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jopell
07-26-2005, 08:10 AM
Hello everyone!
My family and I will be relocating from Idaho to South Carolina, in about three weeks. I don't know if I'm looking forward to the cross country trip with 2 vehicles, 2 kids, a wife, and a dog! It's a 2375 mile trek, and we plan 5-7 days to complete the journey.

I'm just looking for any tips, suggestions, or advice for the trip, from you well travelled folks.

I've done the Mapquest trip and the MSN trip, from this website. I've driven cross country before, but not with the kids and pet. I can follow maps and directions well. I'd like to make the trip enjoyable for the family, and possibly stop at "fun" places along the way.

I appreciate any assistance you can provide.
Thanks

Joe

Robert Schaller
07-26-2005, 09:54 AM
Are your kids older or younger? A couple of stops that come quickly to mind for this route are the Gateway Arch at St Louis and the Dollywood park at Pigeon Forge TN. It's on SR66, south from I-40 just east of Knoxville. Bob

jopell
07-26-2005, 10:03 AM
The kids are 7 and 13, boy and girl, respectively.
Those are two good stops you mentioned. We'll make sure to hit them.
I'm wondering about stops earlier in the trip too- say around Wyoming, Nebraska?
We'll be taking I84 E to I80 E, to 77, etc.
Thanks!

Robert Schaller
07-26-2005, 10:10 AM
Your route follows these two "landmarks" of westward expansion history, and there are many sites along the way associated with them. There's Chimney Rock, South Pass, trail ruts at various places along the way, old way stations, old Ft Laramie, etc. Also places where pioneer travelers (and later ones as well, unfortunately) scratched their names in the rocks as they passed by -- one such place is the Register Cliffs in eastern Wyoming. Check out this link (http://www.roadtripamerica.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8704) to a forum thread about a recent trip some of us took to this area (Wyoming).

Older kids usually have fun just being ON a roadtrip -- hopefully they are as excited about this as you are! Bob

jopell
07-26-2005, 12:47 PM
Some great ideas-thanks! I think the kids would love Old Fort Laramie. We have a lot of Oregon Trail stuff here, in Idaho, and we enjoy it.

The kids are split on happiness for the trip. The 7 year old is stoked and ready to go TODAY! The 13 year old doesn't want to leave Idaho- typical teenage hormones! :-)

What kind of advice can you give on hotels/motels? I'm a member of a few hotel chains frequent stay plans. But, I don't know if I should reserve in advance or not. There is $$ savings by early internet booking. However, if we get held up or ahead in our travels that could cost $$. I just don't want to be looking for a town and a good hotel at 8 pm each night.....

Our plan is to knock out about 400-600 miles per day, traveling for 9-11 hours per day, with stops to exercise the kids.

Thanks for all the great advice so far!
Joe

AZBuck
07-26-2005, 12:56 PM
Besides the stuff (all good) that Bob has suggested, I have a few others that the kids might enjoy. I'll string them out on the following suggested route. At Omaha, leave I-80 and take I-29 to Kansas City and I-70 to St. Louis. Besides the Arch, my grandkids (and I) loved the National Museum of Transportation in Kirkwood on the southwest side of the city - lots of old trains and cars. Then pick up I-64 to Evansville and enter Kentucky and use the Audobon and Natcher Parkways (both toll roads) to see Mammoth Cave NP, then the Nunn Parkway (free) to I-75 south to Knoxville, a short jog east on I-40 to TN-66 south to US-411, Dollywood, and the Great Smoky Mountains NP. As you leave the National Park southbound take US-19 east to rejoin I-40 to I-26 into South Carolina and you're "home".

I don't quite understand what you mean by "80 to 77" as I-77 is well east of any direct route from ID to SC.

AZBuck

jopell
07-26-2005, 02:20 PM
Thanks AZ! Those are some great stops. I'll add them to the agenda. The Museum of Trans sounds really good.

The Mapquest and MSN Trip have me taking I-84E to I-80E, then to US 77 in Nebraska and then it turns into US75, to I-29 to I-435 in Missouri, then I-70, etc

Thanks again for the points of interest.
Joe

Robert Schaller
07-26-2005, 03:45 PM
What kind of advice can you give on hotels/motels? I'm a member of a few hotel chains frequent stay plans. But, I don't know if I should reserve in advance or not. There is $$ savings by early internet booking. However, if we get held up or ahead in our travels that could cost $$. I just don't want to be looking for a town and a good hotel at 8 pm each night.....
The earlier you stop, the more likely you'll find suitable accommodations without difficulties. I always prefer to leave things flexible, but I'm also a person who tends to plan things out. This next week, I am planning a motorcycle trip through the intermountain west to the Black Hills -- I found that because of the big motorcycle rally in Sturgis, many motels are filling up. So rather than risk having to sleep on the ground beside the bike, I've ended up making reservations for every night. So much for spontaneity... (at least for THIS trip). I am deeply ashamed, of course. :) You might check a couple of places along your route, and see what is still available. If you have no trouble getting a room, then there's probably no need to worry about it. I know others never do reservations as a rule, and rarely if ever have a problem. Bob