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Just crossed US2 going East To West. Much construction and trucks everywhere. Accomodations almost impossible(construction workers were camped next to us as they could not find motel space) We camped in remote cmpground that was flood damaged in Minot(no bathrooms or facilities), but was glad to have a place to spent the night. One stretch of US2 was dirt and gravel for 3-4 miles and was wet. Not a lot of fun.

I would suggest an alternate route for those coming across ND.If you do decide to use US2 be wary of the trucks. They are everywhere for construction, oil field work and flood work around Minot. Accomodations are hard to come by.

Fred
 

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You're confirming what was posted at http://gl1800riders.com/forums/showthread.php?t=293040 Glad you made it through that area OK.

I returned last night from Glasgow MT via Beartooth Pass, Yellowstone NP, Chief Joseph Hwy, Hwy 14 in WY and all the loops and Spearfish Canyon in the Black Hills. Awesome rides! Rode 4100 GPS miles through 11 states. Only had 20 minutes of light mist in MT and 10 minutes of rain while riding the Needles Highway in the Black Hills.

Another highlight was riding south for 60 miles on Hwy 24 between Ft Peck MT and Hwy 200. Only met 2 cars along the way. Being alone for that many miles is refreshing.
 
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Try US 12 to the south. It nips a corner of North Dakota and then runs into South Dakota and closely parallel the ND/SD border across the state. It's a nice ride.
 

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Ross & I made that same crossing in Oct. 2009 and it was very different. The road condition was perfect and the only other people we ever saw were in freight train engines. We found a place to stay in Broken Bow it think it was.
 

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Try US 12 to the south. It nips a corner of North Dakota and then runs into South Dakota and closely parallel the ND/SD border across the state. It's a nice ride.

:agree:
 

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"Ride ND"!!!.....???? Through the years I have promoted this state as a good place to ride a motorcycle and in many areas that is still true.

The truth is that 3/4 of the state is mostly unaffected by oilfield mayhem. The northwestern 1/4 is currently the area with the most intense oil activity and it's going to get much, much worse. The southwest 1/4 has oil but it is not yet nearly as intense as further north.

While I cannot recommend that anyone use the 2-lane roads in northwest ND, the 4-lanes are fine for cross-state travel as long as people realize that they likely won't be able to get a motel room west of Bismarck or Minot to the Montana line.
 

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they likely won't be able to get a motel room west of Bismarck or Minot to the Montana line.
Include Sidney and Glendive MT under "no room at the inn".
 

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LOL,wish I had know that when I went thru there last week.





Just crossed US2 going East To West. Much construction and trucks everywhere. Accomodations almost impossible(construction workers were camped next to us as they could not find motel space) We camped in remote cmpground that was flood damaged in Minot(no bathrooms or facilities), but was glad to have a place to spent the night. One stretch of US2 was dirt and gravel for 3-4 miles and was wet. Not a lot of fun.

I would suggest an alternate route for those coming across ND.If you do decide to use US2 be wary of the trucks. They are everywhere for construction, oil field work and flood work around Minot. Accomodations are hard to come by.

Fred
 

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Here's an interesting article on why it's now dangerous to ride in/through northwest ND. http://macombdaily.com/articles/2011/09/02/lifestyles/doc4e6059cf12881188362759.txt?viewmode=fullstory

Some of you have heard the expression: "the best way to win a gun fight is not be there in the first place". Using that as an analogy, the best way to safely ride through northwestern ND is to avoid the area.

And by the way, this oil boom activity isn't going away soon so if you're planning a route for next year, take heed and consider an alternate route.
 

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Us-2

Nice article, Mike. I traveled 2 last Sept and while there wasn't much construction then, the fields were in full swing. I think if I were leaving Michigan and headed west today, I'd do it again. I don't see any pressing need to dawdle in that area and frankly would plan my 1st stop before there and my 2nd stop would be well into Montana. I enjoy riding across the northern plains, not spending time on them. I found that what traffic there was in the area was concentrated in the small areas or moving as briskly as I was. Now, if you want to ride at 60 mph out there, I expect that some of those roughnecks would think that you were impeding their ability to make a living, and treat you accordingly.

Richard
 

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Try US 12 to the south. It nips a corner of North Dakota and then runs into South Dakota and closely parallel the ND/SD border across the state. It's a nice ride.
I took Hwy 12 from East to West all the way from Minnesota to Washington State in early July this year. It's not a bad road, but it is some of the most remote and desolate country I have ever ridden through. There were times when I went for hours in the Dakotas and Montana without seeing another human. There were even a couple of times when I thought I was going to run out of gas because gas stations were so few and far apart. As long as you manage your fuel supply, Hwy 12 is OK.

When I returned from Washington State to New Jersey, I took Hwy 2 from Idaho to its end point in Michigan. Hwy 2 is a nice road except for a few areas of construction in ND. There are a lot of oil field trucks in NW North Dakota, but didn't cause me any problem. I had to stay two extra days in Shelby, Montana waiting for a vacancy to open up in Lewis & Clark State Park near Williston, ND because ALL the motel/hotel rooms are booked solid in the northern part of the state. It all worked out though and I had a great trip overall.
 

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Just crossed US2 going East To West. Much construction and trucks everywhere. Accomodations almost impossible(construction workers were camped next to us as they could not find motel space) We camped in remote cmpground that was flood damaged in Minot(no bathrooms or facilities), but was glad to have a place to spent the night. One stretch of US2 was dirt and gravel for 3-4 miles and was wet. Not a lot of fun.

I would suggest an alternate route for those coming across ND.If you do decide to use US2 be wary of the trucks. They are everywhere for construction, oil field work and flood work around Minot. Accomodations are hard to come by.

Fred
I agree. I just rode US-2 all the way from Seattle to Upper Michigan. Minnesota (Duluth area) and North Dakota were as you described.
 

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Took the same route from Michigan all the way to Glacier park three weeks ago.. Got through ok. You are right, It sure was alot different than when I went through 7 years ago. Another good route is to take Hwy 5 in the north iffin yer goin' west. It goes to the Peace Gardens and to the Grand Canyon of North Dakota.
 

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Another good route is to take Hwy 5 in the north iffin yer goin' west
I rode Hwy 5 from Hwy 52 (northwest of Minot) to Scobey MT. Only fuel and food is in Plentywood and Scobey. You can continue west from Scobey on Hwy 248 to Opheim and then go south on Hwy 24 to Glasgow. No fuel or food available on that leg until you get to Glasgow. But if you ride Hwy 5 into Scobey, I recommend taking Hwy 13 south to Hwy 2 and then continue west. There's fuel and food in Wolf Point.
 

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I took Hwy 12 from East to West all the way from Minnesota to Washington State in early July this year. It's not a bad road, but it is some of the most remote and desolate country I have ever ridden through. There were times when I went for hours in the Dakotas and Montana without seeing another human.
Ain't it great!
 

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Ross & I made that same crossing in Oct. 2009 and it was very different. The road condition was perfect and the only other people we ever saw were in freight train engines. We found a place to stay in Broken Bow it think it was.
made that crossing from GLNP to ND back in July 2010...great rode,,not very much contr,about all i seen were freight trans...no rode traffic..pretty much had it to myself...500 miles of "0"
 

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Just a quick update. I travelled on US2 East to West from Grand Forks to Minot ND yesterday. It is divided and 2 lanes in each direction, with a speed limit of 70mph.

Other than slowing for 2 or 3 towns briefly, we were able to drive at the speed limit the whole way.

Generally the road surface is starting to deteriorate, but there are sections that have recently been paved, and there was one Eastbound section that was being paved as we passed. But the gravel section that the OP referenced must have been completed.

For about 30 miles I found that cracking in the right lane was too irritating and since there was little traffic at that time I moved to the left lane.

As the OP mentioned there were a number of trucks on the road, but traffic was light enough that mostly we were not affected. Lighter traffic might have been due to it being a weekday morning after school has started for the year.

As the OP mentioned there was a lot of activity around Minot, and I would not doubt at all that getting a hotel room there would be difficult and expensive. Based on this thread we planned ahead and stayed in Grand Forks, then blasted right through the Minot area to Regina, Saskatchewan.

To get to Saskatchewan, we turned north at Minot on Hwy 52, so I cannot comment on Hwy 2 west of Minot.

Anyway, other than accommodation around Minot (thanks for the tip!) it does seem to have improved.
 

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Try US 12 to the south. It nips a corner of North Dakota and then runs into South Dakota and closely parallel the ND/SD border across the state. It's a nice ride.
I did part of 12 where it nips the SW corner of ND in July. Lots of construction between Bowman and the Montana line. IFRC.
 
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