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  1. Default Chicago to Denver through Mt Rushmore w/3 kids, 14 days, & 3-5 hrs drive a day!

    Hello. Last year RTA helped put together a great itinerary and I seek everyone’s help again. We are a crew of 5 with 3 kids, 6, 9, 12. We love baseball, hockey, natural beauty, quirky local flavor, history and science, and comfort –that is, we are not campers or extreme-adventurers, not that we can afford luxury. I like having everything figured out beforehand: for last year’s road trip from NM to CA, your suggestions were the foundation for a binder I made with web printouts, maps, suggested detours and restaurants.

    This year we want to go west as one way, 3-5 hours of driving at a time with a night or two at each stop. We have 14 days in July. Suggestions and advice from all experts and been-theres, please, about the following ideas:

    1) Chicago to Denver through Mt. Rushmore?
    2) St. Paul to Seattle through Mt. Rushmore?
    3) St. Louis through Denver to San Francisco
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-24-2008 at 12:33 PM. Reason: last year's itineary link

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Welcome back!

    I'm thrilled that our advice helped you so much on your last trip. Hopefully, we can do that again.

    Well, these are ball baseball towns so it's just a matter of being there when they have a home game, right? And it might be worth it checking out AA games/farm teams for the majors.

    1) Chicago to Denver through Mt. Rushmore?
    About 1,300 miles. Easily done in the time you have with lots of time to lay-over a day or two and explore.

    2) St. Paul to Seattle through Mt. Rushmore?
    At 1800 miles, I think this is pushing it considering your criteria of "3-5 hours of driving at a time with a night or two at each stop". Don't get me wrong, it's a very do-able trip in 14 days but it doesn't seem to fit the parameters you've established very well. Especially when you consider the huge abundance of places worth going a bit off-route to see. For example, you'd be so close to Yellowstone/Tetons that it would be a shame to miss them. You would want at least 3 days there so this alone would take up another chunk of time. I just think you'll end up feeling a bit rushed.

    3) St. Louis through Denver to San Francisco
    Same with this one but, at 2400 miles, even moreso.

    I think you'll find an abundance of things to do between Chicago and Denver. Heck, you could spend a good week of your trip just in and around the Mt. Rushmore area itself!

    Your choice, of course, but if you want a leisurely trip, with layovers and time to explore, I really think your first option is by far your best bet. And you really won't get bored.

    After you've decided, let us know so we can help you tweak things. (but please, post your comments for this new trip in this thread!)
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-24-2008 at 08:01 PM.

  3. Default More information about the 2008 Trip

    This year we want to start from Chicago and head to Denver as one way, 3-5 hours of driving at a time with a night or two at each stop, 3 if a stop has a lot going on. The boys will be thrilled if we can work in major league games, but for us parents, the trip is the main attraction, not the MLB's schedule. Mt Rushmore drew the family's attention in the several viewings of the National Treasure 2 movie.

    I like having everything figured out beforehand. We are a crew of 5 with 3 kids, 6, 9, 12. We love baseball, hockey, natural beauty, quirky local flavor, history and science, and comfort –that is, we are not campers or extreme-adventurers, not that we can afford luxury. (This is what I'm calling "my bill.")

    I'm pretty sure I can dig up a lot about Chicago, although I'd appreciate any off-the-beaten path or insider's tips.

    We have 14 days, leaving July 4 weekend. Suggestions and advice from all experts and been-theres, please!

    Here are some questions, but don't let me limit you:

    1) I'm looking at a US map and here is my newbie's thought: WI, MN, SD, WY, CO. What do you think? I AM GRATEFUL FOR ALTERNATE IDEAS, especially if that seems overambitious!
    2) Any thing you know along the way that would fit my bill as listed above?
    3) Where would you recommend we spend more than one night? Don't be shy-- let me hear from you!
    4) What can I expect of the weather in the coming weeks? I know storms can happen any day-- any tips about anything (what to wear, how to shelter, etc.)?
    5) Any websites you'd recommend?
    6) Would love to hear about any cool places to eat, especially in the remote stops--
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-25-2008 at 09:47 AM. Reason: navigation

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Peter Thody has some ideas for you

    Quote Originally Posted by momof3east View Post
    We love baseball, hockey, natural beauty, quirky local flavor, history and science, and comfort –that is, we are not campers or extreme-adventurers,
    Peter Thody has been sharing his discoveries in a summer road trip that closely parallels your planned route. I would suggest reading his articles for more ideas:

    Chicago to Galena (with some fun places in Chicago)
    Minnesota is one of our "prime hunting spots" for murals and roadside marvels.
    South Dakota a-la-Peter Thody
    SE Wyoming
    The edge of Colorado

    Some overall tips for planning family adventures.

    Happy Planning!

    Mark

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