I had last posted about three years ago seeking advice on a trip the wife and I took through the Midwest and the Southeast. We were able to see a lot more due to the assistance of people on this forum, and I'm very grateful for your help. Now we're trying to do something else ambitious, and I'd like to see if anybody has any pointers.
We're going out West from NJ to a wedding, and leaving SeaTac in a rental car for a one-way drive to Trenton, NJ in mid-August. We would like to spend maybe two days in Yellowstone, and maybe two days in Chicago. Aside from that, the goal is maximum scenery and to hit a few tourist traps (Wall Drug, probably). I also would like to check as many states as I can off the "driven through" list if I can do it without going nuts. Budget is not a major concern, and while I'd love restaurant recommendations it's too large a drive to be specific so that'll be the subject of more research later on. The challenge is mostly that even though there's the two of us I think I'll be doing all the driving - I enjoy it but it also means I don't really want to go over, say, 10-11 hours on the days where we just have to cover ground.
Before you admonish us, now that I'm reading through the forums carefully it occurs to me that I should have booked accommodations at Yellowstone some time ago. We're not terribly outdoorsy people but we would like to have a place to stay somewhere near the park.
My thought was:
- to go SeaTac to Butte right along I-90 on day one, then get from Butte to Yellowstone (I90-->287-->87-->20?) on day two.
- Stay in Yellowstone day three, leave morning of day four and get somewhere around Rapid City, SD by way of US 16/20 to I90 by day's end.
- On day five try to see the Black Hills/Rushmore through to Sioux Falls on I90.
- Day six from Sioux Falls to Minneapolis or Eau Claire, WI (I90-I35-I54).
- Day seven to get to Chicago by way of Green Bay, WI (WI-29 to I43 to I94).
- Stay in Chicago day eight, leave morning of day nine, get to Cleveland by way of South Bend IN (I80/90).
- Cleveland to State College, PA (to see my brother) via I80 on day ten.
- State College, PA to Trenton (US322 to I83 to I76 or just take I80 on back, depending) on day eleven.
I am pretty confident in the trip through to Rapid City, and I'm comfortable with the (somewhat more relaxed) pace between Chicago and NJ. I'd love to get some input as to whether the bit from Rapid City to Chicago by way of MN/WI is feasible - I would very much like to see the Twin Cities and Lambeau Field and to a lesser extent a drive through Wisconsin but if it's madness then I need to plan for a swing farther south, I guess.
Thanks in advance, everyone.