Long-time lurker, first time poster. What prompted me to finally join is the fact that I'll be going on a road trip of my own in early August of this year. Basic trip information is as follows: I'm helping a couple who have been great friends of my wife and I since graduate school move from the Midwest to Seattle. We have two cars (both a year old and in good shape), three drivers in our early thirties, two cats, and one two year old. One of the three drivers is midway through a pregnancy, but loves to road trip.
We are planning taking Interstate 94 from Chicago to Spokane, and then taking 90 to Seattle. From my calculations, this is a 35 hour trip (in terms of driving), and given that we have two cars for three drivers, we need to make this at least a three night trip. Can folks provide some feedback on the following trip itinerary?
Day 1: leave Chicago early in the morning, drive 14 hours (I know-a really long day) to Bismark ND. The rationale for this day is that the midwest will be the easiest day of driving, and the 2 year old will have the most patience to make it through this day than any other day. Plus, the landscape is a bit easier once we get outside of Chicagoland.
Day 2: Bismarck to Billings, MT (6 hours). A shorter day of driving, mainly to allow the two guys to detour with the 2 year old to Custer's Last Stand, and to let the wife get some rest in Billings.
Day 3: Billings to Spokane, WA. This is 8 hours of driving through some real tough terrain. I'm perhaps most worried about this day, as there is demanding terrain, and not as many places to stop along the way. Any thoughts on making this day a bit shorter-easier? One thought is to go on Day 2 from Bismarck to Livingston, which adds two hours to that day.
Day 4: Spokane to Seattle (4 hours). The last day, easier driving until we hit the Cascades and Seattle sprawl.
Any thoughts on whether anything needs to change? I think we'll be able to do some decent rotations, and we look forward to having a lot of fun. We've ruled out taking I90 because of the Sturgis Motorcycle event, and I80 is just plain boring and too busy.
Thanks in advance for any feedback!