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Thread: Riding from Chicago to Portland

  1. #1

    Riding from Chicago to Portland

    Hi all. I'm a new member looking for advice.

    I'm planning a cross country trip for August from Chicago to Portland and back. Never been out there.

    I hear the Lewis and Clark trial is pretty awesome but thought I'd ask for input from many on the forum who may have already traveled that way.

    I plan to take a month. Leave around August 1. No schedule or deadlines. Prefer to avoid crowds and main interstates.

    Looking for suggestions on "don't miss" roads or routes.

    Thanks.

    Bert H.

  2. #2

    The West is Nice

    Lots of great roads "out west". Here are some suggestions:

    Idaho
    Lolo Pass in Idaho would be worth your time That is US Hwy 12; however, there is a parallel dirt route, too, if you are interested.

    Also, in Idaho, Hwy 200 from Ravalli to Sandpoint is scenic. Ask about the Missoula floods.

    Salmon, Idaho, to Stanley, to Lowman, to McCall to Halfway, OR to North Powder, OR to Ukiah, OR to Condon, OR to Fossil, OR to Clarno, OR Shaniko, OR Tygh Valley, OR

    Washington
    North Cascades Highway in Washington is pretty, take Hwy 20 westward from Okanogan. Of course, going out to Forks, WA is pretty country, then down the coast.

    In Oregon, great roads in a lot of places: try from Canyon City, OR then go 20 miles south on US Hwy 395, catch the paved road westward to Izee, Paulina, Prinveville.

    The SE Oregon desert looks more like Nevada than Nevada does--really bleak and beautiful. Summer Lake is a scenic stretch.

    Don't forget that some of the mountain passes don't get cleared of snow till June (though we don't have much snow yet, this year.)

  3. #3
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berth View Post
    Hi all. I'm a new member looking for advice.

    I'm planning a cross country trip for August from Chicago to Portland and back. Never been out there.

    I hear the Lewis and Clark trial is pretty awesome but thought I'd ask for input from many on the forum who may have already traveled that way.

    I plan to take a month. Leave around August 1. No schedule or deadlines. Prefer to avoid crowds and main interstates.

    Looking for suggestions on "don't miss" roads or routes.

    Thanks.

    Bert H.
    Welcome to the forum!
    I have nothing to offer as far as routing. It may help you to have the MOA Anonymous Book with you and perhaps arrange a few meet-ups with other Members along the way.
    With a month to ride it sounds like a great trip.
    Gary
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
    Mod Squad
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

  4. #4
    Look at Hwy 242 in Oregon, from Sisters to where it meets the McKenzie River above Eugene, OR.

    242 goes over the Cascade Range near the Three Sisters (3 mountain peaks) - one road made for carving your way down the mountain!

  5. #5
    Registered User GeorgeR1200RT's Avatar
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    If you are are avoiding Interstates and big cities, try US 20 from west of Chicago (Rockford is a good starting point).

    To get to the 2015 rally in Billings, Montana, I rode US 20 from my daughters in Wauconda, IL to Greybull, Wyoming (then turned north). Enjoyable, good quality road. Plenty of mom and pop motels and restaurants. Easy campgrounds if that is what you are looking for.

    Have ridden further west on US 20 many years ago. Other than a few interstate stretches, it will take you to just south of Portland, Oregon.

    I have also taken US 2 across the top of the the USA...interesting ride. And have ridden virtually all the westbound interstates when time was an issue.

    Enjoy your ride!
    George
    R1200RT. Previous K1200RS, K1200LT, R80RT, R100R, R75/5

  6. #6
    not lost til out of gas 128521's Avatar
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    if you take Lolo pass ( recommended ) continue on 12 to Lewiston, take a left on 3 and head for Enterprise OR ( the rattlesnake pass ) you won't be sorry.
    don't know where I'm going, but I'm making good time. 1978 R 100 S, 1990 R 100 GSPD, 2005 R 1200 GS

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