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  1. Default Tips for Road Trippin It!

    My husband and 2 yr old son are hoping to embark on a summer road trip with my husband's parents in their motor home this summer. A couple of years ago we went to Yellowstone from Ohio and it was absolutely amazing. We basically drove straight to South Dakota nonstop. We spent a week on the road and visited the Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse mountain, Cody, Wyoming, Yellowstone, and a couple more stops on the way. This time we have two weeks and I was hoping to add a couple more states or notches in my belt buckle. You see, very high on my bucket list is to visit all 50 states of this great country! So far I have only visited NC, SC, GA, TN, VA, WV, PA, KY, OH, IN, IL, WI, MN, SD, WY, MT, NV, AZ, and HI.

    Here is my question: Is it possible in two weeks to drive straight without stopping from Ohio to the Grand Canyon, hit the road and visit either Colorado or Utah (suggestions here please), Yellowstone, and finally finish it up at Glacier National Park? From Glacier, we would drive straight back to Ohio. Feel free to give me any feedback to maximize this trip! Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default checklist

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    If your only goal is to check off states, then what you are proposing to do is possible. You can certainly drive to all the places you are talking about in 2 weeks - you just really won't have time to see much anything, and doing that sort of marathon trip with a small child is really a recipe for misery, imho.

    My biggest concerns are your plans to drive "non-stop" from Ohio to Grand Canyon and then from Grand Canyon to Ohio. Those are both basically 2000 mile drives, and even with multiple drivers, doing those as non stop trips is extremely dangerous. Even in pure speed run mode with multiple drivers on a solid rotation, the minimum amount of time to safely cover those kinds of miles is 3 full days (and that's looking at a minimum of 14 hours a day of on the road, before you even consider stops to see anything and just to get a break from the road.) Doing it in less time than that means that you simply can not be getting enough rest to safely complete this journey, even with multiple drivers.

    Basically, just to cover the miles, you're looking at 8 very very long days of driving. (3 each way, 2 from GC to Glacier) leaving you a week or less to see all of these places. You could spend a week just at the many national parks in Utah and just start to scratch the surface, much less doing all these other places.

    If it were me, I would scale this back quite a lot. Considering you were already to Yellowstone and the Black Hills, I would focus only on the 4 corners region. Between Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands, Arches, Capitol Reef, Mesa Verde, Petrified Forest/Painted Desert, Great Sand Dunes, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and Rocky Mountain - just to name some of the national parks (not even including the other great sites of National Monuments, Tribal Parks, or other smaller attractions that fill up this incredible area) there's still far more than you could possibly even begin to see in this area with your timeframe.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the feedback. I should have been more specific in that I don't expect to make it to The Grand Canyon from Ohio without stopping at all. However, the agenda would be only to get from point A to point B. And I definitely don't want to just set my foot in all 50 states, I want to experience them. Having said that, my husband and I do not own a motor home of our own so I would like to see and do as much as we can because it will probably be another 3 years before we can go again. :)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Try to limit your straight-through driving to about 600 miles a day.

  5. Default Tips for Road Trippin It! Part II

    Based on suggestions from my other post, I have come up with a sample and very rough itinerary. Thanks to those who commented on my previous post. Again, suggestions and critiques are appreciated as I have never visited these places before.

    Aug 1 - Leave Ohio @ 6am, drive 550 mi., arrive @ Pictured Rocks, MI @ 3pm
    Aug 2 - Visit Pictured Rocks
    Aug 3 - Leave Pictured Rocks @ 7 am, drive 900 mi, arrive @ Theodore Roosevelt National Park, ND @ 10 pm (Yes, it is a long stint but we have done it before driving to South Dakota)
    Aug 4 - Visit Theodore Roosevelt National Park
    Aug 5 - Visit Theodore Roosevelt National Park, leave @ 2, drive 550 mi, arrive @ Glacier National Park @ 10 pm
    Aug 6 - GlACIER
    Aug 7 - GLACIER
    Aug 8 - GLACIER
    Aug 9 - Leave Glacier @ 7 am, drive 650 mi, arrive @ Dinosaur Park in Utah @ 5 pm
    Aug 10 - Visit Dinosaur Park, Leave @ 1, drive 300 mi, arrive @ Arches National Park @ 5pm
    Aug 11 - ARCHES and nearby attractions
    Aug 12 - Leave @ 9 am, Drive 130 mi, arrive @ Mesa Verde @ 11 am
    Aug 10 - Leave Mesa Verde @ 8 am, drive 350 mi, arrive @ Pikes peak @ 6 pm
    Aug 11 - PIKES PEAK
    Aug 12 - PIKES PEAK
    Aug 13 - Leave Pike's Peak @ 5pm, drive 1000 mi (again, very long driving stint but this is what we did last time from Gardiner, Montana)
    Aug 14 - arrive @ Family Friend's @ 11 am, visit
    Aug 15 - drive 300 mi, arrive in OH
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by AZBuck; 06-10-2010 at 04:33 PM. Reason: Merged with previous posts. Please do not start multiple threads for the same trip.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    First of all, you are getting your drive times from a computer. They are wildly optimistic, you need to add 20% to them. Computers don't have to eat, get gas, or go to the bathroom. They also don't ever get delayed by traffic or construction, or even stop at red lights.

    You are going to get absolutely no support here for some of the legs you are planning, they are just plain dangerous and irresponsible. Driving 900 miles in 1 day is just ridiculous. Driving 550 miles after sightseeing for most of the day is almost as bad.

    The one that takes the cake is driving 1000 miles ALL NIGHT after sightseeing ALL DAY. No disrespect intended, but I think you have a death wish.

    I'll let the mod staff add to this, I'm sure they will want to.

  7. Default Question

    Hello, I am new to the forum. Anyone know why my previous thread was closed?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I wasn't the one who closed it, However, my guess is that it was closed because you have completely ignored all the advice you have been given so far, and presented an "updated" plan that is so reckless that the only word I could use to describe it is homicidal.

    Rather than start an argument, or repeat again the same things that were already said and were ignored, he likely closed it so that we'd just move on to posters who actually want to be responsible and/or who are interested in our advice.

  9. Default

    Thank you. I am very interested in advice which is why I took the time the post my updated plan. I am 24 years old and have never planned a trip before. I admitted my naivety on the subject. Furthermore, I most certainly wouldn't engage in an argument as I welcomed advice and critiques.

    Also, I am not homicidal. I am asking for help. I thought I had considered your advice with my updated plan and had scaled back my first overly ambitious one. My updated plan was very rough and hypothetical. I am in the very beginning stage of planning a trip that I am very excited about. I want to be responsible, that is why I have spent hours researching, mapping, and joining this forum.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default reopened

    Well, I have reopened your thread, but I think some major changes are going to be needed to make this a safe trip, not to mention an enjoyable one.

    GLC pointed out the major problem spot - and as he pointed out you really would be best if you limited any of your travel days to about 600 miles - which is a good 10-12 hours on the road before you make any significant stops.

    900 miles on the road is a brutally long day, a very bad idea for a family trip, and really starts the limits of safety when you're talking about a multi-day trip.

    In your case that 900 miles is especially brutal because about 2/3rd of the trip is going to be on 2 lane roads. There is absolutely no possible way you could complete this trip in 15 hours (and even if you could, would you really want your 2 year old strapped into a car seat for 15 straight hours?). In real world travel times, if you completed this trip in under 20 hours, you'd be doing remarkably well. Simply put, you need to put in an overnight stop here.

    Actually, since this trip takes you right by Lake Itasca, I'd make that an overnight stop and spend a little time exploring the starting point of the Mississippi River.

    The other things that GLC mentioned are also right on point - 550 miles is a full day on the road, and trying to do that after a full day of exploring is asking for a crash.

    And well, driving 1000 miles in one sitting is reckless in any situation and even if you've done it before, its a lot like playing russian roulette - where you're luck will eventually run out.

    However, trying to do that kind of drive overnight after a full day of sightseeing? Please explain to me how you think you could do that safely? Quite frankly, if you didn't kill someone while doing that would surprise me.

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