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DustyRooster

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Posted: 03/13/22 07:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Morning!

After all the great advice over the last half year I've gotten from so many of you, I'm going to try keep it going!

We will be leaving Meade Kansas next week after a storm front blows through and was looking for a nice way to head East through the state with our Class A gasser with car in tow.

We will land in Meade Kansas from US 54, but was not sure how to proceed after that. 54 looks like it turns into 400, and from looking at google street view, 400 doesn't look great?

Looking for an easy drive in the rig, trying to avoid the interstates, but will obviously hop on one to continue the trek.

Again, all the insight is so appreciated!

DR

Wadcutter

IL

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Posted: 03/13/22 08:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

US 54 runs from TX to IL all the way thru KS.
We make the trip thru there every couple of years or so. Some 2 lane, some 4 lane.
It all depends on how far off of US 54 you want to go and what you want to see.
A bit north of US 54 is Dodge City KS. 1800s history of KS. A lot of the small towns will have museums or tourist info covering the settling of KS.
Also a bit off US 54 at Hutchinson is the underground salt mine.
Wichita has a couple of nice museums.


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DustyRooster

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Posted: 03/13/22 02:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wadcutter wrote:

US 54 runs from TX to IL all the way thru KS.
We make the trip thru there every couple of years or so. Some 2 lane, some 4 lane.
It all depends on how far off of US 54 you want to go and what you want to see.
A bit north of US 54 is Dodge City KS. 1800s history of KS. A lot of the small towns will have museums or tourist info covering the settling of KS.
Also a bit off US 54 at Hutchinson is the underground salt mine.
Wichita has a couple of nice museums.


Thanks, Wadcutter!

This is what I was looking for! We are headed back to Michigan, and I must have missed 54 went that entire way. The 2 lane vs 4 lane doesn't really bother me except the really narrow and soft shoulders on some of the 2 lane, that's a bit un-nerving at times in the rig, but doesn't seem to be long before a nice shoulder appears.

Thanks for the feedback!

DR

JRscooby

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Posted: 03/13/22 04:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As a general rule, I try to avoid driving east in Kansas. Watch your snot.
But I have made many trips, normally longer and heavier than you are. Wichita is pain to get thru on 54/400. I would take K61 at Pratt, catch US 50 at Hutchison. That is a major truck route, I435/I470 along the south side of the KC metro area. Drop off I470 on US50. Good route, plenty of food and fuel. Sedilia Mo, take US 65 north. If want to avoid interstates, turn east on US 24. 24 will drop you on US 36, that will put you into Ill far enough south to find a path that does not include Chicago

Edd505

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Posted: 03/13/22 09:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JRscooby wrote:

As a general rule, I try to avoid driving east in Kansas. Watch your snot.
But I have made many trips, normally longer and heavier than you are. Wichita is pain to get thru on 54/400. I would take K61 at Pratt, catch US 50 at Hutchison. That is a major truck route, I435/I470 along the south side of the KC metro area. Drop off I470 on US50. Good route, plenty of food and fuel. Sedilia Mo, take US 65 north. If want to avoid interstates, turn east on US 24. 24 will drop you on US 36, that will put you into Ill far enough south to find a path that does not include Chicago

Obvious what you do, lots different 75ft @ 80,000. US30 is far enough south to avoid Chicago, again 2 & 4 lane with lots of small towns, fuel & food are plentiful.


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JRscooby

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Posted: 03/14/22 04:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Edd505 wrote:

JRscooby wrote:

As a general rule, I try to avoid driving east in Kansas. Watch your snot.
But I have made many trips, normally longer and heavier than you are. Wichita is pain to get thru on 54/400. I would take K61 at Pratt, catch US 50 at Hutchison. That is a major truck route, I435/I470 along the south side of the KC metro area. Drop off I470 on US50. Good route, plenty of food and fuel. Sedilia Mo, take US 65 north. If want to avoid interstates, turn east on US 24. 24 will drop you on US 36, that will put you into Ill far enough south to find a path that does not include Chicago

Obvious what you do, lots different 75ft @ 80,000. US30 is far enough south to avoid Chicago, again 2 & 4 lane with lots of small towns, fuel & food are plentiful.


Yes, I'm retired driver. But more than a times I have used I35/50/16/54 in pickup with 5th wheel, pickup with popup. Bell, once on my Panhead. Summer of 1980, I rode a bicycle from Dodge City to Wichita.
I have ran 30, but don't know the area well enough to say that is best.
I mention "food and fuel" because I see so many threads about people having trouble getting next to pump.

DustyRooster

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Posted: 03/14/22 12:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JRscooby wrote:

As a general rule, I try to avoid driving east in Kansas. Watch your snot.
But I have made many trips, normally longer and heavier than you are. Wichita is pain to get thru on 54/400. I would take K61 at Pratt, catch US 50 at Hutchison. That is a major truck route, I435/I470 along the south side of the KC metro area. Drop off I470 on US50. Good route, plenty of food and fuel. Sedilia Mo, take US 65 north. If want to avoid interstates, turn east on US 24. 24 will drop you on US 36, that will put you into Ill far enough south to find a path that does not include Chicago


@JRscooby, thank you very much!

I don't like hearing passing through Wichita is a pain from a retired trucker, so that is enough for me to take the route your experience recommends!
You mention its a good route. Not to jog your memory too much, and it may have been improved. How were the roads on the said route? I imagine the Interstates are "decent", but how about K61 and US50, US24? US54 had some atrocious areas in OK. It was manageable, but they were absolutely awful with no obvious signs of construction.

Also, by "watch your snot" did you mean watch the road with the big rigs? I can push along around 62Mph, but those big rigs on 54 are literally helping me move as a passing lane shows up. I know, the speed limit is 75 in many of those areas, but I try to stay off the interstates to not slow the trucks, and I end up doing it anyway on the US Highways....

Thanks again, JR, the feedback is much appreciated!

DR

OkieGene

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Posted: 03/14/22 01:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OH!!! Listen up! You can thank me later.

Stop in Hutchinson and visit the Cosmo.org Museum You can thank me later.

This is probably the best underappreciated and not well known museum to spend time in.

Do it! Stop!!!

JRscooby

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Posted: 03/14/22 02:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DustyRooster wrote:



@JRscooby, thank you very much!

I don't like hearing passing through Wichita is a pain from a retired trucker, so that is enough for me to take the route your experience recommends!
You mention its a good route. Not to jog your memory too much, and it may have been improved. How were the roads on the said route? I imagine the Interstates are "decent", but how about K61 and US50, US24? US54 had some atrocious areas in OK. It was manageable, but they were absolutely awful with no obvious signs of construction.

Also, by "watch your snot" did you mean watch the road with the big rigs? I can push along around 62Mph, but those big rigs on 54 are literally helping me move as a passing lane shows up. I know, the speed limit is 75 in many of those areas, but I try to stay off the interstates to not slow the trucks, and I end up doing it anyway on the US Highways....

Thanks again, JR, the feedback is much appreciated!

DR



To be fair Wichita might be improved by now. I spent a lot of "off duty" time there back in the mid/late '70s. I can remember often I could move across town using side streets, on my bicycle than traffic moved on 54. In 2010, I got involved in moving a crane out of the area, and permit ran us thru that way. Seemed like 40eleven traffic lights, and had to stop for each 1 twice. I hauled a few loads where that was most practical route, would time it for late night.
The roads I listed where a mix of 4-lane, and improved 2 lane. Fairly flat, (you will be running mostly down hill), good shoulders, swing around most small towns, and passing areas well marked.
The "watch" has little to do with traffic. (I always prefer to set my cruise about 62, and when it was clear in left lane, hug the right edge to make it easier to see to pass.) Many do not like to discuss things like this, but one night I heard the head of Kansas HP addressing The National Press Club. When asked what actions HP expected to take because of statewide budget cuts, his reply was basically with the laws in Co, we will be watching east bound traffic real close. If we stop enough vehicles, CAF will make up the shortage.

Now I ran irregular routes nearly all the time. Meaning pick up load here, deliver there, you pick which roads to use. Over the years I have made some observations. Deciding this way or that, look at railroad tracks in the area. If one route runs along side the tracks, much less likely to have steep grades but if is a old line likely to have a small town about every 10 miles or so. (Many of the water stops never grew, many died, highways where routed around others)
Any time interstates or US highways cross, likely to be a fuel stop. Nearly always a US highway running along side the interstate. Often it is not as well maintained as the I, but in rural areas, it is often a more pleasant drive. Maybe that jump on and off the bridge is less harsh because going slower?

DustyRooster

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Posted: 03/14/22 03:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JRscooby wrote:

DustyRooster wrote:



@JRscooby, thank you very much!

I don't like hearing passing through Wichita is a pain from a retired trucker, so that is enough for me to take the route your experience recommends!
You mention its a good route. Not to jog your memory too much, and it may have been improved. How were the roads on the said route? I imagine the Interstates are "decent", but how about K61 and US50, US24? US54 had some atrocious areas in OK. It was manageable, but they were absolutely awful with no obvious signs of construction.

Also, by "watch your snot" did you mean watch the road with the big rigs? I can push along around 62Mph, but those big rigs on 54 are literally helping me move as a passing lane shows up. I know, the speed limit is 75 in many of those areas, but I try to stay off the interstates to not slow the trucks, and I end up doing it anyway on the US Highways....

Thanks again, JR, the feedback is much appreciated!

DR



To be fair Wichita might be improved by now. I spent a lot of "off duty" time there back in the mid/late '70s. I can remember often I could move across town using side streets, on my bicycle than traffic moved on 54. In 2010, I got involved in moving a crane out of the area, and permit ran us thru that way. Seemed like 40eleven traffic lights, and had to stop for each 1 twice. I hauled a few loads where that was most practical route, would time it for late night.
The roads I listed where a mix of 4-lane, and improved 2 lane. Fairly flat, (you will be running mostly down hill), good shoulders, swing around most small towns, and passing areas well marked.
The "watch" has little to do with traffic. (I always prefer to set my cruise about 62, and when it was clear in left lane, hug the right edge to make it easier to see to pass.) Many do not like to discuss things like this, but one night I heard the head of Kansas HP addressing The National Press Club. When asked what actions HP expected to take because of statewide budget cuts, his reply was basically with the laws in Co, we will be watching east bound traffic real close. If we stop enough vehicles, CAF will make up the shortage.

Now I ran irregular routes nearly all the time. Meaning pick up load here, deliver there, you pick which roads to use. Over the years I have made some observations. Deciding this way or that, look at railroad tracks in the area. If one route runs along side the tracks, much less likely to have steep grades but if is a old line likely to have a small town about every 10 miles or so. (Many of the water stops never grew, many died, highways where routed around others)
Any time interstates or US highways cross, likely to be a fuel stop. Nearly always a US highway running along side the interstate. Often it is not as well maintained as the I, but in rural areas, it is often a more pleasant drive. Maybe that jump on and off the bridge is less harsh because going slower?


Thanks again for all of that @JRscooby. I do feel much better knowing I will be taking a good route instead of me looking at google maps and assuming I am taking the best one from a satellite view. There is such value in these forums!
In regards to the HP. I don't think my rig will do much more than 62Mph, but if I see myself passing people when/if am running 62, Ill remember this discussion and slow it down! [emoticon]

We planned the route to hop off 54 and on 61 in Pratt tomorrow and see how it goes!

@OkieGene, Thanks for the suggestion! Hopefully we can make this happen!

Thanks!!!

DR

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