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  1. #1

    Default Chicago to Portland

    My girlfriend and I have been planning a trip to portland from chicago for about a month now. I have plenty of road experience and follow directions and maps well, the problem im having is deciding which way to get there. I know the common way is 80 to 84, but I really dont want to go that way, cause to me Iowa, nebraska and most of southern wyoming I find extremely boring. What I would really like to do is take the same route that I take on the train for my job. Basically taking 94 to 29 to route 2 all the way accross north dakota through montana to glacier park, then work my way back down south to 90 to 395 to 84. I really love the open road of route 2 and have always wanted to drive my car down it when I look out the window while im workin on the train, being able to stop and look at things on the way or stop and relax in a small town in montana. My main concern is this a dangerous time of the year to be driving in northern montana and north dakota. I know these places can get extremely cold and drop snow storms at a blink of an eye. So basically what im asking is this a bad idea to do this in the spring? I would rather have done this in this in the summer but this is the only time me and my girl both have off. I will be leaving chicago march 26, and we will be driving my 05 pontiac gto with low miles. Thanks for the advice and help in advance :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    It doesn't look too good right now up on 2 near the park. That doesn't mean it would be bad next week though. You will have to watch the weather carefully and modify the route and/or plan stops accordingly. If I had to go that way right now, I'd get off of 2 at 87 and go down through Great Falls to pick up 90.

  3. #3

    Default

    thats a very good point. I see that your in joplin, is there snow on the roads and ground right now? If it seems like its going to be sketchy trying to drive there espeically in a sports car ill probably end up taking 90 all the way from chicago. Im guessing 90 should be fine since it is a highway. Would you mine if I asked you for an update of the roads a week from now?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    9,272

    Default

    All you need to do is use Google to find each state's DOT website and check road conditions. That link should work for Montana. You can also load up weather.com and check the short and long range forecasts. I'd bring a laptop with wifi to keep yourself updated - and quite a few rest areas on the Interstate will have road and weather conditions posted or available.

    No snow here. 90 should be okay, but do be aware that there are a couple passes in Montana that can get hairy. Right now, they are only saying "scattered wet" and watch for fallen rocks.

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks again, this will definitely work, since i plan on doing all of montana in one day. How warm is the weather in late march and early april in northern montana

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    When I went through there last year - which was right about this exact time - I took 90 and 94 all the way, the highest it got was about 50 and the lowest was about 10.

    ALL of Montana in one day is a pretty long haul even Interstate all the way - you might want to rethink that. That's 700 miles. Contrary to popular belief, there IS a speed limit in Montana, and it's enforced. I got pulled over in the middle of nowhere on I-94 for doing 81 in a 75.

  7. #7

    Default

    ugh 81 in a 75?! I hope to god you did not recieve a ticket for that. The more I think about it, ill probably just end up taking 90 all the way there. I think the weather wouldnt be warm enough to enjoy the open road of us2. Ill just have to try to get up there sometime in the summer. The more I think about it doing montana in one day would be difficult and kind of a waist and probably wouldnt enjoy the beauty. Im thinking of stopping in either billings or missoula for a night. Which one would you suggest?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

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    Any of the towns along I-90 should be fine. I stayed in the Super 8 in Missoula at exit 101, it was decent. The steakhouse across the street was outstanding.

    I got a written warning.

  9. #9

    Default

    mmmmm steak, I think i might have to stop there then. Glad to hear you got a written warning, that would make me angry to see someone get such a stupid ticket.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    9,272

    Default

    I just looked up my credit card statement - the steakhouse is the Montana Club on N. Reserve. It's right across the street from the Super 8. You can play the slot machines while waiting for a table and they will come into the gaming room and get you when it's ready.

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