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Author Topic: (CLASSIC MTR) Road trip report: OK, KS, MO, IA, MN, ND, SD, AR, NE  (Read 3107 times)


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Note: This message was originally posted to misc.transport.road on September 1, 2009.

I recently went on 2 trips from Tulsa, OK to Minot, ND.  On the first trip,
I rode a bus as far as Bismarck, and travelled via car the rest of the way,
as well as the way back, via Mena, AR.  Second trip was from Tulsa to Minot
via car, returned from Minot to Bismarck via car, then Bismarck to Tulsa via

First trip: Basic route was:
US 75 N
US 166 E to Coffeyville
US 166 W
CR 3900 N
US 160 E
US 169 N
K-39 E
Old US 169 N
US 169 N
I-35 N
I-235 E
I-35 N
I-35W N
I-494 E
MN 5 E
I-94 W
City streets in Minneapolis
I-394 W
I-494 N
I-94 W
US 83 N
Local roads around Minot including US 2, US 52, US 83, BUSINESS 2-52, and
BYPASS 83 (clinched. yay for me.) Drove to the vicinity of Velva, ND for
bridge hunting fun.
US 83 S
I-94 E
I-29 S
US 71 S
I-540 S
US 271 S
OK 112 S
US 59 S
US 59 N
I-40 W
Muskogee Turnpike W
OK 51 W
I-44 W

Second trip: Basic route was:
I-44 E
MO 249 N
BUS 71 N/MO 171 E
US 71 N
I-29 N
I-229 N
I-29 N
I-80 W
US 75 N
US 77 N
I-29 N
I-94 W
US 52 W
More local roads around Minot, including a trip to Foxholm, ND for some
scenery photography.
US 83 S
I-94 E
City streets in Twin Cities
I-35E S
MN 5 W
I-494 W
MN 77 S
I-35E S
I-35 S
I-235 W
I-35 S
US 71 S
City streets in KC
US 71 S
I-44 W


The first half of the first trip and second half of the second trip was via
bus, so I went through a bunch of small
towns in Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, and North Dakota.  I don't even remember
all of the small towns I went through.

I was surprised that the bus took a county road through Dearing, KS.  This
road (CR 3900/10th Street) would be a state highway in many states.  10th is
4 lanes for 2-3 miles south of Independence.

US 169 is a mix of 2 lanes, "super" 2, and freeway.  It is a surface street
near I-35 in Olathe.  It's disappointing that it devolves from a nice
freeway to a 4 lane divided arterial near the Miami/Johnson County line.

Nice green steel truss bridge over the Neosho River north of Chanute on old
US 169.  I wasn't aware of this bridge, so it was a nice surprise.

Roundabout at Garnett sucked!  It was tiny in diameter.  The bus barely made
it around it.  A high-speed roundabout would be one thing, but this thing is
a joke.  Spring for a real interchange or put a traffic light and dedicated
turning lanes up.

Is it "Miam-ee" or "Miam-uh" County, KS?

I-29/35 overlap was torn up.  A new bridge is being built just downstream
from the Paseo Bridge.  I couldn't tell what type of bridge it was going to
be.  It's a shame if the Paseo Bridge is removed.  It would make a dandy SB
bridge for I-29.

I-235 goes under some nifty footbridges in Des Moines.

I-29 has many construction zones with crossovers in Iowa.  On the second
trip I decided at the last minute to opt for US 75 between Omaha and Sioux
City to avoid construction.  Iowa got me one more time, however, as there's
a construction zone between US 77 and the South Dakota border.

US 75 makes several hard turns near I-680 and also in Blair.  It would be
very easy to miss one of the turns and end up on the wrong road.

75 is quite scenic in several places in northeastern Nebraska.  It goes
through two Indian reservations and there were lots of BIA route markers.
Some said "BIA", some said "INDIAN", and some said "TRIBAL."  While
photographing one of these markers, I happened to stumble across a pony
truss bridge.

Huge bridge across the Missouri River is visible a couple of miles south of
Decatur.  I also spotted a small pony truss bridge in Decatur.

I saw a couple of green signs with "I-129" in text at the I-29-129/US 20-75

Weird interchange at US 65 and what I assume to be old US 16 (CSAH 46) in
Albert Lea.

Saw a railroad crossing crossbuck with a rotating stop sign on MN 60 just
east of I-35.

The Twin Cities are very nice, and very big.  I was surprised by how clean
St Paul looked, at least from the highway.  I expected it to be a more
dirty, gritty, grimy city but the part of town I was in was quite nice in

Lost count of the number of silos visible along i-94 in western MN.

Bridge construction in St Cloud.

CR 75 from I-94 through St Joseph to St Cloud is a major 4 lane surface
expressway.  In most states it would be a state highway.  It should be BL

US 52 not signed at all along I-94 in Minnesota.  The US 59 and MN 210
overlap in Fergus Falls is signed, but no mention of 52.  In North Dakota US
52 is signed on perhaps half the assemblies along I-94.

Didn't see an END US 10 assembly.

Fargo reminds me of a northern version of Texarkana.

Large railroad trestle north of Valley City is easily visible from I-94.

I-94 in eastern North Dakota is flat and not particularly scenic.  Once you
get out of the Red River of the North valley, it gets hillier and quite
pretty in places.

Lots of small lakes along ND I-94.  Some on both sides of the road.

Odd interchange at I-94 and hidden I-194 in Mandan.

Bismarck Expressway is a secret ND state route.  It is partially freeway,
partially arterial.  The whole loop should have a signed route number,
possibly ND 194 on the expressway parts and I-94 on the freeway part.

A couple of business loops have left exits off of I-94, probably remnants of
when US 10 ran through here.

US 52 makes a couple of hard turns between Jamestown and Fargo.  I opted for
the new US 52-281 truck bypass.

Lots of interesting bridges in Minot.  A rare false arch bridge and two tiny
through truss footbridges are some of the highlights.

Regardless of what some maps or websites say, US 2 and 52 follow a bypass
around Minot, while US 83 runs right through town on Broadway.  There are
business routes for 2 and 52 while there is a bypass route for US 83.

Short stretch of US 2/52 near US 83 is a freeway.

Got a picture of a ND 52 sign error in Velva.

Western US 2-52 split is a semi interchange.

Drove on some county roads in Ward and McHenry County.  Speed limits are set
very high.  Drove on a paved county road with a 65 MPH speed limit near
Velva, and a narrow, windy, hilly dirt road signed at 55 near Des Lacs.

I-229 runs very close to the Missouri River in St Joseph.  Northbound is a
bit unnerving because you cannot see land between the double decker freeway
and the river and it looks like the river is underneath you.

The MO 249 to BUS 71/MO 171 is a nice drive other than the traffic lights at
the US 71/BUS 71/MO 96/MO 171/MO 571 interchange.  I was stopping in
Carthage for a dog walk anyway, so the lights didn't bother me too much.
And I avoided the heavy traffic on the I-44/US 71 overlap.  A flyover or two
at the Carthage interchange and this would be the preferred route for I-49.

US 59 expressway from the Arkansas River to I-40 is now complete.  A few
error signs remain from the construction.  US 59 from the river to OK 9 is
now under construction to convert the two lane highway into a 4 lane
expressway.  The current lanes (future SB lanes) will need to be completely
reconstructed as this alignment is narrow and hilly.
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Re: (CLASSIC MTR) Road trip report: OK, KS, MO, IA, MN, ND, SD, AR, NE
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2015, 06:24:32 PM »

Hory shet that is a lot of words
Only two things are infinite in this world, stupidity, and I-75 construction


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Re: (CLASSIC MTR) Road trip report: OK, KS, MO, IA, MN, ND, SD, AR, NE
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2015, 07:17:43 PM »

I trust you actually have something relevant to the trip report to say?


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Re: (CLASSIC MTR) Road trip report: OK, KS, MO, IA, MN, ND, SD, AR, NE
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2015, 05:19:13 PM »

Hory shet that is a lot of words

You must have been edumacated in Oklamahoma.
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Re: (CLASSIC MTR) Road trip report: OK, KS, MO, IA, MN, ND, SD, AR, NE
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2015, 11:18:12 AM »

I found the Griswolds you talked about in the original post on MN 60 east of I-35:
It's all fun & games until someone summons Cthulhu and brings about the end of the world.

I also collect traffic lights, road signs, fans, and railroad crossing equipment.


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