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  1. #1

    Default Michigan- to San Francisco via Yellowstone and Portland

    Hello all at RTA

    We are visiting our son in Michigan who then intends to drive down to San Francisco area via Chicago and Portland.
    We leave around 1May and have about 14-16 days to reach our final destination
    He intends to take route I-90, visiting sights such as Rushmore, Badlands and then on to Yellowstone.
    If the East entrance is not open by then , which would be the better route?
    Would appreciate suggestions and advice as this would be his first long distance drive and in mountain terrain.
    He would be the only driver as i wouldn't dare drive on 'wrong' side of the road after driving more than 40 yrs on the 'right'.

    Apprecite suggestions of routes, sightseeing and overnight stops.

    Thank you

    Jas
    Last edited by jps; 04-01-2012 at 08:48 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    7,273

    Default

    Welcome!

    The only Yellowstone entrance that's open year-round is the north entrance on US-89 from Gardiner.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    4,205

    Default Give it a go.

    Quote Originally Posted by jps View Post
    ... I wouldn't dare drive on 'wrong' side of the road after driving more than 40 yrs on the 'right'.
    Hi Jas, it really isn't the big deal you are now thinking it is. Be prepared to accept that it is all in your mind. When you get out there on the road, the driving is exactly the same. The road rules and laws are all the same, and so long as you are concentrating on what you are doing, which I am sure you do when you drive, you will find it all comes naturally.

    Just don't drive when you are tired, after dark or in the wee small hours of the morning. These are the times when you are most likely to be confused.

    I was like you, I was terrified at the thought. Now, on my fifth visit I am about to clock up 100000 miles, and yes, I too have been driving for over four decades. Don't let the opportunity of a new experience slip through your fingers. Give it a go!

    Lifey

  4. #4

    Default

    Hi Lifey

    correction. I shd have said "I wouldn't dare drive on 'wrong' side of the road after driving for more than 40 yrs on the LEFT.

    Thanks for encouragment but i think u are probably much younger. Also driving on straight highway may not be a problem but one will tend to make mistakes when making left or right turns. Ofcourse no worries about road rules and laws.
    Anyway, i think we have given ourselves enough time so that my son can handle the whole drive. We intend to drive only up to 600km (~400 miles) at most per day.
    I am more concerned about the unfamiliar route and the road conditions in the mountaneous areas we will be passing through in early spring. Input in that area will be most welcome.

    Thank you

    Jas

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    4,205

    Default Younger??

    Quote Originally Posted by jps View Post
    ..I i think u are probably much younger. Also driving on straight highway may not be a problem but one will tend to make mistakes when making left or right turns.
    Jas, that information is on my profile. But I would not bet on being younger. So give it a go. And, if you were to read my trip reports, you would see that a huge percentage of my trips is off the Interstates. I much prefer the local roads. Really, it is no big deal. After 15 minutes you'll wonder why you worried.

    I am more concerned about the unfamiliar route and the road conditions in the mountaneous areas we will be passing through in early spring. Input in that area will be most welcome.
    You don't say whence you are visiting, but if you are a member of your local automobile association, make sure you take your membership with you. This will give you access to free maps from AAA. Without good maps, I would not attempt any roadtrip, and even then, I have no trouble at all, getting lost. But that's half the adventure. lol Of course, if your son is a member of AAA, then he will access to the maps.

    There are sites where you and your son will be able to get road condition updates as you travel. I am not sure of the urls, but someone is bound to come along and post them any minute now. I make a point of watching the weather channel before I set out on unfamiliar routes. However, if I assume correctly, you will be taking I-90, and as such, should not have much to worry about by May. (I am likely to be in the same area, around that time.)

    Lifey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    7,273

    Default

    Road condition updates for all states are available through safetravelusa.com.

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks for your responses

    Lifey: Yes we are members of local AA/AAA respectively, so no problem as far as maps are concerned.
    As stated in my first post we hope to leave Michigan(ARB) around 1May 2012.

    Glc: Yes i have looked at Safetravel website but i need a little more info, like how difficult or easy are the roads over the mts for the unintiated.

    Looking at nps website i think only North and West entrances will be open before 11May. Do they follow schedule strictly? My son tells me the winter season this year has been comparatively mild and short. He may be trying to reassure me as i was little afraid of freezing weather (used to temp of aorund 25-30 C ie in 90s F).

    Assuming only North and West entrances are open, what will be the best route to take, fron Chicago onwards, and possible stops along the way.

    Thank you for your input

    Jas

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    7,273

    Default

    Tim posted a link in the other thread you posted in with more accurate Yellowstone road openings.

    Interstate highways and most US/state numbered highways in mountainous areas are no problem.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Tim posted a link in the other thread you posted in with more accurate Yellowstone road openings.
    Confusing. Two different dates of reopening but if what Tim posted is correct, then we will keep to our I-90 route and aim for YS East Entrance via Buffalo and Cody.

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Interstate highways and most US/state numbered highways in mountainous areas are no problem.
    Thanks. Thats certainly reassuring.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,805

    Default

    Confusing. Two different dates of reopening but if what Tim posted is correct, then we will keep to our I-90 route and aim for YS East Entrance via Buffalo and Cody.
    The reason for the difference is that one person posted a link to the general target dates that they try to get the roads opened by.

    Tim actually posted the link to the schedule for this specific year - which for reference is found here.

    Of course, as it says on that site too, road openings are always subject to change based on conditions. Its certainly possible to see a snowstorm in May that would cause the roads to be closed again, or open at a later date. Make sure you keep up to date as you hit the road.

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