Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Starting to Plan Our Western Trip
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jplante4

Cape Cod

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Posted: 02/09/18 11:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Leaving around the 1st of August for a trip to the PNW. We're not a big fan of interstates and I've done coast-to-coast on both I-80 and I-90 in an earlier life, so I'm thinking about picking up US2 in the UP of Michigan and taking that west. So, for anyone with experience on the road, a couple of questions.

(35 ft DP towing an Equinox in the mountains.)

1. Should I go all the way to Spokane or cut south on I-15 to pick up I-90 through the Rockies?

2. In the east, the US routes have towns and services every few miles. They're usually 50-60 MPH speed limits and it drops down in the towns. We like the way this breaks the monotony of a drive, although it makes the day a little longer. Is US2 like this or is it more desolate?

3. Cell Coverage - better or worse than the interstates?

TIA
Jerry

* This post was edited 02/09/18 11:14am by jplante4 *


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agesilaus

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Posted: 02/09/18 11:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have only been on the ND and Montana sections of US2. Towns are a lot farther apart out in that section of the country. We had no cellphone signal on our phones away from the towns. The towns will all have a refueling station and usually a restaurant and a market of some sort. These are the commercial centers for the surrounding ranching and farming areas. Out west you can mainly assume that the densest cellphone signals will follow the Interstates. You can expect higher speed limits on highways out there, but it is best to keep the speeds down around 60 mph max for fuel saving reasons.

The Spokane area is the eastern edge of a very scenic section of Washington state, the Palouse. Highway 12 is our preferred route across ID into WA tho. It's much further south tho and I have not been across US 2 in that section.

Now that I think of it, the one time I was really worried about running out of fuel was in eastern Washington on local highways. The best practice is to fill up when the fuel gauge drops below 1/2. That gives you enough range for peace of mind.


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enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 02/09/18 11:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We travel US 2 from WA to Michigan. Enjoyed the trip. Lots to see along the way. Just have to open your eyes.
We have Verizon and did not see much drop in service. We use an air card for internet access.
US 2 through the Rockies is very doable with any rig. Some stretches seem alittle narrow, but we have never had any issues.
Fuel is not a problem. You are the one that knows how far you can go. We like to refuel before 1/4 tank.
Suggest making a list of states, then go to each state tourism and get travel planner hard copy mailed to you along with state map when available. We then tab what we would like to see along the route.
You might think about US 2 west and return via US 12. Very scenic through Idaho and Montana.


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jplante4

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Posted: 02/09/18 12:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanx for the replies. I'm usually looking for fuel at 1/2 tank ever since I ran out on I-10 in FL. Never again.

I was also considering heading south on I-15 to Idaho Falls and go out through Arco and Craters of the Moon to pick up I-84. I was stationed in Idaho Falls in the Navy and would be interested in seeing that part of the country again.

We'll be returning via the southern route. The Grand Canyon is also on the list.

enblethen

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Posted: 02/09/18 01:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When near Arco, go over to the 1st nuclear plant. It is east of Arco toward Idaho Falls.
From Twin Falls, US 93 is a good option. Definitly watch fuel levels!

2gypsies

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Posted: 02/09/18 02:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've done Hwy 2 from Michigan to the coast a few times a love the drive. You'll have no issues to Spokane.

Be sure to stop in Montana at Fort Peck Corp of Eng. park. The sites are very large and it's a refreshing stop. From then on heading west you'll see why Montana is called 'Big Sky Country'. It's a beautiful site and you'll soon see Glacier Nat'l Park in the distance. Sandpoint, ID is another stop you should make. Lots to see in the area.

Have a great trip!


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Dick_B

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Posted: 02/09/18 03:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't forget Roosevelt NP. It's worth a couple of days. Find out why the Bison and Prairie Dogs get along so well together.


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Tom/Barb

Oak Harbor, Wa

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Posted: 02/09/18 06:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We. normally leave #2 at SandPoint Id. and take 95 south to I-90 west to #2 again When you stay with #2 you'll go down town Spokane and 90 anyway west to #2, then leave 2 again at Wilbur and north to Grand Coolee, then Brewster, and 97 north to 20. and cross the cascades on 20.

When you stay with #2 all the way, you end up in Everett Wa (Seattle) and see lots of high desert. and a decent off the high desert at Waterville to Wenatchee you'll never forget.
97 runs north along the Columbia and Okanogan Rivers, to Route 153 which takes you to Twisp. and the north cascade highway, #20 to I-5 either at Arlington or Burlington.

* This post was edited 02/09/18 06:22pm by Tom/Barb *


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Tom/Barb

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Posted: 02/09/18 06:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2gypsies wrote:

It's a beautiful site and you'll soon see Glacier Nat'l Park in the distance.
Have a great trip!


One of the best days we have spent was the day we spent in east Glacier, taking the red bus over the highway to the sun.
Awesome is where it starts.

CloudDriver

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Posted: 02/09/18 07:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP -- A suggestion for your consideration. Take route 93 south from Missoula, rather than I15. A few years back we drove route 93 south between Kalispell and Arco. South of Missoula we made a short stop at Travelers Rest State Park in Lolo. An archaeological exploration of the site found evidence of the location of the camp used by Lewis and Clark on their way to the Pacific. Not much there, but interesting to walk in their footsteps. Further south route 93 passes through the Bitterroot mountains with great mountain scenery. One of the best scenic drives we have made.


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