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Old 01-30-2009, 12:52 PM   #1
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Route question from Eugene to Austin in early April

Any feedback would be much appreciated. We will be picking up an AS 30' the first week of April in Eugene, Or. We need to take it down to Austin but we have a little time. What's the best route at that time of year given possible snow, etc. We know CA like the back of our hand so we would like try something new and avoid taking I5 south. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:26 PM   #2
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Austin, TX? I don't see I5 in that picture so maybe I'm missing something.

Take Willamette pass over to 97 for a jog north towards La Pine. Then take the Oregon Scenic Outback over to US 395 (the Chewaucan Canyon Marster Campground has some good boondocking spots).

After you get into CA, take 299 to Cedarville to CA 81 and then NV 447 to Gerlach (see Gerlach NV to Cedarville, CA). That'll get you to Fernley where you can follow US 50 across NV to UT. You could spend quite a while in SE Utah looking at Capitol Reef, Glen Canyon, Bryce, Zyon, Arches, Canyonland, and more. Then maybe 191 down to the radio observatory then 60 over to valley of fires, ...

Pick your sights! So much to see you don't even have to plan on the official parks and such.
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Old 01-31-2009, 12:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanl View Post
Austin, TX? I don't see I5 in that picture so maybe I'm missing something.

Take Willamette pass over to 97 for a jog north towards La Pine. Then take the Oregon Scenic Outback over to US 395 (the Chewaucan Canyon Marster Campground has some good boondocking spots).

After you get into CA, take 299 to Cedarville to CA 81 and then NV 447 to Gerlach (see Gerlach NV to Cedarville, CA). That'll get you to Fernley where you can follow US 50 across NV to UT. You could spend quite a while in SE Utah looking at Capitol Reef, Glen Canyon, Bryce, Zyon, Arches, Canyonland, and more. Then maybe 191 down to the radio observatory then 60 over to valley of fires, ...

Pick your sights! So much to see you don't even have to plan on the official parks and such.
Thanks. Yes, we would like to avoid I5 south through CA. Are the oregon, idaho, utah routes going to be unpredictable in early April. Some routes look like they work their way through valleys which would be good. We're hesitant if they lead to mountain routes which could get heavy snow.
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:54 PM   #4
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April is always a question but it would be getting rather late for severe winter storms. Reno has had snow on July 4 so you should keep an eye on weather forecasts and road conditions in any case. The best way to deal with most weather is to be able to wait a day or two until it passes on east.

The routes from Eugene through Nevada should be less of a weather risk than I5 in any case. From Utah down to Texas is at the top of the Rockies but, as far as I know, rather dry and in the mountain snow shadow. Find some of the 4CU folks around here for some good local expertise. I am rather surprised your query hasn't generated a few more ideas and suggestions; wonder why.
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:36 AM   #5
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Hello,

If the weather stays as dry (California is touting the worst drought in history EVER!) as it has been, no need to worry about snow south of Eugene. Good suggestions for the Oregon Eastern Route. The Nevada route crossing Hwy 50 is excellent. Might get some snow there, but just watch the weather. Great route, not too many services so plan ahead. Be sure and stop at the Great Basin National Park on your way while on 50...

An alternate going part way to Nevada, if the weather is good You can go south on I-5 from Eugene... it is actually one of the best parts of I-5. Nice scenery, nice places to stop along the way. Rogue Valley State park just north of Medford, Oregon is a nice campground right off of I-5. Wifi and everything. Then continue through Yreka to Mt. Shasta City. If weather permits Hwy 89 is beautiful towards Susanville, CA and then you can pick up 395 and head down towards Reno and on to Hwy 50. If the weather is really accommodating, Go all the way down 89 to Reno. Nice road, lovely drive. Not so many services and sometimes iffy cell service. If you are really familiar with California then you know you do not want to travel south of Redding on I-5.... it is awful.

Sounds like fun. Hope you have a great journey. Take a nice look at the maps and google earth and see what you like. Post questions of something looks interesting, I am sure folks will respond with their opinions!

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Old 02-01-2009, 02:05 AM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestions. Since we will be traveling during the first week of Apr, we are concerned about potential weather. We live in the SF bay area and would like to avoid I5 south with a route through SAC to NV or further south to cut across into AZ. We were thinking about taking 84 across OR to 15 south and then picking up 70 east into CO to eventually head south into TX. Any thoughts on this route? Again, thanks for your comments.
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Old 02-08-2009, 02:01 AM   #7
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Hello again!

Curious about your ideas to go across Oregon on Hwy 84... it travels across through the Colombia River Gorge and then down to Pendleton and Idaho. This means you would be traveling north to Portland? Then across and down? The first week of April you might run into cold weather, snow, (possibly) from Portland to the Dalles. But that route from Portland to the Dalles is quite stunning. If the weather is good, you will enjoy it! There isn't so much to see, visit, along the Eastern side and places to stay aren't as numerous. How about listing the major areas you want to see, or are you just trying to get from Eugene to Texas? Going north and then east is a long drive.... If you are short on time, I would return from Eugene and then come down I-5 at least to Northern California. That would give you at least a couple days of driving and getting to know your new trailer before heading out into the wilds.... How many days are you thinking about total?

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Old 02-08-2009, 09:14 AM   #8
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My Way

Here's how I'd probably go this time of year:
I would take US20 through Bend over to I84, then follow I84 to I15, then I15 south to Spanish Fork, take US6/89 to US6/191 to Monticello, then take US491 through Cortez to Shiprock. Then US64 to US550 in Bloomfield, take US550 to I25 at Bernalillo, then I25 to I40 in Albuquacky, then I40 to US 84 in Santa Rosa, then US84 through Muleshoe, Lubbock and Sweetwater to I20/US84, continue on US84 at Abilene to US183 at Goldthwaite and US183 into Austin.

That's a truckers route that I've dragged fully loaded 48 footers through so it's possible with an AS, and as a bonus you can count on diesel, strong coffee and fried chicken being available along the way.

I thought if you lived on the west coast that Interstate 5 was known as "The Five".
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:00 AM   #9
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thanks caddygrn & crusty

We do have some time so in no rush. Would like to avoid any potentially difficult mountain routes that could be compounded by bad weather. Will of course be subject to last minute weather situation but would also like to avoid the CA - reno route if possible. Thanks crusty, your route sounds good. Chicken fried steak along the way is always a plus!
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Old 02-09-2009, 03:49 AM   #10
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FWIW, I 2nd Crutsy's route, We live in Colorado Springs and drive out to our home town of Corvallis Or. (about 40 mi N. of Eugene) once a year or so. US 20 has a lot of nice scenery, and the likeliest weather you will see that (or any) time of the year will be rain. Getting up the hill to Bend could be a pucker with a new trailer. I-5 to I-84 through the gorge and over is a pretty strait route. Mileage wise, the I-84 route is longer, but it's a wash time wise when you get to the junction point in Idaho.
I havent taken any souther routes, but I'm sure my shorts will be in as much need of washing after pulling a trailer through LA on I-5 as they would if I pulled a trailer up US 20 in a blizzard, then through Denver in I-25.
Either way, make sure the bearings, tires and brakes are ready on the trailer when you pick it up, they will be important.

Cheers and congrats!
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:58 AM   #11
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I agree that the pucker factor on US 20 between Bend and Eugene can be moderate but I've been through there in a big truck several times in the dead of winter at night, so it's doable. All you have to do to make a road more comfortable is to slow down until you are comfortable.

The problem with the I 5/I 84 route this time of year is ice on Deadman's Pass at Cabbage Hill. Quite often chains are required, but if not then the gorge route is more scenic.

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Old 02-09-2009, 09:18 AM   #12
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Cabbage Hill

Here's a picture of Cabbage when it's bad.




The US 20 route is the way around this and the reason that I'm familiar with it.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:10 AM   #13
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great pic crusty

Thx volvo. We had originally been thinking 84 but looks like some potential challenges either way. Will have to start practicing puckering so that when it starts to occur involuntarily, it won't be so troubling....
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Old 02-11-2009, 06:25 AM   #14
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Yikes! that does look bad.
I also forgot to factor in the perpetual 50+ knot wind howling down the gorge (small embellishment here) makes for fun travel in freezing rain. IMHO the scenery can easily match the pucker factor on either route.

Cheers!
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