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  1. Default Looking for advice/help on Interstate-only trip from FL to WA

    Hello everyone! Long story short, lots of stresses and want to make this as simple as possible. I love the I-75 book by Dave Hunter, and as I am driving alone, any 'help' is appreciated. Instead of driving that darn wavy cross country line every trip planner/GPS/etc keeps giving me, I want to design my OWN simpler way--primarily, get on turnpike in FL, merge onto I-75N. stay on I-75 the whole way into Michigan and then do more of a '90-degree angle' approach--transfer from the 'south to north' I-75 to 'the east to west' I-90 which leads straight to Washington, my final destination. (May have to do a connect and transfer off I-94 first, just scanning maps as no digital program will comply!)

    I drove the wavy line about 6 years ago from FL to OR and as much as I love the romance of off road adventures, I don't have the money, time, or stress-management (dealing with a LOT) to go through all those 'getting lost on winding country roads/no gas stations for hundreds of miles/ no bathroom except for an outhouse for over 6 hours' adventures (ouch! I still remember the no restroom pain! Made me want to get some of those astronaut diapers, haha.) And anyway, I love the idea of the little Interstate oddities (my sentimental fave is the Ashburn, Ga peanut monument and crime/punishment museum) that are right off the main route, no out if the way adventures needed. As I said, i'm a gal traveling alone --not that I think women are more vulnerable or anything--but keeping it simple and direct and as clear as possible is the smartest thing for me now.

    So, PLEASE, could anyone offer any help or advice on making this route work? I have my I-75 book to get north. I don't know if there's an I-90 book of comparable help but I also have my GPS, as hard-headed as it is. Any tips for this 2-interstate trip (possibly three, with I-94 and maybe a state road (ack) needed as a connector). Please help, as the digital world refuses to bow to what I lke to think of as 90-degree angle pioneering originality.

    Thank you and um, Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
    Last edited by AlabasterSteel; 06-10-2010 at 04:47 PM. Reason: tired..typos!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A 'One Turn' Road Trip

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Certainly, there's nothing terribly wrong with "take I-75 north to I-90, turn left and proceed to Seattle (or wherever)". If it makes the navigating easier, so be it. Both those highways will have enough decent quality exit ramp restaurants and motels, that you won't have to do any planning whatsoever, beyond setting aside the seven days it will take for the journey. And there are plenty of refreshing spots to take a break along both roads.

    Just a few things that you should be aware of. 1) Doing this adds some 350 miles to your driving distance. That's almost a full day and a about a tankful of gas. Not really too bad on a trip of this magnitude, but something you should take into account, 2) You don't want to be a stickler for staying on I-90 through Chicago where I-90 goes right through the heart of downtown. A better alternative would be to take I-94/I-294, the Tri-State Tollway, around the west side of the city, rejoining I-90 north of the city. and 3) You do want to stay on I-90 through the upper plains. I-94 is about 30 miles shorter but goes through Minneapolis/St. Paul, while I-90 goes past the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Devils Tower, and the Little Bighorn Battlefield.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    It didn't take me long to design the best route from FL to WA using only Interstates except for a 50 mile stretch of multiple lane state highway:


    In fact, my mapping program says this is the fastest way to do this trip. If you can program that all into your GPS, you won't have any difficulty.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    This is the beauty of the roadtrip, that you aren't tied to what a computer spits out as the shortest/fastest way to travel - and you can go any way you please.

    However, if simplicity is the goal, I've got another suggestion for you.

    Instead of taking I-75 all the way to Toledo (I-90 actually never enters Michigan), I'd only take it as far as Cincinnati. From there turn onto I-74 and do one of two things.

    Take I-74 to its Terminus, I-80 at Davenport Iowa, then take I-80 to I-29, reaching I-90 at Sioux Falls

    or Take I-74 to I-39 at Bloomington IL, and you'll run right into I-90 at Rockford. (this is about 30 miles longer than taking I-80 through Iowa)

    Both of these options would likely be easier than just doing I-75 to I-90, since you'll avoid Chicago, and you'll actually save about 100 miles since I-75 jogs back east a bit as it goes north through Ohio.

  5. Default

    Thank you so much! You don't know whow much I appreciate your wonderful advice and understanding of my roadtrip 'desire plan'. You have offered me more help than I have already/would have continued trying to 'figure out' from various sources until I wanted to scream! It's so important that this be a pleasant rather than a stressful experience, and I am especially grateful for the 'expert' advice and tips(can't find the 'avoid this part/alternate&better trip experience anywhere else!

    Great point about not being tied to a GPS...americans seem to be stuck in the paradoxical state of 'need this to complete the trip safely but wait it's confusing and limiting, ah maps seem so simple but they can't help enough/ wonder I often feel like I'm freezing before I even begin!

    I will be researching your helpful ideas as well as the wonderful collection of information and inspiration on this site, but wanted to be sure to type a 'thank you' first!

    (Any other tips/help appreciated, you all are wonderful!)

    eek--take-off date planned as 2 weeks from least now I feel calmer! :)

  6. Default

    Does anyone know of any guidebooks about I-90?

    I haven't been able to find anything and it would be extremely helpful. Thank you all so much for your tips; I posted about this in another forum but it was deleted as 'unconstructive complaining' which I certainly didn't mean to do--sorry for any annoyance caused--I thought perhaps others could understand the frustrationand anxieties of being a solo traveler with that 'flying blind'/anxious feeling, and perhaps benefit from any replies given regarding a guidebook or a simpler -all-in-one-source to have with them(for such a long road to be driving on, especially). Something along Dave Hunter's I-75 book was what I was hoping for, but any tips, like the ones given above, would be tremendously appreciated. That invaluable insider info can't be found on any GPS--only from people like you who've been there, and books written by travelers--roads to avoid, lanes to go for, as well as lighter fare such as roadside attractions/etc.

    Stress reduction is a huge component of this trip, which is why I am so in need of anxiety-reducing information. Thank you for your help and understanding.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Sorry, I've driven nearly every mile of I-90, but I've never seen the kind of guidebook that you are looking for.

    I know you are looking to reduce stress, but I think you are doing the opposite - stressing yourself out thinking you need such a book. The reality is that there are very few stretches of this interstate (or really any other) where you'll go more than 30-40 miles without having a town that will offer a variety of services for the thousands of travelers who use it every day. Simply having a good paper map, where you can see how far you're looking until your next rest area and/or your next city really can go a long way towards telling you what you really need to know.

  8. #8

    Default Not books but...

    And this previously posted thread link:

    With you are going to have to select state: for example let's say South Dakota, then Interstate 90 and then a PDF will pop up with a list and different stops and towns mile by mile along the interstate.
    Last edited by Dominic Longo; 06-21-2010 at 02:58 PM. Reason: fixing a link

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