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Discussion Starter #1
We're planning a trip from Ohio to the Black Hills area later this year. I want to avoid 80 around Chicago, so I'm looking at crossing Indiana on US 30 all the way to Joliet, IL, then pick up 80 towards Iowa. We have to stop at the Iowa Machine Shed restaurant in Davenport; the pork chops are awesome. I have two questions regarding US 30 for anyone familiar with the area; is it mostly four lane from Fort Wayne, IN to Joliet, IL, and does it get congested with stop lights going through towns from Valparaiso, IN area to Joliet, IL. US 30 across OH is a nice ride and mostly four lane, but I don't know how it is in Indiana & Illinois.
 

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US 30 in Valpo is definitely congested and many traffic lights, miles and miles of strip malls and such.
 

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I think you might want to rethink the whole US 30 thing. Going through Fort Wayne on 30 should absolutely be avoided. It is very slow going. As you head further west, I would say from Wanatah (421) on, it is going to start getting congested. You will also deal with traffic light after traffic light. Valparaiso isnt too bad but still more traffic lights. Merrillville will again be very congested. Once you cross the Illinois border, you will start dealing with some sketchy towns like Chicago Heights and Matteson. Jumping on I-80 at Joliet also isnt.goingmto save you as traffic will be just as much a nightmare until you get past Joilet.

I think you need to dip south a bit. Not real familiar with 224 but maybe pick up 224 somewhere past Akron and then pick up 24 in Indiana You could run that all the way to I-39 and take that up to I-80. You could even go a little further on 24 and dip down to I-74. That will get you up to I-80 right outside Davenport. But whatever you do, absolutely avoid driving into and through Peoria as well. Only downside with pretty much any route you pick whether Interstate or side roads is that it will be flat and straight without much to see.

I hope this helps you some...
 

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Another alternate route suggestion: Head up through Michigan, cross the Mackinac Bridge, head west through the UP of Michigan, drop down into Wisconsin then pick up I-90 to the Black Hills. You'll miss the pork chops, but it is a much more scenic ride.
 

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Taking US30 through Chicago ( Ford) Heights is fine if you go at 8:00 in the morning but if you go later in the day the gangbangers and such are up and youll take your life in your hands going through I found out the hard way coming back from indianapolis one day.
 

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Another alternate route suggestion: Head up through Michigan, cross the Mackinac Bridge, head west through the UP of Michigan, drop down into Wisconsin then pick up I-90 to the Black Hills. You'll miss the pork chops, but it is a much more scenic ride.
I agree a much nicer ride, I have done it numerous times plus you can get pasties...yum
 

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am3098, My trip across route 30.......................

Leaving Fort Wayne after closing ceremonies Friday, we made it to Merrillville, Indiana then stopped for the night. We had dinner at Bob Evans and a restful night at the Motel 6. The following day, we continued on the Lincoln Logs to Clinton, Iowa. With the exception of passing through Chicago Heights, this was a very nice ride.
 

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We're planning a trip from Ohio to the Black Hills area later this year. I want to avoid 80 around Chicago, so I'm looking at crossing Indiana on US 30 all the way to Joliet, IL, then pick up 80 towards Iowa. We have to stop at the Iowa Machine Shed restaurant in Davenport; the pork chops are awesome. I have two questions regarding US 30 for anyone familiar with the area; is it mostly four lane from Fort Wayne, IN to Joliet, IL, and does it get congested with stop lights going through towns from Valparaiso, IN area to Joliet, IL. US 30 across OH is a nice ride and mostly four lane, but I don't know how it is in Indiana & Illinois.
We went south to 24 and 224 a few yrs ago going out to Maine, nice roads and not much traffic, 30 looked like way too many cities. We left Dubuque Ia and rode to Van Wert Ohio. Hiway 20 is 4 lane all the way across Iowa and it's a better ride than I80. Take 20 all the way to Chadron Ne then head up to the Hills
 

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I drive RT 30 out of Ohio to Chicago ever other week for work and depending on the time of day it can be a pain in the rear. As pwhoever suggested RT 24 across Indiana is a much better choice. You can pick up RT 224 off of RT 30 in Ohio just west of Van Wert Ohio and take it west to Huntington IN and pick up RT 24 west there. We ride to Wisconsin a couple times a year and RT 24 across Indiana/Illinois to I 39 is the route we take.
 

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24 across Indiana is a good way across. It is mostly divided highway from Logansport to Ft.Wayne.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I drive RT 30 out of Ohio to Chicago ever other week for work and depending on the time of day it can be a pain in the rear. As pwhoever suggested RT 24 across Indiana is a much better choice. You can pick up RT 224 off of RT 30 in Ohio just west of Van Wert Ohio and take it west to Huntington IN and pick up RT 24 west there. We ride to Wisconsin a couple times a year and RT 24 across Indiana/Illinois to I 39 is the route we take.
Thanks for the replies. I think I'm going to give the US 24 to I-39 route a try. I was thinking about staying in Huntington, but not may hotel choices. Are there any towns along 24 that have a decent selection of hotels?
 

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Not sure how far you plan on doing a day but if you can make it to Gilman, Il which would be Rt 24 and I-57, it looks like 2 motels in the $50 range. That would be about a 400 mile ride. If you stop at Remington, In. there are a couple hotels but they are a bit pricier. Now if you go to Markle, In which would be at Rt 224 and I-69, you would be at a 260 mile day and there are a range of hotels and motels there.

Just playing around in Google maps, I set the route up by selecting the avoid highways option and then routed from Bazetta Twnsp through Decatur, In then Remington, In, then Gilman, Il and finally El Paso, Il which is where you would get on I-39.

As far as picking hotels, even when riding backroads, I usually end up running across Interstates somewhere and will usually search these crossings for a motel and usually this is successful. Small towns on the backroads are hit or miss on finding lodging. I rarely will make reservations ahead of time but late morning on a stop, I will pick a town somewhere ahead and then fire up the Orbitz app on my smartphone and make a reservation for later in the day. But dont wait too long because if there is only 1 or 2 motels in that area, they can fill up quick by travelers from the interstate. Especially the ones that have a decent price.

I hope this helps...
 

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I ride back to northwest Indiana often, from Wa State. I get to Peru Ill, head south on I-39 to 24. Adds a little time but spares me dealing with "Riding Roulette" of 80/94 from Joliet to Gary Ind. 24 is a very relaxing country 2 lane in most places. I would seriously reconsider taking 30 all the way, but that's my humble experienced opinion. If you take 30 west to Wanatah, head south to 24, you'll have an enjoyable ride.
 
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