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Thread: Ca-sd

  1. #1

    Default Ca-sd

    Hey everyone,

    How's it goin? I'm currently planning out a roadtrip that my dad and I are gonna be taking in May. The plan is to go from Lodi, CA to the Black Hills/Badlands area of South Dakota. I have quite a bit planned in a little time, but it's worked for us before.
    Friday May 18 - Gonna take a half day at work and leave Lodi around noon. Our goal is to get to Elko this night, possibly Wendover if we make good time.

    Saturday May 19 - Drive from either Elko or Wendover to Cheyenne, WY. Mapquest says this is over nine hours! Is that true?

    Sunday May 20 - Gonna head into Scottsbluff, NE to see the Scottsbluff National Mounment and Chimney Rock. From here we are gonna head north to Mt. Rushmore and eventually stay in Rapid City that night.

    Monday May 21 - Badlands National Park - I want to try and squeeze Custer State Park in here too.

    Tuesday May 22 - Head through Deadwood and the Black Hills towards Devil's Tower. From Devil's Tower we plan to see the Little Bighorn Battlefield before bedding down in Billings, MT.

    Wednesday May 23 - Drive into Cody, WY. Gonna spend a day or two fishing around here.

    Thursday May 24 - Fishing in Cody, maybe sneak into Yellowstone.
    Friday May 25 - Head through Yellowstone and Grand Tetons, probably stay in Jackson Hole.

    Saturday May 26 - Drive from Jackson to Elko.

    Sunday May 27 - Head in from Elko.

    Am I missing anything that I should be seeing in this region? Maybe trying to see too much? The long drives don't bother me much. I did a 12-hour run to Olympia, WA last year in one day with a couple side detours.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Just a few things

    I think the basics of your trip are ok, but you may be biting off a bit more than you realise in a few spots.
    Saturday May 19 - Drive from either Elko or Wendover to Cheyenne, WY. Mapquest says this is over nine hours! Is that true?
    Its not true, it actually will most likely take you between 11 and 12 hours, and thats if you don't make any major stops along the way.
    Monday May 21 - Badlands National Park - I want to try and squeeze Custer State Park in here too.
    This isn't impossible, but you will have to limit yourself at each place. Its a 150 mile round trip from RC to the east end of the Badlands, plus another 30 miles of one way driving to get back to Custer SP.

    There are some other really cool things to see in these areas too. The MinuteMan Missle Site is a place I really want to visit. There are also Jewel and Wind Cave NPs near Custer, and of course no trip to the Badlands would be complete without a stop at the ultimate tourist trap: wall drug!

    There is only one aspect of your plan I don't get. Why are you going all the way to Billings, when you're just going to double back for fishing in Cody the next day? It would seem to me that staying in NE Wyoming, like Sheridan or Gilette, would make more sense here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Get off on the Right (Relaxation) foot

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Lodi to Elko is 455 miles. To Wendover it's 560 miles. Both of these are full day's drives rather than half day's drives. Elko to Cheyenne is 670 miles and there's not a chance in the world that you will make that drive in 9 hours. You are trying to cover over 1100 miles in a day and a half. In a word, no. Frankly, I use mapping software only for mileage estimates and not at all for time estimates at which they are notoriously optimistic. Ask yourself: How'd you feel after your 730 mile/12 hour run to Olympia? Did you enjoy the next day? You and your dad getting any younger?

    The rest of your journey seems more reasonable, but if you start out driving yourselves to exhaustion, you're going to spend a fair portion of the meat of your trip recovering rather than enjoying. My advice is to budget at least another half day to the drive east and enjoy some of the great wide open spaces of the Basin and Range and the magnificent mountains of the Wasatch and other ranges you currently plan on just blasting through.


  4. #4

    Default Thanks

    Thanks for the replies! Gonna try to figure something out for the first day or so, maybe just drive as far as we can possiibly take it, and base the rest of the trip from there. I know I can handle the heavy driving, but you are right about my dad not getting any younger. A couple years ago I burned him out with a San Diego-El Paso run with a detour to Tombstone in one day.
    I was plannin on heading into Billings since we would be going to Custer's Last Stand. I wasn't sure about the area, if there was any decent lodging in Sheridan? Plus, it looked faster from Custer's Last Stand to get to Cody from Billings, not to mention a bigger town with more lodging options.
    I like the ideas of Jewel and Wind Caves, but my dad can't ahndle goin into caves, he really did not like it when we went to Carlsbad Caverns a few years ago.

    Thanks again,

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Playing it by ear

    I think playing things by ear sounds like a very good idea, especially when you know your passenger has his limits on the amount of time he finds enjoyable in a car.

    That first day doesn't concern me as much as it does Buck. I think his point is valid, but if you actually leave by noon, you would be off the road around 10. Unfortuantly, the places to stop in this area are few and far between, so you'll have to think in terms of how you would be feeling an hour or two down the road when deciding where to stop. But since you probably have a pretty good feel for when you will have had enough, this should be fine. That second day would be the day I think you'll really have to watch yourself, simply because its a major distance to cover no matter what time you leave.

    Sheridan has a good number of hotels. Just looking online, there are at least 8 major chain hotels, both low and high end. Although, I forgot you were going to Little Bighorn when I suggested Sheridan. Considering that, I think Billings and Sheridan are pretty equal, but you will be looking at a pretty long day once you factor in your stops in the Black Hills and Devils Tower.


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