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  1. Default Chicago to Seattle

    My wife and I are planning an RV trip from Chicago to Seattle from early May to early June. definitely want to see Mt Rushmore and visit friends in Boise. Otherwise we are open to suggestions for things to see and places to visit. We already spent a vacation in Yellowstone so that is one thing we don't need to include on this trip. Will other attractions be open then? Is weather likely to be a problem?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    Is it a one-way or is this round trip? If round trip, and you included enough time, you could go out via one route and return via another one. Are you towing a car or are you pulling a trailer?

    Mt Rushmore is year-round, and in May, the weather should be cool but comfortable. In the Mt Rushmore area, there is also: Jewel Cave National Monument, Wind Cave National Park, and Custer State Park. Custer's 3 scenic drives (Needles District, Iron Mountain, and Wildlife Loop) would be challenging with some vehicles and others may not be allowed at all. However, we had no trouble in a pickup and noticed that a smaller Class C did just fine, too. Wind Cave is very interesting!

    Other ideas: Little Bighorn National Battlefield, Devil's Tower National Monument, Craters of the Moon National Monument, Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Grand Coulee Dam, North Cascades National Park, Olympic National Park. I mention these since you mentioned Yellowstone and Mt Rushmore.


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Further afield.

    With a month on the road you certainly have a lot of choices ! Heading into Colorado and Southern Utah wouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility and from Boise into Oregon. I would search around RTA for ideas and study a good map and once you have a few more ideas plotted out we can help fill in the blanks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Idaho

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    Craters of the Moon National Monument, Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
    Visiting these great sites in central ID take US-20 from Idaho Falls, past Craters of the Moon NM to scenic ID75. Head north through the little resort towns of Hailey and Ketchum, over Galena summit (8700') on to the lovely little mountain town of Stanley (pop 100).

    If ghost towns are of interest, a little further along that road is Bonanza. At Sunbeam there are the Sunbeam Hot Springs. For another scenic drive, take the Ponderosa Scenic Byway to Lowman - worth taking time to stop at Stanley Lake; cut west through Garden City to Banks then take 55 north or south, depending on where you are heading. North of Banks, 55 is spectacular going by and along the river.

    Lifey

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    219

    Default

    Are you relocating that RV from the factory to Seattle?
    From Chicago on the way to Black Hills you'll come along Wisconsin Dells, you can wander of the interstate at the border of Wi and MN and see the 3 miles wide Mississippi River from the visitor center. Then on the way you can stop at Mitchell for Corn Palace and make a detour for "Little House on the Priarie" in DeSmet SD. Also don't forget to visit Badlands NP and make a stop at wall drug.
    You can head south from SD but Trail Ridge Rd in Rocky Mountains NP prob still will be closed due to snow. I70 is a wonderful scenic drive through Co but goes over 10.000' at General Eisenhower Tunnel and Vail Pass. If you take that route make sure you'll visit Moab with Canyonlands, Arches and Dead Horses Point. Take exit 214 <<Danish Flat>> and drive 128 along Colorado River to Moab. A wonderful drive from Dewey bridge and a semi ghosttown called Cisco where part of Thelma and Louise was filmed. Then on the way to SLC you can take us6 that's very nice between Price and Spanish Fork.
    West Colorado also has the littlegem Colorado NM worth a visit.
    From Boise you can head west to Columbia River Gorge, visit Portland and maybe Mt St. Helens and olympic NP before Seattle.
    Yeehaw

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeehaw View Post
    you can wander of the interstate at the border of Wi and MN and see the 3 miles wide Mississippi River from the visitor center.
    Normally you could, but right now you can't. The Minnesota Visitor Center, right on the river, is closed because they are building a new I-90 Bridge over the Mississippi River. It won't reopen until the new bridge does, sometime in 2016.

    Of course, there are several other places in the area where you can still get a good look at the river, and I-90 itself runs right along side it for a few miles, but it will take a little more work than usual to stop for the next couple years.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    219

    Default

    Didnot know that. Thanks for mentioning. We were there before the constructions.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Historic Bluff Country National Scenic Byway.

    I-90 and that visitor centre have been closed for years. Maybe one day I will get to see it all. But there is another way without adding many miles....

    Head down to La Crosse and cross the Mississippi to La Crescent then follow MN16 - Historic Bluff Country National Scenic Byway - through Rushford and Preston to Dexter. It starts out on route 44... don't miss the turn off. Allow a little time, as there are some interesting small towns along that route, and also a small rest area with the history of scandinavian settlement of Minnesota..

    There is a visitor centre in La Crescent. In Rushford I found the cheapest fuel on that trip in 2014.

    Lifey

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    That visitor center has only been closed for a year or two. I believe work on the new bridge started in 2013. You can still get to MN-16/LaCrescent from I-90, you just have to first go up to the next exit about 2 miles down the road, and then double back and exit from I-90 east. That's a bit easier/faster than driving through LaCrosse, unless you want to check out LaCrosse.

    Being overly technical here, but the Bluff Country Byway is never on MN-44, although there are several "To Highway 44" signs along the section of MN-16 between LaCrescent and Hokah, where MN-44 splits off.

    Another really short scenic option here is the Apple Blossom Scenic Drive, which runs from LaCrescent to Nodine/Great River Bluffs State Park, driving on top of the bluffs, with several pullouts to look down upon the Mississippi and I-90. It's only about a 10 mile trip and easily connects back with I-90 on both sides.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Practicing my Alzheimers.

    I thought it was 2012 and 14 when I was there..... maybe it's 2013 and 14.... but it seems a long time ago.

    But you do go out of La Crescent on 44 and then have to turn onto 16 a bit down the road (don't you?).... I missed it first time round, had to go back. It was 16 which turned off, and straight ahead was 44.

    The trip to Nodine is great. I did that last year too... and stayed at the fuel station up the top there. It was in the truck stop directory, but it did not really look like a typical truckstop.

    Still, it is all a wonderful respite from I-90.

    Lifey
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 01-13-2015 at 11:55 PM. Reason: correcting spelling.

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