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Old 11-11-2019, 02:58 AM   #1
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Default Road Trip Highway US 20

May wife and I are in the beginning stage of planning a road trip on America's longest highway US 20 starting at Newport Or. and ending in Boston Mass. was wondering if anybody has made this track yet.
I read a article on Mother Nature Network (https://www.mnn.com/green-tech/trans...ongest-highway)
So this is one of the reasons we bought our 2000 Dodge Roadtrek 190 Popular to see the USA. They said the distance is around 3,300 we plan taking another route back home to Seattle Wa.
My wife is a teacher I'm retired we're looking to go in July on her summer break.
Would love to hear back if someone did make it or traveled parts of US 20.
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Old 11-11-2019, 03:29 PM   #2
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This looks like an interesting trip. My wife is very uneasy about “tornado alley” and we would like to get out west from eastern PA next summer. We might use this route or we are even considering going north of the lakes through Canada and then dipping south as soon as we hit the Rockies.
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Old 11-11-2019, 03:47 PM   #3
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I've crossed Nebraska on 20 a few times. It's a nice drive.

For me, when I have a travel trailer or RV, it's better than the interstate. I can't cross the plains at 85mph on the interstate anyway, so the difference in travel time between the interstate at 65mph and the US highways at 60mph isn't much, and the view is much better.

I wouldn't worry about 'tornado alley'. Keep you eye on the weather and weather radar, and scoot north or south to dodge the worst storms.
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Old 11-11-2019, 04:05 PM   #4
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I never purposely made the trip as I live midway in Minnesota but I make it a point and have traveled US 20 and other "blue highways" roads as much as possible. I've covered much of US 20 in fact US 20 passes through Willoughby, OH (east of Cleveland) and the short dead-in street Hamman Parkway T's at the end and that's were ARV (Advanced RV) is located. Whether you want to buy or not, that would be an interesting stop for a Class Ber. I can't speak for ARV but I think they would welcome a visit and maybe let you boondock in their parking lot. Willoughby town center itself is a good place to stop for a meal with lots of good restaurants (independents, not chains).
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Old 11-12-2019, 02:24 AM   #5
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I’ve lived many years in Tornado Alley and haven’t been blown away yet. With mobility and excellent weather tracking, you should have no issues you can’t handle.
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Old 11-12-2019, 05:00 AM   #6
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You got us 'pondering': "How much of Route 20 have we driven?"



But notwithstanding all those 'tracks', we've only done about half its total length and would, effectively, have to drive the whole 3,365 miles to fill in the missing pieces. Haven't added it to our bucket list . . . yet
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston View Post
You got us 'pondering': "How much of Route 20 have we driven?"



But notwithstanding all those 'tracks', we've only done about half its total length and would, effectively, have to drive the whole 3,365 miles to fill in the missing pieces. Haven't added it to our bucket list . . . yet
Winston,

How do you get those tracks on the map?

Thanks, Dick
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Old 11-12-2019, 02:16 PM   #8
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Dick,

We throw a hand-held Garmin GPS on the dash for all our travels. Each day (or so) we download the Garmin .GPX files which, in our case, we 'manipulate' into simple CSV/text files of lat/long which we then plot on an old Windows DeLorme Topo 10 program. The intervening steps would change depending on the ultimate software but the Garmin represents a good starting point.

We now return this Thread to its Regularly Schedule Route 20 Discussion.
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Old 11-12-2019, 04:30 PM   #9
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Winston, That is amazing. When I started Class B RVing I didn't know much about GPS tracking or have such a thing as a Garmin and smartphones didn't exist yet. So, I couldn't track all our travels anyway. I did yellow marker our Rand McNally road atlases but I think most have been tossed. I don't have those color fill in maps anymore as I long ago filled them up completely except Hawaii. I didn't think about a National Parks passport to stamp until I probably visited over half of them but I know I have gotten to all full national parks other than the ones you could not get to by RV. Tracking old US 66 is kind of difficult when much of it is frontage road on an interstate highway but we try. US 40 is another one. I have one Class B friend who has a wall map in his home where he tracks all the places he has been with push pins but not routes as I recall. Heck, I thought that was amazing.
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Old 11-12-2019, 04:50 PM   #10
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Davydd, we feel fortunate to have had the GPS from the beginning of our 'ground'/camping travels - - it's a wonderful 'reminder' which, incidentally, we can parse into individual trips or by year etc. We often refer to these files, for example, today, we discovered that we tent camped (in 2015) just 'three campsites' from where we currently are here at Falling Waters State Park, Florida. Sadly, like yourself, we wish we'd have had this technology for our 'earlier years' aircraft travels.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Dick,

<snip>

We now return this Thread to its Regularly Schedule Route 20 Discussion.
Absolutely right, but this is an important/significant discussion, one that I think many folks would be interested in. Any possibility that the mod's could split this off into a new thread? Please?
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:45 PM   #12
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I have relied on digital photography mostly now on the iPhone and the Photos app on the Mac, iPad and iPhone to track when and where I have been. That's why I photograph every stay be it a campground or a Walmart. You then have the location and the date. If you take the time you can edit the title of the image and put in keywords to make search easier other than location and date embedded in the photos.
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Old 11-15-2019, 09:51 PM   #13
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We have traveled much of US 20 between Corvallis OR and West Yellowstone MT. Here are a few notes.

Corvallis is a nice college town and nice place to stay and explore.

Heading East from Corvallis to Lebanon, OR 20 takes a jog north and sends you right through downtown Albany. Hwy 34 is a shorter alternative with less traffic.

Top off fuel and check tires and brakes before heading into the forest.

About 60 miles east of Lebanon, take a short 5 mile detour south on hwy 126. Park at Sahalie Falls and enjoy the thundering cascade. The falls are close to parking area, but the 3 mile hike to Koosah Falls and back is nice. Or you can park at Koosah Falls and skip the hike (but the Koosah parking lot is smaller).

Once you cross the cascade summit and begin the descent, Suttle Lake is a great place to picnic or camp. Of the 3 campgrounds, Link Creek is best for RVs. Water and shared Tank dump are the only hookups.

Continue east to Sisters, a western town with great shopping, restaurants and a small town feel (although the main drag is busy with traffic). We like Sisters Garden RV Park a few miles East of town and Takoda restaurant just west of downtown.

Next up is Bend, a bustling and growing city with lots to do. Drake Park and the Old Mill district are downtown, along with the Pine Tavern. Pilot Butte is the traditional place to go at sunset for views of bend and the mountains to the West. Haven’t been up Pilot Butte in my class B, so I’ll just offer that you might ask locally about parking and turnaround at the top. But it’s not a long ascent.

Detour South from Bend to highly recommended High Desert Museum and Lava Lands Visitor Center. To the north of Bend is Smith Rock State Park, very scenic with great hiking. Golfers will find numerous fine courses in the area and skiers have Mt Bachelor. One could easily spend several days to a week in the Bend area.

Once again it’s time to top off the fuel before heading east into the desert. Burns is the next stop. We have stayed at Burns RV Park just east of town. The park is basic but ok, except for lots of insects at night. Also the park is laid out with 2 or 3 campsites that are neither back in nor pull through but are simply a wide spot in the main park road. Our experience was that Class B RVs are automatically assigned to these lesser spots. Nuff said.

Top off fuel again because it’s a long lonely ride to Vale, the next hint of civilization. Here, highway 20 turns right, while most traffic goes the other way to Ontario.

Hwy 20 crosses the Snake River and enters Idaho at Nyssa. Next stop is Caldwell, a suburb of Boise, where we have stayed at Ambassador RV resort, highly recommended. This would make a good base for exploring the Boise area.

I’m going to skip east to Idaho Falls (we take the freeway from Boise, not 20). This is a very nice small city with a lively and pretty river walk. We splurged here for the shilo inn. (Anything over 10’ High would have to park on the street).

From Idaho Falls, 20 turns north, eventually crossing a 7,000 ft pass and ending at West Yellowstone MT. What, you thought 20 ran clear across the country to Boston? Nope. It ends at West Yellowstone.

West Yellowstone is your typical national park gateway town. Busy with tourists, hotels, restaurants but no decent grocery. We stayed at Grizzly RV, a very nice RV park where we had a very poor experience with over billing by the office. But no reason to think that is a pattern - we were just unlucky I think. Of course you can also camp in the park, but check reviews from RVers. Park campgrounds are also at least 1,000 ft higher than West Yellowstone, so colder at night, even in summer. Reserve way ahead regardless of your accommodation choice! We liked the Firehole BBQ, where you can eat in or buy pulled pork by the pound to take back to your camp.

An RV, even a class B, is not a great way to experience Yellowstone. Parking is inadequate everywhere in the park, and trying to find space for a class B can be a problem. Also, wildlife such as bison do not always show up near official parking areas or turnouts. “Bison jams” are common, with many tourists simply pulling to the edge of the road and parking (illegally). We rented a car and left the RV at the RV park. Budget delivered our car to the park and let us drop it off there as well!

To pick up hwy 20 again, make your way through Yellowstone and exit to the east at Yellowstone Lake towards Cody, WY and you’ll be back on hwy 20. I’ll leave you here - that’s as far as we have been.

Happy trails!
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Old 11-16-2019, 12:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston View Post
Dick,

We throw a hand-held Garmin GPS on the dash for all our travels. Each day (or so) we download the Garmin .GPX files which, in our case, we 'manipulate' into simple CSV/text files of lat/long which we then plot on an old Windows DeLorme Topo 10 program. The intervening steps would change depending on the ultimate software but the Garmin represents a good starting point.

We now return this Thread to its Regularly Schedule Route 20 Discussion.
I'm looking at purchasing the Garmin GPS which one do you have?
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Old 11-16-2019, 02:25 AM   #15
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Thanks Neals384 that was great information I'm going to print that so I can look at it when planning our trip. I've had a couple other people talk about there trips in the mid west on Hywy 20 and printed what they talked about.
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Old 11-16-2019, 05:14 PM   #16
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Thanks Neals384 that was great information I'm going to print that so I can look at it when planning our trip. I've had a couple other people talk about there trips in the mid west on Hywy 20 and printed what they talked about.
You are most welcome. Keep us posted on your trip!
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:01 PM   #17
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My wife and I prefer 20 to either 80 or 90 when we head to the east coast from Nebraska.
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:21 PM   #18
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we are from upstate NY and traveled to Tacoma WA basically via I-70 to I-5 and returned home going down the west coast on I-5 and then I-10 across south and then I-95 back home
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:02 PM   #19
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Have driven accross Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming. I live in Douglas, Wy (on Highway 20). Anyway, might head up and take the Beartooth Highway into Yellowstone--world class drive, but not for the faint of heart. lots of places to camp (cheap & free in Douglas) along the way.
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:05 PM   #20
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I can't give as much detail as Neals384, but I've traveled US 20 between New York state and Chicago on and off for 70 years.

We love the US routes; so rich in history and so many to choose from. We also like US 2, 6, 30 and 40 among the Northern ones.

Although 20 bypasses it now, Chicago is a great city if you like cities and have never been there. You can park overnight at McCormick Place for $30 and rent bikes to ride along the Lake Michigan shoreline into downtown (see https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/dow...ago-rv-camping). Don't miss Grant and Millennial Parks, just about every weekend in the summer there is a festival. Then there are the Art Institute, the old library (if you are into classic public architecture), the Field Museum, Shed Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, and the Museum of Science and Industry. North of "the loop" (the center of town were all the Elevated light-rail fees come together) there are the Magnificent Mile and Watertown Place with the history of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871,

East of Gary, Indiana we like to take US 12 and stay close to the shoreline. You can camp at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. One of our favorite brew-pubs is Shoreline Brewery in Michigan City, Indiana.

Further East, Business 20 goes through the RV manufacturing epicenter, Elkhart.

Since we like the lakeshore, we'd leave 20 in Toledo in favor of US 6 or Ohio 2 to get to Cleveland. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is one of the big attractions in Cleveland, but there are many other sites to see there. If you are there on a weekend, check out the West Side Market. Davydd already mentioned ARV east of Cleveland.

20 then goes near but not along the Lake Erie shoreline. In Erie, PA, you'll want to check out Presque Iles State Park.

On into New York State, 20 bypasses Buffalo and Rochester but travels through the northern reaches of the gorgeous Finger Lakes area touching Canandaigua, Seneca, Cayuga, and Skaneateles Lakes. In Seneca Falls they commemorate the first women's rights convention in 1848.

I'll wrap this up by saying that once you get to Albany, you must check out the state capitol: it is a magnificent example of excess and the display of power. Give yourself several hours!
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