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  1. Default Travel w/elderly mother-Brainerd MN to NW MO

    Hello all, my first post here on the forum!

    I love to travel but have a farm so I don't get to much anymore (pesky critters). Therefore, I'd like to make the most of a short trip to Northern MN to p/u my 75 yr old mother and bring her back to KC. She and I used to travel together a lot so I thought this would be fun for her too, kinda like old times. She can't really walk around much anymore so I was hoping to go scenic places she could enjoy from the car.

    We only have 3 days though so no major side trips. I considered going over to the Mississippi river and following the GRR from Brainerd down to northern MO and then cut back west to I-35 on 36. Wasn't sure how much that would add to a trip that normally takes approx 9hrs on I-35. If I play around on Google maps, looks like it can add around 6 hrs? Worth it?

    Doing this over labor day weekend if that matters.

    TIA for any suggestions!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    In brief, take the Google drive times and add 20% to reflect reality. KC to Brainerd is just doable in one sane day on the road via fastest route, it's 536 miles and with brief necessary stops and assuming you don't get caught in bad traffic around MSP it can be done in about 11 hours. 9 hours is really pushing it!

    If you have 3 days to get from Brainerd back to KC, you have plenty of options. If you have only 2 days, you can still explore alternates, but I would not attempt to take a route that Google says is more than about 16 hours or so.

  3. Default

    "...assuming you don't get caught in bad traffic around MSP it can be done in about 11 hours. 9 hours is really pushing it!"

    Well, you're right of course. I normally don't start in KC, I'm in northern MO so so forgot to add that extra hr or so for KC.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Making the Most of It

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I'm going to assume that the three days you have for this trip includes both getting up to Brainerd and getting back to Missouri. In that case you should, of course, just hoof it up north by the most direct route possible, basically I-35/I-90/US-10/MN-210, pack up that night, and then take two full days coming home. I think that your basic idea of following the Great River Road is a good one. You won't be able to see everything even with two days, but a couple of spots I think would fit in quite well with your desire to spend some quality time reminiscing with your mother without too much physical activity would be the restored Mormon town of Nauvoo, IL where one highlight is a narrated buckboard tour of the town, and Hannibal, MO where most of the Twain related sites are on the same block. Besides those, the drive itself is often quite scenic and relaxing with many parks and wildlife refuges for road side picnics and photo ops.


  5. Default

    Thanks AZBuck, thats kinda what I thought. I actually have 3 days for the trip back, I'm driving up on Friday so we could leave Saturday AM, get back to KC on Monday.

    I've always loved the areas near the river so driving along it and visiting small towns along the way sounded like fun. I'll probably be the last road trip I take with my Mom so might as well make it enjoyable. We'll be sure to stop in Nauvoo and I haven't been to Hannibal since I was a kid so that should be fun too.

    Thanks again!

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