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  1. Default Cincinnati Ohio to The Badlands/Black Hills/Little Big Horn

    We've got 8 days to make this trek. We want to see as much as we can, Mt. Rushmore is in the mix, of course. Though Little Big Horn is still up in the air. We'd like to at least make it into Montana.

    Advice? Tips? I've never been, and my husband was 16 last time he was there (20 years ago). We are traveling with our 14 year old son, who is a history addict.

    *edited to add, we will be going the 1st full week in Sept.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Mt Rushmore, Badlands NP, Wind Cave NP, Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer, the Black Hills are all in western South Dakota. On the way is Ft Defiance (part of the Oregon Trail system for that history buff of yours) near exit 248 of I-90.

    How far into Montana did you need to go? Is this a one-way trip? If it's a round trip, you may not get to see all that and still make it back to Ohio.


  3. Default

    Hi Donna, it's round trip. Thanks :)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default History While On the Move

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The thing is, you don't have a lot of time for this trip, so you should really be looking at making every day serve double duty - both as a travel day and a sight seeing day. Even at that, and although I hate to tell you to pull up so short of Yellowstone, you should turn around at Garyowen (the Little Bighorn). That should let you make the best use of your time actually visiting some historic sites with time to get some insights, while still covering a good bit of ground.

    As always, you get to see the most by doing a 'loop', taking a different route out and back. You can go in either direction, of course, but you will be pretty much limited to the Interstates, I-90 and I-94, so I'll just describe it going clockwise. Taking I-74 out of Indianapolis, the first day's stops would be centered around Lincolniana in Illinois. This could, in fact, be one spot where you add a little detour to take in Springfield. Day 2 would have you working your way across Iowa and Minnesota on I-74/I-80/I-380/US-218/US-18/I-35/I-90. This is 'Little House on the Prairie' country, full of small stories as opposed to major events, so take the time to do some homework and find some small town or county historical societies (this would be a good job to assign to your son.) and make a few stops as you continue to put down some miles. Then on through western South Dakota on Day 3, with possible stops at Rushmore, the Badlands, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Wind and Jewel Caves, and Devils Tower. Your final outbound day would take you to the Little Bighorn Battlefield and on up to Custer, MT to set up for the drive home on I-94.

    Along I-94, you'll have plenty of chances to look into Lewis and Clark history, particularly around Bismark/Mandan where they spent their first winter on their way west. Your family might also enjoy a visit to some recent 'history' at Mall of America, and history of a different sort at Circus World Museum in Baraboo, WI. Nearby Wisconsin Dells is also a family resort that has tons of water parks and rides. The general idea, you see, is to have a bit of an adventure every day rather than looking at this as a long slog of a drive with a single pay off or two.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 06-22-2011 at 07:37 AM. Reason: Grammar

  5. #5

    Default A couple more......

    .......ideas for historical stops: From Devil's Tower go north through Hulett to Alzada, MT to US 212 and take it through reservation country to Crow Agency, MT (Little Bighorn). I sincerely believe every American should see the current living conditions painfully evident from about Lame Deer to Crow Agency. Broadus, MT is a neat little ranch town with local rodeos in the town center on many Friday nights.

    As you enter ND on I-94, you reach Medora, where Theodore Roosevelt NP is located. Way down in the badlands a couple or three dozen miles southeast of Medora is the Burning Coal Vein, where a lignite coal bed has been smoldering for decades. Call it a unique sight.

    Routing caution: If either your outbound or homebound legs include I-80 to I-29 or I-29 only in the Omaha, NE area, be aware I-29 is closed from IA-2 to US 136 in Rock Port, MO, due to Missouri River flooding. Closure is expected for "months" and could affect travel plans through August into September.


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