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For those who have crossed the mid-west on two laners, any advice on the most scenic way to get to Chicago? Is southern Nebraska / Iowa any different than northern Kansas / Missouri?

I hope to take about 2.5 days to get there in July.

I also was wondering about Lake Superior. After Chicago, I'll have about a week to explore MI U.P. then head either across the southern shore of Superior or into Canada to loop the lake on the north. What would be the better way?!

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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I know of no route between Springs and Chitown that can be done in 2.5 days that can be called scenic. I just blast along the Interstate and get the trip over with as quickly as possible and I've lost count of how many times I've done it. You've seen one cornfield and you've seen them all. It's the ride after I get to the mountains that is worth anything it takes to get there.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Thanks Pat. I guess then I should take the slab and use the extra day on the tail end of my trip when I'm riding around the Great Lakes.
That would be time better spent. Roads along the Mississippi river can be interesting too.
 

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For those who have crossed the mid-west on two laners, any advice on the most scenic way to get to Chicago? Is southern Nebraska / Iowa any different than northern Kansas / Missouri?

I hope to take about 2.5 days to get there in July.

I also was wondering about Lake Superior. After Chicago, I'll have about a week to explore MI U.P. then head either across the southern shore of Superior or into Canada to loop the lake on the north. What would be the better way?!

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Well I like to ride US36 it is a good road which you could catch without going out of your way from Colo Springs. Ride 36 until it turns into 4 lane in parts of Missouri and it takes you through Hannibal, MO where 36 turns into I-72. Ride I-72 into the capitol city of IL Springfield, IL and at Springfield catch I-55 to Chicago. If you have a extra time on your hands there are things to see and do on this route. Sure beats riding the super slap for me. YMMV however
 

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Well I like to ride US36 it is a good road which you could catch without going out of your way from Colo Springs. Ride 36 until it turns into 4 lane in parts of Missouri and it takes you through Hannibal, MO where 36 turns into I-72. Ride I-72 into the capitol city of IL Springfield, IL and at Springfield catch I-55 to Chicago. If you have a extra time on your hands there are things to see and do on this route. Sure beats riding the super slap for me. YMMV however
Thanks for posting that. Just mapped it and it looks like a decent alternative to sheer boredom. Might use it on an upcoming UT > NH ride later this year.
 

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Well I like to ride US36 it is a good road which you could catch without going out of your way from Colo Springs. Ride 36 until it turns into 4 lane in parts of Missouri and it takes you through Hannibal, MO where 36 turns into I-72. Ride I-72 into the capitol city of IL Springfield, IL and at Springfield catch I-55 to Chicago. If you have a extra time on your hands there are things to see and do on this route. Sure beats riding the super slap for me. YMMV however
Yes, thanks from me for posting this too. I had considered this very route when looking at the map. For some reason, I kept honing in on Hannibal and then riding the Mississippi as you and Greywolf suggested. I don't like the slab either and will avoid it at all costs if possible.
 

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Well I like to ride US36 it is a good road which you could catch without going out of your way from Colo Springs. Ride 36 until it turns into 4 lane in parts of Missouri and it takes you through Hannibal, MO where 36 turns into I-72. Ride I-72 into the capitol city of IL Springfield, IL and at Springfield catch I-55 to Chicago. If you have a extra time on your hands there are things to see and do on this route. Sure beats riding the super slap for me. YMMV however

I will vouch for this route.

I used to live in Chicago and traveled West a number of times through Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. There is no great way to go, especially if it's HOT and or WINDY. The rolling beauty of Eastern 36 into MO, crossing the Big Muddy and coming NE up through IL is way better than the interstate - if you have the time. Hannibal is kind of quaint. It's the journey, not the destination...yada yada :fineprint:

Hope you have a great adventure!
 

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+1 on Rt 63. I rode from Ohio to CO last September and I made a better average speed on 36 than I do on the superslab. On 36 there were times that I wouldn't see another car for 10 or 15 minutes.

I will vouch for this route.

I used to live in Chicago and traveled West a number of times through Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. There is no great way to go, especially if it's HOT and or WINDY. The rolling beauty of Eastern 36 into MO, crossing the Big Muddy and coming NE up through IL is way better than the interstate - if you have the time. Hannibal is kind of quaint. It's the journey, not the destination...yada yada :fineprint:

Hope you have a great adventure!
 

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We are doing a trip around Lake Superior the Memorial Day weekend. Need a passport to get back into the US. The Michigan side of Lake Michigan is beautiful. This is from Mike B. Michigan Stromtrooper.

"If you're coming up via 94 from Chicago to 196 through Holland to 31 north. Then continue on 31 north to Manistee, turn left at the BK. Go 12 miles of twisty 30 mph scenic roads till the end...M-22. Turn left again and follow 22 twisty all the way up to North Port then to
Traverse City. Probably one of the nicest rides in Michigan! Then north on 31 out of TC to
Petoskey to M-119…"The Tunnel of Trees" another great 21 mile stretch of twisty
road to the Leggs Inn Polish restaurant."

The North Shore of Lake Superior is very scenic and the South Shore is great with many secondary dirt/sand roads. Plus you get a chance to drive over the Makinac Bridge into the UP.
 

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Well I like to ride US36 it is a good road which you could catch without going out of your way from Colo Springs. Ride 36 until it turns into 4 lane in parts of Missouri and it takes you through Hannibal, MO where 36 turns into I-72. Ride I-72 into the capitol city of IL Springfield, IL and at Springfield catch I-55 to Chicago. If you have a extra time on your hands there are things to see and do on this route. Sure beats riding the super slap for me. YMMV however
I was going to recommend this route as well, as I have taken it many times in both directions.

A word of advice: Do not fail to get gas at Joe, Colorado. There is one station in that town, and top off there. It's a long way till the next station in Kansas.


As an alternate, at US83, (Oberlin, KS IIRC) you can head north to US34 and take that all the way into the Chicago area. US36 is a straight shot along the old Missouri Pacific rail line into St Joe and on to Hannibal on the Missippi. US34 follows the old Burlington Route (now part of BNSF) into Chicago. Either is a better route IMO than I 70 or I 80.

I'm planning a Lake Superior trip in August.
 
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