« on: January 01, 2015, 02:01:41 pm »
I can offer some experience with what you would like to do. Vale can be reached using U. S. 26 or U. S. 20. While, from Bend, it is shorter to use 20 I would suggest using 26. There are more services; it is a nicer, more scenic ride; and less traffic. 20 is the truck route. I have ridden both ways. I like 26, and once you are east of the junction to Baker City, traffic is almost nonexistent from that point to Vale. From Vale I stayed on 26 to Ontario then U.S. 30 to Fruitland, Idaho. I took U. S. 95/30 south from Fruitland (it takes you through New Plymouth), as I approached I-84 from the north I took 3rd avenue east to Sand Hollow Road/Old U. S. 30 and followed that road until I picked up Idaho State Highway 44 east. Once I started to enter the Boise metro area I started to pick my way south (Linder Road South to Ustick Road East to Locust Grove Road South to Victory Road East). I stayed on Victory Road to Gowen Road (which takes you south of Boise Airport). At Gowen Road I used I-84 until Bliss, Idaho, where I picked up U. S. 30. In hindsight I would rather have tried Old U. S. 30 at Glenns Ferry. I-84 to Glenns Ferry was actually okay. Large shoulders, rest areas. But east of Glenns Ferry...there were sections that were not much fun. I stayed on 30 until Burley, where once again I used I-84/86 to Pocatello where I picked up U. S. 91 to Idaho Falls. From Idaho Falls I took U.S.26 until the intersection with U. Sl 191, which I took South through Pinedale, Wy. (There is a good museum in Pinedale- the Mountain Man Museum - who knew?!). I stayed on U. S. 191 to State Highway 28, which takes you over South Pass. It is a somewhat gradual climb over the Rockies. State highway 28 interesects with U. S. 287, which I took South/East to State highway 228 to Casper. From Casper I continued east, so I don't have any info on how you could travel from Casper to Colorado Springs. In general, this route may meet your requirements of being somewhat direct while avoiding the worst of the steep grades. Shoulders were generally good. Traffic was generally light. Services? Plan your stops for Wyoming. There is a great deal of nothing on some stretches of this route. But do stop at the Mountain Man Museum. Very interesting. As for riding on I-84. I am not fazed by traffic so riding on I-84 wasn't an issue but there are hazards. In particular, lots of blown tire debris means lots of little steel pieces that will pierce your tire and create a slow leak. So, stay alert and take extra tubes because trying to find one of those leaks while on the roadside is damn near impossible unless you have a tub of water in which to place your tire to find the leak (and even then it is difficult because we are talking tiny, tiny holes). This route was taken in 2012 so there may have been road changes since then. Hope this helps.