Iím glad I found this website! Iím a 22 year old female from Minneapolis planning my first extended solo camping/road trip, and am a little nervous (but vastly more excited). The rest of this paragraph is just background info I feel compelled to share because Iím new hereógo ahead and skip it, because my question starts in the next one. Iíve gone on more than a dozen solo trips from Minneapolis to the Canada, did a camping/road trip to the FL Keys with my boyfriend, and drove alone to central OH last summer. Iíve done a lot of camping, but never solo (am confident I have all the skills though). When I found out my parents will be in Seattle in July, I instantly decided I want to drive out there to meet them, and camp at all the national parks Iíve always wanted to visit along the way. I've been wanting to do a huge solo trip like this for a long time.
Iíve spend past couple weeks planning, but Iím not experienced with routing. I have always relied solely Google Maps and MapQuest, and then often my dadís revision of those. Iím not asking my dad this time because I want him to be as confident as possible that I know what Iím doing when I explain to him my plan :) But the two websites are giving me drastically different routes for one leg (DAY 2) of my trip.
Hereís the basic plan (these days arenít consecutive; Iíll be spending 2-3 nights at each spot)
Day 1: Minneapolis to Theodore Roosevelt NP (Medora ND)
DAY 2: TRNP to Glacier NP
Day 3: Glacier NP to Seattle, WA.
Day 4: Seattle to Olympic NP
(Iíll be stopping at Yellowstone and Badlands NP on my way back instead of Glacier and TRNP.)
Google Maps is telling me to take I-94 all the way down to Forsynth, MT and then take a number of US highways, eventually coming into Glacier with a total of 676 miles. Map Quest it telling me to take I-94 just 60 miles, then taking US-2 for the last 300 miles, eventually coming into Glacier with a total of 624 miles. Map Quest's route looks lest convoluted, and is times shorter, but I've become a big Google Earth fan recently, and for some reason it feels more reliable.
Iíve put links to each map below. Iíd appreciate any advice any of you can give me about which route is better, or if thereís a third route that trumps those. I've also come here to solicit advice in general on my trip!--anything you'd like to share about first-time solo camping/road trips, visiting these parks, favorite camping sites in the South Unit of TRNP, best campgrounds in Glacier and Yellowstone... Also, I'm bringing my hardy little rat terrier along, so if you have tips on road tripping w/ pets, I'd love to hear those, too!