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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fort Wayne, In but mvong to Port Townsend, WA soon
    Posts
    3

    Default Moving to Pacific Northwest

    Hi,

    This is my first post--I have enjoyed browsing the various threads and appreciate both the knowledge and courtesy of this forum.
    In late June I plan to move from Fort Wayne, In to Port Townsend, WA.
    I will be driving a 16' truck with a car trailer (towing my project car) while my son will drive "wing man" with my daily driver. My question is: which route?
    I'm no stranger to long road trips but this will be my first time with a vehicle as big as the moving truck and car carrier---also it will the first long hall drive for my son. I would like the trip to be as easy on the vehicles as possible yet, since this will be about a 4 or 5 day drive, would like to have a few side trips to break up the long days. What I like to do is park the van and get in my daily driver and take a short (50mi) excursion to points of intrest.
    It looks like I can take any of three routes--I80 to SLC then I84 to Portland, then I5 north or I90 the whole way or maybe I94 (yes I know it's longer but if the scenery is better it could be worth it).
    Any input on which routes have difficult grades, interesting scenery-quirky points of intrest etc would be appreciated.

    thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    The Olympic peninsula of WA State
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Iíve made similar trips many times and Iíve found I-80 is fastest, 90 is the most scenic with the most attractions and 94 boring. 90 crosses three passes but in June snow wonít be an issue and the grades arenít really that bad. I took that route once with an older truck pulling a large and heavily loaded u-haul trailer and didnít have any problems.

    90 goes near places like the Black Hills (Deadwood, Mt. Rushmore etc.), Sheridan WY, (stop there for cowboy boots, hats and other western attire), the Custer Battlefield and Yellowstone NP.

    The 80 to 84 route doesnít have as high passes as 90 but westbound 84 does have the Pendleton grade, one of the, if not the steepest and longest downgrades in the interstate system. If youíre worried about the braking ability of your rig you may want to avoid it.

    If you choose to take 90 when you get to Seattle youíll have two choices. You can take the ferry to Winslow or drive around Puget Sound. If you can time it right the ferry would be quicker and more scenic, but with the rising ferry rates more expensive. To drive around you would take I-5 down to Tacoma then take SR-16 across the Tacoma Narrows bridge and up to SR-3 near Bremerton then up to the Hood Canal bridge and on to PT (follow the signs).

    If you decide to come up from the south on I-5 the Narrows bridge would normally be the best and quickest route. The problem now is there is a major construction project at the I-5/SR16 junction and they are saying to expect major delays from now well into the summer. To avoid this you could leave I-5 at Olympia and take US101 to Shelton, then take SR3 up to Bremerton and on to the HCB. Or you could stay on 101 past Shelton and follow it along the Hood Canal to SR20 then up to Town (as some of the the locals call it ). Its much more scenic that SR3 and milage wise is shorter but has enough hills and curves that it really slows down a heavy rig to the point where it actually takes much longer than the SR3 route.

    Enjoy your trip and welcome to the peninsula,

    Tom

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fort Wayne, In but mvong to Port Townsend, WA soon
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Tom,

    Thanks--it sounds like I90 will be what I am looking for. I've driven I80 as far as Colo. and if I94 is more boring-I'll avoid it. I90, the Black Hills sounds good, I haven't stopped at Wall Drug for a long time.
    I will probably drive around the sound; trying to get the moving rig thru Downtown Seattle to catch the Bainbridge ferry is a little more excitment than
    I am looking for.


    Mike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default I-94 Boring? Hardly!

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    First of all, one of the most important and accurate rules on RTA is that on roadtrip there are no boring places. If you think something's boring, then you simply have closed your mind and haven't even scratched the surface of an area.

    But even if there were boring places, I would never even consider adding I-94 to that list. While it doesn't have quite the sex appeal of the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, and the Black Hills along I-90, I-94 goes through some great country. You get to go through the heart of the Twin Cities, and across some of the great country of the northern plains. Teddy Roosevelt NP is right off of I-94 in western North Dakota, as is the little town of "Home on the Range." A rest area off of I-94 is also the only place I've ever had to stop while a Buffalo crossed the road! You certainly can't get that just anywhere.

    And to add to all of that I-94 is also actually just a touch shorter from Wisconsin to Montana than I-90 is - although I-90 is a bit faster route.

    Personally, I don't think you can go wrong with either option, and you might find that I-90 is the best option for you, but calling I-94 boring is just plain wrong!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fort Wayne, In but mvong to Port Townsend, WA soon
    Posts
    3

    Default

    I get the point, "boring is in the mind of the beholder". I will probably still take I90--I spent many summers in the twin cities and while lovely cities I think I will try to keep the moving van out of traffic. I expect that I94 is more scenic thru Mn than I90 but the Black Hills with perhaps a side trip to Custer state park and Devils tower sound good to me---in the future I will remember the "prime directive"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    The Olympic peninsula of WA State
    Posts
    11

    Default Excuse me

    It looks like I might need to defend myself here so Iíll say it.

    In MY considered opinion ALL interstates are BORING, but maybe I could use better words like monotonous, fatiguing or mind numbing. I use the interstates when I really have to be somewhere as quickly as possible and then usually at night. Iíve always preferred the two lane highways for crossing the plains, the more remote the better. On the interstate you canít coast to a stop to watch a sunset or sunrise, or an antelope herd disappearing over a ridge, or make a sudden but necessary break stop (I drink a lot of coffee when I drive). On the interstate you miss the hundreds interesting little towns in this country with their main street cafes, little town square parks and collections of local characters.

    I could go on here but I just want to say Iím sorry if Iíve offended anyoneís sensibilities here but everyone is entitled to their opinions, arenít they?

    Tom

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default This is not a "free speech" issue

    Quote Originally Posted by The Driving Fool View Post
    I could go on here but I just want to say I’m sorry if I’ve offended anyone’s sensibilities here but everyone is entitled to their opinions, aren’t they?
    Tom, Passionate opinions are encouraged and fostered here on the Great American RoadTrip Forums. However, one of the hallmarks of this Forum is that we do not embrace generalizations that are not based upon personal experiences***. In particular, we work towards the notion that there are no boring places anywhere. I personally prefer traveling along Interstate highways over many two-lane highways in America. You are very much entitled to your opinion about super-slabs, but if you choose not to embrace our focus and outlook -- there are plenty of alternative forums where courtesy and respect are not has highly valued. To be clear, we do not disrespect anyone's home town or area on this Forum and that extends to Interstate highways.

    ***What is always fair game and encouraged are "field reports" where members share examples of real life roadtrips. This forum has several such reports sharing some of the very real, and sometimes unpleasant aspects of roadtripping (bedbugs, breakdowns, traveler incompatibilities, etc.)****

    Thanks for your understanding.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 04-06-2007 at 08:41 AM. Reason: format

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