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Author Topic: Kentucky to Minnesota and back -- early planning  (Read 581 times)

hbelkins

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Kentucky to Minnesota and back -- early planning
« on: May 19, 2017, 04:32:58 PM »

If things work out, my big trip of the year will be to the August Twin Cities meet being hosted by Adam Froehlig (Froggie.)

My plans are to get to Terre Haute, Ind. on the first afternoon (Wednesday), via the fastest route possible (which, apparently is by going to Indy and taking I-70 southwest vs. going to Evansville and taking US 41 north) and then finishing the rest of US 150 west to the Quad Cities area. From there, the plan is to pick up a couple of counties in Iowa that currently show up as a doughnut hole in my map (Washington and Keokuk) via US 61 south to IA 22 west, then back to US 218 north. From there I plan to clinch I-380 with a likely detour to get Jones County (another hole in my map) and back to Cedar Falls/Waterloo. From there, I'm wide open for ideas on find my way into North Dakota and then back to the Twin Cities by the time of the Saturday meet.

One option is to take US 20 east to Dubuque and then US 52 north (finishing it in Iowa) and then from there, I'm unsure. I thought about US 14 west to I-29 and then make my way over to I-94 once I get into North Dakota to get back to the Twin Cities. Another option is to stay on US 52 to the Twin Cities, get into North Dakota, then south on I-29 to US 212 east to the Twin Cities.

Much depends on how much time I can make on Thursday, when I'll be driving US 150 in Illinois to the Quad Cities. I do want to at least get into North Dakota, but I get the feeling that Minnesota is wider than it appears on a map (more than 200 miles from the state line to the Twin Cities area. Suggestions are appreciated.

The return trip will be pretty simple. I-94 east to the Eau Claire area, then WI 29 east to Wausau, then I-39 south to clinch it, then probably I-74 back to Indy, then flip a coin for I-74 vs. I-65.
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froggie

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Re: Kentucky to Minnesota and back -- early planning
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 05:30:47 PM »

Yes, Minnesota is deceptively wide.  A lot of people don't realize that it's the 12th largest state in the country in terms of area.

Plan on about 4 hours from Rochester to Brookings if you go that route, then another 2.5 hours to get to Fergus Falls (or, alternatively, you can take ND 11/MN 55/MN 79 to get back across to I-94 from I-29), then another 2.5 hours or so to get into the Twin Cities, though this last figure will depend immensely on timing and where your ultimate destination is...it could range anywhere from 2 to 3.5 hours.

My main suggestion is to be flexible.  Also take note of this year's MnDOT construction on any route you may follow.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 05:33:01 PM by froggie »
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hbelkins

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Re: Kentucky to Minnesota and back -- early planning
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2017, 03:56:27 PM »

Yes, Minnesota is deceptively wide.  A lot of people don't realize that it's the 12th largest state in the country in terms of area.

Plan on about 4 hours from Rochester to Brookings if you go that route, then another 2.5 hours to get to Fergus Falls (or, alternatively, you can take ND 11/MN 55/MN 79 to get back across to I-94 from I-29), then another 2.5 hours or so to get into the Twin Cities, though this last figure will depend immensely on timing and where your ultimate destination is...it could range anywhere from 2 to 3.5 hours.

My main suggestion is to be flexible.  Also take note of this year's MnDOT construction on any route you may follow.

A lot will depend on how far I get on the first full day of travel. I won't have as much time on Friday if I only make Dubuque; I'll have more time if I can manage to get somewhere in Minnesota (perhaps Rochester) to spend the night.

Ultimate destination in the Twin Cities will depend on the meet location and gathering time. I could stay a couple of hours out and finish the drive Saturday morning, which wouldn't be a bad thing since I will probably change hotels from Friday to Saturday night even if I stay both nights in the Twin Cities area (to get maximum loyalty points and take advantage of any "stay two nights, get one free" or similar offers if available.)
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csw

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Re: Kentucky to Minnesota and back -- early planning
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2017, 09:52:39 PM »

I'm assuming you're from the Northern Kentucky area since you mentioned a coin flip between I-74 and I-65 on your way back. If you're closer to Cincinnati, US 50 across Southern Indiana to US 41 north is a really nice drive, right through the heart of IN. If you would be going through Louisville, I would suggest US 150 along the Buffalo Trace or I-64.

As for the return trip, I-74 is a much better drive than I-65. I would take I-74 10 times out of 10.

hbelkins

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Re: Kentucky to Minnesota and back -- early planning
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2017, 03:16:10 PM »

I'm assuming you're from the Northern Kentucky area since you mentioned a coin flip between I-74 and I-65 on your way back. If you're closer to Cincinnati, US 50 across Southern Indiana to US 41 north is a really nice drive, right through the heart of IN. If you would be going through Louisville, I would suggest US 150 along the Buffalo Trace or I-64.

As for the return trip, I-74 is a much better drive than I-65. I would take I-74 10 times out of 10.

I'm from 75 miles or so SE of Lexington, so I've done both the Louisville and Cincinnati routings a number of times.  The I-74 routing has the advantage of not going through downtown Louisville (although that can now be avoided by the new bridge, and the segment of I-75 from the I-71 interchange to I-275 can be just as clogged up as downtown Louisville) and the rural areas having less traffic than I-65.

I've clinched both US 50 and US 150 in Indiana and would be looking to make the best time to Terre Haute on the trip there, and by the time I head home, I will probably be ready to be off the road.
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