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  1. Default Pittsburgh (PA) to Walla Walla (WA)

    Hey all, new to the forum but seeking some advice. I read up on the stickied post at the top for I90 vs I80 etc. Long story short I'm making the drive from PA to WA sometime next week (start and end dates are flexible). My question for you all is: Google maps shows me three routes. I80, (pretty much straight across). I90 (across then up) and then I94 (looks pretty much up). I80 shows fastest, 90 +1hr and 94 +2hr. With how much I80 closes is it more beneficial for me to run 94 across? I have to make that decision fairly quickly in the trip as it sends me 94 right after Indianapolis. The original plan for myself is to do it in 3 day (or less), I have 2 dogs with me and the quicker I can power through it, the better for them. If anyone has any suggestions, tips, or tricks id really appreciate it (stops, food, etc)! Thank you all so much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Three Days? No No No

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    It doesn't matter which route you take. All of them are going to be on the order of 2,400 miles. You would need to cover 800 miles each and every one of those three days, and you're simply not going to be able to do that. It's unwise, unsafe, and we simply can't offer you advice on how to 'best' attempt such a dangerous and publicly reckless (or wreck full) endeavor. You need a minimum of four days for this trip, but even that would be pushing the limits of safety. Five days would be better, especially when accounting for the need to take care of your dogs. If and when you can devote sufficient time to this trip so that you are not putting the lives of everyone forced to share the road with you at risk, please come back and we'll try to help you.


  3. Default

    Hi! Thanks for the response. I guess I worded it wrongly above. The *hope* was to make it in three days, I know it is/was alot of travelling, and if it's simply not possible then it simply isn't. I'm just looking for help as to which route would be best to making it as quickly and safely as possible. I have no time frame as to when/how long it takes, would just like to not keep the dogs confined to a smaller space than used to for minimal time. All of the above questions I guess still apply then. Which route is suggested, any significant stops/food/sights that I must see.

    Thank you!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Much Better

    Good. "Three days (or less)" was simply a non-starter. We do get many people who come to us having first checked possible routes on Google Maps or something similar and have come away with totally unrealistic expectations of what's possible, because those software programs live in a fantasy world where you can drive at or above the speed limit every second of every hour of every day you're on the road. They make no allowances for food, fuel or rest stops, and certainly don't take into account the needs of your dogs.

    For about a dozen years, all of my own RoadTrips included my dog and I know what he would put up with and what he wouldn't. And he was used to taking very long drives. What I can tell you is that trying to "power through" this drive will not make your dogs happy - at all. What will keep them 'amused' and quiet in the car is fairly fairly frequent stops for a little exercise and the chance to drink from a water bowl that isn't sloshing around in a moving car.

    The problem with suggesting a route now is that conditions can change quickly at this time of year and flexibility is actually your biggest ace-in-the-hole in dealing with weather related problems. Note that the shortest route includes I-80 across the Plains and Rockies, But I-80 was closed for several days recently between Cheyenne and Rawlins WY due to a snowfall so heavy the road crews could not keep up with it. On the other hand, you won't have a lot of flexibility west of, say, Illinois, because there are only a few good southeast-northwest Interstates or major highways out back of beyond.

    So, what would I suggest? First, don't plan on making any decisions on your route until just a day or two before your departure. That still leaves you time to find pet-friendly accommodations. But even then, maintain some flexibility on the western end of your drive. Note that even if you wait until the morning you hit the road, you still won't have any reliable idea of what the weather will be like in the Rockies or on the Columbia Plateau. If I were planning this, I'd probably assume that I-80 would be open, and I'd intend to use that because it's shorter and using it as your main route allows you to avoid toll roads (with their limited access points) in the east. So, my 'plan' would be to take five days, while holding a sixth in reserve in case of undriveable weather, and take I-79/I-70/I-74/I-72 through Wheeling, Columbus and Indianapolis to Hannibal MO (with appropriate beltways/bypasses) and then use US-36 (a four-lane divided highway) across Missouri to St. Joseph. You could then use I-29 to head north to either I-80 or I-90/I-94 depending on which is forecast to see better weather. You'll also get another chance to switch from I-80 to I-90 at Cheyenne using I-25 to Buffalo WY. But again, any cross-country drive in winter requires flexibility and time - five to six days, not three.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Instead of taking I-72 to US-36, I'd suggest you stay on I-74 to I-80. Then you can either stay on I-80 or take I-880 to I-29 to head north. It will save you time and miles if you are heading north.

    If you decide to stay on I-80 it is about 20 miles longer but equal time over taking I-72/US-36/IA-2 and NE-2 to I-80. Note that Buck didn't mention IA-2 and NE-2 but this is a worthwhile shortcut over staying on I-29 to I-80, it saves 40 miles and 20 minutes.

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