View Full Version : How long should it take to drive from Ohio to Oregon?
06-07-2005, 06:46 PM
I live in NW Ohio and plan to take I-80 or I-90 to Oregon in the near future. I opted for driving because the train takes 3 days anyway, and Mapquest said it was a 37-hour drive (3 days, easy).
(Oh, and please don't ask about flying. I just don't even want to go there right now, and I don't want to get into any debates about how silly not flying is - just assume I won't do it.)
Now, I'm being told (by the only person I know who's made the drive by car, however he was transporting my then-very ill Grandpa home from Arizona. Grandpa couldn't handle a long drive and wanted to quit mid-afternoon - therefore it took my source 6 days to make that trip).
My friend who is a trucker says I can do it in 3 to 3 1/2 days.
My questions for everyone:
1) How long do you estimate it would take to get there, assuming 12 hour chunks of drive time or more per day?
2) WHat kind of terrain can I expect on the way? (Yes, I KNOW, the Rocky Mountains, but what else?? Anything likely to kill my car?
Thanks in advance for your answers.
06-07-2005, 07:54 PM
It took 2 and a half days to drive from Milwaukee, WI to Seattle, WA.
I'm thinking 2 days to get from Ohio to Oregon.
It took 22 hours of non-stop driving for my BF-at-the-time and me to drive from Murdo, South Dakota to Columbus, Ohio. That's including gas and food breaks. At that pace, you could definitely do it in two days, but I'd personally allot for three.
Terrain should be...empty.
5 days while camping along the way and with two cars with 1 driver each. (Camping chews up a lot of time setting up and taking down.)
Plan on a little over 3 days unless you are into peeing into cups.
As for the scenery, it gets very good after a day and a half.
06-07-2005, 10:20 PM
Well, I've done Seattle to San Diego in 18 hours once, stopping only for gas. I wouldn't recommend that to anyone. 3000 in one go is a bit much. So figure 2 days if you burn right through.
06-08-2005, 12:20 AM
A couple of years ago I dragged the kids out to Seattle from Cleveland.
Our trip (which should be quite a bit slower than yours) went as follows: 67 1/2 hours driving over 6 days out to Seattle. ("Travel" time includes the tow back to Jamestown, ND after we violently encountered a deer, 50 miles of gravel road on U.S. 2 where they were repaving, a hike up Logan's Pass in Glacier Park, and the hiking around the overlooks north of Mt. Ranier and the southern slopes of Mt. Ranier; "elapsed" time includes the wait to get the car fixed after encountering the deer.) 69 hours driving time over five days back to NE Ohio. ("Travel" time includes a leisurely day wandering around Yellowstone Park with side trips to Devil's Tower, Mt. Rushmore, the Crazy Horse monument, the Badlands and Wall Drug, and a tour of an old Army Corps of Engineers work boat. We also took the extra time to drive through downtown Chicago both out and back.
Given that we took the Northern Route out, took a lot of two-lane roads, and made a lot of tourist stops, I would say that you should be able to do it in fewer than four days if you stick to the freeway and don't dawdle.
06-08-2005, 12:35 AM
It took 2 and a half days to drive from Milwaukee, WI to Seattle, WA.
I'm thinking 2 days to get from Ohio to Oregon.ummm? There is pretty much nothing in Eastern Oregon, (even Washington at least has Spokane), and Milwaukee is 8 hours west of Ohio. I'm curious as to why you think the trip would be shorter.
06-08-2005, 05:36 AM
Thanks everyone for your thoughts.
I must add, that we are going to Eugene, Oregon: basically right on the west coast. I suppose it makes a difference.
06-08-2005, 11:36 AM
I moved from Klamath Falls, Oregon to Finlday, Ohio.
The drive took 4 days of 8-14 hour days but was in the winter. It should be doable in 3 days. But those are going to be LONG days.
06-08-2005, 01:34 PM
Shouldn't take too long, the only state in between is Oklahoma.
06-08-2005, 02:37 PM
I've done the trek between Portland and Bloomington IN-- should be similar.
I'd do from where you are to say Madison or something around there; day 2 Madison to west South Dakota or somewhere in Wyoming. Day 3 from there to Coeur d'Alene or so-- hotels or anything in western Montana will be booked up/ exorbitant with Glacier and Yellowstone people. You can drive as fast as is sane in Montana. From north Idaho or Spokane it's about 10 more hours to Eugene (You go towards Kennewick/Pasco after Spokane (turnoff at Ritzville-- this will then be the 395) and then to I-84 down the Columbia river (nice) to Portland, then hit I-5 south to Eugene).
I'd do it in 4 days, unless you really like long long hauls. The middle part of the country will be hot, so have AC or windows that work. Don't try going through the middle of eastern Oregon-- there is nothing and the roads are not as straight and lovely as they look on the map. Take the freeways and the northern route.
06-08-2005, 02:50 PM
Oh, wait, I see you don't mind 12+ hour days. Sure, three days is possible. Try Toledo or whereever to Sioux Falls or Rapid City (depending on how much nothing you can take-- would a long first day be easiest?), from there to Butte or Missoula (might be easier to find a place at one of those than in Bozeman), and then to Eugene. Six days is out of the question. So is two days.
[QUOTE=tomndebb]There is pretty much nothing in Eastern Oregon, ...[QUOTE]
I most emphatically object. In particular, the viewpoint atop Cabbage Hill outside of Pendleton on I-84 is my favorite viewpoint in the whole state. Eastern Oregon is jammed with all sorts of stunning vistas and odd geological formations. Steen's Mountain, for example is an immense escarpment that has no equal in the US.
Since the OP is going to Eugene, I strongly suggest taking the southern route. It will be far faster, etc. Note that the southern passes thru the Cascades can be quite curvy, make sure any seasick-prone people in the car have taken their meds well in advance.
The big plus of the southern route in terms of view is the gradual appearance of the Cascades (esp. the 3 Sisters) on the horizon.
06-08-2005, 07:41 PM
Thanks everyone!! I think we will try to do it in 3 days - 14 hours of driving per day with occasional breaks for the bathroom. Front windows don't work in the car (damned electric windows) but we have cold AC. And a loud stereo.
I have no idea what we're going to encounter, but y'all have given me somewhat of a clue.
Tannim, I live in the Findlay area! Are you still there?
06-08-2005, 08:24 PM
3 days should be fine. I drove from Dayton, OH to San Francisco by myself in 4 days without ever stretching myself too thin and always having a full night's sleep in a hotel. Going a little longer each day (especially if you have a co-driver) shouldn't be too big of a deal.
06-08-2005, 08:47 PM
Microsoft Streets & Trips says Toledo to Eugene in 35 hours, not counting stops.
Avoid 294 south of Chicago, part of it is closed until the end of September.
06-08-2005, 08:58 PM
Some other thoughts if you plan on (a) taking the southern route and (b) ever leaving your car...
Decent German food in the Amana Colonies near Iowa City. I don't remember which "colony" houses the Ox Yoke Inn, but I have fond memories of it. (Although not any RECENT memories of it)...
The high elevation point of I-80 is just east of Laramie Wyoming... you'll be amazed that you're at around 8000 feet without having ever really driven up anything much...
If you have more time on the way back, turn right on 130 at Wolcott Junction in Wyoming, go through Saratoga and then turn left to stay on 130, and drive over Medicine Bow Pass. This is known locally as the Snowy Range Road (http://www.rockymountainroads.com/wyoming/wy-130.html) . It'll slow you down by at least an hour or 90 minutes (Highway 130 returns to I-80 in Laramie), but you'll be amazed that there is someplace so beautiful within 10 miles (as the crow flies) of the ugliness of I-80...
06-08-2005, 09:15 PM
If you have more time on the way back, turn right on 130 at Wolcott Junction in Wyoming, go through Saratoga and then turn left to stay on 130, and drive over Medicine Bow Pass. This is known locally as the Snowy Range Road (http://www.rockymountainroads.com/wyoming/wy-130.html) . It'll slow you down by at least an hour or 90 minutes (Highway 130 returns to I-80 in Laramie), but you'll be amazed that there is someplace so beautiful within 10 miles (as the crow flies) of the ugliness of I-80...If you can, on the way out take a detour off I-80 just past Big Springs, Nebraska and pick up I-76 to Denver then switch over to I-70. I-70 from Denver to Grand Junction is absolutely beautiful! Particularly Glenwood Canyon (http://lathom.com/uba/photos/ra300138.jpg). From Grand Junction, you'd stay on 70 then take I-15 and I-84 to get up to Eugene. This adds about 6 hours.
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