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  1. Default Pennsylvania to Seattle, Help Choosing Departure Date

    Sure wish I'd known about this site when I made my journey to Pennsylvania, and then back home to Seattle 3 years later.

    But, this isn't about me...

    I happened across a fabulous man in Pennsylvania, who after what is soon to be three years as a couple has decided to come out west with me. He needs some time to plan, etc., but also wants to depart before he's likely to hit snow in places like Nebraska, etc.

    Could people suggest recommended departure dates (thinking September/October)? Anything to be particularly concerned about?

    Also, I liked the I-80 route via the Badlands, Mt Rushmore, Montana, etc. that I took to get out east. I thought the route I took back (through Nebraska etc) was a lot less pleasurable. Any particular route recommendations? He's a huge history buff and would probably like to stop at a few inexpensive places.


  2. #2

    Default You saw the "wrong" Nebraska!

    Hello meesh1978,

    Best wishes for your future as a couple. A few pointers as to your man's plans:

    It's I-90 which traverses South Dakota near the Badlands and Black Hills, northeastern Wyoming, and Montana enroute to Seattle, not I-80.

    I will assume you took I-80 from east of Ogden/SLC Utah all the way across Wyoming and Nebraska on your trip back east. I agree that the parts of Wyoming and Nebraska traversed by I-80 are less enjoyable to my own personal tastes than I-90 from the Badlands of SD all the way across MT.

    I would not let the possibility of encountering snow affect my planning one single iota. Sure, any time after early- to mid-September snow is possible, starting at the highest elevations and spreading down to Nebraska elevations by, say, early November. That said, only a freak early blizzard would significantly affect Interstate and major US highway travel, and then likely only for a matter of a few hours.

    From most any point in PA I would imagine a route taking a northwest slant up to I-90 outside of Chicago is the most direct. If for any reason (such as avoiding Chicago) an I-80 route is contemplated, one can always take I-80 to a point around 150 miles west of Omaha, Grand Island to be exact, and then cut northwest on NE-2, the Sandhills Journey. Take it all the way to and beyond Alliance, thence on to Crawford, where connecting with US 20 will bring you into Wyoming and I-25 a short distance south of I-90. The Sandhills are a hauntingly beautiful and little-visited part of the country. NE-2 is by and large a 65-70 mph speed-limit wide 2-lane highway with many small railroad towns along the way, the most scenic and quaint of which is Broken Bow. Beyond Alliance, at Crawford, lies Fort Robinson State Park, a very nicely-preserved US Army post. The drive from Alliance to Crawford and west of there into Wyoming is very remote and very scenic.

    So, encourage your fella to come West sooner than later for reasons other than weather. If an alternate to I-90 in eastern and central South Dakota or I-80 through Nebraska and Wyoming is desired, use NE-2 to get your north and west in the same fell swoop. It's a great drive and I highly recommend it.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you want to stay on the Interstates, avoid Chicago, and avoid toll roads, you can take I-70 to Indianapolis, I-74 to Davenport, I-80 to Omaha, I-29 to Sioux Falls, then I-90 the rest of the way.

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