Rather than keep hashing this out in the comments to my post about Wyoming, I thought I would present the two routes I am considering so as to get input on them. One route has me shooting straight north and then northwest through the Dakotas. The other has me going northwest from Austin and then straight north from New Mexico.
There are two factors I would like folks to keep in mind before they give me their thoughts.
I am going to be leaving Austin in very late March or very early early April so as to give me a full five weeks to get to Saskatchewan in case the weather gets ugly along the way. Either route is going to take me a week to do at a comfortable pace, but regardless of how quickly I travel or not, I am going to be traveling through one of the iffiest weather periods of the year in some of the most isolated areas of the US. Facilities may be closed or offer reduced services.
2) Elevation Changes
It’s my belief that the second route is going to have more elevation changes than the first, which could also impact on weather. I also do not want to face any really steep grades. I just want a nice easy lope back to Canada.
Here is the direct route:
This route mostly takes I-35. I believe that elevation changes would be a non-issue as I am mostly going through the prairies. I have found an abundance of places to overnight along this route, even in the wilds of the Dakotas where you can stay overnight at a rest area.
If I was just focused on getting back to Canada, this route would be a no brainer. But I’ve already been through most of these states.
Here is route two:
This route mostly takes I-25. It would allow me to add several more states to my map. I am concerned about elevation changes. Most of what I remember of Denver is a 10-lane highway, so driving through that city sounds a little unnerving and there doesn’t seem to be a good way around, but RV forums say to just drive through outside of rush hour. I have found fewer overnighting options on this route, and none that sound like a sure bet in Wyoming.
I like this route because of the additional states I’ll get to add to my map, I really want to see Colorado again, and I’ve heard that Wyoming is gorgeous, but it doesn’t sound like a sure bet in the shoulder seasons.
Both routes are about the same distance and terminate at the tiny Scobey, MT border crossing near my property.
I don’t want to go back. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.
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