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  1. #1
    JZLOT Guest

    Default travelling in Nov from Albany NY to Coos Bay, Oregon

    My husband and myself are relocating from NY to Oregon. We are driving SUV across America starting on Sat Oct 29. We have only 6-7 days to make a trip. It is our first trip across the country and we have never been in the Midwest. So any advice on itinerary and tip for the road will be helpful.

    Any advice on the most notable places to stay/see on the road. Should we stay on US territory and cross from Buffalo to Detroit through Canada ? Is it generally safe driving and staying in motels in midwest? Should we avoid any particular places and situations?

    thank you in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some thoughts and possibilities

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forum!

    The shortest route is I-90 and I-80 to Salt Lake City and then I-15 and I-84 to Portland before heading down the coast on US-101 to Coos Bay. With 7 days you have some time to travel a little farther afield. If you'd like the adventure and change of pace of a trip through Canada, then by all means, cross in at Niagara Falls being sure to sample the falls from both sides of the border. Then re-enter the US at either Windsor/Detroit or a little farther north at Sarnia/Port Huron. In either case it is essential that you carry documentation proving your US citizenship. I highly recommend that you carry either a passport or your birth certificate; your driver's license may not be sufficient.

    If you come back via Detroit, it's an easy matter to use I-94 to reconnect with I-80/I-90 in Chicago. In my opinion, the essence of seeing the midwest is to spend a little time in some of its smaller towns and cities. Walk their streets, talk to the people, eat in local restaurants, take in a historical museum or two. If you come back in at Port Huron, then you have the option of continuing on northwestward through Michigan to Ludington and taking the ferry across the Lake to Manitowoc, WI. This northern route would then continue westward on I-90 and afford the chance to see Badlands National Park, Mt. Rushmore, and Yellowstone before using US-20 to hook back up with I-84 in Idaho.

    I realize you don't have much time for planning, but with a rough idea of what you want to do and a general sense of which way you're going to go, you can make many choices along the way. You will be at least as safe anywhere along this trip as you would be at home. After all, everywhere you'll be will be someone's hometown.


  3. Default Welland Canal

    And if you DO cross into Canada and route across southern Ontario, stop at the Welland Canal and read the ship's schedule on the information center -- this is the shipping channel around Niagara Falls between Lake Erie and Ontario. When the ships come through Lock No 8 (which is right at the highway crossing), you can almost touch their sides as they pass out of the lock! If a ship is scheduled near the time you are passing by, it's worth the time to stop and watch! (Highway 3 at Port Colborne). Bob

  4. #4
    JZLOT Guest

    Default thank you for tips

    It's great advice, and visiting national park(s) is a great idea. Will we be able to see enough of Yellowstone in a half day to justify making this side trip. I understand that you can spend weeks in place like Yellowstone. I'm a little hesitant to drive through Canada, as I will have car full of stuff and it may be suspicious to customs. The last thing I want is starting to open the boxes.

    Thank you for your messages, JZLOT

  5. Default Canada and Yellowstone

    I'm not sure about the customs question, but Gen passes back and forth between Quebec and the states quite frequently, so perhaps she'll have better information on that issue (or perhaps another poster). I think as long as you're not suspicious looking and your "story" makes sense that you probably won't have much problem, but who knows.

    A half day is barely enough to just drive through even one section of Yellowstone, but even a little bit of time there is worthwhile, in my opinion. If you have a chance to get by there later for a longer visit, you might skip it, but if not (or if you think you might never get by that way again), by all means see what of it you can. It is a fascinating and wonderful place. Bob

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Half Day at Yellowstone

    The one big advantage you have is the timing of your trip. I've been to the Park at this time of year and it is remarkably crowd free. You will be able to drive right up to Old Faithful, the Fountain Paint Pot and other sites. If you are lucky enough to be caught in a 'traffic jam' caused by a herd of bison crossing the road, you are fairly likely to be one of only a few cars so inconvenienced. One word of warning, though. Roads are subject to closure at this time of year due to snow, so you might want to call ahead a few days out and keep an eye on the weather, but by all means Bob is right. Even if you've only got half a day - go. It might only whet your appetite for a longer visit later, but it's still worth it.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Bay Area, CA

    Default First National Park

    I've not had the privilege of visiting yellowstone during fall/winter. But Spring gave us the chance to see waterfalls in their full swing;bears(black & grizzly), wolves, foxes, mountain goats and of course, lots of bisons and elks. Mornings and evenings are the best wildlife spotting times; Try if you can fit yellowstone during this time.

    My personal favourite is "the grand canyon of the yellowstone" and "yellowstone falls". Artist's point is awesome. All of them in the Canyon area of the park.

    Have fun!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default Great Website Cool

    I'm toying with visiting Utah, Wyoming, ND, etc this summer before my now yearly treck to Indianapolis.

    What do you know about the active volcano? I've seen one once in Costa Rica (boy did that stink) and have great pictures of me standing in front of plant leaves that are three times my height.

    I've also been obsessed with seeing what I could of the caldera in Yellowstone after seeing an entire show about calderas on the National Geographic channel (yes, I am a geek and proud of it).

    JZLOT - let us know of any adventures you encounter and that you make it safely.

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