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  1. Default Portland, OR to Chicago, IL solo in early autumn

    Hi everyone,

    We're packing up the kids and moving back to Chicago from Portland to be closer to family. I'll be flying the rest of the family there and then flying back to drive the car and dog.

    Exact date will depend on how quickly selling/buying house goes but I expect to be on the road between mid September and mid November. I'd like to do the trip in 4 days and I plan on 8-10 hours of driving a day but will do more if I feel up to it.

    I know that doesn't leave a lot of time for sightseeing but I'd like to take a short stop-and-stretch every two hours or so. I would greatly appreciate your tips for short stops (kitschy gift shops, roadside scenic overlooks, etc) as well as places to eat and pet-friendly hotels.

    I'm thinking I'll go 84 to 80 to 88 as it seems a little less mountainous but I'm open for opinions there too. Pretty much any thoughts or opinions on doing a quick solo haul from Portland to Chicago with a golden retriever would be great!

    Thanks in advance for your time

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Pretty Much Right On

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I would generally agree with both of your major choices, to use I-80 over I-90 and to plan on taking four days. I would caution you, however, not to "do more if I feel up to it" on any given day. You'll need to treat this drive like a marathon and just keep a steady pace day after day. The problem is that by the time you start to 'feel' tired, you've already pushed yourself beyond what you should do that day and you will start out the next day more tired than you should be. To that end you should figure out beforehand where roughly 550 miles of driving would put you at the end of each day. In the case of your proposed route, that would be around Twin Falls ID, Laramie/Cheyenne WY, and Omaha NE. You can either make reservations near those cities, saving yourself the time-consuming hassle of looking for a place at the end of each day on the road, or decide to keep your options open just incase you are delayed by inclement weather. But really, don't try to press on after a long day of driving. As for short rest stops every few hours, we compiled a list of just such possibilities some time ago. Have a look.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Looking online ahead of time, to know what hotels are pet-friendly, is a great idea. There's even a feature on this site that will allow you to check various cities and "pet friendly" options. As a general rule of thumb, Motel 6 and La Quinta Inn both are pet-friendly. La Quinta is the nicer of the two and has properties in all 3 cities that AZBuck mentioned above.

    I would also agree that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Both you and your dog will appreciate the rest and break from the car each evening.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you plan on taking 88, order an I-Pass online right now. Cash tolls are double the I-Pass tolls and you will need it living in Chicago.

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