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Author Topic: Virginia to Vancouver BC and back - Part 1  (Read 1564 times)

Mapmikey

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Virginia to Vancouver BC and back - Part 1
« on: October 08, 2014, 11:27:04 PM »

Just returned from a 23 day trip from Virginia to Vancouver BC and back...

17 states: VA, WV, OH, IN, IL, IA, MN, ND, WA, OR, ID, WY, NE, KS, MO, PA, MD
3 provinces: SK, AB, BC

a touch over 7000 miles...

I took my standard route to the Charlottesville area: VA 3, VA 20, US 15, VA 231, VA 22, SR 616 to I-64.  There were a bunch of contractor-installed US 20 Business shields with 'BUSINESS' inside the shield for a detour around the north/east end of VA 20 Bus which was being torn up for rebuild.  The cutouts in Gordonsville are still up although some other shield assemblies are being replaced.

Followed I-64 to West Virginia with nothing notable.

WHAP!

I hit a deer just past the WV 12 exit west of Lewisburg.  Very small deer, not even as tall as the hood of the rental car I was driving.  The car had front end damage and the radiator was all caved in and sounded like it might be leaking.  So there I was on a Sunday morning in semi-rural West Virginia with a car unable to continue on a trip of any real length.  We decided to at least get back to Lewisburg so we wouldn't be stranded on the highway out of town.  But in the end it was the aristocracy that saved us.  Lewisburg's airport happens to be the one that serves the nearby Greenbrier Resort, so its airport has 4 car rental places including the one I was using and they were actually open on Sunday (though not on Saturdays...).  It took over 2 hours but we were able to swap out rental cars and be back on our way.  There was another deer standing at the on ramp from US 219 to I-64 west.  It was going to be a stressful trip I think...

We took I-64 through Charleston, then US 35 to Richmond IN.  US 35 is a really nice route with just a 12 mile 2-lane section in West Virginia (flat and mostly straight) and about 30 miles of 2-lane west of Dayton.  Much of the rest is 65 mph or more expressway/freeway.  We continued on I-70 to Indy then used the beltway around the north of town to I-74 west to Danville IL where we stopped.  Indianapolis' beltway around the north is really nice - recently rebuilt and many lanes.  Having been intimately acquanted with the DC beltway for 16 years now I always marvel that 5 minutes outside the Indy beltway and you are in the country.

Day 2 we used I-74 to Galesburg through a lot of rain, then US 34 into Iowa.  US 34 is under construction in its far western Illinois portion to widen on some new location to 4-lanes.  We headed north on US 218/I-380 to US 18 west to I-35.  Other than I-380 through Cedar Rapids, these roads were wide open expressway with little traffic.  Really nice.  We used I-35 and 35W to I-494 northwest to I-94 for our stop in Alexandria MN.  We got caught in a little Minneapolis area rush hour and 494 construction so that wasn't any fun.

Day 3 we used I-94 to Jamestown, then US 52 to Canada.  US 52 is a high use truck corridor and 90% two-lane.  A little nerve racking in places when people get impatient.  The border crossing at Portal was very fast.  No wait and less than 5 minutes at the booth.  We used SK 39 which had a few less trucks the further north you got but passenger cars were nuts passing one another and ignoring speed limits entirely.  We stopped a minute in Rouleau to see the outdoor set for the most successful Canadian sitcom ever - Corner Gas.  Anyone who has seen the show knows how rural this place is.  The set was mostly still intact and neat to see.  We stopped for the night in Moose Jaw.

Day 4 was TCH-1 all day to Lake Louise AB.  Ran into some fog early but otherwise gorgeous.  Had trouble finding an ATM that accepted my card and most gas pumps wouldn't take my credit card (has a chip) so I had to go inside to pay for gas like it was 1987 outside.  Calgary was pretty crowded even though it was not rush hour.  Once you clear Calgary you can see the ominous but beautiful Rocky Mountains come into view for the next 100 miles until you reach them.  Lake Louise is phenomenally pretty and is free to park at and take a look.

Day 5 was rainy and foggy for most of the ride to Vancouver so that was disappointing as the scenery along TCH-1 in eastern BC is supposed to be top notch.  I elected to use BC 5 from Kamloops to Hope.  While the speed limit was 120 km/hr and the road is 6 lanes in a lot of spots, this was a nerve racking ride: lots of trucks using this road and the hills are long and strong.  From Hope it was TCH-1 to North Vancouver except I had to bail to avoid the toll bridge near Vancouver which does not accept cash and would be pricey to do the payment through the rental car company.  So I got to see central New Westminster at the height of rush hour.  TCH-1 west of the new toll bridge has been improved but in rush hour still had some slow patches.

Part 2 to come - Vancouver and Vancouver Island

Mapmikey
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AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Virginia to Vancouver BC and back - Part 1
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2014, 08:27:28 AM »

Day 3 we used I-94 to Jamestown, then US 52 to Canada.  US 52 is a high use truck corridor and 90% two-lane.  A little nerve racking in places when people get impatient.  The border crossing at Portal was very fast.  No wait and less than 5 minutes at the booth.  We used SK 39 which had a few less trucks the further north you got but passenger cars were nuts passing one another and ignoring speed limits entirely.  We stopped a minute in Rouleau to see the outdoor set for the most successful Canadian sitcom ever - Corner Gas.  Anyone who has seen the show knows how rural this place is.  The set was mostly still intact and neat to see.  We stopped for the night in Moose Jaw.

You're lucky.  There was a large fire just over a week ago that destroyed some of the town's buildings:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/corner-gas-town-rouleau-sask-hit-by-fire-1.2781031
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hbelkins

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Re: Virginia to Vancouver BC and back - Part 1
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2014, 04:25:09 PM »

It's been 12 years ago, but I was on a road trip in eastern West Virginia and spent a couple of nights in Lewisburg. The second morning, when I was getting ready to leave, there was a young fellow working on the front of his car. He'd hit a deer somewhere in the region the night before, but his car was still operational. He said there were so many deer in the road that traffic had slowed to about 35 mph on I-64.
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