Tips, Suggestions, ANY help appreciated
My husband and I are about to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary and for 20 years we've been talking about going to Montana. He traveled through there (before we met) with a friend in an eighteen-wheeler during the dead of winter. No, we are not going by that mode of transportation. : - ) We are going in our Astro. We live in Louisiana and are first going to hit eastern Oklahoma (our original honeymoon state) at the end of February and stay for a few days and then head toward Montana. We will stay in Montana for several days and then head toward MS to visit family. Overall our trip will be about a month long. Now, for the questions. You KNEW there were some SOMEWHERE in this posting. Any suggestions that anyone has about good routes (yet interesting) to take going to Montana from Oklahoma and coming back from Montana to northeast MS will be much appreciated. We aren't wanting to stay at fancy places or do fancy things. Our purpose is to see the natural beauty along our route as inexpensively as we can. Any special tips that anyone can give us on safety issues (or preparation) for traveling at that time of the year to that part of the country will be much appreciated, also. ANY tips at all I will be grateful for. And, BTW, this is a great web site!!!!
Good Weather Sites
This is really going to depend on the weather patterns for the areas you will pass through, but these sites are between Louisiana and Montana and I highly recommend them:
St. Louis, MO
Badlands National Park, SD
Black Hills, SD (Paha Sapa for those with the movement)
Devil's Tower National Monument, NM (if you go west out of the Black Hills)
Theodore Roosevelt Nat'l Park, ND
Though I haven't been there myself, I have heard excellent things about scenic areas of Arkansas, and if you're nostalgic about the old U.S. highways, you may want to consider the Oklahoma portion of Route 66, which runs parallel to I-40. Some friends of mine went there in search of some oldtime towns and sites and came back raving.
Hope this helps. Good luck and safe driving.
Here are a few more ideas and one strong suggestion of caution: Montana weather in winter can be highly changeable. It is prudent to carry enough water, food, and warm clothing to be able to survive for at least two or three days if you are stranded. Chances are you will not be but it's like a fire extinguiser - You don't need it until you need it, then you need it very badly. Now the suggestions: Helena - a scenic town in a scenic area; Little Bighorn Nat'l Battlefield (Custer)-very historic; The triangle connecting Helena, Great Falls, and Missoula - also very scenic (be sure to check road and weather conditions, especially for the route from Missoula to Great Falls); The White Fish-Kalispell area-also highly scenic, and Glacier Nat'l Park (but the Going To The Sun Highway and most of the backcountry will be closed and inaccesable this time of year). If you get a bit further west, the Idaho panhandle area from Couer d'Alene to the Canadian border is wonderful, as is the area of British Columbia just above the border.
Have a wonderful trip.
Glacier Nat'l Park in January
Going To The Sun Highway, the most scenic DRIVE within the American side of the park is officially closed this time of year. Other scenic drives within the park open and close temporarily- sometimes on a daily or even hourly basis.
Very unpredictable. Very.
I would call ahead if you are going to make the trip north of Helena. I'm pretty sure that Gorp.com has contact info for park headquarters and ranger stations.
I do love the previous poster's suggestions for seeing Montana though.