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Indiana (Indy) to Colorado (Aurora) — The 70 or the 80?

Indiana (Indy) to Colorado (Aurora) — The 70 or the 80?

Old Apr 1st, 2022, 06:13 AM
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Indiana (Indy) to Colorado (Aurora) — The 70 or the 80?

Driving in a van with two children under the age of three — No big intention of sight seeing etc., we just want the route with the easiest and safest drive. Recommendations?

Thank you kindly!
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Old Apr 1st, 2022, 06:33 AM
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I think I-80 has less traffic though you will have to skirt around the southern part of Chicago and go through Des Moines and Omaha. On I-70 you have to go through fairly heavy traffic in St. Louis and Kansas City.
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Old Apr 1st, 2022, 06:48 AM
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Welcome to Fodors! Interstate 70 for sure. Set a goal of Topeka Kansas for your first day. Maybe 7-8 hours depending on traffic and weather. There is some toll road between Kansas City and Topeka. The drive west from Topeka is pretty boring. Get gas in Colby Kansas before going into Colorado.
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Old Apr 1st, 2022, 07:36 AM
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Agree with I-70. It is nearly a straight line from Indy to Denver. I-80 would be a big swing to the north and back to the south. I-80 is not less traffic as it has a huge truck traffic load that i-70 does not. And you have more big cities on I-80 than on I-70. However, the drive across Kansas and eastern Colorado can be pretty boring -- hoping for the days of self driving cars.

Not sure why the recommendation for gas in Colby Kansas because we sell gas in Colorado.

Last edited by fmpden; Apr 1st, 2022 at 07:39 AM.
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Old Apr 1st, 2022, 03:51 PM
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Have driven I70 many times and it would certainly be the way for you to go. You will gain an hour. The speed limit is almost non-existent. It is an easy boring drive. Bring things for the kids to do. Books on tape for the driver.
I always choose to just drive through St. Louis straight--not take the beltway around which when I did, found it just as traffic laden.
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Old Apr 1st, 2022, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by fmpden View Post
Agree with I-70. It is nearly a straight line from Indy to Denver. I-80 would be a big swing to the north and back to the south. I-80 is not less traffic as it has a huge truck traffic load that i-70 does not. And you have more big cities on I-80 than on I-70. However, the drive across Kansas and eastern Colorado can be pretty boring -- hoping for the days of self driving cars.

Not sure why the recommendation for gas in Colby Kansas because we sell gas in Colorado.
Gas prices in Colby KS are about 25 to 30 cents less per gallon than in the Aurora area. 3 hours from Colby to Aurora. Count on 14.5 hours wheels rolling from Indianapolis to Aurora (1090 miles).
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Old Apr 2nd, 2022, 06:08 AM
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I-70 of course, there’s the small toll but then I-80 around Lansing IL has a small toll also. I-70 goes right to Aurora, I-80 to I-76 goes to northern Denver area first.

Actually you gain 2 hours so you could consider driving straight thru westbound.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2022, 07:19 AM
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I think they only gain one hour. But it does enable a longer first day drive.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2022, 10:00 AM
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I agree with Gretchen. I think it is only one hour. At one time Indiana did not participate in the daylight saving program but they do now.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2022, 11:50 AM
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Guys, Indiana is (mostly) in Eastern time, although I think decades ago it was in Central time.

https://www.travelmath.com/time-chan.../to/Aurora,+CO
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Old Apr 3rd, 2022, 10:17 AM
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Opps -- faded memory of past experience over facts was wrong. With the exception of Gary, IN (NW Indiana) area fn around St.Louis all of Indiana is in Eastern time zone so there would two hour difference. When I was on the facility at IU in the 70s, the state did not participate in the change. I remember we were always out of sink with our Gray campus half the year because they always stayed with Chicago time.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2022, 11:28 AM
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Both Michigan and Indiana were once entirely in Central time, but Eastern time crept west in both states till now it’s just a few counties in each state left on Central time.

Some counties in Michigan on Eastern time are so far west they are basically on double daylight time, sunrise in early November is 8:45a.
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Old Apr 4th, 2022, 01:14 PM
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I grew up in a town that was on the west edge of central time. To make matters more confusing, the Union Pacific changed time at our station. To emphasis the point they painted a white NS line in the station. One side was central and the other mountain time. Trains from the east arrived on central time and departed on mountain time and the reverse for the train from the west. A train arrived at 2.15 and departed at 1.30.
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Old Apr 4th, 2022, 08:14 PM
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I frequently make the drive on I-70 between Denver and mid-MO and then to rural Illinois. I-70 in Missouri can be busy with lots of semi traffic. You may want to look at I-74 to I-72 to Hwy 36 at Hannibal, MO and then I-35 to connect with I-70 in Kansas City. It's a bit longer but I liked that route because the traffic was pretty light and Hannibal was interesting for a short stop.

I absolutely hate I-80 south of Chicago and will avoid it at all costs. The traffic is insane.

And we always get gas in Colby at the Oasis before the last stretch home.

Last edited by wtm003; Apr 4th, 2022 at 08:16 PM.
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Old Apr 5th, 2022, 02:34 AM
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The suggested route is probably fine but on I70 I don't think I ever drove under 70 mph even with trucks
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