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Thread: summer trip

  1. Default summer trip

    so,I am traveling from Minneapolis to Buffalo,NY.I know I have two options.One is through US and other one through Canada.I want to drive so I am wondering which one is faster and/or easier.I don't mind the driving and I want to do it in a day if possible.Does anybody knows what's the difference in mileage?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
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    4,545

    Default

    I would also ask yourself, do I have the proper identification to cross the border into Canada? If not, you may need to do the US routes.

    Via the US route, it's 940 miles from one city to the other via the fastest route. That is a 2 day drive - or one long day (600 mi) and a shorter one (340). At RTA, we don't recommend driving more than 600 miles in one day. It's about the limits of what commercial truck drivers are allowed to do at one sitting, for good reasons: you get tired, nod off, etc.

    As for the Canadian route's mileage, it looks like it's pretty close. You then have to add 2 border crossings to it, and sometimes those take a while.

    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    6,936

    Default Much of a muchness!

    Hi, and Welcome to the RTA Forums.

    This is a trip I travel more than any other, on each of my visits. And I think I have now taken every alternative route. As mentioned above, this is a two day trip. Even in a day and a half, you would be pushing. If you are not faced with the urban traffic in Chicago (and other places), then there are the border crossings, as already mentioned. Not to mention hold ups with road construction and other delays you may face.

    Crossing the border at Sault Ste Marie seems to be quite quick, but at Niagara, it can take a while.

    One time when I drove this, in extremely inclement weather, I did not get any further than Erie PA by dark on the second day. You just need to stay flexible, and take whatever comes your way, in your stride. Make sure you do not compromise safety to make up time.

    Lifey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Green County, Wisconsin
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    Default not in one day

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I too have made this basic trip several times, as I have relatives in upstate new york.

    I have to first start by strongly recommending you not try to do this in one day. You're looking at 950 miles, which is going to take you at least 18 hours - plus you'll lose one more with the time zone. That's far too much to do in a day, even if you've got a couple of drivers.

    600 miles is a good rule of thumb for multiday trip, but a lot of times you can push yourself a bit farther if you're just doing a one day sprint. Still, even there, pushing much beyond 700 miles really gets to be a bad idea.

    For comparison sake, I've driven from Toronto to my house in a day - which is basically the same distance as Buffalo. Despite someone who loves being behind the wheel, and who drives about 60 thousand miles a year, that's one of the longest days I've ever done, and one where I left at 9 in the morning, and didn't get home until after midnight.

    The difference is, I'm about 5 hours closer to Buffalo than you are in Minneapolis. I'd never do that kind of drive if I had to do any significant driving the next day, and I'd certainly not try to add another 300 miles on top of that drive.

    Its a day and a half drive, so either try to get started the evening before and try to make it to the chicago area, or plan on driving to Toledo or maybe Cleveland in a full day, and finish off the drive the next day.

    As far as going via Canada, I actually typically go through Canada, via the Detroit area. However, I do it just for the slight change of pace of brushing up on my metric system and the chance to order Poutine, plus avoiding some of the tolls is nice. The distance is very similar, but with the two border crossings, you'd need to plan on the trip possibly taking and extra hour. Of course, passports are required to cross the border.

    Lifey mentioned Sault Ste. Marie - that is a fantastic drive that I've done a few times, and the delays at the border would be minimal. However, that means driving mostly on 2 lane roads and frankly even covering that ground in 2 full days would be pushing it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Default Not that I recall.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    ... frankly even covering that ground in 2 full days would be pushing it.
    Michael, I don't recall that as pushing it. And you would know, I am not one to speed or extend myself. True, I left from Toronto, so had already crossed the border. Drove via Sudbury to Sault Ste Marie. The next day left around 8am for St Paul (also a little closer than Minneapolis). I arrived in St Paul not long after dinner time, but certainly before dark. Not sure what month, but I think it was late spring. Heck, this is all four years ago. LOL

    From my atlas I can see I took Rt 2 through Michigan all the way through Menominee (numbers changed) and from there it was a lot of divided road to Wasau and into St Paul. I do recall stopping along the coast quite a few times, to take in the scenery. Recall it was pretty crowded and difficult to park, so maybe it was a weekend.

    But a great and easy drive, none-the-less.

    Lifey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
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    Default

    "Pushing it" might have been overstating it, but it would certainly be 2 full days. It is a 1000 mile trip, and it is still 2 lanes basically from North of Toronto all the way to Wisconsin.

    I went that way last summer, starting in Buffalo specifically. We made it to just past Sudbury, arriving just as it was starting to get dark, on day one. And on day 2, we made it just into Green Bay, arriving around 11pm.

    But in retrospect, we got fairly late starts both days, and probably weren't actually on the road until noon. With an earlier start, both days, we probably could have made it farther. Of course, every time I go that way, I always wish I had more time to stop and explore, so maybe that's clouding my judgement too!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Default A roadtrip dilemna.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Of course, every time I go that way, I always wish I had more time to stop and explore, so maybe that's clouding my judgement too!
    Know what you mean. The list of places to check out gets longer, rather than shorter. For every place I stop, I note down two or three for 'next' time. There's never enough time.

    I find that the miles I cover before lunch, are usually the easiest. Hence the early starts. Most of my 'exploring' is done during the afternoon and evening... when I tend to get tired of driving.

    Lifey

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