US Route 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-29-2009, 04:15 PM   #1
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Hello All.
We are planning a trip from Wisconsin to Washington State in Sept. Wanting to avoid the interstate we thought we may travel US Route 2 going out and a more sothern route on the way back. Woundering if anyone has gone this way and what your thoughts may be.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!!
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Old 07-29-2009, 05:13 PM   #2
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Hi there - we have spent a lot of time & miles on US2 between eastern MT and NE Washington. We plan to travel that highway from Tiger to Kettle Falls, WA next week. It is lovely country and the small towns are interesting to explore. Just our opinion - happy travels! L 'n D
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Old 07-29-2009, 05:21 PM   #3
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There was a topic on this either here or n the Casita forum a couple of months ago. I only know the Washington part of the route. It is good, mostly 2 lane highway with much of going through wheat fields and the farming areas. Once you get to the Cascades, it is very scenic. We came across it earlier this year and have traveled it many times over the years. I prefer it over I-90.

There are not too many camping areas right on the highway until you reach the mountains but there are by-ways where you can find camping and sometimes interesting old towns. There are also some along the Columbia River. Don't miss a tour of Grand Coulée Dam.

Another option is Highway 20, a little further North and very scenic. Campsites are plentiful and more likely to be less developed.

Dave
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Old 07-29-2009, 11:46 PM   #4
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I second Dave's vote for the North Cascades highway (Highway #20). We've done both many times and find 20 a much more scenic route and campsites ARE more abundant!!
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:22 AM   #5
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Route 2 in North Dakota is a good drive, my son has taken it to Glacier Nat'l Park a couple of years ago, good there then.

Lake Metigoshe State Park which is on the border with Canada about 10 miles north of Bottineau, ND. A very nice campgound in the woods (hard to find in ND at times) and up in some hills called the Turtle Mts. All very pretty, nice lake with bike/hiking trail, boating, fishing. But this is north of Route 2 my several miles from Rugby to ND route 5, not far from the Peace Gardens on US/Canada Border.
http://www.parkrec.nd.gov/Parks/lmsp.htm

There is also Turtle River State Park located 22 miles west of Grand Forks on Highway 2.
http://www.parkrec.nd.gov/Parks/trsp.htm

Just 2 weeks ago, we stopped at the Teddy Roosevelt Nat'l Park North Unit near Watford, ND (south of Williston on Hwy 2) for a night around July 19. We had been there last year, but this year we found the first 6 or 7 miles from the entrance is under construction, very dusty and slow going. But we got to see many Bison. It was very quite there, overall we enjoyed it a lot. There is a camping site just a mile or two south of the entrance on the Hwy to Belfield which is free, off the Hwy should be quite. One would not have to drive the TT into the construction area.

However, Luis & Clark State Park is not as far off Hwy 2 on the west side of ND by Williston. It up on a bluff overlooking the Lake. Not a very shaded area, eg trees, to speak of or at least my son does not remember trees.
http://www.parkrec.nd.gov/parks/lcsp/photos.htm
http://www.ndparks.com/Parks/LCSP.htm

Fort Union Trading Post is north of Williston as well. http://www.nps.gov/fous/
But no camping there.

Mid-State you will find Minot, a nice town. They have a very large Super Wal-Mart which allows overnighting. It is located off US 2 on US 83, about 3 stop lights south.

At Grand Forks on the MN side, there is a small Cabellas (no sale tax in MN on clothing & shoes).

photo of What I call the "Summit" Campground by T. Roosevelt, a Little Missouri Nat'l Grasslands site.
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Summit_2_Campground.jpg  
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Old 07-30-2009, 11:29 AM   #6
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There is some serious road construction from the ND border to Culbertson, MT. Maybe 16 miles with breaks between. Pilot car. No problem, just slow going on that stretch.

We also loved WA 20. The town of Republic has this fantastic (Rose something) fossil stop. The visitor place was free and they gave us samples. The prettiest fossils we have ever seen. Would like to go back to dig for our own.....

It is generally very hot across ND, MT and east WA. We have had to motel it a few times due to no air conditioner.

There is a community park in Culbertson. Just as you come into town there is a rest stop. After the rest stop there is a town road that goes to the city park. They allow people to overnight there. We have stopped at this nice quiet spot several times. There are not camping spots....just a small parking area. Flush toilets in the park. Bicycles set up tents on the grass.

Due to lack of camping in ND we had to stay at Devils Lake WalMart. It was a weekend with no reservations and it was pointless to try to find camping spot.

We have also used Walmart in Williston....then we discovered the community park in Culbertson and aim for that.

Do a web search on Republic WA and fossil. You will find the site. It really is interesting. As stated before the North Cascades after that are really beautiful.

Nancy
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Old 07-31-2009, 01:55 PM   #7
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Peter,

Hope you will read this post. We are trying to remove the junk from the bottom front sides of our trailer. Have never had this much problem. Will try acetone now. Lots of chip like problems too.

Don't know if this was from the Hwy 2 ND border to Culbertson, MT road construction or the ID side of Lolo Pass.

Can one go cross country without running into road construction.

Nancy
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:40 PM   #8
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Hi again ... and oops! Did not mean to give you incorrect info in first post. I got US2 and US20 confused - it's 20 we'll take to Tiger to Kettle Falls, but we HAVE done a lot of US2 and it's OK. And sorry I forgot to mention road construction here and there - can't be avoided during summer, I guess.

Whichever route you take, enjoy and travel safe. L 'n D
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:33 PM   #9
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Actually, sr20 splits from sr2 at Newport, WA. Highway 20 goes North to Kettle Falls then goes west following a route just south of the Canadian border. SR2 drops down to the western edge of Spokanhe (even following I-90 for a short distance) before it goes west following a route between sr20 and I-90.

I think you will enjoy either route.
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Old 08-02-2009, 02:57 AM   #10
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If you have never done this trip, take I-90. If you are tired of I-90, then by all means take the secondary road, but you will have to slow down just after getting up to speed it seems. Small towns every few miles requiring 25mph. Your gas mileage will go down the tubes. Sorry, but I prefer the interstates for such a long trip.

BTW, we have made this trip several times. There is much to see off the interstate. The Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD; the Badlands and then Wall Drug at Wall, SD; The Black Hills and Mt Rushmore and the Crazy Horse carving at Rapid City, SD; Devil's Tower near Sundance, Wyoming; Custer Battlefield near Crow Agency, Montana; Yellowstone Park in Montana/Wyoming; The dinosaur museum in Bozeman, MT; The drive through the Rocky Mountains; Crazy Woman Mountains; Lake Coeur d'Alene in Idaho; I-90 crosses the Columbia River in very spectacular fashion followed by the steepest 13 mile hill of the trip up to Ryegrass Ridge. (Towint a sailboat, I had to keep my 3 speed in 2nd gear, couldn't maintain 3rd - 30 mph all the way up.) The Ginko Pertrified Forest on the west bank of the Columbia. Snoqualmie Pass has some spectacular scenery if you are used to Wisconsin, and then you cross Lake Washington on the floating bridge, dive into a tunnel and you are in Seattle!
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Old 08-02-2009, 06:30 PM   #11
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Peter mentioned taking a northern route out and a southern route return.

Since we have time (retired) we prefer to take the slower roads where driving 60 mph is the norm.

Frankly there aren't that many towns to slow down for in northern ND and MT.

As for gas mileage we got the best ever on our trip this summer taking those slower routes. We were fortunate not to buck headwinds or have to use air conditioner all the time. We averaged 18-20 mpg on this last trip. Usually we average 17 1/2.

If we had limited time we would have to do the Interstate routes too. Really glad we aren't forced to do those all the time.

Glacier National Park and the Northern Cascades would be a really nice compliment to the southern route return. Who wants to see the same thing both ways.

Nancy
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Old 08-02-2009, 07:54 PM   #12
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I heartily recommend Highway 2 across Montana. Out on the plains, going west from Williston, ND it is called the hi-line. It roughly parallels the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad line and you can race the Amtrak trains (The Empire Builder) as they speed along the original Great Northern railroad route that James Hill (the empire builder) built. Once in the mountains Highway 2 is called the trap-line and it nips the very southern tip of Glacier National Park. Highway 2, and the Going-To-The_Sun road further north are the only roads traversing the largest expanse of wilderness in the lower fortyeight.
If you take the Going-To-The-Sun Road, I recommend doubling back on Highway 2 to Essex, Montana, one of the most charming places in the world (IMHO), check out the old railroad hotel, the railroad operations, the Goat Lick, the Middle Fork of the Flathead River, you name it. Things don't happen too fast in this part of the world. It's been thirty years since I've spent a lot of time there, but I swear the same potholes that were in the road then are still there.
Going west from Kalispell, there are only two towns in a hundred or more miles, Libby and Troy. Unfortunately, these two towns make the news these days. Asbestos related problems, but you are still in the midst of the wildest part of the country. So vast, the grizzly bears and grey wolves make it their home without being transplanted in. Between Libby and Troy, is Kootenai Falls, right off of the highway. At Troy you can turn south to Bull Lake and the Giant Cedar Trees of Ross Creek Scenic Area. A little bit of the Pacific Northwest in the middle of the Rockies. Once past Troy, you are in Idaho and turn south at Bonners Ferry and head to SandPoint. Shangra La.
In case you haven't been able to tell, I've been getting pretty nostalgic while writing this. I envy you and your trip. Enjoy.

jb
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Old 08-03-2009, 08:34 AM   #13
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Thank you so much for all the advice & suggestions & tips. Sounds like we are going to take US 2 out, then drop down the coast to Portland and take US 20 back. We allowed ourselves 23 days but I have a feeling that we will need to do it again in the future in order to see all the things we miss this time around. We will post a note after we get back and let you know how it all went.
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:56 AM   #14
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Hi Peter,

Since you will be so close on your return coming across US 20 from Bend, OR you should check out the Newberry Natl volcanic area. It is really interesting.

After Bend there isn't much in the line of camping places. We know of one.

Chickahominy Res. is about 30 to 35 miles west of Hines/Burns. It is a quiet lonely road and a very peaceful camping spot. We just happened to be going by at about the time we were needing a camping spot. I think it is a BLM campground with clean vault toilets. It was rather large. On that stretch of road that is about all there is.

Next night we were at Craters of the Moon in ID. We found a spot at Craters of the Moon, maybe we arrived early on a weekday. We were fortunate on that trip that the night temps were cool enough to sleep. That area is hot.

Have a safe and interesting trip.

Nancy
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