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  1. Default Milwaukee to Seattle and back.. Any Advice Welcomed...

    Hi. Hoping to get ANY and ALL advice or tips or ideas for a trip that I am taking this fall.
    Leaving Sept 24th - and do not have to be back until Oct 9th (16 days)

    Driving from Milwaukee to Seattle. i-94
    Seattle down to Oregon to see the Mt St. Helens and the waterfalls.
    Heading back home on I-90
    Want to see Mt Rushmore - Custer Park.
    Then toward Iowa to see Buddy Holly's plan crash site and to the Field of Dreams diamond.

    Would love any kinda tips or ideas. Good places to eat (love steak and bbq).
    Unique places. Strange places. Once in a lifetime places.
    Love to hear things to see and what to stay away from.

    Looking to go as cheap as possible. May spend a few night sleeping in my SUV. So any advice on truck stops or rest areas to sleep for the night would help a ton.

    If you know of any coupons or deals or things that may be helpful, I would LOVE to hear about them.

    I figured I would ask the people who know best.

    Thank you so very much!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    It seems that you've got a good plan worked out, as far as routes and what you'd like to see.

    The BEST way to find good food is to ask the locals. If that's not possible, sometimes just seeing a full parking lot near a restaurant is a good sign. (That's how we found one little place in a small town in Missouri.)

    There's a whole forum called "Saving Money on Your Trip." You might read some of the threads on there, particularly the ones involving overnights and eating. From me, tips include:

    1) Carry a cooler in your car filled with bottled water, juice, etc. It's much cheaper to buy those from the grocery store than it is to buy them at a convenience market on the Interstate! You could also put things in there, and in a sack, for breakfast and lunch. Be sure to pack a plate (or paper plates), bowls, and a set of silverware, if you pack food.

    2) Consider tent camping or hostels for your overnights, rather than sleeping in your SUV. At RTA, we never recommend staying in your car. First, you just don't get a restful night's sleep. Second, it's not safe to do so in most places. In those that might be safe (such as truck stops and Wal-Mart parking lots) you get to listen to trucks and vehicles rumbling, and their lights flashing, all night - - not a restful night's sleep! Lifey, a member of this forum, is a very experience hostel user and can offer you insights on those.

    3) If you become a member of the online "club" that most restaurants have, you'll be able to print up some coupons for your dinners before you go. Those have helped us a lot on our trip! However, we much prefer the local recommendations, and find that the food is often much less expensive than the chains.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Don't sleep in rest areas, use Truck Stops, they're safe.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    Sounds like you have your route well laid out. One thing you might consider is the Bighorn Mountains. Detour off I-90 near Laurel, and head towards Lovell WY. Then take Alt 14 over the Bighorn Mts, stopping at the Canyon and the Medicine Wheel. The high plains is an area rich in wildlife. You meet up with I-90 again, at Ranchester.

    An SUV is ideal to sleep in, if you remove all bar the front seats. Put in a mattress or camp mattress, a sleeping bag and pillow, and you can be quite comfortable. Get something to put over the windows. I used dark fabric and attached it to the inside of the car with stick on velcro dots. Best to try all this at home first, to make sure you are comfortable.

    It is not recommended that you stop to sleep in rest areas. In lots of states this is illegal, and in all cases it is not safe and can be quite dangerous. (Unless you are in FL where the rest areas are staffed with armed guards.) Truck stops are by far your best bet. They are open 24 hours, well lit and have people coming and going all night. Best you first invest in the Truckers Friend. This great publication has all the information about truck stops and where they are, what services they provide, etc. Many truck stops make RV vehicles welcome, and have an area set aside where they park. You can then use their bathroom, eat in their restaurant, pay a small sum for a shower and fill the tank before you hit the road again. I can recommend it, having stayed at them for many nights on my last (almost) six month trip. The activity all night never bothered me.

    Unfortunately, along that route, there is not much in the way of hostels, but you will find the ocassional cheap motel. Make sure you always check out the room before committing. And if they won't let you, you know to move on.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Oh! I got that wrong.

    Oooops!! that is back to front.

    To visit the Bighorn Mts from East to West you leave I-90 at Ranchester WY, and turn off 14 when you get to Alt 14. Then over the Mts, the Medicine Wheel and Canyon, and back to I-90 through Lovell WY.

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