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  1. #1

    Default Two Part Road Trip (Solo and Family) St. Louis - Montreal, 12 days

    I was wondering if I could get some advice. I have a trip in two parts:

    Part 1: Solo.

    This will go from St. Louis to Hartford (or rather the Hartford Airport). I have four full days of time for this one and what I do depends on some stuff. (I need to be at t he Hartford airport in the morning on Day 5).

    One possibiity is that I stop for two days in Pittsburgh to attend a conference. If I do, I will basically need to drive straight through the other two days, so I guess I don't have much of a question here (aside from begging for tips from Pittsburghers)

    The other is that I don't. In this case, I have four days to make the trip, which gives me some wiggle room. Just looking at some maps, my eye crept to Cooperstown. I noticed Canton along the way as well, but it doesn't hold the mystique to me that Cooperstown does.

    For suggestions, here are things I particularly enjoy (in no particular order):

    • Road food.
    • Getting outdoors.
    • Scenic Drives.
    • College Towns.
    • Baseball - especially minor-league baseball.
    • Factory tours - especially those involving food or beverages.

    Do you think something like:

    Day 1: St. Louis - Cleveland (or so)
    Day 2: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (How is it?) in the Morning and then around Cleveland (or nearby - suggestions?)
    Day 3: To Ithaca (Eat at Moosewood - I'll brave the hype. Also, I almost ended up going to Cornell back in the day.). Poke around. Head out toward Cooperstown. Stop around Oneonta?
    Day 4: Cooperstown in the morning. How early would I need to leave to get to someplace within striking distance of the Hartford Airport the next morning? I would love suggestions (Would someplace near Williamstown or North Adams work?)
    Day (Morning) Pick up Family - See Below

    Part 2: With Family.

    On Day 5, the plan is to pick up my wife and 4-year-old daughter at the Hartford Airport (or possibly the Albany Airport depends on flight times, prices, etc.) say around noon.

    Day 5: North into VT.
    Day 6: Around Burlington. On the agenda: Ben and Jerry's and Lake Champlain Chocolates factory tours.
    Day 7: To Montreal.
    Day 8: Around Montreal. (My wife and I love Montreal)
    Day 9: Back to NY. Through the Adirondacks. Stay Somewhere in Northern Adirondacks? Help on routing here and suggestions would be very appreciated!
    Day 10: West along shore of Lake Ontario to Buffalo
    Day 11: Niagara until early afternoon, and then a head start out of town.
    Day 12: Home.

    I think this works. I realize the last day's drive is long, but I think it will be okay since we aren't really pushing ourselves too hard on the driving before this. If we can get to the far side of Cleveland this should be manageable. If IT isn't, we'll stop somewhere and split the drive back into two days (I have a day of wiggle room in this schedule before I *need* to be back in St. Louis)

    Any comments on the routing? Anything you know about you think I should check out?

    Thanks in advance!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    First of all, safety and logistics. STL to PIT is just over 600 miles. It's doable in a day, but we would not recommend you try anything longer in one day. It's just over 550 miles from STL to CLE, and the same comment applies. PIT to Hartford is just under 500 miles, that would be no problem. If you plan on going to Canada, you and your wife will need passports, and you will need a copy of your daughter's birth certificate.

    It's 110 miles from Albany to the Hartford airport - just over an hour and a half.

    If you are into minor league baseball, you shouldn't have any problem finding games to go to. There is a new low A team in Eastlake OH (suburb of Cleveland) - you could see if they are in town when you will be there, for example. There's a short season A league with a team in Oneonta.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default More of the Same

    I totally agree with gls, 600 miles in a day is doable as a solo run if you do nothing other than drive, get gas, have short meals, and only occasionally go to the bathroom. There will be no time for anything other than that, and getting to your room for a good night's sleep. Note that you will lose an hour to the time zone change going eastward. But if you go to Cleveland, there are two places I recommend, if they appeal to you, the Museum of Natural History and Cuyahoga Valley National Park. You might be looking at closer to 2 hours from Albany to Bradley International, but still, unless your family's plane arrives very early in the morning, anywhere in western Massachusetts or northern Connecticut should be 'close enough'.

    There is minor league baseball all through New York and New England from Triple-A (Scranton, Syracuse, Rochester), through Double-A (Eastern League: Binghamton, New Britain, Erie, Akron) to Single-A Short Season (New York - Penn League: Oneonta, Williamsport, etc.). Ithaca used to have an Instructional League team that played at Ithaca College when I was at Cornell.

    The one part of your trip that won't work is the final drive home. Niagara to St. Louis is 775 miles. You are simply not going to do that in a day, especially with a small child.


  4. #4


    Thanks. I was hoping to get a ways out of town that final day. If we can't, then I am aware we will need to break up the following day.

    As far as the 600 mile day at the start - I have done worse in the past. I feel fine about it as long as I don't have much driving to do the following day. In either case (Cleveland or Pittsburgh) I plan on pretty much staying around the town). Also, I pretyy much on making either of these a speed run.

    Thanks both of you for the driving times - I have driven a lot out West, but very little East of about Indianapolis. I figured drives would take longer back East.

    I will definitely look up some minor league schedules.

    Thanks again!


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Once you get out of Indiana, you aren't going to find a speed limit higher than 65 and they are generally enforced pretty closely. I usually set my cruise at 4 over.

  6. #6


    Don't mean to drown anyone out, but I have been doing some rethinking and have a few (more) questions.

    Now I am thinking (for the first part):

    Day 1: St.L. - Ann Arbor
    Day 2: Ann Arbor to somewhere on either the Lake Huron or Lake Erie shore in Ontario.
    Day 3: To Ithaca
    Day 4: Cooperstown overnight somewhere in far Western MA.
    Day 5: Pick up family at Bradley Airport, north of Hartford.

    At the end, you all are right. I would be better off just explicitly budgeting the extra day now. Eyeballing a map, it looks to me like the obvious geographical spot for an overnight would be around either Dayton or Columbus.

    Questions: (Thanks to glc and AZBuck for answering my previous questions! I will try to pay you back by answering questions that I feel I can field.)

    Well, first off, am I doing anything really stupid? I don't think so, but I can overlook things.

    Secondly, if you had two days to get from Ann Arbor to Ithaca, and wanted to explore some shoreline, would you go up Lake Huron at all, or would you just go slowly along the North shore of Lake Erie? I am open either way, I would like your opinions.

    Thirdly, you mentioned that you used to live in Ithaca, AZBuck, do you have any favorite spots you'd like to share?

    Fourthly, am I trying to pack too much into Day 4? I figure I can stop in Cooperstown for three or four hours - is that just way too little? I am thinking of treating it as a scouting run for a future trip...

    Thanks again, and sorry for blathering on,


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I think you're looking pretty good, and I'd think about 4 hours would be pretty good for Cooperstown.

    It looks a lot easier than my last trip there - We started at a provincial park outside of Niagara Falls, but after getting up late, taking our time tearing down camp, and a quick stop at the falls (which wound up taking at least an hour or two), we didn't arrive at Cooperstown until just an hour before closing time. We certainly rushed through and didn't see nearly everything, but it was still a worthwhile stop. After that we still had to keep moving east, (setting up camp very late in the Green Mountain National Forest in NH) because we had tickets for a noon game at Fenway the next day.

    I am taking another trip to Upstate NY in a couple weeks, and I'm planning to spend a lot more time at Cooperstown this time. However, there are also several other museums in town (I know the Farmers museum is one that we'll be stopping at) so I'd suspect we won't spend much more than around 4 hours at the Baseball HoF.

    On your way back if you stop in Dayton, you might want to Check out a Dragons game. They are a low-A team for the Reds, but were named on SI's list of 10 Hottest Tickets in Sports for a very simple reason: They have the longest streak of sold out games in Professional Sports at 700+ games. They even have a waiting list for season tickets! However, looking at their website, it does look like it isn't too hard to get single game tickets if you buy in advance.

  8. #8

    Default Canadian Insurance Card?

    Hi everyone,

    We are setting out in a couple of days (plans have changed so wife and daughter are going with me the whole way). Anyway, I obtained a Canadian Insurance Card from my agent about a month ago, but as I was gathering stuff for the trip today, I realize I cannot find it. A brief web search indicates we should probably be okay without one, as long as we carry our U.S. proof of insurance (our liability coverage is well above the statutory Canadian minimum). We will be in Canada for five or six days.

    Is my understanding correct? My insurance agent didn't think I needed one, but she was happy to oblige me, as it helped to soothe my neuroses (and I figured it wouldn't hurt to have one in any case).

    So, my question is whether I need to worry about this? Unfortunately, I can't get a replacement card before we leave.

    (And, yes, all our passports are in order - we even have one for my four year-old daughter as we are planning a road trip through France next Summer. Got it processed just before the fee increase.)



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    To be safe, I'd carry a photocopy of the declarations page of your policy.

  10. #10



    Thanks for the response. Declarations page is copied and filed in the car.

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