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  1. Default Washington D.C to Chesterton, Indiana to Salt Lake City!

    So we're heading back home to Utah from D.C and we'd like to see Lake Michigan at Chesterton. We've got 4-6 days and four drivers (myself, wife and two young adult children).
    Any advice for "must see" and what to avoid along the way?

    Edit- The Chesterton stop is optional, we'd like to see a great lake, but open to other suggestions.

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

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    From DC to SLC via one of the great lakes (the closest to your route) is a little over 2000 miles, so you're talking about a 4 day trip with just driving. At RTA, we don't really do "must see" and "must avoid" because my dis/likes may be different from yours. So that said, there are a number of things you could take a little time to see along the way, assuming you're taking I-80/90 across OH and IN:

    At Cleveland, there's the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    Lake Erie isn't that far off the freeway. Get off the OH Turnpike and go up to US-6 and follow it for awhile between Vermilion and points west.

    Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is probably your best bet for seeing Lake Michigan without driving into the city of Chicago.

    Moving on from there, in Nebraska, there are several sites related to the Oregon Trail and other history, such as the Pony Express Station at Gothenburg.


    Donna

  3. Default

    Thanks for the info! We're driving from DC to Indiana Dunes, spend two nights there, then head to Kearney NB, spend the night there, then home to UT.

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

    Default

    You might want to rethink your daily mileages. From DC to the Indiana Dunes is well over 650 miles. That might be okay with just 2 adults (since much of it would be on the turnpikes), but with kids, they may revolt. How about breaking up that trip and taking a day and half to get there?

    Then from Indiana Dunes to SLC is over 1400 miles. To Kearny NE, it's 680 miles. That is one very LONG day, but to do 750 miles the next day is going to be even more brutal, especially for the kids. (I have very UNfond memories of some long days in the car with my parents trying to get somewhere. It's a memory that I didn't ever want to repeat with my own kids, and try to talk folks out of doing that to their kids.) You might want to take that IN to home trip in 2-1/2 or 3 days.


    Donna

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    I have to agree with Donna. Making it to Indiana Dunes in one day is possible, but it's brutally long for a family trip - especially when you've still got another 1500 miles or so to go on the trip.

    The Indiana to SLC section you've planned isn't just uncomfortable, it's unsafe. Trying to drive 680 miles followed by 750 miles can't be safely done - period. It would be around 13 hours in the car, followed by about 15 the next day! It doesn't matter how many people you've got driving, when you factor in the fatigue of just sitting in a car for hours at a time, the human body simply can't safely operate a 2-ton machine at 75 mph under those conditions.

    You really need to plan for at least 2.5 days for the Indiana to SLC leg.

    Another option you might consider would be to stop around Sandusky, Ohio, and explore Lake Erie, (since you said you didn't care which Great Lake). That would be an easier drive from DC in one day, and sets up nicely for a 3 day drive onto SLC.

  6. Default

    I greatly appreciate both your advice. having family in southern California we make the one day drive from UT to CA quite often. I guess I wasn't taking into consideration doing that same mileage one day after the next, even with four drivers.
    I'm never beyond learning from others and will definitely rethink this trip! Thanks again

  7. Default

    Okay, between the four of us driving, we'll go from DC to Indiana Dunes, stay there two nights, drive to Kearney NE, stay overnight, drive to Leramie WY, stay the night, then head home to UT

    Then again, that sandusky Ohio sounds good! How would you break up that trip going to UT?
    What about DC to Sandusky to Iowa City to Kearney NE to Laramie WY to UT?
    Last edited by ourlife85; 07-02-2015 at 12:03 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    I'm not sure why you've kind of fixated on Kearney. As we've already said, that's just too far to go in a day is you're leaving from Indiana Dunes. It also doesn't even really make sense to push that hard, if you're only going to go as far as Laramie the next day.

    Keeping an even pace is the way to go. (think marathon vs. sprint - if you push yourself as hard as you can in the first 40 yards of a marathon, you wouldn't have anything left to run the the next 25 miles!)

    That means from Indiana Dunes, you should be looking at Omaha or Lincoln as your first stop. Laramie would be perfectly fine for a second night. If you're only focused on covering miles, you could aim for Lincoln on night one, then you could actually push as far as Rawlins, WY for night two.

    If you're stopping in Sandusky instead of Indiana Dunes, then the stops you've listed would be perfectly good - although that plan would actually be nice laid back pace. You're giving yourself 4 days from Sandusky with what you laid out, and you could do it in as little as 3. If you want to do it in 3 days, I'd look at Des Moines and then Sydney, NE.

  9. Default

    I appreciate your help, Michael. I've swapped the Kearney stop for Lincoln. Thanks again

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