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Thread: Traffic and Camping Indiana

  1. #1
    menhir's Avatar
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    Traffic and Camping Indiana

    Last summer on my way back home from out West, I ran into the worst extended traffic jam/road construction hell that I've experienced.
    Coming in from I-80 into Indiana I80/I90 near and beyond the "Crossroads" cost me 70 miles of bumper to bumper crawling and duck-walking my bike in steaming hot weather apparently due to extensive re-paving of the Indian portion. This was along a planned 540 mile long trip day, too.

    I'm used to traffic problems as I plow my way across the good ol' US of A and I usually take it all in stride, but I'd surely like to avoid this happening again.

    My question to those of you who pass that way...

    East or Westbound...Is it finished? I expect to be heading East and West along that way again this summer.

    Second Question on camping...
    I've been looking for a camground near the Indian/Ohio Border along I80/90 where I can throw up my tent for a good nights sleep along the way.
    Last year's choice didn't work out because I arrived much later than expected (see rant above) and found the only way to get to the camp was miles of loose gravel road. I was tired, the bike was loaded, and I didn't want to drop it as it neared dark. I turned around and found a hotel instead.

    For this year's trip, I found a place online called near Angola IN, that seems to suit my schedule. Anyone been there?

    Thanks.
    I don't need a compass to know which way the wind shines.


  2. #2
    3SportBiker's Avatar
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    Re: Traffic and Camping Indiana

    Ohio and Indiana has had the WORST construction I have EVER dealt with in my career and motorcycling. I spent 25 years driving extensively as a business owner from New York to Florida to Texas to Illinois, and by FAR, I dreaded highways in Ohio and Indiana. I remember once on the day before Memorial day (about 22 years ago) near Dayton, Ohio on I-70, a 3rd lane was being added. The construction crew decided to shut the highway down for two hours late that afternoon in heavy traffic to "clean up" for the holday weekend, and then open only 1 lane for a few hours after cleanup. Backed traffic up to the Indiana border. I sat in that for 3 or 4 hours only traveling about 1/2 a mile and then did a U-Turn to the last exit and took alternate roads East. Near my home in Ohio, an entrance ramp to I-70 was closed for a year because (so they say) the crew that won the "Lowest Bid" had problems with the construction and basically did nothing for months at a time. NOTHING for MONTHS at a time. This is a ramp that most municipalities would have completed in a week, and it was a MAJOR ramp that bridged the Columbus Beltway to I-70. Took over a year to complete a simple repaving and forced countless issues with traffic. Indiana has cost me dearly time-wise as well over the years with heavy construction. Not as bad as Ohio, but not great. It's just a big damn mess in these two States with construction and as much as I sometimes like driving/riding highway to get somewhere quickly, it frequently turns out to be a bad decision. It was one of the driving factors that lead me to purchase and restore a GL-500 Interstate. I now RARELY if ever do interstate riding on a bike.

    To your question;
    I was on that stretch of I-80/90 about four months ago and it seemed open. The issue is, perhaps they were "stalled" for the Winter and may "resume" construction now that it's Spring? Hopefuylly someone else has driven/ridden this stretch within the last few weeks to confirm is well over.

    I have driven and ridden that stretch countless times and always stayed at a Holiday Inn Express near the border when on business driving. Can't recall the exact exit. Near or on route 49? For camping, I always stay at Pokagon State Park near I-80 and I-69 just inside Indiana - not far from the Border - just south of where I-80 and I-69 intersect. I love this state park. Sometimes I camp, sometimes stay at the lodge. The lodge is beautiful (Potawatomi Inn), it's safe (for motorcycles) and has an amazing buffet for dinner. Even when I camp there, I go to the lodge for dinner.
    http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2973.htm

    Good luck
    -3Sport
    Moto Tent Camping since 1995 via a 1995 Triumph Trophy 1200 and my 1982 Honda GL500 Interstate Silverwing

    "He Who Would Travel Happily Must Travel Light" - Antoine De St. Exupery

  3. #3
    Scuba's Avatar
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    Re: Traffic and Camping Indiana

    menhir
    You could give this site a look when needed.
    http://pws.trafficwise.org/pws/
    The deepest spot in Lake Superior, The largest of the Great Lakes is 1,333 feet or about 222 fathoms. This profound depth could easily contain the entire 1,250' Empire State Building, even with a 50-foot-tall King Kong perched atop.

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    menhir's Avatar
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    Re: Traffic and Camping Indiana

    I've bookmarked the links for the campground and the highway info. Thanks.

    I've headed West every year for the last five years to S.Dakota/Wyoming and the Ohio Turnpike has always been under construction with lane constrictions and such. It's annoying, but there have been few real delays. Last year's "event" at the Illinois/Indiana border was the first/worst time it's happened to me during that time, although traffic does get congested as I get close to the Chicago interchanges...I guess that's to be expected.

    Given the choice, I prefer the blue roads. I once used to tour on a 150cc motor scooter...Blue road were pretty much mandatory.
    On trips like the one mentioned above, it takes me three hard riding days to get there, and three more to get back. If I'm going to spend as much time at my destination...at least as much time there as it took to get there and back, given the constraints of my time off from work...I'm going to have to haul it.

    For now...

    I'm retiring in a few short years. Then I'll have time to take my time.

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    Site Supporter G wizz's Avatar
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    Re: Traffic and Camping Indiana

    [QUOTE=If I'm going to spend as much time at my destination...at least as much time there as it took to get there and back, given the constraints of my time off from work...I'm going to have to haul it. [/QUOTE]

    Easy fix ... Put in for more vacation time ... ... ...

    I've done so much with so little for so long ... Now I can do nearly anything with almost nothing.

    .

  6. #6
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    menhir's Avatar
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    Re: Traffic and Camping Indiana

    Quote Originally Posted by G wizz View Post
    Easy fix ... Put in for more vacation time ... ... ...

    My boss is a real jerk.




    I'm self-employed.

  7. #7
    just another Saddle Tramp Dusty Boots's Avatar
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    Re: Traffic and Camping Indiana

    Nothing new for that section around the state lines to be heavily congested.
    Try Hwy 12 as an alternative. Slower yes, but always moving !! (far better than stopped on the Interstates )

    Never tried the state park around Angola, but have stayed at Chain 'o Lakes SP. Nottawa Park and Campground, as well as Bixler Lake Park and Campground in the general area.
    Ken - 1992 Honda GL1500 Aspencade
    Camping Styles - tent camp off of bike - 2013 HF Cargo trailer - 2011 Aspen Sentry
    "It's never too early to plan and never too late to go!" - Dusty
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  8. #8
    3SportBiker's Avatar
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    Re: Traffic and Camping Indiana

    Quote Originally Posted by menhir View Post
    I've bookmarked the links for the campground and the highway info. Thanks.

    I've headed West every year for the last five years to S.Dakota/Wyoming and the Ohio Turnpike has always been under construction with lane constrictions and such. It's annoying, but there have been few real delays. Last year's "event" at the Illinois/Indiana border was the first/worst time it's happened to me during that time, although traffic does get congested as I get close to the Chicago interchanges...I guess that's to be expected.

    Given the choice, I prefer the blue roads. I once used to tour on a 150cc motor scooter...Blue road were pretty much mandatory.
    On trips like the one mentioned above, it takes me three hard riding days to get there, and three more to get back. If I'm going to spend as much time at my destination...at least as much time there as it took to get there and back, given the constraints of my time off from work...I'm going to have to haul it.

    For now...

    I'm retiring in a few short years. Then I'll have time to take my time.
    Congrats. I'm probably 10 years off for retirement.

    Buying a GL-500 Interstate was the smartest move I ever made in camping motorcycles. Yes, that bike can do 100 MPH in a pinch so it can be a highway machine if you don't mind high RPMs, but it's much more friendly around 55 - 60 mph, so secondary roads becon me. Around Ohio I always use Rte 23 and Rte 30 and similar roads rather than highway now. In Florida, much the same. In Hawaii, it's all secondary roads unless you want to sit on H1 in heavy traffic for hours going nowhere. Those that have ever commuted in Hawaii between Honolulu and Pearl City via H1 know EXACTLY what I mean. You don't typically think of heavy freeway traffic when you think of Hawaii, but believe me, it exists and it's just as bad (sometimes worse) than the mainland. Too many cars, too small an area.

    A typical afternoon on H1 Hawaii;
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Enjoy your trip.

  9. #9

    Re: Traffic and Camping Indiana

    Quote Originally Posted by menhir View Post
    Last year's choice didn't work out because I arrived much later than expected (see rant above) and found the only way to get to the camp was miles of loose gravel road. I was tired, the bike was loaded, and I didn't want to drop it as it neared dark. I turned around and found a hotel instead.

    For this year's trip, I found a place online called near Angola IN, that seems to suit my schedule. Anyone been there?

    Thanks.
    Use Google Earth to see what the roads are like wherever you want to camp, might save you from having to find a hotel.

  10. #10
    (Threadstarter)
    menhir's Avatar
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    Re: Traffic and Camping Indiana

    Quote Originally Posted by Pooch2 View Post
    Use Google Earth to see what the roads are like wherever you want to camp, might save you from having to find a hotel.
    Usually, I do that. It doesn't always work. The road is indistinguishable from gravel in the image in the resolution available. I've seen this happen before.
    Even more deceptive was that the first portion of the road was paved, but the latter several miles leading to the camp were not.

    No big deal...I still found a place to sleep...just not to camp.

    Actually, I don't have a big problem with gravel. A lot of campsites have gravel roads. This time, it was a particularly long gravel road, heavily washboarded on the packed sections, and loosely piled on the smooth sections. More fun than I was willing to handle. :-)

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