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bruce t

US Highway 2 info needed.

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I'm looking for any feedback on US2 across the northern states. We intend heading from North Carolina to the Cascades over the summer months. (No RV just a pickup, motel and a tent!!!).

Hope to head up to the Mackinac bridge then turn left.

 

Yes some may say it's a 'boring' road but is it? The 'big sky' country can't be that bad. Can it?

 

What's worth seeing and what do we need to avoid. I know there are quite a few state parks etc and I know the towns are small and far between. (Just like home).

 

Regards

Bruce

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Great road across the top of the country. And it lands you right at Glacier National Park. On the North Dakota/Montana border is Fort Union, a national park most people never know about - a great stop. Once you get to Spokane, stay on US 2 to Wilbur, then take Highway 21 north to Hiway 174 which will take you to Grand Coulee Dam - try to spend the night there and take in the laser light show on the fact of the dam. From Coulee city take Highway 155 up to Omak, then pick up Highway 20 which will take you over the Cascades. This pass is ONLY open in the summer and is truly a wonderful drive pass one of the most turquoise lakes (Diablo) you will every see. Highway 20 follows the Skagit river (absolutely the most beautiful small river in the world because that's MY river) all the way to Puget Sound.

 

You will drive through Malta, Montana which has a very nice little museum that houses my grandfather's watch (he was a cowboy on the prairie at the end of the 19th century) and you'll pass through Dotson, MT where my mother was born in a shoddy. When you get to Glacier, check to see if the pass is open, if it is, it is a spectacular drive up the "Going to the Sun" road.

 

Barb

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One of the prettiest campgrounds we've stayed is Fort Peck at Glasgow. It was a welcome site with acres of manicured green grass and huge sites. It was when we left and continued west that we really felt the 'Big Sky Country' of Montana. We loved the whole drive - from Michigan to Washington. Crossing the Cascades at Diablo was equally impressive. Have a good trip!

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Thanks everyone. I forgot to say that the 'only' part of US2 we haven't done is from Duluth to Shelby MT. Done the GTTS road. Doing it again this time with a hike or two in mind.

We've just never had a chance to explore the big sky country so this year is the year.

 

regards

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We only drove it from E to W, once. There are many things to see and do along this route. It passes through Cut Bank, MT,then through the Blackfeet reservation. Be sure to stop in Havre, MT to take a tour of "Havre underground". During the coldest months the residents moved underground to escape the frigid winter. Just as you enter Havre, there is/was a motel W/RV park and resturaunt that was when we stayed there clean, neat and good food. The downside, it's between US 2 and the RR switchyard.

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I thought he might be right so I looked it up. It is the blackfeet tribe.

 

Read some more and it seems Blackfoot is more common in Canada but Blackfeet is more common in US. Seems to still be some controversey.

Edited by bigjim

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Ray, ND, has a city campground with free electric. At least it did the two times we drove US Hwy 2. We were chasing trains the first time so did not mind the fact that Hwy 2 and the BN mainline pretty much follow one another. The daily Amtrak train between Chicago and Seattle/Portland takes three days to make the trip so there are actually three of these trains. Time it right and you can see them meeting one another more than once.

 

Linda Sand

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And when you drive through Bessemer, MI you will drive right behind the house my grandmother lived in for half her life.

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We've actually stayed at several campgrounds that did 'room service'. Often it is just for pizza, but others did a complete room service from their menu. When just stopping for overnight, I really liked the pizza delivery - nothing to fix on our end and a break from our normal sandwiches. Plus, we would always get a large size and then put the left overs in the frig for dinner the next night.

 

Barb

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We order from Domino's or Papa Johns here at this campground. Depends on how far away they are if they will deliver or not.

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If your night time stop will bring you near Williston, ND call ahead as the oil field workers have most all camp sites occupied. Avoid staying in Williston if possible.

Good luck,

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Highway 2 across ND and MT has a great deal of history behind it. It follows the route of the Great Northern railroad. There is a railroad museum in Havre, MT that I donated a group of pictures of the building of the railroad thru Glacier National Park in 1926 that my Grandfather took while working for the Great Northern. It is just above the Havre underground.

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Ray, ND, has a city campground with free electric. At least it did the two times we drove US Hwy 2. We were chasing trains the first time so did not mind the fact that Hwy 2 and the BN mainline pretty much follow one another. The daily Amtrak train between Chicago and Seattle/Portland takes three days to make the trip so there are actually three of these trains. Time it right and you can see them meeting one another more than once.

 

Linda Sand

We didn't stay overnight at Ray, just refueled. That was exciting; I refueled, paid with CC and as usual got a paper receipt. About 10 miles West a county sheriff pulled me over. He said I was reported as a drive-off, I produced my receipt and he walked to his SUV, returned a few minutes later and apologized for the stop. That's why I've always got a receipt from every fuel stop.

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ALWAYS get a receipt. I've heard many calls on the scanner where they are reporting a gas drive off, and later when they stop the "suspect" vehicle the driver has a receipt. Even without a receipt you could prove that you paid, but it's much easier just to produce your printed copy.

 

Then there are the stations that are too lazy to go out and put more printer paper in the machine,, so you get the "see attendant for receipt" message at the pump.

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As others have said - avoid Williston ND if you can. It's slowed down some with the drop in fuel prices but not a place you want to be. Also the Havre underground is a great tour.

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