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  1. Default 3 weeks: NY to Yellowstone

    We survived a 10+ hr drive to Bar Harbor, ME, last summer. We decided to go for a big one this year with our 6 year old from NY to Yellowstone.

    Below is our current itinerary. This is our first time covering so many miles so our goal is trying to minimize driving to around 12 hrs between destinations with NY <-> Chicago as the exceptions. I would like any seasoned roadtrippers for potential stops between destinations and tips that will help prevent us killing each other :).

    NY -> Chicago -> Minneapolis -> Bismark, SD -> Billings, MT -> YellowStone -> Grand Teton -> Rapid City / Mt. Rushmore -> Sioux Fall -> Chicago -> NY.

    Thanks in advance!

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


    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    I'd strongly encourage you to reconsider your NY-Chicago legs. At 800 miles its a very bad way to both start and end your trip. You're going to burn yourself out before you've barely started your trip, and then at the end, you're going to have to push yourself to exhaustion when you've already had a long trip.

    Going there, it doesn't even really make sense for you to stop in Chicago. It would make much more sense simply to get to Minneapolis in 2 evenly spaced days of about 600 miles. Fremont or Elkart, Indiana would make much more sense for an overnight. Going back, you'd need to plan for another night somewhere, or adjust your stops.

    There's lots of things in between, places like the Wisconsin Dells, Teddy Roosevelt NP, Little Bighorn Battlefield, the Badlands and the many more things in the Black Hills that could be considered even more interesting than Rushmore, like Devils Tower, Custer State Park and Jewel or Wind Caves to name a few.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Laws, Rules, and Exceptions

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Your plan should all work well, except that for that glaring exception at both the beginning and end of the trip. There are bits of conventional wisdom that have stood the test of time and countless trials to come to be known as 'rules of thumb. One such is that a comfortable and safe day's drive is on the order of 550 miles, maybe a bit - but not a lot - more. When there is enough statistical and scientific data to validate the wisdom behind such a rule of thumb, it often gets written in to law if there is a compelling reason. The safety of the traveling public is one such reason, and the statistics on traffic accidents, injuries and death are solid enough that this particular rule of thumb is codified as law for those who are licensed by the federal government, namely long-haul truckers. They are forbidden by law from driving more than 600 miles in a day and are required to take a ten hour break, even from being in a moving vehicle, between such driving sessions. New York to Chicago (and vice versa) is 33% more than that legal limit. Having two drivers really does not help, as you would both have to be awake and alert at all times on such an extended drive to be able to watch out that the on duty driver remains awake and alert. To try to pull this off without any long distance driving experience and with a small child on board would not be a wise choice. You have plenty of time for this trip without pressing your luck in such a manner. Use that time to have a safe and enjoyable trip.


  4. Default

    Thanks for the great advices. We will definitely revisit our itinerary.

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