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Old 03-20-2020, 10:59 AM   #1
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Coos Bay to Michigan

Heading from Coos Bay Oregon back to Michigan. Trying to find the best route over the Rockies vs going all the way south to I-10 and going around the Rockies. Most concerned about weather vs the steep grades. Looks like I 80 is most direct but will I be OK with a 40 ft DP and towing a Jeep. Appreciate anyone's input.
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Old 03-20-2020, 11:31 AM   #2
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The interstates are supposed to be limited to a 6% grade:


Quote:
Maximum grade: The maximum permissible vertical angle, or grade, along the highway is determined from terrain and design speed,[1] with up to 6% generally allowed in mountainous areas, 5% in rolling terrain, and 4% on level terrain. An additional 1% is allowed in urban areas.
As for the weather, didn't they just have a blizzard up there? The weather hasn't settled yet and I-80 in Wyoming has been closed by snow in every month except August. So watch the weather forecasts, you roll the die you take your chances.
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Old 03-20-2020, 03:27 PM   #3
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Based on your profile, you're heading to South Haven.

I'm seeing reports of campground closures in IL and IN. Personally I hate driving past Chicago. So a recommendation, once you get past the mountains, take US 2 back and go thru Michigans UP. Parts I've been on were good 2-4 lane roads. You actually pass a number of great places to visit. So far, the states you will pass thru have been listing their facilities as staying open.


Somewhere, there is a U-tube of a guy who took US 2 from Maine all the way to Seattle. Has short snips of his dash cam video of the whole trip.
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Old 03-20-2020, 03:30 PM   #4
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You might consider heading north and picking up I90 at Ritzville.
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Old 03-20-2020, 04:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 450Donn View Post
You might consider heading north and picking up I90 at Ritzville.
+1

I90 has the lowest grades, mildest weather, and least sidewind effect (typically). Also, disruptive storms are more probably along more southerly routes. Go through Hermiston and the tri-cities and catch I90 at Ritzville to avoid the Vantage Hill, just east of Ellensburg. That hill is the worst pull on the entire I90, as far as I'm concerned, and I've done it end-to-end. It's literally uphill both ways, all day, with a sidewind, in the desert. It might not be the steepest, but it's a killer.

You drop out of the Rockies onto the Montana plains, with options for routes as you proceed east. You can sort things out more comfortably from there as things develop.

Someone said the interstate system is limited to a 6% grade. Perhaps in theory. It was also designed to move military convoys at 100mph. In the west the mountains didn't get the memo. Some of those grades make my ears pop and neck snap just looking at the map. . . .
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Old 03-22-2020, 05:17 AM   #6
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If you end up dropping south into Colorado for any reason, the state's Department of Transportation has web cams on many of its highways and interstates: https://www.cotrip.org/map.htm.

We learned of this through an extremely helpful staff member at the Cabela's in Grand Junction, Colorado. Those live camera shots helped us tremendously when we needed to cross the Rockies at the end of October a couple of years ago. We were able to confirm that, although there was snow in the mountains, the roads were clear.

If something like that would be of interest to you, it may be worth checking to see if any states along your preferred route offer that service.

Safe travels!

Mary
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