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Thread: US Highway 71

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Keithville, LA
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    638

    Default US Highway 71

    Ok -change of plans for this summer. The Intrepid Road Trip Partner and I were to go to Big Bend and the Grand Canyon and all points in between. Lots of hiking. I've been getting into shape since January in preparation for this. Then my companion goes and breaks her foot. So, our original plan is out and I'm working on something that would take approximately 10 days and involve lots of driving and minimal walking.

    First thought = Drive to Minnesota and take a left. I need to work on what comes after than Left turn still. Any suggestions would be welcome.

    However, I am noting a problem. The only direct north/south route appears to be Highway 71. I've traveled it rather extinsively in North Louisiana and Arkansas, but have not experienced it past that. Any thoughts?

    I have to say that it's kind of cool to think about taking a two lane highway all the way to Minnesota from here. But with only ten days I also don't want to spend all of my time driving to Minnesota, I would also like to see a bit of North and South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming if possible before heading home.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Badlands!

    Quote Originally Posted by lhuff View Post
    ...Then my companion goes and breaks her foot.
    Laura, that is a bummer. Imagine, all of that exercise for naught!
    The only direct north/south route appears to be Highway 71. I've traveled it rather extinsively in North Louisiana and Arkansas, but have not experienced it past that. Any thoughts?
    I don't think I have traveled along US-71 before (and that is an usual statement for me and any US-highway).

    I think you should consider speed running on I-49 to I-20 to I-35 and go explore the region described in Arizona Bob's post about western Nebraska and then go explore the badlands area of South Dakota and then see how much time you have left and then mosey on back to Louisiana.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    9,358

    Default What Difference Does a Day Make?

    I make it roughly 1000 miles from Shreveport to Sanborn, MN (where US-71 meets US-14) the perfect place to 'turn left'. You could make that in two days if you stuck to the Interstates for the most part. But it you took US-71 I strongly doubt that it would take you more than three. Note that US-71 is duplexed with I-540 through Ft. Smith and the small cities of northwestern Arkansas, and with I-29 north of Kansas City (and you can always use I-435 around KC) up to St.Joseph. So you'll have some relief in your two most congested areas. Other than that, US-71 looks to be mostly a two-lane highway through the forests of the Ozarks and the farms of the central plains, avoiding most urban areas almost pathologically. That would leave you 4 days for your exploration of the Badlands and to start to work your way south along the front ranges of the Rockies in Wyoming and Colorado, and 3 days for the return home. So, in short, I like the idea of "US-71 north to Minnesota and turn left".

    AZBuck

  4. #4
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    Mar 2005
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    Keithville, LA
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    Default Ooh

    I've done a little more exploration. It looks like I'll be passing near several Laura Ingall Wilder sites on my way into Minnesota. I'll definitely have to check those out since my mother randomly becamed enthralled with the TV show and named me after her.

    Laura

  5. #5

    Default

    I'm off to Wikipedia to find out who Laura is named after... *confused*

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Default Named after the author

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Antill View Post
    I'm off to Wikipedia to find out who Laura is named after... *confused*
    Laura Ingall Wilder is the author that "our" Laura is named after.

    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Keithville, LA
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    638

    Default Little House on the Prarie

    Apparently, my Mom watched way too much of that show when she was pregnant with me. The show was based on the series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder about growing up in the US in the 1800s and travelling by covered wagon to various parts of the country.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    Laura Ingall Wilder is the author that "our" Laura is named after.
    Indeed. I just had no idea who Laura Ingalls Wilder actually was :) I'm glad to say I now do, RTA really is very informative!

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lhuff View Post

    However, I am noting a problem. The only direct north/south route appears to be Highway 71. I've traveled it rather extinsively in North Louisiana and Arkansas, but have not experienced it past that. Any thoughts?
    If you want to take a day, you can explore US 71's original alignment around Noel, MO (now MO 59). There are some nice views as you travel near the Elk River and drive under some of the overhanging bluffs. :)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Keithville, LA
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    638

    Default Thanks for the Tip 71!

    I'm starting to find out that 71 is going to pass through a lot of neat places.

    Also - it turns out that Highway 14 will take me through De Smet, ND, another Laura Ingalls Wilder site. I think I know what the theme for this trip is going to be. I've got to re-read those books before I head out.

    Laura

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