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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,944

    Default

    If it's open, what about WA-20 from Mount Vernon up through the Cascades?

  2. #12
    Tony J Case, Super Genius Guest

    Default Seattle to Detroit up US Highway 12!

    The timeframe: May 22nd to the 31st
    The Trip: up US Highway 12 from Seattle to Detroit (or as far as we can get)
    The Trip Back: Speed run down I-90
    Round Trip: 4,966
    Miles per day: 496.6 (or about 8.27 hours on the road each day)

    This originally started life as a trip down I-90 from Boston to Seattle, but as budgets and timeframes became more defined, I had to cut back. I also decided to go earlier in the year, just at the end of spring. We've got 10 days, from the evening of may 21st to the 31st, so plenty of time to take it nice and easy.

    We'll probably head up US Highway 12 at a casual pace, and then (depending on how much time we make) fly back down I-90. And of course this list is before I really start digging into the weird and quirky tourist traps along the way.

    TRIP OUT:
    Teapot Dome Service Station - Zilla, WA
    Continental Divide - MT (ok, not much of a stop, but I have to get a pic at least)
    Custer's Last Stand - Crow Agency, MT
    Statues for the Proletariat - Crow Agency, MT
    Our Lady Of The Rockies - Butte, MT
    Mount Rushmore SD
    The Corn Palace - Mitchell, SD
    1880 Cowboy Town - Buffalo Ridge, SD
    Petrified Wood Park - Lemmon, SD
    Chief Crazy Horse Memorial - Crazy Horse, SD
    The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota - Darwin, MN
    Spam museum - Austin, MN

    TRIP BACK:
    Wall Drug - Drug, SD
    Devils tower - WY
    Last Stoplight on I-90 - Wallace, ID

    Like I said, that's just the rough draft list. Some of it may be too far away from 12 to be practical.


    So, thoughts? Suggestions?
    Last edited by AZBuck; 04-10-2009 at 06:53 AM. Reason: Merged with previous discussions so people can see how this trip changed

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,943

    Default About Right

    This will clearly be a trip that is mostly about the driving, but your pacing is about right at 500 miles/day and most of your stops are of the sort that can be done in an hour or two, thus giving needed physical and mental breaks from behind the wheel. All in all, it looks like fun.

    AZBuck

  4. #14
    Tony J Case, Super Genius Guest

    Default From Seattle to Detroit and back

    Hey guys -

    So I was planning to do some driving over Memorial Day, and I thought I'd bounce my itinerary off you and get some ideas. The plan goes like this - Seattle to Detroit up US Highway 12 and then back. I've got 10 days and roughly 5,000 miles to cover - so a nice steady 500 miles a day should be about enough and still give me plenty of sightseeing time.

    Here's the day by day breakdown:

    DAY 00, 4/21)
    I get a head start on Thursday evening right after work, getting from Seattle to Kennewick/Pasco. Yeah, it's a bit of a cheat, but I'm not too concerned about seeing stuff in Washington. Anything that's in easy driving distance I can get later.

    DAY 01, 4/22)
    Hook up with Highway 12, if I can get through to the other side of Helena (like about Winston), then I'm doing good.

    DAY 02 4/23)
    Continuing along US 12 up to White Butte, SD

    DAY 03, 4/24)
    Follow along 12 until I get to Darwin, which puts me a bit short of the 500 miles a day that I'd need, but much past that and I hit the Twin Cities and lose that small town Americana feeling that I'm going for. Besides, sleeping across the street from the Biggest Ball of Twine has a certain charm about it.

    DAY 04, 4/25)
    Since I don't really have the time to explore Minneapolis or Chicago, I might briefly drive through them, but for the most part, I'll skip them. So it'll be a long haul day, where I try and get to White Pigeon or Sturgis MI, making up some of the shortfall from the Ball of Twine.

    Huzzah! Detroit and the end of Highway 12! Now, here's where things get interesting. Since I don't really want to double back and cover the ground that I just drove, I was going to and try to avoid Highway 12. I was thinking of following US Highway 14 (but I'm certainly open to suggestions and ideas if someone has a better idea).

    However from Detroit, as a side trip I'll drop down to Ohio quickly (I'm on a mission to get pictures of me with all 50 "welcome to . . . " state signs - and it's only a couple of extra miles). From the Toledo-ish area, I'll probably hook up with I-90 and powerbomb back to Madison (or thereabouts) and crash for the evening.

    DAY 06, 4/26) Continue down Highway 14 (with perhaps a brief sidestep to Iowa to get another state sign picture, driving through Harper's Ferry) stopping at Lake Preston, SD

    DAY 07, 4/27) A shorter haul today, since there's a bunch I want to see in this neck of the woods: I want to swing down to the Corn Palace in Mitchell, I have to stop by Wall Drug of course and Mount Rushmore. So if I get to Keystone, SD, I'm golden.

    DAY 08, 4/28) Probably another shorter jump today, I wouldn't mind seeing a bit of the Badlands and Devils Tower, so if I get to Billings I should be good.

    DAY 09, 4/30) Saturday 4/30 - Powerbomb down I-90 back to Seattle

    DAY 10) Since I dont have to be back until Sunday the 31st, This would be a floater day, in case I fall short of the drive, I find something cool that I must see or otherwise have the schedule thrown off.

    So - a couple of questions:
    * What'll the weather be like? We're still a month away from summer, so I expect that the national parks will all still be quiet, right? Would places like Rushmore and Devils Tower even be open yet?
    * Does that sound like a reasonable schedule? 500 miles a day, with about 8 hours of driving - that should leave plenty of time for sleep, sightseeing and whatnot.
    * Alternate routes? I think I'm pretty good with the route to Detroit, but back I'm flexible on. If someone says "You need to do THIS!", I'm open to suggestion
    * Rent a car? That's a hell of a lot of miles to put on my aging Saturn. Sure it'll cost me a couple hundred bucks, but that'll save a lot of wear on my ride. Am I just being paranoid, or do you think this is a good idea?
    * Any Must-See that I need to be aware of? Here's the short (and growing) list of what I'd like to see

    TRIP OUT:
    Nez Perce National Historical Park - ID
    Fort Missoula Museum MT
    Old Montana Prison Complex, Deer Lodge, MT
    Continental Divide - MT
    The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota - Darwin, MN

    TRIP BACK:
    Spam museum - Austin, MN
    The old 1880 Cowboy Town in Buffalo Ridge, SD
    The Corn Palace - Mitchell, SD
    Mount Rushmore SD
    Wall Drug - Drug, SD
    Devils tower - WY
    Custers Last Root Beer Stand, Three Forks, MT
    Last Stoplight on I-90 - Wallace, ID
    Last edited by AZBuck; 04-16-2009 at 06:07 PM. Reason: Merged with previous discussion of this trip. Please do not start new threads for the same trip.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,944

    Default

    I think you may be overlooking an important issue - taking a non-Interstate such as US-12 or US-14 can be a LOT slower than taking an interstate. What smacked me in the face is you saying you will drive from near the Twin Cities to Michigan in one day? This is a long haul on the Interstates - on 12 it's impossible. It's going to take you 2 to 3 hours just to get from the WI-IL line to the IL-IN line, and you will be going through some of the worst traffic on the face of the earth. 500 miles a day is not realistic for a large portion of your trip. You need to adjust your expectations or get onto the Interstates more.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Agreed!

    Not only is it slower-going on roads like Hwy 12, but I dont think you're allowing yourself much time each day for all the stops you'll likely make because you're going to find a lot of places worth stopping at not on your list.

    Personally, I love the idea of going east on 12, west on 90. But I think you should travel with no planned nightly stops. Just drive, stop when something interests you, explore, and enjoy your day. If you only make it to Minneapolis, for example, before it's time to return home, so what?

    The best places to get an idea of weather is either The Weather Channel's website or Accuweather. Just google 'em. Of course, you'll want to be checking right before leaving and keeping an eye on the weather while on your trip. But I think it's late enough in the spring where you shouldn't encounter an real problems.

    Mark suggested taking Hwy 2. You could always do that instead of I-90. However, you may be getting tired of 2-lane roads by that time so 90 might be more appealing at that point.

    If your car isn't road-worthy, then getting a rental makes sense. Personally, I like driving my own car. I would be inclined to take the same amount of money, maybe a bit more, to have your car tuned up, preventive maintenance done, new tires (if needed), etc. in order to make it road worthy. Then you have invested in your car and it should keep going for many more miles. Of course, only you can determine whether or not this would be worth it to you. And it's possible that even with that work, your car might not be road-worthy. Do you have a mechanic you trust who can help you figure out if it would be worth it?

    Devil's Tower and Mt. Rushmore will both be open.

    A couple good places to find out must-see places to stop are: (1) google "____name of state____ tourism" and you'll get the state tourism websites which are usually a treasure-trove of information; and (2) Roadside America which has lots of information on tacky tourist traps (like that great big ball of twine); and the Roadtrip Planning section on this website (see the green bars above).

  7. #17
    Tony J Case, Super Genius Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PNW Judy View Post
    But I think you should travel with no planned nightly stops. Just drive, stop when something interests you, explore, and enjoy your day. If you only make it to Minneapolis, for example, before it's time to return home, so what?
    You know, after thinking about it that's probably the wise way to go. I've got all the cool things to see between here and Detroit, but if I get 6 days into it and find that I'm only a quarter of the way there, I juist go "Meh, okay - heres where I stop and turn around".

    Basicly a 'go as far as I can until I need to go home' pholosphy. That said, I really would like to get to the Biggest Ball of Twine. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by PNW Judy View Post
    Mark suggested taking Hwy 2. You could always do that instead of I-90. However, you may be getting tired of 2-lane roads by that time so 90 might be more appealing at that point.
    That might be a bit too far north for some of the sights that I want to hit on the way back. Although I do have to admit that I might take a run up Highway 2 at a later date. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by PNW Judy View Post
    If your car isn't road-worthy, then getting a rental makes sense. Personally, I like driving my own car. I would be inclined to take the same amount of money, maybe a bit more, to have your car tuned up, preventive maintenance done, new tires (if needed), etc. in order to make it road worthy. Then you have invested in your car and it should keep going for many more miles. Of course, only you can determine whether or not this would be worth it to you. And it's possible that even with that work, your car might not be road-worthy. Do you have a mechanic you trust who can help you figure out if it would be worth it?
    Actualy I do keep on top of my car and it's maintainance, regular tune ups, oil changes on the dot, the tires are reasonably new and so on. I'm just a bit worried - well, paranoid - about putting on another huge chunk of miles on the car. That I'm thinking of taking another road trip south-wards at the end of summer, so I might be putting on 6-10 K miles by the end of the year on top the 100,000 that my poor old car is already sporting.

    The car is solid, I just want to make it last as long as I can.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,648

    Default just a baby!

    That I'm thinking of taking another road trip south-wards at the end of summer, so I might be putting on 6-10 K miles by the end of the year on top the 100,000 that my poor old car is already sporting.
    Just 100,000? You've barely got it broken in! I'm expecting to cross the 200k mark on my roadtrip vehicle this summer. If you are taking care of your car like you say, putting a few thousand roadtrip miles on it really shouldn't have much impact on the long term.

    I think you're making a wise decision about taking things as they go. And if getting to that ball of twine is really important to you, you could always cut down to I-94 and do a little sprint before turning around and heading back home.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,944

    Default

    I've got 108k on my 03 Ford pickup and it runs like a new truck.

    100k is nothing on a Saturn - I have a friend that got 160k out of his, and the only reason it didn't last longer is the timing belt (ORIGINAL) broke and he holed a piston. If yours is original, change it NOW. It's an interference engine - if the timing belt breaks, something has to give.

  10. #20

    Default

    Ah my friends never wanna go on a cool road trip. I've thought of going from Seattle as far east on i90 as I plan

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