Law School Discussion

Driving from Oregon to Illinois - suggestions on 84 versus 90?

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I'm planning on the BIG drive pretty soon from Oregon to Illinois. Triple A recommended 84, but they also said they always recommend the most 'direct route' as judged by mileage. I know 90 would be longer by a few hundred miles, but if it would make for less mountains/better roads then that would be fine with me. Triple A said the inner state roads would probably be better, but the lady sounded like she might as well have been from China as to comment on northwest roads...

Has anyone driven either of these, and can possible offer a suggestion? Going in a 14 foot trailer with car in tow...

Re: Driving from Oregon to Illinois - suggestions on 84 versus 90?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2006, 01:20:39 PM »
Take 84 down to 80 and then just head east. Don't take 90, you will have to go over at least 5 mountain passes in Idaho and Montana alone (however, it is much more scenic).  I have driven both 90 and 80 from West Coast to Chicago and 80 is much easier if you have a truck.

Re: Driving from Oregon to Illinois - suggestions on 84 versus 90?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2006, 01:28:20 PM »
seconded.  My 60+ year old in-laws just moved to Portland fron Cincinnati and they did that route.  Thier only gripe was the curvy stretch through the Gorge. 

spud1987

Re: Driving from Oregon to Illinois - suggestions on 84 versus 90?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2006, 06:23:51 PM »
Take 84 down to 80 and then just head east. Don't take 90, you will have to go over at least 5 mountain passes in Idaho and Montana alone (however, it is much more scenic).  I have driven both 90 and 80 from West Coast to Chicago and 80 is much easier if you have a truck.

Just so ya know if you take 80 you'll hit mountains in utah (by park city) the weather is pretty bad this time of year, but it should clear up in a couple weeks.  Then again 80 would probably be better than 90.

pass36

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Re: Driving from Oregon to Illinois - suggestions on 84 versus 90?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2006, 06:43:53 PM »
I would go with the northern route if your main concern is avoiding mountains.  Go up the gorge, turn left on 195 or whatever that highway is, go to Spokane, turn right, go to Chicago, turn right.

The only mountains on that route are about the first 150-200 miles out of Spokane and the only pass is very easy.  After that it is rolling hills, nothing I would call a pass.

On 84/80 you go through the Rockies for a much longer period of time and have many more changes in elevation.  Just my $.02

My Seattle to Detroit time record on 90 - 41 hours.


OingoBoingo

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Re: Driving from Oregon to Illinois - suggestions on 84 versus 90?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2006, 11:30:40 AM »
I would go with the northern route if your main concern is avoiding mountains.  Go up the gorge, turn left on 195 or whatever that highway is, go to Spokane, turn right, go to Chicago, turn right.

The only mountains on that route are about the first 150-200 miles out of Spokane and the only pass is very easy.  After that it is rolling hills, nothing I would call a pass.

On 84/80 you go through the Rockies for a much longer period of time and have many more changes in elevation.  Just my $.02

My Seattle to Detroit time record on 90 - 41 hours.



Seconded and wow on that time. My longest drive so far is Salt Lake to Winnipeg in ~20 hours (1600+ miles). If you were to drive on 80 today you'd be in for a rough time. We got all kinds of snow on the road here in Salt Lake.

Oingo.

pass36

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Re: Driving from Oregon to Illinois - suggestions on 84 versus 90?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2006, 04:28:42 PM »
I would go with the northern route if your main concern is avoiding mountains.  Go up the gorge, turn left on 195 or whatever that highway is, go to Spokane, turn right, go to Chicago, turn right.

The only mountains on that route are about the first 150-200 miles out of Spokane and the only pass is very easy.  After that it is rolling hills, nothing I would call a pass.

On 84/80 you go through the Rockies for a much longer period of time and have many more changes in elevation.  Just my $.02

My Seattle to Detroit time record on 90 - 41 hours.



Seconded and wow on that time. My longest drive so far is Salt Lake to Winnipeg in ~20 hours (1600+ miles). If you were to drive on 80 today you'd be in for a rough time. We got all kinds of snow on the road here in Salt Lake.

Oingo.

Well, technically it was Ann Arbor, not Detroit proper.  That was pretty much non-stop the whole way with two of us and a lot of stuff in a Honda Accord.

The other advantage of the northern route is that you are in Montana for about 500 miles that you can do in 5 or 6 hours because lets face it there is no real speed limit there.  I have been going 95 and been passed like I was standing still!  Also, you go right by Wall Drug, a highlight of any cross country expedition, and I think also the world's largest corn palace!

I would definitely avoid the Colorado/Utah Rockies if I had a truck pulling a car.

JaimeNina

Re: Driving from Oregon to Illinois - suggestions on 84 versus 90?
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2006, 04:49:26 PM »
I have driven Seattle-->Chicago, Chicago-->Seattle, and Boston-->Seattle on 90, and it was great all 3 times.  I have gone in June, September, and November, and the roads were fine then.  I had a (small) Jeep pulling a (large) u-haul trailer, and didn't have any problems with the mountain passes. I mainly recommend 90 because it is chock-full of fun rest stop diversions, including--but not limited to--the aforementioned Wall-Drug, Mt. Rushmore, Badlands National Park, the Spam Museum, the Corn Palace, and more. I've ridden on 80 in a bus from Chicago-->Colorado and it was SO dull. Just nothing and flatness the entire time. If you go 90 you actually get to see what "purple mountains' majesty above the fruited plain" means. You won't regret it.

OingoBoingo

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Re: Driving from Oregon to Illinois - suggestions on 84 versus 90?
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2006, 09:19:21 PM »
I have driven Seattle-->Chicago, Chicago-->Seattle, and Boston-->Seattle on 90, and it was great all 3 times.  I have gone in June, September, and November, and the roads were fine then.  I had a (small) Jeep pulling a (large) u-haul trailer, and didn't have any problems with the mountain passes. I mainly recommend 90 because it is chock-full of fun rest stop diversions, including--but not limited to--the aforementioned Wall-Drug, Mt. Rushmore, Badlands National Park, the Spam Museum, the Corn Palace, and more. I've ridden on 80 in a bus from Chicago-->Colorado and it was SO dull. Just nothing and flatness the entire time. If you go 90 you actually get to see what "purple mountains' majesty above the fruited plain" means. You won't regret it.

Wyoming on I-80 is got to be one of the most boring stretches out there. The section going through Nebraska comes a close second.

Oingo

pass36

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Re: Driving from Oregon to Illinois - suggestions on 84 versus 90?
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2006, 11:42:40 PM »
OK maybe 90 is more entertaining, but let's not kid ourselves.  You are still pretty happy to see LaCrosse and the river approaching.  There is a reason they never made National Lampoon's Great Plains Vacation.

Although I bet they could do some funny stuff at Mt. Rushmore and Wall Drug and the Giant Cow and the Spam museum and so on.  And be in Sturgis for biker week.

My favorite I90 spots are the Little Bighorn memorial, for the history, and the Missouri crossing, which is very beautiful.  Most boring state: Minnesota.  I can't think of any roadside highlights there.

If you can make one detour going east, I recommend turning south at Rapid City SD and going through the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands to Red Shirt, Oglala, Wounded Knee, Pine Ridge and Rosebud.  Then from Rosebud it is about 30 miles back up to the freeway.  Not only is that beautiful country, but there is a lot of depressing history there that people should be more aware of.  Stop and spend some money also!!