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Old 04-24-2021, 03:13 PM   #1
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MI to Colorado, best 2 lane route??

Hi
I will be going to get my Airstream in a week and a half and was wondering if anyone had some route advice.
The Caravel is at my home in northern lower Michigan (lake MI side) I'm bringing it to my place in northern Colorado. Steamboat Springs area.
I'd like to stick to primarily 2 lane roads.
Any info would be great.
Thank you!
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Old 04-24-2021, 03:45 PM   #2
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It is about 1400 miles from Cadillac MI to Steamboat Springs CO:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Cadi...8!2d40.4849769

And you want to stick mainly to 2-lane roads?



I would suggest getting a good road atlas like the following spiral-bound Rand McNally, and plotting out a route state-by-state:

https://www.amazon.com/Rand-McNally-...9300875&sr=8-2

Trying to summarize here -- all the possibilities and route permutations, in five or six states -- seems a Herculean task IMO.

Happy Trails [and please let us know that you arrived safely in Steamboat . . . ]
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Old 04-24-2021, 03:57 PM   #3
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Can't help with the entire route but we took US 36 across Missouri a couple of years ago and it was a very good, low-stress drive.
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Old 04-24-2021, 04:03 PM   #4
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Hwy 36 to Colorado

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingo Girl View Post
Hi
I will be going to get my Airstream in a week and a half and was wondering if anyone had some route advice.
The Caravel is at my home in northern lower Michigan (lake MI side) I'm bringing it to my place in northern Colorado. Steamboat Springs area.
I'd like to stick to primarily 2 lane roads.
Any info would be great.
Thank you!
Itís been a while, but in 2002 I took 36 to Colorado from Indianapolis. It was fantastic two lane, about like half an interstate. Wide road and shoulders. Very smooth and hardly any semi trucks. Iím sure others could report with more up to date information. Good Luck!
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Old 04-24-2021, 05:23 PM   #5
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Very doable! I take 36 from Colorado to Indiana all the time. The cool part is that a lot of the little towns along the way actually have *free* camping (often with hookups!) to encourage tourists. You'll probably want to find a good route down to Champaign, Il, then 36 is free sailing all the way to Boulder! You can take 6, 285, etc., through the mountains if you want to avoid the interstate from Denver, but depending on the power of your tow vehicle for mountain driving, you may actually want to stick to the interstate once you pass Denver.
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Old 04-25-2021, 10:32 AM   #6
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Pony Express Museum in St Joseph MO. Follow the old Pony Express route over northern Kansas. Prairie Dog SP is a worthy stop.

Pat
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Old 04-25-2021, 11:38 AM   #7
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Pony Express Museum in St Joseph MO. Follow the old Pony Express route over northern Kansas. Prairie Dog SP is a worthy stop.
It's a nice route (especially if you're going farther west), but it will definitely be more out of the OP's way. 36 is literally a direct shot to Denver with no other roads to worry about. Plus, that stretch of Nebraska on the PET is miserable! To qualify my opinion: I love driving through KS, but I can't stand driving through Nebraska.

You could catch the Pony Express Museum in St. Joseph, and if you're captivated by the allure, make up your mind there, since that's where the junction of PET and 36 is.
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Old 04-26-2021, 08:12 AM   #8
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36

You left out some necessary information, how much time, when, and how far up MI you are located. Do you want a speedy route, a route that takes you to small towns, a scenic road etc.?

If you are wanting a speedy road, I agree route 36 starting in MO is speedy. It bypasses most small towns. In MO it is 4 lane but not crapped out like the interstates. In IL 36 is an interstate 75(?). I don't have any help though on getting around Chicago.

36 travels through the hot and muggy belt. If you have the time and inclination, I suggest north through Duluth. Head out on 2 and follow your fancy. The weather in the summer is nicer; the mosquitoes are bigger though.

You can always dive down to the 36 if you run out of time.

Mike
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Old 04-26-2021, 08:20 AM   #9
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. . .
. . . how far up MI you are located.
. . .
FYI Post #2 has a Google map link from the OP's hometown of Cadillac MI, which is in her user info on the left.

FYI
FWIW
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Old 04-26-2021, 08:59 AM   #10
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Ooops

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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
FYI Post #2 has a Google map link from the OP's hometown of Cadillac MI, which is in her user info on the left.

FYI
FWIW
Ahhh, I didn't click on the link. It is a 3 hour detour to go through St Ignace but you have to use that pesky interstate going from MI to UPMI.

It might still be faster than messing with Chicago.

Mike
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Old 04-26-2021, 09:59 AM   #11
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If you are wanting a speedy road, I agree route 36 starting in MO is speedy. It bypasses most small towns. In MO it is 4 lane but not crapped out like the interstates. In IL 36 is an interstate 75(?). I don't have any help though on getting around Chicago.

36 travels through the hot and muggy belt.
FWIW, I would disagree with this. One of the main reasons I avoid Nebraska is "hot and muggy." For whatever reason, KS is almost always better. Yes, IL and MO are always hot and muggy (even in winter these days! ), but unless you go up and over through Wisconsin and/or the UP, you're going to hit that stuff no matter what.

And once you leave Missouri, 36 is two lane all the way, with lots of little towns; very similar to Route 66 (back in the 50's/60's, this was the northern version of Route 66).

So with 36 you get the best of both worlds. It's roughly the same amount of time as taking 70 (Google maps shows a similar arrival time, Indianapolis to Denver), but you only need to go 55mph, and no worrying about giant semis making you crazy (not to mention all the quaint little stopping points). Just make sure you slow down in all the little towns; there are plenty of small town speed traps (but that will be the case on any two lane road).
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Old 04-26-2021, 09:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingo Girl View Post
Hi
I will be going to get my Airstream in a week and a half and was wondering if anyone had some route advice.
The Caravel is at my home in northern lower Michigan (lake MI side) I'm bringing it to my place in northern Colorado. Steamboat Springs area.
I'd like to stick to primarily 2 lane roads.
Any info would be great.
Thank you!


Look at the Lincoln Highway. Route 30. Great two lane.
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Old 04-27-2021, 06:33 AM   #13
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Agree Lincoln Highway

Is there a "Best"?


Sorta depends on how much “adventure time” you want to weave into your journey. I’d head South to the Lincoln highway, turn West, open my Atlas, and plot a path to what interests I find. US30 Intersects RT66 in Joliet, Illinois

I’d also like to travel highway 2 West beyond the UP.

I wouldn't miss a chance to drive the Santa Fe Trail to Trinidad either.

Is time of the essence?
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Old 04-27-2021, 06:47 AM   #14
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MI to Colorado, best 2 lane route??

Take the SS Badger across Lake Michigan, then you can work west, south westerly on US 10, 12, 18, 20, 30, 36, 24, etc, and, throw in a lot of good state routes as well.

A good quality road atlas will help your planning, and, allow you to plot a route on the map app between lesser towns, that you can identify on the atlas.

Plus, on the map app, go to satellite view to help identify fueling stops. Your plans avoids truck routes, and therefore, many truck stops. You need to plan your exit strategy on almost every small town station. Since my towís filler is on the driver side, I find gas stations on the left side of the road are better. It keeps me on the outside of the fuel island, where there is more room, and, letís the station cashier keep an eye on the pumps. Some states and local ordinances prohibit the station from activating pumps which are blocked from view. A trailer in the lane between pumps and buildings will cause many stations to turn off pumps to stay in compliance.
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Old 04-27-2021, 07:47 AM   #15
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It's a nice route (especially if you're going farther west), but it will definitely be more out of the OP's way. 36 is literally a direct shot to Denver with no other roads to worry about. Plus, that stretch of Nebraska on the PET is miserable! To qualify my opinion: I love driving through KS, but I can't stand driving through Nebraska.

You could catch the Pony Express Museum in St. Joseph, and if you're captivated by the allure, make up your mind there, since that's where the junction of PET and 36 is.
I have always thought western KS and eastern CO were terrible places to drive and NE is worse?
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Old 04-27-2021, 12:18 PM   #16
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I have always thought western KS and eastern CO were terrible places to drive and NE is worse?
Absolutely. Kansas is gorgeous, giant skies, waving fields of grain, dilapidated barns and machinery, interesting mini canyons and subtle topography. I have taken so many amazing photographs in KS. Nebraska is muggy and gray and filled with bugs splattering all over my windshield.
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Old 04-27-2021, 12:19 PM   #17
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Look at the Lincoln Highway. Route 30. Great two lane.
Route 30 is on my list of routes to try. The Lincoln Highway is to Interstate 80 what Route 36 is to Interstate 70.
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Old 05-06-2021, 07:03 AM   #18
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I don't get the lack of love for Nebraska--great roads-friendly small towns-well maintained parks-bird watcher's dream.
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Old 05-06-2021, 08:27 AM   #19
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I did Rt 30 out and Rt 2 back. Very enjoyable. I would get through MI and Chicago as best you can (I80) and don't pick up Rt 30 until west of the City....around Morris or west of there. From Morris, jump on Rt 47 north to Sugar Grove where you can catch 30 west. Clear sailing from there.
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Old 05-06-2021, 08:57 AM   #20
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I don't get the lack of love for Nebraska--great roads-friendly small towns-well maintained parks-bird watcher's dream.
Some people don't like pizza either. I think it's just a matter of personal preference and previous experiences. For me, it's the humidity, exorbitant amount of bugs on the windshield, gray skies, and the most expensive speeding ticket I've ever received.
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