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  1. Default From Chicago Heights, IL. to Corvallis, OR.

    Hello all!

    I will be moving to Corvallis, OR in August to start college. I don't plan on spending too much time on the road. According to google maps it takes 1 day and 13 hours to reach my destination. I plan on stopping to sleep either in a hotel or just in the car. So this trip will probably be around 2 days. possibly 3 or 4 if you convince me to stop and see some stuff! :)

    Bottom line though, I'm looking for the most gorgeous route. No flat and boring driving. :)

    I am looking for some advice on the route I should take. I am from Chicago Heights, IL. but I lived in Boulder, Colorado for a year.

    When I drove to CO., I took I-80 West. On that trip I went through Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, a little sliver of Wyoming, and of course Colorado. For some weird reason google map doesnt show that route going through wyoming but I'm almost positive we did. Oh well.

    I see that there is a similar route from Chicago Heights to Corvallis. It's I-80 W and I-84 W. I would be going through Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and Oregon.

    I am turned off by this route but also interested as well. Let me explain:

    I find iowa incredibly boring to drive through! Same goes for Nebraska. And I remember driving through Nebraska and it feeling like it would never end.

    On the other hand, I have never driven through Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, or Oregon. I'm wondering if these are beautiful states to drive through.

    Google maps offer two other routes.

    1.) I-94 W and I-90W

    This route would bring me through Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Washington, and Oregon.

    CONCERNS: I read somewhere that Montana is a 9 hour drive! Also, that Eastern Montana is flat and boring. I've also heard that North Dakota is boring. As for Wisconsin and Minnesota I have no idea. I have driven to Minnesota before but only to Minneapolis. I have also driven to Wisconsin but only as far as Appleton.

    LIKES: I have heard that western Montana is absolutely gorgeous. I have googled a few pictures and it seems like there are mountains around which is nice. I have heard that Washington is also beautiful. I absolutely loved living 5 minutes away from the mountains in Colorado. So, so Beautiful.

    2.) I-90 W

    This route takes me through Illinois, Iowa, the bottom part of Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington and Oregon.

    I'm not going to waste anymore of your time writing my likes and dislikes for this route. I'll just list what I DO like in a good road trip.

    I like the mountains and running water like streams, water falls, and rivers. I like rocks. I like trees and the forest. I like big rock formations in the desert. I like hills. I also, like small town charm and Big cities.

    Any of these things would be great to see.

    I do not like flat, boring, drives. I do not like cornfields, etc... I know at some point there may be no way around it, but I would like to minimize the boredom if possible! haha! :)

    I would greatly appreciate any information you may have for me. Thanks for your time. Feel free to ask me any questions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default reality

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The first thing you need to understand is that a computer estimated travel time is only accurate in a computer generated world where no one ever needs to stop for gas, slow down for construction or traffic, or take a break for their mental health.

    This trip will not be a 2 day trip, if you want to get there alive and/or without killing someone else. It is 2200 miles, and you need a bare minimum of 4 days to do this safely. Trying to do it in any less than that would be extremely dangerous, as you could not be getting enough rest, and you would be every bit as dangerous as a drunk driver.

    BTW, Montana going all the way across on I-94/I-90 is actually a 12 hour drive, covering more than 700 miles.

    As far as boredom goes, that will be depend far more on you than anything you'll find by picking a specific route. If you've already written off the plains, then you've got a lot of "boring" hours ahead of you.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the response! No, I havent written off the plains. I just wanted to let everyone know what my preferences are. I will make the best of it no matter what roads I take.

    Do you have any route recommendations or any other ideas to share?

    Thanks again for the response. Much appreciated!

  4. Default

    Also forgot to mention. Beyond the boredom thing. I am really curious to know what others like and disliked about the states I mentioned. Any fun or interesting things to stop and see, great restaurants or hole-in-the-wall places etc...

    I'd also like to mention that I won't be driving alone. a good friend of mine will be taking the trip with me.

    Thanks again for your time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Even with a friend, you can't safely cover this distance in less than 4 days. Even there, you'll be on the road for a good 12 hours a day.

    My preference is always to take a route I haven't taken before, so if I were you, I'd either take I-90 or I-94/90. Either option will take you across the badlands which will make for a nice break from the highway. Take a look at the RTA Map Center and you'll find lots of ideas for stop suggestions.

  6. Default

    Hey, I just finished a 13k mile road trip across the country and drove through most of the states you mentioned with the exception of Nebraska and Iowa. There is a lot to do and see out there! I am from Oregon, so I can say it is an absolutely beautiful state! I assume you are going to OSU? I went there, and Corvallis is a fun town! Anyway, back to the trip. I didn't find much scenery wise in Wisconsin. I didn't go up by the Great Lakes though. If you like beer, it's the place to be! Check out the Miller Brewery tour in Milwaukee, it's free and they give you free beer at the end! Same with Minnesota, not much scenery wise, but again, I didn't go up north, mostly stayed central. Definitely check out Badlands National Park, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and Custer State Park in South Dakota. They are all within a 30-60 min drive of one another. Of course in Wyoming and Montana, you have Yellowstone. I didn't get to go through unfortunately, because it's shut down in the winter. I'm sure you are planning to go through there, but if not, definitely do it! There are plenty of other awesome sights in these two states as well. Grand Teton National Park, right below Yellowstone, is awesome too. I kinda blew through Idaho, but I know there's some cool stuff there like Sun Valley and Craters of the Moon. As far as Oregon, I could go on and on! If you take 84 through, the Columbia Gorge area is stunning. Cross over to the Washington side as well since there's some cool sights over there as well. If you don't do 84, you could take US-20 through central Oregon, which is awesome. You go through the Cascades which are beautiful. If your gonna be here for school, you should have plenty of time check out the rest of the state! Anyway, just take your time and don't rush the trip. If you see something that you might want to check out, do it, don't skip it! I learned that the hard way! Seriously, if you have any questions or need advice or places to see/things to do, hit me up. Safe and happy travels, and go Beavs!


    Personal Email Address Removed Per Forum Policy
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 03-27-2011 at 12:30 PM.

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