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  1. #1
    oxcart Guest

    Default Chicago to The Pacific Coast

    My vacation starts when I get off work September 1, I must return to work on the 12th or 13th. My plan is to drive to the Pacific coast and back. I will be traveling alone and I want to avoid interstates, at least on the outbound leg. I am trying to decide whether to take US 20, US 2, or perhaps some other off the beaten path road. Any tips or suggestions would be welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Not that relaxing!

    Quote Originally Posted by oxcart
    My vacation starts when I get off work September 1, I must return to work on the 12th or 13th. My plan is to drive to the Pacific coast and back. I will be traveling alone and I want to avoid interstates, at least on the outbound leg. I am trying to decide whether to take US 20, US 2, or perhaps some other off the beaten path road. Any tips or suggestions would be welcome.
    Welcome to the Forum! Sounds like an epic trip, but you will be on the road for long hours each day, if you really stay off the Interstates. If it were me, I would opt for US-2, goes through some gorgeous country along the way. Unless you are planning on driving some killer days, I would allow five days to reach the coast on US-2. I just drove much of US-2 in Montana -- really neat. Stop for a meal at the Sports Club Cattle Baron in Shelby and be sure to divert to St. Mary and take the Going-to-the-Sun-Road through Glacier National Park. Also, I would recommend taking a few hours and driving in the Bison Reserve.

    When you reach Washington, switch over to US-20 and follow it to the sea!

    Mark

  3. Default Another option

    US2 would probably be my first choice right at this moment, but don't rule out US14 to US20. Especially through the Black Hills and Wyoming, US14 is nothing short of awesome. It's route (like US2) will give you an appreciation for the huge scale and grandeur of the American West.

    I drove the US14 route in part last week -- you can see a few photos taken along it in this thread. The Day 4 and Day 5 photos were taken along the US14 route. Bob

  4. #4
    oxcart Guest

    Default

    Thanks for the quick responses. For now it looks like it will be US14 to US53. I will follow US53 to connect to US2 around Duluth. I will take the advice of following US2 to Washington and then switch to Washington State 20. Some of the links you guys provided with have really gotten me pumped. I plan to keep a journal during the trip and hope to post some remarks on my return.
    Last edited by oxcart; 08-14-2005 at 12:46 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Looking forward to that journal!

    Quote Originally Posted by oxcart
    Thanks for the quick responses. For now it looks like it will be US14 to US53. I will follow US53 to connect to US2 around Duluth. I will take the advice of following US2 to Washington and then switch to Washington State 20. Some of the links you guys provided with have really gotten me pumped. I plan to keep a journal during the trip and hope to post some remarks on my return.
    We look forward to seeing what you discover out there!

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    You're choosing a great route and you should have a fantastic trip!

    But I just wanted to add that you should allow yourself time to change your itinerary along the way. In other words, if you find yourself having a great time and seeing neat things and end up spending more time exploring than you had planned, that's cool. If you don't make it to the coast on this roadtrip, don't sweat it. If you don't have anyplace you have to be on the coast for, then allow yourself some wanderlust and the time to take advantage of serendipitous things you find along the way. The coast will always be there for another roadtrip.

  7. Default Dry Falls

    If you have time you might want to check out the Dry Falls near Coulee City. I'm planning on stopping there next year on the way to Alaska or maybe on the way back South.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Dry Falls is pretty amazing!

    It's huge! Very cool place and unique geologic history.

    Although I have mixed memories about that place. My son was about age 4 and decided to climb the barrier fence when his back was turned. Scared the crap outta me until we coaxed him back on the safe side. I figured he would slip if we startled him and I'd see him fall hundreds of feet. Gosh, I have a knot in my stomach just writing about that horrid memory.

    While there, you might check out Lake Lenore Caves where ancient man lived and spend a night near Grand Coulee Dam to watch the amazing laser light show done on the dam's face at night. (You might want to check to see if they're still doing this as it's been a few years since I was there.)

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