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  1. Default Portland to Omaha via Mt Rushmore

    Moving my daughter home from Portland Oregon to Nebraska. Would like to see a few things on the way including Mt Rushmore. Any advice on routes and places to stop would be most appreciated.

    Meg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default More info please.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums.

    Any advice on routes and places to stop would need to be based around the time you have and your interests, of which you have given us nothing to work with. If you would like to tell us more we can give meaningful advice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Also, please be more specific with where in Nebraska.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Portland to Omaha via Mount Rushmore is pretty straightforward. Use I-84 to I-82/US-395 to get up to I-90 and then take that all the way to South Dakota. After Mt. Rushmore, stay on I-90 to Sioux Falls, and then drop down to Omaha on I-29. It's a hard 3 day drive (1700 miles), before you make any extra stops.

    Certainly, there are plenty of things to see and do in the Black Hills and Badlands beyond Mount Rushmore. You could easily spend several days in this region. There are also lots of other things you could do along the way, but as has been mentioned, that depends a lot on your interests, how much time you have for this trip, and when this trip will take place.

  5. Default

    Sorry! Yes, a bit more information is needed! We will be leaving August 31, and have until Sunday September 6 to get to Omaha NE. Like hiking, general nature appreciation. No interest in Sturgis. Fun, interesting "kitschy". I am just so happy to have a road trip with my daughter that anything we do will be such a special memory!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    With 7 days to make what is essentially a 3-days-of-hard-travel trip, you've got time to do a little bit.

    Offhand, just off I-90 west of the Black Hills/Rushmore area is Devil's Tower National Monument (think of the movie CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND). In the Mount Rushmore area are Custer State Park with its three scenic drives (Iron Mountain, Needles Scenic, and Wildlife Loop), the Badlands National Park, Wind Cave National Park and Jewel Cave National Park. DTNM is small enough that you can see it and walk around the Tower in about 2 hours. We did Rushmore one morning, including the Presidents Trail, then Custer's Iron Mountain and Needles Highway that afternoon. The next day we did one of Wind Cave's tours in the morning, and the Wildlife Loop in the afternoon/evening. On a different day, we were in Badlands, and took about 3 or 4 hours, but both of us had seen it as children.

    If your daughter may have been a Laura Ingalls Wilder book fan when she was younger, DeSmet, SD isn't all that far off of I-90 and there is a museum there that she might enjoy.


    Donna

  7. Default

    Thanks Donna!

  8. #8

    Default Kitsch coming right up........

    Not far east of the Black Hills and Badlands is Wall, SD, where the Wall Drug billboards and signs all over the West are beaconing you to. It's kitschy as can be, but there are actually some shops therein which have a nice selection of goods. The gemstone/mining supplies store and especially the bookstore are very nice.

    Much further east along I-90 is the Corn Palace at Mitchell, SD. Frankly, we were fairly underwhelmed by the Corn Palace, but it's the other kitschy stop along I-90 which comes to mind.

    If you are game for somewhat more of an adventure, head south from the Black Hills into the Nebraska Panhandle, then diagonally across the state on a great non-interstate route. In the Panhandle, at Crawford, you will find Fort Robinson State Park, the largest unit in the Nebraska State Park system. Fort Robinson is a very nicely restored 19th/20th century US Army Cavalry Post. A goodly number of overnight accomodation units have been made from the long rows of officers' residences and duplexes, as well as within the 1909 brick enlisted men's barracks structure.

    From Fort Robinson, drop south along NE-2/71 to Alliance and see "Carhenge" for strong dose of kitsch. Alliance is also your beginning point for the "Sandhills Scenic Journey" along NE-2. The Sandhills are 20,000 square miles of grass-stabilized sand dunes, virtually treeless, and pocked by thousands of small to large lakes, bogs, streams, and rivers. It's about 275 miles from Alliance to Grand Island, NE, where you'll pick up I-80 about 150 miles west of Omaha. Broken Bow, a little over halfway through, is a nice town with two good cafes to have breakfast and baked goods at. NE-2 parallels the BNSF railroad most of the way, so there are former railroad towns every 8-12 miles or so. NE-2 bypasses most of them by a few yards, so travelers can maintain a reasonably fast pace should they desire. The posted speed limit is 65 mph most of the way.

    If you're REALLY adventurous, contact Glidden Canoe Rentals in Mullen, NE, right on NE-2, and book a 2 hour "tanking" river trip. Tanking is the term for floating a section of the Middle Loup River in a 12' diameter galvanized livestock watering tank. The Gliddens put small bench seats in the tanks and you're free to bring your own beverages and snacks. It's a unique way to get a close look at a unique part of the US which very few can say they've seen.

    Have fun!

    Foy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Kitsch can be interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Foy View Post
    Not far east of the Black Hills and Badlands is Wall, SD, where the Wall Drug billboards and signs all over the West are beaconing you to. It's kitschy as can be, but there are actually some shops therein which have a nice selection of goods. The gemstone/mining supplies store and especially the bookstore are very nice.
    Have to agree with Foy, it is kitschy but also very interesting. Be sure to get your free iced water and 5c coffee. Then go through to the backyard where there is a lot of history all over the walls.

    As well as all the touristy items on sale, there is a travellers chapel for those who need a few quiet moments.

    Lifey

  10. Default

    Wow! Thanks so much~great ideas.

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