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  1. Default NC to WA with 1 husband, 5 kids, 1 dog, and 6 sugar gliders. Call me crazy :)

    The Army says move, so we are moving. From the East side of NC to the Seattle area. We are planning to make the drive in our Suburban and hoping for some tips, tricks, ideas and helpful advice! We have 45 days to do it in, but we want to fly up to AK and visit family before DH has to report on July 15th, so ideally we would like to do it in 10ish days and not miss a ton of things. Our schedule isn't "set" so we can take longer if needed/desired, but we would like to get there fairly quickly. Can't wait to hear what you've got for me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default There's Never Enough Time, But...

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    If you took the most efficient route and pushed it just a bit, you could make the drive in just about five days. Ten days lets you start to have a little fun and wander off the straight and narrow a bit. To be honest, another day or two wouldn't hurt, particularly if you'd like to spend some significant time in the Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota, Yellowstone, and perhaps even make a short detour up to Glacier National Park.

    Now, what else to include? Well, I'm assuming that at least your older children are old enough to have their own opinions and interests, so you should solicit their 'requests' and take them at least as seriously as our suggestions, but here are a few that have a general appeal: Great Smoky Mountains National Park (particularly if you haven't seen it yet during your time in North Carolina), Mammoth Cave National Park, St. Louis and some of the Great River Road, Hannibal MO, Badlands National Park, Mount Rushmore, Devils Tower National Monument, Little Bighorn National Battlefield, Grand Tetons National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Glacier National Park. And those are just the 'big ones'. You can see why the more time you can spend on this drive, the better.

    A few more general hints. For any and all of your children between roughly 4 and 12, be sure to sign them up for the Junior Ranger Program at every national park and monument that you stop at. They'll have a great time, learn a bit (but you don't have to tell them that), and get some great free souvenirs. Then besides the major stops, also plan on taking a break every few hours just to let them run around, blow off some steam, and exercise the dog. Unfortunately most national parks aren't all that pet friendly, limiting where you can take your dog and requiring that he be on a leash at all times, so you might have to trade off on occasion with someone staying with Fido near the Visitors Center or in the parking lot while everyone else goes exploring through the park. Each park will have their own pet regulations posted on their website and at the visitors center.

    Once you and the rest of the family have a basic route worked out, or at least a string of 'dots' to connect, we can be of more help in finding lesser known attractions and/or roads less traveled.


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