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  1. Default First Trip out West!

    First roadtrip ever... nervous, but excited!! Hubby and I are going in September.

    **Note on day #1, we can't leave until 9pm.
    Day # 1: Detroit to Rockford, IL (94 west, 90 west) - 375 miles
    #2: to Rapid City, SD (90 west) - 800 miles
    #3. to Bozeman, MT (212 west, 90 west) - 520 miles
    #4. to Saint Mary, MT (90, 287, 89) - 300 miles. ?Overnight at Many Glacier Hotel
    #5. Open day. ?Overnight at Prince of Whales Hotel
    #6. Open day. ?Overnight at Lake McDonald Lodge
    #7. to Swan Valley, ID (93,90,219) - 525 miles
    Overnight at South Fork Lodge
    #8. Open day. fish/canoe on snake river
    #9. to Jackson, WY - 60 miles. daytime at Grand Teton. Overnight at Four Seasons.
    #10. Open day in Yellowstone. (recommendations for lodging??)
    #11. Open day in Yellowstone. (recommendations for lodging??)
    #12. Open morning in Yellowstone. Drive rt 26/20 towards Cheyenne, WY. Recommendations for stops and lodging?
    #13. Drive rt 80 east.
    #14. Open. Recommendations for stops and lodging?
    #15. Open. Recommendations for stops and lodging?
    #16. Open. Recommendations for stops and lodging?
    #17. Return to Toledo, OH.

    This is our first ever long road trip and we have a total of 17 days to use. The above is nothing more than a loose plan. I'm eager to hear comments/suggestions/re-do's from you experienced trippers!!

    Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default The Wrong Foot

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I can say that I think you will really be starting this trip out on a very poor note.

    If you don't leave Detroit until 9, you won't get to Rockford until around 3:30-4 am. That in and of itself isn't the bad part.

    The problem is that you're going to be looking at another 14+ hours on the road the next day if you want to get to Rapid City. Then, if you leave at checkout, you'll still only have 6-7 hours of sleep, and will be on the road well past midnight.

    800 mile driving days generally aren't recommend, unless you are just doing a one day sprint. Starting your trip with this kind of pace is a recipe for being tired and cranky for the rest of your vacation.

    The rest of your trip looks like it will be a little more reasonble in terms of pacing, so if you can fix the first part, I think you'll be in pretty good shape.

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

    Default What's the Hurry?

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I'm sorry, but I can't even get past the first two lines of your itinerary without seeing all kinds of red flags. You can't leave until 9 PM and you still plan on covering 375 miles the first day? Most people would consider that a moderate day's drive, not an evening's starter jaunt. At best, you'll get into Rockford at 3 or 4 in the morning! And then you plan to drive 800 miles the next day? This is hardly possible, let alone pleasant or safe. You've got more than a week's worth of open days in your trip. The first thing you need to do is spend at least one of them making the drive out west safer and more enjoyable.

    AZBuck

  4. Default First Trip out West!

    Regarding our stop in western SD (or eastern WY) on our way to GNP from Ohio. We will arrive to this vicinty at approx noon on Monday (well rested, 4 hr drive Mon morning) and can stay until Tuesday afternoon if we so choose.

    Please comment on worthiness of the below activities and please make suggestions for other things in this area to see. Also, looking for a good place to stay in western SD or eastern WY area in vicinty of I-90.

    1. Badlands driving tour on Hwy 240 loop road
    2. Is there really any good reason to go to Wall, SD???
    3. Mount Rushmore
    4. Devil's Tower (WY)


    P.S. We are not much into mega-touristy type things. I can fully appreciate the grandiose displays that mother nature has to offer and we both really like history. No interest in corn palaces, etc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Touristy versus nature-y

    Quote Originally Posted by tmparent View Post

    1. Badlands driving tour on Hwy 240 loop road
    2. Is there really any good reason to go to Wall, SD???
    3. Mount Rushmore
    4. Devil's Tower (WY)


    P.S. We are not much into mega-touristy type things. I can fully appreciate the grandiose displays that mother nature has to offer and we both really like history. No interest in corn palaces, etc.
    1 & 4 - haven't been, but they both would be right up the alley of what you are looking for.

    2. Wall is most notable for Wall Drug - which is a mega-touristy type stop. However, it is also the Northern terminus of (1)
    3. Mount Rushmore - another mega-touristy type stop, but the drive up is quite nice and you're likely to see a mountain goat or three frolicking around.

  6. Default

    I guess I should mention, too, that I have completed revamped our trip and we are now going to go at a pace of approx 400-500 miles per day and take our time! Thanks for making the suggestions that we slow it down a bit. I'm glad that we were able to do just that!!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    378

    Default A few thoughts

    Hi,

    I'm glad you've reworked the schedule. Can you post it for further review?

    In Yellowstone, the Old Faithful Inn is the beautiful hotel to stay in, but there are several other choices. Just staying in the park anywhere is wonderful.

    Mt Rushmore is touristy, yes, but it is an inspiring sight. The loop road through the Badlands is really the only way to see the area. And Devil's tower is pretty cool - tall, and impressive. Wall Drug is a tourist trap, that is so touristy that it has become an attraction in itself, just to see how over the top a place can be. We stopped once to say we've seen it, but haven't been back.

    Stuhr Village of the Prairie Pioneer in Grand Island, NE is a wonderful historic stop, and the Harold Warp Pioneer Village, which is more of a museum of all things American, is a must see in Minden, NE.

    Have a good trip,

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

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