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  1. #1

    Default aussie_possie spring 2011 East to West (via Memphis)

    Hi all,
    Hubby & I (pre-kids) did 6 weeks in the US and are ready to go again (this time with kids - both travel well). First part of trip is all set LA to SF via Monument Valley, Canyon, Vegas, Death Valley.
    Second part is a little bigger and vastly unknown, we want to drive from NY to Niagra, Memphis, Mt Rushmore, Badlands, Yellowstone, Seattle. We love "viewing" the great outdoors but aren't adventure/thrill seekers, we just want to get the great Amerian experience. We plan on travelling between NY & Seattle over 16 days from the end of April through to mid-May.

    We realise that it is still the end of snow season in some parts of the North West and would love some advice on the Memphis - Seattle stretch. We really want the kids to see Mt Rushmore & Litte Bighorn and Yellowstone; everything else is flexible with the key being to show the kids the amazing natural beauty and incredible "personality" of America, so different to what we have shown them already here in Australia.

    Would appreciate any advice/experiences as this may well be the only chance we have as a family to take on a trek like this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Time Enough

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Sixteen days for the cross-continental-journey from New York to Seattle should be quite sufficient to let your kids get a taste of America. While both the Interstates and more local roads have their good and bad points, your trip should be long enough to take advantage of the best of both. Only by using the Interstates will you be able to make this journey in a relaxed and timely enough manner to see everything that you want. But don’t just slavishly use them as simple high speed routes to be followed hour after hour just to get somewhere. Instead, take advantage of the many small parks all along their lengths to show your children something of how Americans recreate other than just going to the big viewing sites.

    Also, I appreciate your distinction between seeing the “personality” of America and what most people ask for, the “real” America. While the Interstates and the culture that thrives at their exit ramps are just as real as any other part of America, and they do reflect the personality of “
    America as a whole, if you want to experience the different personalities of America, you’re going to have to occasionally get off these main roads and travel some of the smaller highways and stop actually in some of the smaller towns. A few that I can suggest for different segments of your drive include:

    US-20 across New York State: largely follows the old Erie Canal with several historic sites
    US-62 and US-71 through the Ozarks: scenic drives and some of the early cavalry forts on the plains
    I-80/US-30 and US-385: The first two follow the old Oregon Trail and the third will bring you up into the Mount Rushmore area from the scenic south. Take advantage of some of the many other attractions around Mount Rushmore such as Badlands National Park, Wind and Jewel Caves, the Crazy Horse Memorial, and Devils Tower.

    US-12 through Lolo Pass: Follows the route Lewis and Clark used in first exploring this section of the country. Rejoins the Interstate system at Kennewick on the Columbia River.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You may be just a bit early to be able to see much of Yellowstone. Not all the roads will be open to cars and not many facilities will be open.

  4. #4

    Default Many thanks

    Thank you both for your replies.

    glc - We are planning to be there around may 10 - 12, any ideas on what we might be able to see?

    AZBuck - Thanks for the tips and list of small parks to visit, will print it off and take it with us.

    We are planning to stay in Motels along the way, any tips on the most reliable chain for reasonable, clean accomodation.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Click on my link, it takes you to the official NPS site with planned opening dates of all the roads and facilities in Yellowstone.

    People's definitions of "reasonable" and "clean" vary widely. Personally, I generally stay at Super 8 or Days Inn. The fact that I have a Wyndham Rewards card plays a part in this.

    In the Yellowstone area, lodging is quite expensive. I can highly recommend the Evergreen Motel, I just stayed there a couple of weeks ago. The chains in town are considerably more expensive.

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