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Author Topic: Montana?  (Read 4817 times)

hbelkins

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Montana?
« on: June 03, 2021, 04:34:34 PM »

I don't know if the US 160 trip is ever going to happen, but my brother has floated the idea of a trip to Montana next month or in August, and told me to be thinking about a route.

I definitely want to go through North Dakota, as it and Montana are two of the last four lower 48 states I haven't been in (Washington and Oregon are the others). I saw something about Rugby, ND, being the geographic center of North America with the requisite monument, and thought that might be a neat place to stop.

Rugby's on US 2, which gave me a thought: Not sure that my brother would be amenable to going that far out of the way, but I thought about crossing the Mighty Mac and going west through the UP of Michigan. Everything I've ever read about the UP indicates that it's a whole 'nother world up there.

If he's amenable to going that far north out of the way and then making a 90-degree left turn, what would be a good suggested routing to get the full flavor of the UP? It looks like US 2 skirts the lake for much of its length. What would be a fairly-direct route west that would still provide the UP experience?

And from there, routes west to Rugby that aren't too terribly slow but still allow for a good taste of northern Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota?

Not sure what his final destination in Montana would be, but he mentioned Glacier, which he's been to before but I haven't.

Not sure about a return routing. Probably something direct; it might involve Yellowstone.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Montana?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2021, 04:45:51 PM »

US 2 is about your best bet if you want to stay direct and get some occasional views of Lake Michigan.  Really though the right way to do the UP is to loop US 41 up to Copper Harbor and back down via M-26 back to Houghton.  The Keweenaw Peninsula is the signature part of the UP given amount of historic infrastructure and towns up there related to the mines.

The northern tip of WI 13 is a good alternate to US 2 and has plenty of scenery on Lake Superior.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Montana?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2021, 05:16:36 PM »

I did some quick checking into routes between Pikeville, Kentucky (using that as a proxy for your actual starting point) and Glacier National Park.  Google Maps' suggested most direct route is about 2022 miles and takes you through big metro areas like Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul.  The most direct route that passes through St. Ignace, Michigan (north end of the Mackinac Bridge) adds only 150 miles, takes you right through Rugby in North Dakota, and puts you within shouting distance of Whitefish Point (home to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and near where the Edmund Fitzgerald sank) and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Yooperland, the Apostle Islands in far north Wisconsin, the Mesabi Range (big-time iron mining country) in northern Minnesota, and Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.

In the Upper Peninsula, this route also shunts you from the north end of Lake Michigan to the south edge of Lake Superior, so you get to experience both sides to some degree.

I have driven long lengths of some of the routes involved, including US 2 and M-28 in the Upper Peninsula, and I would describe them as fairly fast, with good availability of passing lanes.  At the time I visited (2016), the two-lane speed limit in Michigan was still 55 and the State Police were enforcing it aggressively, but I think US 2 and M-28 at least have since been raised to 65.

This part of the country does have a very remote feel, though Duluth is an important inland port and the Apostle Islands in particular attract heavy visitation.
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Re: Montana?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2021, 05:44:46 PM »

Glacier NP's Going-to-the-Sun Road, one of the park's prime attractions, now requires reservations, which you must obtain up to seven days before entering the park.

Most of US 2 in Montana, east of the park, is mind-numbingly boring. But at least it's fast, with 70mph speed limits between towns.

Williston ND, along US 2 in ND's northwestern corner, is probably a good place to look for lodging and other traveler services, now that the Bakken oil boom has calmed down a bit. It was a bit pricey when I was there last in 2016.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2021, 05:47:44 PM by oscar »
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Re: Montana?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2021, 05:55:27 PM »

... I thought about crossing the Mighty Mac and going west through the UP of Michigan. Everything I've ever read about the UP indicates that it's a whole 'nother world up there.

If he's amenable to going that far north out of the way and then making a 90-degree left turn, what would be a good suggested routing to get the full flavor of the UP? It looks like US 2 skirts the lake for much of its length. What would be a fairly-direct route west that would still provide the UP experience?

And from there, routes west to Rugby that aren't too terribly slow but still allow for a good taste of northern Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota?

Taking the Mackinac Bridge has the advantage of avoiding Chicagoland and the Twin Cities, which could at least partially counter any added time depending on when you'd be passing through. It is absolutely a worthwhile detour in my opinion, especially if you've never been to the UP.

My recommendation would be to stay on US 2 heading west from the Mackinac Bridge until at least M-117, and then take your choice of routing (likely M-117, M-77, or M-94) up to M-28. That route meets back up with US 2 at Wakefield not far from the Wisconsin line. Personally, I think M-28 is preferable to US 2 for several reasons: it's less mileage, it has better scenery (including of the Lake Superior shoreline, which you can't go to the UP and not see), and it passes through the "heart" of the UP, including Marquette, the largest city in the UP.

Max mentioned taking the detour up to Copper Harbor, but if you don't have time for that, the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (just east of Munising) is a great stop that's not far from M-28.

US 2 is probably going to be your best bet west of the UP. There are some two-lane sections, especially in Wisconsin and Minnesota, but much of it is four-lane divided west of Bemidji.

« Last Edit: June 03, 2021, 06:14:45 PM by webny99 »
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webny99

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Re: Montana?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2021, 05:59:52 PM »

Most of US 2 in Montana, east of the park, is mind-numbingly boring. But at least it's fast, with 70mph speed limits between towns.

You could probably confirm this, but I understand it's somewhat scenic in western North Dakota. (Never done it myself, but know friends and family that have.)

oscar

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Re: Montana?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2021, 06:48:38 PM »

You could probably confirm this, but I understand it's somewhat scenic in western North Dakota. (Never done it myself, but know friends and family that have.)

Some parts of western ND like Theodore Roosevelt NP are scenic, but not the parts near US 2.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Montana?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2021, 06:55:23 PM »

You could probably confirm this, but I understand it's somewhat scenic in western North Dakota. (Never done it myself, but know friends and family that have.)

Some parts of western ND like Theodore Roosevelt NP are scenic, but not the parts near US 2.

I-94 through TR National Park is one of the most scenic Interstate segments out there.
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hbelkins

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Re: Montana?
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2021, 07:39:39 PM »

Glacier NP's Going-to-the-Sun Road, one of the park's prime attractions, now requires reservations, which you must obtain up to seven days before entering the park.

He knew about the Glacier reservation requirement, and had mentioned it to me when he asked if I was interested in going to Glacier.

He's interested in visiting Dillon, which is on I-15 west of Yellowstone. Back in 1984, he spent six weeks there as part of a geology class at Eastern Kentucky University. They alternated between staying at the college dorm there and camping out in the field. He said he had passed through Dillon once since 1984, but was interested in seeing how much it had changed from what he remembered.

That was a busy summer for him. Not only did he do the Montana geology trip, but spent the summer Olympics in LA as a photographer/photo lab technician; a gig a photographer friend of his hooked him up with.

I'm not sure if he has any opinions on Chicago traffic, but if we don't do a UP routing, I'd advise I-74 to I-39 to avoid the metro area.

We'd be leaving from Owenton, Ky., smack dab in the middle of the triangle formed by I-64, I-71, and I-75, which means probably using US 421 to access I-74 no matter if we went through Chicagoland or the I-39 bypass.

I'd try to get him to stay on I-75 through Detroit for more mileage on that route, but he's not a roadgeek.

My only entrance into the UP was crossing the bridge, exiting at US 2, and turning around and coming back south.

I took a gander at the map and figured that making our way to M-28 would probably be a decent way to get across the UP, since we'd reconnect with US 2 at some point.
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webny99

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Re: Montana?
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2021, 09:03:42 PM »

My recommendation would be to stay on US 2 heading west from the Mackinac Bridge until at least M-117, and then take your choice of routing (likely M-117, M-77, or M-94) up to M-28. That route meets back up with US 2 at Wakefield not far from the Wisconsin line. Personally, I think M-28 is preferable to US 2 for several reasons: it's less mileage, it has better scenery (including of the Lake Superior shoreline, which you can't go to the UP and not see), and it passes through the "heart" of the UP, including Marquette, the largest city in the UP.

I took a gander at the map and figured that making our way to M-28 would probably be a decent way to get across the UP, since we'd reconnect with US 2 at some point.

:cheers:

hbelkins

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Re: Montana?
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2021, 04:30:54 PM »

This was a tentative routing he planned, but he said he would probably reverse it (go west through North Dakota and back across I-70). This was before I mentioned the UP to him, and he seemed amenable to that. I mentioned that I had been told that it only added ~150 miles over going through Chicago, and he said, "Anything is better than going through Chicago."

No date chosen yet. I'm hoping it will be in early July.

https://goo.gl/maps/vdaHrB8RuvVwgVW77
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Re: Montana?
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2021, 12:11:04 PM »

Most of US 2 in Montana, east of the park, is mind-numbingly boring. But at least it's fast, with 70mph speed limits between towns.

You could probably confirm this, but I understand it's somewhat scenic in western North Dakota. (Never done it myself, but know friends and family that have.)

US 2 west of Minot to Williston and towards Glasgow is a scenic but quick route. Teddy Roosevelt NP south of Williston is very similar to the Badlands in SD in feel. Beautiful.
If you stay along the 2 corridor, you have good lodging options in Escanaba MI, Duluth, Bemidji, Grand Forks, Minot and Williston.  Minot has a cool aviation museum on the northside of town before the AFB.  BTW, one thing that may be a shock to the system, it was for me, is in some ND bars there is live blackjack.
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ChimpOnTheWheel

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Re: Montana?
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2021, 06:34:35 PM »

We'd be leaving from Owenton, Ky., smack dab in the middle of the triangle formed by I-64, I-71, and I-75, which means probably using US 421 to access I-74 no matter if we went through Chicagoland or the I-39 bypass.

I'd try to get him to stay on I-75 through Detroit for more mileage on that route, but he's not a roadgeek.

My only entrance into the UP was crossing the bridge, exiting at US 2, and turning around and coming back south.

I took a gander at the map and figured that making our way to M-28 would probably be a decent way to get across the UP, since we'd reconnect with US 2 at some point.

In my mind I see two routes from Owenton to St. Ignace, both of which split off north of Toledo.

The all-freeway route, is US-23 between Toledo and Flint, bypassing Detroit and getting you away from heavy I-75 traffic. You pass through Ann Arbor.

The other route I could think of is probably using US-23 into Michigan, then US-223 (exit 5 off of US-23) to US-127 to Grayling, then I-75. You pass through Jackson, Lansing, Mt. Pleasant and Clare instead. Less busy [or so I suspect], but adds about 12 miles and US-223 is a sideroad.

(US-127 is a freeway from south of Jackson almost all the way up to I-75 in Grayling. Only 16 miles of US-127 [a small section north of Lansing] isn't freeway, I believe.)
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hbelkins

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Re: Montana?
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2021, 07:37:01 PM »

Looks like this may be happening in mid-August. He's trying to navigate the GTSR admission ticket process. They open up reservations two days in advance of the day you want, and a pass is good for the stated date and seven days afterwards.

We may also extend the trip south into Utah to the Moki Dugway and he said he's interested in going to Mexican Hat. This may turn into a two-week excursion.

Downside is that he's mentioned possibly camping a couple of nights. I'm not into camping. To me, "roughing it" is not having a refrigerator in your motel room.  :bigass:
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hobsini2

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Re: Montana?
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2021, 08:30:04 PM »

Looks like this may be happening in mid-August. He's trying to navigate the GTSR admission ticket process. They open up reservations two days in advance of the day you want, and a pass is good for the stated date and seven days afterwards.

We may also extend the trip south into Utah to the Moki Dugway and he said he's interested in going to Mexican Hat. This may turn into a two-week excursion.

Downside is that he's mentioned possibly camping a couple of nights. I'm not into camping. To me, "roughing it" is not having a refrigerator in your motel room.  :bigass:
Oh come now HB. You can be one with NATURE! At least he's not signing you up for Naked & Afraid. :)
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Re: Montana?
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2021, 10:58:43 PM »

Quote
Downside is that he's mentioned possibly camping a couple of nights. I'm not into camping. To me, "roughing it" is not having a refrigerator in your motel room.

On the flip side, camping tends to be cheaper than even motel rooms (let alone hotel rooms).  And during the summer is fairly plentiful in the Upper Midwest.

Regarding earlier comments about routing and such:

  • I've made the connection between US 2 and M-28 via M-117.  It's a fairly short connection by UP standards.
  • IIRC, segments of both US 2 and M-28 have a 65 MPH speed limit.
  • Despite US 2 "having only 2 lanes" between Duluth and Bemidji (really Cass Lake), there are occasional passing lanes.  The speed limit has also been increased on much of the rural segments to 60 MPH, while it's 65 on the rural 4-lane segments between Cass Lake and Grand Forks.
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Re: Montana?
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2021, 11:41:56 PM »

If you like waterfalls or lighthouses, follow M-123 after crossing the Mackinac Bridge. That will lead you to Whitefish Point and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, as well as Tahquemenon Falls State Park. You can then return to M-28 and get your fill of Lake Superior scenery going through Munising and Marquette.

If you take US-2 over to M-117 or M-77 instead, the Cut River bridge about 20 miles out of St. Ignace is worth a stop. Time permitting, definitely make a run to Copper Harbor. Porcupine Mountains State Park is also a very worthy visit. The North Shore of Lake Superior (MN-61 north of Duluth) is also very scenic and worth a drive.
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hbelkins

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Re: Montana?
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2021, 06:20:21 PM »

Looks like this is a go for mid-August. My brother got his GSTR pass for Aug. 16, and it's good for seven days, so if we don't get there until the 17th, we're still good.

Here's what he has planned, although this is going to change somewhat because we're leaving the afternoon of Aug. 13 and won't make it much farther than Toledo or Ann Arbor that afternoon.

1 Somewhere in the UP
2 Somewhere in ND or maybe eastern MT
3 Near St. Mary MT
4 Somewhere on the other side of Glacier NP
5 Somewhere around Dillon MT
6 Somewhere around Dillon MT
7 Somewhere in ID on the other side of the Magruder Road, or camped along the road
8 Somewhere near Craters of the Moon in ID
9 Somewhere near Dinosaur National Monument in CO
10 Moab UT
11 Monument Valley or Kayenta AZ
12 Somewhere in CO on I-70
13 Somewhere in KS
14 home (late)

Based on staying near Ann Arbor on the 13th, I figured it out to where we would probably make it to Ironwood on the 14th, Minot the 15th, somewhere near Glacier on the 16th.
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Re: Montana?
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2021, 08:31:22 PM »

I've never driven US-2 east of the Escanaba area, so I can't comment there. But US-2 between Escanaba and Ironwood is pretty dull, in my opinion at least. There are quite a few borderline ghost towns as a result of the copper mining boom in the 20th century, which is cool. US-2 crossing the Wisconsin/Michigan border three times is also interesting. To be fair US-41 and M-28 between Escanaba and Ironwood isn't exactly I-70 in Colorado.

Of course, I've driven a lot on the roads of northern WI and the UP, so the terrain is less interesting to me that I presume it would be to someone who is less familiar.

US-2 in Wisconsin misses the heart of the lakeland, but it goes along Lake Superior.

Your best bets for lodging in the UP are Escanaba (on US-2 and US-41), Marquette (on US-41 and M-28), and Ironwood. Ashland WI is a little bit further. Duluth isn't too far away either.
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hbelkins

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Re: Montana?
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2021, 07:45:24 PM »

So, now I'm looking for suggestions on places to eat. Any noteworthy regional chains or local places?

We found a small regional chain called Buddy's BBQ in Kingston, Tenn., when we went to see the eclipse a few years ago. That was a nice find with some decent food. Something like that would be great. (Not necessarily BBQ, but a brand unique to a certain area or region.)

General route is I-75/US 23/I-75 to the UP, US 2/some M-route/M-28/US 2 from St. Ignace all the way across the UP through Wisconsin/Minnesota/North Dakota/Montana to Glacier, the I-15 corridor down to the SLC area, as-yet unknown routes down to the Four Corners/Mexican Hat/Kayenta area, more as-yet unknown routes back northeast to I-70 somewhere in Colorado, then I-70 and I-64 back to the Bluegrass. I'm not sure if I-70 in Kansas or Missouri is too far north to be in Braum's territory or not, but that's a place I wouldn't mind stopping at again.

(Don't say "Culver's" since we'll be in Wisconsin, as they've been here in my region for 25 years and are one of my favorite fast-food burger places.)

Do I understand correctly that In-n-Out has made it to the SLC area? There was not one convenient to where I was when I was in the San Francisco area a couple of years ago, so I didn't get to try it. But I'm still not happy that their menu and available toppings appear to be limited compared to Five Guys and other places.

Also, what are the best chain gas station/c-store brands we'll encounter? Thinking more of prices, decent restrooms, and meal options a la Sheetz. I'm not sure if we will be in Kwik Trip/Kwik Star territory or not. Given the length of surface routes we'll be traveling, I'm not sure how many of the big truck stop chains (which are usually dependable) we'll encounter. I can't see there being a Love's or Pilot/Flying J along US 2 every 75 or so miles the way they are on I-64.
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Mapmikey

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Re: Montana?
« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2021, 08:07:51 PM »

Been several years since I've been to these areas other than UP (2019).

Potato Ole's at Taco Johns (Rockies states have lots of these)
Pie at Shari's (Idaho Falls has one...they're mostly far NW chain)...they also used to have a decent lunch special
Sounds like you are set on In-N-Out if you are in SLC but a local place we enjoyed on our 2010 trip there was Ruth's Diner.  Also good was Pat's BBQ and Red Iguana (Mexican)
We had a good meal (salads) at Drifters in Escanaba; a different UP option is apparently there are a bunch of pasty stands...
Try to score some Navaho Fry Bread when you're in the 4-corners area..comes all kind of ways including as a Navaho Taco.  If you end up in Flagstaff for some reason, go to Salsa Brava and be sure to get the grilled vegetables.
Blue Mountain Cafe on I-70 a little east of St Louis has terrific pie and large home cooked meals

If you're willing to use US 127 up through Michigan there is a phenomenal shawarma place in Holt MI near Lansing called Zaytoons.  Very reasonably priced and good lunchbox serving size.
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Re: Montana?
« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2021, 12:40:28 AM »

The Magruder Road! That's a neat drive but it's not really a casual roadtripping road - I'd recommend carrying lots and lots of water (in case you get stuck), extra fuel, and a backup spare tire  if you don't have one - as well as good regular tires (not cheap Chinese all-terrains). You'll need reasonably high clearance too - probably a "real" SUV/truck and not some wimpy crossover. I did it in an '02 Jeep Liberty some years back and it was okay but wouldn't recommend doing it in anything much less rugged, especially later in the summer when it's going to start to rut and washboard

Absolutely beautiful country though - the drive over the Magruder and then from Elk City to Craters of the Moon is just about the best Idaho has to offer - especially if you go through Stanley/Lowman instead of Boise. Hopefully the whole state won't be on fire when you go.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2021, 01:05:56 PM by corco »
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Re: Montana?
« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2021, 01:09:19 AM »

General route is I-75/US 23/I-75 to the UP, US 2/some M-route/M-28/US 2 from St. Ignace all the way across the UP through Wisconsin/Minnesota/North Dakota/Montana to Glacier, the I-15 corridor down to the SLC area, as-yet unknown routes down to the Four Corners/Mexican Hat/Kayenta area, more as-yet unknown routes back northeast to I-70 somewhere in Colorado, then I-70 and I-64 back to the Bluegrass. I'm not sure if I-70 in Kansas or Missouri is too far north to be in Braum's territory or not, but that's a place I wouldn't mind stopping at again.

As regards the as-yet unknown routes:

*  Between SLC and the Four Corners area, the fast route is US 191, though SR 12, SR 24, and SR 95 are important for access to the national parks and Lake Powell.  SR 95 has a deep cut not far from Blanding (the StreetView imagery doesn't really do it justice; a photo of it was in my Windows wallpaper rotation for a few years).

*  Four Corners area to I-70 eastbound is kind of tricky, as some of Colorado's most rugged mountains stand in the way.  US 160 functions as the fast east-west transit route in southern Colorado but does bog down in Durango and Pagosa Springs.  US 285 (Alamosa-Buena Vista) and US 24 (Buena Vista-Leadville) follow valley floors, and once past Leadville you can use SR 91 to work your way to I-70 near Frisco.  The Million Dollar Highway segment of US 550 (Silverton-Ouray; the guardrail-free part in the Uncompahgre Gorge is the last ten miles or so south of Ouray) is in the area, but entails a less direct routing.  If you intend to cut the corner and avoid Denver, you can stay on US 24 east of Buena Vista.  However, this is a high plateau route until you get past Colorado Springs (Hartsel is at almost 9000 ft), so you will really be feeling the lack of power.

As for Braum's, Salina apparently has a couple, including one just off one of the I-135 exits.  This is apparently about as far north as it gets--it doesn't have a presence in Topeka or Kansas City.
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US 89

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Re: Montana?
« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2021, 01:10:00 AM »

Some routing ideas through my neck of the woods (Utah/western CO area)...

SLC to Dinosaur: if you have time, I'd recommend taking Utah 35 rather than US 40 between the Park City and Duchesne areas. 35 takes maybe 15 minutes more, but it is arguably more scenic and has quite a bit less in the way of traffic - especially truck traffic. The Duchesne-Vernal corridor is a significant oil/natural gas producing region and 40 is always filled with tanker trucks heading to refineries in the Salt Lake area.

Dinosaur to Moab: get to Moab via Utah 128. It is far more scenic than 191 between Moab and I-70 and it has less traffic. Coming from Colorado, 128 is only 10 minutes longer than 191 - plus you get to visit the somewhat well-known ghost town of Cisco.

Monument Valley: be aware that at least as of now, a lot of stuff in that area is still closed for covid. That area is all on the Navajo reservation which got hit very hard early on, and they haven't really gotten to reopening things yet. That includes Monument Valley Tribal Park and I believe the Four Corners monument as well. Fortunately, you can see most of the good stuff in Monument Valley just from US 163. Goosenecks State Park and the Moki Dugway in that area are also worth a stop - and if you do the Dugway, you might as well drive a few more miles down the dirt county road to Muley Point, which has panoramic views of the San Juan river canyon with Monument Valley in the background.

Heading east from there to CO: I-70 currently floods in Glenwood Canyon about once every week or two now thanks to a wildfire last summer. US 50 is also closed most weekdays between Montrose and Colorado 92 due to construction (and only one-lane traffic on weekends, I think) so that is a poor detour. If you run into that situation, Colorado 82 over Independence Pass is a ridiculously scenic alternate that should be open unless some idiot semitruck follows his GPS and gets stuck trying to climb it (this has happened more than once). I've never done 160 over Wolf Creek Pass, but from what I've heard it's fairly scenic, and depending on where you want to join up with 70 that might be your best bet.



Sounds like you are set on In-N-Out if you are in SLC but a local place we enjoyed on our 2010 trip there was Ruth's Diner.  Also good was Pat's BBQ and Red Iguana (Mexican)

If you do Red Iguana and get scared by the hour-plus wait for a table, be aware that there is a Red Iguana 2 just a block away on South Temple. It doesn't quite have the same vibe to it as the original on North Temple, but they serve the same food there... and you get seated a lot quicker. Ruth's is up Emigration Canyon which is a neat drive if you haven't done it before.

That said, yes there are indeed multiple In-N-Out locations throughout the Wasatch Front. I have never waited less than 20 minutes at any of them.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2021, 01:36:32 AM by US 89 »
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hbelkins

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Re: Montana?
« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2021, 03:36:46 PM »

My brother is driving, and we're going to be traveling in his as-yet-unseen-by-me Nissan Titan 4WD pickup, and he's mentioned a handful of scenic routes, possibly including Magruder. I'm more or less just along for the ride.

After looking at In-n-Out's menu again, I think I'll pass. They just don't offer condiments I like (ketchup and mustard, or A-1, or BBQ sauce, the way Five Guys does) and instead seem to offer only some proprietary spread that looks like Thousand Island dressing. (No thanks). A glance at their offerings makes me wonder why they're so popular.

I might be willing to give Whataburger another chance if we encounter any. Aren't they in the Denver area?

We would probably have time for lengthy waits only in the evenings, as lunches would probably be grab something and eat it on the road.
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