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  1. #1

    Default Return To America

    First time poster looking for some quality advice and I think I found the right forum. I am currently serving a tour in Iraq and when I get back home in the summer of 2010, my wife and I plan to continue our jouney to visit every state in the US. We currently have shot glasses from 24 states and looking to collect 13 more. Our latest leg in this quest will be 3-4 weeks traveling from Arizona to New York, hitting a few parks and select destinations along the way. Our journey consist of the follow destinations:

    Start of first leg-
    Fly into Tucson, AZ, rent a car, visit some friends in Sierra Vista Friends
    Travel to San Diego/Tijuana for a day - Hotel
    Travel Route 101/1 to San Francisco for a day - Hotel
    Continue up 101/1 to Olympic Park (need some help find locations to camp/lodge along the way)
    Visit my brother in Seattle for a few days.

    Second Leg-
    Driving from Seattle to Glacier National Park for a day or two (looking for experiences and recommendations at GNP)
    Driving down to Yellowstone for a day or two
    Driving to Rapid City SD for Mount Rushmore for a day or two.
    We would like to stop in ND, since we may not get another attempt at this state, but we need some recommendations.
    After Mount Rushmore, we are looking for recommended stops in MN, WI, IN, or MI, on our way home to the Buffalo area.

    I dont have a lot of access to AAA or travel books in my current situation, but I am open for suggestions and appreciate any help.

    Below is a link to google maps with a rough idea of our trip, it takes some draw and has crashed my wife's work computer once but she has an ancient computer.


    P.S. Passports are all set for Mexico and Canada if needed.,78.662109&z=4

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some Odds and Ends that May Be of Use

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    1) For camping on the way north from San Francisco, that will depend on whether you take I-5 or the coast highway. I'd recommend the scenery of the later which would put you on the southern coast of Oregon by evening. There are a few state parks with camping: Harris Beach outside Brookings, Hunting Mountain and Cape Blanco south and north of Port Orford, Bullards Beach at Brandon, and Sunset Bay at Coos Bay; but if you can put down some miles you might be able to get as far as Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.

    2) The two images that stick in my mind from Glacier National Park are the views from Going to the Sun Road and those looking southwest across St Mary Lake. But be sure to take the time to hike into one of the glaciers of the park. It's likely that they'll all be gone within your lifetime.

    3) Although your map shows you jogging up to North Dakota just before entering Minnesota, I think you'd be better served by leaving Yellowstone via US-212, the Beartooth Highway, and using I-94 to head east to one of North Dakota's hidden treasures. Theodore Roosevelt National Park. You would then head south to Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, Wall Drug, etc. as you continue on I-90.

    4) For lots more ideas on what to see along the way, check out a couple of compilations that we've done for just such wandering trips: one organized by highways and one organized by states.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Centre of the Nation

    Would have to agree with Buck, the Beartooth highway is a magnificent, albeit slow road over Beartooth pass, with the most spectacular views. A road you will not regret driving.

    Fantastic drive across I-94, into North Dakota, and then, may I suggest that you take 85 south to Spearfish to join I-90. About 20 miles north of Belle Fourche SD, on a side road off to the west (old 85), is a small monument in a farmer's field, just off the road, to mark the 'Centre of the Nation'. One of those quirky little attractions you just gotta see. There is nothing at all there, other than the survey marker and the cairn, adorned by Old Glory.

    At the visitor centre in Belle Fourche there is a replica, since (they say) most folk do not want to take the extra trip to see the real spot. To me the drive was so worth it.


  4. #4


    Center of the Nations sounds just like 4 Corners of the South West, I am sure my wife will love it :-) My friend recommended a book called 'blue highways' for the little unexpected treasures of America, hopefully it will help us find other areas of interest; book is on order.

    My wife and I would definately choose the coast highway over route 5. We aren't concerned about the highways' speed and convienence especially over the scenery of the coast as all true road trippers should be :-)

    Thanks for the suggestions, keep them coming.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Quote Originally Posted by lima tango thomas View Post
    Center of the Nations sounds just like 4 Corners of the South West...........
    Do not expect the Center of the Nation to be anything like Four Corners. (Been there several times.) Here you have a gravel road, a barbed wire fence, and (if it is not overgrown) a little dirt track maybe 50ft long to a small concrete slab, probably put there by surveyors. There are however a couple of wire loops on the barbed wire, so that you can hook the second to the top strand, and the third to the bottom strand, and give yourself a little room to get through.... without scratches.

    Oh yeah!! and I almost forgot the cow pads, grass hoppers, dust and seeds from the grasses which adhere themselves to you. But don't let any of that stop you. LOL

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