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Thread: How is Hwy 2 across the top of US?

  1. #1
    Ed Kilner #176066
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    How is Hwy 2 across the top of US?

    In 2012, I rode I-90 across from MI to WA and then back via Canada. Wanted to do that on a BMW for nearly 40 years and it was great.

    I am thinking of doing this again this year. A friend lives on Vancouver Island, and we are not getting younger.

    I could do I-90 again, visit Mt Rushmore and thereabouts again for example, or try a different route. Seems a more northern route across Hwy 2 might be interesting. When south of BC, I could head north and see some of southern BC.

    A small sampling of Hwy 2 using Google Streets showed mostly a two-lane road with nice scenery. I am concerned about gas, motels, etc. and:

    - Is June too cold for camping? I'm assuming so, and then motels become important.
    - Are there fuel and food and restroom stops available? Let's not minimize the need for the restrooms...
    - What sort of speed limits would apply?
    - How about road condition? Good pavement? potholes? gravel?


    So, my American friends, can you give this Canadian some answers? Thanks in advance.
    Ed
    2011 R1200RT Thunder Gray Metallic; 2000 Triumph 900(sold)
    http://triumphantsblog.blogspot.ca/

  2. #2
    Registered User wvpc's Avatar
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    US 2 is a Nice Ride

    In 2012 I rode US-2 west from MI to Glacier N.P. before dipping down. Also from Washington State east for a way. I took a few side trips here and there and have done maybe 60% of the route. Overall, I liked the ride a'lot and would do it again. The Mom & Pop motels are plentiful. Dinner can be just a walk down the street if you plan. Didn't camp at all 'cause the wife was riding pillion. Road conditions were good pavement all the way and LEO's were generous. 80 mph no prob but watch it in the city limits. Fuel & food no prob. I went in September so June should be about the same. Decent weather. Little traffic. Montana is one BIG state. I have yet to complete the Washington State section which could have the most potential for awesome riding.

    Going to Vancouver west on US-2 is a great plan if you like to ride 2 lane (a'lot of it is divided).
    12 R1200 RT
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  3. #3
    RK Ryder
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    I've ridden Hwy 2 from Montana through Michigan's UP in 2008 and have found it to be, for the most part, well maintained and a quiet road, even where it was four lanes.

    In Montana and North Dakota, motels seemed to fill up quite early. I was told that there were not a lot of vacancies because many in the oil industry had rooms booked. I can't comment on campsite availability.

    Enjoy your trip!
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
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  4. #4
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    Have ridden most of it west-east...to St,Ignace ,MI...can't add much as I agree with all the positives...

    But since you mention June...ya might consider calling / checking on the 50's celebration weekend held in Sandpoint , Id. if you like classic cars/ trucks & music ?...it is a must see. I was there on {I believe} Memorial Day weekend in 2002..But I understand the date moves around...US-2 goes right through Sandpoint...
    Ron Prior {AMA member 30+ years,MOA member 20+years}
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  5. #5
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    US2, easy ride

    Well, it's been a while. I rode from Marquette, in the upper peninsula of Michigan, out to Ocean City, USA, mostly on US2, and it was great. The highlight was going through Glacier National Park - where it was so good we turned around and went back through and came back again. Next we went up through Canada and back that way - the Canadian Rockies were great and traffic was light, but I remember some long stretches between gas stations. But.....I did it in 1980. Thanks for bringing back some great memories.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    ... In Montana and North Dakota, motels seemed to fill up quite early. I was told that there were not a lot of vacancies because many in the oil industry had rooms booked ...
    Western part of North Dakota and eastern part of Montana is the center of the latest American boom--an active oil field worked by thousands of folks 24/7. Rooms are indeed hard to come by cuz these oil workers rent them long-term. If you are traveling through, plan accordingly.
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  7. #7
    RK Ryder
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    Truth is that in 2008, I had a tent strapped on the bike, but at that time, I just didn't come across too many camping grounds. If I had, tenting would have been my option. However, possibly if I had looked into tenting before leaving, I may have been able to locate the existing ones.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

  8. #8
    Kawa Afterthought weschmann's Avatar
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    I rode 2 home from the Salem rally last July. There was a portion of 2 under construction about 40 miles west of Glacier National Park, but other than that, it was a great highway from just north of Spokane Washington to North Dakota. I did run into the motel issue; didn't have any problem finding one.... just expect to pay through the roof for a one night stand.... Most KOA's were booked up around Glacier, but I lucked out and ended up finding a spot in the park that someone had just left. Couldn't have worked out better for my trip home. Scenery is to die for, so if you get the chance to ride through, don't miss it. BTW, entrance to Glacier is free if you have the senior pass, and well worth the effort. Camping in the evening was a bit on the cooler side, but not unbearable with a good tent and blanket, and don't forget to pack some warm gloves and a jacket liner as you will be thankful to have a warm alternative plan to go to if temps drop unexpectedly.

  9. #9
    172526
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    If you are talking about Hwy 2 across North Dakota, I would personally avoid it. The highway is long, straight and boring and the weather is usually windy. Once you hit Rugby ND you will be in oil and gas country and be greeted by huge trucks who don't really give a krap if you are in the way. Also you will not find a room from Minot to somewhere past Williston ND and as far south as Dickenson. If you do it will be expensive. Same goes for camp grounds. Most are full of workers.

    If you do run it, try to do Devils Lake ND to past Williston in one hop. Havre MT is a nice place to end the day.

  10. #10
    Registered User SeabeckS's Avatar
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    FWIW, in Washington, once connecting with Hwy 97 north of Wenatchee, I'd recommend going north to connect with Hwy 20 over the North Cascades. Route is open only in summer time (should be fine in June) and is quite a bit more fun than that last bit of US2...

    Just sayin'!

    Other than that, US2 across the Evergreen State is not to be missed!

    Cheers!
    Bill Johnston

  11. #11
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by royce View Post
    Western part of North Dakota and eastern part of Montana is the center of the latest American boom--an active oil field worked by thousands of folks 24/7. Rooms are indeed hard to come by cuz these oil workers rent them long-term. If you are traveling through, plan accordingly.
    I sure agree with this. We left one morning from MN and didn't find a room until we got into a little town called Plentywood, MT. Most everything in ND was taken by oil workers, and the rooms they didn't have were taken by people who had been flooded out of their homes. It was a rough summer for ND and parts of Sask.
    Dan

  12. #12
    Ed Kilner #176066
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    It's in May

    Quote Originally Posted by 71243 View Post
    Have ridden most of it west-east...to St,Ignace ,MI...can't add much as I agree with all the positives...

    But since you mention June...ya might consider calling / checking on the 50's celebration weekend held in Sandpoint , Id. if you like classic cars/ trucks & music ?...it is a must see. I was there on {I believe} Memorial Day weekend in 2002..But I understand the date moves around...US-2 goes right through Sandpoint...
    I looked it up - it's in May, so I won't be able to go there, but thanks for the suggestion.
    Ed
    2011 R1200RT Thunder Gray Metallic; 2000 Triumph 900(sold)
    http://triumphantsblog.blogspot.ca/

  13. #13
    Ed Kilner #176066
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    Some good suggestions, thanks, ...

    Quote Originally Posted by weschmann View Post
    I rode 2 home from the Salem rally last July. There was a portion of 2 under construction about 40 miles west of Glacier National Park, but other than that, it was a great highway from just north of Spokane Washington to North Dakota. I did run into the motel issue; didn't have any problem finding one.... just expect to pay through the roof for a one night stand.... Most KOA's were booked up around Glacier, but I lucked out and ended up finding a spot in the park that someone had just left. Couldn't have worked out better for my trip home. Scenery is to die for, so if you get the chance to ride through, don't miss it. BTW, entrance to Glacier is free if you have the senior pass, and well worth the effort. Camping in the evening was a bit on the cooler side, but not unbearable with a good tent and blanket, and don't forget to pack some warm gloves and a jacket liner as you will be thankful to have a warm alternative plan to go to if temps drop unexpectedly.
    What might the nightly motel cost be?

    Senior pass is not available to Canadians, if I understand it correctly. Looked into it last year, I think.

    I suspect June is considerably cooler than July. I think I might not bother with camping, in June, at my age. On my 2012 trip, my heated vest got a good workout on the Montana / Idaho / Washington section through the mountains. Rain was part of it. Earlier in Montana, it was 100F! Quite the temp range.
    Ed
    2011 R1200RT Thunder Gray Metallic; 2000 Triumph 900(sold)
    http://triumphantsblog.blogspot.ca/

  14. #14
    Ed Kilner #176066
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    Thanks to all posters this far, and any additional posters too!

    Thanks for taking the time to help me out. I will have to go back to my maps and re-examine my options for the ND and MT areas of 2. Might just redo the I-90 route, spending time in SD seeing some things I missed the first time. Should do some more research before making a firm decision.

    It's all part of the fun, isn't it?
    Ed
    2011 R1200RT Thunder Gray Metallic; 2000 Triumph 900(sold)
    http://triumphantsblog.blogspot.ca/

  15. #15
    Registered User WalterK75's Avatar
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    You may be able to get some discounts on rooms using your CAA membership.
    Walter

    G. K. Chesterton wrote - "The traveller sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he came to see."

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