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  1. Default

    To be honest I'm not even sure if I'm in the right place to ask this, so please cut me some slack. Anyway, well we're planning on moving from Los Angeles to a small town in central Washington state named, Wenatchee.

    My first question is, since we're moving up there and only taking our little car. It's probably going to be filled up with all of our stuff. Which way would be the best way to get up there, with a car load of stuff. I mean, which way would it be easiest on the car. We've driven up and down from there a couple times, but I can't seem to really remember which way would be best for us in our little car filled with junk. I'm trying to avoid huge steep hills and stuff like that.

    Second question is, although we are planning on taking our trip before (or after) the snow season.. if we absolutely had to drive through there in the winter months.. how bad is it? Which would be the easiest way though all of that, without the use of chains?

    I have no problems with the driving in California. My main concerns are which highway to take through Oregon, the 5, or the 97. We recently took a trip up there and took the 5 north all the way up Oregon, but I noticed that there was A LOT of extremely tough mountain roads and etc.. I don't remember what the drive on the 97 was like. Obviously there is hills and such on the 97 as well, but what I was wondering if maybe it would be less of a workload on a car going that way. Anyway, thanks in advance.

    Any help will be EXTREMELY appreciated.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 04-03-2007 at 02:13 PM. Reason: Merged Posts - Continuation of Thought

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Built for You!

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I don't think there is much question that the Interstate system is exactly the kind of roads you are looking for. Yes, they do go over some mountains, but they have built in design features that limit steep grades and sharp turns.

    US highways like US-97 are not built with those criteria in mind, so there are virtually no limitations on the number of turns of the steepness of the grades. So while I don't have any personally experience with the route, if you thought I-5 was hilly, you'd almost certainly find US-97 to be much more difficult.

    As far as weather goes, if you hit a snowstorm and you don't have chains and/or you aren't familiar with driving in winter weather, then you will be forced to pull over and wait out the storm. The interstate will still be far and away your best for having the least amount of problems and to have those roads quickly restored to good driving condition, but if you hit truely bad weather, you simply will not be allowed to continue without chains.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Wenatchee

    Quote Originally Posted by someguy12 View Post
    a small town in central Washington state named, Wenatchee.
    Such a pretty place to call home! Just wait until the spring -- heavenly!

    Mark

  4. Default More questions about the highway

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    Such a pretty place to call home! Just wait until the spring -- heavenly!

    Mark
    Oh believe me, that's the reason why we're moving there. We've had it with the big city, and it's ridiculous housing costs.

    Midwest Michael:

    Thanks for your insight, I really do appreciate it. The thing is I've driven up there quite a bit of times, using mostly the 5 up to near Seattle, then east. I remember once I just went through all of Oregon using the 97, but I can't remember if it was an easier drive on the car than on the 5. So basically, I just wanted to know if anyone who remembers driving on both roads (the 5 N and the 97 N) through Oregon, which one would you recommend for a small car that would be loaded pretty heavy.

    I do appreciate it though Michael, in no way am I trying to be a smartass or anything like that. Thanks for the welcome as well.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 04-03-2007 at 04:58 PM. Reason: continuation of previous post

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Good roads

    Quote Originally Posted by someguy12 View Post
    So basically, I just wanted to know if anyone who remembers driving on both roads (the 5 N and the 97 N) through Oregon, which one would you recommend for a small car that would be loaded pretty heavy.
    I have driven both roads several times. There is no question that I-5 has much smoother gradients than US-97, but the scenery is, perhaps, more striking on US-97.

    Mark

  6. #6
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Wenatcheeite!

    You can NOT imagine the double-take that occurred when I logged on and saw the words "Wenatchee" from LA! Lived there for four years. Nicest area I've ever lived in... the economy is so-so, but that's an agriculturally based area for you.

    I did this route heading in the opposite direction with a fully loaded Chevrolet Lumina, and it did just fine.

    About your route: Interstate 90 is a pretty smooth ride, not incredibly steep. You may have some issues going over Blewitt Pass (US 97), and if your car is loaded down, I certainly do not recommend Stevens Pass (US 2). We moved over Stevens Pass with a Geo Metro fully loaded, and we were going maybe 25 MPH all the way up. If you're that loaded up, I would suggest extending your drive out to George, Washington, and take the state routes up through Quincy (WA 281 to WA 28 into East Wenatchee). It's down flat land until Crescent Bar, then down hill for the most part after that.

    As far as snow goes, again, I-90 is going to be best. Carry chains though, it is state law to do so. Most years, I-90 is pretty much passable most of the time. If for some reason it does get too bad, you may have to stay in North Bend a few days.

    Any help I can add about the route or Wenatchee, feel free to ask!

    -Brad

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    I have driven both roads several times. There is no question that I-5 has much smoother gradients than US-97, but the scenery is, perhaps, more striking on US-97.

    Mark
    Ah, perfect. Thank you very much, this is EXACTLY what I was looking for. I really didn't think anyone would answer, but you did. I'll be going up the 5 for sure then. Thanks again!

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Arizona Brad View Post
    You can NOT imagine the double-take that occurred when I logged on and saw the words "Wenatchee" from LA! Lived there for four years. Nicest area I've ever lived in... the economy is so-so, but that's an agriculturally based area for you.

    I did this route heading in the opposite direction with a fully loaded Chevrolet Lumina, and it did just fine.

    About your route: Interstate 90 is a pretty smooth ride, not incredibly steep. You may have some issues going over Blewitt Pass (US 97), and if your car is loaded down, I certainly do not recommend Stevens Pass (US 2). We moved over Stevens Pass with a Geo Metro fully loaded, and we were going maybe 25 MPH all the way up. If you're that loaded up, I would suggest extending your drive out to George, Washington, and take the state routes up through Quincy (WA 281 to WA 28 into East Wenatchee). It's down flat land until Crescent Bar, then down hill for the most part after that.

    As far as snow goes, again, I-90 is going to be best. Carry chains though, it is state law to do so. Most years, I-90 is pretty much passable most of the time. If for some reason it does get too bad, you may have to stay in North Bend a few days.

    Any help I can add about the route or Wenatchee, feel free to ask!

    -Brad
    Brad,

    Yeah man, most of my friends don't know what the heck I'm talking about when I say, "Wenatchee". It's a really nice small town, which is really growing. My gf is originally from there, and we've been back there a few times and I personally love it there.

    As for the route, well I was pretty set on going up through Yakima, then heading a bit east through George and Quincy, finally getting there through East Wenatchee.. and when you suggested that, now I'm going that way for SURE. I remember driving back to L.A. that way, and it seemed really good in terms of hills and stuff compared to the 90.

    So it's settled as far as I'm concerned.. I'm taking the 5 North all the way up to near the Portland area, then taking the 84 eastbound along the Columbia river (which is an absolute beautiful drive). Then up the 97, and the way you suggested. Thanks for your insight, it really helped.

  9. #9
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default The gorge... I complely forgot!

    Good idea on using the Gorge. Lots of people forget about it (including myself) because many times it's a huge detour. I know some truckers will start leaving North Bend or other towns before the entrances to the passes if they appear they'll be closed for too long and go via the gorge just to keep from sitting.

    -Brad

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