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  1. Default Roadtrip from Connecticut to Seattle, WA Jul. 31 - Aug 8

    So this coming school year, I will be attending school in Seattle Washington and me and a couple of friends decided to road trip there (well more like I decided I wanted to because I didn't want to ship my car). We are going from Connecticut which is obviously on the way other side of the country. I already have an idea of the places we would rest at, but I'm not sure on certain details like hotels, hostels, or motels near the area. So far the places we have decided that we would stop for a little while is:

    Indianapolis, IN
    Rapid City, SD
    Yellowstone National Park, WY
    Portland, OR

    They are about 15-17 hours apart each when taking into account pit stops and food. So I'm wondering on everyone's opinion of what would be some nice places to see and things to do on this trip that aren't very out of the way. Most importantly, I'm wondering about the lodgings in these four stops especially around Rapid City and Yellowstone. Right now, these plans are very preliminary and any help would be greatly appreciated. The trip is set to take place from July 31 - August 8 as the title says beginning at night on July 31, so this would be a relatively tight schedule I think. Anyways any help and feedback would be greatly appreciated. I drew a map on RoadTrippers to give everyone an idea of what this trip sort of looks like. Thanks!


    https://roadtrippers.com/map?a2=p%21...ource=copy&z=5

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Joplin MO
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    9,272

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    You are pushing yourself too far each day. You should limit each day's drive to no more than 600 miles, less would be better on a multi-day trip. Assuming you will be leaving from Hartford, your first night should be in Akron OH, then Moline IL, then Mitchell SD, then Sheridan WY. This is going through the cities you specified, which is not the fastest route.

    Leaving Yellowstone, you will need to overnight in Baker City OR if you are going through Portland.

    Hotels and motels are pretty much the same once you get out of the large cities, most Interstate exits by a town of any size will have a selection. Yellowstone is going to be expensive, the best selection is in West Yellowstone, expect to pay at least $125 in season. You also need at least 2 full days to see Yellowstone, it's a huge park.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default You can't have it all.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Why are you starting at night? Do you normally work at night, so that you normally sleep daytime? If not, the worst possible start you can make to any long road trip is to drive overnight.

    At more than 3000 miles this is a hard six day slog by the your route. Even the most direct route is 3000 miles. If you are experienced in long distance driving you may be able to cut it down to five days. But if you are going to school, I imagine you do not have this experience. You simply do not have the time to spend in all the places you list, you definitely do not have time for Yellowstone.

    I am assuming you are all over 18, if not, you will have accommodation issues to deal with.

    Lifey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    Just to echo what has been said and particularly about what a bad idea it is to drive the first night, you need to get good rest and then consider an early start. If you are thinking of rotating driving and sleeping in the car through the night, forget it. Not only can you not get good rest in a moving car, all your sleep patterns will be different and therefor your energy levels will be different through the following day. Your body clocks will be out of sync and that could make for a miserable trip. Being stuck in a car for 17 hours together while fatigued is no fun and you will soon start getting irritated with each other, more importantly it is not safe !! Following the guidelines above will make your trip bearable and safe and if you can find another couple of days to explore Yellowstone, that would be great.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Ditto what everyone else has said, but I'd like to add the following:

    "Connecticut" (I used Hartford) to Indianapolis is 840 miles. That's *not* 15-17 hours. It's more like 18 hours. Starting at night? Then it will be longer, because (as said above) your body clocks are all messed up. Believe me, my hubby and I tried this when we were your age. It didn't work then, we were miserable!!!!

    Indianapolis to Rapid City is even worse: 1085 miles. Definitely NOT 15-17 hours. More like 22! The driving time listed on the electronic mapping program says 16-3/4 hours, *but* it not only does not factor in food and pit stops, it also does not factor in an accident (it can't predict that a month away), major construction that moves into an area, nor does it figure out that your car needs fuel and that does take time.

    Now, Rapid City to West Yellowstone, if NOT taking the Beartooth Highway, comes in at a more reasonable 550 miles. Some of it will be on a US highway, rather than an interstate. So pull this one in at 12 hours. You're missing some of the most beautiful country by not taking Beartooth (US-212 from Laurel MT down into Yellowstone via the NE entrance), but it is a slow drive. That's because there are scenic viewpoints to stop at, hairpin curves, and occasionally you'll get stuck behind a slow-moving RV.

    West Yellowstone to Portland is another 810 miles -- 2 days to do it safely, or at least 1-1/3 days (600 + 210).


    Donna

  6. Default

    Thank you everyone who responded to this post. As you can tell I am rather new at this and will be updating my plans and details based on your information. Anyway, I will address each comment individually after some details.

    First of all, yes as a couple of you have mentioned, the starting destination is more or less Hartford (Glastonbury to be more accurate but it's like 20 minutes away). We aren't going to be too thorough in everything we do considering our timeline, our biggest issue really is to find a place to bunk for some nights and food. However, if possible, the two destinations we would like to see most is Yellowstone (though I know we are missing out by not staying longer but we might devote at least half a day to it) and Indianapolis. However, if the extra length added to the trip isn't worth it, we may skip them and try for other places we can see on the shortest route, don't really know yet. Anyways to address everyone's comments so far.

    You are pushing yourself too far each day. You should limit each day's drive to no more than 600 miles, less would be better on a multi-day trip. Assuming you will be leaving from Hartford, your first night should be in Akron OH, then Moline IL, then Mitchell SD, then Sheridan WY. This is going through the cities you specified, which is not the fastest route.

    Leaving Yellowstone, you will need to overnight in Baker City OR if you are going through Portland.

    Hotels and motels are pretty much the same once you get out of the large cities, most Interstate exits by a town of any size will have a selection. Yellowstone is going to be expensive, the best selection is in West Yellowstone, expect to pay at least $125 in season. You also need at least 2 full days to see Yellowstone, it's a huge park. - See more at: http://www.roadtripamerica.com/forum....dZhqlKy3.dpuf
    I think that's a pretty good idea, the under 600 miles rule and I will definitely keep in mind those stops you talked about. The only reason for the massive exertion of driving is because my friend keeps saying he can definitely do the long drives using a combination of caffeine and sleeping aids(not pills, just finding ways to be super comfy in my car). So I kind of believe him, but only for the first run. After that fatigue will really set in so I'm think we will be down to 8 hrs between the three of us at most. As for Yellowstone, we might either camp there or find somewhere else to stay and then see it the next day. As for overall hotels and motels, we might hit a snag at some point, do you think they would allow last minute bookings? Thank you glc!

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Why are you starting at night? Do you normally work at night, so that you normally sleep daytime? If not, the worst possible start you can make to any long road trip is to drive overnight.

    At more than 3000 miles this is a hard six day slog by the your route. Even the most direct route is 3000 miles. If you are experienced in long distance driving you may be able to cut it down to five days. But if you are going to school, I imagine you do not have this experience. You simply do not have the time to spend in all the places you list, you definitely do not have time for Yellowstone.

    I am assuming you are all over 18, if not, you will have accommodation issues to deal with.

    Lifey - See more at: http://www.roadtripamerica.com/forum....dZhqlKy3.dpuf
    We are starting at night because my friend gets off work at night and wants to squeeze in one more day before the trip. Two out of the three of us are pretty nocturnal staying up to 5 AM on most nights, but I don't know if that would be easy to pull off with just straight driving. I should clarify, this is graduate school, so I'm in my mid twenties but the longest I've ever driven was Ludlow Vermont in one go, so this is going to be a tough one. As for Yellowstone, we are going to try to spend as much time as possible there, but it's still going to be a glance, obviously our timeline doesn't have room for full exploration of the place, but we will try. Thanks for your reply Lifey!


    Just to echo what has been said and particularly about what a bad idea it is to drive the first night, you need to get good rest and then consider an early start. If you are thinking of rotating driving and sleeping in the car through the night, forget it. Not only can you not get good rest in a moving car, all your sleep patterns will be different and therefor your energy levels will be different through the following day. Your body clocks will be out of sync and that could make for a miserable trip. Being stuck in a car for 17 hours together while fatigued is no fun and you will soon start getting irritated with each other, more importantly it is not safe !! Following the guidelines above will make your trip bearable and safe and if you can find another couple of days to explore Yellowstone, that would be great. - See more at: http://www.roadtripamerica.com/forum....dZhqlKy3.dpuf
    Hmmm.... I think taking into account the irritation we will have and what Lifey said, it might be a good idea to make more stops and just take the shorter route instead. The shortest route makes this trip just about 3000 miles, but the route I want to go here is about 3500 miles, so I figured that the extra 500 miles could be squeezed in if it meant we could do some fun things. Thanks Dave!

    Ditto what everyone else has said, but I'd like to add the following:

    "Connecticut" (I used Hartford) to Indianapolis is 840 miles. That's *not* 15-17 hours. It's more like 18 hours. Starting at night? Then it will be longer, because (as said above) your body clocks are all messed up. Believe me, my hubby and I tried this when we were your age. It didn't work then, we were miserable!!!!

    Indianapolis to Rapid City is even worse: 1085 miles. Definitely NOT 15-17 hours. More like 22! The driving time listed on the electronic mapping program says 16-3/4 hours, *but* it not only does not factor in food and pit stops, it also does not factor in an accident (it can't predict that a month away), major construction that moves into an area, nor does it figure out that your car needs fuel and that does take time.

    Now, Rapid City to West Yellowstone, if NOT taking the Beartooth Highway, comes in at a more reasonable 550 miles. Some of it will be on a US highway, rather than an interstate. So pull this one in at 12 hours. You're missing some of the most beautiful country by not taking Beartooth (US-212 from Laurel MT down into Yellowstone via the NE entrance), but it is a slow drive. That's because there are scenic viewpoints to stop at, hairpin curves, and occasionally you'll get stuck behind a slow-moving RV.

    West Yellowstone to Portland is another 810 miles -- 2 days to do it safely, or at least 1-1/3 days (600 + 210).


    Donna - See more at: http://www.roadtripamerica.com/forum....dZhqlKy3.dpuf
    Hmm... rapid city might be a bad idea then, we could just try the shortest route from Indy to Sioux Falls instead and try to make it to about Yellowstone the by night the next day and try to get as much time at Yellowstone the next day as possible while also trying to drive some of the Beartooth Highway out. As for Yellowstone to Portland, we could just try to stop in like Idaho mid way I guess. Thanks for the reply Donna!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    Okay - Glastonbury to Indy via fastest route is 840 miles - I-84/I-81/I-80/I-76/I-71/I-70. My software suggests an overnight in Akron, assuming you leave early in the morning, and will get you into Indy midday. If you want the first day to be the half day, a stop somewhere around Williamsport PA would be appropriate.

    Indy to Yellowstone is 3 days, overnights around Omaha and Rapid City. Fastest is I-74/I-80/I-680/I-29/I-90/US-14.

    Yellowstone to Seattle is a day and a half via US-191/I-90. If you leave in the morning, overnight in Spokane, if you leave midday overnight in Butte or Missoula or somewhere in between.

    This is 5 full travel days plus 2 half days. This gives you at least half a day in Indy and a couple days in Yellowstone.

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

    Default Caffeine is not a cure for fatigue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kablamz View Post
    ...The only reason for the massive exertion of driving is because my friend keeps saying he can definitely do the long drives using a combination of caffeine and sleeping aids(not pills, just finding ways to be super comfy in my car).
    To date he may have succeeded in doing that, but sooner or later his luck will run out. The only thing caffeine etc. does is dull the driver to the fact that he is becoming fatigued. Most drivers who are fatigued deny it, protesting that they feel fine. But feeling fine is not the same as being capable of hurtling tons of metal down the interstate at 75 mph, and doing it safely. That takes 100% concentration and alertness at all times.

    Be sure that you all keep an eye on each other, so that fatigue does not grip anyone. And remember that the person getting close to fatigue is the last to admit it.

    Lifey

  9. Default

    Okay - Glastonbury to Indy via fastest route is 840 miles - I-84/I-81/I-80/I-76/I-71/I-70. My software suggests an overnight in Akron, assuming you leave early in the morning, and will get you into Indy midday. If you want the first day to be the half day, a stop somewhere around Williamsport PA would be appropriate.

    Indy to Yellowstone is 3 days, overnights around Omaha and Rapid City. Fastest is I-74/I-80/I-680/I-29/I-90/US-14.

    Yellowstone to Seattle is a day and a half via US-191/I-90. If you leave in the morning, overnight in Spokane, if you leave midday overnight in Butte or Missoula or somewhere in between.

    This is 5 full travel days plus 2 half days. This gives you at least half a day in Indy and a couple days in Yellowstone. - See more at: http://www.roadtripamerica.com/forum....L21ZqLI5.dpuf
    Wow that seems like a very detailed timeline and I might follow that pretty closely. Thanks glc.

    To date he may have succeeded in doing that, but sooner or later his luck will run out. The only thing caffeine etc. does is dull the driver to the fact that he is becoming fatigued. Most drivers who are fatigued deny it, protesting that they feel fine. But feeling fine is not the same as being capable of hurtling tons of metal down the interstate at 75 mph, and doing it safely. That takes 100% concentration and alertness at all times.

    Be sure that you all keep an eye on each other, so that fatigue does not grip anyone. And remember that the person getting close to fatigue is the last to admit it.

    Lifey - See more at: http://www.roadtripamerica.com/forum....L21ZqLI5.dpuf
    Definitely some good advice Lifey. I will be sure to convince everyone to cut down the driving hours so they could rest. I think I get the feeling you're talking about, it's that sensation that one's mind is on high alert, but for some reason the body is moving sluggishly. Anyway, I'll be sure to set an alarm or something so everyone does not go beyond what they can do.

  10. Default

    I usually can drive 15 a16 hrs. No problem. We're leaving about 9:00am. And have my first and only so far reservation for the 7/14 & 15th in Cleveland. After I'm taking it slower. 600 to 700 miles a day.

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