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Author Topic: Baltimore to Bend, OR (next week 5/29) - need ideas!  (Read 1968 times)


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Baltimore to Bend, OR (next week 5/29) - need ideas!
« on: May 22, 2014, 12:13:07 PM »

Long time lurker, haven't posted in years.

Anyway, I'm currently in Baltimore to visit the office of the company that I telecommute for, and I'm driving a new (to me) car back to Bend next week.  (OK Bend isn't technically home until June 15th, but no one has ever heard of Lebanon, OR where I currently live).  I did the same drive via Toledo, Detroit, the UP of Michigan, Duluth, Bismarck, Missoula, etc. about two years ago.  I've also done the I-90 across South Dakota and the I-20 across Texas routes before, so I've narrowed down a  corridor between Missouri and Nevada.  I don't have a whole lot of expendable time this time around unfortunately, so it may be about a 5 night max, though I have no problem with 11/12 hour days.  I could make it in 3 if I stuck with the fastest route of I-80 from Youngstown to I-84 near Ogden, UT to US 20 in Ontario, OR, but that strikes me as too dull for its own good.  This is what I was thinking:

  • start with I 70 all the way from Baltimore to Kansas City.  Boring terrain of course, but there are at least 4 major cities I havent seen in 10 years along this route.  (I'll also contemplate 70-68-79-64 to St. Louis)
  • end with US 95 from Winnemucca, NV to NV/OR 140 to Lakeview, OR, then US 395/OR 31/US 97 to Bend

There is obviously quite a large gap in the center.  I've done I-70 across central Colorado a few times, so I'd prefer to avoid it.  I originally wanted to explore New Mexico, but I was just out in Oklahoma a few weeks ago and don't want to go that far south again.  I love obscure scenic byways that you don't hear a lot about.  I know that I-80 through most of Nebraska and I-70 west of Topeka are rather dull, but that's life.  I have a few options to connect the dots from Kansas City to Winnemucca, NV:

  • I-70 through the Flint Hills, make my way up to I-80 in Nebraska, then take that the whole way to Winnemucca with a few detours along the way like WY 230 through the Medicine Bow Mtns. and US 30/UT 30/US 89 through Kemmerer, WY and Logan, UT eventually around the north side of the Great Salt Lake
  • I-70 to E-470 around Denver, I-25 then CO 14 through the Poudre River Canyon (if that has reopened from last years floods), then up to 80
  • I-70 west, eventually to US 160 in Walsenburg, CO through the southern Colorado Rockies, eventually to I-70 in Green River then west to Ely, NV and north to Winnemucca

Obviously I'm pretty flexible.  The last route is obviously the most time consuming, but likely the most rewarding.  I'm not going to have full days to invest in national parks or anything (I should avoid Estes Park and Moab to reduce temptation), but would happily spend an hour or two a day on a trail somewhere.  Does anyone have any recommendations about any obscure or understated scenery and associated routes that doesn't get much attention that I may be forgetting?  I usually have lots of time to plan trips like this, but this one came up at the relative last minute.




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Re: Baltimore to Bend, OR (next week 5/29) - need ideas!
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2014, 07:05:52 PM »

Alternate route to St. Louis: 70-68-79-Corridor D (US 50/OH 32)-275-71-64.


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Re: Baltimore to Bend, OR (next week 5/29) - need ideas!
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2014, 03:49:30 PM »

If it were me, I'd look at getting off and taking US 50 from KC to Utah. Much more enjoyable than I-70 through Kansas and eastern Colorado, and then quite scenic in Colorado. Moves very well in Kansas, and pretty well in Colorado. Then take US 6 up towards Salty Lakes and head home to Winnemucca.

The US 160 route is also a good idea, depending on where you cut north (do it pretty far west, perhaps along US 550).


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Re: Baltimore to Bend, OR (next week 5/29) - need ideas!
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2014, 06:20:16 PM »

Well, I know where Lebanon is (they're the Warriors too) but then I am a native Oregonian after all...LOL!  Since coast to coast trips are likely rare, pick the route you're least likely to use when you Really Have To Get Somewhere, then settle in and enjoy the drive!  You can get to the Valley via I-5 easily at this time of year from California if you take a southern route or you can see how you like I-90, then drop to I-82 in Ellensburg WA to segue south towards Hermiston and pick an interesting route to Lebanon from there.

Here's wishing you a safe happy trip :wave:

US 101 is THE backbone of the Pacific coast from Bandon OR to Willets CA.  Industry, tourism and local traffic would be gone or severely crippled without it being in functioning condition in BOTH states.


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