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Thread: 36 or 50 East to west

  1. #1
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    36 or 50 East to west

    My son and I are heading West this year (North last, South previous!) from Upstate NY. We'll be leaving late May for 11 days and returning around June 5-6. We had planned on using route 36 from around Columbus to Denver then squiggling around Colorado, Utah Idaho and Montana and returning East on US 2. On a map, US 50 looks interesting whereas 36 seems mind-numbingly straight! Thirty-six, though, looks like a more major road, better for making time while still avoiding superslab. Does this sound like an accurate assessment of the two? In your experience (if you've been on both for any distance) is one "better"? I realize I have conflicting purposes- eat miles and see great things! Nevertheless, I think there are enough like-minded riders here to throw out somee useful thoughts and suggestions. We want to camp as much as possible, if that would have any bearing on thoughts. As usual, thanks!

  2. #2
    got, got, got no time... rguy's Avatar
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    Personally I prefer 36 across Kansas and eastern Colorado. Rolling plains and light traffic. Very relaxing ride. Mind your gas on the western end. I think 50 carries a lot more traffic and you go through a lot more small towns. More feed lots too Plus more trucks. More importantly it depends on whether you want to end up in southern or northern Colorado.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by rguy View Post
    Personally I prefer 36 across Kansas and eastern Colorado. Rolling plains and light traffic. Very relaxing ride. Mind your gas on the western end. I think 50 carries a lot more traffic and you go through a lot more small towns. More feed lots too Plus more trucks. More importantly it depends on whether you want to end up in southern or northern Colorado.
    I agree. We lived in Kansas 23 years and have ridden all of the east-west routes you can imagine. In Kansas, US 50 is a truck route to and from Dodge City where they slaughter on average 10,000 head of cattle a day. That is a lot of cattle trucks headed in and reefer trucks headed out; not to mention the sloshing and spilling from the cattle trucks. Washing out trucks is a major business in Dodge City.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  4. #4
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    Thanks guys. That was my instinct but I had no good real info. 36 it is! Besides someone said Walt Disney's birthplace and museum is really cool!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by rick601 View Post
    Thanks guys. That was my instinct but I had no good real info. 36 it is! Besides someone said Walt Disney's birthplace and museum is really cool!
    One more comment. Yes, 36 is straight. Welcome to the great plains. But the towns are superb. Almost all have a City Park. Shade - rest - water - and the locals will welcome you. A few even have free or "donation" camping. This is the part of the country where you are welcome. Go there (I used to say come here) and enjoy.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  6. #6
    Registered User MUNMI's Avatar
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    For the return trip across US2, if you continue easterly through Michigan's Upper Peninsula, consider leaving US2 at Wakefield, MI and get on M28 which runs right through the heart of the UP and much of it along the shoreline of Lake Superior. Traffic is much lighter on M28 than US2 through here. As you get to eastern UP, you can easily drop down again to US2 with several choices if you plan to stay stateside. Other choice is cross into Canada at Sault Sainte Marie, MI or from Port Huron in lower peninsula. My wife and I visited Cooperstown in 2016 for a baseball tournament at Dreams Park. We crossed southern Ontario from Port Huron to Niagara Falls then made our way down to the Finger Lakes region and over to Cooperstown. For us this was a fantastic route and would (will) do it again to visit your fair city.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MUNMI View Post
    For the return trip across US2, if you continue easterly through Michigan's Upper Peninsula, consider leaving US2 at Wakefield, MI and get on M28 which runs right through the heart of the UP and much of it along the shoreline of Lake Superior. Traffic is much lighter on M28 than US2 through here. As you get to eastern UP, you can easily drop down again to US2 with several choices if you plan to stay stateside. Other choice is cross into Canada at Sault Sainte Marie, MI or from Port Huron in lower peninsula. My wife and I visited Cooperstown in 2016 for a baseball tournament at Dreams Park. We crossed southern Ontario from Port Huron to Niagara Falls then made our way down to the Finger Lakes region and over to Cooperstown. For us this was a fantastic route and would (will) do it again to visit your fair city.
    And PM me when you do!
    Thanks for the suggestions! Yes, there is some great riding around here.

  8. #8
    If you are on US 2 and hit Grand Forks, you can stop by my boyhood home at 816 Reeves Drive (no plaque attached). Or my college domicile at 718 Boyd Drive. Alas - no plaque there either.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    If you are on US 2 and hit Grand Forks, you can stop by my boyhood home at 816 Reeves Drive (no plaque attached). Or my college domicile at 718 Boyd Drive. Alas - no plaque there either.
    We've also been told not to miss Mackinaw....hmmm Glaves' home and college or Mackinaw...tough choice!! We'll wave as we pass Grand Forks! [dude that's NORTH of fargo, and Fargo is out there!!]

    EDIT: on second thought we'll stop in GF and hoist a coffee to you!

  10. #10
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    I've done 36 west to east across Kansas - nice enough ride - but it is rather straight. And I've done 24 east to west, again straight with lots of farm fields - but it parallels 70 so motels aren't in short supply. Both roads are so traffic free that your speeds on them can approach the speed on I-70, but without all the trucks. I kept to the speed limits going through towns - and never saw any speed enforcement outside the towns. Might just have been lucky, but it was easy enough to do 75MPH on the road.

    There is an interesting B&B in Oberlin KS (Rt 36) - in an old bank.. stayed there on a Saturday night.
    002.jpg
    003.jpg
    20150608_201340.jpg
    Price was right, room was old-fashioned (on purpose), WiFi worked, food available at a bar around the corner. I'd recommend it. The rest of Oberlin was closed when I was there. It's mostly "antique" (AKA junk) shops occupying the store-fronts. Since it's a county seat, I expect it does get some business on weekdays.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    I've done 36 west to east across Kansas - nice enough ride - but it is rather straight. And I've done 24 east to west, again straight with lots of farm fields - but it parallels 70 so motels aren't in short supply. Both roads are so traffic free that your speeds on them can approach the speed on I-70, but without all the trucks. I kept to the speed limits going through towns - and never saw any speed enforcement outside the towns. Might just have been lucky, but it was easy enough to do 75MPH on the road.

    There is an interesting B&B in Oberlin KS (Rt 36) - in an old bank.. stayed there on a Saturday night.
    002.jpg
    003.jpg
    20150608_201340.jpg
    Price was right, room was old-fashioned (on purpose), WiFi worked, food available at a bar around the corner. I'd recommend it. The rest of Oberlin was closed when I was there. It's mostly "antique" (AKA junk) shops occupying the store-fronts. Since it's a county seat, I expect it does get some business on weekdays.
    Thanks man. That's the kind of stuff I like. We intend to camp as much as possible but a few nicely spaced rooms (vs tents) could be perfect. It's on the list now...along with Disneys home, Twain, lava fields,

  12. #12
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    Response to running 75mph on Rt. 36

    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    I've done 36 west to east across Kansas - nice enough ride - but it is rather straight. And I've done 24 east to west, again straight with lots of farm fields - but it parallels 70 so motels aren't in short supply. Both roads are so traffic free that your speeds on them can approach the speed on I-70, but without all the trucks. I kept to the speed limits going through towns - and never saw any speed enforcement outside the towns. Might just have been lucky, but it was easy enough to do 75MPH on the road.

    There is an interesting B&B in Oberlin KS (Rt 36) - in an old bank.. stayed there on a Saturday night.
    002.jpg
    003.jpg
    20150608_201340.jpg
    Price was right, room was old-fashioned (on purpose), WiFi worked, food available at a bar around the corner. I'd recommend it. The rest of Oberlin was closed when I was there. It's mostly "antique" (AKA junk) shops occupying the store-fronts. Since it's a county seat, I expect it does get some business on weekdays.
    Just now getting around to reading some of these interesting post's, only comment i could add is you got lucky riding thru Illinois on Rt. 36 running 75 mph and not getting a speeding ticket from a county deputy or a state trooper, as Illinois is a state that is broke and they'll do anything for money, lol ride safe, see everyone in Des Moines.

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