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  1. Default Roadtrip from Cedar Rapids, IA to Coupeville, WA

    Good Morning,

    Well this is officially my first road trip of my adult life that is longer than 8 hours. My in-laws moved from Iowa to Washington last month and had to leave 1 car behind. So we're driving it out to them. I've been activley researching places to go and things to do. But I run into a dry patch after making a side trip to Yellowstone to see Old Faithful. I will put my itenery below, and PLEASE feel free to inject any and all suggestions. Whether it be food, attraction, or quilt shop (I have a quilter with me). :)

    Day One (Total driving time 12.5 hours with time allotted for site seeing)
    • Drive to Mitchell, South Dakota - 6 hours 38 minutes / 428.30 miles
    • See the Corn Palace
    • 604 North Main Street Mitchell, SD 57301
    • Drive to Wall, South Dakota – 3 hours 9 minutes / 222.23 miles
    • Stop at Wall Drug
    • 510 Main Street Wall, SD 57790-0401
    • Drive to Keystone, South Dakota – 1 hour 21 minutes / 76.58 miles
    • See Mount Rushmore
    • 13000 Highway 244, Keystone, South Dakota
    • Drive to Custer, South Dakota – 23 minutes / 15.44 miles
    • See Crazy Horse
    • 12151 Avenue of the Chiefs Crazy Horse, SD 57730
    • Drive to Newcastle, Wyoming – 59 minutes / 42.2 miles
    • Stay in Newcastle

    Day Two (Total driving time 10 hours with extra time for going through the mountains)
    • Drive to Yellowstone Nation Park – 7 hours 22 minutes / 405.99 miles
    • Visit Old Faithful
    • Drive to Livingston Montana 2 hours 38 minutes / 107.85 miles
    • Stay in Livingston

    Day Three (Total driving time 11 hours 47 minutes / 751.22 miles)
    • Drive to the new house

    Here is the route I currently have set. I don't plan on driving this again, so if there are any "don't miss" spots. I have been told when going through Buffalo to spot in for a Dash Inn Burger. :)

    But any guidance you might have is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Not going to happen.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    The good news is you can make the drive in 3 days, but only just and it won't leave you time for sight seeing. Even by taking the most direct route along I 90 it is on the very limit of what you can safely do in the amount of time you have, with time for only short stops from the car for food, a mental health break, stretch the limbs and to fill with gas. DAY 1 is really too much without any of the stops you are planning, It's 12 or 13 hours of driving with those short breaks mentioned, before you start sight seeing.

    Away from the fantasy world of computer generated mapping programs you should be looking to get as close to Rapid City as you can on day 1 and then make for somewhere between Butte and Missoula MT, before tackling the final leg.

    Having said that, you could really do with at least an extra half a day just to cover the miles. With it being your first long multi day trip you don't know how your body is going to react and these 'back to back' days can take there toll on an experienced long distance driver and could easily put you [and others that you share the road with] in danger.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Try Again

    The essential problem with your plan is that you are making the assumption that you are a computer.

    A computer program can go from point A to point B without having to worry about things like stop signs, traffic slowdowns, construction, and they never have to stop for fuel, food, restrooms.

    Only in that world, can you cover the distances you are talking about in the time you are talking about, and only in that computer generated world could you cover day 1 in just 12 hours on the road.

    In the real world, your actual drive times will be about 20-25% more. You're trying to cover 800 miles that first day, with a good chunk of it on 2 lane mountain roads. Realistically, you'd need 15 hours on the road before you do any of the sightseeing you are talking about, and you'd be pushing 20 hours to actually stop at all of those places!.

    For additional perspective, its about 200 miles more than a professional truck driver is allowed to do, because of safety laws!

    In that real world, if you want to make several stops for sightseeing, you need to limit your drives to a maximum of 500 to 600 miles per day.

    As Dave mentioned, 3 days is barely the minimum amount of time you need to make this trip safely as a speed run. If you actually want to see any of the places you've listed, you need at least 4 days, and really 5 if you want to do even a brief tour of yellowstone.

  4. Default

    Ohhh well....looks like I'm going back to the drawing board. The good news is, I have from May 28th - June 1st to get there is I really needed it. So it sounds like I will need to add 1 more day at the minimum.

    So I will go back and try and retool what I've got here. I appreciate the feedback, it's really helpful to a beginner! :)

    I will retool this and let you know what I come up with.


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