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Thread: cannonball run

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    cannonball run

    It's gonna be 2,000 miles to Seattle, I'll have a couple weeks of vacation to ski pow, and a brand new WRX to get me there.

    In about ten days it'll be time to get the hell outta dodge and make some turns. Here's the deal. I need to get from Enid, Oklahoma to Seattle, WA in the shortest amount of time; all routes seem to run through Denver. Enid to Denver is about 600 miles, but where's the fastest route from there? Mapquest and yahoo have different opinions.

    a) DEN->SLC->BOISE->SEA?
    b) DEN->CHEYENNE->HELENA->SEA?

    Anyone an expert on the Denver to Seattle run? How many hours? I know I'll be passing through some prime ski terrain but my gear's in Seattle so I'm not interested in anything except the fastest route home.

    Also, I'm clueless when it comes to radar detection devices, are those things worth buying prior to a trip like this? If anyone owns one they're happy with, I'd love some advice.

    It's been a while since I've been on the board, it was about a year ago I quit my job at Initech/Penitrode and began chasing some dreams. Spent a winter/spring skiing all over WA, BC, OR; followed by a month surfing/playing in Costa Rica, followed by six months here in Pensacola, Florida seeing if I've got what it takes to become a navy pilot. So far all signs point to yes. Can't wait to get home to Stevens Pass and Baker, I've never gone so long w/o seeing mountains. Looks like the PNW has had a slow start but it's nice to see the rest of the west is doing well for snow.

    Thanks for any advice on this trip, it should be an adventure if nothing else.

  2. #2
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    your goal - get the fuck out of Vance, right?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jumper Bones
    your goal - get the fuck out of Vance, right?
    Yes, and I haven't even seen Vance yet. Still stuck in Pcola until Friday.

  4. #4
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    for fastest to Seattle, without possible interesting skiing on the way...

    my vote would be DEN -> WY -> BOISE -> PDX -> SEATTLE
    70 W to Denver
    25 N to Ft. Collins
    287 N (heads NW) to I-80 W
    I-80 W nearly to SLC
    I-15 N to I-84
    I-84 through Boise to Portland
    PDX to SEATTLE I imagine you can figure for yourself.

    Denver to SLC is around 7-8 hours
    SLC to PDX is around 10-12 hours
    Portland to Seattle is around 2.5-3 hours

    However, if you want to ski a bit on the way...
    I'd go 70 to Denver, 70 W into Summit County. 2 Hours. Ski.
    Then 70 W to Utah, cut up on 6 to SLC. 6 Hours. Ski.
    Now make the run for Hood River, almost to Portland. 11 Hours. Ski at Hood.
    Finish to Seattle. 3 Hours.

    EDIT: times assume fast but not crazy highway driving, ie, good vis, good roads, good weather.
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  5. #5
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    Yos, how do you figure Portland is a stop along the way between Boise and Seattle? I belive that visiting the Palm Springs of Washington, aka Yakima, is a faster route. However, maybe I'm missing something that a slack jawed yokel has a better grasp on.

    Thanks for the rest of the info though.

  6. #6
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    "how do you figure Portland is a stop along the way between Boise and Seattle?" Well, how does bigger, straighter, and faster road sound? (I think you miss portland by a few miles crossing the columbia river)
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  7. #7
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    typically I've found that sticking to the major highways where you can cruise at 75-80 mph regardless of hour of day, etc, with reasonable comfort that if you need gas/stop/etc you can find it and don't have to worry about being stuck behind people, tagging deer, etc, outweighs even moderate mileage differences by taking smaller roads. Eastern OR to eastern/southern WA up to Yakima etc is really not fast, mostly two lane roads at 55 mph limit where you can get stuck behind slow movers, and you don't hit highway till I-90 right? at which point you still have to go up and over the Pass. I-84 is fast.

    EDIT: Just looked again at the map...mileage diff in this case might be big enough to make the Yak side better after all. You're right, it sure looks good on the map. I know the stretch to Yakima from OR is slow, but it looks like there's now a good connection from Yakima up to 90? I-82? Hmmm...Haven't driven the bit between Yakima and Seattle before.

    If it was me, yeah, I'd maybe go that way after all, I dunno. But if so, I'd plan to do it during the day time, so you can pass people on the slow part, and don't have to come over the Pass into Skiattle in the dark...(slow)... Still, 84 is pretty efficient.
    Last edited by Yossarian; 12-12-2004 at 11:09 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Oregon blows... stupid state has the lowest speed limits and some real asshole cops to accompany it. Yeah, I have had a few bad times getting through that state.

    However, this being said, Yossarian's route really is the best one to take from DEN to SEA. I have made this drive many many times in the last five years. Generally it takes somewhere around 19 hours with sufficient disregard for the speed limit. Do watch your speed going through the Columbia River Gorge though, every bend seems to hide a few more cops trying to make their quota. Radar detectors are of limited help IMO because most highway patrols are running laser units anyway. I mourn the death of dirty and easily detectable cancer causing old school radar.

  9. #9
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    I drove solo from Lawrence to Seattle two winters ago. It took about 25 hours nonstop. I went Den, Cheynne, SLC, Boise, clipped the corner of Oregon, up into Wash, and then west to Seattle. Only place the road was bad was in western WY, and snoqualmie pass. Its a pretty drive, interesting to see the country side change so much. Driving through the part of ID before Boise is like driving in a nuclear wasteland though...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by CascadeCrudSkier
    Also, I'm clueless when it comes to radar detection devices, are those things worth buying prior to a trip like this? If anyone owns one they're happy with, I'd love some advice.
    Don't have one myself, but every test and word-of-mouth results point to a Valentine One.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    If you're going to get a radar detector, then I would definitely go with the Valentine One. Even though most cops use laser on the interstate, they still sometimes have their radar on, usually the "instant-on" type it seems. A couple of years ago I made the drive from Jackson Hole to Cincinnati in just under 23 hours with the cruise control set at no less than 100mph for at least 90% of the drive. This detector definitely saved my ass a couple of times of that journey.

  12. #12
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    Why were you in such a hurry to get to Cinncinnati?

  13. #13
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    Oct 2003
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    Bump on the Valetine One it is bar far the best Radar unit I have used!! Well worth the price!

  14. #14
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    If that's a brand-new WRX, make sure you get it broken-in before this trip. You want ~1000 miles of driving below 4,000 RPM to break it in. The catch is, you don't want 1,000 miles of cruise control driving, you need to vary the engine speed to get it properly broken in.

    Just a thought.

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