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  1. #1
    iljhjb Guest

    Default Route suggestions, anyone? (WVa. to Utah)

    Hi, everyone.

    As has been my summer tradition for several years, I've made the lonk trek from West Virginia where some of my relatives live (and I work a summer internship in DC) back out to Utah for school in my little Honda Accord. I was hoping that I could get some recommendations from some of you seasoned "road warriors" who frequent Interstates 70 and 80.

    Now typically, I just take 70 as a pretty straight shot to Southern Utah and go north from there (except for bypassing the toll portion in PA by taking I-79 for a bit), but this time, I would like to visit some relatives in Northern Utah, and so would like to end up coming in to Utah on I-80 to save some time. Now, there are a couple ways of going about this:

    1.) I know that you can hop onto I-80 by I-25 off of I-70 in Denver and then going through Wyoming - I'm most familiar with this route, but according to my GPS mapping program, it takes the longest amount of time.

    2.) You can take I-70 to Kansas City and then hop onto I-29, and after going through a bunch of different state highways in Nebraska, end up on I-80.

    3.) You can take I-70 to I-55 in Illinois which eventually takes you to I-80. I've never gone this route before, but my GPS mapping program suggested it. I'm a little leery of it, though, because I've never gone this way before.

    Now here's my question - which one should I take? I'm looking for opinions here, so feel free to give 'em. Take into consideration such things as construction, price of gasoline, condition of roads, and especially the quality of rest stops, as I usually drive for 17 hours/day and then pull over and snooze at one. Specifically, if you've taken something similar to my Choice #3 (which I've never taken), give me your impressions, as I'm curious about it, but wary of trying a new route.

    Sorry about the long post. Whew! Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
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    Default Why not I-70?

    Quote Originally Posted by iljhjb
    Now typically, I just take 70 as a pretty straight shot to Southern Utah and go north from there (except for bypassing the toll portion in PA by taking I-79 for a bit), but this time, I would like to visit some relatives in Northern Utah, and so would like to end up coming in to Utah on I-80 to save some time.
    Welcome to the Forum -- and actually your post is relatively small in size (some of the posts are thousands of words...)

    I have driven all of the routes you have outlined, a number of times. My favorite mid-country east/west route is and will remain I-70 and while all of those you have outlined have merit, I am not sure I understand why you don't just follow I-70 through Colorado and eastern Utah. Just beyond Green River, Utah head north on US-6 (past Price) and then north up to I-15 and wherever in Utah your next destination is.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Green County, Wisconsin
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    10,864

    Default I-74

    I think the shortest way to cut up to I-80 would be to take I-74 from Indianapolis to Moline, IL/Davenport, IA. Just looking, it appears to be the most direct option.

    I-55 would be significantly longer, but its not a bad drive. Springfield, IL's got a lot of history and much of the route is along old route 66.

    I-29 from KC to Omaha isn't a bad trip, and does include my all-time favorite oddity (Glore psyciatric museum in St. Joe, MO) but Missouri might have most poorly built roads in the whole country.

    I-25 would probably work as well, but if you're going that far on I-70, I'd keep going across the mountains and then cut back north after you get to Utah.

  4. #4
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    Default Glore

    Quote Originally Posted by imported_Midwesterner
    ... and does include my all-time favorite oddity (Glore psyciatric museum in St. Joe, MO) but Missouri might have most poorly built roads in the whole country.
    I have wanted to visit this place ever since I first heard about it. ..and I tend to agree about the road surfaces of Missouri, although Texas must be a close second!

    Mark

  5. #5
    iljhjb Guest

    Default

    Same here, Mark: I-70 is my favorite drive, especially after you get West of No Name, Colorado - there are some really great sights to see. However, I don't want to take I-70 straight thru because it tacks on a lot of extra time to take I-15 all the way from Green River, in relation to how much time it takes if I come in from I-80.

    imported_Midwesterner, thanks for your opinion, too. Because of the real bargain hotels along I-70 and my familiarity with it, I'll probably take the Kansas City to Omaha to I-80 route. I've been on this route, but I have never actually driven it myself - are the state roads clearly marked and is I-80 easy enough to get to? There's nothing worse than getting lost on a 32-hour-drive-in-two-days-time journey!

    Once again, I appreciate your input. I wish I could dawdle around the country, but my classes start again next week, and I gotta hustle back!

  6. #6
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    Default Where are you going in Utah?

    Quote Originally Posted by iljhjb
    Same here, Mark: I-70 is my favorite drive, especially after you get West of No Name, Colorado - there are some really great sights to see. However, I don't want to take I-70 straight thru because it tacks on a lot of extra time to take I-15 all the way from Green River, in relation to how much time it takes if I come in from I-80.
    Acutally I like I-70 through the eastern section of the country, it provides access to some of my favorite cities in the east and Ohio valley. I am still confused -- where in Utah are you headed where travel on I-80 will save time over I-70 and US-6? Overall elapsed time on the road will be longer on I-80 than I-70 unless, I am confused about your final destination????

    Mark

  7. #7
    iljhjb Guest

    Default

    Sorry, I might've not made myself clear: I'm trying to get to a northern-Utah city called "Brigham City".

    Normally like I said, I would take I-70 to Green River and then go up from there because I live south of Salt Lake City. However, Microsoft Streets and Trips 2004 insists to me that to reach the northern part of the state, it's quicker to end up coming in to Utah on Interstate 80 - common sense would also seem to indicate this is the better option too, as it intersects Utah closer to the northern border than I-70 which, for all intents and purposes, is in the middle of the southern desert. If I'm horrendously mistaken here Mark, please let me know!

    Also, I'm still curious about the Kansas City to Omaha onto I-80 route; is it easily navigable and clearly marked?

  8. #8
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    Default Experience over Software?

    Quote Originally Posted by iljhjb
    Normally like I said, I would take I-70 to Green River and then go up from there because I live south of Salt Lake City. However, Microsoft Streets and Trips 2004 insists to me that to reach the northern part of the state, it's quicker to end up coming in to Utah on Interstate 80
    I have driven each of the alternative routes, if you look at the trip from West Virginia to Brigham City, I will wager it is still faster using I-70 and US-6 and up when you are driving a passenger vehicle. Professional truckers would argue that I-80 will always be faster, because they have to slow to an average of about 30 mph while doing the Colorado portion of I-70.

    But since you have the choice, and you usually travel I-70, I-80 is perfectly good road. Of the routes originally posed, I would suggest "door #4" and use I-70 to Indianapolis (with a detour for some Sinclairs Pizza ) and then follow I-74 to I-80 at Davenport, Iowa. I would certainly use the free program managed by TravMatix for checking on the quality of rest stops and other places to pause as you travel I-80.

    Hope this helps.

    Mark

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by iljhjb
    imported_Midwesterner, thanks for your opinion, too. Because of the real bargain hotels along I-70 and my familiarity with it, I'll probably take the Kansas City to Omaha to I-80 route. I've been on this route, but I have never actually driven it myself - are the state roads clearly marked and is I-80 easy enough to get to? There's nothing worse than getting lost on a 32-hour-drive-in-two-days-time journey!
    I'm not sure what you mean about state highways between I-29 and I-80. The two connect in Council Bluffs, IA, just across the river from Omaha.

    If it were me, I'd still say I-74 is your best bet. Its shorter, so it will save on gas, you haven't taken it before, so it will be a new experience (and that's your reason for taking I-80 in the first place, isn't it), and I'd be willing to bet you can find cheap hotels in Iowa just as easily as you can in Missouri.

  10. #10
    iljhjb Guest

    Default

    Actually, my reason for taking I-80 is really because looking at it, it just looks quicker and more direct. Streets&Trips tells me it's about 4.8 hours faster to take I-80 if I'm going into Northern Utah, and I can tell you I won't miss driving on Rt 6 with the trucks! I have taken I-80 to Utah, just from a later point (around Denver).

    I'm a little nervous taking I-74 just because I never have before. I know I-70 like the back of my hand (seeing as I've taken this trip six times in three years), I know the hotels (and even the billboards) along the way, and most importantly I don't get lost on it if I choose to take a city bypass. I guess I just have this innate fear of having something go majorly wrong on a road I've never trekked on.

    For some reason, I can't get Streets&Trips to plot me a course through I-74 in Indianapolis, though, unless I make it an "in-between destination" and then it has me drive all through the city. Should I just make a go of it with a (*gasp*) paper map?

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