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Thread: Route 30

  1. Default Route 30

    I am planning a trip from Western Pa to the Sturgis bike rally in SD at the end of this month. I will be trailering my bike and was thinking about taking Rt 30 into Illinois then picking up I 39 north to I90. I have traveled I80 from Pa thru Ohio, Indiana & Illinois many times but am looking for a "road less traveled" but still one that I can make good time traveling on. I am planning on 3 days each way. Any feedback on this or any other suggested routes will be a great help.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Southern California
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    Welcome to RTA!

    We have been on US-30, AKA the Lincoln Highway (in some places), several times on this trip.

    Between Gettysburg and Chambersburg PA, it's a slow trip, full of small towns that are very quaint. Between Chambersburg and Breezewood (where we picked up the PA Turnpike), it was a mixture of small towns and a pass over the mountains. That too was a rather slow trip, and probably would have been even prettier had the weather cooperated with us and given us something besides clouds and a few drops of rain.

    In IN and IL, between Chicago Heights and Matteson, we were on it to "sightsee" in the area where I spent part of my childhood. It's pretty well one stop light after another. We stayed off of the area between Merrillville and CH, because we were advised here that it was pretty busy and slow there too, and between Matteson and New Lenox by my uncle. (He had a driving route that included that area until just a few years ago.)

    So if you are trying to do Western PA to Sturgis, in 3 days, I don't think US-30 is your answer. It's about 1600 miles, which means you'd have to do 530 miles per day on a 2-lane that has a lot of lights.

    Have you considered taking I-70 to Kansas City, I-29 to Sioux Falls SD, and then across I-90? It's about 100 more miles, would give you different scenery, avoid any tolls, and the only dupe would be the bit through SD.


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
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    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    US-30 should be a very good choice for you across Ohio and Indiana. It is a high quality road, that's largely 4 lane, with some freeway sections and bypasses around cities.

    However, I personally would not use it once you get to Illinois, as it would take you right through a morass of Chicago suburbs with heavy traffic and lots and lots of traffic lights. Once you get to I-65, I'd head back north to I-80 and use I-294 or I-355 around Chicago.

    Up in Wisconsin, If you are looking for a scenic detour you might look at using US-14 from Madison, it rejoins I-90 in Minnesota, or you could also also continue down MN-16 across southeast MN, and pick up I-90 again in farther west into MN. Both options wouldn't add too much extra time vs. sticking with the freeway.

  4. #4
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    May 2003
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    Green County, Wisconsin
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    13,064

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    Have you considered taking I-70 to Kansas City, I-29 to Sioux Falls SD, and then across I-90? It's about 100 more miles, would give you different scenery, avoid any tolls, and the only dupe would be the bit through SD.
    I-70 wouldn't be a bad choice, but KC ends up being a pretty big detour. It's about 100 miles shorter to pick up I-74 at Indianapolis, and use that back to I-80 for the trip across Iowa. That accomplishes the same goal of avoiding Chicago and Tolls.

    If you went onto Iowa, you could also look at heading up to US-20 across the state, which is another good quality, relatively fast alternative to the Interstates.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    9,358

    Default US-30 and Others

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    It is quite possible to cover the distance from 'western Pennsylvania' (I used Pittsburgh for my planning) to Sturgis in three full but relatively relaxed days of about 500 miles each, and barely touch an Interstate. If that's the way you want to travel, and also wish to avoid most major cities, then there are certainly good multi-lane highways, or fairly straight and flat two-lane roads, for most of your journey. You can leave US-30 at Fort Wayne IN and pick up US-24 which you'd take to your one extended bit of Interstate travel on I-39/I-80/I-380 around Peoria, the Quad Cities, Iowa City, and Cedar Rapids to US-20 at Waterloo IA. Stick with US-20 all the way to Chadron NE before turning north on US-385/SD-79 to Rapid City and I-90 for the final few miles to Sturgis.

    Given that the above route would be a bit slower than the Interstates and with fewer services, and that you don't want to waste time looking for lodgings that suit you and have parking for your trailer rig, I'd do my best to pre-book the two nights' stay. Breaking the trip up into roughly equal thirds would have your overnights in the vicinities of Gilman IL (US-24 and I-57) and Sioux City IA (US-20 and I-29).

    AZBuck

  6. Default

    Thank You Donna & Michael both, for great feedback and input. Sounds like US-30 maybe an option for the first leg at best. Donna, I have traveled I-70 several times but never gave I-29 north much thought, that is an interesting option. Michael, I like the idea of US-14 as an alternative to I-90. I have traveled I-90 on various occasions and enjoyed the relatively light traffic you find for a major freeway, but seeing new road appeals to me. One thing, it seems that US-14 runs the length of MN and into Wall, SD. Do you know how the road is that far west??

    Thanks again for all the imput

  7. Default

    Thanks AZBUCK, US-24 was on my radar and I will put some time into looking over the travel plan you presented, it looks very interesting and one I had not thought of. Thanks for all the fantastic feedback !

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    US-14 across MN is generally a 2 lane rural road. There are a couple sections of 4 lanes, mostly along the Mississippi River, and between Rochester and Mankato, but otherwise you're looking at 2 lanes and small towns the whole way. You'll find the same in South Dakota. It would be quite a bit slower than taking I-90, its probably a bit too much of a detour for the time you have.

  9. Default SD Trip

    We just returned to SD from Downingtown, PA. We took I-76 to Ohio, which joins I-80. We took I-80 all the way through Ohio and Indiana until right after Portage, IN, where we went south on 65 to Hiway 30 and cut across to Joliet, IL, where we picked up I-80 again. Yes, those 39 miles on hiway 30 had a lot of stoplights, but there were no trucks and saved time from going through Chicago on 80. When you hit Iowa on I-80, there is a shortcut up to I-90 in Minnesota and it's all four lane. At Coralville, head north on 380. This turns into 218. Take this to hiway 9 going west which takes you to I-35. Go north on I-35 up to I-90 at Albert Lea, MN. I-90 is a straight shot across MN and SD. When you come to Sioux falls, SD, your about 346 miles to Rapid City, SD

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
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    Default

    Welcome to RTA, and thanks for the updated information, Kulacat! Unfortunately, the original poster hasn't been back to the site in two years. But perhaps your information will help someone else thinking about US-30 as an alternative to I-80 through the Chicago suburbs.

    Feel free to start your own thread, if you like!


    Donna

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