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View Full Version : Scenic Routes to PCS Rochester 2014


Gregg D. Merksamer
02-03-2014, 02:39 PM
As a cramped airplane seat smack-between two other guys as big as me remains my least-treasured memory from the otherwise-wonderful 1996 PCS International in St. Paul, the odds are good I might opt to drive my 1997 Lincoln "PCS Staff Car" to the 2014 edition in Rochester. Minnesota is, after all, no further than the road trips Lisa & I take from New York to south Florida at Thanksgiving, and Baggage Claim is conveniently situated in my trunk. Given the last leg of the trip would be entirely new to me, I have no desire to tackle it on the Interstate (especially as the most-direct route entails Chicago tolls and traffic), and have accordingly done some initial research into backroad alternatives promising less congestion, fewer cops, fewer semis, better food and a much, much stronger sense of place. The first route to jump out at me in my trusty Rand McNally is old U.S. 52, which goes directly into Rochester from the southeast using the Iowa side of the Mississippi River. Following it east to Ronald Reagan's boyhood home of Dixon, Illinois, I found out U.S. 52 links up with the historic Lincoln Highway (U.S. 30), which already served me well last year as the route I used through much of Indiana on my trip home from PCS Milwaukee 2013. As the U.S. 30 towns of Plainfield and Aurora, Illinois (directly west of Chicago) might prove busy traffic-wise, people taking U.S. 30 from points east can exit Chicago's orbit earlier by picking up west-bound U.S. 52 at Joliet and continuing north and west to Dixon by way of Mendoza, Illinois. Perhaps there are PCS members in Illinois and Iowa who can personally confirm the merits of this route and suggest other points of interest on the way. If not, my own experience as a backroader still holds out the promise this would make for a less-taxing trip than Chicago at rush hour in a decades-old procar. Even if the posted speed limits are lower than they would be on the Interstate, the lighter traffic allows me to promise that you'll still make good time - so long as you're not stopping every couple of miles like I do to photograph some roadside oddity!

Martyn Donaldson
02-03-2014, 08:06 PM
Sounds like a great road trip Gregg! From Dixon it is just a short drive to the twin towns of Sterling and Rock Falls via SR 2 and is home to at least a few PCS members, a funeral director with a collection of Eureka pro-cars and of course, the site of the former Eureka plant and many landmarks used in their advertising. From there you could continue west on US 30 to the Iowa side of the Mississippi, then north on US 67 to reconnect with US 52 at Sabula Lakes.. Just a suggestion :)

Chuck Kramer
02-03-2014, 08:17 PM
Maybe you will want to experience some of The Great River Road following the Mighty Mississippi River Greg?

John ED Renstrom
02-03-2014, 09:32 PM
Been there done them. Not bad diving. Just give you self time those roads are all 55.