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    I'm toying with the idea of doing the south portion first, and coming back on the northern route. Any thoughts on that idea? thanks!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    The beauty of a loop is that it is a loop - so it really doesn't matter which way you go. The only element you'd have to worry about is timing, if you have to be in Ohio on certain, specific dates.

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    I've narrowed my list of stops even more. I am wondering if it will help me out to get an EZ Pass ahead of time for the tolls in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania. I'm honestly not sure how to figure out which roads I'll need to pay tolls on--tips on this would be helpful!

    We'll drive 350-400 miles/day

    Sat July 15 Seattle, WA -->St Regis MT for the night
    Sun July 16 St Regis-->Bozeman, MT (visit Museum of the Rockies either this day if we get there early or in the morning)
    Mon July 17 Bozeman-->Sheridan WY
    Tues July 18 Sheridan-->Custer City, SD
    Wed July 19 Custer City/Mt Rushmore area -->Mitchell SD
    Thurs July 20 Mitchell area -->La Crosse WI
    Fri July 21 La Crosse WI-->Madison WI (tour UW-Madison in afternoon)
    Sat July 22 Madison WI -->??? (was going to tour Notre Dame, but no weekend tours there...)
    Sun July 23 ???--Chardon, OH
    Chardon, OH (visit family for 5 days)

    Fri July 28 Chardon --> Pittsburgh, PA (Carnegie Mellon)
    Pittsburgh, PA (Carnegie Mellon) -->???
    ????--> ???? (will decide if we go back north to see Notre Dame)
    Denver, CO area (Air Force academy)
    Dinosaur National Monument (Utah side)
    Seattle, WA

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You will have tolls in IL, IN, OH, and PA. They are all on the EZ-Pass/I-Pass system. If you have a Rand McNally Road Atlas (which you should!) the toll roads are green, where the free limited-access highways are blue.

    I'd recommend an I-Pass (Illinois). It will cost you $50 ($10 deposit and $40 prepaid tolls), with no service charges or monthly fees. The only problem is if you order it online or by phone, you may not get it before you leave. You can buy one in person at a Jewel/Osco supermarket in IL with a $2.90 processing fee, but it can take up to 24 hours to become active.

  5. Default


    I do have a good road atlas, though TBH I haven't pulled it out yet to review for this trip; I've been using my AAA US overview map and the online mapping. Good reminder to pull the atlas.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    On the AAA United States map, toll roads are orange. They are not as distinctive as on the Rand McNally atlas, because the AAA map uses red for the interstates.

    Once you get your route established, go to AAA and get the maps for all of the states you are going to drive through. I find it extremely helpful to have both the atlas and the individual maps on our trip, as sometimes, one will show something that the other does not.

    We use our GPS unit (or the GPS within our phones) only for finding an individual address within a city, such as a gas station, grocery store, restaurant, or hotel that isn't right next to the highway. You may find it handy to get directions to the college/university that you want to tour.


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