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Old 03-29-2009, 01:51 PM
 
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My boyfriend and I will be moving back to our home state of CA from PA. We are leaving PA the beginning of May. We'll be driving I-80 pretty much the whole trip. I'm looking for any advice at all. Anything to help with the long car drive, or anything to see, maybe places to stay along the way? Has anyone had any problems at this time of year? Thanks!!
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Old 03-29-2009, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Central Nebraska
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First of all, have your car in great mechanical condition and know your limits on driving distances. Also plan on running into road construction!

I can help you with Nebraska!

Your best towns to stop in (from east to west) for hotels, gas and food are Omaha, Lincoln, York, Kearney, Lexington, North Platte, Ogallala and Sidney. Other decent stops are Seward, Aurora, Grand Island/Hastings, Cozad, Gothenburg and Kimball. Something to watch for in western Nebraska is some gas station owners will post a low gas price on their sign but only have it available at one pump. I hate this practice, but is sometimes happens. I find that if you go to the truck stops, you don't have to worry about it. Also if you stop in Kearney, drive into town a couple blocks, gas will be cheaper! There isn't a ton to see along the interstate.

My suggestion for Wyoming is to make sure you know your distances between bigger towns. It can be a good distance in between. Iowa has the Quad Cities on the east, Omaha/Council Bluffs on the west and Des Moines in the middle so that gives you good metro areas for stopping. There are also lots of good stops in between, more in the east with Iowa City, Newton etc..
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:52 PM
 
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That's a pretty bland route. I've done it before!

Lots of construction, plus when I was driving through there it was wildfire season, so plan your routes carefully!
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:22 AM
 
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Some quick observations:

There really isn't a good time to go thru Chicagoland. Road construction lasts for generations and nothing ever gets better. Traffic is always heavy. Just grin and bear it...

There's a HUGE travel plaza/truck stop at Walcott, IA (I-80 Exit 284; about 20 miles West of the IL border) It's worth stopping, even for a quick snack!

Just west of Omaha, NE is the Strategic Air Command Museum. Don't know the exit number, but it's immediately North of the highway. If planes are your thing, it's well worth the stop.

It was still under construction when I was trucking on I-80, but there's some kind of tourist attraction relating to the Platte River in Central NE. Part of the attraction is a walkway that spans I-80.

Cabela's Sporting Goods main store and corporate HQ are in Sidney, NE (Exit 59) Even if you're not an outdoorsy type, the store is really neat.

Weather shouldn't be a real concern, but I'd still be prepared for ANYTHING in Wyoming! Pay close attention to the weather! Civilization along the 402 miles of I-80 in WY is pretty sparse and it's a L-O-N-G way between cities!! Pay close attention to the weather! Carry a good survival kit in your car!!! Pay close attention to the weather! Wyoming usually is at least a little windy and sometimes it gets strong enough to blow big rigs over! Pay close attention to the weather! Although a little pricey, Little America (Exit 68) is a pretty nice place to stop; good food and treats. Pay close attention to the weather!

Utah is pretty scenic an Salt Lake City isn't too bad to get thru. Again, civilization is pretty sparse across the Great Salt Lake and over in NV until you get to the Reno/Sparks area. If you have a hankering to lose money, there are plenty of gambling establishments across NV!

I-80 thru the Sierra Nevada Mountains is VERY scenic! Again, watch the weather. If you have the time and inclination, Lake Tahoe and U.S. 50 is a nice diversion from the interstate. But it's winding and mountainous...

Well, that's it for "quick & dirty"... Have a great trip!
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Central Nebraska
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crew Chief View Post
Just west of Omaha, NE is the Strategic Air Command Museum. Don't know the exit number, but it's immediately North of the highway. If planes are your thing, it's well worth the stop.

It was still under construction when I was trucking on I-80, but there's some kind of tourist attraction relating to the Platte River in Central NE. Part of the attraction is a walkway that spans I-80.

Cabela's Sporting Goods main store and corporate HQ are in Sidney, NE (Exit 59) Even if you're not an outdoorsy type, the store is really neat

SAC musuem is at exit 426, there is also a really nice state park there and a drive through safari zoo. There is also the zoo in Omaha and its right off the interstate.

What you saw in Central Nebraska is the Great Platte River Archway near Kearney. It is a musuem that commemorates transportation such as Oregen trail, railroad and Lincoln Highway. Its does span over the interstate.

Another suggestion, if you plan on staying in certain hotels use thier points cards. You might be able to earn enough points, especially if they are running promotions, to earn a free night or two for a weekend getaway! Also when you stop for gas look for those free magazines that offer coupons for lodging.
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:42 AM
 
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I really would like to get through NE again some day soon! In addition to the stuff you updated me on, Tpabes (thanks!), I'd like to see more of Omaha and Lincoln and even some of the state that I80 doesn't go through!

(P.S. All of us back here in IN/KY/OH where those three jail escaees were from sure are greatful your law enforcement folks tracked 'em down on NE Hwy 2!)
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:18 AM
 
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Wow, thank you for all the great info! That really was very helpful.

And if anyone reads this again, do you think that 5 days(that's what we're planning, but it's not completely set) is a pretty reasonable amount of time to get across and maybe see a couple things on the way?
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Southeast Idaho
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Five days sounds possibly alright if there aren't too many places you want to stop at along the way.

Even though today's cars are more rugged than those of our parents, I still suggest you keep a jug of coolant with you for the NV desert, just in case. A neat place to stop in NV is right close to the NV/CA line. Boomtown is an awesome casino if that's your thing. Even if it isn't, food prices at casinos can be quite reasonable.

Although WY is sparse going east to west you have Cheyenne, (one large pass in between called Sherman) Laramie , Rawlins sits on the other side of Elk Mountain from Laramie, Rock Springs, Little America and just before UT is Evanston.

Crew Chief was quite honest in being prepared in WY. My husband just sat for more than 24 hours there waiting for the 80 to open up, it was closed due to snow and winds. If you are pulling a moving trailer or anything heed all warnings posted!

In NV you'll have Wendover at the NV/UT line, then Wells about 60 miles later. The 400 miles between the borders there are other stops; Elko, Winnemucca to name a few.
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Old 04-07-2009, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
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Agree with being aware of the weather in WY, otherwise its not a terribly exciting drive until you hit the mountains. Bring plenty of stuff for kids to read/play.
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
29,041 posts, read 45,005,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shurst1121 View Post
My boyfriend and I will be moving back to our home state of CA from PA. We are leaving PA the beginning of May. We'll be driving I-80 pretty much the whole trip. I'm looking for any advice at all. Anything to help with the long car drive, or anything to see, maybe places to stay along the way? Has anyone had any problems at this time of year? Thanks!!
I don't know much until you hit Nevada, but your last night should be spent in Reno... then you can hop back on I-80, and be at the coast (if that's where you're headed) in 4-5 hours the next day. My favorite hotel in the Reno area is John Ascuaga's Nugget, which is actually in Sparks and very reasonably priced. Also, since you'll be going through the Sierra Nevada mountains, you should probably bring chains. Snow can definitely happen in May, although it's unlikely to be a storm - but better safe than sorry!
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