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Old 08-31-2011   #1
Bellingham, Washington
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 20
Driving routes across country (West)

I am moving to Bellingham, WA in a week and trying to figure which route through the west would be best. I would like to have the best option to boat (class III-V) if I have enough time and also want to enjoy the best scenery.

I'm coming for North Carolina with two possible routes. They are the same until I hit southeast Nebraska where I can either take I-80 W or I-90 W. I have never driven through the entire west and was wondering what you guys think my best option would be.

Here's a link to my mapquest: MapQuest Maps - Driving Directions - Map

Thanks for the help

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Old 08-31-2011   #2
Colo Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 597
I would take the Montana route, only because I know what it's like to drive across Wyoming. Also, Montana has good day trip boating, Wyoming nothing.

Deciding factor could be based upon the different routes crossing idaho. I've been there, but can't say what the difference is with the two routes for boating options.

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Old 08-31-2011   #3
teletumbler's Avatar
Golden Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 185
If it were me I would take the northern route. Northern Montana and Idaho are gorgeous. Missoula has a great paddling community and generally has water somewhere. Talk to the guys at Strong Water, they will give you the beta. Plus Glacier NP is just a little out of the way and spectacular.

The route through southern Idaho may have some water options still: low flow Murtough...? It will be less mountainous so a quicker drive.

I haven't driven either route through Oregon or Washington so no beta there.

The trek across the middle of the country is brutal and long, I have found books on tape to be a great companion.

Safe travels.
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Old 08-31-2011   #4
Spits Hot Fire
N. Cascades, Washington
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 978
Northern route. I'll be there a week after you(moving). Hit me up if you want to paddle somethin.
Your opinion doesn't matter when you're already biased.
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Old 08-31-2011   #5
Colo Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 597
Teletumbler is right. How could I not have written about Glacier Park? One of the best weeks of non-boating camping I ever did. You have to go that way.
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Old 08-31-2011   #6
stuntsheriff's Avatar
jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1976
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 164
yeah go way north. colorado and wyoming and utah have no good boating

so really you should go way north, maybe even canada.
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Old 09-01-2011   #7
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 569
North will be a much shorter drive for you because the curve of the earth comes into play.

Yay for Bellingham! I miss that town!
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Old 09-01-2011   #8
Colo Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 597
Especially if you are always in the right side lane.
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Old 09-01-2011   #9
North Bend, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 476
I loved living in Bellingham! Good boating community up there. As for I-90, shoot- you can practically pull off the side of the freeway and boat the Snoqualmie. Tieton opened today too (dam release)- it's a fast III with warm water and great scenery. Enjoy!
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Old 09-02-2011   #10
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 128
that's right, nothing in Wyoming but dust abatement ponds, sagebrush and headwinds...

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