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  1. Default Seattle to Chicago

    Four fifty something but young at heart travelaholics from England want to spend 3 weeks next summer having a road trip. We previously drove from Pheonix to San Fran in 3 weeks via various canyons, Death Valley and Yosemite and absolutely loved it. We have also driven Highway One - also brilliant. We don't want to spend the whole time driving and were wondering if Seattle to Chicago was reasonable or would we be better doing a loop from Seattle and ending up back in Seattle. We love national parks and wild scenery and music with the occasional city but are less keen on too long in cities.
    We had also considered Seattle to New Orleans but thought it might not be a good time of year.
    If anyone can help that would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Anythings possible !

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    All your options are viable and Seattle to Chicago with 3 weeks to spare should be very relaxed and with a loop your trip can be built to suit your needs, but only you can decide what will work best for you and then we can help you get the best from your choice. I would get the map out and use the search button to look around the forums and see what is most appealing. Either way would make Mt Ranier, Glacier, Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons popular options and if you continued towards Chicago Custer state park, Rushmore and Badlands would be on the way. They would be possible to include in a loop as well but might extend your trip more than you are comfy with. Maybe Denver could be a suitable destination point and you could visit Rocky NP and some of the surrounding area, there are so many possibilities but hopefully that's enough to get you going and when you have decided let us know and we can help "fine tune" your itinerary.

  3. Default thank you

    Thank you for your help it will cetainly get me started now that I know that the basic idea is not a mad one.
    One thing that I noticed when reading up on the route - there does not seem to be that much of interest between Chicago and the Badlands/ Blackhills area. Is it possible to drive from Chicago to somewhere like Mitchell in one hit with 2 drivers?

    Cecilia

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

    Default Perhas you just haven't looked enought yet?

    There's a lot of cool stuff between Chicago and South Dakota's Badlands/ Blackhills area. Here's some ideas to start your own research....

    Not entirely on your route -- you still might find some things of interest in the trip AZBuck took a couple of years ago.

    This is a slightly south route -
    - perhaps it could be part of a loop for you?
    A bunch of our roadside marvels and murals can be found in Minnesota, go to this page and scroll down to Minnesota.
    Some more tips and suggestions from Peter Thody for your travels in Iowa and if roadside murals is of interest, I'd recommend at stop at the Mooney Hollow Reception Hall and Saloon....

    But to respond to your query....
    Is it possible to drive from Chicago to somewhere like Mitchell in one hit with 2 drivers?
    Sure, it'd be a long day -- ~ 700 miles, will require about 12.5 hours of travel, including stops for fuel, food and stretching breaks.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-15-2009 at 04:19 PM.

  5. Default lots of ideas

    Thank you Mark and Midwest Dave you have both got me started.

    I have come up with this initial idea but would welcome your opinions.

    Day 1/2 Chicago
    Day 3 drive to Sioux Falls area
    Day 4 drive to Badlands via Mitchell
    Day 5/6/7/8 explore Badlands/ Black Hills/ Mt Rushmore etc
    Day 9 Drive to Cody
    Day 10 short but scenic drive to Yellowstone and explore Yellowstone
    Day 11/12 explore Yellowstone
    Day 13/14 explore Grand Teton
    Day 15 drive to Glacier National Park
    Day 16 walk in Glacier
    Day 17 Drive to Spokane
    Day 18 drive to Seattle
    Day 19/20 explore Seattle
    Day 21 fly home

    I am not sure how long to expect the drive from Glacier to Spokane to take.
    Also wondering if I should leave out something on the way to leave time for either Mt Rainier or Olympic Park. Or perhaps I just need to come for longer!!!!
    The possibilities seem endless and very exciting.

    Look forward to hearing anyones opinion on this itinerary.
    Cecilia
    Last edited by cecilia; 08-16-2009 at 05:58 AM. Reason: title incomplete

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Good job !

    It Looks good to me !

    Your basic outline is very good and you have given yourself time to explore the places you are visiting so that's also good. Your first leg is quite long but certainly doable and around our recommended daily maximum mile marker. , expect to be in the car for around 10 hours to make it to Sioux falls with a few short stops for gas,food and some stretching. From the Tetons to Glacier is another long day but it would be easily rectified by either stopping a bit short on the way if you got tired or leave the Tetons late PM the day before and stay somewhere like Idaho falls for a good start the following morning, but once again it certainly doable.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    You should be able to get from Glacier to Spokane in about 6 hours or so.

  8. Default Where to stay

    Once again thank you for your thoughts and advice Southwest Dave and glc.

    Do you have any suggestions about accommodation. We think perhaps a road trip should be flexible therefore we should not have everything pre booked. However being the summer holiday season we are worried that everything will be full and we don't want to be spending ages looking for a bed at the end of each day.
    We like mid budget sort of places as we are a bit old to slum it and not rich enough to go top end. We really like bed and breakfast where you meet the host and get to know some local folk. With this in mind should we book ahead or wing it?

    Pnce again look forward to your ideas. This forum is just fantastic!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    You may be interested in going via Belle Fourche SD.

    Belle Fourche is known as the "Center of the Nation" due to it's proximity to the actual Geographic Center of the Nation. The actual spot is a short distance off, on private land.

    Lifey who is planning a trip there

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Individual choices.

    We think perhaps a road trip should be flexible therefore we should not have everything pre booked. However being the summer holiday season we are worried that everything will be full and we don't want to be spending ages looking for a bed at the end of each day.
    Each of us are different, some of us like to "wing it" and remain flexible and some like the security of knowing they have a bed for the night. Only you can decide what is more important to you but it is possible to have the best of both worlds. You could book some "hot spots" such as around Rushmore,Yellowstone and Tetons that are likely to get booked out early and leave other parts open to change. Doing this also helps you to keep on track and dividing segments of your trip between A and B. You certainly have time to do some research and as you find the types of lodgings that appeal to you and within your budget make a note of them. If you don't book them in advance at least you can call ahead from the road to check availability and save wasting miles running around in the dark looking. [so to speak]

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