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  1. Default NH to Leavenworth, WA Late April

    HEllo, planning a late April start to cross country trip ending in Leavenworth WA. I am retired teacher
    and usually leave early Fall and go through VT to Transcanada crossing back at Ste. Sault Marie, however, given the spring start need to stay in US and with Covid not sure border will be open anyway. Will be pulling a 20ft trailer, only driver with my two Aussie dogs. I need help figuring ways to do most witihout using 90 or 80 as only want to go 60mpr max (driving Sub Ascent) Will be a slow trip, stopping to hike when possible and not driving more than 5 hours a day. Please any ideas would be helpful, need to keep safety in mind and places to stop with dogs. Thrilled to find this site, thank you !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,987

    Default Shunpiking

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    It's always possible (and my favorite hobby) to find alternative routes to the obvious and over-crowded superslabs. I-80 and I-90 in the Great Lakes region is second only to I-95 through the BosWash Corridor on my personal 'avoid at all costs list'. There are certainly other choices, and I'll give you one in just a sec. But for anyone else who might respond, could you let us know if it's just I-80 and I-90 as far as Chicago that you object to, or all Interstates, or just interstates where most traffic will be going 75-80? Also understand that while there are advantages to using the 'old' US Highway System, particularly in avoiding major metropolitan areas, and many of them are four-lane divided roads, speed limits will be lower and there will be stoplights which could eat into your fuel budget pulling a load. Also you really want to be on Interstates, which often have 'truck' lanes, through the mountains.

    So, as a first suggestion consider: From wherever you are in 'New Hampshire" get to Albany. NH-9/VT-9 is a nice road through the southern Green Mountains, but it will put a strain on your tow vehicle. Get on I-90 (for just a few miles) to I-88 to Binghamton then NY-17 (very nice road) though the 'Southern Tier' of NY to I-86. At Erie get on I-90 (again, for just a few miles) to I-79 south to I-80 (another 'a few miles') to I-76 and I-71 to Mansfield OH and get on US-30, another near Interstate quality surface road. As you near Fort Wayne IN, take US-224 as a bypass to US-24 which will take you to Peoria. You can either drive through downtown to get to I-74 on the other side, or use IL-117/I-74/I-474 as a kind of makeshift beltway. I-74 will put you back on I-80 at the Quad Cities and you can use that, I-29 and I-90 the rest of the way since you'd now be well past the urban areas of the East and Midwest. Otherwise, depending on how much you'd rather stay on surface roads, you could head from the Quad Cities up to Rochester MN and US-14 or even up to Litchfield (west of MSP) and US-12. Both those highways will take you a long way on the Upper Plains, but again, I'd strongly suggest using I-90 through the Rockies.

    So, let us know what, if any, of that makes sense to your plans, and what other advice we can offer. Oh- and as far as rest stops for the dogs, those are amazingly easy to find along any route as these lists attest.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 07-23-2020 at 06:06 PM.

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SB70 View Post
    HEllo, planning a late April start to cross country trip ending in Leavenworth WA. I am retired teacher
    and usually leave early Fall and go through VT to Transcanada crossing back at Ste. Sault Marie, however, given the spring start need to stay in US and with Covid not sure border will be open anyway. Will be pulling a 20ft trailer, only driver with my two Aussie dogs. I need help figuring ways to do most witihout using 90 or 80 as only want to go 60mpr max (driving Sub Ascent) Will be a slow trip, stopping to hike when possible and not driving more than 5 hours a day. Please any ideas would be helpful, need to keep safety in mind and places to stop with dogs. Thrilled to find this site, thank you !

    Thank you for great ideas, no I am not adverse to all interstates but hate 90 and 80 except for short connections. Your connections you list will be fine. I had planned to take I90 through Montana until I get to rte 2 near Spokane. Need those truck lanes to go over passes .
    I used the rte 9, over Hogback to Troy and Albany many times years ago however will not pull the trailer on that rte especially April when could hit ice in early morning . I live in Central Lakes area of NH of just going to Walpole, N.H. for first day of shake down after having it in storage and then getting on I91 through NH to Pittsfield, MA and then over to Albany. I have never traveled in spring before, do you think I would be better to go south to I70 and then over through Kansas etc because of temperature ? I do love traveling t hrough Minn and upper Michigan will do Rte 2 on way back but do not dare do this in April/EArly May across northern Dakotas in spring. Ideas from all are appreciated !

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,671

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SB70 View Post
    I have never traveled in spring before, do you think I would be better to go south to I70 and then over through Kansas etc because of temperature ? I do love traveling t hrough Minn and upper Michigan will do Rte 2 on way back but do not dare do this in April/EArly May across northern Dakotas in spring. Ideas from all are appreciated !
    Honestly, I think you are worrying way too much about weather. While it's not impossible to see a little snow in late April, it would be quite unusual to see a significant winter storm at this time of year. The only place I would be even a little concerned about that would be mountain passes as you get out west.

    Even if you took your usual route through Canada and US-2, by late April, all of the places you'd be going through, like North Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Duluth, Grand Forks, etc all have average high temps around 60 and average lows around 40.

    That's not to say you can't or shouldn't plan to keep this trip in the US. I agree, With the US's abysmal pandemic response, I don't think it can be assumed that the Canadian Border will even be an option yet by next spring. But I don't think the weather conditions at this time of year are going to be nearly as bad as you seem to think, and I certainly don't think you need to be going any farther south than the general route suggested by Buck to avoid winter weather.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,987

    Default Je Suis d'Accord

    I agree with Michael's thoughts on this. As it happens, I was just reviewing my profile for this site and found a link to a post I wrote years ago. In that, I wrote a maxim that holds true particularly on your trip, to wit:

    "In general, it seems to me that when setting out on a major drive, one should have:

    A: a plan
    B: a backup to A
    C: an alternative to B
    D: the willingness to drop A, B, and C, and wing it.
    "

    Since weather generally moves from west to east and takes a few days to cross the country, and since you won't be driving more than five hours a day, you will have NO idea when you start out what the weather will be much past Indiana! So you will have to keep an eye on the weather as it develops, nightly if not more frequently, and be ready to change your plans as the weather dictates. You've got a few clear options west of Chicago out on the Plains, from I-90 in the north to I-80 (or even I-70 in a pinch) in the south, and including non-Interstate highways such as US-2, US-6, US-10, US-12, US-20, and US-30. You should at least look at each of those routes on a map before you leave so that if you have to move your planned route north or south to avoid weather, you'll know which routes will be far enough out of the way of that weather.

    However, once you hit the Rockies, however far north or south you do that, I'd recommend simply sitting out any further adverse weather and then head up I-25 to I-90 for the mountain crossing.

    AZBuck

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