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Old 10-20-2014, 07:52 AM
 
Location: East Coast
21 posts, read 30,370 times
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We are moving from PA to Coeur D'Alene, ID in a fully packed 26 ft Penske towing a fully packed Ford Escape. This thing had some trouble getting through the hills before the turnpike, and we're wondering whether we'll survive crossing between Montana and Idaho. We were planning on taking I-90. Would I-80 be better? Is there another route that might be even flatter, even with a detour? We'd rather get there safe and sound than have pretty views.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Seattle
1,531 posts, read 1,315,607 times
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I think I-90 is your best bet. Lookout Pass on I-90 is around 4700 feet, while Missoula is at 3200 and CdA is 2200, so not a great deal of elevation gain/loss. Could someone drive the Escape over the pass?
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Old 10-20-2014, 01:13 PM
 
Location: East Coast
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No, we are driving our other car too. That's what we were thinking, although Google also recommended I 94 as an option.
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Old 10-20-2014, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peepsy View Post
No, we are driving our other car too. That's what we were thinking, although Google also recommended I 94 as an option.
Google is really in love with I-94, for reasons that escape me. IMO crossing South Dakota is infinitely preferable to North Dakota.
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Old 10-20-2014, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Great Plains
25,583 posts, read 31,850,255 times
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I 90 is your best route. Is 4,700 feet above sea level. The highest point in Homestake pass east of Butte Montana. The elevation is 6,329 feet about sea level.

In the winter time pay attention to road conditions. On the long passes the rule is you go down the same hill that you climb that hill. So, downshift a gear or two and take your time on the passes and log grades.
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Old 10-21-2014, 05:16 AM
 
Location: East Coast
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Thanks. We are going to do I 90. I know we can expect some black ice conditions in the morning and evening but not during the day at this time, right? We're crossing Ohio right now.
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peepsy View Post
Thanks. We are going to do I 90. I know we can expect some black ice conditions in the morning and evening but not during the day at this time, right? We're crossing Ohio right now.
Weather alerts in Montana - Roadnow

You might find this old trip report I did for Flyertalk interesting.
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Idaho
535 posts, read 472,497 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peepsy View Post
No, we are driving our other car too. That's what we were thinking, although Google also recommended I 94 as an option.
I took a trip out West this summer and took I 90 to get there and I 94 back. I suggest 90, it is more scenic and taking 94 will save you from absolutely none of the hilly sections. Those all come after you hit Billings, which is where the two meet up again.
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Great Plains
25,583 posts, read 31,850,255 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peepsy View Post
Thanks. We are going to do I 90. I know we can expect some black ice conditions in the morning and evening but not during the day at this time, right? We're crossing Ohio right now.
The weather for the most part is warm and dry. You should be good for a big section. it looks like you can run into some snow in Montana. Looks like there is a winter weather advisory. As you get closer, it pays to pay attention.
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Old 10-22-2014, 08:07 AM
 
Location: East Coast
21 posts, read 30,370 times
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Thanks! That's very good to know. Hoping to keep up at 650 miles for today, same as yesterday. At that rate we'll make it to the border of SD/MT and see how he hills go after billings. Unfortunately it's pretty hilly already... Bummer is our truck can't manually shift into 3rd gear, only 4 or 2nd. Looks like we'all be going super slow down the lookout pass...
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