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 > Your search for posts made by 'paulj' found 49 matches.

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RE: Western slopes of Colorado

On Google Maps set the `terrain` mode to see where there are mountains. Zoom in to see details, all the way to Streetview. 139 crosses Douglas Pass, 8400 ft. From the map the tightest turns are on the south side. In a recent thread I found that the main grade on 141 is the climb out of the river at Slick Rock Hill. According to the Bike routing option this route has total climb and drop of 12000 ft. The alternative through Moab is up/down 10000. A third option is Lizzard Head Pass south of Telluride. This has more climb (15000), but is often recommended as the alternative to 550 between Oray and Durango.
paulj 09/28/22 09:56am Roads and Routes
RE: Capital Reef NP Roads

In June there was a flash flood in the Park, especially affecting the Capitol Gorge Road. https://www.adventure-journal.com/2022/07/harrowing-and-fascinating-first-hand-account-of-junes-capitol-gorge-flood/
paulj 09/15/22 06:11pm Roads and Routes
RE: Best route from Dillon MT to West Glacier

Google Maps suggests leaving I90 as US12, and taking MT83 north. This is a bit shorter and faster than the alternative using US93 (the lower underpass that your app warns about it just before that exit). So there is a good alternative. But as others stress, a real freeway height restriction this low would be well known and frequently damaged. Your app is misleading you - there's very little reason for a non-local RV to cross under the freeway on Butler Ck Rd.
paulj 09/13/22 01:57pm Roads and Routes
RE: Best route from Dillon MT to West Glacier

On Google Maps Sat view, I looked at I90 west of Missoula. Mostly I90 is above the cross roads. With Streetview I checked Butler Creek Rd, which goes under I90. It has 13'6" signs. So you are fine on I90. US93 goes over, without any warning signs. 16 ft is the standard for Interstates (with limited urban exceptions).
paulj 09/12/22 09:42am Roads and Routes
RE: Little Joe Rd in Northern Idaho

Some history about the railroad to Avery at this Hiawatha bike trail page. The section of railroad from I90 to Avery is now a bike trail, complete with trestles and tunnels. https://www.ridethehiawatha.com/history
paulj 09/01/22 01:07pm Roads and Routes
RE: Little Joe Rd in Northern Idaho

From Google Maps, it looks like Little Joe Rd in Montana is gavel - judging by a mix of Streetview and Sat. But on the Idaho side it looks like pavement - that is I can see center line paint in the Sat view (no streetview). The high point is on the stateline. From the bike route profile, there's about a 3000 ft climb to the pass.
paulj 08/31/22 02:51pm Roads and Routes
RE: SoCal to east side of North Cascades: 395 or 395/97?

Along Oregon US97 there's a decent selection of state parks. Summer Lake is the only commercial place I've used, and that was still pretty rustic (with a old barn like hot spring). By September the parks won't be as heavily reservered. There are also forest service places that aren't too far off the main highway. The selection isn't quite as good in Washington, though I've used a couple toward the south. And BLM sites along the Yakima River canyon. East of the Columbia it's mostly irrigated farm land, with fewer camping options. And there are campgrounds by the reservoirs along the dammed Columbia.
paulj 08/25/22 09:54am Roads and Routes
RE: SoCal to east side of North Cascades: 395 or 395/97?

https://traveloregon.com/things-to-do/trip-ideas/scenic-drives/outback-scenic-byway-2/ OR31 is a good cross over between 395 and 97. We enjoyed a night at the Summer Lake hot springs, detoured into the mountains to the west, climbed Hagar Mtn, looked at Fort Rock. And got a flat from a broken chainsaw file near Hole in Ground.
paulj 08/24/22 10:03am Roads and Routes
RE: SoCal to east side of North Cascades: 395 or 395/97?

US97 is relatively flat and straight from Ca through OR, about 4000 ft, through Ponderosa Pine forest, with Cascades to the west. The 138 climb to the north side of Crater Lake is the highest pass to the west. Oregon 'out-back' is to the east, with some interesting volcanic and high desert features (especially around Bend). North of Madras it drops to the Columbia River. 197 is an alternative with the same drop. In WA 97 climbs over a modest Satus Pass to I82, and another pass (high speed traffic) to I90. There's a more relaxed winding road along the Yakima River canyon. And a bit bigger pass to US2 (Blewett). These passes all have WSDOT pages and webcams. I haven't driven 395 in California. Last time I took FS roads across the volcanic highlands into Or. Lake City is supposed to be the highest incorporated town in Oregon. As far as Burns 395 is in the northern extension of the Nevada basin-n-range. Then some modest mountain passes to the Columbia. In WA 395 is freeway NE to I90 and Spokane. I believe WA17 is the best way north and northwest. North of I90, you can drive from Quincy to Wennatchee, with a modest drop to the Columbia.
paulj 08/23/22 06:57pm Roads and Routes
RE: Road conditions

If you have a good enough internet connection, google maps provides a lot of information on road conditions, including curves. Grades are a little harder to estimate (though sometimes I can find roadside signs via Streetview). I use terrain mode a lot. Viewing a route with bicycle mode shows the grades. The drop into Paradox Valley on CO90 is quite evident on GM. I see similar curves on 141 after it crosses the Dolores River. It may even have a more sustained climb - about 6% for 6 miles. Otherwise 141 looks like it stays in open country and is relatively flat and straight. On streetview I found a sign calling this Slickrock Hill. And 'Trucks use low gear, 7% grade for 6 miles' (at the top) I've driven the Moab to Teluride route. 145 has a significant grade after Norwood where it drops down into a canyon to cross the river. I haven't driven 145 south from Telluride, but Lizzard Head pass is often cited as a good alternative to the Ouray-Durango 550 route. https://passbagger.org/pb-slickrock-hill.htm
paulj 08/19/22 09:49am Roads and Routes
RE: What is the best route out of Brookings?

US199 to I5 at Grants Pass might worth considering. There's a twisty section along the river (roughly Patrick Ck to the summit), but it is used by logging trucks and 10 wheelers. The summit is actually a tunnel. Otherwise CA20 is the easiest crossing to the south.
paulj 08/14/22 02:37pm Roads and Routes
RE: Durango, CO to Baggs, WY

Lizzard Head is the name of the pass on 145, but I don't think there's a tunnel on that route. I suppose you need the Mtn Directory to be sure. I haven't driven it south of the Ophir turn off. 62 must cross some sort of pass between drainage basins, but it's not significant. GM suggests an alternative NW to Moab, and then east on I70. It's longer, but avoids all passes. There is a tunnel on 550, a bit south of Oury, that's signed 13-7. I remembered it from various videos, and found it on Google Maps Sat view by the gap. While some tunnels cut under the highest point, saving a last minute steep climb, more often they are found in canyon stretches, cutting through a spur or ridge that runs right down to the river. These tend to be shorter, and not well known. The main challenge on 550 for big RVs (and passing traffic) is the set of tight curves around Red Mtn. They are tight enough that a big rig might have to straddle the center line.
paulj 08/10/22 02:38pm Roads and Routes
RE: Route NW Chicago to Whitefish MT

( Quote ) Use 212 from Belle Fourche to Crow Agency save nearly a day. Plenty of camping along the way. Compared to I90 through Buffalo, that stretch of US212 saves at most 60 miles.
paulj 08/02/22 09:27am Roads and Routes
RE: Favorite way to skip the interstates?

I toured the Blue Ridge Parkway, starting from Chicago, around 1990, before internet or gps navigation. Clearly print maps were important, but also books. I was getting into geology at the time, and had picked up a geological tour book, the kind written for day trips during conventions. The other was Roadfood, a guide to best and regional restaurants. At one Virginia restaurant, the waitress asked if I was using that book, based on what I'd ordered. Come to think of it I used to hear the Sterns on NPR's Splendid Table. Now there are a lot more sources of information on food options - other books, Food Network (haven't watched that in years), youtubers. Now I'm using Google Maps more for that. Often though it seems to be easier to find a park and picnic (for lunch) than to find a suitable restaurant, especially on hotter days when we can't leave the dog in the car alone.
paulj 07/23/22 09:57am Roads and Routes
RE: Route NW Chicago to Whitefish MT

US2 and MT200 cross the flat northern part of the state. US2 arond the south side of the park is one of the lowest passes over the Rockies. Years ago I camped at a COE campground near Wolf Point, and a map search should turn a few other options. In the 2000s I chose to stay on I94 to Miles City, motel it there, and then take a 'diagonal' from Billings to St Marys. That was a full day of fuel efficient sub-freeway speeds driving. In part I chose that because I had limited information on my laptop MS Streets-n-trips about lodging options further north. The I94/90 route is longer, and has more passes, but is closer to towns, camping and other lodging options, and other traveler facilities. It passes, for example the north gateways to Yellowstone.
paulj 07/23/22 09:40am Roads and Routes
RE: McCall, ID to Idaho Falls Avoiding Boise

The blacktop pavement ended just east of Garden Valley and resumed at Lowman. On the old AAA map that I used in 1991, the Garden Valley to Lowman stretch is a thin black line, different from the road to the east. I remember it largely because it was detail that I missed on the map. It wasn't bad, especially in a pickup. The full day's drive was from Stanley to Joseph via Oxbow and F39. And part of a 8 day drive from Chicago. In a more recent Idaho loop, May/June 2008, it was all paved with nice camping and hot springs options.
paulj 07/21/22 09:28am Roads and Routes
RE: McCall, ID to Idaho Falls Avoiding Boise

Idaho DOT reports some construction along this route - 55 before the Banks turn off has major construction work; they recommend US95 for larger vehicles. (traffic on 55 can be heavy around holidays and weekends because it's the main route between the big city and the mountain resorts.) - 21 east of Lowman is getting chipseal work, which is messy to drive past. - I84 has some shoulder and median work, but nothing that would slow traffic. US95 to I84 might well be the smoothest driving, even if it's a bit longer. The drive through the mountains via Lowman is nice, but best if you take time to camp and test the hot springs.
paulj 07/19/22 09:55am Roads and Routes
RE: McCall, ID to Idaho Falls Avoiding Boise

Banks to Lowman is not bad. It curves some because it follows a river, but that also means it doesn't climb. It was gravel when I took it in 1991, but it's paved now. Further east it climbs to a broad pass before Stanley, but nothing steep. More river side drive on 73 to Challis and Salmon. 75 to the south has a twistier stretch, but I haven't driven that. I'd go the Challis, and then US93 down a broad valley to IF.
paulj 07/19/22 12:50am Roads and Routes
RE: Favorite way to skip the interstates?

Most US# highways were completed before the Interstates, with varying degrees of improvement since then. Some have been extended (e.g US12 in Washington), others upgraded to interstate standards. Some state highways are limited access as well. So you can't identify the nature of the highway simply by the numbering system. US# number generally is even for EW, same as for Interstates, but with smallest numbers in the north. US2 is northern most. NS are odd, with US101 generally hugging the Pacific coast. Some highways ceased to exist when Interstates were built. US10 is mentioned in histories of I90 in Washington State, and there are sections called "Old US10" in Montana. Now it mainly exists in MN and WI. All sections of US99 have the same state number. In much of California it's a limited access alternative to I5. Around Seattle it's a major arterial, with the new tunnel under downtown being its latest reroute. US2 has a major gap around the Great Lakes. US20 crosses Oregon, Idaho, etc. I've also driven it in Indiana. US30 starts out in Oregon north of 20 (it's a scenic drive through the Columbia Gorge paralleling I84), but most of the time it is south of 20. It's the Lincoln Hwy in the east. US50 is famous as a 'lonely' crossing of Nevada, but in Utah it is I70, and one of just four cross state highways in Colorado. There are a number through NS highways in the West. US97 starts at Weed, CA, and runs up the east side of the Cascades to Canada. US95 runs border to border, with alternates like 195 and 395. Part of 395 is now I580, a new Interstate south of Reno. US 93 and US89 are other major NS routes. Some of these continue with the same number into Canada. Further east the number of alternatives of all categories increases. The Interstate number is only one criteria. Many of these highways have a Wiki page. US52 is an unusual 'diagonal', running NW from SC to ND
paulj 07/18/22 07:46pm Roads and Routes
RE: Favorite way to skip the interstates?

I would distinguish between trip planning at home (or on the road with wifi and good size screen), and on the fly navigation with only a phone or GPS unit. Google maps (and others) have just as much information as any paper maps - in fact more so. Precomputer I had to use Thomas Guides, topo maps, forest service, and county road maps to get similar levels of details. For Canada, the Backroads Mapbooks still rival the online detail. Just last night I was sketching out a short camping trip around Puget Sound and Hood Canal. Neither DeLourme or Bench Mark gave the same sort of detail on Forest Service campgrounds that I could get from GM. On the road, it can be hard to get the big picture from small-screen devices, especially while it's actively giving directions. For that a paper map can be a useful backup - if your human navigator can read it. In familiar territory, I like to select a destination, and then deviate from the directions, and watch how the system recalculates things. That gives me a better idea of how the navigation system picks alternatives. Speaking alternatives, it's easy to explore alternative routes on GM, at least when using a full browser. Just click on the suggested route line, and drag the point to some other intermediate road. That gives an idea of how the distance and time changes. Often distances change little, but times change a lot due to different speed assumptions. With GM I can also zoom in, check the topography, look at the actual road with streetview, and gradients (the bike route option provides this). The size of your rig may also make a difference in how you plan. A big RV - 70ft with toad - limits how far you can deviate from the freeway, mainly other paved highways, whether they have federal or state labels. But a smaller van or suv (or bicycle) opens up all kinds of alternatives, especially in the mountains. Years ago when I moved from Chicago to Seattle in a pickup camper, I used freeways at both ends, but "snuck" across the SD/WY, WY/ID and ID/OR borders on backroads. The WY/ID legs was on the forest service road sandwiched between Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. In the past I used to browse book stores - big box, used, and local (and BC Ferries) for guide books. I have various 'backroads' and 'byways' guide books, hiking guides, waterfall guides, etc. Now I do more of that browsing online, but still pull out the old books (even my 1987 Alaska Milepost) to get ideas.
paulj 07/17/22 10:23am Roads and Routes
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