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Old 09-30-2013, 05:00 PM   #1
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The Way to Chilliwack

Our scheduled completion date is 5/7. But due to other commitments, we won’t be able to get away until the 5th. We’re thinking of taking a 7-day drive from northern Maryland to Chilliwack. Our intended route will take us into a few areas that prompt the need for local knowledge.

First, we’re thinking of taking The Great River Road from La Claire, IA to Winona, MN. If the Mississippi floods next spring, is it likely that TGRR will be passable in early May?

Second, if the Mississippi and/or the Missouri floods substantially next spring, is it likely that I 90 will be closed at any point in early May?

Third, we assume that US 12 from Butte to Lewiston will be clear. But is there much chance of a closure in the passes due to late snows?

Fourth, we’re thinking of heading northwest out of Spokane and entering Canada at Osoyoos. Is there much chance of late snows btw Osoyoos and Chilliwack that would cause us difficulty?

Our planned route is below. Any thoughts/guidance would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for your insights.

5/5 Leave Maryland, MD and drive to Gary, IN via I 83, I 76, I 80, and I 90. (680 miles/10 hrs, 40 min)

5/6 Leave Gary, IN and drive to Rochester, MN via I 80 to La Claire, IA and then via The Great River Road to Winona, MN and then to Rochester via I 90. (466 miles/9 hrs, 38 min.)

5/7 Leave Rochester, MN and drive to Rapid City, SD via I 90. Visit The Badlands via The Badlands Loop Road (SD 240 (Exit 131)(explore Door Trail, Window Trail, Cliff Shelf, and Fossil Exhibit Trail (593 miles / 9 hours, 3 mins, plus time for walking the 4 trails.)

5/8 Leave Rapid City and drive to Cody WY. Visit Mt. Rushmore. Drive though the Black Hills (via Needles Highway & Rt 16). Continue to Cody, WY via US 16 and I 90 and US 16. (424 miles / 8 hours, 8 minutes, plus time at Mt. Rushmore)

5/9 Leave Cody, WY and drive to Butte, MT. Enter Yellowstone and drive the Grand Loop Road southwest to West Thumb & Old Faithful, then northwest to Tower Junction, then loop back to the west entrance; continue to Butte, MT via US 287 and I 90. (393 miles / 9 hours, 49 minutes, plus stops in Yellowstone)

5/10 Leave Butte, MT and drive to Spokane, WA via the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway. Leave Butte via I 90, then US 12 to Lewiston, ID (the NPSB), then US 95 and US 195 to Spokane. (441 miles; 8 hours 6 minutes)

5/11 Leave Spokane, WA and drive to Chilliwack, BC via US 2, WA 21, WA 174, WA 155, US 97/ CA 97, CA 3, and CA 1. (373 miles / 7 hours, 29 minutes)
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:39 PM   #2
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Here is a link to my 8 day drive from Oswego, NY to Chilliwack starting about 3 weeks earlier than you in 2011. There is a map of my intended route at the bottom of the index page. Because of snow in the passes, I switched to I90 for much of the western part of the trip.

I did run into some snow, some of it pretty heavy, but only in the passes & nothing that stopped me. I should note that I live in the Lake Ontario snow belt that gets between 150" & 200" of snow each season, so I'm used to driving in it.

Had a great time on the rest of the trip, only running into a bit of snow after hooking up the trailer.

Have a great trip!
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:42 PM   #3
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Badlands is spectacular, stop at Wall Drug on the way (it is the "South of the Border" of the west) as is Mt Rushmore and do not forget Devil's Tower, not too far away from Rushmore. Needles Highway in and around Rushmore is a pretty drive. Yellowstone was ok, but take BearTooth Highway, from RedLodge, Mt to Yellowstone's Northern entrance, probably the prettiest drive I've ever seen. Chief Joseph's highway in Wyoming near Cody is also really nice. KOA in Cody is clean as is the BadLands KOA.
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
Here is a link to my 8 day drive from Oswego, NY to Chilliwack starting about 3 weeks earlier than you in 2011. There is a map of my intended route at the bottom of the index page. Because of snow in the passes, I switched to I90 for much of the western part of the trip.

I did run into some snow, some of it pretty heavy, but only in the passes & nothing that stopped me. I should note that I live in the Lake Ontario snow belt that gets between 150" & 200" of snow each season, so I'm used to driving in it.

Had a great time on the rest of the trip, only running into a bit of snow after hooking up the trailer.

Have a great trip!
Thanks Jon. I'll check out your 8-day link.
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Badlands is spectacular, stop at Wall Drug on the way (it is the "South of the Border" of the west) as is Mt Rushmore and do not forget Devil's Tower, not too far away from Rushmore. Needles Highway in and around Rushmore is a pretty drive. Yellowstone was ok, but take BearTooth Highway, from RedLodge, Mt to Yellowstone's Northern entrance, probably the prettiest drive I've ever seen. Chief Joseph's highway in Wyoming near Cody is also really nice. KOA in Cody is clean as is the BadLands KOA.
Thanks Jim. I'll be looking to recalculate. Gotta do Ystone, though, as we've seen it only in winter.
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:19 PM   #6
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5/6 Great River Road - that is a lot of river. I think that stretch you are considering is a full day trip in itself. The road is extremely curvy and full of hills, plus each of the small towns take a great deal of time. Starting in Dubuque does not save much. How about LaCrosse to Winona, at Winona cross over to the Wis side to the Twin Cities? Or just the stretch to Winona, that is a neat river town, then back south to 90.
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:14 PM   #7
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You might consider more time in Idaho departing from West Yellowstone you could then go to Craters of the Moon on 20 then up the 75 to Sun Valley and Stanley then pass through McCall and then take 95 north to Spokane. There are amazing mountains and lakes along the route. The passes will have snow, but will all be clear in May. Hwy 12 is scenic but the 75 in between Sun Valley and Stanley is even better.

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Old 10-01-2013, 06:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
5/6 Great River Road - that is a lot of river. I think that stretch you are considering is a full day trip in itself. The road is extremely curvy and full of hills, plus each of the small towns take a great deal of time. Starting in Dubuque does not save much. How about LaCrosse to Winona, at Winona cross over to the Wis side to the Twin Cities? Or just the stretch to Winona, that is a neat river town, then back south to 90.
Thanks fudgebrownie. I was wondering whether that was a reasonable day drive. Is the section btw La Crosse and Winona, or any particular subsection, especially scenic?

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Old 10-01-2013, 06:06 AM   #9
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You might consider more time in Idaho departing from West Yellowstone you could then go to Craters of the Moon on 20 then up the 75 to Sun Valley and Stanley then pass through McCall and then take 95 north to Spokane. There are amazing mountains and lakes along the route. The passes will have snow, but will all be clear in May. Hwy 12 is scenic but the 75 in between Sun Valley and Stanley is even better.

We get our trailer in April!
Thanks for the tip smileycook. Better is better. Recalculating. . . .

Congratulations on your trailer!

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Old 10-01-2013, 06:46 AM   #10
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WOW! You're driving all the way across the country and will be within days of a egg gathering! Consider, after your pickup joining us at 2014, May 16-18: Maryhill (SP) in May
Safe travels!
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