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  1. Default Yellowstone to Boston area- route and possible ways to combine with train travel?

    My husband and 5 small children (1,3,5,7,8) plan to drive from the SF bay area to Boston and back in 6 weeks. On the way there, we will drive via Yellowstone. To be at two different family reunions (in Yellowstone and Boston), we will need to drive from Yellowstone to Boston in 6 days (kind of a rush with kids, I think). Right now, we are considering taking I-94 and then continuing due east in Michigan and onto Canada's highway 17. We are also considering I-94 or I-90 to Milwaukee or Manitowoc, WI and taking a car ferry across Lake Michigan and then continuing east into Canada and onto I-90 in New York. We plan to do some camping and some motels (whatever works best wherever we are). We are more interested in outdoorsy things than cities, though we plan to visit Chicago on the return trip (so want a more Northern route going east, so we won't have to drive the same route there and back). My questions are:

    1) How does going up onto Canada's 17 compare to taking the more southern route across Lake Michigan? Has anyone ridden the ferries and what did you think ?
    2) We would love to take part of the stretch from Yellowstone to Boston on a train, but can't imagine lugging camping gear, car seats, and luggage for 7 from rental cars onto trains and back off again. Our dream would be an auto train, but I couldn't find one. Is there one along our route (either through Canada or the U.S.) that I missed? Any creative ideas for combining train travel with roadtripping for a large family with lots of stuff?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default this and that

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    A couple things right off the bat, I have driven from from Sault Ste. Marie to Boston via Ottawa the way you are talking about. It is a very nice trip and it would be a nice way to get a very different experience from taking I-90 the whole way.

    However, a few downsides, you'll have to keep in mind if you go this route. First, you'll have to make sure your rental car can be taken into Canada. You'll also have to bring your passports to cross the border (although your kids will be able to cross with birth certificates since they are under 16). This also is a slower route than taking the interstate, so you will need all of your 6 days for the trip. If you are planning to head back to Yellowstone again after Boston, instead of driving back to SF, then you might consider sticking to I-90 for your trip east, and save the Canadian alternative for your trip back.

    If this is your choice of route, then I wouldn't recommend taking the ferries. First of all, I've never taken them simply because they are expensive. You could easily be looking at nearly $1000 in fares because of the large size of your group. Second, if you're going up to Sault Ste. Marie, they are actually a fairly long way out of the way. This recent thread talks more about the ferries and has a few route options that would be a better choice.

    The only Auto Train runs down the east coast, so that's not an option for this trip. Really, the only option I'd see that would make any sense at all would be to use the train for your 6 day drive, and take the Empire Builder from a stop in Montana and take that east (changing trains in Chicago). That's not going to solve your packing/unpacking problem, however.

  3. Default

    Thanks! I think we may go with the Canadian route.

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