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U.s. 52 Recommendations Needed (nd To In)


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#1 Chris Rowland

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 11:37 AM

I wanted to solicit input for our family trip this summer returning from Regina, Saskatchewan to Indianapolis, Indiana along U.S. 52. If you know of any must-see attractions, good places to eat, etc., please chime in! As far as lodging, we would like to stay somewhere that is non-chain but nice and clean for a family of four. Same with restaurants--we prefer it not to be a chain restaurant. We like simple diner-style lunches, and my wife is keen on steak for dinner but it doesn't have to be terribly fancy.

July 1, 2008:
Regina, SK; Weyburn, SK; Estevan, SK; Minot, ND
Any lunch recommendations near Minot, ND?
Rugby, ND; Jamestown, ND
Any dinner recommendations for Jamestown, ND?
Any lodging recommendations for Jamestown, ND?

July 2, 2008:
Jamestown, ND; Fargo, ND; Fergus Falls, MN; Alexandria, MN
Any lunch recommendations between Fergus Falls, MN and Alexandria, MN?
St. Cloud, MN, Minneapolis, MN, St. Paul, MN
Any dinner recommendations in Minneapolis or St. Paul?
Any lodging recommendations in the twin cities?

July 3, 2008:
St. Paul, MN; Rochester, MN; Decorah, IA
Any lunch recommendations near Decorah, IA?
Dubuque, IA; Savanna, IL
Any dinner recommendations near Savanna, IL?
Any lodging recommendations near Savanna, IL?

July 4, 2008:
Savanna, IL; Dixon, IL; Mendota, IL; Joliet, IL
Any lunch recommendations near Joliet, IL?
Kankakee, IL; Lafayette, IN; Indianapolis, IN
We plan to spend the night in Indianapolis at our own home smile.gif

This return phase is still in the planning stages, so I look forward to any tips or recommendations along the way.

Thanks!
Chris


#2 DennyG

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 11:24 AM

QUOTE (Chris Rowland @ Mar 23 2008, 12:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I wanted to solicit input for our family trip this summer returning from Regina, Saskatchewan to Indianapolis, Indiana along U.S. 52.
The only portion of this route I've ever been on is so close to your home that you're probably already familiar with it. But, maybe my bit of useless information will break the ice and somebody will chime in with something you can use.

The only restaurant I noted was the Sit-N-Bull near Clarks Hill. It's a metal front diner but for some reason I think it was built on site. Maybe you can verify that. Surprisingly, they have no pictures of the building on their website so I'm forced biggrin.gif to point to these. I believe I've heard of a Route 66 themed diner or soda fountain in Lafayette but know nothing about it.

The only roadside attractions I noted were the Red Crown Mini-Museum in Lafayette and a big round barn just east of Joliet. On my pass, I also stopped at the Tippecanoe Battlefield and a very effective airplane watch tower but both of those are several miles off of Fifty-Two.

As I said, these are pretty close to home for you so, even if you aren't already bored with them, you may want to hit them when you're not in the final hours of a multi-day trip. But hopefully, someone will now come up with some suggestions west of Joliet.

#3 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 01:00 PM

Chris,

I too have not been anywhere near your route. However, I checked my references and can tell you that the road between Minot and Rugby is 14 miles of gravel, then alternating gravel and dirt. Watch for the “red marker with white TR” on telephone poles, as you will be on the Theodore Roosevelt Highway.

I don’t know how you are getting to Jamestown, but there is a “first class tourist camp” a mile from town. As you head toward Fargo from Jamestown, you will be on a gravel road across level prairie. You will be on the National Parks Highway (or Red Trail) so watch for the white, red, and white pole markers.

I regret that my information is a little out of date rolleyes.gif (1924 ABB) but should you want more “helpful” biggrin.gif advice, let me know and I will try to supply it when I get back from riding the Hypotenuse Trail!

Keep the Show on the Road!

Dave


#4 Chris Rowland

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 03:25 PM

QUOTE (Keep the Show on the Road! @ Mar 25 2008, 01:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I regret that my information is a little out of date rolleyes.gif (1924 ABB) but should you want more “helpful” biggrin.gif advice, let me know and I will try to supply it when I get back from riding the Hypotenuse Trail!

As Wikipedia notes, "Contrary to most other even-numbered U.S. Highways, US 52 primarily follows a northwest-southeast route"

So it looks like US 52 is, itself, a shadow of your hypotenuse trail, just offset several hundred miles to the northeast:


Chris

#5 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 04:41 PM

QUOTE (Chris Rowland @ Mar 25 2008, 01:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As Wikipedia notes, "Contrary to most other even-numbered U.S. Highways, US 52 primarily follows a northwest-southeast route"

So it looks like US 52 is, itself, a shadow of your hypotenuse trail, just offset several hundred miles to the northeast:


Chris


Chris,

Wow, Hypotenuse Jr! It is not quite coast to coast or border to border....more border to coast, but nonetheless a new angle! rolleyes.gif

Keep the Show on the Road

Dave

#6 roadmaven

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 08:59 PM

As Denny mentioned the Sit-n-Bull at Clark's Hill would be a good place to stop. I ate there several years ago and don't recall it being a bad experience, so it must've been OK.

Since 52 was my route of choice from Indianapolis to Romeoville, IL when I was courtin' Mrs. B. when she lived up there, I know the route fairly well. However, I would leave 52 in Kankakee and take IL-102 from there to Wilmington, IL where I'd pick up IL-53/Route 66 and take it up to Joliet where I'd rejoin 52. A stop at the Launching Pad for a cheeseburger & vanilla shake for the ride up to Jennifer's apartment was the usual routine. burgereater.gif Ironically, I'd make the same stop and get the same grub for the drive back to Indy. burgereater.gif This stretch of 66 between Wilmington and Joliet is one of my favorite. It's a 4 lane, but it was nice and quiet, especially Sunday evenings around 6pm when I'd start my 4 hour journey back to Indy. Long story short, the Launching Pad would be my suggestion for lunch, although you'd have to leave 52 for a spell.

Occasionally I'd take 52 from Joliet to Kankakee. I believe the round barn Denny mentions is in Manhattan, IL. The Route 66 Diner in West Lafayette was pretty good the one time we ate there. We're pretty sure it's still in business and is owned by the same folks that own the XXX Family Restaurant in Lafayette: Route 66 Diner
We've been meaning to stop there again to see how things are going. Unfortunately it's not a roadside relic, as it operates in a non-descript strip mall. glare.gif

If it's not too late in the day, pick up old US-52 at Lebanon instead of using the current I-65 piggyback. It was severed twice by 65 in Lebanon, but at Exit 138 in Lebanon, 52 is the frontage road on the west side of 65, and it later becomes Indianapolis Road and eventually becomes Lafayette Road on the outskirts of Indy.

Just curious, is there much of 52 left between The Cities and Sauk Centre, MN? I've followed what appears to be an alignment that roughly parallels I-94 from Fergus Falls, but after Sauk Centre, it appears to disapper underneath 94, unless I'm looking at the wrong road. Sounds like a great trip regardless! We've always said we're going to pick a US route from Indy and make a vacation out of it.

#7 Chris Rowland

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 07:32 AM

QUOTE (roadmaven @ Mar 25 2008, 08:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would leave 52 in Kankakee and take IL-102 from there to Wilmington, IL where I'd pick up IL-53/Route 66 and take it up to Joliet where I'd rejoin 52...

Long story short, the Launching Pad would be my suggestion for lunch, although you'd have to leave 52 for a spell.

This sounds like a worthy detour! IL-102 looks like it would be scenic, following the river. I've seen pictures of The Launching Pad, but didn't realize it would be close to the route--it would be good timing for a lunch stop.

I always feel guilty on a trip like this when my goal is to "Follow 52" when I take detours and end up missing some miles. For instance, in North Dakota, I'm probably taking a side trip over to Rugby to see the Geographical Center of North America, because I honestly don't think I will be in that neighborhood again. But that means missing about 70 miles of US 52 as I go off to see that... But I guess I'm not writing a book or anything--in which case I would probably need to travel the road a half-dozen times to really know the subject. I just need to convince myself better that I am being true to my purpose. tongue.gif


QUOTE (roadmaven @ Mar 25 2008, 08:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just curious, is there much of 52 left between The Cities and Sauk Centre, MN? I've followed what appears to be an alignment that roughly parallels I-94 from Fergus Falls, but after Sauk Centre, it appears to disapper underneath 94, unless I'm looking at the wrong road. Sounds like a great trip regardless! We've always said we're going to pick a US route from Indy and make a vacation out of it.


I've been wondering about that, too. I do see a Minnesota state road called "52" and then some other roads following along I-94 down to Sauk Centre, also. After that, it looks like old alignments may have converted back to county roads. I am considering dropping south on US-71 and picking up Minnesota state road 55 for the drive into Minneapolis, because it looks like a nice 2-lane without many cities on the way. But then, of course, I feel a twinge of guilt for leaving US-52 for so long... But I guess the trip should be more about my enjoyment than a somewhat arbitrary commitment to follow a certain signed highway, right???

Chris

#8 usroadman

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 01:26 PM

QUOTE (Chris Rowland @ Mar 26 2008, 07:32 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This sounds like a worthy detour! IL-102 looks like it would be scenic, following the river. I've seen pictures of The Launching Pad, but didn't realize it would be close to the route--it would be good timing for a lunch stop.

I always feel guilty on a trip like this when my goal is to "Follow 52" when I take detours and end up missing some miles. For instance, in North Dakota, I'm probably taking a side trip over to Rugby to see the Geographical Center of North America, because I honestly don't think I will be in that neighborhood again. But that means missing about 70 miles of US 52 as I go off to see that... But I guess I'm not writing a book or anything--in which case I would probably need to travel the road a half-dozen times to really know the subject. I just need to convince myself better that I am being true to my purpose. tongue.gif




I've been wondering about that, too. I do see a Minnesota state road called "52" and then some other roads following along I-94 down to Sauk Centre, also. After that, it looks like old alignments may have converted back to county roads. I am considering dropping south on US-71 and picking up Minnesota state road 55 for the drive into Minneapolis, because it looks like a nice 2-lane without many cities on the way. But then, of course, I feel a twinge of guilt for leaving US-52 for so long... But I guess the trip should be more about my enjoyment than a somewhat arbitrary commitment to follow a certain signed highway, right???

Chris


US 52 follows I-94 through most of Minnesota, and is not posted as US 52 (like Colorado and Utah, that don't post US routes when they multiplex with Interstates - boo-hiss). On this page http://www.ajfroggie...s052/index.html there's a picture of the "US 52 Follow I-94 West" sign that marks the last westbound mention of US 52 (in St. Paul). One option of course it to get out the old maps and try to follow the old alignment, although I admit when I finally get up to 52 I'll probably follow the "official" I-94 alignment even though it's not signed.

Enjoy you're trip.





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