Minnesota, S Dakota and back to Colorado.
    We have riding friends that are camp hosts in Colorado along with a daughter and family, so we will spend a month or so camping there. I'm familiar with the Black Hills and all the great rides in that area. It's Kansas and Iowa that I have not spent much time in. Besides the obvious small town cafes etc, is there anything specific we should see while on route 36. In Iowa we will stop at JP cycles and perhaps in Madison Cty to visit the covered bridges.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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    Re: Route 36 in Kansas and East

    If you get the chance while in Iowa you should stop for a Maid Rite.
    Kerry,
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    Re: Route 36 in Kansas and East

    In '08 I rode US 36 from Hannibal, MO to just east of Denver on the way to the COG National in Frisco, CO. I overnighted in a Mom/Pop motel in Marysville, KS. The highway follows an old Pony Express route so you'll see some information on that, even in MO. Hannibal was interesting -- a typical Mississippi River town with lots of attractions. There used to be a campground near Maysville, MO (called the Pony Express RV park or something like that). I went to a Guzzi Rally there a few years ago.

    Once you get to the Mississippi River, you can turn north and follow the Great River Road through IA and all the way into MN and WI. That's a gorgeous ride (on either side of The River) with lots of history and great scenery. All of the small towns have something to see and enjoy. Ask the locals, they can tell you what to look for. If you have the time, the Mississippi River begins in northern MN (Lake Itasca, just a bit SW of Bemidji) and there is a State Park with great camping facilities.

    On your way east, there are the usual small towns to see and enjoy. Most will have a decent cafe, a gas station and, generally a small city park and possible free camping. I travel alone most of the time and those places are good for meeting the locals. I far prefer the two-lane roads to running the slab. I'm going west this year to MT and will be running US 20 from IA through NE.

    This is all I can think of at this time. I'll give more input as I think of it.

  4. #4
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    Re: Route 36 in Kansas and East

    Thanks Chuck... Kerry... what is a Maid Rite ?

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    Re: Route 36 in Kansas and East

    It's one of the best sandwiches you could ever have. You have to try it the first time the traditioal way with just mustard, pickle and onion.

    http://maidrite.com/about_maid-rite.html

    The best place I have found to get one is actually in Quincy IL. If you do ride 36 all the way across MO to Hannibal take US 61 north to 24 east and then go north on 12th street to 507 N 12th. http://www.yelp.com/biz/maid-rite-quincy

    Once you hit Ole Man River there in Hannibal US36 turns into I72 and it's not that great of a ride anymore on the IL side.

    I grew up in Hannibal and could almost see 36 from the back deck of the house but they have changed it up so much in the last 15 years. Now it's almost all 4 lane and once they do get it all 4 lane from Hannibal to St. Joe it will become I-72 from Springfield IL to St. Joe.

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    Peaches'n Cream Indianscout's Avatar
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    Re: Route 36 in Kansas and East

    Once place well worth the time is the National Motorcycle museum in Almosa, IA. Check out WWW.NATIONALMCMUSEUM.ORG

    And I agree with Chuck on following the Mississippi River. Traffic is usually light to moderate, the roads are good and the view is great. Never had a problem finding gas or a good mom and pop restaurant. If you like architecture then you will enjoy the small towns along the way as it is full of classic old houses and stores.

    If you have the time I would suggest to follow the Mississippi up to St. Paul where it is joined by the St. Croix. From there you could follow the St. Croix most of the way to Duluth or catch Hwy 2 west on towards Bamidji and hit the headwaters of the Mississippi. Hwy 2 has a lot of interesting stops along the way as northern MN seems to have more to offer than the southern part. From there you can work your way down to South Dakota. Happy to give you more suggestions if this is of interest for you.
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    Re: Route 36 in Kansas and East

    I appreciate all the good information. We will for sure stop by the MC hall of fame, it's located in same town as JP Cycles.
    I grew up in N Ill, never had heard of Maid Rite, but sounds great. I will follow the river in Wisconsin and at least part of Minn. Have a friend in N Wis were going to visit.
    I plan on spending some time in the Black Hills, looks like lots of great rides in that area.

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    Re: Route 36 in Kansas and East

    I hope to make it to Cortez and Pagosa Springs later this summer. Sounds like a great trip. Enjoy.

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    Re: Route 36 in Kansas and East

    The NE corner of IA (from about Cresco to Oelwein east to The River) is also very scenic. Look at a State Map and you can see the roads have some curves and the intersections are not all 90 degrees. There are also many State Parks all along The River that should offer good camping sites. I attended a couple of Guzzi rallies in Elkader a few years ago. A very nice small city. They have a great city park (w/ good facilities) that's within easy walking distance of downtown. I don't know what they charge for camping but it can't be much.

    If you're going to be in northern WI, you should consider getting up into the UP of MI and spending a few nights. Wonderful scenery, great camping, good food (try the smoked fish and/or a pastie) and really friendly people. It's one of my favorite places to cycle and camp. St Ignace (on the north side of The Bridge) is the second oldest city in the country.

    All for now.

  10. #10
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    Re: Route 36 in Kansas and East

    Thanks Chuck, great information... now to condense it down to what is possible ! Fortunately time is not a major issue ( finally found something I'm really good at... being retired! ). I had a dream about the Maid Rite

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