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Roadtrip routing advice (Dayton to DC)

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--- Quote from: 1995hoo on September 24, 2012, 10:31:08 PM ---Thanks, folks. I'll spend some more time with the maps to ponder it further. The real question is going to be balancing the time factor. I think the idea of going through Parkersburg will be easy enough to sell because it doesn't add much time (at least, not according to the mapping software) and it's the part east of I-79 where I might have a harder time getting away with going exploring.

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If you opt for the Corridor H routing, you'll have an easier time getting away with it. The route is four lanes with a 65 mph speed limit well past Elkins, then it's about 12 miles or so up to Parsons, then another dozen or so miles to Thomas and Davis.

WV 93 is two lanes from Davis over to Mt. Storm Lake, but it's a relatively straight and flat roadway. WV 42 descending the Fore Knobs is pretty and you'll get some good views of Corridor H construction. You have a couple of options in getting to the end of the current four-lane, but neither are exceedingly long. The four-lane portion of US 48 will be lightly traveled and you'll have the 65 mph speed limit.

From Wardensville to I-81 is about 20 miles, but it's not a hard drive at all. The WV 55 crossing of the state line is one of the easiest east-west crossings from WV to VA that you'll find. Much better than US 250 or US 33, for sure.

Thanks again. I remember a few of the roads around the Canaan Valley from a family trip when I was in high school, but since that's over 20 years ago I don't regard any such road recollections as valid because its just too long ago.

Appreciate all the tips. This is exactly the kind of practical advice an atlas or mapping software can't provide.

There's construction on US 23/35 in Chillicothe with a 50 MPH speed limit, possible reduction to one lane each way, and possible minor detour of US 35 EB.  (And don't trust the temporary signage there too much, as it doesn't always correctly indicate whether or not you have to merge.)

The construction in Nelsonville won't slow you down appreciably.  Nelsonville itself probably will.

In Columbus, I-70 E / I-71 N slows down a bit downtown for some reason in the early afternoon, well before rush hour.  The construction on the western and southwestern portions of I-270 doesn't introduce delay unless there's an accident.  I-270 heading NE approaching US 33 on the southeast side may have a significant delay if you hit it in evening hours, when ODOT may have it down to one lane. 

I quite enjoy the freeway portions of US 33 in southeast Ohio.  Fast yet hilly, and multilane so you can get around slower traffic.

What are they doing on I-70 at I-77? It took half an hour to go about two miles yesterday afternoon but it looked like nothing special work-wise.

I think it confirms we will use the US-33 to Parkersburg route on Sunday. Beyond Clarksburg, TBD.

Thsnks again for the advice. I'll report back on Monday.

BTW, we talk about bad road signs. East of Wheeling yesterday a VMS said "Road work I-470. Thru traffic use 470." WTF!!! (Indeed 470 was down to one lane in Ohio and because there was a truck ahead of us we were stuck doing 25 mph. Wish I'd gone through the tunnel. But a previous orange sign had said I-70 was under construction through town so I thought that was a poor choice. Doesn't help when the VMS is ambiguous.)

SP Cook:

--- Quote from: 1995hoo on September 24, 2012, 10:33:35 AM ---(1) US-35 southeast to Chillicothe, then US-50 across through Athens to Parkersburg and then across West Virginia to Clarksburg, followed by I-79-->I-68 etc. on home. (From the maps the portion of US-50 in West Virginia looks like it's four-laned. Are there a lot of annoying traffic lights and small speedtrap towns and the like?)
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US 50 in WV is Corridor D.  It is 4-lane with at-grades, and one of the least used roads in the east.  You can drive at whatever speed you wish from 5 miles east of Parkersburg to 5 miles west of Clarksburg and not meet another person.

--- Quote ---(2) Same as either of above but continue east on US-50 either all the way into Virginia or else to an intermediate point like US-219 or US-220. I've used the part of US-50 from Romney to Winchester in the past and traffic was light and the drive was scenic, but I have to concede it was a bit slow at times.

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East of Clarksburg, US 50 is a bad 4 lane.  However, in a few years, enough of Corridor H might be finished to make it a viable alternative to this route.

--- Quote ---(3) Continue southeast on US-35 past Chillicothe and cross into West Virginia at Point Pleasant. Then pick up I-64 and take that road into Virginia and then return home either via our normal route to and from Charlottesville or else suck it up and take I-81 to I-66.

(4) Similar to above but instead of continuing on I-64 at Charleston, take I-79 to Weston and then hook east on US-33 past Seneca Rocks (been past there perhaps 20 years ago and remember it being very scenic). Then perhaps take a left and pick up US-48 into Virginia to avoid going as far south as Harrisonburg.

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From Charleston it is actually 15 miles closer to take 79-68-70-270 than 77/64-64-81/64-81-66 and the turnpike is poorly designed and 81 is truck infested.  However, with a detailed map it is possible to take 79 to US 33 to Elkins and then follow the gonnabe route of Corridor H to the completed section to US 48.  Its fun, but requires paying attention.


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